Digital Branding

What Are Algorithms and Why Should We Care

https://pixabay.com/en/neo-urban-laptop-hardware-computer-1808082/

Whenever you perform a Google search, whenever you browse through the recommendations on Netflix, whenever you see the trends on Twitter or take a peek at your Facebook news feed, you see the result of their tireless work yet you don’t even spare them a thought. They are the algorithms, the unseen forces shaping our lives – especially the digital one. They are the pieces of code that recommend you related products when you buy something online, they are the ones who select the “people you may know” on social media and they are the ones compiling a playlist for you on various music streaming services. Their role is very important in everything digital so let’s take a brief look at what they are and what they are used for.

What are algorithms?

In mathematics, an algorithm describes a set of rules to be followed in calculations – and its role is similar when it comes to computers, too. The visual representation of an algorithm would look a lot like a flowchart used in programming, for example: lots of “if-then” statements with instructions for either case. Think of it as a series of people working at a fruit packaging plant putting apples in one crate if they are red, in another if they are yellow, and calling their supervisor if a pear gets mixed into the batch. They can describe something as simple as the recipe for apple pie to something as complex as AlphaGo, the artificial intelligence that beat Lee Sedol at Go, and everything in between.

Algorithms in everyday life

We don’t see the algorithms in our everyday lives but we see their “handiwork”, so to say. When you book a ticket. When you pay with your card at the grocery store. When you play your favorite game on your phone. We usually call them programs, software packages, applications, apps – depending on the environment. Even reading this article is the result of an algorithm running in your brain: you read the letters left to right, recognize the word, look for its meaning in your memory, understand it, then proceed to the next one in the text. There are many algorithms that are surprisingly complex doing things that seem like magic, like getting the most relevant result when performing a Google search, unlocking your smartphone by allowing it to read your fingerprint or finding the shortest route between your home and the supermarket on your GPS. Today’s digital world wouldn’t function without them.

Algorithms vs humans

Algorithms are becoming “smarter” and more complex as they get more and more data to work with. And, as many jobs can be broken down into simple tasks, they are getting better at them – sometimes better than humans. Take Uber, for example, replacing the dispatchers traditionally working at cab companies with an algorithm that does its job right, sending a driver to the desired address in due time, and taking care of handling the payments, too. An increasing number of companies are now experimenting with replacing part of their human personnel with computers, and the results so far seem promising. In time, algorithms will become even more complex – smarter, if you like – and will be able to do even more of the jobs that were traditionally done by humans. They will do this through a better understanding of the things they do, breaking these things down into simple tasks, and figuring out ways to automate them.

In 1964, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov predicted the following: “The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders.” While he was off by a few years, we’re definitely getting there.

Digital Branding

4 Tips for Cannabis Business Branding

Branding your Cannabis Brand takes some foresight and some thought. These tips will help you do so.

Tell a Story

Today’s consumer is smarter than ever and has caught on to the usual sales language. However, one thing they cannot resist is a good story.

A good brand story is one that entertains while connecting to consumers emotionally. Think about the “Most Interesting Man in the World ads” by Don Equis. All they did was take a cheap lager and turn it into something else completely. A cheap beer suddenly takes on an attitude of sophistication and adventure. To make things worse, consumers took the story and molded it to their lives with the “I don’t always/but when I do” meme. It is a story that’s likely to continue selling years after the conclusion of the campaign.

You don’t even need to have an elaborate story. A complex fiction may work wonders, but you might be surprised by what a simple origin story of your brand is capable of accomplishing. It provides a sense of authenticity and leaves your customers feeling like they are taking part in something greater than themselves.

So, you need to think about your brand’s story and find a good way to tell it. If you do that, you are guaranteed to connect with an eager audience.

Think “Lifestyle” Rather than LOLs

The Dazed and Confused image of marijuana was ubiquitous when cannabis was sold exclusively via the black market. However, as it enters the mainstream market, savvy businesses will brand their cannabis products for audience that’s more expansive.

It means marketing cannabis products as “lifestyle” enhancers instead of sticking to the traditional stoner niche. Think sophisticated and sleek i.e. a new product for a life of luxury. Apple is a prime example.

You can alternatively consider what the craft breweries did as their industry exploded following the turn of the millennium. Beer suddenly tool on a completely different level of refinement. Each brewery, today, has a distinct, storied brand. Beers are available for all occasions and to be paired with certain foods. A massive brewery tourism industry has even blossomed.

Think of it like this: The average consumer of cannabis is a middle-class, late twenties to early thirties. So, what kinds of products do these people buy? Organic foods, bespoke clothing, craft cocktails… you get the picture. Simply put, your brand should appeal to their desire for a more refined lifestyle.

