Category: Digital Branding

Digital Branding

Social Hiring: Changing the Traditional Recruitment Process

The process of hiring new employees in an organization has always been considered a cumbersome and expensive task. Human resource managers have to go through countless resumes, shortlist, and conduct interviews to ascertain the most suitable candidate for the available job opening. Advertising and hiring a recruitment agency takes resources out of the company, which has a negative impact on the company’s statement of income. However, social hiring is changing the dimensions of traditional recruitment by offering some benefits and make it easier for employers.

Using social intelligence to recruit has been helping companies to discover potential employees who have positioned themselves to be discovered. Some social platforms such as LinkedIn have a significant number of qualified people who have put themselves out there for potential employers to see them. A candidate displays his or her credentials which means that an employer does not need to request a resume. Using such platforms reduces the cumbersome process of screening resumes while at the same time cutting on advertisement costs.

Social media hiring is opening a platform for excellent communications between an employer and an employee. Chatting with an individual on the social platforms allows for a more informal discussion which allows a more robust exchange of information which can assist an employer to understand potential workers. Even in situations where a candidate is not successful, a network is created where a future opening may suit the qualities of the networks created. It is worth noting that formal interviews do not allow for personal and robust communication which may make it difficult to understand the “real” qualities of a candidate.

Referrals are currently available on a single click where an organization can acquire the best candidates to suit their job specifications. Different companies have been referring their workers to open positions while an employee may refer a potential person to a hiring institution. One of the best aspects of hiring individuals who have been referred to the company is that the hiring entity can request for background information which offers a greater understanding of an individual. This might explain why firms have been asking their workers to have social media presence so that they can refer potential employees if a position arises.

Social hiring is changing how entities search for background information and the personality of an individual. Traditionally, employees used to contact referees to get more information about an individual, which was probably biased and prone to manipulation. Currently, a company can easily understand the ideologies of an individual through his or her posts. Social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can easily highlight whether you are racist, sexist, biased regarding gender, religion, and ethnicity, which may not be acceptable qualities in particular organizations.

It is through these benefits and others time and cost-saving measures that are championing social intelligence hiring over the traditional recruitment system.

About FAMA

FAMA is an Artificial Intelligence data sorting agency that conducts a background check and provides information about the best candidates to be hired by a particular organization. FAMA process will help an entity determine whether a candidate will be essential in achieving the goals and mission of the hiring company while at the same time adhering to the expected values. The filtering and sorting features help a recruiting firm to identify the behaviours that are relevant and useful to a company.

Digital Branding

Brand Growth with Chatbots: How Companies can Make Use of it?

Emerging technologies have played a pivotal role in how businesses market their product or services. Companies who haven’t adopted the latest technologies with the passage of time are on the verge of being closed.

For instance, people who have relied heavily on traditional marketing after the evolution of digital marketing are being waived off. If you are one of those, now it is time to revise your marketing strategy, adopt the approaches that lead to success and reach an audience on a bigger scale.

Presently, marketing is all about interacting with the customers directly. Let’s have a look at some of the statistics revealing the dominance and future prospects of chatbots.

  • Chatbots have been dominant in the recent years and chatbot market revenue exceeded $250 million in 2017.
  • Moreover, a report published by Global Market Insights, Inc. on the chatbot market suggests that customer service is the highest contributing segment with 42.52% share. The size of chatbot is set to exceed $1.34 billion by 2024 according to Global Market Insights.
  • 35% of consumers want to see more companies using chatbots
  • 57% of consumers are interested in chatbots for their instantaneity. (HubSpot, 2017)
  • 28% of top performing companies use AI for marketing (Adobe, 2018)

From the above statistics, it can be seen how seriously companies should consider chatbot development solution to stay competitive.

No matter, whether you are operating an e-commerce store or offering some kind of services, chatbots will prove to be fruitful. Let’s have a look at how chatbots can help grow your brand and engage your customers far better than ever.

Seamless Customer Support and Services Around the Clock

As a customer, you are impatient and want a solution to your problem instantly. What would you expect from a small e-commerce store, where resources are limited and the company can’t afford to hire a full-time customer sales representative. Customers are looking forward to a timely response and quick solution to their concerns.

