Video marketing: The ultimate guide (You’ll only need this)

Video is not only a content type anymore, but it has also become a culture. Before that, theater movies and TV had driven the culture, and the only thing that has changed over the past few years is the platform.

Culture is what drives the marketing around it, and 83% of marketers believe that video is becoming increasingly important; a clear indication of more brands using them as a part of their marketing strategies. It can be clearly seen how important video has become for every platform and marketing channel.

And, if you’re not creating videos for marketing campaigns, then you will be left behind this decade.

According to Cisco, 82% of internet traffic will be through videos by 2022. And according to TechCrunch, people watch 1 billion hours of YouTube video per day (That’s more than Netflix and Facebook video combined). 

In our digital times, everyone is capable of publishing videos and everyone is publishing videos; all you need is a good camera and an internet connection. This culture-driven ability now belongs to anyone who can create a video and is so captivating that the right group of people choose and prefer to watch videos.

A person who will never read a 100-page book will gladly watch a 10-minute IGTV.

Video is more than just cute babies and funny animals. It’s so powerful that, even mentioning the word “video” in your email subject line can increase the open rates by 19%.

In this article, I’ll unveil all the fundamentals, tactics, and best practices for video marketing.

What is video marketing?

Video marketing is all about creating a video to market and promote your product/service, educate your audience, increase engagement on social media, widen your brand awareness and reach your audience with interactive content. There are some popular platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat that businesses are using for video marketing. 

Brands are making videos to help customers make better purchasing decisions by understanding and analyzing their favorite products and features in an engaging way.

Share of businesses using video on their landing pages worldwide from 2016 to 2018


According to HubSpot, 72% of consumers prefer to watch a video about a product than a read product description and more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands more than any other type of content.

A quick question.

Why do videos work so well? 

Because our brain can’t resist the visual outburst, videos are easy to follow-through and we get addicted to them. We remember dialogues from the movies we watched in the past decade but we hardly remember some paragraphs from some book we read a few years back. Movies are just a visual representation of the scriptwriter and storytelling of the director.

Half of the internet users look for a video before visiting a store (Google) and your campaign can’t survive without video in your marketing strategy where 87% of businesses now use video to help market their product and services (WyzOwl).

Using video marketing for business isn’t something brand new but to obtain the best results, implementing a proper video marketing strategy is a must.

Gone are the days when throwing some random video in your strategy worked, it’s now more than 80% of the content on the internet and the field has become highly competitive.

Developing a video marketing strategy that works

According to HubSpot research, customers and consumers prefer low-quality authentic video than high-quality inauthentic video. Simple, mundane videos don’t work all the time in the world of marketing. Today, documenting your different work processes like BTS (behind the scenes), vlogs, live videos, and product walkthroughs seem more real and human than videos created filled with artificial effects.

The versatility of the video content you publish also makes it a successful marketing strategy. Be it the branding of your ecommerce business or tapping into new audiences, videos have always got your back.

93% of businesses reported getting a new customer on social media, thanks to video. It’s also very important to create a sound strategy when you’re planning to implement video in your marketing which should include:

Creating a script based on customer’s pain points
Designing a template that reflects your branding
Distribution of video on different platforms
Feelings or emotions you want to evoke
The persona you’re targeting with the video
Recording and editing the video
Integrating video into different marketing content
Coming up with new topics and trends
Analyzing the video performance
Improving your strategy based on your data

As we have discussed before, that video is accessible to everyone and any type of business, you only need the right strategy to kick-off. Whether you’re executing operations in the service team or the marketing team, the usefulness of video is apparent everywhere.

Let’s dig deep into the types of video you can create for the different marketing campaigns:

Types of marketing videos

You will be having different objectives for your marketing campaign and based on that you’ll choose the type of video you’re going to create. So, here is the list of top marketing video types to choose from:

1. Explainer videos

The primary purpose of explainer videos is to educate your audience whether it’s your product/service or some concept in your industry. They generally are short in length and it shouldn’t be more difficult than curating decks of slides in the presentation. It’s kind of a scripted journey of your customer’s problem and how they can resolve it.

2. How-to videos

How-to videos are the most popular type of video which customers love to consume and revolve around the educational concept to teach your audience in a step-by-step manner. These types of videos are compelling because they literally show you how to do something.

3. Customer testimonial videos

Customer testimonial videos are the best way to showcase social proof and brand advocacy for your brand. You can ask your consumers to tell their story on camera, what challenges they faced, and how your brand helped them overcome those obstacles.

4. Live videos

In this type of video, you have the ability to brief your product or service to your audience in a systematic way. It can be an unboxing review, walkthrough or run your physical product through some tests.

72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service (WyzOwl).

5. Personalized video messages

Are you out of ideas for your email marketing campaign?

Try creating video messages.

Nothing can be more personalized, charming and captivating than this type of video message. It will not only improve engagement rate but it will also move your prospect down the funnel towards conversion. See how Marketo used personalized video messages to invite their audience to the summit.

6. Live videos

According to, users watch live videos 1.8x times longer than non-live video, representing the present aspect of your brand. It allows your audience to participate, engage, and connect with your brand in the live video.

You can use live video content to stream events, Q&A sessions, presentations, interviews with experts and foster your audience to interact with your brand.

In this Facebook live video, Martha Stewart prepares viewers for holidays with some outdoor decorating ideas and encourages them to buy each product at Home Depot.

7. AR/VR and 360° videos

Everyone in the industry knows that AR/VR is the future and its market has already reached $16.8 billion US. These are future tech that will skyrocket your customer’s experience and you should be integrating your products by now.

