It happens to all of us. You’ve got texts to write, promotional plans to make and work to do but you just stare at a blank page or screen and the ideas just won’t come. Time to take a step back, then take a deep breath and then remember all the places online that have tons of ideas in inspiration to get you started. The internet is here to help!
Marketing inspiration - 100 places to find what you’re looking for
I’ve put together 100 online places that can be just what you need to get the creative ball rolling and help you get work done. There are blogs, portals, useful tools and more. To make it all easier to navigate through, everything has been grouped into a few categories:
1. Start your day with a look at what’s new
3. Social media
4. Email Marketing
5. Graphics and presentations
7. Augmented and Virtual Reality
9. Mish Mash
10. Still looking for ideas for great content?
If you know a site that should be here isn’t, let me know in the comments!
Start your day with a look at what’s new
Everybody has a daily routine. You might check your mail, make a cup of coffee, see what’s new on Facebook, etc. It’s a good idea to add visits to sites dedicated to your field as well. Remember that keeping up with the latest is the first step towards helping new ideas form.
1. HubSpot - the gold standard for knowledge and information about sales and marketing. It if it’s not here, it’s not news.
MarketingLand the best specialist knowledge about SEM, SEO, analysis and statistics
2. Venture Beat one of the most widely read marketing sites after HubSpot. Daily doses of info about what some of the biggest names in business are doing
3. Smart Insight - a great place to keep up with marketing trends and general info
4. Digital Marketing - news and advice for marketers in various fields from content marketing to user experience and social media
5. Marketing Tech News tech and marketing news and lots of info about mobile marketing
6. Marketing Dive - summaries of marketing news and events, a good place to consolidate things you might see on other sites
7. Mashable - news from all over the marketing world and more, take a look at their “social media” and “video” categories
8. Cool Marketing Stuff - like the name says, cool marketing stuff and more
9. TechCrunch - the Crunch Report is obligatory for any serious marketer, check out the video on the main page, new episodes daily
10. AdWeek - a great one-stop shop for essential marketing advice, their ad of the day is especially interesting
11. ClickZ- many specific categories from marketing automation, data-driven marketing, conversion and ROI - specialists in any branch of marketing can find useful content here
12. Adage One of my favourites, the page is easy to read with a great layout, so easy to spend lots of time here reading everything about ads and marketing!
13. Marketer - arriving on their page, this is the menu you get to choose from:
Depending on what you’re looking for you can check out a report on marketing or video, webinars, interviews and so on. Be ready to spend a lot of time here.
About 2.7 million posts go up on blogs around the world every day. No time to read them all? That’s ok because I’ve picked out the ones you should keep an eye on for news, data and updates that you can use in your marketing work.
1. Smart Blogger - great place to read about content, running a blog and working in social media.
2. Kissmetrics - a blog of analysis and data that can be used in your own articles.
3. Creative Boom - a different take on things but worth a look, especially if you need a boost in creativity.
4. Bufferapp - an excellent source of information about social media, trends and other news
5. Coelevate - a blog mostly about growth hacking run by Brian Balfour and published by HubSpot and Forbes, among others - that should be enough to convince you that it’s worth your time
6. Prowly - informative blog about what to look for in different marketing channels
7. Blog Google - Google’s new products and their take on things is important so keep with them here.
Social media is a subject that marketers can’t stop talking about and for good reason. Are we not supposed to talk about platforms that have billions of users? In 2015, about 8,3 billion dollars in ads was generated by social media - I think that’s enough to merit its own section in this list!
1. Social Media Examiner - you’ll find advice for both beginners and advanced marketers here, take a close look at their reports on social media marketing.
2. Pamorama - 111,000 followers on Twitter, 24th place on Forbes’ list of the most 50 biggest influencers in social media - you need to listen to Pan Dyer.
3. Jeff Bullas - Forbes, Huffington Post and the NY Times are just a few of the places where Jeff Bullas publishes his insights. One of the most important social media influencers, you definitely have to add him to your favourites.
4. Razor Social - a clear and easy to read collection of anything and everything on social media.
5. Hootsuite - you'll find plenty of posts about social media strategy, advice, and tips you can use.
Email marketing - put your imagination to work and create amazing messages
More than 200 billion emails get zipped through cyberspace every day. If your job is to make a small part of those interesting enough to engage the recipient, you need to take a look at these sites.
1. The Best of Email - you’ll find categories focusing on welcome emails, GIFs, sales and other aspects of design. If you’re trapped looking at a blank field, spend some time here and get motivated.
