All posts by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

SaaS Branding

5 SaaS Product Trial Strategies to Put in Place

Guest author: Molly Gibson Kirby

You know your SaaS company has a really good free trial, but are enough people converting to paying customers after the trial?

Probably not.

Typical trial conversion rates from a visitor to a customer in SaaS are 2%. This means if you have 10,000 web visitors, 200 will become free trial users and 30 of those users will become paying customers. Increasing these numbers are one of the biggest pain points for SaaS marketing departments.

In order to get your trial users to become paying customers, you need to make your free demo something these prospects can’t live without.

If you want to better your SaaS free trial, you need to change your strategy. It is possible to upgrade your conversion rate from 2% and that’s where this article comes into play.

In this article, we’re sharing 5 effective SaaS product trial strategies you can start using today to acquire more paying customers.

Two Types of SaaS Trials

For the majority of software products, the question isn’t – should I have a free trial? The question is – what sort of free trial should I have?

When creating a SaaS product trial, it’s important to note which type of trial your company is offering. Below are the two different types to decide between.

Opt-out Free

Opt-out trials are the free trials that require a credit card to begin. The free trial will turn over into a subscription at the end of the trial if the prospect does not opt-out.  If a free trial requires a credit card, the average visitor to retained customer conversion rate is around 0.6%.

This type of trial needs to have hard work behind it in order to get people to give out their credit card information before the trial even begins.

Opt-in Free

The Opt-in trials are the free trials that can be started without a credit card. Prospects will need to opt-in to a subscription by providing payment details during or after the trial is finished.

According to Totango, if a credit card is not required, the visitor to retained customer conversion rate increases to approximately 1.2%.

This type of trial needs to have hard work behind it to get people to become customers once the trial is up.

Now that you understand the types of free SaaS product trials, let’s get started on the strategies we know that help boost product trial ROI.

Make Sign Up Simple

The fewer barriers that you put in the way, the more likely it is that people will sign up and opt-in for your SaaS trial.

Consider what information your SaaS company needs for the free trial. This goes back to the two types of trial sign-ups. Are you going to do an opt-in or an opt-out free demo? This will determine if credit card information is needed in the form.

Keep the signup short, don’t ask for a separate username, simply use their email as a username.

Also, consider using social logins for account creation. This has become a popular feature for many SaaS companies and makes it easier for people to get started on their free trial without wasting time inputting all their information.

Create Engaging Content

In addition to having a free trial, creating content that relates to the SaaS demo is pivotal.

Users may have questions or concerns about the trial. Having the content that answers these questions will allow them to feel like your SaaS company is credible and authoritative. Start by creating a landing page for your free trial. Include an FAQ section on this page and a how-to guide on using the software, so people see it right when they sign up. Then make sure you have content regarding the free trial and how it can solve a customer’s problem on your blog.

Once you have these key pieces of content, get creative and begin to think of other ways to add valuable and educational content where it fits.

Show Your Value

However good your SaaS product is, the simple truth is that no-one will buy it if they don’t believe they need it. You need to show people what your product can do for them.

Articulate your value proposition on your website, landing page, content and in all marketing campaigns. Once you do that, any visitor should be able to tell what you offer, who needs it, what they will gain having it and finally, why they should choose your company.

Take Salesforce for example.

On their 30-day free trial landing page, they provide everything we just mentioned above.

Value Proposition: Sell Faster. Sell Smarter. Sell the way you want.

What’s offered: Sales Cloud

Who needs it: Canadian companies with a focus on sales managers

What they gain: lead management, opportunity management, sales forecasting and a mobile sales office.

Why choose Salesforce: Trusted by thousands of Canadian customers.

Salesforce does an incredible job at showing their value without sounding too preachy. When creating your SaaS free trial landing page, be sure to include these five sections we just mentioned.

Fix Your CTA

The effectiveness of your Call to Action (CTA) can make or break your marketing. It is the one piece that actually gets your visitors to take action – hence the name. A CTA should make visitors want your product, it should create an urgency for signing up and it should be an easy-to-use form!

Make your CTA visible on the homepage. This allows new visitors to see the CTA, hook them into thinking they need to try the free trial and have them easily sign up right then and there.

Exit Survey

On the same note as engagement, it’s imperative that you conduct an exit survey once someone is finished their free SaaS trial. If a user doesn’t move to a paid plan, it’s valuable to know why. After a week of not upgrading, an email should be sent out to ask why they cancelled.