VR and 360° videos are important videos that let you put your customers into another person’s shoes, for example, Oreo ran this fun campaign which lets you experience the Oreo virtual world. On the other hand, AR allows people to check out products while sitting in their homes. Everyone knows IKEA furniture App did this beautifully by showcasing their furniture and homeware in your specific living rooms.

Customer experience journey through video marketing

Everyone is familiar with the customer journey or the funnel as we say in which a customer goes from showing interest in your products or services to buying them. Videos are not any piece of content that you can introduce to your audience at any time or any platform. I say that no content should be introduced to the customer in the funnel at the wrong time.

Customers can be offered an additional incentive to push them towards buying a certain product. According to the latest coupon statistics, 86% of millennials say that deals and discounts impact their purchase decisions. This makes coupons a perfect weapon of choice for video marketers.

Here’s a brief to every stage of the customer journey and what type of videos you should introduce to your audience at each stage of the funnel:

1. Awareness

This is the initial stage of the customer’s journey where you show them who you are and what you represent.

Your prospect has a great product but he is unable to generate revenue.
Prospects try to find the solution on Google by typing their issue.
He ends up watching YouTube videos and learns that his problem is ‘A’.
Again, he searches “how to solve problem A” and one of your customer review videos pops up in the suggestion.
He gets intrigued by the comments on your video and checks out your YouTube channel.
Finds out that you have uploaded tons of helpful videos and shares them with the team.
Every time he visits YouTube, your videos are recommended as suggestions.

“84% of marketers credit video with increasing traffic to their website.”

Type of videos to use:

Explainer Videos
How-To Videos
Fun Videos

2. Consideration

In the consideration stage, prospects know that they have a problem and want to find the solution. They try everything to find the solution, ask a friend, compare alternatives, search on Google and want a cost-effective solution to the problem.

They know the problem and watch one of your videos on YouTube but it is just a teaser. They click on the given link to watch the full video on your website.
They watch one video after the other because of the pop-ups.
In between, an email submission form comes up and they fill it. Congratulations, you’ve captured a lead. It triggers an email via your automation platform.
Just a few days later, they receive an email with a relevant video.
After checking their watch history, the sales rep sends them a personalized video that is shockingly relevant. They end up booking a meeting.
This kind of customer care strengthens the relationship.

“80% of marketers credit video with increasing the average time on page for their website.”

Type of videos to use:

Testimonials and Video Case Studies
Detailed Product Demos
Personalized Video Voicemails
Setup Webinars

3. Decision

In the decision stage, customers are quite close to making a decision to buy your product or service and it’s your job to create crystal clear smooth processes for the transaction. They should feel like they have control over the complete process and know every detail.

Team of prospect lists out all the alternatives including your brand, then they schedule a demo but only your brand sends them a video which makes it easier to understand the product.
Prospect sends you an email with a few concerns and you reply to them with a video walkthrough.
During their research, they search for a solution to problem X and they find your YouTube video, which makes you the top vendor.
After a few days, with a deal on the table, they receive a personal video from a senior executive of yours and they buy.
Prospect receives a welcome video from the sales rep and an intro to what’s gonna happen next.
You redirect the prospect to the on-boarding video library which makes the whole process even smoother.
Now, when their team faces any problem, support videos with screen recording resolves every issue in minutes.

“83% of marketers say video results in a good ROI.”

Type of videos to use:

FAQ Video
Campaign Nurturing Videos
Instructional Video

4. Advocacy

If someone buys your product or service, you’ll always get a chance to engage them with your content and updates that help them grow with your product and industry.

The customer finds your product very useful and is very pleased with it.
They create a short testimonial video and your marketing team uploads it on your YouTube channel.
New prospects find that testimonial on Google and visit your YouTube channel. The cycle repeats again.

“86% of viewers say they regularly turn to YouTube to learn something new.”

Type of videos to use:

Troubleshooting Videos
Product/Brand Update Videos
Interview Videos
Social Live Videos

I have shown you how we can integrate videos in each stage of the customer journey. It’s not mandatory to use all of them but it’s recommended to use personalized videos as much as you can. So, design your next customer journey close to perfection with a sound video marketing strategy.

Video analytics

No marketing campaign can be successful without a defined goal and continued experimentation after measuring the data metrics of the campaign. Your goal for running the campaign could be brand awareness, increasing website traffic, or even conversion.

How can you define your goal for the campaign? 

By considering your target audience, buyer personas, media they consume, when they consume it, and which stage of the buyer’s journey they are in.

Video marketing

Having a better understanding of these metrics will help you measure your campaign success and define your goal of the campaign. There are several marketing tools available that make it easy for you to evaluate different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Here are a few important metrics that you need to keep your eye on:

1. Rate of play

This metric helps you grasp insight into how many people are actually watching your videos. The rate of play is the percentage of people who played your video divided by the number of impressions on the video.

Factors that play an important role in improving this metric include your thumbnail, platform you are publishing the video on, the initial few seconds of the video, and many more. If you’re getting tons of impressions but no one is playing your video, then you need to optimize your videos as soon as possible.

2. View count

The total number of view count on your video reflects how many times viewers have watched your video. It’s easy to measure but tricky to derive because different platforms measure view count differently.

Facebook takes 3 seconds and YouTube an entire 30 seconds of playtime to measure one view count. This metric is also known as reach which means if your goal is brand awareness then this metric is great to track.

3. Click-through rate (CTR)

This is an important sign that signifies if your video is extremely good or not because its primary goal is to make viewers take a desired action that leads them to an already-optimized landing page with a clear call-to-action (CTA).

CTR is the number of times your call-to-action (CTA) is clicked divided by the number of times it’s viewed.

4. Social media sharing

It’s way too easy to monitor the social sharing metrics and it’s extremely important to increase your organic reach on the internet. The social sharing metric shows you how many shares you’re getting on social media from your viewers.

