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5 Infographics to Teach You How to Easily Create Infographics in PowerPoint [+ TEMPLATES]

Hubspot

These days, visual content is all the rage. And considering the fact that people are naturally drawn to pictures, images, and other visuals, it’s no wonder it’s become such a dominant force in the marketing world. Just think about how much more prominently visuals get featured in social networks like Facebook and Google+. And what about the rise of visual-focused networks like Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine? There’s no denying it — visual content is here to stay, and marketers who can learn how to master it will have a leg up on competitors who can’t.

When most marketers hear the term “visual content,” the first type that comes to mind is usually the infographic. But how can those who don’t necessarily have a design background — or budget to commission an agency, hire a dedicated in-house designer, or purchase expensive design software — create professional-looking infographics that enable them to leverage the power of visual content? We’re so glad you asked! Here’s a little secret: You can do it right within software you likely already have loaded on your computer. That’s right!PowerPoint can be your best friend when it comes to visual content creation. And to help you get started, we’ve created five fabulous infographic templates you can download for free and use to customize your own infographics right within PowerPoint — as well as some helpful tips and tricks to help you learn how to use PowerPoint to its full potential.

In this post, we’ll highlight some PowerPoint infographic creation basics as well as four of the infographic templates from the download that explain how to easily create infographics in PowerPoint (how meta, right?). Just be sure to download the PowerPoint templates for yourself so you can easily customize the designs you see here!

 

Why Every Media Website Redesign Looks the Same

Mashable

If web design is art, we may be entering its minimalist phase.

Website redesigns from some of the most-visited media destinations on the Internet may be leaving users with a bit of déjà vu since many are sporting the same visual elements.

“It’s sort of the same way that all cars look more or less the same. There’s only so many ways you can design a doorknob to where it’s going to be effective,” said Brad Frost, a web designer that has worked on the websites for TechCrunch and Entertainment Weekly.

Cars and doorknobs serve a purpose under certain constraints, just like websites. But unlike those everyday items, the demands on websites have changed drastically as audiences have taken to different devices.

Time.com (pictured below) is a prime example: Clean lines, big pictures and defined columns dominate. The site launched its redesign in March.

Time1 640x359 Why Every Media Website Redesign Looks the Same

 

The homepage of Time.com goes with the three-column design and a sticky header menu.

IMAGE: TIME.COM

Time.com is also “responsive,” a relatively new concept that combines development and design to allow websites to conform to a wide variety of screen sizes while still providing a useful experience. The rise of responsive design has been driven by steadily rising mobile traffic combined with the introduction of a wide range of devices.

Mobile was this crisis that woke us up from this shared delusion that the web was this fixed width,” said Josh Clark, a web designer and developer.

“To a certain degree, websites always look the same. Design is fashion and it follows trends. We’re in the middle of a trend of big and clunky, not just because of responsive design but also because of touch,” Clark added. “As touch has spread from small screens to laptops and desktops, all desktop designs have to be touch-friendly, and that has influenced the aesthetic, too.”

Numerous major media sites have shifted to responsive design with similar results — multi-column, boxy and flat designs that look almost strangely similar. NBC News has its main column on the left, but the similarities are apparent.

Continue reading… 

Tune Audiences Into Your Marketing Video Initiative

IDG Connect 0811 Tune Audiences Into Your Marketing Video Initiative

With video consumption on the rise, audiences today expect to able to receive information that is easy to digest and also engaging. It is predicted that by 2016, 1.6 billion people will be watching video online, and the growth of video traffic on the web will rise from 57% to 69% by 2017. As a result, a million minutes of video content will cross the network every second in 2017.

Given the eminence and influence video content will have over the next few years it could become one of the marketing department’s most powerful tools. Videos can be shared as compelling content that can help attract new customers, encourage existing ones to upgrade to a new product or spread product information quickly and efficiently.

Short videos can even be used as an alternative to lengthy text descriptions, telephone calls and face-to-face demonstrations to help a customer chose the right product for them. James McQuivey from Forrester Research believes that one minute of video can be equivalent to 1.8 million words. Video can provide easily accessible, on-demand information that is also engaging to a wider customer base.

Creating video content that is audience-tailored and accessible across multiple devices can keep digital marketing initiatives on the road to success. One quick and easy method of content creation is screencasting. Screencasting software records everything on your screen from applications and mouse clicks to your audio commentary. Screencasting technology is efficient since little investment is required for equipment and unlike working with video cameras or other videography equipment, very little training is needed.

To make successful screencasts, there are a few factors any marketer should consider:

Know Your Audience

With any video marketing initiative, understanding what makes your audience tick should be a priority. One video might be the right hook for a particular viewer, however could completely miss the mark for someone else.

Continue reading… 

NRS says mobile now most popular way to access websites of Mail Online, Metro and Mirror

Mail Online, Metro and the Mirror all now attract more readers to their websites from mobiles than they do from personal computers.

New evidence of the shift from desktop to mobile news readership is provided in the latest figures from the National Readership Survey, which include mobile for the first time.

The data suggests Mail Online’s mobile raedership in the UK  stands at 10.8m per month, versus 9.6m on personal computers. The NRS claims that the Mirror now attracts 6.2m readers a month on mobile devices, versus 4.9m on PCs, and Metro 3.6m on mobile versus 2.9m on PCs.