Sometimes they leave because it wasn’t what they were looking for, but sometimes they’re not fans of a specific part of the trial/software. The latter reason usually can be fixed with needed changes or upgrades to the software.

As you may have noticed, user feedback is key when bettering your SaaS trial.

In the End

In the end, if you apply these strategies and tips, your SaaS trial should perform better. It’s possible for the conversion rate from a trial user to a paying customer to increase from 2%. It will just take time, commitment, user feedback and a handful of a/b tests.

Are you ready to better your SaaS product Trial ROI?

 

Author’s Bio 

Molly Gibson Kirby is a writer and marketing strategist at Roketto, an inbound marketing agency in British Columbia. She dives deep into the world of inbound marketing on a daily basis and writes about this fundamental shift in business on Roketto’s blog. When not writing, she’s either on her yoga mat or getting lost in a new book.

Digital Branding

Why Should You Set Up Live Video Streaming Website on Your Own

Live Streaming Industry

The market is propitious for live video streaming industry. In 2016, its size was $31 billion and marketers spent an estimated $5.6 billion on video content creation and curation. By 20201, it’s projected to more than double in size and become $71 billion industry. Live streaming takes user engagement to the best level. It builds trust and transparency by establishing a relationship between audiences and brands.

Drawbacks of Popular Live Steaming Platforms

Drawback #1: Little Control over Design

The dominance of YouTube Live cannot be quantified. Truth be told, its popularity is overwhelming! Facebook Live, Twitter’s Periscope, YouTube Live and other prominent live video streaming platforms are great. But they have their own limitations. For instance, users have little control over the site design. And yes, they are helpless when it comes to defining aesthetics and controls of the video player.

Drawback #2: Acquisition of Indirect Traffic at the Cost of Direct Traffic

If you are keen on multiplying your sales, you should focus on acquiring traffic. Traffic is of two types – Direct and indirect. Many online marketers believe that direct traffic yields more dividends than indirect traffic. Of course, social traffic is important but it should not be at the cost of direct traffic. As far as indirect traffic is concerned, Facebook Live, Periscope and YouTube Live are extremely resourceful. If you set up a live video streaming website, internet traffic can be conveniently directed to your website.

Drawback #3: Too Many Distractions

Distractions are too many on YouTube Live and Facebook Live. This can be attributed to too many advertisements. Users may skip a few advertisements though. But is it ideal to make prospects wait for the content? No!

Drawback #4: Glitchy Broadcasts

Let’s not discount another major factor – Your live streaming videos on YouTube, Facebook and Periscope can be banned, flagged as fraudulent and reported for fictitious reasons. There are quite a few other drawbacks as well – Periscope is notorious for its glitchy broadcasts. It isn’t smooth and live video keeps buffering and pausing. As a matter of fact, users will not be receptive to such uncomfortable live broadcasts.

Drawback #5: Absence of DRM and Other Must-have Features 

Facebook Live doesn’t have any impressive features either. Can you do multiple live streams on Facebook? No! Monetization features aren’t noteworthy. As far as the concept of DRM (Digital Rights Management) is concerned, Facebook does a shoddy job. And hey, the maximum supported resolution on Facebook Live is just 720p. The maximum supported video duration is just 90 minutes.

In essence, Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Twitter’s Periscope aren’t the magical answers to live streaming.

So, what’s the magical answer? Live streaming software!

How to make a live streaming website?

To begin with, identify and understand your requirements.

Here is a checklist of performance requirements:

  • Reliable storage
  • Functionality
  • Responsive design
  • Access
  • Video Archives`
  • Security
  • Robust network connectivity
  • Bandwidth

Reliable Storage

What does reliable storage mean to your viewers?

Reliable storage is to ensure all-time availability of your videos to your viewers.

What does it mean to you? It’s about hosting your video files in a place which guarantees maximum uptime. You can use an SSD (Solid State Drive) storage. But if you are looking for a cost-effective solution, you should bet your chances on a cloud hosting solution.

Functionality

There are many features that come under the ambit of site functionality. For instance, your site should let audiences comment and chat. For better and higher conversion rates, there should be a push notification feature. Multiple monetization options are always desirable. It’s important to collect payments and hence, payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe should be used.

Responsive Design

Responsive site design is all about crafting great optimal viewing experiences on a variety of devices. Site navigation should be seamless. Operations such as scrolling and re-sizing shouldn’t be cumbersome. Incorporate a search functionality.