Cannabis companies should be looking at more innovative techniques of branding in the modern cannabis era – use a cannabis marketing agency to help.

Elevate the Language

This is an extension of the point above.  All the outdated slang i.e. herb, grass, pot, bud, etc., speaks to the outdated and under-the-radar market. Today, you are selling in a mature and vibrant industry. You now sell “doses” rather than “hits” or “flowers” instead of “buds.”

Obviously, there’s enough room for all the silly aspects of marijuana culture that people know and love, but stay classy and still refer to it as cannabis for branding purposes.

Don’t Use Clichés

Never forget that you are attempting to elevate the conversation and that tired old clichés do everything besides that. Afro man songs, 420, tie-dye, laziness, and Rastafarian colors and even the long-embraced pot leaf have all started to fall by the wayside.

Sure, there’s a place and time for all these, but if you do have to use cliché and nostalgia, only include them as periphery elements – never make a tie-dyed pot leaf the basis for your whole brand.

Digital Branding

How to Increase a Customer Base with Effective Brand Representation

Everything we do is goal-oriented, and the goal is to bring as many customers as we can, whilst keeping them happy. If your brand doesn’t speak for itself, don’t expect many new customers and prepare to say goodbye to your current ones. Branding (and rebranding) requires balancing many elements which all together represent your company in a simple and appealing way. It’s all about customers, and yet the way to get customers is to establish a recognizable, eye-catching, unique brand. Here are some ideas on how you can get more customers by properly communicating your brand.

Engagement marketing

Experiential (engagement) marketing is a marketing strategy that allows consumers to actually see and feel what your product can do. This is a great way to help your clients realize the benefits of your product, and generally, what they will get by sticking to your company. Representing your brand through such strategy is a great idea because you’re both “selling” the product and representing your ideology.

Break the chains

Let your creativity kick in. Traditional ways are called “traditional” for a good reason, as they used to work and they represent something common and already seen. That’s why today we have something called “modern”. Mixing your creativity with some modern techniques/advice you’ve seen or heard will allow you to fight the invisible constraints and express yourself in a new and memorable way.

Online and offline stores should look the same

Developing and designing a website takes a lot of time and effort. Building a store and designing the interior and exterior also take a lot of time. Since you’re already going to invest so much in these two, why not take a step further and make them as if they were two parts of the same whole? A visitor that checks out your website, finds something he likes and decides to come to the store itself and check out the product in person, will surely be amazed when he sees that the store’s layout is almost the same as the website’s layout.

Real-world view

It’s very satisfying and educational at the same time, watching a person use some product, in real-time. Thanks to the modern era we’re living in and to all the technology and trends, we’re able to watch stuff like that, which is an amazing way of showcasing your business. Many websites provide live streaming, and of course we’re all witnesses of great ideas that Instagram and other social media have come up with. According to this master in advertising, today companies need marketing solutions that can flow like a liquid into whatever the new inventions have brought to us.

Stay fresh

Whether you’re willing to admit it or not, these days everything has to be stylish. Not only that it has become sort of a trend that more and more people tend to follow and worship, but even the statistics prove that fashionable design and advertisements tend to catch more eyes than regular “boring” ones. If you’re having a photo shoot to promote certain product that a user can interact with, make sure that the user looks like he’s getting ready for a gala evening. Also, if the product has anything to do with technology, make sure to point out the devices to create a “natural-looking” environment. Don’t forget about colors – everything should be harmonized!

Let your store speak for itself!

From the moment a client walks into your store or takes a look at your brand, they should immediately know what they are looking at and they should feel that vibe instantly. If you have to walk someone through your story than you’ve failed showing that story throughout your brand and store.

From what you’ve read so far, you should already have an idea of what are the things you can do in order to keep your current customers happy and to attract new buyers. As soon as they see your brand, visit your website or walk in one of your stores, they should form a positive opinion about your products and decide on purchasing them.

 

 

Author bio: Jennifer Hahn Masterson is a senior business strategist, holding an MA degree in business communication. She is always doing her best to help her clients find their place in the ever so competitive business arena. You can check her out on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Digital Branding

6 Best White Hat Link Building Techniques In 2019

Link building is considered as one of the key elements of search engine optimization (SEO). But, many webmasters haven’t yet understood the concept well and go on to make mistakes which hurt the SEO.

Acquisition of White Hat links to your website can significantly boost your search engine ranking, but Google has been changing the link building algorithm over the years. Irrelevant comments on random blog posts to build links, no longer work for SEO.

What is Link Building and White Hat SEO?                            