Chatbots can offer customer support service round the clock 24/7 and 365 days a year. Simply by integrating a chatbot on your website, you can help your potential and existing customers to find answers to questions like what are the shipping charges, payment modes, and delivery time. Without waiting for a second, chatbots can answer the queries and make the process seamless, smooth and hassle-free.

According to Gartner, “Chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020. The average person will have more conversation with bots than with the spouse”

Buying Decision and Engaging Customers Made Easier

AI Chatbots are not only limited to one to one chat and offering solutions to the problems. They are progressing at a rapid pace, and help in recommending products or services customers might be interested in.

For instance, a buyer purchased a DVD player from an e-store. He or she might be interested in buying DVDs or a new smart HD TV. AI chatbot will recommend the products based on buyer’s interest that would ultimately lead to more sales and revenue.

In addition, chatbots can also suggest products based on customers queries. For example, a person is looking for a headphone of a specific brand but could not find it anywhere while browsing through the store; chatbots can help find the products instantly. Without any waiting or hassle of searching, customers can save time and buy the product instantly. Thus leading to the great and satisfied customer experience at the end of shopping.

Data Collection, Monitoring, and Insights

Chatbots are not only helpful in guiding customers but also support in collecting and interpreting data. Chatbots only understand what they learned from the conversation guide fed by the chatbot developer.

Collecting data has always been critical for big and small enterprises. However, not anymore because AI chatbots are adept at collecting customers data without any hassle. As soon as the customer interacts or visits the website, chatbots collect the data based on interaction and queries. With the help of this data, marketers can evaluate the data, draw inferences and make decisions that would help in generating more sales. It can also help in analyzing the customers buying behaviour, and what interests them the most.

Conclusion

Chatbots without any doubt will take the marketing to a new level, resulting in higher engagement, higher return, and happy customers. If you want to stay alive and competitive in the tough market, technology should be on the top of your list and of course, chatbot is one of them.

Author Bio:

Ray Parker is an entrepreneur and internet marketer with over 15 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization, Creative Writing and Digital Marketing with IQVIS.

Digital Branding

10 Important Metrics for a Data-Driven Marketing Strategy

The right set of marketing metrics act as a GPS, guiding you toward marketing success. But, some marketing metrics are more important than others. And, with the wrong set of metrics, your marketing strategy can quickly become lost and misguided.

Think about it, would you rather follow hand-written instructions and miss a turn, or have a GPS accurately guide you in real-time to your destination? Just as the benefits of a GPS are clear, so are the benefits of a well-crafted data-driven marketing strategy. Consider these statistics (source):

  • Nearly two-thirds of leading organizations say their executives treat data-driven insights as more valuable than gut instinct.
  • Almost seven in ten leading marketers say their companies use data to support decision-making at all levels.
  • Leading marketers are more than twice as likely as mainstream marketers to say they routinely take action based on insights and recommendations from analytics.

So, which metrics must every data-driven marketer know? Keep reading today’s blog post for the answer.

1. Conversion Rate

To put it in simple terms, the conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a desired marketing action. Tracking the conversion rate of your campaigns can provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of your content, your campaigns, and so much more.

As an example, data-driven marketers can use this metric to track the success of a marketing offer or landing page design. Say you set up a landing page to house a gated e-book. After all promotional efforts go out, the page receives a ton of traffic but very few prospects complete your form to receive the offer.

The low conversion rate demonstrates that, although the eBook is of interest to your audience, something is off with your landing page. You now know to begin testing different landing page elements to boost conversions.

2. WebsiteTraffic Sources

With so many traffic sources pointing to company websites – everything from paid ads, to social media, to organic web searches – marketers must track which sources bring in the most visitors to understand marketing campaign success. By reviewing this metric, marketers can determine which campaigns to cut or keep. Here’s a quick list of common traffic sources to track:

  • Organic search traffic
  • Paid traffic
  • Referral traffic
  • Direct traffic
  • Social media traffic
  • Email marketing traffic

Once you understand where website traffic comes from, you can then analyze the conversion rate of each traffic source. Doing so will offer insight into the channels and campaigns that provide with the most valuable traffic. As a result, you can tailor your strategy and marketing budget to focus your efforts on areas that yield the most conversions.

