10 Free Tools To Help You Work From Home

10 Free Tools To Help You Work From Home

Slowly coming to terms with the changes forced upon us by the spread of COVID-19? It is difficult, shifting work to your home premises. But it is not impossible.

Here is a list of some free tools that can make the transition to working from home smoother and hassle-free.

  • Slack – It is a great collaboration hub that allows you to share files and communicate in groups as well as on a one-on-one basis.

  • Google Hangouts –It brings to life conversations through texts, audio and video connections on a one-on-one basis and for groups.
  • Zoom–It is a platform that allows you to hold video meetings and host virtual presentations online. It offers real time chats and video recording features as well.
  • Skype–It is a free communications tool that helps you connect with as many as 50 people through audio or video conferencing. 
  • AirTable–This is a strong tool that helps manage data and inventory on visually appealing spreadsheets so you can keep track of what your team is doing.
  • Asana –It helps teams structure work and tasks and helps team leaders and team members track progress and completion of tasks.
  • GitHub–It is a crucial free tool used to facilitate design and development, used as it is for version control and viewing, sharing and collaborating on code developed by team members.
  • Chrome DevTools–It is used for web development and the software is built directly into the Google Chrome browser.
  • Grammarly– It is a great platform used for writing on and editing documents with.
  • Google Drive– It is best for sharing files and collaborating on them with remote team members.

Try these tools out, according to your needs and preferences. For more on the subject, check out our previous blog here – www.sproutroad.com/how-you-can-work-from-home-during-covid-19-some-free-tools.


TikTok Augments Influencer Marketing Game

TikTok Augments Influencer Marketing Game

India has more than 120 million active TikTok users. Though laden with legal challenges, the social media app has been an absolute favorite of brands and consumers alike.

Several bigwigs like Pepsi and Swiggy has started taking TikTok very seriously. With the help of influencers, these brands are running successful campaigns on the platform boosting sales. Of late, Tide Ultra and Idea too pushed campaigns asking the TikTok community to rap and dance, respectively. Even police departments are thinking of using TikTok as a powerful medium to reach out to more people and inspire citizens.

No wonder, TikTok harbors a lot of potentials when it comes content marketing.

Content Creation

Be it music, FMCG or tech/utility brands, TikTok is a great platform to amalgamate content. The fusion of brands and influencers is incredible.

“If you look at the brief history of brand campaigns on TikTok, the success stories are of those brands that have created platform-relevant content, paired it with the correct influencers and given them freedom while creating content,” says Prashant Sharma, CMO, Nofiltr Social.

Today, content marketing is the key. Brands need to consider the fact that audiences follow influencers to feed in content and reduce stress. In this digital era, content is all about being relatable, useful and entertaining. This is why a lot of content is available in vernacular languages on TikTok. It makes them more relatable and ignites instant user interest.

TikTok Influencer Marketing

In the last two years, the growth rate of TikTok influencers has been skyrocketing. Avneet Kaur with 16.2 M fans, Awez Darbar with 16.7 M fans and Ahsaas Channa with 3.5 M fans garnered phenomenal success in a very short span of time.

“Influencers can help create huge brand awareness by featuring the products or the store that has been launched recently,” says Hitesh Khubchandani, Founder of HDK Digital.

From a brand’s standpoint, the best is when you rope in influencers who have relevant audience-base in the locality you are about to target. Look for transformational videos and leverage them to feature your products if you hail from the beauty or fashion sector. As the festive season is right upon you, don’t forget to consider this option.

Few Tips and Suggestions

The founder of Mad Influence, Gautam Madhavan predicts that the next set of content on TikTok is going to be on education and motivational speeches. This would include cooking, dancing and photography tutorials. In essence, the format would simply define a problem and formulate its solution.

Below, we’ve shared a few TikTok marketing strategies that as an agency you should keep in mind:

  • Being a mass platform, TikTok should never be used for campaigns that are directed towards niche audiences.
  • Influencers are the lifeblood of the ecosystem. Support them and create the most immersive content.
  • Be clear. Make sure you know the objective of your campaign; while hashtag challenges can be used to create awareness, filters are great to drive engagement.

To know more about influencer marketing, contact us at Sprout Road. We would be happy to help you and your brand in the best way possible.


What Lord Varys from GOT Teaches about Content Strategy

We’ve all witnessed the frenzy brought into by Game of Throne’s SEO and online branding memes that are scattered across the web. Though their humor grabs our utmost attention, there are countless valuable lessons to learn from HBO’s magnum opus show – Game of Thrones.

To be frank, I was always much more of a Tetris kid than an innate worshipper of Dungeons & Dragons – but this time I must say I am totally engrossed in Game of Thrones. Why? Because it’s badass – it’s full of surprises, and its character etching is flawless.