Access

Coming to access, there are three levels of privileges.

Level #1: Only you can create and upload live videos to your site.

Level #2: All registered users can create and upload live videos to your site.

Level #3: Only paid subscribers can create and upload live videos.

Live streaming software should help you keep unsubscribed users from accessing your video website

Video Archives

More often than not, online marketers pay scant attention to storing video archives. The key is to have a flexible and dynamic file storage system. In other words, the file hosting and storage solution should help you handle spikes in traffic, ramp up video scalability and scale down costs.

Security

When it comes to the most commonly pirated and stolen digital assets, video ranks second to none. Live streaming software should help you secure your video assets through DRM support. AES level encryption technology is the need of the hour. It can prevent unauthorized downloads to a very large extent. To be upfront, no platform is 100% immune to piracy. You should definitely watermark your videos.

For all intents and purposes, purchase that live streaming software which locks content to your chosen domains. Token security is another desirable trait. Tokens prevent content redirection to unauthorized third party sources.

There is no denying that online marketers have to adhere to licensing agreements. As part of licensing agreements, you may have to exclude/block a few regions. There should be enough provisions in the live streaming software that let you block users and traffic from certain regions.

Bandwidth

How much bandwidth does a live video streaming website require? Let’s do the math. Let’s say you have 2500 users. Let’s say you live broadcast videos in 720p. Going by the industry standards, every user requires at-least 4Mbps to watch a 720p video. As you have 2500 users, your website requires 10 Gbps. 1080p videos require a lot more bandwidth. Now that 4K resolution videos are all the rage, Hulu recommends at-least 13Gbps. Amazon recommends 15 Gbps while Netflix recommends 25 Gbps.

Robust Network Connectivity

Robust network connectivity is required to minimize jitters. Technically speaking, jitters are nothing but latency variations. Latency variations are responsible for lapses in video frames and images. Lack of synchrony between audio and video can be attributed to latency variations. To address these pain points, adaptive bitrate streaming should be used.

Now that you have a conclusive answer to how to set up a live streaming website, let’s now look at how live streaming works.

There are three stages:

Stage #1: Video Capturing

The first stage is capturing videos from equipment such as video cameras, mobile phones etc. The captured video is then fed to a device called encoder.

Stage #2: Video Encoding

Encoder does the job of chopping the captured video into small packets of information. It converts information in one form to another form to ensure standardization. Encoder plays a very key role in buffer free live streaming

Stage #3: Video Delivery

The final stage is live streaming the encoded content to users. HTML 5 players that are known for great responsiveness and clarity are used to deliver the content.

Found this post useful and informative? If you have any queries, shoot them in the comments. I shall reply in a day or two. Keep watching this space for insights on live streaming software. Cheers!

Digital Branding

Rebuilding Your Reputation After a PR Disaster

Nothing moves faster than gossip over the internet. If your reputation is maligned by an incident, you can bet your customers will find out about it in short order. When that happens, you must respond appropriately to lay their concerns to rest. However, once you’ve done so, you’ll still be faced with rebuilding your reputation after a PR disaster.

These five tips will help you accomplish that.

1. Apologize for Your Mistake

Regardless of whom you perceive to be at fault, your customers are going to lay the blame squarely at your feet. Ignoring this will only serve to make you look callous. Offering up a mea culpa as soon as all of the factors driving the misunderstanding are clear will gain you sympathy. Demonstrating both contrition and compassion are key to regaining the trust of your core constituency. You must also make sure the key elements of the apology are the same everywhere it appears. When people consistently hear the same message, they begin to believe it.

2. Maintain Transparency

Don’t try to sugarcoat the situation. Be completely upfront about the circumstances, the ramifications and your efforts to put things right. People will investigate the incident and if your version of the story is proven false in any way, your reputation will be even further diminished. You’ll be branded a liar and untrustworthy. That’s a very deep hole out of which to dig. As soon as people come to realize “there’s nothing else to see here” they will turn their attention elsewhere. But if you keep dumping fuel on the fire in the form of obfuscation, the story will dribble out bit by bit as the layers of the subterfuge are peeled away. This keeps it in in the public eye longer, which makes the damage more difficult to repair.

