Category: Digital Branding

Digital Branding

10 Tips For Your Content Marketing Plan

Having a marketing plan in the digital world of today is important whether you are starting a small business or already manage a large company. Content marketing is a strategic approach focusing on the provision of consistent, relevant content to your target audience. The plan ultimately drives consumer interaction and attracts more customers to your brand. Here are the top 10 tips for your content marketing plan to help you achieve this:

1. Do Proper Research

It is important to analyze your company, the services or products you offer, and even the industry itself before you dive into content marketing. You should find out what interests your target audience to offer them valuable content that they will enjoy. Once you tap into this buyer persona and tailored the content marketing plan to the target audience, you will start seeing more conversions in the end.

2. Establishing Your Objectives

What are your reasons for creating this content marketing plan? What is actually driving it? You obviously want to attract more customers, but getting more specific about your goals will help you identify the most suitable strategy for marketing. For instance, you may wish to improve customer retention, increase brand awareness, generate more sales, or just drive more traffic to your site. Each of the objectives will require a specific strategy, which is why you need to know your objective from the get-go.

3. Search for Content Ideas

Once you determine what your goals are, you can then search for ideas on how to execute your content marketing strategy. The brainstorming stage will help you see what others are doing to ensure that their sites are more SEO-friendly as well as improve their social media outreach. You need to find out how other companies present their videos, podcasts, infographics, and blog posts, noting what is effective about each strategy.

4. Determine the Categories and Subcategories of the Content

A content marketing plan is much more than simply uploading new blog posts each week. You need to set the categories and subcategories of the content to cover all your bases. For example, under “social media”, you should include a list of the social media platforms on which you wish to publish your content.

5. Use an Editorial Calendar

The most engaging content marketing plan is one that sticks to a particular schedule. Using an editorial calendar will help you keep up with the publication dates and motivate you to meet deadlines. The strategy will help you stay focused and avoid procrastinating. Just ensure that you schedule content publication at regular intervals to ensure that your audience stays engaged.

6. Determine Who Is Responsible for Creating the Content

Think about how you will be creating content for your brand. Will you be creating the blog posts yourself? Do you have an in-house content creation team that you have hired? Do you prefer using freelancers? Or do you plan to hire a third-party content company? Each option has its pros and cons, so weigh them carefully.

7. Create Quality Content

The focus should always be on publishing high-quality content whether you are creating it yourself or hiring someone else to do it for you. Know and adhere to your standards and ask for revisions if and when necessary. It’s better to have less high-quality content, rather than lots of lower quality stuff. In fact, a lower quality approach that focuses on having lots of content may harm your brand according to ClickFirst Marketing.

8. Make Recommendations

Recommending other blogs and websites might seem counterintuitive when you are trying to market your brand, but audiences usually respond to such helpful recommendations. To reach an even wider audience, you can network with other companies for mutual recommendations.

9. Customize the Content

Producing content regularly simple will not be enough if it is not original. A better idea would be to customize your posts. Customize the same content for various social media platforms, respond to your audience, and maintain your brand voice.

10. Implement Keywords for SEO Purposes

You can obtain a good SEO position by using the proper keywords, but ensure that you use them wisely. Avoid keyword stuffing and implement your target keywords into the content as naturally as possible.

Digital Branding

Can Buying Social Media Followers and Likes Work for Your Business?

If you’ve got a business you’re trying to promote online, you’re probably already aware of how important social media could be to your plans. If not, then you should be. Social media has become massive in the past decade or so, and for good reason. It’s a hugely powerful marketing tool that you’d be foolish to ignore.

The truth is, you can actually buy Instagram likes and followers and build a successful business from them. Now we’ve got that out of the way, let look at the main subject of this article. Will buying followers and likes on social media platforms like Instagram really work for your business? Let’s have a look at how they could help you grow.

More followers do not mean more customers

Firstly, you need to know that when you buy followers, most of them might not be real people. Even if they are, they’re not the same as getting a genuine follow because they’ve been paid to do so. They’ll be less likely to spend money in your business. But that doesn’t mean they’re worthless — they could still add value to you.

People like to follow what’s already popular

If some of your posts get thousands of likes, more people will see them and more people will think you’re popular. These days, people like to follow what’s already popular, so when real people see how many followers and likes you’ve already got, your brand can snowball and increase its traction. That means someone who sees an Instagram account with 10,000 followers is more likely to follow it themselves than if they saw one with 50 followers. It doesn’t matter that you bought those followers — you could actually get more real ones because you did so.

Having a large following gives your business credibility, and that’s why buying followers and likes can work.

How to buy likes and follows

There are a few places you can get followers and likes from but make sure you use someone good. It’s important that your followers look real so they don’t get removed, or so people don’t start realizing that you bought them. The right supplier will be able to do this for you at a reasonable price.

How to make the most of your existing followers

While buying likes is one way, you can still try and get more followers organically. Try offering them real value so that they keep liking your posts. Exclusive discounts, behind-the-scenes videos, competitions and things like that can work really well. Don’t treat your followers simply as people to be advertised to; give them something fun and entertaining and they should reward you. Post better images and videos to really help your word spread.

How to get more followers organically

Once people start liking your business social media account, they’ll be telling their extended friends to network about you. That’s how a good social media presence can help do a lot of the marketing legwork for you. Keep offering fun and value, and your followers can help do the marketing legwork for you. Some businesses come up with viral hits that get them thousands of new followers almost overnight. Try and do something like that and you could see your following explode.