Talking about GOT characters, Lord Varys strikes me the most. His skilled manipulating abilities and the way he singlehandedly commands a large network of informants encompassing two continents wins me over every time – here I have culled out the reasons why he is regarded as the epitome of a supreme content strategist.

Knowledge is King

Being a content strategist, what skill you need the most? A keen eye for the details. Knowledge is strength, it’s the power. And Lord Varys knew this very well; as a result, his Little Birds supplemented him with a large array of crucial data and insights – it’s this information that makes him unbeatable.

When to Talk and When Not To

A proper sense of timing is crucial. Lord Varys appreciates the power of silence and timing. As a content strategist, he understands when his brand should speak, and when it’s best to remain mum. This quality makes him so-desired for promoting brand reputation management.

Balanced and Unbiased

With no emotional involvement and zero complicated relationships, Lord Varys stands tall in terms of trust, reliability quotient and biasness. As he is a no-nonsense person, he is expected to be both neutral and extremely cryptic when asked about his future activities and agendas.

Nothing but Result Matters

I serve the realm my lord, someone must.

Achieving target is his motto in life. And for that Lord Varys can go up to any extent. He is focused, determined and result-oriented. Nothing can steer him away from the path of success. This must-have skill should be present in every versatile content strategist who wants to leave a lasting mark in the industry.

Flexible, While Leveraging Seasonality

Lord Varys never swears his allegiance to an evil king. He is free to change his loyalties, if the situation demands or for the welfare of his people. If its content marketing, it has to be Lord Varys – he is the ideal guy who knows how to leverage trends and conditions, while securing his win. Thumbs up to this man of quirks!

So, before you start mulling over how to hire such content strategists, remember Lord Varys takes the job of the message transmitter very seriously – he keeps the King updated and well-informed about all the events that take place in all the Seven Kingdoms, and his role should be given due importance.

The advent of digital media has unlocked vast streams of information. In no time, this powerful information is utilized to formulate superior content strategy based on crucial insights and data. Hence, our ever-inspiring Lord Varys is replaced by robust media intelligence tool, and instead of relying on intuition, this new-age tool provides the valuable clients meaningful insights about whatever is going around in their kingdom. Conforming the SEO guidelines and content marketing campaigns, tools like this help users stay abreast of public wants, brand image and how the competitors are strategizing outside their area of domain.

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Follow These 5 Tips and Secure Your Magento E-store

Follow These 5 Tips and Secure Your Magento E-store

Approximately 240, 000 eCommerce stores use Magento – reflecting nearly 30% of the eCommerce platform market is occupied by this worthwhile program.

Unfortunately, with great power comes great responsibility – though Magento is superb as a program, it tends to be a soft target for cyber criminals across the globe. Being an eCommerce platform, its security remains a crucial factor to consider.

There are a handful number of customizations, security settings and auxiliary best practices to turn your Magento powered e-store safe and secured. We will take you on a ride through 5 interesting tips to make your Magento eCommerce site impregnable like never before..

Power up a strong password policy

The worst thing that Magento e-store operators and administrators can think of is to have a weak, regular and easy to crack password. We understand, your entire focus remains on setting up Magento initially, in situations like this, often you may forget to give due importance to password setting. However, if your system lacks automated password policies, implement one on your own.

Layer it up by a secure two-step authentication – it helps when your system password is shared among the employees at a certain point of time.

Alter the admin path

Chances are high that you won’t be bothered at all about the admin path. In reality, the default or admin path makes it easier for the cyber criminals to crack your login credentials – thus by modifying the admin path, you can add a protective layer to keep your credentials safe and secured.

 Here are the steps in which the default admin path can be changed:

  1. Select admin backend. Then, go to system and config. In the options, hit Admin – Admin Base URL. Choose ‘Use Custom Admin Path’, and click Yes.

2. The alternate method includes manipulation of some codes in your Magento store’s local.xml file. Access local.xml file through app/etc/local.xml.

Open the file, and look for the following code.

<frontName><![CDTA[admin] ]</frontName>

What you need to do is replace [admin] with the new path. Once done, save the file, and refresh the cache.. That’s it!

Encrypt crucial pages

Never take the risk to send any sensitive information, like your credentials over encrypted platforms. You know how easy it is now for hackers to commit data theft – seek for Secure URLs. Magento can help you here:

Go to System – Configuration – Web. Choose the Secure tab, and tick Yes for the pop up ‘Use Secure URLs in Frontend’ and ‘Use Secure URLs in Admin’.

Lastly, remember it is very important to secure URLs, which processes financial transactions.