3. Demonstrate You’ve Fixed the Problem

If you sell cosmetics from home and inadvertently sold a batch of eyeshadow laced with Pinkeye causing bacteria, your customers are going to be justifiably reluctant to purchase from you again. However, if you take the time to clearly enumerate the steps you’ve taken to make sure it does not happen again, your reputation will be bolstered in the eyes (no pun intended) of your loyal shoppers. Even better, produce a video of yourself apologizing and using the product to demonstrate how confident you are in the efficacy of your solution. People know stuff happens. But when it happens again and again and again, it’s going to be hard to convince people to continue trusting you. Fix it fast, make sure it stays fixed and tell everyone how you fixed it.

4. Exceed Expectations

With the problem in your rearview mirror, you might be tempted to revert to the same old way of doing business. This is a mistake. People are still watching you, waiting for you to screw up again. This is why you need to make every effort to surpass the level of customer service, attention to detail and efficiencies you maintained before. In other words, with the stain on your character, you have to be better than you ever were in all regards. Doing this as you move on from the situation will bolster your reputation significantly—and win you new customers in the process.

5. Invite Scrutiny

It’s going to be happening anyway, so you might as well take control and embrace it. If you’re being flamed consistently by one particular news outlet or blogger, invite them to come see what you’re doing to correct the situation. Extend an open invitation to look over your shoulder and report on your efforts as you set about rebuilding your reputation after the PR disaster.

Local Branding

6 Sure-fire Security Practices to Avoid Theft and Minimize Employee Fraud

Imagine an intruder or a fraudulent employee walks through an open door and steals valuable properties such as fixtures, cash, and intellectual property of the business. Or vandalism on off-shift that shuts down the production line for days, costing a significant budget for the company.

These are some examples of weak security systems and procedures that should never happen to your business. In fact, a study shows that 33% of business bankruptcies are because of employee theft. When the businesses protocols are under control, the operation of the company will run smoothly, as well as keeping its people safe and comfortable.

But when the security system fails, it can leave the company a disastrous effect. To avoid this and other unfortunate events, consider the following steps to safeguard your business better.

Perform a Risk Assessment

Start by determining on what your company does and the things involved including your premises, employees, equipment, and many more. Then distinguish the key risks which can include both external dangers, and internal threats such as employee fraud or accidents caused by improper safety equipment and procedures.

Assess the possibility of each risk, and determine how severe the result would be. Further, prioritize to manage business risks that will be most likely to have a significant impact.

Set a Code of Conduct

A business owner should create a code of proper conduct. This document should define what acceptable or appropriate behavior within business premises is, and what consequences there will be if a staff violates the terms.

Though this text doesn’t need to describe all necessary actions, it’s best to plan for critical areas such as keeping sensitive information safe, protecting the property of the company. More so, you should communicate the code of conduct to your staff upon hiring, and they should sign that they will follow it.

Secure Your Business Premises

It seems like an obvious idea, but some business owners tend to forget about the importance of adequate physical security.

Thus, if need, strengthen or upgrade doors, install security lighting, and fit window locks. Each can prevent burglars since some robberies are unplanned. If the access points are exposed, consider installing a CCTV, but take note that data protection rules may apply.

Also, if you don’t have an alarm system installed, make sure you get a fitted one and hang some signs as a warning of its presence. In addition to that, consider installing either shutters or grilles, but you may need planning approval from your local committee.

Separate and Monitor Employee Duties

The tasks you should be concerned about the most are those of the employees who handle merchandise and do your bookkeeping. Hence, consider distributing the duties to your employees.

For instance, the staff who works on your bank reconciliation should not be the one who is going to pay the bills. Or, the employee who takes in stock for sale shouldn’t be the person who decides if a product should be scrapped or the one who inputs the purchase of a product.

Assign a Floor Marshall

In some cases, it’s almost impossible to recognize every new employee, vendor, or contractor, especially on large companies. Indeed, intruders may take this opportunity to attack.

With regards to that, if the visitor management policy is not existing within the business, it can be a way for them to gain access to an office, steal property or information, or may harm physically. To prevent that from happening, assigning a floor marshall is a straight and efficient way to help protect your premises against such intruders.

Regular Review and Revise

The truth is, it’s not enough to only put these procedures in place. You and your top officials must also take time to review and revise your security measures. Evaluate and make sure you address all the items on your checklist. Then, set some key steps to make sure that slippages are within a right range.

An example, study your rate of inventory turnover this year and compare it with the last few years of operation to whether fraud is involved.