Digital Branding

How To Come Up With A Business Name

Starting a new business takes a lot of passion, energy, and courage. Now that you have a business plan or at least a one-page version, and you’ve probably already talked to other small business owners and potential customers in your niche or industry, you’re ready to go for it. But one thing is still missing – a name.

A good business name will make your customers remember you easily, could mean free publicity, and it could help you and your future employees remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. There are many specialized naming companies that usually charge thousands of dollars to help business find new, trendy, memorable, industry-wise names that aren’t trademarked. However, when starting a new business, your priorities are most likely elsewhere and your budget won’t allow you to spend that kind of money on just coming up with a new name.

In this post, we’ll share a few ideas on how you can name your small business by looking at some of the popular brands from around the world.

1. Using Acronyms

One of the best ways of coming up with a name is using the first letter(s) of every word in a phrase, or part of names/words. Some good examples of these short domain names in action include BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), AOL (America Online), and BENQ (Bringing Enjoyment and Quality to life).

2. Mashups

You can mix two or more words that are ideally meant to your business. Good examples include Evernote (forever + note), Compaq (computer and pack), Lego (from a Danish phrase “leg godt” meaning “play well”), and Groupon (group and coupon).

3. Borrow some inspiration from literature and mythology

If you have a passion for history or literature, look no further than the Roman and Greek legends. For instance, Nike (the goddess of victory) and Asus (the mythical winged horse called Pegasus). A place, character, or object can also be a good start for a name; like Starbucks (in Moby Dick, Starbuck was a young chief mate of the Pequod) or Samsonite (borrowed from the bible character Samson).

4. Use Foreign words

Even if your business will serve an audience based on one region, using a foreign name (or a foreign sounding one) can be very memorable in the native language of your customers. Look at Audi, whose name is a Latin translation of the German name “Horch”; Daewoo, which means ‘great house’ in Korean; and Altavista, which is Spanish for ‘high view’.

5. Your own name

If other names don’t sound too convincing, why don’t you try using yours? Many of the renowned brands in the world are actually named from their founder’s or owner’s names. For example, Boeing is named after William E. Boeing; Bayer is named after Friedrich Bayer who founded the company; Cadillac was named after Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac, the French explorer; and Grundig which is named after the founder, Max Grundig.

6. Scan your map

The world map can be a great source of inspiration. Adobe, which is named after the Adobe Creek that runs close to the founder house; Fuji, which is named after the highest mountain in Japan; and Amazon, which derives its name from the largest river in the world by volume; are some great examples.

7. Mix things up

Trying different word combinations is another great way of finding a name for your business. For example, you can mix up your name with the place you live, such as IKEA (the name of the founder, Ingvar Kamprad, and where he grew up – Elmtaryd Agunnaryd) and DKNY (Donna Karan New York) did with their brand names.

8. Partner up with another company

If you plan to have another entrepreneur as your partner or merge your business with another, consider using fragments of both names rather than finding an entirely new name. Good examples of this are 20th Century Fox and Ben & Jerry’s.

9. Use Nicknames

Using nicknames or your kid’s names might sound a bit strange, but look at companies like Danone, which was named after the childhood nickname of the founder’s son; and Mercedes, which was named after the daughter of one of the founders. They don’t sound too strange anymore, do they?

10. Use a symbol

Taking a symbol or a key element of your work is another way to come up with a business name, by starting with that word. For example, Pixar is a combination of the word pixel and the initials of the founder: Alvyn Ray Smith.

11. Make the name descriptive

When you think of your company, what’s that one word or phrase that can capture what your company does best or stands for? list all of your options on a piece of paper and visualize a new banner or logo with your name on it. A good example of a brand that uses this technique is 7-Eleven, the supermarket chain, where the name describes exactly what’s special about the business – it’s open every day from 7 am to 11 pm.

12. Use Latin

For those who had a Latin language class in school, you probably never thought you’d ever get to use it in real life. But you were probably wrong. Latin is such a great source for business names. Good examples include two of the most memorable and well-known brand names: Acer, which is Latin for ‘able’, ‘sharp’; and Volvo which is Latin for ‘I roll’. You can also use Latin to start off a new name and then add another word to it as Verizon did with “Veritas” which is Latin for ‘truth’ and “horizon”.

13. View your product or service from new angles

What does your product or service remind you of? Look at it from different perspectives and ask your family and friends to give you ideas of what your product looks like. Good examples of brand names created from this technique include Caterpillar and Blackberry.

14. Try Abbreviations

You can also take a word with a strong meaning for your business and extract a short part of it as Cisco did – it’s from the word San Francisco, where the business was founded.

15. Make Grammatical Errors on Purpose

This method of coming up with a new name is a little risky, and there’s always the possibility of having to listen to people trying to correct your brand name for the next five or ten years. For example, Quora can be taken as a fake plural of the Latin word “quorum” (a public assembly).

16. Invent an Alternate Spelling

Choose a word that’s essential or symbolic for your company and invent a new spelling for it. For instance, Reebok is an alternate spelling of “rhebok” an African antelope.

17. Tell your story

If your business has a great story behind it, why not tell it in your business name. Names born this way include Virgin, which is the founder’s way of saying they were completely new to business; Kenvelo, where the founders were unable to decide on a name and the company was called ‘kenvelo’ meaning ‘yes and no’ in Hebrew; and Mozilla, which is created as the mosaic and internet-browser killer.