A “share” is the active engagement that a viewer takes to share a video with his friend when they really like the content. When one viewer shares the video, then a similar audience on his network is more likely to share and it creates a chain reaction that helps you reach a wider audience organically.

5. Conversion rate

It’s the rate of conversion for your video campaign that tells how many leads, prospects or customers were generated through your videos.

Conversion rate is the number of times visitors completed your desired action divided by the number of clicks on your CTA. However, measuring this metric is kind of difficult but you can surely track it if you work smartly.

6. Completion rate

It’s the most liable metric for videos because it shows how many people have watched your video completely.

The completion rate is the number of people who completed your video divided by the number of people who played it.

If no one is watching your videos completely then your content needs to be optimized. It shows the success rate of your video marketing campaign.

7. Bounce rate

You might be thinking about how this metric is important in measuring video success. Sometimes, it happens that adding a video to the web page improves the session duration.

The bounce rate is defined as the rate of your video played, where the viewer actually watches some part of your video.

So, start off by noting down the bounce rate of the page before you add the video and after adding the video to the page, check if there is any improvement in the bounce rate. And how the audience is interacting with the new video content.

Bonus tips for awesome video content

As I mentioned in the beginning, everyone is capable of producing and publishing content these days and everyone is doing it. So, before concluding this blog, I would like to give you readers a few more tips, techniques, and strategies to give you an edge over other creators.

Video equipment checklist

Video marketing checklist


Here’s the list of resource requirements you need to fulfill in order to start producing the video content:

Camera: A decent quality DSLR camera would be perfect for the job and will cost you around $500-$600. A high-end camera smartphone like Samsung S10+, Google Pixel 4, or iPhone 11 Pro will also do the trick and will cost you the same.
Tripod: It’s very effective for video stabilization and vlogging purposes as it makes your camera portable to carry. So, spend on tripods which are lighter in weight.
External Mic: This will improve the quality of sound in your video and especially when you’re shooting for online courses and explainer videos. It will cost you around $100-200.
Lighting: In the starting, you can use a reflector to take advantage of ambient light. If you want to step up to more powerful lighting, you can use something like a softbox.
Editing Software: You just need a few skills like editing out your vocal pauses and inserting some text. This would be enough to make a good quality video, as the final content matters the most anyway. You can use expert tools like Adobe Premiere Pro in Windows and Final Cut X Pro in Mac.
Editing Hardware: As much as you need the editing software for finishing videos, you also need some graphic power to run that software. Low-graphic power systems make it difficult to alter large size files. It should have minimum requirements – 8GB RAM, 2GB VRAM Graphic Card, Intel 6th Gen or AMD FX.

Make a great video

In this section, we will check everything that makes a video great:

Use a script: Writing a script for your video helps you deliver 2-3x content in a short period of time. You don’t have to write each and every word; the outline structure will do just fine. For reference read: Write a Video Script 
All direction lighting: Using the omnidirectional method gives your object more sharpness and natural feel.
Soundproofing: Shooting in an echoing room will make you sound terrible. Buy soundproofing material or throw some thick yoga mats on the floor.
Color Correction: This can make a huge difference in the output of your raw footage. It is the most undervalued but an important editing part of the video.
Lots of cuts: Cutting is essential to the delivery of your audio and making it clean, and precise. It can help you remove all the noise, avoid filler words, and streamline the content flow.
Animation Effects: If you’re making explainer videos or educational content, then graphics give you a bonus in conveying your message. You can use software like Adobe After Effects and also outsource tasks to some experts in the field.

Few more strategies

Here are a few more advanced strategies that will help you give more views on your videos:

First Impression: Capture your audience’s attention in the first 5-10 seconds by starting your video with a question, compelling story, or telling them what they will learn in the whole video.
Longer Videos: Try uploading videos longer than 5-10 minutes on very different topics and make them detailed and filled with insights. Long-form content works greatly if created well.
Theme Consistency: You should be consistent with your branding in each and every video. Try to create a theme consisting of your brand color, font, voice, and niche topics which will help you increase brand awareness.
Humor: Using humor in your videos will make your content more watchable. I don’t recommend filling it up with jokes unless you’re a comedian. Just using one or two light-hearted funny lines in the script would be perfect.
Sequence: Always ask your audience to watch the next related video on the topic. On YouTube, you can show them in suggestions and make a playlist.

Tools for video analytics

Video marketing tools

We have already learned what metrics we should measure and here’s how we can measure them:

Vimeo: Advanced video analytics to help you learn more and decide better. It delivers quality and focuses on building a huge community.
Wistia: It has a great feature to show you the bounce rate when a person jumps off from your video and a complete brand customization capability for embedded players.
Vidyard: It offers a defined reporting dashboard and has integration with major marketing automation software. It also gives real-time video views data.
Google Analytics: Firstly, it is free to use. Perfect if you’re just starting off. It gives you the ability to build a customized dashboard and can be specifically used to track conversion rates.


I hope that you’ve enjoyed this guide for video marketing and its best practices.

Video marketing may look intimidating at first but it’s the present and future of content and you can always start slow. You’ll be able to produce good quality content with practice and don’t forget to align content with your brand.

Creating and publishing videos to grow your brand is way easier than ever and make sure to be a part of this big bubble. Start by turning your epic blogs into different, small pieces of videos in an interesting way and re-purpose all your insightful text content into videos.

Go out other and amaze your audience with your videos and keep improvising all the time.

Light, Camera, Roll, Action!

Which part of this guide intrigued you the most and what points did I miss out on?

Please have your say. I am listening.

Himanshu Rauthan is an entrepreneur, Co-Founder at MakeWebBetter, BotMyWork, and the Director of CEDCOSS Technologies. He can be found on Twitter @himanshurauthan.