When you get hyperlinks to your website from other websites, it is called link building. What this means is that you are telling Google that your site is relevant and trustworthy, and other sites are directing their users to you. This not only brings visitors from other websites but also boosts your ranking.

There are plenty of techniques for websites to rank higher, but not all of them work. Some are helpful, while some can even negatively impact the SEO. The SEO techniques that work positively and are done using proper methods are called White Hat SEO techniques.

Link building is done using both proper and improper methods. Proper methods can include guest blogs, while improper ones can include commenting on random posts with the link of your site. The proper method of link building is called White Hat link building.

Source – Pexels

White Hat Link Building techniques:                        

  1. Guest blogging

One of the most efficient methods of link building is writing guest blogs for other websites. There are several websites and blogs that allow submission of guest articles. Leverage this opportunity for SEO improvement of your site.

The guest blogging is not only good for SEO but also helps you build relationships with other website owners. If you end up building good networking, chances are that they will allow more submissions from you.

Make a list of the websites that allow guest posts. Explore those websites and ensure that your guest post should be relevant to the niche of their site, otherwise it wouldn’t be accepted. Now contact the site runners and tell them about your experience with their site and your interest in submitting a post.

While writing a guest post, don’t be too promotional about your site. A couple of links in Author Bio and introduction will do. When they publish your work, share it with your customers and social media community. When the guest post publishers will find that your post is also helping them widely, then they would like to publish more of your work.

  1. Ask your network for backlinks

As a website owner, you might be having a lot of friends and relatives who have their own websites or blogs. You can connect with them and ask for adding a link to your site in their next blog post.

If you have partners in your business, then leverage the partnership for link building. You can request a link back or do a deal of including a link to websites of each other in the next article. Further, keep on building your network and use it for your advantage.

  1. Directory submission

There are plenty of good web directories available on the internet where you can list your website or blog. While listing your site on a directory, you should take care of a number of things, like choosing the right category for creating backlinks, checking the domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA) of the directory site, and whether the directory is reliable.

If the DA and PA of the directory site is not of high quality, or if it contains spam links, then it would be better to stay away from such options. The low-quality directories wouldn’t help your site to boost SEO. Research properly before submission so that you can avoid any negative impact on your SEO.

  1. Convert your brand mentions into backlinks

This is another easy method for white hat backlinking. There might be several blogs and websites which have mentioned your brand name in reviews, recommendations, or testimonials without hyperlinking your site. What you need to do is find those mentions using Social Listening tools.

Once you have found all the mentions, build a strategy to reach those mentions via social media channels or contact forms and request a backlink to the mentions. Since there is no harm to those sites in hyperlinking your site to your brand name, they will very likely to do the needful for you.

  1. List your business in local directories

If you are a small business, then a business listing can significantly help you. For example, you can easily list your business on Google for free. Other than Google, there are several more local directories, like Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, TripAdvisor, etc.

The aim of these local directories is to help local users find the relevant places they are looking for. For example, if someone in your area is searching for places nearby, then you can appear in search results. Since the listing will have your website link, it can work for you.

Source – Pexels

  1. Maintain your own blog

Don’t ever underestimate the power of a blog. The reason most of the websites have a blog is that it drives traffic to the site and helps in white hat link building. Maintain a blog and publish posts regularly, which should be relevant to the services or products you provide.

Try to cover everything related to your solutions to make your blog more appealing to visitors. Since the blog posts will be having backlinks to your products and services, it will bring visitors to your site and improve SEO.

Use images and visuals so that the content doesn’t become boring for visitors. Allow users to comment and share the posts on social media platforms right from the same page.

 

Wrapping up:

If you apply the above-mentioned techniques to your website, it will surely work for you. But you have to remember that link building is not going to happen overnight. It will take time as you reach other websites, directories and your network.

Also, never go for black hat backlinking techniques, because Google can penalize your site for it.

Know of more white hat link building techniques? Feel free to share via the comments section below.

 

Auhtor Bio:

Mark Coleman is a passionate writer, currently working as an Editor at MarkupTrend. Markup Trend offers free resources for developers, designers, and webmasters and is updated daily. Mark is available for hire for product and business promotions.

Digital Branding

Some Important Aspects of IT Leadership for the Entrepreneurs to Excel

IT business leadership is a single or team of senior executives responsible for the upkeep and effective rendering of the information technology infrastructure and assets to endure business success. They devise the business structure and create policies to drive overarching business strategies and goals effectively. In a typical IT environment, the topmost leader is referred to as the CIO (Chief Information Officer); however, there are several variances of it is also being used as Chief Technology Offers, Information Chief, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Data Officer, and Chief Analytics Officer, etc.