18. Talk about what you believe in

If you don’t like the idea of telling your story, you can use the business name as a way of reminding yourself and people who work with you about what you stand for, what you believe in, and why you’re doing what you do. For instance, Minolta means “your principle, what you believe in”.

19. Add a letter or remove one

You could have a really good name for your business, but due to various reasons, be unable to use it as it is. Why not to what Tumblr and Flickr did and skip the last vowel? You can also change or duplicate any letter in such a way that the word is still recognizable.

20. Pick a dictionary word

If you’re still looking for inspiration by the time you reach this point, then you can do what Twitter and Blizzard did and just pick a random word from the dictionary.

Digital Branding

9 Tips For Brand Building Through Web Design

Websites have gained much popularity in the marketing industry today. Brands are keener on building their name and growing their audience through websites. They’re even more popular because of social media, where its links can be attached. For starters, check out websites that will teach you how to create a WordPress website, for example:

  • godaddy.com
  • org
  • com

Building a brand entails you to do more – to work hard for it. It’s more than just your name, your logo, your advertisements, and more so, your product. Here’s how to build your brand through the non-traditional medium – a web design:

Don’t Forget Your Brand Logo

Firstly, and most importantly – put in your brand logo! When a user opens your website, make sure that your logo is the first thing they can see, recognize, and remember. Take note of the following tips:

  • Put it in the center-most portion or on the top-left side of the page.
  • Don’t hesitate to include your logo on the sidebar, header or footer. Make it subtle but clear.
  • Remember one word: VISIBILITY.
  • Make sure your logo isn’t too small (or even too big) when it appears on your website.

Put it on the topmost portion of your homepage, and design your site in such a way where even if the user navigates from one tab to another, your brand logo is still visible.

Study And Do Your Research

Search for other websites that are offering the same products as yours. If you don’t know where to start with your web design, you can get inspiration from them. However, don’t imitate! You can also research on the strengths and weaknesses of their websites and learn from it, to have a draft and an idea on how to go about with your web design.

Make A Detailed Plan

A branding plan is much like your business plan. Think of your brand – its face and image, the products that you’re trying to sell, your goals, your vision and your mission – and how you can integrate this all in your website’s design. The overall style of your website should be coherent with your brand so that it is easier for users to remember your brand. Don’t be afraid to state your company’s vision and mission on your website’s homepage as this will make your target market feel your purpose more. By opening the homepage of your brand’s site, your viewers will immediately have an overview of what your company is, and what it seeks to sell and achieve. Most importantly, photos of your products should be apparent on your website. Avoid putting them over busy backgrounds and utilize that white background instead.

Determine Your Brand’s Target Audience

When you know the target audience of your brand, you’ll know how to set the tone on your website. Be very specific. If your target audience is the socialites, then perhaps you can design your site to be more sleek, polished and elegant. If you’re reaching out to the hippies – go for bright colors, street lingo in your text and all those bold fonts that you can use.

When you have your target in mind, you’re sure that your website is relatable to them.

Be Consistent

Have an overall theme that’s visible through your web design which also correlates to your brand. For example:

  • If you’re trying to sell wellness products, you might want your web design to have a cold, calm and relaxing overall feel.
  • If you’re an online grocery shop, bright colors like yellow will entice your users to buy more, as that color has been psychologically proven to trick people into making them feel like they’re hungry.
  • If you’re a clothes company, complement the type of clothes (and season) that you’re selling: red for autumn/fall, dark colors for winter, bright colors for spring, etc.
  • If you’re selling gadgets, be neutral with your color scheme: remember that men (which forms a majority of your target market) prefer blacks, grays, and whites.

Maintaining your consistency will make viewers remember your website (and your product as well) more. This can, in turn, put you on the top of search options, too.

Use Colors Strategically

The color of your web design should match the overall theme of your product and the message that you would like to convey. When trying to sell children’s toys, use bright kindergarten colors like red, orange, yellow, and green – or think of a rainbow! You need something your users can easily relate to your brand, website name, and products.

Play With Fonts

Using simple fonts will make your viewers focus more on the places that you’re trying to promote. This will make your website function well. If you are a brand whose focus is on travel, your fonts have to be clean, bright and easily understandable. Use fonts wisely. Don’t overuse your choice of fonts – or make too many changes. Headings should all use the same font, so as with subheadings, title topics, etc. The fonts that you use should also match the logo of your brand.

Incorporate Your Mission-Vision Statement

When viewers open your brand’s website, see to it that your mission-vision is visible. This statement will give your target market an overview of what your brand is about and what it needs to achieve. Your web design should be able to incorporate this in a clear and clean way, usually at the leading portion of your website, right next (or below) to where your logo is.

Add-In Images and Other Multimedia

Without images, your website will be dull. No one will ever be interested in opening a boring page. More importantly, users are interested to see some photos of your products. If your brand focuses on homeware, it’s a plus to post pictures on your site of how these products are used in your home or space. Be sure, however, that the photos you post have relevance to your products. Don’t go crazy about posting images just for the sake of doing so even if they have no connection at all to your brand.