The post Video marketing: The ultimate guide (You’ll only need this) appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Source: Video marketing: The ultimate guide (You’ll only need this)

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Do you manage your own social media marketing or the social selling strategy for another company? Are you hoping to launch a successful social media campaign? The process can be pretty overwhelming. Between producing content on a multitude of social media platforms, publishing at the right times, interacting with followers, and more, it can seem like a full-time job in itself.

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The 19 Best Content Marketing Tools in 2019

While no content marketing tool can replace a solid strategy and talented humans, having the right tech stack can certainly help you get the job done better, easier, and more efficiently.
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THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION | Are you participating?


 Digital transformation is the term given to the transformation of business activities, processes and models to fully leverage the opportunities of new digital technologies. The aim of integrating digital technology into all areas of a business is to improve operations and how they deliver value to customers, employees, suppliers, partners and stakeholders. This necessitates a cultural and leadership change to encourage innovation and new business models.

One of the most important and substantive technology changes driving digital transformation is the focus on solutions designed to work the way employees do, rather than forcing users to change. The “force fit” method was common in the past, as the people using the apps had little choice but to convert their processes to match the technology. Those days are over, and organizations that cannot provide a user-centric experience will be left behind.

People-centric computing, defined as digital workspaces that are designed around the end user’s workflow, is today’s reality. And organizations that don’t adopt this approach will have numerous problems, including an inability to attract talented employees, lost productivity and far higher costs. As your organization deploys new digital business platforms, it’s essential to provide the flexibility and interoperability that supports business stakeholders and delivers an improved user experience without compromising security. It is also important to note that maintaining security is not an excuse for disrupting the user, either. The focus should be on digital workspace platforms that let organizations manage and aggregate different apps, databases and other resources that enable employee productivity―all while managing the security issues and system complexity behind the scenes and improving the experience for the end user.


 Because digital transformation will look different for every company, it can be hard to pinpoint a definition that applies to all. However, in general terms, we define digital transformation as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers. Beyond that, it’s a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often, and get comfortable with failure. This sometimes means walking away from long-standing business processes that companies were built upon in favor of relatively new practices that are still being defined.

Researchers at IDG recently attempted to apply a unified field theory to the meaning of “digital transformation,” based on the results of a survey of 702 IT and business decision-makers. Essentially, they identified eight ways people look at it:
  • Employee productivity. For 52 percent of executives, “becoming a digital business means enabling worker productivity through tools such as mobile, data access and AI-assisted processes.”
  • Data-driven business performance. Close to half, 49 percent, also see digital transformation as “the ability to better manage business performance through data availability and visibility.”
  • Customer experience. “For 46 percent of decision-makers, digital transformation “means meeting customer experience expectations, while 44 percent see it as “understanding customer needs through data collection and analysis.”
  • Mobile capabilities. Another 46 percent see digital transformation as “providing secure, optimized anywhere/anytime access to assets.”
  • Process automaton. At least 37 percent say digital transformation means “digitally modifying business and/or processes .”
  • Revenue streams. One-third, 33 percent, say digital transformation means developing new digital business/revenue streams.
  • Product innovation. Another 31 percent see digital transformation as achieving top-line growth through digital product enhancements/new digital products or services.
  • Supply chain optimization. For more than a quarter of companies surveyed (27 percent), digital transformation means digitizing “the flow of data and information worldwide which enables the movement of goods, services, finance and people.”

What should you do next if you do believe in digital transformation?

 1. Regardless of your level in the company, talk to people and convince them that change is coming and action is needed.
 2. Get enough support to start with a Digital Transformation Modeling exercise as this will give your stakeholders a first insight on the digital impact, possible futures and activities you can roll-out.
 3. The next step is to understand how ready your company is for the digital future. The impact analysis from the Digital Transformation Modeling approach is a first step in a much wider audit of the digital readiness of your entire company and the people that work for it.
 4. This must lead to a concrete plan for setting up your Digital Transformation Team with their Digital Agenda.


You start from a strategic model (insights, impact, future) to build an organizational model that is able to run the on-going operational reality of digital transformation.


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99 Collaboration Tools You Should Know in 2019

Collaboration tools drive business today. In the last two decades, organizations have learned, sometimes through painful trial and error, that email and meetings aren’t adequate tools on their own for people to work together. (Can you believe anyone ever thought they would be?) Now, the way we share files, discuss how to approach a project or a client, manage work in progress, and so forth requires a range of tools built for handling specific aspects of collaboration.

The number of apps that enable collaboration has ballooned since the mid 2000s or so. There are so many excellent apps in this category, in fact, that it’s entirely likely you’ve never heard of many of the best of them. Even those of us who research and write about software professionally learn about new collaboration apps all the time.

Here, we wanted to provide a list of 99 collaboration apps, and let you explore them.

What Is a Collaboration App?

A collaboration app is any program that enables or facilitates multiple people to communicate or work together. That definition is unhelpfully broad, however. For the purpose of this article, we looked for apps that put collaboration at their core rather than offer it as a feature. You might notice some apps on this list that can be used solo, but the same apps become even more valuable when you take into consideration their collaboration capabilities, too.

How We Chose Apps

This list does not claim to be the ultimate best collaboration tools. Rather, the selection is meant to showcase just what "collaboration app" can mean, particularly in a work environment.

We grouped apps into subcategories, listed below, with each subcategory containing no more than 10 apps. When relevant, you’ll find links to "best of" lists with more recommendations for that category.

We hope you uncover some new apps you hadn’t heard of before.

Throughout this article, you’ll see to indicate apps that are supported in Zapier’s network, meaning you can connect them to other apps and create automations with them using Zapier.

