Category: Digital Branding

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.

Digital Branding

The Importance of Personalization in E-commerce Industry – Tailored for your Customer

 

‘’ Men are like wine – Some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age‘’ – Pope John XXIII

Just like wine, personalization has been aging gracefully and has come of age. Today, personalization has become contextual and is heavily leveraged by data. User experience in Human Computer Interaction will be divergent in the near future as the Artificial Intelligence which we interact with becomes more aware of the context of interactions. Presently, using purchase histories, the algorithm suggests items for buying products based on the customer’s buying and behavior pattern analysis.

According to a study, approximate 65% were sent an email from a brand. Out of those of 65%, 82% opened the email as the subject line was customized.

 

Marketers are hacking this simple marketing trick to improve conversion rates. Marketers who correlate impact of personalization on conversion rate see an average rise of approximate 19% in online sales. Most companies make personalization a top priority.

Today, personalization can be done at multiple channels and customer touch points through CRM tools. Consumers know that they are being tracked online for marketing purposes and they react positively for personalized experiences. A recent poll on what activities consumers online are likely to indulge on websites that personalize their experiences shows that approximately 50% would come back to the website and 46% would buy products and services from the website.

As the stats echo personalization is required for creating brand affinity and loyalty. Personalization provides meaningful experiences to consumers at every touch point. Data is a key enabler and a powerful predictor of customer’s daily activities and acts as a template for gaining useful insights.

E-commerce websites have been incorporated with semantics enhanced strategies and time aware recommendations. Most companies keep personalization as their top priority. However, they fail to implement it because of multiple user interfaces, pricing policies, and customized check out methodologies.

Psychological effects such as emotions and attention along with the change of perceptions can be triggered through visually appealing user interfaces and layouts. This is a great guide on marketing and engaging with a distracted customer. So why do people crave for personalized products?

According to me, personalization is something similar to garnishing an already expensive dish. Garnishing is an easy way to ensure the food looks as good as it tastes. Many e-commerce industries provide great customer experiences through an implementation of customer relationship management software.

Service CRM handles personalization so effectively that it brings the spotlight onto the customers and makes them the centre of attraction. When you are getting something focused towards you, it creates a sense of ownership. How many times have you got Goosebumps when your close friend or wife calls you by your first name? Hearing name triggers greater brain activity and more and more organizations are now understanding that addressing and remembering customer names are a key to winning that person over. CRM tools can send automated messages with customer names during wedding anniversary or birthdays.

Some of the other methods that marketers use to create personalization are through programmatic marketing, retargeting, proximity marketing, and consumer owned contents. Using programmatic marketing, buyers are served ads based on their needs and preferences. Retargeting, on the other hand, is a cookie based technology to follow buyers as they move from one website to another. Retargeting helps customers based on their online practices and intentions.

Proximity marketing lets marketers target buyers based on where they visit offline. Consumer owned content may include adding customers Instagram photos after their product purchase or by providing links to customer’s Facebook or Twitter posts.

Personalization reduces information overload on the customer and provides them with internal sense of control. More and more online retailers are allowing customers to customize their products based on their preferences online. Users take delight in designing the products as they have greater flexibility to add colors and accessories. This generates high website engagement.

Customers become the participants in the product development cycle. They are effectively converted from buyers to customer advocates. Custom designs can be created with product personalization software. Some of the highly accepted customizable products online include T-shirts, furniture, laptop skins and posters.

Customer metrics can be procured through service CRM and loyalty programs may be created. Send right emails and messages to the right person at the right time by using service CRM software. No customer wants to feel like a number, they want to feel understood and valued. So, personalized stories based on products can be created. Personal stories can move both the heart and the mind.

‘’The ability to see our lives as stories and share those stories with others is at the core of what it means to be human‘’ – John Capecci and Timothy Cage.

CRM tools can effectively bridge the gap between customer’s preferences and big data as both can be merged for gaining productive insights regarding consumer behavior for targeted marketing strategies. Personalization can be effective paraphernalia for business dominance in the competitive market.

Digital Branding

Healthcare Marketing: Five Google Analytics Features You Should Use

If you are marketing a medical or a healthcare website, the web analytics should be an essential component of your online strategy. And Google Analytics is known to be the most effective tool helping to understand your online audience and to find out what content they enjoy and which platforms they use. It’s also quite handy when it comes to determining their conversion rate. Regardless of the size of your medical practice, introducing Google Analytics to your digital marketing can help you to utilize the use of your budget.

 

More than a half of medical marketing professionals are already using Google Analytics. However, most of them are missing out on the features which may help to transform the online presence, as well as bring even more consumers and profit.

 

Here are five ‘hidden’ features of Google Analytics that only a few people actively use:

  1. Website Search

These days almost every website has a search bar for visitors to find the information they are looking for. The availability of this feature is not only crucial for your website usability but also can help you to understand what information you need to include on your website. And the Site Search feature of Google analytics can help you to retrieve this data. By using this tool, you will be able to find out which products and services are valuable to your visitors, as well as measure your website’s usability.