Make Your Website Easy To Use

Focus on building the functionality of your web design. Make sure your website’s design is functional and easy to use – even for the not-so-tech-savvy users. Even your grandmother who has just started using the internet should be able to navigate through your website. When your viewer searches for an item on your “search” option, do make sure that they find what they’re looking for, and that your website will load the correct product. Always make products and information about the items that your brand is selling readily-available. Even more important to remember (in marketing your brand) is to enable users to switch search immediately from one product or another (or go back quickly to a previous item they have viewed) without having to scroll through seemingly endless options.

With all these in mind, do remember that building a brand takes time, whether it be through traditional means or through more up-to-date mediums like your website. It doesn’t just happen in the blink of an eye. Branding is very important, and a well-designed website will help you. Put in all the hard work that you can and reap the products of your hard work later on – and that is a well-established brand.

Digital BrandingLegal Branding

Social Media Marketing Advice To Ease Your Mental Health

Using social media in order to market your business may sound like a good idea, but sometimes, doing so can sap away your energy and lead to anxiety. If you find yourself anxious with a sense of dread before logging in, here are some of the ways that you can alleviate these feelings:

1. Take A Break

Though some online sources will have you believe that if you step away from your social media page your business will die, it’s simply not true! Only come back to social media marketing when you feel at ease doing so and can give it to you all. Sometimes, that feeling never comes, and that’s okay, too! There are other avenues in order to reach out to potential and existing clients. In the meantime, allow yourself to recharge by focusing on the more relaxing creative aspects of your business.

The fear of losing clients is real, but do keep in mind that the people who like you will follow you wherever you go. The people that were disinterested or casual dealing with your business were simply never serious in the first place!

2. Don’t Get Overwhelmed

One of the reasons that business owners dread the thought of posting online is simply because they have too many social media pages to create content for according to Chicago based psychologist Clarity Chi. However, one way to circumvent this problem is to become more selective and focus on one or two social media pages that you feel confident working with. For example, some business owners really like how concise Twitter is and it doesn’t need you to post photographs with every Tweet. You can let go of the pressures associated with running online social media accounts by channeling your energy into one or two pages. Most importantly, you can use this time to put more effort into building personal connections with clients.

3. Post Less With Quality Posts

Most business owners make the mistake of choosing to post several times a day in order to get better search engine rankings. Unfortunately, what everyone ignores is that making many posts in one day really just burns you out and in turn, your content quality will start to suffer. Only post when you have something informative to share with clients that they will find helpful.

Does your content matter? Take a moment to consider what you’re about to post, how it can help others, and whether it makes sense to let it go to the public domain. This type of self-reflection gives your content a much-needed boost. Build a network of solid friends equaling a few hundred versus a network of many friends. Numbers do cause undue stress and also make it hard to curate content in your feed that won’t cause depression.

4. Step Back For Creativity

Did you ever notice that the more time you spend online, the more doubtful and competitive you become? When searching through hundreds of feeds and pages a day, it’s only natural to feel like you’re not good enough compared to other people. Take a few days off and go back to the basics of your business. What is it that you love to do? Whether it’s web design or making pottery, get creative and lay the foundation for a better “you”!

5. Be True To Yourself

Authenticity is a word that we often hear, but it isn’t always applied to social media. When you post information online, you have to remember to be as honest as you reasonably can be. You create a persona when you post snippets of your life online, and you want people to connect with you, not just an entity. What causes the most anxiety when it comes to social media is putting up a fake front and acting differently from how you would normally act.

You can combat anxiety by deciding to be true to yourself as well as your brand while promoting your own personal values. Don’t forget that the pressure you put on yourself is the pressure that’s often reflected in your own social media posts.

Former CEO and co-founder of YouTube, Chad Hurley, described the feeling of pressure most people associate with social media the best. He explained that sometimes, you’re most effective when you ignore what others are doing. Many people copy the latest trends and jump on bandwagons without setting their own paths to success. The point is that you don’t need to mimic others when there are so many opportunities out there for you to individually shine.

Not everyone responds to pressure in the same way, but it’s clear that social media is not a one-size-fits-most solution to business marketing. Sometimes, we need to step back to really understand the role that social media plays in our business strategy development. Instead of choosing to follow the crowds, you need to evaluate how you want to proceed with your company’s marketing.

Digital Branding

3 Red Flags to Look Out For When Choosing an SEO Company

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/digital-marketing-seo-google-1725340/ 

Most businesses are taking to the digital world to help get their products and services out to the people that they are marketing to. But with everyone on the World Wide Web blasting information out to the world, it can be very challenging for a company to get noticed with all the competition.

This is where SEO agencies can help. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, refers to the practice of optimizing digital content so it gains prominence over others when certain keywords or terms are run through a search engine. Certain algorithms of search engines like Google and Bing can be very tricky to navigate; SEO agencies help by removing the burden of optimizing content so that their clients’ websites will rank higher on search results.

While websites like BestSEOCompanies.com can help with choosing an SEO agency that will provide results for your business, it’s also important to get your hands dirty and do a bit of research when choosing the best SEO company that you are confident will bring you the results you need. A lot of dubious SEO companies will make offers that are too good to be true just to get you onboard, and will then under-deliver or give results that aren’t what you signed up for.

Here are a few red flags to look out for when finding an SEO company for your business:

Pricing

How much an SEO company will ask you to pay for their services can be a direct indicator of the quality of work that they will do. If an SEO company has a very low price point for the services they want to provide you, you’re most likely getting poor quality work that will either have very little effect on your search engine rankings or worse, get you punished or blacklisted by the search engine.