99 Collaboration Tools You Should Know


Workplace Management, Workplace Hub (Apps 1-6)


Workplace management apps and workplace hubs are mammoths among collaboration apps because they offer more than one way to work together. Most apps categorized as workplace management let you cobble together other apps and modules that your team needs to get work done collaboratively. No one workplace app looks like the other because they are all so highly customized.

Atlassian Confluence. Confluence by Atlassian, the same company behind Jira, is something of a huddle room, where you organize and discuss work with teammates, and track decisions made.

Cisco Webex Teams. Sprung from Cisco’s conferencing software, Cisco Webex Team centralizes team collaboration by putting video calls, chat, a whiteboard app, scheduling tools, and file sharing features under one roof.

Podio. Podio is a hub for working collaboratively, where you create a unique space depending on the tools your team needs, such as software for HR, business development tools, apps for salespeople, and so forth.

Redbooth. Though sometimes referred to as a project management app, Redbooth supports team collaboration well beyond the bounds of managing projects, because it contains additional tools for communicating and managing ongoing work as well.

Workfront. Enterprises choose Workfront when they need an all-around collaboration app that also contains advanced project management software, with resource allocation features, budget tracking options, and more.

Office Editing: Writing and Document Management (Apps 7-15)


How thankful are we all that office apps have become collaborative? When office apps let multiple people write, revise, and comment on the same file, everyone worries less about version control and can instead focus on the subject matter.

Box. Although it started as an app for sharing and storing files, Box has matured into a complete collaboration service, allowing you to write and edit documents in real time with colleagues.

Dropbox. Dropbox, similar to Box, is a place to store and share files, both among internal teammates and with people outside your group, as well as collaboratively edit and discuss them.

Etherpad. When you and your colleagues log into the open-source app Etherpad, you can work on the same document at the same time, with everyone’s contributions clearly labeled.

Evernote. Note taking app Evernote lets you share notes and notebooks with anyone, and with a Business account, the app can suggest to you notes written by others in your organization that are relevant to whatever you’re working on.

G Suite. G Suite is a complete set of online office apps (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) with deep roots in real time co-authoring, editing, and commenting, as well as ample integration options so that you can use them with other apps and services.

Libreoffice. A free and open-source alternative to paid office software, Libre Office lets you collaborate on office documents easily asynchronously, or synchronously if you’re willing to install LibreOffice Online on a server.

Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft Office lets you collaborate with colleagues in its Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other apps, regardless of whether you use the online versions of the app or locally installed ones.

OnlyOffice. OnlyOffice is part office software suite and part workplace management app, with tools for creating and editing documents, as well as collaborative tools for organizing files, managing projects, keeping up with customer relationships, and more.

Quip. Online document and spreadsheet app Quip is an ideal place to store and continually update living documents with teammates because it gives you not only real time co-authoring features, but also built-in chat, notifications, and more.

Samepage. Samepage is an online app that combines document authoring and editing with other aspects of office collaboration, such as task management and calendaring.

Diagramming, Whiteboarding, and Mind Mapping (Apps 16-22)


When used collaboratively, diagramming, whiteboarding, and mind mapping apps let people brainstorm together, whether everyone is in the same room or not. Picture a digital canvas where anyone who’s invited can put down ideas as text, images, or drawings. For team struggling to communicate their ideas verbally, these apps go a long way toward facilitating teamwork.

Lucidchart. Lucidchart is a web app for creating diagrams that supports real-time collaboration much in the same way as G Suite, so that you and your colleagues can simultaneously work on the same file and see each other’s changes as you go.

Microsoft Whiteboard App. Microsoft Whiteboard lets multiple people draw on the same freeform canvas simultaneously, and it’s often used when collaborators are in the same room together ; note that each person needs a Microsoft login and the Whiteboard Windows app to participate (web and mobile apps in development).

MindMeister. Mind mapper MindMeister makes multiperson diagramming, doodling, and discussion doable.

Mural. With the collaborative whiteboard app Mural, teams can work together visually, both in real time and asynchronously, by adding sketches, notes, videos, and other media to a digital canvas.

Prezi Next. Technically speaking, Prezi Next is an app for making presentations, although it more closely resembles a digital whiteboard with animation options, and it lets up to 10 people co-author and edit simultaneously.

RealtimeBoard. RealtimeBoard works similarly to other whiteboard apps in that it supports visual collaboration, though it caters slightly to remote team members who work across different organizational departments.

Stormboard. Often used to for collaborative note-taking during meetings, Stormboard is an online whiteboard with sticky notes added prominently so that everyone can add their ideas no matter their artistic ability.

Conference Calling and Web Meeting Apps (Apps 23-28)


Conference calling and web meeting apps cover a range of collaboration needs. Sometimes they allow people to call customers and clients via audio or video call. Sometimes they do the same thing but among employees of an organization. Often they come with tools for giving presentations, sharing screens, or even doodling on a virtual whiteboard. These conference calling and web meeting apps enable collaboration by giving people a range of options in how they communicate.

BlueJeans. BlueJeans is a conferencing app that offers video calls, screen-sharing, and live streaming, and doesn’t require your teammates to install any apps to join, as they can hop on calls from a browser.

Cisco Webex Meetings. While Cisco Webex Meetings offers everything you’d expect in video conferencing software, one unique feature is that you and your collaborators can work on whiteboard collaboratively while still seeing one another’s faces in a video call to one side of the interface.

GoToMeeting. With GoToMeeting, you can hold video calls and share your screen with collaborators, with a toll-free dialing option when needed, plus get a transcript of your conversation when it’s over so that everyone has a copy of the conversation in writing.

RingCentral Meetings. A hundred people can be on a call at once with RingCentral Meeting, a web conferencing tool that also includes screensharing, simultaneous screensharing, a whiteboard, annotation tools, and more.