There are various types of IT leadership in practice like paternalistic leadership and servant leadership etc. The primary leadership skill, irrespective of the industries, include excellent interpersonal skills, effective communication skills, technology skills, and being an inspiration to the employees to motivate them to reach to the fullest potential. An IT leader also should have the hard skills in the technology field in order to understand the changing market trends and advancements in terms of technology to effectively render it in their business too.

In any case, a very strong and intuitive IT leadership is critical in well aligning the organizational needs and goals and focus on leveraging the resource for revenue and become a driver of the business change.

 

The changing IT leadership role

The modern-day organizations now focus largely on the SMAC concepts; i.e., social, mobile, analytical, as well as cloud to meet the requirements of digital enterprises. The IT business is now becoming more integrated. So, in addition to the SMAC requirements, IT leadership is also much concerned about the allied systems and applications too well in line with the changing technology scenario.

As we can see, outsourcing and automation of the technical tasks are also becoming much common and cost-effective. So, the IT initiatives in this sector too are getting placed as prospective business units. Recently, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are also making business decision making much effective and real-time.

Business units now mostly contract for the IT services with third parties rather than maintaining a central IT vision for their technology needs. So, the industry is now witnessing an increase in the concept called shadow IT. This is a comparatively new concept to the business IT leaders as the enterprises are now taking IT initiatives with the assistance of software or hardware offered by third parties and not supported by the in-house IT department.

So, the greatest challenge of IT leadership is to go hand-in-hand with this concept of shadow IT to effectively incorporate enterprise resource planning with automation and robotic processes. This kind of revolutionary transformations with the changing trend of diversifying IT models make IT leadership roles go beyond the conventional centralized IT management approach.

 

Oracle RTD

When it comes to IT leadership, the importance of data management cannot be underplayed. In fact, the backbone of any business decision making is now data analytics. Oracle is a global giant which is offering many database solutions to now enable Business Intelligence (BI) process much more effective and innovative. The latest from Oracle database management suite for business leaders is the Real-Time Decision.

Oracle RTD (Real-Time Decisions) is a technology which combines both the set rules and the power of predictive analysis to prepare adaptive solutions to the enterprise leaders to make decision making much easier and accurate. RemoteDBA.com experts point out the fact that RTD is aimed at enabling real-time business intelligence in any type of business and also to the various aspects of real-time customer interaction and sales process.

Oracle offers a high-performing server for transactional purposes, which can deliver live recommendations and real-time insights for decision making. This mighty server can automatically render business decisions by effectively analyzing the business process. By enabling actionable insights and real-time intelligence based on data analytics, Oracle RTD makes technology leadership more accurate and intelligent.

 

Features of Oracle RTD

  • Closed loop decision – This enables the business leaders to implement a closed loop logic in business decision making effectively.
  • Analytical decision making – This feature enables the high-end business leaders to prepare actionable rules based on predictive data analysis.
  • Self-adjusting of processes – This lets the entrepreneurs and IT leaders implement various processes, which can automatically adjust to the system based on historical analysis and feedback from various input data.
  • Goal optimization – It helps in real-time business decisions making in order to optimize the competing goals like revenue generation along with decreasing costs.

RTD works on a service-centered J2EE Architecture in combination with J2EE application servers like BEA WebLogic, Oracle Application Server, IBM WebSphere, etc.

 

Some key areas for IT leadership to focus

As we have seen above communication and effective data interpretation are the key to successful IT leadership now. In data management, we have seen about one of the top solutions for the IT leaders as Oracle RTD, and further, we will look into some of the communication-related aspects for IT leaders.

  • For any various industry (not directly information technology), it is important to understand IT leadership, and for IT leadership it is essential to understand the business also.
  • IT leadership should have the capacity to do effectual value measurements, to delineate its contribution to business success.
  • IT leadership must be able to create a very effective, tactical, and strategic governance process for any sort of business IT.
  • Effective It leadership should be able to foster a working partnership between the stakeholders and information technology assets.
  • IT leadership should be able to communicate the architecture and scope of it to the business leaders by defining the extent of information technology contribution towards meeting the business goals.
  • IT leadership should possess the essential technology skills and knowledge of changing IT scenario.

To become a successful IT leader, it is important for individuals and groups to recognize the core fact that IT is a two-way street between business and technology. Any successful IT leaders cannot reach to that point on their own even when they have appropriate technical skills and self-motivation for achievement. In order to compete in IT and become successful in managing the overarching business goals, it requires close collaboration with the business partners inside and outside the organization.

Digital Branding

A Business Owner’s Introduction to The Inbound Marketing Sales Funnel

https://pixabay.com/en/business-business-man-newspaper-man-1031754/

If you are the kind of person who recognizes the vital role that modern technology plays in the realm of business, chances are you have probably already heard of the term inbound marketing sales funnel.