Conversely, an SEO company with a high asking price might also not be aware of the conditions that they operate in; there are a lot of SEO agencies that provide high-quality work at reasonable market prices. It’s best to shop around and make a comparison so you can determine the average price for the amount of work you need done at the quality you want to have.

Timeframe

One thing businesses have to understand about SEO is that results do not show up in a matter of days. The indexing process takes a longer time than say, a week. Thorough research has to be done on the content that you provide, and the keywords that your target market uses regularly.

Additionally, search rankings done by Google, for example, are done on a periodic basis. The search ranking schedule alone should tell you that any SEO company who says that they can make your website land on the first page within two days to a week is probably overselling their capabilities or is unaware of how search engines work

Content

Reputable SEO companies will actually provide you with a few samples of the work they do based on previous client submissions. When examining their body of work, be on the lookout for content that has too many links. Overlinked articles will actually be penalized by search engines and will result in lower rankings or potential blacklisting.

It would also do well to ask about the quantity of the work that they submit to search engines. Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo have all advised that over-submission of a site to search engines can actually decrease your search ranking. So be wary if a company makes claims relating to the quality and quantity of the content they submit.

instagram opens new marketing opportunities
Digital Branding

How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Brand

Gone are the days when Facebook was the only platform where people could promote their brand or market their business. Now is the time when there are a lot of other social media platforms that are quite famous with higher user engagements than Facebook and here by those platforms we are talking about none other than Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest etc.

Encourage followers in Instagram marketing

Instagram is the application that has a lot of hype nowadays, and well, all the hype for this application is quite justified as there are more than 700 million monthly active users on Instagram and this figure is increasing each day. You might be wondering that what’s so special about this platform and why is it so famous nowadays. Well, there are two reasons to why Instagram is growing. First of all, it’s an easy to use application with no complications and second, it’s a visually based platform where your pictures and videos do the talking.

Now, if you are someone new to the digital marketing world and if you want to promote your brand then we’d suggest you to start with Instagram because it actually is a pretty effective platform that can bring you a lot of followers and customers within a short time span.

Want to know how to get started on Instagram? Well, here’s what you need to do;

Set up Instagran

1- Set up your business account

The first thing that you need to do is to set up your business account on Instagram, and that too is very easy. All you need to do is to sign up, put in your information, put your brand name, and get started. You will be guided by Instagram on what steps you need to take to make your account perfect for your brand. If it’s for your brand, then keep your personal account separate from your business account. Keep one thing in your mind that your audience cares about what you have to offer to them and how you are offering it to them. They clearly don’t care about your selfies or anything related to your personal life so make sure to stay brand oriented and focus on telling people about your brand.

2- Content matters the most

Sure, you can opt for buying Instagram followers but you need to make some effort on your own too, and that’s possible if you post quality content. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or any other platform, your content will always be the king, and you cannot drift away from this fact. So, the first thing you need to put all your focus on is your content. Make sure that you’ve got the best photography skills and the best-edited posts because that’s what will bring you more and more followers.

Use hashtagsin Instagram marketing

3- Using hashtags

Hashtags should be your number one priority because they will help you increase your visibility. At the end of the day, it’s all about increasing your visibility because that’s the only thing that will bring your more and more customers. You see Instagram allows you to put a total 30 hashtags under each of your posts and you need to think of these 30 hashtags as 30 different opportunities to come in front of your customers. So, never forget using the hashtags and give some extraordinary captions too.

Conclusion

These are some of the main tips that can help you promote your brand on Instagram. You can also use ads to increase your visibility and gather more customers. Use these tips, and we promise you that you will see some positive results within a short time period.

Digital Branding

Video Marketing Tips to Get You Ready for 2019

Video marketing and video content, in general, will become more prominent in 2019. More and more marketers are using video content to convey key messages for one simple reason: the audience responds better to videos.

The video marketing landscape is about to get more competitive as we get closer to 2019, so it is time to bring your best game and craft a campaign that separates you from your competitors. These next tips and tricks will help you get ready for 2019.

Photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/two-person-watching-video-on-laptop-1321732/ 

Tell a Story

I cannot stress enough how important it is to tell a compelling story when producing video content for marketing purposes. While promotional videos worked really well a few years ago, the way forward is capturing the stories around your products and delivering those stories in a positive and engaging way.

Storytelling should be a big part of your video marketing campaign. The best agencies like Spiel Creative now focus not just on the short-term, in-the-moment stories, but also on the bigger picture; they use long-term brand stories to convey their message to the audience. You should too.

Make Demos Interesting

Just because you need to start telling stories, it doesn’t mean you should drop making product videos altogether. There are still ways to utilize product videos and product-related tutorials to engage the audience. That said, you need to make demo videos and other relevant content more interesting.

One of the ways you can do that is by employing 360-video technology. Rather than displaying the product in a more conventional way, you can add a 360-degree view of the product in video format. You can then use the content on your product page and other outlets.

Go with Explainers

Animated explainer videos, as well as whiteboard videos, are also going to be more popular in 2019. They are as effective as they were this year, but with a few added tweaks you can now use to boost the level of effectiveness further.

For example, you can make an explainer video that also works when the audience is only listening to the audio rather than actively watching the video. This is a content consumption pattern that it is certainly a trend you want to follow.