StarLeaf. Starleaf offers an all-in-one app for web conferencing, audio and video calls, plus a team chat that’s more like group textings than team messaging.

Zoom. Video conferencing app Zoom lets you hold calls, share your screen, and otherwise communicate with your teammates, but be sure to download the software first, as it does not run in the browser.

Team Messaging (Apps 29-38)


Team messaging apps have done wonders to move internal company communication from email to another venue where the emphasis is on shorter conversations that are faster to search easier to opt into and out of. While Slack may be the most popular team messaging app, it’s hardly the only option, and some excellent apps offer differ takes on how to facilitate communication among members of a group. For more recommendations, see Zapier’s list of the 12 best team messaging apps.

Flock. Don’t balk at Flock, a team messaging app that’s chock full of rock solid features, such as video calling, a to-do list, polling tools, and reminders.

Glip by RingCentral. Glip offers unique ways to collaborate by integrating document editing and calendaring into a team messaging app.

Google Hangouts Chat. Part of Google’s G Suite, Google Hangouts Chat evolved out of earlier versions of Google Hangouts, and it now contains an entire team chat component, complete with virtual rooms and threaded conversations.

Mattermost. Mattermost is a team chat app that lets you chat one-on-one, hold group conversations, share files, and everything else you’d expect in a business messaging service; it’s open-source and free for small businesses (enterprise pricing also available).

Ryver. Free team chat app Ryver adds task management directly to its interface letting you not only discuss work with your colleagues, but also assign and manage it from the same interface.

Semaphor by SpiderOak. SpiderOak, known for its digital backup products, now has a team chat app called Semaphor that adds an extra layer of security to internal company conversations by using private blockchain encryption.

Slack. One of the most widely used team messaging apps available today, Slack supports day-to-day communication and is top of the line when it comes to integrating with third-party apps.

Teams by Microsoft. Microsoft’s team chat app, aptly named Teams, offers workplace chat, file-sharing, and tight integration with other Office apps for free, whether you pay for an Office subscription or not.

Twist by Doist. Twist by Doist came about when a remote team spread out many time zones needed a chat app that allowed for highly organized asynchronous communication.

Zoho Cliq. Cliq is a low-cost team chat app that includes file sharing, emoji, video calls, and a unique broadcasting option for holding live video streams among a team, such as all-hands meetings.

Communication (Misc.) (Apps 39-42)

Small Improvements

Some apps designed to facilitate communication don’t fall neatly into a subcategory such as team chat apps or web conferencing. Consider these four apps surprises from the grab bag of collaboration miscellany.

Discord. Used heavily by video game playing communities, Discord is a voice and text chat app that’s been co-opted by some organizations to facilitate day-to-day communication among colleagues.

Front. Front lets you funnel in outside communication from clients and customers across many channels, such as Twitter and email, and then discuss them privately among your team before assigning someone to respond.

Hiver. Sometimes, a group of people need to manage a single email inbox, and Hiver lets you do just that in Gmail through its browser extension.

Small Improvements. Employees and managers can better track performance reviews, employee contributions, and other accomplishments when they log them together in the online app Small Improvements.

Project Management (Apps 43-52)


Today, project management software almost always means an online platform where teams of people plot, organize, assign, and follow through on all the teeny tiny tasks one must do in order to complete a larger project. Unlike mere task managers, project management apps often contain tools such as Gantt charts for seeing a timeline view of tasks in a project and how they relate to one another. They also sometimes have tools for keeping track of whether someone on the team is available to take on more work or is currently overworked and needs assistance. With complex projects, it’s important to be able to zoom out and see the big picture as well as home in on the fine details of whether any one given task will be completed on time.

Holy cannoli, there are a lot of project management apps on the market, which is why you’ll find a mere 10 here to give you a taste of what’s available. Check out this list of the 50 best project management apps for more.

Basecamp 3. Basecamp, an early leader in the collaboration space, gives teams a central space to organize and discuss work, as well as track tasks that must get done, but in a format that’s more fluid and less rigid than most other project management apps.

Celoxis. This enterprise-grade project management platform allows large teams with complex projects to track not only tasks but also financial resources.

LiquidPlanner. LiquidPlanner helps groups of people plan and carry out projects, with interactive tools for reallocating resources, tracking who’s available to take on tasks, who’s out of office, and more.

Mavenlink. Mavenlink is online project management software for collaboratively working on projects, with some lovely built-in proofing tools for discussing and giving feedback on visual materials, such as advertisements. Among online project management apps, is unique because its borrows some familiar ideas from spreadsheets, making it slightly less intimidating for some collaborators to jump in and work with their groups.

Redmine. The free and open-source project management app Redmine doubles as a bug-tracking system, and it offers role-based permissions, wikis, forums, as well as time-tracking tools and Gantt charts.

TeamGantt. As you might expect from the name, TeamGantt is a project management system that excels at Gantt charts, giving groups of people visual insight into how different pieces of a project will eventually come together.

Teamwork Projects. As a straightforward project management app, Teamwork Projects enables people to work together to complete tasks in pursuit of bigger projects, at a competitive price.

Wrike. Wrike is a flexible project management app that comes with some kanban-style features, plus a wealth of options for collaborating, from proofing tools to an activity feed.

Zoho Project. Zoho Projects gives teams a place to work together on projects, and it includes a chat app, forums, pages to store group knowledge, and other tools for communicating and collaborating.