3. Bounce Rate

A bounce occurs whenever a visitor enters your website from an organic search but leaves the site after viewing only one page. This action indicates low engagement with website content. If you experience high bounce rates, there are two possible culprits at play: Poor user experience or your content is attracting the wrong visitors. Track bounce rate to the strategically optimize your website to keep visitors engaged. Here are three quick tips to lower bounce rate:

Review on-page analytics: See which elements lead to a lower click-through-rate, and optimize accordingly. Adjust elements and copy, then measure if CTRs improve and bounce rate drops.

Learn from low bounce rates: Review pages with the lowest bounce rate to learn which pages successfully engage website visitors. Ask yourself: How is the content structured? What is your CTA? What page do users typically visit next? Use these insights as a guide to adjust content on top exit pages.

Segment bounce rate: Marketers can segment bounce rate by the browser, traffic source, age, gender, or device type to glean further insights. For instance, if a high number of mobile users bounce from a page compared to those using a desktop device, this indicates a poor mobile experience. Simply view the page in a mobile browser, and look for ways to make it more mobile-friendly.

4. Social Media Engagement

When it comes to measuring social media success, many marketers struggle to move past vanity metrics. They neglect to review metrics that show real social media engagement, align with business goals, and guide decision-making. Examples of social engagement metrics include the number of comments on social posts, post shares, and brand mentions. Marketers can learn from social media posts with high engagement rates to craft similar social content in the future, driving increased engagement.

5. Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

Let’s face it—not all leads are created equal. Data-driven marketers know the quality of leads matters much more than the quantity. That’s why tracking marketing qualified leads, or MQLs is so important. In fact, a recent study shows MQLsare the most commonly used metric by B2B marketing teams (source).

An MQL is a lead likely to become a customer based on their engagement with marketing content. This metric is determined by factors such as content downloads and web pages visited. It’s important to note, however, that an MQL isn’t necessarily ready to talk to your sales team.

MQLsoften requires additional touches to move them along the sales funnel. Data-driven marketers can further engage MQLs with a lead nurturing program until they become sales-ready.

6. Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)

Sales qualified leads, or SQL, are just as important as MQLs when it comes to operating a data-driven marketing strategy. An SQL is a prospect who has indicated readiness to buy a company’s products or services. To reach this stage, the SQL has met the lead qualification criteria to be sales-ready. Tracking SQL through lead scoring helps the sales team turn more conversations with prospects into conversions.

As with MQLs, it’s important to track which channels, pages, and campaigns generate the most SQL. That way you can use this data to scale and improve your lead generation efforts.

7. Cost-Per-Lead (CPL)

Cost-per-lead or CPL reveals, in a tangible dollar amount, just how cost-effective marketing efforts are across various channels. Use this metric to assess which campaigns to abandon and which ones to focus on for the future.

The goal is to aim for a low CPL with a high number of quality leads. As you begin a marketing campaign, remember to determine how much money you are willing to shell out on a lead. CPLs vary across industries and company size, so research your specific industry to establish a benchmark. Here’s a quick list of CPL averages by industry for reference (source):

  • Industrial & Manufacturing: $235.09
  • Healthcare & Medical: $285.82
  • Media & Publishing: $191.07
  • Consumer Products: $182.37
  • IT & Services: $369.88
  • Financial Services: $271.54
  • Marketing Agencies: $172.72
  • Education: $65.69
  • Nonprofit: $43.36

CPLsalso varies greatly by company size, with larger enterprises spending more per lead. Here’s a breakdown:

  • 1,001+ employees: $348.93
  • 201-1000 employees: $212.12
  • 51-200 employees: $180.47
  • 2-50 employees: $146.94

As you track your CPL over time, you’ll become familiar with the acceptable range of cost. From there you should work to lower your CPL.

8. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

For marketers, CAC is an invaluable metric because it reveals the ROI of your campaigns. To determine your CAC, simply divide all marketing expenses used to acquire customers by the number of customers acquired.

Get deeper insights into marketing ROI by calculating CAC for specific programs or campaigns. Use this data to prioritize marketing spend on campaigns with lower CAC, ultimately helping to boost profits.

9. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

You’ve heard it again and again, but it can’t be stated enough: Customers are the lifeblood of your business. So, how can marketers track the value of a customer? Enter, customer lifetime value (CLV). This metric predicts the total amount a customer will spend with a business during their lifetime, enabling marketers to pinpoint the most valuable customers. Calculate CLV by dividing your average order size by one minus the repeat purchase rate. Subtract your customer acquisition cost from that number to get your CLV.

After calculating this metric, use it to strategize ways to keep valuable customers around, such as lead nurturing campaigns and loyalty programs. Research shows making an effort to retain customers pays off. In fact, one study shows a 5% increase in customer retention can boost a company’s profits by 25% to 95% (source).

CLV can also help you determine how much you’re willing to spend on marketing programs and leads.

10. Return on Investment (ROI)

And last but not least: Return on marketing investment, or ROI, is an essential metric to show how all marketing efforts and spend impact your bottom line. Marketers can use this metric at the program or campaign level to inform future spending. In fact, recent research shows ROI by the channel is the top metric B2B marketers plan to use in the next 12 to 18 months (source).

We get it—calculating ROI for every channel isn’t always easy, but here’s a simple formula to help: (Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = ROI. If sales grew by $3,000 and the marketing campaign cost $300, then the ROI comes out to 900%.

Final Thoughts About Data-Driven Marketing

And there you have it, ten important metrics for a data-driven marketing strategy. Remember, marketers, don’t have the time in the day to track everything. Focus on the marketing metrics that guide decision making and align with business goals. Determine your KPIs, set your benchmarks, and start tracking.

To be a truly data-driven marketer, you must replace best practices and gut feelings with data-back decision-making.

About the Author: Becca Chandler is a Marketing Content Specialist at ZoomInfo, a leading contact database that helps companies accelerate growth and profitability. Becca writes for ZoomInfo’s B2B blog on topics related to sales, marketing, and recruiting. In her free time, Becca likes to travel and capture special moments with her camera.

Digital Branding

Way to Have the Best of Laravel Development

For any nature of the business, one has there need to be the best of web development. Laravel is a web development platform which is sort after by many reputed business organizations due to excellent development features that can be achieved. For having such a web development based on Laravel the best of web development organization having to experience in such a field is required.

Considerations to Select the Best of Laravel Web Developers

It would be quite easy to make a long list of web developing organization who offers such services. The problem happens when the best of Laravel Development Company is to be selected from amongst them. The below considerations would help one to make such a selection.

Client satisfaction

The motto of the organization to be selected for having the best of web development based on Laravel must be to offer client satisfaction. They must be able to show a large base of satisfied customers who have benefitted by having web development based on Laravel done by them.

Guaranteed service

The web development organization to be selected must be offering a guaranteed service. They must guarantee that if one is not satisfied by the web development done by their developers then either it would not charge for the work done or return the entire money that is already paid.

Quick result

It would be best to hire dedicated Laravel developers from such a web development organization who can ensure that quick results can be obtained. The dedicated developers who would be working on the project should be having best of experience and knowledge regarding Laravel so that they do not face any nature of problem while developing the site and can quickly have the development finished.

Having such a result one can expect to have the development of the site in time and would have the ability to surge ahead of the competitors earlier than expected.

Affordability they offer

The web development organization must have the ability to offer web development based on Laravel at a rate which cannot be matched even by the local web developers working in the area.

Their services must be a mixture of affordability with quality. Though the services would be affordable they must not compromise on quality in any aspect. In other words, it can be said that that they must have the ability to offer clients with quality web development based on Laravel at a price which cannot be matched by anyone.

Transparent services

The best of offshore Laravel programmers India working with the organization which can be selected must have the ability to offer transparent and integrated services. When one shares the ideas regarding a website which is to be developed upon Laravel it should be such that the ideas are not leaked to the competitors.

Image Source: Qltech

The programmers must always be following all the NDA regulations throughout the development process and will have the habit of maintaining secrecy. So, one should analyze whether the web development organization has such features integrated into their services.

Skilled and experienced developers

The web development organization that need to be selected for having best of web development based on Laravel must have the skill and expertise to offer the best of development. The skill sets possessed by the developers must be such that they should have the ability to customize the development according to the requirements that one has.