Think Mobile

Don’t forget that the majority of your viewers use mobile devices, which means you need to start tailoring your content for mobile audiences first. Avoid text and captions that are too small, elements that will not work on smaller screens, and videos that will not work without sound.

The latter is another data-driven strategy based on viewers’ content consumption pattern. We see people staring at their screens without wearing headsets, tuning in to videos with clear captions and engaging content that they really enjoy.

Rely on Data

Analytics and data-driven decision making are also becoming more prominent in 2019. The decisions you make regarding your video marketing campaign and the content you put out must take the available insights into consideration whenever possible; by “whenever possible,” I mean most of the time.

Data and other supporting information give you the reasons behind usage patterns and other insights you gather from the market. A good video marketing campaign is one that gets evaluated and refined regularly. The more you rely on data, the more you will understand your users and how to best cater to their content needs.

(Always) Deliver Value

While storytelling is the core of many successful video marketing campaigns in the future, delivering value remains one of the most important objectives to achieve. You cannot expect viewers to continue watching your videos when they don’t deliver value.

At the very least, you must deliver relevant information about your products and services. Adding information about how to benefit more from the products and services you have is also a good way to add value to your videos.

Commit!

Consistency is another important element if you want to have a successful video marketing campaign. You cannot build a larger and stronger audience base when you only upload one video every two months.

You need to invest in making more content while maintaining – if not improving – your production quality at the same time. Ideally, you want to release a new video every week to keep users excited and wanting for more. That takes a lot of commitment.

Involve the Customers

Telling stories about your products and services doesn’t always mean telling YOUR SIDE of the story. You can also explore the products’ stories from the customers’ standpoint. In fact, you should. Testimonials and user stories are some of the most engaging video content to produce right now, and it will continue to be impactful in 2019.

Always find ways to connect with your real customers and the audience in general. You can feature their stories to build even stronger relationships with the viewers. Besides, you can never go wrong with investing in relationships and maintaining genuine connections with your audience.

Use Video in Other Activities

Video marketing – just like other digital marketing instruments – cannot stand on its own. However, there so many ways to use video content to help the rest of your digital marketing efforts. You can, for instance, use videos to boost conversion rates with a stronger and more compelling call to action.

There is no better time to start crafting and fine-tuning your video marketing campaign for 2019 than right now. We are still a few weeks away from the New Year, but getting a head start is never a bad idea.

Digital Branding

Empowering Small Business Tips For 2019

The Small Business Environment Has Changed

A small business can contend with a large enterprise through today’s technological solutions. Consider this as a hypothetical example: totally outsourced infrastructure. Using cloud computing you can outsource the cost of your internal servers, the cost of end-user portals, the cost of office space, and even the cost of certain personnel like those in payroll, or IT. This is all made possible through cloud computing. Computation, Big Data, software design, network management, and more can all be pursued through the cloud, and independent of location. All that is necessary is having valid access information for a given network, and a secure internet connection. One reason so many small businesses are going to the cloud is that they can save tens of thousands of dollars a month. Technology has a lot of little “life hacks” of this kind that businesses who are savvy will employ in 2019 to give themselves a competitive edge, increase profit margins, and decrease operational costs. Today’s business is on the edge of tomorrow, to make a cliché phrase. What this means is that you need to know what comes with the dawn of 2019. One area where you can be the early small business bird who gets the profit worm ahead of competing peers will be in the world of blogging. Following, tips from skilled bloggers with advice for small businesses will be explored to help give you an idea of what you’re facing, and what you can do.

1. Frank Telesphore, SEO BH

I realized a long time ago that my blog only has so much visibility on the web. It’s like a marble on a sheet stretched over an empty space. That marble’s weight is drawn by gravity into the sheet, and it pulls on the fabric’s elasticity, making a dimple. No matter the size of the marble, it only pulls the sheet down in one place. However, if you’ve got multiple marbles of similar weight across the surface area of the sheet, you can pull the whole thing down incrementally. This takes balance, and here the analogy breaks down; because round objects on such a taut surface will group together. The point is, you can make a bigger imprint if you’re pushing on the surface area of marketing outreach from multiple separate “nodes”—or, in this case, on the surface area of the internet from different blogs. Guest blogging is a great way to increase your online visibility. Basically, you send some of your content to blogs which are similar to yours. They have their own audience, and ideally, it has a crossover with yours. Ultimately, you can “double down” on the reach of a single piece of content. In terms of 2019 considerations, you’re going to want to ensure all content is optimized for smartphone use, as mobile web engagement has outpaced that of the desktop variety. Also, you’ll want to create content that is animated, pictorial, film-based, or of the infographic variety. Attention spans are down, but susceptibility to visual stimulus is up.

2. Robert Laumer: Brain Juice

One big trend I’ve noticed businesses following in 2018, and getting primed to be prolific in throughout 2019, involves co-opting user content. The truth is, people are social. They like to talk. They want to talk. They’re going to talk. And they’re not always going to have things to talk about, meaning over time, they’ll get in the habit of providing exposition for any aspect of their daily grind which is of interest to them. When you provide clientele with good products or services, there is a natural likelihood that they’ll go online and write about what you’ve done for them. Get links to that information and post it on your own pages. Whenever you have user reviews, you want that front-and-center. Search engines will key in on words and phrases matching what you do. User reviews can increase your online visibility. Also, you’ll eventually get customers loyal enough they’re essential “apologists” for your company. Think of those who love Apple, and those who love Microsoft. Or Chevy, and Ford. These rivalries cut deep. Co-opt them by contacting passionate customers, and putting their opinions on your blog. Becoming interconnected online, co-opting user content, and finding innovative ways to secure reviews will be key in 2019. As a closing cherry on top, one tactic to get reviews if you don’t have them is to write reviews for customers you know are satisfied, show those clients the review(s) you’ve written, and get their permission to publish in their name.  