 

You can enable the Site Search feature in the Admin section of your Google Analytics account. Just follow these steps:

 

  • Go to Admin section
  • Click on “View Settings” under the website you would like to track
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page
  • Turn the switch on and fill in two fields with the website’s search parameters. Search parameters are the words and phrases that precede a query in your URL.
  • Enter search parameters into the Query Parameter section and everything except specific search terms will be filtered out from your report.

 

If you did this correctly, you would be able to view the search data under the Site Search segment of the Behavior section under your Google Analytics’ account reports.

  1. Weighted Sort

When examining the performance of your website pages, you can quickly sort the Google Analytics table by the number of ‘page views’ and ‘bounce rate.’ You can do it by clicking on the particular heading. Yet, just sorting the table by one attribute of your choice may not give you the full view, since arranging by bounce rate won’t put your pages in order by traffic volume and vice versa.

 

The Weighted Sort feature may help you with that. It allows Google Analytics users to see which pages have both high traffic volume and bounce rate. This information is useful to spot the conversion opportunities you missed. Moreover, it is easy to activate and use Weighted Sort feature. Just click the “Bounce Rate” column header to sort all your rows, and then click on the drop-down menu next to “Sort Type” and select “Weighted” from the list. The first page in the list will have the highest bounce rate as well as page views.

  1. Trackbacks

It is easy to get lost in Google Analytics with its numerous valuable features. Yet, there is a section which is dedicated to social media and can help you to measure its impact on your healthcare website SEO. This function is called ‘Trackbacks’. It helps you to see who engaged with your website content, including blog articles, downloadable content or even with any product page. You can check how many times the same URL linked to your site, as well as separate passive visitors from active (engaged) ones.

 

It is essential to note that whenever you have an opportunity to share your content or to co-sponsor an event, you should also approach it as an excellent opportunity for the link building. Link building is a crucial part of successful healthcare SEO strategy.

  1. Funnel Visualization

The Funnel Visualization feature under Google Analytics helps to analyze the journey of your website visitors. It shows the path of your visitor through the site until they abandoned their original way, visited pages and left the website.

 

The principal focus of the Funnel Visualization feature is measuring the website’s conversion rate. And if you have ‘Goals’ set up, you can monitor what prevents users from reaching your goals, i.e., making a decision, booking an appointment, contacting you or purchasing something. The Funnel Visualization is the way to track which marketing campaigns perform well and which are not. At the same time, it provides a deep understanding of visitors’ drop-offs from the web pages and ways to optimize them for more conversions.

  1. Remarketing Lists

Remarketing is known to be one of the most powerful tactics healthcare marketers should use. And Google Analytics’ Remarketing feature can help you to capture the potential clients who didn’t convert the first time they visited your website. It is used to optimize the message which didn’t work the first time around. Thus, it gives you a second chance to convert website visitors into customers. Moreover, it allows you to spend less on your advertisement.

 

It is essential to note that the Remarketing feature works with Google AdWords accounts. It helps you to create lists of potential customers and target them during your future marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, it is not possible to use this feature without an active Google AdWords account.

 

To turn on this feature, please follow these simple steps:

  • Under Admin section of your Google Analytics find Property column and click on “Remarketing” under it
  • Click on “Audiences” drop down to create custom audiences
  • Let Google create it with the help of a Smart list or create your list based on new and returning visitors of the website. You can also create such a list using the particular website page visitors who reached a predefined milestone or purchased something.

Once the audience created, you can add it to your future advertising campaigns at Google Adwords.  Google Analytics limits you to 2000 remarketing audience lists per account.

Keep abreast of Google Analytics improvements and updates

Google Analytics often updates its interface and adds new features, so even the most frequent users can miss out something. So it is very crucial to repeatedly look through your analytics account to find out which new features are added.

 

For your comfort, Google has released numerous training sessions and study materials to watch and read to get acquired with this powerful tool. Moreover, it is possible to get certificates by passing free exams available online.

 

Google Analytics is highly critical for search engine optimization (SEO); it allows measuring the return of your link building, content marketing, and social media efforts. And the mindful use of Google Analytics, which is easy to install and setup, may do wonders. It can help you not only to measure your rankings, but also to check whether your website provides your visitor with the information they had been looking for.

 

Spend some time on the research of features, and no doubts you will understand how your website is converting (or not converting) your visitors.

Digital Branding

How One Smartphone App Can Make Classroom Management Simple

How One Smartphone App Can Make Classroom Management Simple

Both public and private education have found themselves crippled by the lack of technology in the industry, especially in rural areas. Some schools have even found themselves still presenting information without the assistance of even a simple PowerPoint tool and projector connected to the computer. Even then, teachers find themselves having to rushing back and forth between their computers and desks while also keeping students attentive and focused. Teachers may even find themselves thinking “Well, what if I could control the classroom on my phone and NOT be bound to my desk for a change?” ClassDojo, a free app that can be used on phones and computers, answers this question and finally solves the issue of teachers being glued to their desks by connecting to interactive whiteboards, laptops, desktops and/or smart phones.