Takeaway

It’s apparent that these security measures may be costly and time-consuming. But they consume far less expense and time than losing company assets caused by intruders, or employee theft.

Securing your business premises can probably the most effective way to protect your business’ property, and locksmithman.ca and other security services can help you with this process.

 

Local Branding

Recruitment Firm GoBuyside Gives Insight Into Challenges Facing Investment Management Firms

Investment management firms are striving to improve how they recruit specialized talent. Research has shown that many financial executives believe that the talent drought could seriously harm future growth. The scarcity of talent has allowed investment management leaders to stay ahead of the competition if they can land top talent. With that being said, here is a look at some challenges that firms face in regards to their investment management recruiting strategies.

Competition

The top talent identified by the investment management industry are constantly being recruited by companies from outside of the industry. If experts are in demand within a number of different industries, that will lead to a lot of competition for these special talents. Recruitment firms are under pressure to meet the needs of their clients. Many investment management companies use an accounting firm to help them with different projects. GoBuyside advises firms to identify experts who have a reputation for hiring top talent. Firms should choose a partner who can directly help them in their field. GoBuyside’s success is evident by the fact that they have more than 300 clients around the World.

Diversity

The importance of diversity in the workforce has been an employment issue for many years. Inclusiveness is a more recent issue that many businesses are struggling to adapt to. In today’s current climate, companies must emphasize diversity and inclusion. GoBuyside recommends that companies find partners that have shown that they can create policies that promote inclusion and diversity. GoBuyside promotes diversity by having a large talent database that features people from all around the World who come from different backgrounds.

Regulatory Climate

The investment management sector is different from others because of the regulation requirements. The regulatory climate is starting to shift in many countries around the World. The regulatory environment often hinders firms and their recruiting efforts. Firms should make sure that their partners have a vision that aligns with their clients. A generalized approach to the recruitment search will lead to firms choosing from a short list of candidates.

Evolving Skills

It is a yearly challenge for companies to adapt to the evolution taking place around them. As the technology continues to evolve, workers will change their skill sets to meet the needs of what is currently in demand. Because of the technology sector, analysts predict that the investment management industry will be threatened over the next decade. Companies are now trying to add flexible workers to their team. Many of today’s employees have a hybrid skill set. Recruiting partners should help companies brainstorm ideas of new training methods that will help workers gain the flexibility to meet any need.

 

Local Branding

How to manage Your Rebranding

Rebranding your company can be a very important but very stressful process. If you are currently going through this process, then you have probably spent the last few months in the planning stage, trying to figure out how to go about it in the best way. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the amounts of things that need to be done during the rebranding process which is why we have written this article to give you some tips on how to manage it. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more about this.

Plan Carefully

Before you get started on your rebrand, you need to plan carefully. You need to know why you are rebranding and what you are trying to change. If you don’t do your research properly then you might find that your rebrand will be a waste of time and you would have been better off sticking with the same branding. Plan accordingly and establish a clear strategy of how you want everything to happen. Don’t let yourself get carried away with rebranding before thinking through the consequences of your decision.

Manage Tasks

If you are rebranding a large company, you might find that there are a lot of things that need to be changed and a lot of things that need to be organized. For a company with a large team of people, it can be difficult to ensure that all tasks have been completed in time for the rebranding launch date. This is why you should consider making use of a workflow system like a Kanban board. So, what is a Kanban board? Well, a Kanban board uses different columns to organize tasks into things that need to be done, things that are in progress and others that have been completed. Make sure to do some more research about how a Kanban board works before getting started.

Create A Timeline

If you are going to rebrand your company, then you need to make sure that you create a timeline of how you want everything to go. You’ll need to make sure that you get all of your tasks completed on time and creating a timeline will help you to organize your tasks. Make to create a realistic timeline as if you try to rush things you might find that your rebranding does not go as well as you’d like. If you need some extra help with this, you could download some software that can take you through the steps in order to complete a good timeline that is easy to follow. Make sure to share your timeline with everyone who needs it in order to keep everyone on the same page with what needs to be done first.

Market Research

Before your rebranding gets underway, you should ensure that you are going in the right direction. If you are able to do extensive market research before the process begins, you can trust that you will have a successful project. You should also ensure that you conduct more research as the process goes on. Talk to your clients, find out if they will continue to use your services after the rebrand and find a good middle ground. Working with others on the rebrand will ensure that you are happy with your end result and you won’t have to do it all over again anytime soon. If you do your research properly then you’ll be able to manage your rebrand a lot easier.

