Your Marketing and Design Reading for The Weekend

Reading magazine outdoorsDo you find yourself at the end of each week with a virtual or literal pile of insightful articles and white papers to read? I’ll bet you were super excited to delve in when you first saw the links but, as the material piled up, you realized there is no possible way you can actually read everything? Well that is how my weekends typically begin.

With that in mind, we’re introducing a new feature that is a weekly compilation of the best industry articles we have read in the past week. Instead of wading through your ambitious collection, you can simply scan our highlights.

Enjoy the reading and please share with us any articles you think are on point or SMB marketing topics you want us to cover.

How to Breathe New Life Into Your Marketing With Visual Content

This was very timely because we are always trying to turn words into visuals to improve our online marketing. Recently, we spent extra time and attention on PowerPoint presentations. We are on the same page with Allyson Galle, who notes that “Most people don’t have any trouble coming up with ways to integrate visual content into their social strategy . . . But you should be thinking about the role visual content plays in all of your marketing channels.” That includes organic search, email marketing and more. The cliche is that a picture is worth 1,000 words but it is more true than ever today with our increasingly short attention spans! Thank goodness for Mel!

Seven Effective Ways to Integrate Social, Local, and Mobile

Social media is being accessed by mobile and searches for local businesses are being conducted on mobile phones. As Tom Shapiro notes, “People are not just social or local or mobile, they’re all three, so your efforts must be integrated accordingly.” But how do you do it all at the same time?(Note my persistent theme of not enough time!) He offers seven tips such as customize, be searchable, encourage sharing and more. He makes the juggling act seem fairly straightforward.

HOW Magazine’s 14th Annual Interactive Design Competition

If you are especially proud of designs your or your team created, enter the HOW Magazine’s Interactive Design Awards. They recognize spotlight interactive, blog, app and website design. Awards include a feature in HOW’s March 2013 issue and a discount towards the HOW web design conference or HOW Design Live. The deadline for entering is 7/1/12. We’re definitely motivated to find ways to get our team members and designs recognized.

Adobe CS6: What You Need to Know About Photoshop CS6

There’s a new version of Adobe’s Creative Suite but the big difference is the pricing and delivery. For just $49.99 per month, you join Adobe’s new Creative Cloud service, which entitles you to download and use the entire Creative Suite. If you are already using CS3, CS4, CS5 or CS5.5, the first year’s membership is only $29.99 per month. These fees apply if you agree to a full-year membership, which is paid on a monthly basis. In contrast to the master collection at $2,600, this seems like a pretty good deal for a small company or design firm.

I hope these articles helped you. There is already another pile waiting for next week’s post (Hey, don’t mock me because I have to print them out–I’m never bored at the doctor’s office or supermarket! Unmana, stop laughing.). Please share any great sources you read like Hubspot that consistently publish strong content. I’ve got a vacation coming up and I sense I’ll have a lot of business reading to do.

About Kelly Glass
Kelly has been vice president of Marketing at Affinity Express for nine years now. She drives company strategy and all marketing activities.

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