Kanban Apps (Apps 53-62)


The simplest way to describe kanban apps and how they work is through an example. Imagine a cork board with three columns: To Do, Doing, Done. Imagine you also have a stack of sticky notes, and on each one you write a task that needs to get done in your home. You stick all the notes containing a task into the To Do column. Now, you ask everyone in your household to claim some tasks by writing their names on them. When they start a task, they move the associated sticky note to the Doing column. When the task is done, they move the sticky note to the Done column. The point is that everyone in the household can see what work everyone else is assigned to do, as well as the status of that work. Digital kanban apps have more options and capabilities, but hopefully you get the gist of it.

Here are 10 collaborative kanban boards worth knowing about, and you can find more recommendations in Zapier’s list of the best kanban apps.

Kanban Flow. Kanban Flow is a user-friendly kanban app with some helpful communication features, such as @ messages, that allow team members to see who is doing which tasks and what state of completion they’re in.

Leankit. As the name suggests, Leankit (recently acquired by Planview) leans toward the needs of groups that use a lean or agile process to get work done together using kanban boards.

MeisterTask. Because it has an inviting dashboard and easy-to-use mobile apps, MeisterTask is an excellent point of entry into kanban-style task management for beginners.

Microsoft Planner. Microsoft Planner is the kanban app that comes included with some Office 365 Business accounts, and while it doesn’t have many bells and whistles, it does allow team members to see the state of everyone’s tasks, share files, discuss matters, and make sure work gets done on time.

Pipefy. Kanban app Pipefy has a neat email integration that lets you write and send messages from within any card to keep clients and colleagues updated on the state of your work.

Trello. Trello keeps kanban-style collaboration fun and accessible, with bright colors, playful stickers, and plenty of integrations that make it easy to give external collaborators the right access to your team’s information about work in progress.

Taiga. Taiga (fun fact: the word means boreal forest, which I implore you to say in a Long Island accent for the sheer delight of it) is a collaborative and open-source kanban-style app that caters to developers who follow a scrum process.

Volerro. In addition to offering a kanban board for collaborative task management, Volerro also provides excellent digital proofing tools to markup and discuss files.

Wekan. Wekan is a self-hosted and open-source kanban board app with a similar style to Trello, and it has a few more advanced features, such as swimlanes and work-in-progress limits.

Zenkit. Zenkit straddles the line between kanban app and lightweight project management app, and it gives teams options for how they like to visualize their work, whether on a board with cards, in a spreadsheet, or as a mindmap.

Task Management and Data Management (Apps 63-71)


When a simple checklist isn’t enough, but full fledged project management software is too much, a task management app often will do. Collaborative task management apps help teams keep track of what they need to get done, and let people assign different tasks or subtasks to one another while also being able to see the status of work in progress. Task managers are a dime a dozen, though not all of them allow for collaboration. For more recommendations, see Zapier’s list of 40 excellent to-do list apps.

Data management apps are a little different, Airtable and Quick Base being the two included below. They let you store any kind of information you want, whether it’s inventory or a customer records. Both Airtable and Quick Base give you tools for building whatever kind of system you need for storing that information, and in the case of Quick Base, tools for viewing it in different ways as well.

Airtable. Though it’s known as an online relational database and looks like a spreadsheet, that’s a drab way to describe Airtable, which is a collaborative space to store, manage, and discuss records of any kind.

Allthings. Allthings is a collaborative task-management app that lets you add a custom field to your tasks, as well as delegate and prioritize responsibilities.

Asana. As a highly flexible work-management system, Asana gives you tools for making to-do lists that are rich in details, and allows a team of people to work either together or separately to get them done.

I Done This. I Done This is a task-management app for teams, where everyone is encouraged to check in daily with a status update.

Outplanr. Outplanr is task management software that offers a few unique features, such as the ability for each team member to broadcast what they’re working on right now, and the ability to set tentative (rather than fixed) start dates for tasks.

Quick Base. Quick Base is known as an application development platform, which is an extremely boring and vague way of saying it’s a place where you and your team can put information and then choose (or create) interfaces for getting the information quickly and easily.

Quire. This task-management app for Android, iOS, and Chrome is visually oriented, with charts and graphs showing the team’s progress with tasks and projects, as well as color-coded icons and labels throughout.

Smartsheet. Smartsheet has tools for planning, organizing, and managing work collaboratively, in a spreadsheet-style interface.

Todoist. Todoist helps you and your teammates write down, manage, and assign everything you need to do, with a neat feature called Karma that tracks whether you’re consistent in doing what you say you will do.

Digital Proofing (apps 72-75)


Collaborative office apps make it fairly easy to discuss and co-edit simple files, such as text documents and spreadsheets. But when designers and video creators need to collaborate with people who don’t necessarily speak with the same artistic vocabulary, a different set of tools is in order. Digital proofing apps give teams a place to share and discuss a variety of media, whether magazine covers or promo videos. These apps typically have specialized tools for marking up visual media or making notes in videos. Some also provide the framework for moving a creative work through its process, from request to approval.

Filecamp. Filecamp lets you upload, organize, and share files so that internal colleagues and external collaborators alike can discuss and approve them.

InVision. Invision is a platform that contains tools not only for proofing, but also for idea creation, such as inspiration boards that people can create together.

Widen Workflow. Widen Workflow lets different people on a team either submit a project for feedback and approval or request one, which can pass through the same feedback and approval process when the time comes.

Wipster. Wipster is a digital proofing and collaboration platform for video projects, where you can discuss videos in development as well as publish them directly from the app.

Customer Relationship Management Software (Apps 76-85)

Hubspot CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) apps are online systems where teams of people, often in sales roles, log in to track the history of communication with customers and clients. Some CRMs are little more than beefed-up address books, while others contain advanced features such as in-app video calling. When used collaboratively, a well-maintained CRM allows any salesperson to pick up communication with any client, regardless of which salesperson was the previous point of communication.