Establish A Clear Budget

If you don’t set yourself a budget before the rebrand then you might find that you spend a lot more than you need to on the project. You need to set yourself a budget and try to stick to it where you can. This will help you to manage the whole project a lot easier and you can ensure that you will be happy with the process that you have undergone. When you are setting yourself a budget you should also remember that not everything goes to plan,and you should account for any issues that might arise in the rebranding process. Try your best to stick to the budget to ensure that you don’t end up spending more than you’ll make back over this whole process.

Final Thoughts

Deciding to rebrand your company is not a something which should be taken lightly. You need to make sure that you know exactly what you are getting yourself in to and you need to know what you need to change about your company. Don’t let yourself get carried away with the whole process, stick to your timeline and you’ll soon have your company back up and run. Organise yourself and your team effectively and your rebranding will be a success.

Local Branding

Using Your Blog and Elevating Your Branding

Your brand is the one things that you cannot compromise on. Elevating your brand means elevating everything about your business, from profits to reputation, from the trust to customer satisfaction. There are many ways to elevate your brand including marketing, SEO, and more.

One of the areas that are commonly overlooked is your inbound marketing and your blog. Your content and what you put on your blog can either elevate your blog or simply be a placeholder on the internet. Worse, handled improperly, your blog can actually damage your image and your brand.

So how do you use your blog to elevate your branding? Here are a few simple yet powerful steps.

Tell Powerful Stories

Simon Sinek has famously said that people buy from you and follow you as a leader not because of what you sell and how great your products are, but because of why you do what you do. This means that to use your blog effectively, you must tell the powerful stories of why you do what you do and the impact is has on your industry and your customers.

It is these stories that will elevate you in the minds of your customers and set you apart from the others in your industry. So what stories do you tell?

  • Talk about Where You Came From
  • Tell Your Customers Where You Are Going
  • Share your Failures and the Lessons You Learned
  • Share Your Successes and How Customers and Employees Contributed to Them
  • Share Work You Are Doing in the Community

These powerful stories will help your customers and lead connect with you on a new level, one that will elevate your brand.

Ask and Answer the Right Questions

What are the things your customers are searching for? What questions do they have, and how can you best answer them? This is the key to any kind of marketing, but particularly inbound marketing. Why? Because these questions are the ones users are searching on social media. Want to rank well on Google? Know these questions and keywords.

So how do you figure out these questions? Well, first of all, you can simply listen to your customers. Social listening is essentially analyzing your social media followers and connections, and learning what they are asking, talking about, and searching for.

There are also tools like SEM Rush and some MOZ tools that will let you analyze keywords and queries that are popular for certain keywords and niches. Using these tools, you can determine not only what you want to rank for, but how to structure your blog content to do so. The value of this inbound marketing and the organic traffic it generates is immense, and an incredible way to elevate your brand.

Give it Away

Got some great answers? Put them in an eBook. Is one of your customers a great example of how your product or service works? Detail that information in a case study, and then give it away. In exchange for subscribing to your blog, offer free content. White papers, case studies, how-to manuals, and more.

The reasons are simple. First, the expertise and care you show elevate your brand in the mind of your leads or customers. The more you share, the more it shows that you know and understand.

The second is that giving something away activates the law of reciprocity. The more you give to a customer for free, the more likely they are to feel that they “owe” you, and so will buy from you when they are ready to make a purchase.

Not that this should ever be your motivation for offering free goods. Users can see right through that ruse. Your goal should be to inform your customers and improve your industry. The results you see will follow this as your brand is organically elevated.

Build Trust and Expertise

This organic elevation will occur as you build trust and expertise with your customers and leads, but also with your peers and with search engines. Google evaluates not only your content but who wrote your content. They want expertise, authority, and trustworthiness from every page on your site.

The more genuinely informative you are, the better your content serves their customer, the person who is searching for something, the higher you will rank and the more traffic you will get. The key, as you see, is great content that is informative and worthwhile and does one simple thing: makes the internet a better place.

Add Value to Your Industry

Finally, you will elevate your brand and become more of an influencer by simply adding value to your industry. The content you share on your blog should not only showcase your company but your industry as a whole. What do you do to enrich the lives of others? How would their lives be different without your product or service? Even more so, how would their lives be different if your industry did not exist?

