How to Plan your SEO Blog Content

We have a new template to help folks plan their blog content to maximize their blog’s SEO effectiveness, and thereby drive more inbound traffic:

Screenshot showing template for creating blog content
Click to view this template

As with other Marketing Templates we have been creating for our users, there’s a column with useful resources for folks that are new to incorporating their blogs within their marketing activities.

The workflow itself is fairly simple: To DoResearchingDraftingDesigningScheduled → Done.

There’s a sample task in the To Do column that you can duplicate for each blog post; it contains a complete checklist of subtasks to make sure you don’t miss anything:

Screenshot showing an example of blog post task
An example of blog post task

Check out this template and let us know if we can improve it!

How to plan a Virtual Marketing Event

Marketing events look like they will be virtual, rather than in-person, for a very long time, and to help our users we have a template that can set you up in just seconds with a complete Task Board:

Screenshot of template for planning a virtual marketing event
Click to view this template

This is a more elaborate template, with over 20 separate cards organized into a smooth workflow: Pre-PlanningLaunch PreparationPromotionsOperations.

Each card, representing a significant task, comes with helpful resources (as attachments) and detailed subtasks.  Here’s an example:

Screenshot of an example task
An example task from this template

We have been preparing a number of templates for our users. Most recently we have been focusing on our Marketing and Nonprofit users, but we will also be launching templates for many more jobs, to reflect the broad spread of our users around the world.

Check out the template and let us know if we can improve it!

How to manage a Fundraising Pipeline for Nonprofits

We had previously mentioned our Grant Pipeline for nonprofits; here’s a similar version that our nonprofit users can use to track their fundraising in general.

Screenshot showing Fundraising Profile template
Click to view this template

This simple template lets your nonprofit team track all the fundraising opportunities that are out there, and make sure they get attended to as they go through the process: ProspectContactedPitch PreparationAwait Response.

As the possible opportunities move through the process, for each opportunity you need to track at least this information:

  1. Name and contact details for donor.
  2. Organization (include specific department or program office if you are dealing with a foundation).
  3. Key motivations: what’s the donor’s known mission, and how does your nonprofit fit within that vision.
  4. Likelihood of donation: this is something that you update as the task moves through the process.
  5. Pitch process: smaller donors may have an information process, but larger donors are likely to have intermediaries like foundations or family offices that have a specific process they like to follow before they will commit to a donation. Make sure you follow their process!
  6. Expected Date: when you think the donor might make a decision.
  7. Fiscal Year: which fiscal year the grant will come in, for your nonprofit.

Check it out and let us know if we can improve it.

How to manage your YouTube video production

For folks that need to manage production of YouTube videos, we have a helpful template that will set up your Task Board in minutes:

Screenshot showing template for YouTube video production
Click to view this Template

The workflow itself is simple: To DoResearchingRecordingEditingDesigning GraphicsScheduledDone.

We have included useful links and suggestions in the first column to help you if you are new to YouTube video production.  Here’s an example, on how to produce a video description:

Screenshot showing example resource card
YouTube Resources Example

Check it out and let us know if we can improve it.

How to create a Branding Framework, Netflix-style

For our marketing users we have created a new template: how to create a Branding Framework for your company or product, in the way that Netflix does.

Screenshot showing template for creating a Branding Framework
Click to view this template

To give credit where it’s due, this template has been adapted from The Three Tools Netflix Used to Build Its World-Class Brand | First Round Review, where Gibson Biddle talks about how this framework was used at Netflix for their branding strategy.

What do you need to achieve for branding? Well, Gibson believes it requires answering three questions about your company:

  1. What is it? Be descriptive.
  2. What are the customer benefits? How does it improve customers’ lives?
  3. What is its personality? If your product, company or service was human and you met at a cocktail party, how would you describe him/her?
When using this template to answer these three questions, make sure you:
  1. Bring in as many people from across the company when you do your positioning, to get as many perspective as possible.
  2. Be succinct and clear, to the point where a middle-school student could understand what you are saying.
  3. Limit yourself to three words.
  4. Avoid fuzzy words.
  5. Create a personality for your company.
  6. Own a specific word in your company’s mind.
The first three steps, identified as tasks in the Getting Started column on this template, are:
  1. Understanding what is a brand.

    A brand is the unique story that consumers recall when they think of you.