The NRS data combines print readership for the year to June 2014 with Comscore website data for June 2014. Both web and print numbers are based on a survey of the general public, rather than actual circulation or information from server logs.

The figures suggest that The Guardian and the Telegraph are neck and neck in terms of UK readership with both achieving a monthly reach of 16.3m. The term ‘reach’ equates to the number of people reading the paper or the website at least once.

The NRS suggests that the Daily Mail/Mail Online is the most read national newspaper brand in the UK with a monthly reach of 23.4m. According to the Mail, this means it now reaches 48.3 per cent of UK adults every month.

Read on…

Four great reasons why email will never, ever die

CITEworld

As we come back from vacation to an inbox filled with hundreds of emails, most of which we don’t need to read, we might let out an anguished bellow and ask: when will we fix email?

Everyone knows how awful it is: you get flooded, it’s pretend work, it’s inefficient, and so on. And everyone is looking for a way to fix email. And every once in a while, a new app comes along that promises to fix email. And every time, it fails. The reason why is that it can’t.

Sorry. It bothers me as much as it does you, but it’s just the truth. You’re not going to fix email. Here’s why.

Saturation

The simplest reason why email can’t be replaced is its 100% saturation. In enterprises today, everyone — and that means everyone — has email.

In business strategy, we often hear about network effects, whereby the value of a network is the square of the members of a network. This is thought to be a great competitive advantage, because network effects mean your business grows very fast as the network grows, and then is very hard to displace. eBay, for example, has a network effect: Because all the sellers are there, that’s where the buyers go; because that’s where the buyers are, that’s where the sellers go. That makes eBay’s business very robust.

But actually, very few networks achieve saturation, meaning that (for practical purposes) everyone is on the network. And there is a very big difference between using a communication network with almost everyone, and using one where there is everyone. Email is the latter. Alternatives to email, no matter how popular, are the former.

If displacing an ordinary network is hard, displacing a network with saturation is impossible. The barriers are too high. Everyone is already checking email, so everyone sends email. Because everyone sends email, everybody has to check email. It will never end.

Social networks don’t take care of all use cases and don’t have saturation

One big promise for “fixing email” is enterprise social networks — JiveYammer, and many others. To some extent, they have helped things. But anyone in a company that uses those social networks knows that they haven’t gotten rid of email. They can actually improve on some common use cases for email, like task management or quick-fire collaborative conversations. But they don’t take care of all, or even most, use cases. Your boss wants to send information about a major new corporate reorganization or strategy to all 150 people in his organization at once? That’s an email. A vendor wants to touch base in a semi-formal way without interrupting you via phone or email? That’s an email.

Continue reading… 

World Tech Update: 9/19/14

IDG News Service

On this week’s World Tech Update,  Microsoft buys Minecraft developer Mojang, Apple readies its iPhone 6 for sale and we take a look at a high tech stadium.

Native ads are getting a direct-response makeover

Digiday

Native advertising is often used by publishers as a way out of being held to the direct-response metrics that have long been associated with banner ads.

Native was supposed to be a premium ad format that would bolster falling digital CPMs, and it has mainly been viewed as an image-building format. But it was only a matter of time before advertisers would start to demand more than just a lift in awareness or improved reputation and ask for ads that directly drive sales or leads.

Case in point: this ad for The New York Times that’s running on Mashable. The ad has a direct come-on to new digital customers, with a “subscribe” button that’s prominently placed to the right of its branded article. It’s part of a month-long campaign the Times is running on Mashable to drive audience growth.

 Native ads are getting a direct response makeover

The practice is more established among B2B marketers, for whom the format is well suited for white-paper downloads and webinar signups. Lexis Nexis, for example, used this ad on Law.com to drum up business for its MedMal navigator product. But consumer publishers are increasingly hearing requests for native ads to include calls to action.

Continue reading… 

Managing Marketing Assets in Today’s Digital Economy

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 Managing Marketing Assets in Today’s Digital Economy

Samantha Warnes, Senior Solution Consultant of Digital Asset Management & Customer Experience Management at OpenText, looks at how organisations need to re-examine the creation, collaboration, production and distribution of digital media to deliver a richer digital marketing experience.

In today’s connected world, marketers are expected to manage content that caters to a richer digital experience. Digital assets have to be available, agile and consistent. Gone are the days when business departments could operate in silos. Now different units have to work with marketing to make the most of content across every distribution point – regardless of whether that is online, physical, over mobile, or even print.

However, ensuring that marketing content – regardless of size or format – is agile and can move at the speed required, means rethinking how digital assets are managed. Organisations need to automate the management of all assets, across all available mediums and consider the following five key areas:

1. Collecting: In the creation and storage of marketing assets, content should be collected and automated to provide a single, authoritative system for all types of marketing media. The result should be a digital asset management system without silos, massive email files, or guesswork as to the correct asset needed for a specific marketing purpose.

2. Managing: The ability to organise, categorise and apply appropriate rights policies to link related assets ensures rich marketing media can be managed efficiently.

Continue reading…  

 

 

 

World Tech Update- August 29, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU Instagram brings Hyperlapse to the iPhone, Microsoft cuts Surface 2 prices and Google reveals its secret drone delivery program.