It must not be a problem for them to develop websites based on Laravel for any nature of a business association. They must have the understanding to develop sites for business houses linked with healthcare, retail and commerce, banking and finance, travel and tourism, hospitality, media and entertainment or education and e-learning.

Option to hire according to choice

The organization that needs to be selected for having the best of web development based on Laravel must offer its clients the option to choose from amongst the developers who work for them.

Clients must have the opportunity to interview all the developers and pick and choose from amongst them according to the preference that they have. If even after such a hiring one is not satisfied with the service then the organization must have the mindset to offer the best of replacement or refund the entire money that is paid.

Free quotation

The selected organization must be offering a free quotation after listening to the ideas that are shared by a client. The client would be given a patient hearing and a no obligation quotation provided so that the client can judge the service in the perspective of quality and budget.

Offering multiple plans

The web development organization that need to be selected for having the best of web development based on Laravel must offer multiple plans to their clients so that they can choose according to desire.

If one keeps these considerations in mind while selecting the web development organization for having Laravel based development then it can be said that the best of development can be achieved.

Digital Branding

Ways Social Media listening can help your Business

With the use of a shared count, it is possible to see how much your target audience are in tune with your content, but you can always do more.

Social media listening is simply about searching the internet and specifically the social media space to see what is being said about your business or brand, your competitors and other topics of interest, and with a little time and creativity, you can go beyond just monitoring your brand. You can employ the use of social listening to enhance content marketing, business development, product management, human resources and customer support.

If you are thinking of trying out social media listening, here are 5 ways in which this technique can be beneficial to your business:

Improved customer service

Today, more people are starting to use social media as the place to make public complaints, find solutions to their problems, and commend brands on good service.

Instead of relying on onsite calls or physically waiting for customers to show up in your workspace, social media as the go-to tool for responding and reacting to customers who encounter problems. Social media monitoring can improve the quality of your customer service through digital channels so that people no longer have to wait to receive a response.

Discover where your community is

Social listening enables you to find out where your potential and current community members carry on important conversations, for example, the hashtags on Twitter can lead you towards their areas of interests and what they often enjoy doing.

It is a good technique for identifying a target audience that would befit your brand, but more so for better niching your messages to befit their interests and reach out to their circles as well.

Track down the comments and shares on social media to lead you to the places they like to visit and the kind of content they would rather consume.

Build links with advocates and influencers

Influencer marketing is growing huge today and has continued to draw attention. The importance is that the influencer marketers ensure that people are talking about you and your brand, and when you are a conversation on social media, search engines and other users will definitely know who you are.

After a big product launch or update, track the link to or the title for press release you shared to see who else is sharing it. This information will help you identify influencers in your industry. Reach out to them to start building relationships.

Focus not only on the users with a big following, but also on the important fans of your brand that may not necessarily have a huge following, but are likely to convert to your advocates more than influencers can.

Interact with users

Largely, social media exists to foster relationship building, which is the one thing social media listening can help your brand with. For a business or brand, it can be overwhelming to track down comments and posts that might be relevant to you unless through social media listening.

Once you are keen on what your target audience is discussing and the trending issues in your industry, it is much easier to interact with your users then.

Be sure to keep your response times, intelligent, and humorous yet consistent with your brand image.

Actionable insights for brand improvement

Blindly running a business on social media can be detrimental to the productivity and success of your brand, which is the key reason you require to gather actionable insights for your brand management.

Since social media allows for open feedback, it is quite easy to receive negativity and criticism that might threaten the successful running of your brand, but with proper management, can scale your brand to greater heights.

Consider the feedback you receive as insights to help you in adjusting your business.

Social media is such a powerful tool, and with a little keenness in social listening, watch your business bloom this year!

Promote your workplace brand
Digital Branding

5 Tips to Branding Your Workspace

With the right presentation, you can make any business successful. The way you keep your office says a lot about you and your business. The moment someone enters your office, they’re going to notice everything: the color of the walls, the furniture, the way you arrange your furniture, the whole ambiance of the place makes the first impression. Branding is not an easy task. You might need some professional advice sometimes. If you have decided to do this all on your own, here are some tips that you will require to get everything just right.