2. Email Monday - Jordie Van Rijn’s blog on email marketing. A fantastic source for info and ideas.
3. FreshMail Blog - We can recommend ourselves, right? ;)
4. Really Good Emails - 95 categories to choose from and tons of examples of great emails.
5. Holistice Mail Marketing - Kath Pay’s blog looks at email marketing from every possible angle.
6. Word to the wise - blog with a bunch of practical information about email marketing
7. Inbox Army - all the best email marketing pratices in one place.
8. CommunicatorCorp - news, views & advice from the experts
9. Email Monks - a blog about the best email marketing practices and advice on crafting your message.
10. Return Path - a blog from one of the big players in the world of email marketing with lots of useful and interesting data. Take a look their guides and surveys.
1. Pinterest - choose from 106 subjects and Pinterest will put together content just for you. Get inspired to make your own content and then share with the world.
2. Piktochart Blog - tons of stuff here, check out the “education” guide and learn all about making infographics.
3. Blog Venngage - more marketing inspiration for creating infographics, tips on visual content and how to make it work for you.
4. Blog PicMonkey - practical advice on using functions available in graphic editors.
5. Pexels - free stock photos. a simple search engine makes it easy to find just what you need.
6. Gratisography - free high-quality stock photos.
7. Picjumbo - new pics added daily in lots of categories including fashion, people and technology.
8. New Old Stock -a collection of free vintage pictures from public archives.
9. Design School Canva - a great site for beginners and advanced users alike. Learn all about creating graphics that get attention and catch up with new trends.
10. Blog Prezi - if you want to make your presentation stand out against all the PowerPoint drones, this is where you need to be.
11. Pixabay - a great collection of high-quality free pics.
12. VideoBlocks - more free graphics, but this time it’s video you can use on your site.
Viewers watch between 3 and 4 billion videos a day on Youtube. Forecasts say that by 2020, video will account for 80% of online traffic.
Facebook has jumped into the world of video with its Facebook Live application. There are great sources of video information for specialists in every field and here are a few for marketers.
1. TED - conferences have 18 minutes to get their message across. That’s why they stick to the topic and these videos are packed with useful insights.
2. MOZ’o - Great videos on various aspects of a marketer’s work.
3. Backlinko - well-known blogger Brian Dean’s collection of short clips all about SEO.
4. Behind the Brand - Set up by Behind the Brand creator Bryan Elliot. Check out great guest appearances by Seth Godin, Jamie Oliver, Jessica Biel and others.
5. HubSpot - Advice and tips from the best pros around. A great complement to what you can read on the HubSpot blog.
6. Guerilla Marketing - Tons of fascinating videos about promotional campaigns from some of the biggest brands in the world.
7. FreshMail - Yep, it’s us again. Check out our videos with everything you need to know about email marketing.
8. Smart Passive Income - Pat Flynn delivers excellent marketing advice and interesting case studies.
9. Michael Hyatt will tel you all about marketing through interview with some of the biggest names in the field.
10. Jay Baer - will satsify your need to watch something interesting and informative about marketing inspiration and ideas.
11. Vimeo - Use the potential of video and see what you new discoveries you can make.
12. B2B marketing - Keep up with what’s going in B2B marketing. New content all the time and definitely worth the trip.
Augmented and Virtual Reality = A new world of marketing
Augmented and Virtual Reality are new technologies that are exploding everywhere. Remember last year’s craze over Pokemon Go? That was Augmented Reality, a system that combines the online and offline worlds.
VR is a completely virtual world that can surround us. If you work in marketing, one or the other will soon be an option for your next project and here are some great places to start learning about the possibilities they make available to you.
1. Blog Augmented - a blog from Tobias Kammann with lots of useful info about AR and how to use it.
2. Mbryonic - 10 great examples of how to use VR in your campaigns that really get attention.
3. 5 examples of how to use VR - a nice article from Forbes about using VR in your own technology.
4. How to use AR in marketing - another post with persuasive reasons for using AR in your marketing in 2017.
Buying furniture can be complicated unless you’re starting with an empty room. Take a look at how AR can help make decisions about what goes where and in what color.
The cost of creating content marketing material is 62% less than external marketing. It also generates three times more leads. On top of that, 88% of marketers say that they use content marketing in B2B promotions. If you’re among them, here’s where you can keep on the cutting edge of content creation.
1. Content Marketing Institute - one of the biggest content marketing portals and, in my opinion, the best specialists anywhere.