  2. Understanding what is a branding pyramid

    Screenshot showing the Branding Pyramid

  3. Understanding the concept summary

    The concept summary takes all of the thinking from your positioning model, branding pyramid and internal discussions about what your company wants to be when it grows up — and reduces it to one paragraph.

The template walks you through the process, step-by-step:

Screenshot showing details of Branding Framework

The next time you need to do a branding exercise for your company or product, use this template. And let us know if we need to improve it.

How to manage a Grant Pipeline for Nonprofits

A large number of our users are from small nonprofits (and they get free use of Kerika under our Academic & Nonprofit Plan!) and to help these folks manage their grant pipeline better we have create a new template that’s available to everyone:

Screenshot showing Grant Pipeline template
Click to view this template

This simple, yet very flexible, template lets your nonprofit team track all the grant opportunities that are out there, and make sure they get attended to as they go through the process: ProspectQualified LeadPrepare Grant ApplicationAwait Response.

As the possible grants move through the process, for each opportunity you need to track at least this information:

  1. Name and contact details for donor.
  2. Organization (include specific department or program office if you are dealing with a foundation).
  3. Key motivations: what’s the donor’s known mission, and how does your nonprofit fit within that vision.
  4. Likelihood of donation: this is something that you update as the task moves through the process.
  5. Pitch process: smaller donors may have an information process, but larger donors are likely to have intermediaries like foundations or family offices that have a specific process they like to follow before they will commit to a donation. Make sure you follow their process!
  6. Expected Date: when you think the donor might make a decision.
  7. Fiscal Year: which fiscal year the grant will come in, for your nonprofit.

Not all of this will be available in the Prospect stage, but it needs to be gathered in the Qualified Lead stage for sure: otherwise, your lead isn’t really qualified, and you are not going to be in a good position to win that grant.

Creating this, and other templates for nonprofits, are all part of our “social good” mission.

Check it out and let us know if we can improve it.

How to organize a Campaign Photoshoot

We have a new template for folks that need to organize a marketing campaign photoshoot, or any other professional business photoshoot:

Screenshot showing the Campaign Photoshoot template
Click to view the template

The template contains a step-by-step guide, with each task laid out as a separate card on a Task Board. Here’s an example of a task:

Screenshot showing an example task from this template
Example Task

As you can see, this template contains not just a list of tasks, but also useful links for folks who are doing this for the first time.

Cards also contain a checklist of subtasks, where appropriate:

Screenshot showing the checklist of subtasks
Example Checklist

Check this out, and let us know if it needs improving!

Some improvements for Task Auto-Numbering

We got feedback from some users after our last big release on how we could improve the user experience for folks who like to use the auto-numbering feature for Task Boards, and we have made these changes:

When you open a task, it’s number is shown (but can’t, of course, be edited)

Screenshot showing the Task Details dialog with numbering turned on
Editing a Numbered Task

You can now search for a numbered task simply by typing “#number” in the Search box

Screenshot showing how search by task number works
Search by Number

Kerika’s New Search Capabilities

We have completely rebuilt Kerika’s search capabilities, both on the back end and on the user interface, to make it much easier to find tasks (cards) and documents across all your Kerika boards.

Screenshot showing Task results from Search
Search Task Results

Search results are organized into two tabs at the top: Tasks and Documents.

Within each tab, results are further segmented into two tabs: This Board, and Other Boards.  This makes the most common use of Search even easier: most people want to find something that’s on a large board that they are viewing.

For each search result Kerika shows you what part of the task/card matched the query; in the example above, the search term showed up in 8 Board Chat messages.

Clicking on a search result gives you two action buttons: Open the task/card, or get a link to that task.

The search results are ranked by relevance; we spent weeks fine-tuning the algorithm based upon real-world usage and we think we have got it right now! But we know there will be times when you really need to narrow your search very specifically, and that’s handled by the Filter Results button which gives you so many options:

Screenshot showing Task Filter options for Search
Task Filter

The Documents tab shows you all the content that matches your search results: we get this from Google, if you signed up using your Google ID or email, or from Box, if you signed up using your Box ID.

Screenshot showing Document Results from Search
Search Results for Documents

Selecting a document result gives you two buttons: OPEN, which will open the document for you in a new browser tab (or in Google Apps or Box on a mobile device), and DOWNLOAD.

As with Tasks, there are numerous options to filter and narrow your search for documents:

Screenshot showing Documents Filter options for Search
Documents Filter