You know that you have an impact. You are passionate about what you do. You know, and share, why you do it. What you do adds value to your industry and the lives of your customers. When all of these things are true, you elevate your brand, and your blog is one of the best ways to do so.

Digital Branding

How to Instil Your Brand With Remote Teams

Guest post by Gemma Church 

Flexible working is a wonderful thing. Research reveals it gives staff a better work/life balance and attracts the best talent into your business – but how can you ensure your company culture is retained when your staff are scattered to the four winds?

It’s not an easy task – but it is a necessary one as 75% of the US labour force is predicted to be remote by 2020.

Company culture is also a vital component for any successful business. It will provide your staff with a great employee experience and this directly affects your bottom line – as the below graph from Great Place to Work demonstrates. It is also one of the top job benefits for employees and helps you to retain your staff.

So, how can you create and maintain a company culture when some or all of your workforce use flexible working practices?

  1. Find the right tools for your staff

Every employee is an individual and it’s important to match different preferred ways of working with the right tools to foster communication and collaboration. For example, you could use Slack for text communications, Zoom for voice and video chat and, if you have a particularly valuable employee, you could even fork out for a robot virtual presence.

Whatever you decide, make sure you offer a range of solutions and attempt to combine both your digital and social tools to encourage camaraderie. You don’t have to be in the same room to socialize and make sure you encourage your staff to communicate on a range of topics.

But make it clear to your staff that they need to be available on these communication channels when they are working. Just because they’re working remotely does not mean they can go AWOL.

  1. Organise incentivized meetups

Face-to-face meetings are a rarity (or, sometimes, an impossibility) for remote teams. However, you should try to organize at least one group meeting each year.

You could also informally base your business out of a coworking space, which provides your staff with the flexibility to use such a space as and when you need it. Lucas Seyhun, founder of centrally located co-working space in NYC The Farm, said: “Our space attracts many different flexible workers. Some remote workers use our space nearly every day because they want to escape the home office. Others will simply book a meeting room for a couple of hours on an ad hoc basis. We also have corporates that regularly book dedicated offices. That’s the beauty of coworking – it matches the flexibility of remote work perfectly.”

As Lucas mentioned, many big businesses are now embracing coworking spaces for their remote workers. It allows such companies to connect, collaborate and innovate with the startup space.

Some businesses find coworking is a better option altogether. For example, the company behind WordPress, called Automattic, recently closed its San Francisco main office because its staff were finding different places and means to work.

You could also consider creating “work buddies” where a small number of nearby staff members could meet up regularly for a chat or a more formal meeting. Again, coworking spaces provide the perfect backdrop for such meetups.

  1. Reinforce your values

You must be clear on your company’s mission and communicate that message with every single member of your staff. Do this regularly to keep your staff focused on your goals.

There are many ways you can reach out with your company’s mission. You could use your internal communication tools to demonstrate how your work impacts your customers to keep your staff on point, for example. Videos and images are also impactful ways to achieve this and will keep remote staff focused on what’s important.

You can also demonstrate your values and show your presence with local community sponsorship. This tip comes from web app automation company Zapier, whose workforce is 100% remote. The company has sponsored developer meetups, startup weekends and donated its time to non-profit organizations. And if someone on in their workforce wants to do something similar in their city, they’ll sponsor it.

“By doing this, team members feel more like there is a local presence in their hometown,” according to Zapier.

In essence, it is important to offer your remote teams a variety of ways to communicate, collaborate and encourage your corporate values. This will help you create and build your company culture, no matter where your staff are.

About the author

Gemma Church is “the freelance writer who gets tech”. She’s a specialist freelance science writer, journalist, and blogger. Her USP is that she’s worked in the science and technology sectors she writes about, bringing a unique level of understanding and experience most writers cannot offer.

Digital Branding

Wikigains Shows 10 Ways To Use Vouchers To Encourage Repeat Business and Build a Brand

Today customers have more options online than they had ten years ago. According to WikiGains, customers’ buying pattern has changed from purchasing at their preferred physical store to visiting different online stores, comparing prices, searching for deals and discounts before adding a product to a virtual shopping cart. As a result, every online merchant, at some time or the other will be faced with the decision of offering deals, coupons, and discounts.

While offering good deals frequently can encourage repeat business and drive customer loyalty, using them haphazardly can harm your brand image. Here are 10 effective ways you can use to drive customer loyalty, conversions and acquisitions.

1. Weekly or monthly discounts

These are traditional ways to offer discounts and they are often used at the end of a week or month to meet specific business goals.