3. Simon Cocking: Irish Tech News

Have a clear and logical reason for why you are doing social media, and how it is helping to advance and raise awareness about your business. It is not enough to ‘just hire a millennial’ and tell them ‘to do social media’. You need someone who understands and cares what your business does, and is able to communicate this with others.

4. Tom LeBlanc: Emerald Expositions

Focus on service revenue. Small businesses should take a cue from their much-larger competitors and shift their focus away from selling products in favor of providing consistently valuable solutions to customers via service contracts or managed services. It requires significant infrastructure support and unique selling strategies, but the revenue model improves cash flow and insulates businesses from ebbs and flows in the economy.

5. Arash Asli: Yocale

Always enjoy the journey or the quest you’ve set out on and take some time to embrace your surroundings and be grateful for how far you’ve come and looked forward to where you’re heading. By working on that, you start treating your life and work more as a process of small accomplishments instead of as one big milestone you have to achieve. When you go hiking a mountain, and you have your head down trudging along and all you’re trying to do is get to the top fast as you can. You’re missing out on the best part… The journey and the view along the way. Remind yourself to look around and enjoy the moment.

6. Sunil Khullar: Outsourced Bookkeeping

Now it is a high time where people losing their trust in the largest brands like Amazon, Google and Facebook due to many serious scandals on human rights violations, privacy issue, and even online cheating. It is the best time for the small business owners to revitalize their communities in small towns.
The best suggestion for every entrepreneur is to think out of the box to overcome these aforesaid shortcomings coming in the path of success of your business. We advise the small business owners to outsource their accounting and bookkeeping activities for all betterment of their business.

  • Cost control is one of the most obvious reasons to outsource. It controls capital as well as operating costs.
  • You will get technology and infrastructure without investing in extra capital. As a result, you will be in a better position to invest the fund elsewhere to get the most of it.
  • Avoiding large expenses at early stages gives your start-up and small business the financial stability and strength to compete in the market.
  • You can start a new project right away depending on the outsourcing services. Often it has been seen in-house staffs are not that expert to deal with the circumstances effectively.
  • Outsourcing frees up your staff and reduces their workload. As a result, you will get more time to restructure and deploy the staff force in some other productive work to generate profit.

7) Matthew Osborn, director of marketing: Apruve.com

Being a small business comes with one very large benefit, speed. Without the layers of red tape that exist in a large corporate entity, your business can quickly implement campaigns in less than half of the time. Use this to your advantage by creating numerous campaigns and continually testing what works and what doesn’t. Through marketing automation, small businesses can expand their reach to the size of a large corporate entity without the overhead but with double the speed.

8) Rebecca Winslow, Co-Founder at Flashion Statement

Make sure your website has a great user experience so that your potential clients are not overwhelmed or frustrated (is anything worse than a website that takes foreverrrr to load?!). It is important that potential leads can easily navigate your website, and quickly learn how your company can help them. Creating a separate mobile site, or making sure your website is responsive is increasingly important as more and more people use their phones for shopping and product research. 
 
Once you have an upstanding website, you can further stand out by sharing your company’s story, visuals of your employees, and outline why you stand out from your competition. It is important for small business’ websites to connect and engage.

9) Daniel Miller, Benchmark Email

If you aren’t yet using email marketing to help grow your business, say goodbye to 1999 and enter 2019!

With excuses ranging from “I don’t have time” to “It’s too complicated” here are 3 of the most important things, you can do to win at email marketing in 2019.

Signup Forms with Welcome Automation. If you have a website or presence anywhere on the internet, make sure you have a way to capture email addresses from digital visitors. After that, make sure to set up a welcome email, or better yet, a welcome series. These are just emails that are automatically sent to each subscriber after they signup. Don’t overthink these emails. Just provide your new subscribers with a warm welcome and show them you have competence in your industry. Answer this question with a series of emails: Why should they do business with you?

Cart Abandonment Automation. Over 70% of website visitors will abandon the cart. What better way to increase sales than to set up automation that brings potential buyers back to your store. It will take you less than 45 min to set up and can generate 15% – 25% more sales.

Up-sell Follow-up Automation. The old saying, “Strike while the iron is hot” has come a long way and it’s still relevant. Happy customers are likely to buy from you again. Ride that way and set up follow up automation that offers upgrades, related products, and services or maybe a refer a friend deal. Whatever it is, strike while the iron is hot!

10) Shiv Arora, 3 Wise Bears

As a small business, we make use of cloud software to gain not only operational efficiency but improve client communication. The ability to see the same data at the same time as our clients lead to better conversations about business performance and tax efficiency. If you are a small business owner then we would recommend using either FreeAgent or Xero for your accounting needs.