In this day and age, it is almost a necessity for every business owner to pursue a certain kind of digital marketing strategy to level the playing field. Inbound marketing is one of the best in the field of marketing strategies.

Roughly defined, inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that aims to attract viable leads (customers in simpler terms) organically by engaging them through the creation of helpful and useful content and delighting them with the solutions and answers they get from your informative content.

In effect, you get more qualified traffic to your business website, with most of your leads being intrinsically interested in what you can offer them, be it a product or a service.

This is on the completely different side of the spectrum as compared to outbound marketing, where you generate large volumes of traffic but only a few essentially useful leads.

Sales funnels, on the other hand, are nothing new in the field of both traditional and digital marketing. Most salespeople, if not all, are familiar with this concept. Basically, the traditional sales funnel of marketing is one of the oldest and earliest forms of sales techniques.

Since as early as the 1800s, sales funnels have been used to analyze and pave the way to think of the ways on how to get a customer to purchase a product or service. This 5-step process boils down into the following stages of customer interaction with a product or service:

  • Awareness
  • Discovery
  • Evaluation
  • Intent
  • Purchase

Now, combining the two, the inbound marketing funnel is born. As the marketing world realized the increasing demand for a newer and more effective marketing strategy, this marketing innovation was developed.

The previous five-step method of the traditional sales funnel has evolved into a three-step method: Awareness to Consideration and finally to Decision. This hybrid of inbound marketing and sales funnel has proved itself to be a very effective and efficient marketing technique to generate more qualified and viable leads.

Inbound marketing sales funnel functions by focusing on these three fundamentals: relevant informative content, behavioral analysis and data gathering. The most important of these three is the content.

For starters, the content should be useful. It should help a lead or a potential customer answer his or her ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘when’ or ‘how’. After all, this is what attracts them in the first place. The content is like the lifeblood of the marketing strategy so it needs utmost research and expertise.

The importance of the inbound marketing sales funnel, especially in these modern times, is highlighted by the fact that more and more consumers are now online. Customers of today are looking for easier, faster and more accessible ways to find useful products and services.

By setting up and stepping up your inbound marketing sales funnel, not only can you increase your brand awareness but you can also generate more sales in the long run. Inbound marketing provides better lead production and a higher conversion rate as opposed to outbound marketing.

Digital Branding

4 Ways To Improve Blog Readership

With thousands of blogs saturating the Internet in almost every niche, it’s crucial that bloggers can set themselves apart from the competition and gain a loyal audience. Whether it’s through a Facebook page, email subscription, or other channels, blog readership can be measured by how many people are keeping an eye for blog updates from you.

This is significant because the willingness to subscribe is not something that any reader would do to just any blog. It’s like turning a one-off reader to a regular one. It’s going to take effort and patience to grow your blog readership, but it’s definitely something that you can do.

Here are four ways to improve your blog to develop a loyal audience:

1. Deliver quality content

Quality always surpasses quantity when it comes to blog content. Readers see so much information on the Internet, so when they find a really good one, they are compelled to read more from that source and begin to trust it. It’s cliché, but “content is key” is still relevant.

Here are some ways to deliver quality content:

  • Craft irresistible titles or headlines to catch their attention and encourage them to read your blog.
  • Create content that is valuable for your audience, those that would help them with their challenges or meets their need.
  • Avoid using jargon or industry terms that readers won’t be able to understand, especially first-time visitors of your blog.
  • Don’t hesitate to consult experts like David Hallstrom for help with content marketing if you feel overwhelmed.
  • Utilize search-engine optimization (SEO) strategies like keywords so that your target audience can find you. However, don’t commit the common mistake of focusing on SEO alone and neglecting the content that would appeal to readers.

2. Encourage subscription

Once you can provide content that your audience would read, you’ll have a better chance of growing your readership. However, the primary reason your readership might not be growing could be simply because you don’t encourage them to subscribe to your blog.

There are so many creative ways to ask readers to subscribe to your blog, such as:

  • Including a static sign-up form on your sidebar which can persuade readers to fill out no matter what page they are in.
  • Craftily incorporating subscription in your blog post so it’s relevant and won’t look like spam.
  • Offering gifts, discounts, or any other perk when they subscribe to your blog.

3. Host contests and giveaways

Contests and giveaways are proven to be effective in growing a blogger list. They are amazing measures to keep current readers excited and one-off readers to participate and subscribe. When using this strategy, you must carefully plan and make sure that the reward is something relevant and appeals to your audience.