2. Cart abandonment email

A study showed that nearly 70% of online customers abandon their carts for some reason or the other. Sending a tactically-crafted abandoned cart email can encourage people to come back and complete their checkout. There are many sites like Shopify and Klaviyo that offer easy to customize abandoned cart emails.

3. Special holiday or season deals

While Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and other holiday seasons are big occasions to offer attractive discounts, you can use other opportunities throughout the year like the onset of winter, summer or autumn to share appropriate discounts and offers.

4. Prelaunch coupons

Your business may be in the prelaunch stage or you have just launched a new product. The pre-launch offers enable you to create a sense of inquisitiveness among customers regarding the product. They help in driving more traffic and turning new customers into loyal ones.

5. Minimum value to get discount

In coupons sites like Wikigains, you can find deals that require customers to spend a minimum value to get a discount. This is a good tactic to encourage customers to spend more.

6. Special discount for sharing on social media

When you start a new online store, the biggest challenge is to reach out to more people and attract customers. So, offering an incentive on every Like on Facebook or sharing on other social media platforms can be a good way to raise the visibility of your brand.

7. Refer-a-friend

The referral programs work even today because people tend to rely on a brand if it is referred by a friend or relative. Wikigains says you can use this to your advantage and encourage more referrals by offering a good discount to both – the person referring and the one being referred.

8. Welcome discount for new customers.

This is a ‘feel good offer’ that gives first-time customers a positive experience with your brand. They are likely to remember you, refer friends, and even come back again to convert into a paying customer.   

9. Create an email or subscription offer

Building an email list is extremely important for the success of online retailers. When you offer a coupon or discount in exchange for a visitor’s email address, it increases your chances of conversion. This is a win-win situation where the visitor receives a good discount and you get their email address. This can be used to create customer loyalty, build a solid relationship, or send promotional materials to them in the future.

10. Special incentives to influential people

Offering discounts to famous bloggers or celebrities that have a huge fan following can be an effective way to promote your brand. So, if a blogger writes positively about your products or a celebrity talks about your excellent service, your brand value increases tremendously.    

Wikigains.com is a voucher site that has been operating in the UK since 2012. Alex Papaconstantinou, the founder of Wikigains, and his team, have accumulated a wealth of experience in the industry as they have seen it through several ups and downs in the last few years.

Digital Branding

Crafting the Customer Journey

With the overwhelming number of online pop-ups, the “suggested” pages and events that flow through Facebook, and the autoplay video ads that start scrolling on every other website, customers are becoming more and more immune to online marketing.  At the heart of this, is not only the number of ads and extent of marketing exposure that online users are subject to, but also the generalization of it: the ad I see is the same as what you and thousands of others see, and yet, we are different people and need different things.

Introducing the customer journey.

The concept of the customer journey is to create a customised experience for the online user. Employing various site embedded in online data collection tools and specific digital marketing techniques, brands can gather data about a customer’s experience or interaction on a site or within a specific marketing campaign. These segments of information can be pieced together to target perceived personalities, and create a personalized customer journey. The end result is being able to offer a customized digital marketing exposé for the customer, which is targeted specifically to them, maximizing their online experience.

And one of the most pivotal components of this customer journey is content. Online users and customers are looking to have access to the content that they want to see and want to read.  Sometimes this is content relative to information about a business’s product or service; other times, online users are looking to educate themselves, become informed, and learn something new. And all the time, individuals are looking to be drawn in, have something that catches their attention and gain valuable insight into something they care about. As a business, creating a fruitful customer journey is about doing all of that. This is achieved by feeding into the customer the new content that you know they need, which can continue to help their journey, and build your business.  The crux of this sequence? Quality content that targets a market, customizes an experience,and builds a connection.

Online content is becoming one of the most influential and accessible ways to reach new customers and meet your ideal audience.  This only happens when it is done right and when it is done so that the customer feels as if what is available to them to access is a product or service that is created for them specifically – not simply generic content being thrown out to the entire market of online viewers.

Crafting that ideal content requires skill, persistence, and patience. It requires an understanding of marketing and human psychology and an understanding of how users respond in an online climate.  And it doesn’t require you to do it alone.

We don’t want you to do it alone: we want to help you build an exceptional business by helping you craft quality online content.  Reliable companies like Article-Writing.co can build you success from the inside out. And you’ll love what you get in return.