Here, we’ve selected 10 CRMs to highlight, but there are dozens of them on the market. For more recommendations, see Zapier’s recommendations for the 25 best CRM apps or the 10 best CRMs for small business.

Bitrix24. To call Bitrix24 just a CRM would be an understatement, as this inclusive online app includes tools for lead generation, video calls, messaging, calendaring; it even borrows some concepts from social networking to make it user-friendly.

Copper. Copper, formerly ProsperWorks, is a CRM and lead management app that’s tightly integrated with Google’s G Suite, with notifications and activity feeds about all your teammate’s activities to keep everyone in the know about the status of relationships with customers.

Infusionsoft. Rather than sticking solely to customer relationship management, Infusionsoft offers automated sales and digital marketing tools in conjunction with CRM functions for small business teams that need guidance getting started.

Insightly. Many CRMs also handle a bit of project management, but Insightly’s in-app project management tools give you a complete range of options for collaboratively moving work through a process.

HubSpot CRM. Hubspot CRM has a free tier of service—an attractive hook for small businesses—as well as all the tools a team needs to work on getting leads and closing sales together.

LionDesk CRM. This CRM for real estate agencies has neat tools for recording videos to send via email or text, letting agents and brokers communicate more effectively with clients.

Nutshell. With Nutshell, you track, manage, and plan all the interactions your team has with customers and clients, and tag fellow colleagues in the system when you want to collaborate with them.

Pipedrive. Pipedrive is a CRM well liked among small businesses (though businesses of any size can use it) for tracking information about sales and leads across a team.

Salesforce. The 800-pound gorilla of CRMs, Salesforce not only helps sales teams track and share information about leads and clients, but also develop a close knit team through an in-app social network called Chatter.

Zoho CRM. Zoho CRM lets salespeople chat with one another, view and manage a shared calendar, and even call upon a Siri-like personal assistant call Zia to get a little non-human help, too.

Intranet and Social Networks (Apps 86-89)

Igloo Software

Some organizations, especially large ones, like to foster communication through less formal and more social avenues. Intranets and internal social networks are an ideal outlet for groups with employees spread out all over the world. They also usually have tools for making company-wide announcements, which is hands-down always a better idea than doing it by email.

Igloo Software. Igloo is a full-service company intranet, which you can customize to your needs to include a variety of collaboration and communication tools, from forums and wikis to directories and task lists.

Microsoft Yammer. Business social network Yammer by Microsoft gives people a place to post updates, share files, and see a feed of activity from people in their group.

Whaller. Whaller is a private social network you create for your organization, and within it, you can create private spheres (similar to a private page) for different groups to communicate and socialize online.

Workplace by Facebook. Workplace by Facebook is a paid and private version of Facebook for any organization that wants to create an account, with invite-only membership.

Developer Tools (Apps 90-94)


Developers, meaning the people who spend their days mucking around in code, need specialized tools for collaborating with their teams. As with most other job roles, programmers and engineers need organized and systemized ways to comment on one another’s work, as well as edit, review, and approve material before sending them into the world. These collaboration tools for developers are a small slice of all the options available.

ActiveCollab. ActiveCollab is a project management platform designed for developers to track their tasks, discuss work in progress, co-edit files, and manage invoices as a team.

Beanstalk. Teams of any size can use Beanstalk to write, collaboratively review, and deploy code, while keeping tabs on the group’s effort at large at the same time.

Bitbucket. Bitbucket by Atlassian is a Git repository system, or in other words, a place for developers to work together on code in an organized and systematic way.

Github. Github is version control software for developers, which lets them keep track of files that are constantly changing so that they can easily and accurately collaborate on the right code at the right time.

Jira Software. Jira Software, often called simply Jira, is a project management and work management app used by people who make software to collaborate and keep work on track.

Time Tracking and Bookkeeping (Apps 95-99)


Many time-tracking apps contain invoicing and lightweight accounting tools. And many accounting and bookkeeping apps include a time-tracking module. These two categories overlap quite a bit, which is why they’re lumped together here. The apps highlighted below have collaboration built into them, often with role-based permissions to make sure the right people have access to the information they need while other team members are restricted appropriately.

FreshBooks. FreshBooks’ online invoicing and accounting software comes with time tracking tools for every member of your team, plus light project collaboration tools for sharing files and holding discussions.

Harvest. With Harvest, a whole team of people can track the amount of time they spend working using intuitive timers, and those logs feed back into the central system to generate invoices so all the workers can get paid.

QuickBooks Online. Accounting and invoicing software QuickBooks Online has a wealth of tools for collaborating, whether you need a team of people to submit receipts and expenses or otherwise pitch in to keep the books balanced.

Toggl. Time tracking tool Toggl, when used collaboratively, allows groups of people to log the time they spend working, usually so that they can bill clients by the hour accurately.

Xero. Online accounting app Xero comes with a collaboration tool called Discuss that lets business owners or other team members chat with clients about matters related to their projects or billing from within the accounting app.

For more app recommendations, see:
40 Best To Do Apps
50 Best Project Management Apps
The Best Team Messaging Apps
The Best Video Conferencing Apps
The Best Time Tracking Apps
11 Best Accounting and Bookkeeping Software for Freelancers

Title image by Freepik

Source: The Zapier Blog

3 Tools To Start Your Email Marketing Straight Away EP3

So you want to start email marketing, here are the three tools you need to design, send and plan your email marketing. Stay connected! Click to Subscribe: Enjoy the video? Help share it with a LIKE! DISCLAIMER: This video and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will receive a small commission.

How AI Optimizes Email Marketing Performance

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More relevant content. More targeted offers and promotions.

Fine-tuned frequency and send times.

These are some of the mechanics of email tasks marketers are looking to AI to help improve.

“With tools such as Bluecore and Custora, we are able to learn…