11) Graham Lee, Marketing Manager at Vonigo

Optimize for your customers’ convenience. In 2019, that means recognizing that most transactions start with some amount of research online and that the bulk of that traffic is on mobile. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and offers customers the most convenient experience possible. Do you do deliveries or perform home services? Offer online booking. Need to confirm appointments or schedules? Use email automation and software tools that keep things up to date and on-task. Increasingly, businesses that recognize the value of their customer’s time will be the ones that win the business. Invest in your company’s infrastructure now, and reap the rewards of building an admired brand that stays ahead of your competition.

12)  Rohan Mendiratta, Marketing @ SendX.io

Despite so many new marketing channels emerging lately, it’s never been a better time for small businesses to enter the market. However, when it comes to actual revenue, Email Marketing still remains one of the highest and most predictable ROI channels there is. Most businesses tend to ignore it because they don’t see enough ROI upfront. Which makes their email marketing investments hard to justify and they end up trying out other channels instead. When it comes to Email Marketing, one thing that is frequently overlooked is optimizing for maximum efficiency throughout. It’s extremely important to focus on speed and on the things that actually move the needle. At the same time, being capital-efficient with software costs must be a high priority for your small business to ensure maximum positive returns. Getting bogged down on creating the most beautiful email or creating the most advanced automation sequence is only going to cost you time and money. Especially if you aren’t at a place where you can justify solid ROI from Email Marketing yet.

13) Jonathan Kruse, founder of How to Start a Clothing Company

The customer is everything. If you only have one customer, or thousands, help them in any way you can so they have the experience you would want. 
 
Digital Branding

How to Generate More Sales with Digital Marketing Campaigns

In 2017, advertisers spent 209 billion USD on digital ads worldwide compared to only 178 billion USD for their more traditional TV counterparts. The statistics show that the future of marketing is increasingly headed towards the digital space, as more and more businesses compete, promote and sell their products and services online.

You may have always wanted to use digital marketing to do the same for your business, but you’ll need to initiate a series of actions known as campaigns to convert a potential customer into a buyer. But how can you generate more sales of your products or services with digital marketing campaigns? Here are some of the ways:

  1. Build a website for your business.

Businesses that originated prior to the Internet’s existence had to have a brick and mortar location so that people knew they were around. However, in recent years, it’s easier to start a business of your own even without the initial need for a physical address. All you need to do is to establish your presence on the Internet through the creation of a website where you can sell whatever products or services that you want your target customers to avail from you.

It’s entirely up to you if you wish to build a website on your own, if you have enough coding and web design skills under your sleeve, or outsource it to a web development agency instead. No matter the current size of your business, you shouldn’t skimp on building an updated website unless you want to earn a bad reputation for being out of touch with the times. Remember, the website is the face of the company.

  1. Optimise your business website for search engines’ top ten results.

Even if you already have a business website built, don’t expect it to generate a decent amount of visitor traffic and eventually sales of whatever products or services you offer on its own. To organically increase the number of potential customers visiting your business website, you should make some adjustments to it such that it would consistently appear in the first page of results of every search engine with the use of search engine optimization (SEO) practices.

A few of those adjustments you can make right off the bat include naturally incorporating keywords throughout your website content that your target customers would most likely type, putting descriptive and relevant alt text in all of your site’s images, and ensuring that every webpage of your business website has an easily readable URL.

After all, you wouldn’t want your business website to die a silent death after it gets listed anywhere other than search results page one.

  1. Make your business website mobile-friendly.

In 2018, mobile users make up a majority of Internet users. It only follows that you should make your business website mobile-friendly so that you can attract more customers who might chance upon it while casually browsing on their preferred handheld device. To optimise your business website for mobile, you should use responsive design wherein its layout as well as all images in it would adjust themselves to scale no matter the size of a device’s screen. All buttons in your business website’s mobile-friendly version should also be large enough to prevent anyone accessing it from tapping on the wrong button or link.

  1. Consider setting up a blog for your business as well.

Even if you’ve already established a website for your business, your target customers would want to seek a more genuine connection with you. They want to feel that they’re more than just mere digits to your business’s sales figures. That’s why aside from putting up a website, you should also consider creating a blog for your business as well where you can connect to your target customers and sell you’re your products or services without sounding too cold and distant. You can incorporate it as part of your business website just like how most others do it – though you can also try making a standalone business blog as well if your budget permits you to do so.

Just make sure to craft content for your business blog that’s uniquely yours, interesting, relevant, informative, and of added value to your target customers all at the same time. For best results, combine long-form content that anyone can easily finish in less than five to ten minutes, the occasional infographic, and video posts in your business blog.

  1. Use social media to your advantage.

Assuming you’ve already built a website and blog for your business, you might find their visitor traffic to be quite lacklustre. You can remedy that by tapping into the vast pool of potential customers known as social media.

You’ll very rarely meet anyone interested to avail of a product or service who still doesn’t have any social media account nowadays that it’s only logical for you to set up at least one for your business as well. However, you should identify which social media platform a majority of your potential customers often use. If most of your target market is on Facebook, for example, it won’t make any sense at all to sell your products or services via Twitter.

Conclusion

While traditional marketing has yet to go completely extinct, its digital counterpart threatens to displace the decades-long monopoly it once had, especially as more and more people learn about the products and services being sold by different businesses online. That’s why as someone who has a business of your own, you should allocate a good portion of your budget on doing the above-listed digital marketing campaigns to generate more sales of the products or services that you offer. But in case you find it difficult to implement them yourself, you can consider hiring a digital marketing agency instead – though you should ensure that they use a large file transfer service whenever they send their work back and forth with you.