Here are some things to remember:

  • Keep mechanics and instructions simple to encourage more participation.
  • Create steps that could increase their entries and chances of winning.
  • Be transparent with when and how the winner will be chosen.
  • Protect your blog by ensuring that you are following local laws or regulations from other countries if the contest is open to other locations.

4. Be on social media

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are popular because of the ability to connect and network. Many blogs have strong social media presence because it’s an avenue to be able to engage with their readers. The more you make a connection with your audience, the more you build a sense of trust that will allow you to expand your reach.

 

Here are some tips:

 

  • Research where your audience is lounging.
    While you can have an account on all social media platforms, the only one or two that matter are those where your audience is.
  • Give time to engage.
    As much as you can, reply to comments, give valuable tips and advice, and so on.
  • Don’t sell all the time.
    A common mistake of many blogs is overselling on social media, which discourages readers from visiting the blog or subscribing because of the thought that there is nothing else to offer besides products or services.
  • Don’t belittle user-generated content (UGC).
    Encourage your readers to share photos, videos, testimonials, and so on, which are relevant to your products, services, or niche. UGC’s are seen by others to add to the authenticity of your blog.
  • Offer guest blogging.
    Once you have a social media community, offer guest blogging to your site. You can be creative with how to choose the guest blogger, or you can turn it into something regular. Your guest bloggers will also reach out to their network to promote your blog.

Final thoughts

Blogging is widespread in this digital age, and many bloggers are competing to ensure that they have readership and continue to expand it. You can craft various types of blog posts and incorporate the tips given above so that you can have a more extensive reach. If more people are reading your blog, there will also be more leads to generate and sales to convert.

Digital BrandingLocal Branding

Email Marketing Errors That You Should Avoid

If you are going to send an email, make sure you are not making these mistakes.

You are likely convinced of the advantages of email marketing. You may even have launched several email campaigns, but the results have not been what you expected. It is true that email marketing is a very effective technique, but to obtain benefits, you must avoid the mistakes that will lead you to failure.

Email marketing is a communication technique that uses email to increase sales, maintain regular contact with potential or current customers and improve their loyalty level. Email marketing uses email as a communication channel to send commercial (or non-commercial) information in bulk to the target audience, using tools such as MailChimp or Doppler. Email marketing campaigns have excellent results in terms of increased traffic, positive response from potential and real customers and, most importantly, the number of conversions. But, of course, it’s not just about sending emails, but there’s a lot of work behind it. By avoiding the errors listed in this article, you will improve your email campaigns. So if you are convinced that the time has come to increase sales of your business thanks to email marketing, these are the errors that you should avoid when sending an email:

1. Not having a strategy

If you have already started sending emails and you do not have a strategy, you are making a serious mistake. The first thing to do first is to plan a strategy that is integrated into the overall Digital Marketing strategy. When making this strategy, you must be clear about who you are targeting and what your objectives are. Once you have defined your target and defined a clear objective, which can be to increase traffic to your website, sell a service or increase your leads, it is time to plan the rest of the strategy. This is the only path that leads to success if you are going to do email marketing.

2. Sending the emailing to everyone

You should not send a mail to contact that is not a value lead or corresponds to your target. This is possible if you buy a database, an illegal practice and also very ineffective. It is better to write to 100 people that are interested in your service than 1000 strangers who you do not know anything about them. You should not forget that you cannot send commercial emails to anyone who has not explicitly given your permission. Not only is it illegal, but you will only get to the spam mailbox and scare away customers. The reality is that you must earn every contact and although it is an arduous job, it has a great reward, because each new subscriber has real possibilities of becoming a client. To attract quality leads, you can launch several actions such as offering exclusive content, a webinar, giving away an ebook or whitepaper, etc.

3. Not segmenting the database before sending the emails

Once you have managed to create your own database, it is time to segment. Do not forget that your subscribers do not have the same interests and therefore you should not treat them all the same. If you do not do a good segmentation your emails will reach the wrong people, waste time and resources and get a bad reputation that will negatively influence your brand image. This is why segmentation is one of the keys to the success of an email campaign. Imagine that you have a clothing store and you are going to make an email announcing that women’s clothing is 50% during that week. It is best to segment your database to address women between 15 and 50 years old. If this same e-mail arrives, for example, to a 23-year-old man, he will most likely ignore it or even mark it as spam.

4. Not having an attractive subject

Most experts agree that when making an email, the subject is even more important than the email itself. It is the first thing that is seen and most likely decides whether or not to open the email. For this reason, it is important to work it thoroughly. The subject should reflect the main benefit that the recipients will get and should also arouse curiosity enough to want to open the email. It is advisable to use direct, attractive and creative phrases.