Use Magento to add SSL in your web store

Trust reliable security extensions for Magento

High-profile security risks and attractive eCommerce websites go hand in hand. Fortunately, Magento comes with some time-tested efficient extensions that can help fight all sorts of security issues. Explore the top notch extensions for functions like scanning for vulnerabilities, blocking security threats, blocking malicious codes, log activities, enforce strong password policies, and implement firewalls

Take a look at the noteworthy Magento security extensions given below:

  • ET IP Security
  • MegaSecure
  • Spam Killer
  • Mega Firewall

Be ready with Backup

To ensure your website remains unaffected even in the adverse event of security breach – opt for regular backups and store them on the cloud. Also, make sure you have an offline copy so that you can quickly push up your website back to the previous form in no time, in case of emergency.

In a nutshell, Magento is applaudworthy – not only for business development, and from a management perspective, but also from a security point of view. In this extremely volatile and threat-prone cyber world, the responsibility to secure your Magento rests on your shoulder. So, Good Luck!!!


Social Media Strategy: How to Devise an Extraordinary Business Strategy on Social

Social Media Strategy: How to Devise an Extraordinary Business Strategy on Social

Currently, 2.46 billion people are regularly active on social media. By 2019, the number is expected to swell to 2.77 billion.

As rightly put by Howard Shultz, “Social media is a bullet train, and it’s not going to slow down any time soon”, more than 80% of businesses are seeking refuge under social media for unabashed digital marketing success, and we can’t agree more.

Each day, something new is being launched. Innovation is at its peak. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, SnapChat, Foursquare, Instagram, Pinterest – are some of the scene stealers for now, because we don’t know what’s coming the next! A constant buzz about new platforms is resulting into a lot of commotion among marketers. New trends coupled with increasing audience strength are adding more bedlam to the mix.

To break the back of the beast, your business must be empowered with a powerful social media strategy. And for that, we are here. Let us help you get started:

Dream Big or Go Home

Know your purpose well. Before starting strategizing social media campaigns, give a thought to your purpose. What is the main goal of your company? Set the priority of the day, regarding your business. Once you know these, you can start off with aligning social media with these goals, and walk towards achieving brand success and overall improvement for your company.

Remember, the goals of businesses vary. To start with, a startup firm may have a goal to build a brand’s identity. A second goal may hover around establishing a strong customer base. And thirdly, the business might be aiming to launch a handful number of products at the end of the year.

Now, comes the big question– how can social media help you in branding your business?

With billions and billions of users on social media, partnering with a famous social media influencer can help you establish your business online and reaching out to the masses. It will help you in expanding your customer loyalty base. Social media also suffices to be a fabulous platform to launch new products. Create campaigns and target niche audience.

Hit the Right Tip: Be Precise

After establishing a purpose on social media and calibrating your business goals, it’s about time to give attention to develop specific marketing strategies.

The most important marketing goal would be to enhance brand awareness. This falls in line with your company’s objective of nurturing a brand identity and harnessing a good customer base. The second goal would be to boost brand engagement – it will help in luring new customers and retaining old customers, while keeping absolute focus on building brand identity. Lastly, your company may be in dire need of some research and know more about its user base. As a result, you will get the perfect opportunity to know your customers well and understand which customers to tick, what products will serve their needs and in what ways to reach them for better impact.

Social Media: Not Just Impress People but Impact Them

Now, that your marketing goals are perfectly integrated with your business goals, let’s see how social media is doing its job of creating brand awareness.

Nowadays, each social media platform comes with its own search engine, making it easier to find answers, discussions and conversation threads for specific products and services. Sit with your marketing team to scour through numerous platforms, especially the ones that have the highest number of potential viewers. Build an engaging profile that is in congruence with your brand’s services and character. 

Then strike conversations with your users on the site. Register in consumer forums and discussions. Mind it, social media is now the new-wave word of mouth. Use good content to back up leads and start building brand engagement.

Ask the Right Question and Analyze

After all this, it’s time to start with the process of analyzing your site performance. Several analytic software tools, like Buffer, Google Analytics, Hootsuite and Crowdbooster help you determine whether your social media strategy is up to the mark or not, and how well is it working. Through these tools, you can track conversion rates, traffic generation and total number of customer leads. Also, they will provide crucial insights about how to utilize paid versus organic social media, along with devising great product launch campaigns for your business. But above all, analytics will make you understand the importance of well-conceived social media strategy, as your business evolves with time. Moreover, it will nudge you if your social media schemes are working, and illuminates about ways to adapt.

As parting thoughts, hopping on the bandwagon of social media is not as intimidating as it may seem in the beginning. The crux lies in making a place of your own on the solid ground, before you take the big leap. What’s more, social media is going to evolve, as always, your strategies should also never stop growing. Keep these in mind and pop onboard!