Choose clean, functional design

Tips For Branding Your Workspace

1. Get Opinions  

Branding your workspace is a big step. It can either make your company more prominent, or it will take it down. Never make this decision single-handedly.  One-person shows are not advisable when planning office layout; ask other people that you trust about their opinions and suggestions. Seek help from the people from various departments who might have a better vision than you since they know the workflow better than you . Remember that your target involves the public too. You are not going to impress every person that walks in these doors by just using your ideas. Check the ambiance of other offices also. Look for new furniture options. Choose unique designs of office chairs, tables, sofas, etc.  An outsider should remember it for a long time.

2. Focus On Advertisement

Advertising is the key. Sometimes even if your product is not good enough, you can still make it look worthy with the right representation. Focus on the whole look of your website. When people are searching it, they should be able to easily find what they want.. Your site should have a separate opportunity for every service that you provide.

Have a distinctive logo

3. Logo

No matter what your business=, always try to maintain your individuality. Logos do this work for you. Make your logo so unique and impressive that if a person looks at it, he should know what about your company. Take the example of the Apple iPhone where their company logo in such a way, that no matter where you are from, you will recognize the company at a glance.

The same goes for the mottos and signs. Your office should be an accurate depiction of what your company does, your goals, your work, current projects you are working on. Let’s suppose; you are a commercial builder. Your office should contain the detail of what kind of work you have already done, your achievements, etc. If you have been a part of a major project or have been awarded some distinction, get the certificates framed and hang them up on the wall.

Maintain great office organization

4. Organization  

It is not essential to have extraordinary furniture; if you have a small budget, you can still make your place stand out from the rest. Place the ordinary things in an extraordinary way. The whole theme of the site usually depends on the type of work your company is doing. If you are doing creative works, you have a wide range of things that you can do with your place as you have more latitude than an accounting firm or bank..You have to maintain the decorum of the whole place.You should also keep the place well-lit and ventilated.

5. The Color Schemes

Again, if you are doing creative works, you can quickly get away with vibrant colors but if your office does more traditional professional look, you will have to go with light colors like grey or merely white will do. It is not recommended to go with vibrant colors as it might not correctly promote your brand.

Choose pleasing color and style

Digital Branding

How to Recognize The Top Digital Marketing Agency for Your Brand

Raising brand awareness is one of the primary goals of digital marketing. However, not every company has the time and resources to do all the necessary work that goes into promoting a brand. One way to address this issue is to outsource branding to a third-party, such as a digital marketing agency.

Choosing the right agency for your businesses is not an easy task. If you hire the wrong people, chances are high that you won’t be getting the ROI you wanted. To prevent this from happening, you need to take steps to ensure that a given agency is the right fit for your branding needs.

To help you in this task, we have compiled a list of points you ought to consider while looking for an option that works for you.

Specify Your Branding Needs

Before reaching out to a digital marketing agency, you first need to be clear on what you want to accomplish in doing so. Branding is an undertaking that involves a whole scope of different processes, decisions, and objectives, some of which might be more important to your company than others.

The first thing you need to take into account is your budget. In general, the more you spend on branding, the better the results will be. Just bear in mind that digital marketing is a scalable affair, so you can get a good ROI even for smaller budgets.

Next, you need to choose which digital marketing services you need. Digital marketing agencies usually offer some or all of the following:

  • website design and development
  • content creation
  • search engine optimization
  • social media marketing
  • marketing analytics

Finally, you should be clear on the specific goals that you wish to accomplish. Think in terms of metrics – “raising brand awareness” is a goal that is difficult to measure, whereas “increase traffic by 25% in 3 months” is something you can work with.

Conduct Market Research

Once you have settled on the kind of service you need, it is time to begin browsing online for an agency that fulfills your requirements. Google is a good place to start with your search – just type in the relevant search terms and check the resulting websites.

The about page of a website should be the first place you visit. It should give you some clue as to what you can expect from working with the company in question. Be on the lookout for information regarding their staff, certifications, and technologies they use.

Examine their services next, paying special attention to the pricing model they use. Some companies charge per hour, whereas others set a price for the entire project. If no pricing information is available, you probably move on to your next candidate.