The app features a toolkit that has many functions assisting teachers in the classroom including picking volunteers, creating groups and presenting instructions. It is focused on monitoring classroom behavior and giving directions without the added stress. Classroom management is one of the most important challenges that teachers face as it affects every other aspect of teaching. So what exactly is the solution? The app helps with this by re-enforcing positive behavior when a teacher chooses to award a student and letting students know when a behavior isn’t accepted in the class. The “dojos” or points awarded through the app mainly let the student know when a behavior is good or bad with an optional sound to notify students. Teachers can take this a step further by adding prizes for students with the most points, encouraging positive behavior even more.

The app can also monitor data on what students are performing the best and which aren’t. The data isn’t just available to teachers though, students and parents can also view how themselves or their child is behaving in class. There was also the release of theTrendSpotter feature in 2013, which allows teachers to view which times students are in their best behavior and when they’re struggling to pay attention. Maybe students struggle particularly on Mondays after coming back from a fun-filled weekend. On the other side of things, maybe Fridays are incredibly hard as students are eager to leave the classroom and have less focus on it. Either way, TrendSpotter allows teachers to see when they’re having the most difficulties with students, giving them the opportunity to implement new strategies and create the best learning environment possible for their students.

Overall, the app allows teachers to manage their classrooms more effectively and gives them, the students and parents relevant data to help each of them succeed. It is convenient and saves time by allowing teachers to record behavior at any time, post instructions on an interactive white board and help create groups and volunteers in the classroom for questions or cleaning up. To top it all off, the app is completely free as mentioned earlier and can be used on any web browser as well as any smartphone.

Digital Branding

Warehouse Rental: A Comprehensive Market Place

 

As you launch a business, announce plans for celebrations or plan an event for religious ceremonies, you’d naturally be concerned about space. Even if you’ve been in this business for some time but did not need much space during the initial period, you will find yourself in need of larger spaces once your operation expands. This is why having a convenient way to browse and choose the warehouse suited to your needs is a convenient and practical facility. Your warehouse rental doesn’t have to be permanent and you can search through a variety of warehouses with rentals varying in the length of time (usually based on hours or days) and prices.

A flourishing business involves clients, services, faculty, machines and equipment, goods, paperwork, and inventory at a much larger scale than that of individual or home based businesses. In fact, not just businesses alone but events like wedding ceremonies, graduation parties, religious ceremonies etc. all require space and what better way to accommodate yourselves than that of renting a warehouse? Warehouse rental is the ultimate deal for individuals and business owners. Warehouses entail a wide variety; manufacturing buildings, industrial premises, event venues, and multi-use spaces are all considered warehouses that serve as space properties. These spaces can be used for various purposes such as production, parties, corporate events, storage, distribution etc.

The nature of your purpose primarily determines the type of space, property or venue is best suited for you. This factor also determines your space leasing needs with regards to the rental period. For example if you are targeting an audience in a particular city like LA, you’d want to choose the most suitable venue and duration that enhance your access to them.

Space warehouse generally covers the following subsets:

– Party
– Meeting
– Workshop
– Film shoot
– Photo shoot
– Wedding
– Performance
– Storage
– Fitness Class
– Dinner

Navigation 

Warehouse rental Los Angeles is an exciting and a happening prospect. If you are one of those who aspire to showcase their exhibitions before the elegant yet rowdy and hedonist society of LA, you can use platforms that compile all available and vacant venues displaying rental charges, and date availability in just a few clicks. These platforms are designed to filter out the best options, while at the same time, allow you to enjoy features like price comparison, immediate connection with the hosts and booking facilities all in just one navigation. This is a relief in itself as you all know how frustrating traditional search engines can be. At times, it is troubling to find exactly what you’re looking without exhausting yourself completely.

With legit marketplace platforms that feature searches over a wide variety of warehouse you can look forward to planning a number of events in your life. One of the best things about such platforms is that they have prices quoted upfront for you to explore. You can imagine how exhausting it is to send emails for rental inquiries to various sites just to be ignored by some and receive negative or unsatisfying responses from the others.

Vicinity 

Another particular feature about a warehouse marketplace is that it compiles all positive venues from a particular vicinity. This means you don’t have to worry about missing out on venues that may offer you the right deal. You get to enjoy a comprehensive search result from all the available warehouses in the LA vicinity.

Digital Branding

How to Instil Your Brand With Remote Teams

Guest post by Gemma Church 

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

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

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

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

  1. Find the right tools for your staff

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

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

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

  1. Organise incentivized meetups

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Reinforce your values

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

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

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

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

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

About the author

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

Digital Branding

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

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

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

1. Weekly or monthly discounts

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

2. Cart abandonment email

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

3. Special holiday or season deals

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

4. Prelaunch coupons

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

5. Minimum value to get discount

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

6. Special discount for sharing on social media

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

7. Refer-a-friend

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

8. Welcome discount for new customers.

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

9. Create an email or subscription offer

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

10. Special incentives to influential people

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

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

Digital Branding

Crafting the Customer Journey

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

Introducing the customer journey.

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

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

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

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

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