2. Contently - very insightful articles about content marketing, including one of my favourites about how content marketing looked in the 1800’s!
3. Neil Patel - an amazing specialist known for, among other things, the $100 000 Challenge. You’ll find tools to increase traffic and create great content marketing materials that Neil tested himself.
4. ABC copywriting - one of the guiding principles of this blog is “Easy reading is damn hard writing” and just about anyone who creates good content will agree.
5. Marketing Sherpa - is a research institute. Perfect place if you are looking for some specific reports.
6. Stumble Upon is the easiest way to discover new and interesting web pages, photos and videos across the Web.
Being creative means being interested in new things. Check out a few places that are not always strictly related to marketing but help you to look at things from a slightly different perspective.
1. Behance - a place where artists can present their work and themselves at the same time. You can browse work from many fields, from architecture to animation, fashion and industrial design.
2. Creative Bloq - find design inspiration, beautiful graphics, advice for graphic artists and more.
3. Calm - let relaxation take your mind to more creative place. This is what Calm is all about - try a mini meditation session and see how much inspiration comes to you!
4. Brainy Quote - sometimes a quote is just what you need to complement what you’ve created. Brainy Quote has lots of famous and not so well-known quips that can be the finishing touch or the inspiring start to some great new content.
5. Statista - one of the best online sources of stats and info on current topics. Useful not only for completing an article but for ideas for new ones.
6. Lumosity - another great site for giving your brain a workout. Test yourself and see what kind of mental shape you’re in and play games to help you get the cobwebs out.
7. Weave Silk - an interactive page where you can drag your mouse and create different designs and shapes. If you need to disconnect and unwind, go here.
8. How Stuff Works - get answers to interesting questions and get interested in things you didn’t know the answers to. Be prepared to get lost for a long time.
9. Life Hack - expand your horizons and deepen your knowledge about...pretty much everything. A great place to search for inspiration for personal growth.
10. Todoist - have a lot to do or you just want to get some thing in order? Go here.
11. Nozbe -another great tool for organising your time and managing projects.
12. Stickk - ideas can strike at any time but usually when you have nothing to write with. Stickk lets you record everything on virtual cards so you always have your next great project written down somewhere.
13. Rainy Mood - Seek refuge in sound by immersing yourself in cascading raindrops and murmuring thunder. A natural and calming soundscape that will put you at ease.
14. Casanova - Sometimes all you need to reset your creativity is to help a giraffe kiss other giraffes. Just trust me on this one.
15. Barcinski - need to clear your mind and reset? Make a crazy design with your mouse and then admire your handiwork. And then get back to work.
16. Purr Noise Generator - cat's purr has a beneficial effect on the human nervous system and psyche. This app will put you into a state of relaxation ideal for creative work
17. Do nothing for 2 minutes - Too much on your mind? Can’t cut through the mental clutter? Like the name says, this site will help you do nothing for two minutes. It’s not as easy as you think - can you manage?
Looking for ideas for great content? Find the spark that you need here
Here’s a collection of sites where you can find out what’s trending, tricks and tips that help you to stand out and lots more useful information.
1. Reddit - Is there anything Reddit doesn’t have? I don’t think so. Posts, graphics and video, interviews, questions and answers, lists and rankings - it’s all here.
2. Buzzsumo - an application that tells you what content is shared most. Take a cue from what’s hot now!
3. HubSpot Topic Generator - put three words in this application and HubSpot will give you a list of ideas to use in your work.
4. Portent - another tool for creating good titles. Looking for ideas for your next post? Go here.
5. StumbleUpon - Choose ten categories and get a collection of popular online articles. Simple and useful.
6. Content Row - enter a keyword and the search engine will return a list of titles to help you find the inspiration you need.
7. Answer the Public - find out what questions people are asking Google in relation to, for example, content marketing.
8. SimilarWeb - a great tool for looking at what the competition is doing. Just enter a site and see what you can get out of it.
9. Mention - Do you want to know what people are saying about you or if they’re talking about you at all?
10. Instagram - Wait, what? Instagram? Yes, and here’s why. First of all, even if you don’t have an account on Instagram, you can find out what people are looking for by searching Google for (phrase) + instagram.
As you can see, there are lots of places to get marketing inspiration for your work and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Still, there is enough here to get anyone started on the path to creating outstanding content and marketing materials.
Do you a great source that I missed? Or a Youtube channel or blog that should be included here? Tell me in the comments below!