Pay attention to the website itself. A digital marketing agency with a poorly-designed website has no business doing branding work for other people. Be aware that the opposite is not necessarily true – a good-looking site is no guarantee that the services being offered are on par.

Check Your Client’s Reputation

After taking a good look at how a company presents itself, you should see what others have to say as well. Reliable digital marketing agencies won’t hesitate to display customer reviews, testimonials and comments on their own site, but you should broaden the scope of your search just in case.

Do some scouting on social media first. Be on the lookout for influencers that create branding-related content. These individuals will clue you in on who the major players are in the business, in addition to providing valuable advice free of charge.

Next, try getting in touch with your businesses associates, and ask them who they would recommend. If they happen to be clients of the company you are considering to hire, ask them how they feel about the results they got.

It would also be a good idea to ask for a portfolio of some of the branding work the company has done. You can then come to your own conclusion whether what’s on display is worth paying for. If a company refuses to provide a portfolio, that is usually a sign that you should take your business elsewhere.

Watch for Red Flags During Communication

Once you feel you have done enough research, proceed to contact your digital marketing agency of choice. The resulting exchange should tell you all you need to know in order to determine whether this is a company you should do business with. Pay attention to the following red flags while you communicate, as they are clear indicators that something might go wrong down the line.

If they promise to email you supplementary material but fail to do so, this means they are not taking you seriously as a client.

If they use vague or generic answer when responding to your questions, this means that they are not technically proficient to do the work they promised.

If they take too long to respond to your emails, this means that they don’t see you as a priority client, and will not give you the attention you need.

Conclusion

We hope that this guide has shed some light on what is at stake when choosing a digital marketing agency for your branding needs. There are many aspects you need to consider before reaching a final decision, but with enough research and a vigilant attitude, you are certain to find a company that will provide exactly what you are looking for.

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.

Digital Branding

Is Domain Flipping Worthwhile?

Let’s say you’ve decided to launch a music site for which you want the domain name HotBeats.com. You run a domain search and find it available for sale at $106,600. A domain flipper hoping someone with deep pockets will come along is holding it. Seeing this, you’re now questioning your decision to launch a music site at all.

Hey, if all you need to do to make a quick $106k is think up a domain name and wait for somebody to want it, why should you put any energy into actually building out a site? That’s a good question. But we have to ask: Is domain flipping worthwhile?

Is It Ethical?

You’ll find many opinions on this. Some people consider it the 21st century version of squatting, while others feel it’s no different than investing in undeveloped land and waiting for the suburbs to grow out to their holdings.

If you’re the person who wants to name their site HotBeats.com, you’re probably more than a bit irritated with the owner of the domain name. If you’re the seller, you’re glad you have it and look forward to the day somebody wants it. In an ideal world, maybe people would leave things alone so those who will actually use them could access them readily—but business doesn’t work that way.

Can You Make Money?

When you consider HotBeats.org can be had for $7.99, you really have to wonder why somebody would pony up more than the price of a Porsche 911 Carrera, for the .COM. Honestly, the potential website buyer could achieve the same result with a .ORG or a .TODAY for less than the price of a gallon of gas for the car.

With that said, someone is likely to come along eventually and want it enough to negotiate for it. Whether it will go for the full $106,000 is anybody’s guess. But with a starting price that high, it won’t be a cheap purchase.

Photo credit https://pixabay.com/en/domain-names-domain-extension-domain-1772242/

Is it an Easy Business?

Theoretically, all you have to do is think up names someone is likely to want, pay the fees, register them—and wait. However, who knows how long that wait will be? Who knows what people are going to want? Who knows if domain names will even continue to be the standard? After all, with social media in its ascendancy, user handles might supplant domain names at some point. Who really knows?

Of course, that’s just part of being in business. Every potential reward entails a degree of risk. The trick is to minimize risk and maximize the reward.

The Bottom Line

Like so many other industries, a few people are making good money doing it, many are making some money doing it and most are making no money doing it. With that said, if you’re just looking for a clever name for your site and you genuinely want to add value to the world, domain flipping is probably not considered worthwhile to you.

The good news is there are lots of good domain names still out there at reasonable prices. All you have to do is be diligent about your domain search.