5. Lack of regard for your subscribers

At first, it is easy to think of subscribers as numbers and not as people, but this is a mistake that you can easily avoid. Always keep in mind that one of those subscribers could be you and treat them as you would like them to treat you. Do not forget to keep frequent communication with them, but do not overwhelm them with too many emails. If your subscribers are too long without knowing about you, they will forget your existence and by the time you write them again, they will have looked for others to cover their needs. The ideal is an email a week or every 15 days.

6. Sending only promotional content

Do not spam your contacts. It should be a digital marketing mantra. You are convinced that your product or service is the best and it is logical that you want to share your promotions with all your potential clients, but first, you must earn their trust. Your emails should not be all promotional, as this will only push customers away. Email marketing is a powerful sales tool, but only if you use it correctly. When implementing email marketing strategy, it is vital to be very clear that it is necessary to give before receiving and, for this reason, I recommend that most of your emails (about 80%) are not commercial, but they add value to the potential client. There are many things you can offer: discounts, gifts, courses, an ebook, valuable content. This way you will gain credibility and when you send a commercial email, your potential clients will be much more receptive.

These are some of the email marketing strategy errors that you should avoid achieving success in your campaign.

Author Bio

Harnil Oza is a CEO of Hyperlink InfoSystem, a mobile app development company based in USA & India having a team of best app developers who deliver best mobile solutions mainly on Android and iOS platform. He regularly contributes his knowledge on the leading blogging sites.

Digital Branding

4 essential components that need to be part of your startup business website

90 percent of start-ups fail. Don’t get us wrong. We haven’t mentioned these horrific statistics to discourage you from your entrepreneurship venture, rather we want you to learn from other people’s mistakes and not reinvent the wheel. If you want to stand out from the crowd, then you need to do things differently. Your product or service might be exceptional, but your marketing strategy will differentiate you from your competitors. While you may not have the budget to spend as much as the giant multinationals, but simple things done correctly will help you set a ground for your success.

A website is one of the most basic yet crucial tools for a start-up. A website provides your potential customers with all the information about your product or service, it adds to the credibility, and it is a great marketing tool. To take advantage of your website, make sure that you include these essentials:

1. A professional design

Your website should capture your audience in the first few seconds. According to research conducted by Putnam, titled Trust and Mistrust of Online Health site design elements play a greater role than content in generating mistrust. The study showed that 94 percent of the people regarded design elements as the reason for mistrust while only 6 percent cited content. Another study shows that 38 percent of the people will stop interacting with the website if they find the layout and design unattractive.

A good website conveys the story of your brand to your customers. A consistent theme including the colors adds to the credibility of your company. Moreover, a professional design improves the usability as well as helps you stand apart from your customers.

Good website design also entails that a website is responsive, which means that its design can change according to the medium it is being viewed on. With the increase in mobile proliferation, it is a necessity that a website is mobile responsive. An increasing number of researches has compelled Google to make changes to its ranking algorithm. In 2014, Google updated its algorithm to give more points to websites that are mobile friendly.

2. Blog

To get more business, you need to rank higher on Google, and a blog is the best way to achieve that goal. There are around 72,000 searches per second on Google, and if you need to stand apart, then you need to play by Google rules. According to Google’s Andrey Lipases, Google uses high-quality content and link building as one of the most important factors in ranking a website. Hence, good quality content is one of the most important factors in driving traffic to your website.

Other than that, good content increases the trust of your potential customers in your brand. The more helpful your content is to your customers, the higher they will regard you as an authority in the industry. Blogging also gives you a great opportunity to promote yourself on social media. You can share your blog posts on Facebook or Instagram and drive traffic to your website. Research shows that companies that posted more than 16 blog posts per month got 3.5 times more traffic than companies that did not.

3. Visual content

Well, your job does not end at driving traffic to your website; your objective is to hook your customers and make them come again. People will only visit you again if they remember about you and a boring, dull website is not going to achieve that. Research shows that people remember only 10 percent of the information they read after three days. However, if that information is paired with an appropriate image, people can retain about 65 percent of the information after three days.

Visual content is especially important if you have e-commerce, real estate or tourism website. You need to add compelling videos and pictures to lure in customers. It is hard for people to trust products online. Hence, high-quality pictures of your products will help them make their decision. For example, this leather skin shop website has done a great job in showcasing its products, which make them visually appealing.

Videos can play a crucial role in educating customers about your service or product, especially if it is new to the industry. Statistics show that 64 percent of the users are more likely to buy a product after watching a video.

Infographics are also a great tool to make your website more attractive. Infographics basically combine text and pictures in such a way, which makes them easier to remember and understand. Moreover, they are also three times more likely to be shared on social media than any other type of content.

4. Subscription Popups

Source

Subscription popups allow you to capture email addresses of your potential customers so that you can conduct email marketing. Email marketing is an inexpensive and effective tool to convey any information or promotions to your customers. Unlike other mediums, email marketing is cost effective because it allows you to tailor and personalize your messages according to your audience. Also, you can segment your audience based on their likes and dislikes and then target them accordingly. Research shows that people who make a purchase through email spend 138 percent more than people who don’t receive any offers.

Being a start-up, you need to make the most of the available resources and your website is an important one. If done right, a good quality website can alone do wonders for your marketing strategy. Make sure that you don’t just put a website just for the sake of it; leverage this asset as much as you can because it is the most effective marketing tool. If you are an e-commerce website, then you need to pay special attention to the website aesthetics and its usability. It would be better if you get your website made by an e-commerce website design company that knows how to make customers move towards purchase.

Digital Branding

5 Essential Tips for a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

For sure, content marketing is here to stay. And why not? It’s a great way to attract and engage new customers, so the businesses use this strategy to its fullest. 90% of the businesses already use content marketing as their main strategy to promote the brand. But what’s more important is that people want brands to create content. Reportedly, 84% of people expect brands to come up with new content on a regular basis. But here’s what stats also have to say: Image credit: Cision It’s obvious that marketers value content and see it as the primary way to improve marketing impact. Moreover, internet users are interested in content more than in traditional ads, but they value only helpful and informative content. Nevertheless, for 63% of marketers, it’s a challenge to generate traffic and leads, meaning that their content fails to perform well. How can you avoid that? Here are 5 essential tips for a successful content marketing strategy.

  1. Know Your Audience Well

For a content marketing strategy, there’s nothing more important than having your audience personas figured out (besides creating high-quality content, of course). Some brands make a huge mistake by trying to target everyone in order to increase sales. But what they don’t understand is that it seriously harms the quality of the content itself. To identify audience personas, you can follow this pattern:

  • What is their occupation or what field they work in?
  • What’s the demographics? (age, gender, location, etc.)
  • What are their goals and challenges?
  • What are their expectations?

By answering these questions you’ll be able to identify exactly who you want to target with your content. A perfect example is Nike’s Instagram content, where they target people of disabilities empowering them to pursue their dreams: Image credit: Nike

  1. Focus on Personalizing

Personalization is the key trend in content marketing. 31% of consumers want their experiences with brands to be more personalized, while the rest want the personalization to blend with high-quality content. You can implement personalization in many different ways, starting from the content for emails, like here: or make their shopping experiences more personalized. Consumers like personalized interactive content, where they have a chance to get active and participate in helping you develop your brand. So, personalized content like surveys and quizzes is also a good way to engage more customers.

  1. Benefit from Storytelling

Storytelling has recently become the most followed trend in content marketing. Consumers support this trend, as they have become tired of traditional forms of advertising and prefer a more subtle, behind-the-scenes promotion. Nike has made content that is based on storytelling something regular on their Instagram page. Here’s the example of how they used the story of LeBron James to promote their brand: Image credit: Nike There are many other examples of Nike telling the story of famous athletes Simone Biles, Kyrie Irving, and Serena Williams to show their followers that you can achieve your dreams, even if you were born to a poor family. These posts have over 8 million likes each, which shows that storytelling format can be incredibly engaging.

  1. Invest in Video Content

The world of marketing is slowly starting to invest more and more into video content. Stats show that people spend 2.6 more times on pages that have video content on them and 89% of consumers claim that watching a video has influenced their purchasing decisions. Creating videos is a great way to diversify your content strategy. Especially when there are so many different options for posting videos, from stories on Instagram to creating content for YouTube. However, essay writers warn brands that the process of creating a video must include writing a script. Otherwise, you’ll have a video that doesn’t have any purpose.

  1. Does Your Content Have a Mobile Version?

It’s absolutely vital that you create content, which will fit both the desktop version and the mobile version of your website. It is reported that 48% of customers started searching for the product they bought on mobile first, not to mention that 90% of consumers more than 4 hours a day using their phones. The stats also show that consumers will leave the website, where content does not upload fast, within 3 to 5 seconds. So, it’s worth investing in the mobile version of your content as well, not only to keep existing customers but to attract new ones as well.

Planning and implementing a content marketing strategy can be quite time-consuming. Hence, smart marketers curate content relevant to their niche and share it with their audience. This helps them save time, build trust and be authentic. Free content curation and discovery tools like ShareIt help you find the right content without much effort.

The Bottom Line Content marketing is worth investing money, but make sure that you invest all your time and creativity into developing a content marketing strategy. Hopefully, these tips will get you inspired to create a content marketing strategy that will bring your business to success!