All posts by Wendy Dessler

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

Personal Branding

Why Product Branding Matters to Your Business

If you’re a small or medium business owner, you probably know the importance of branding. Long before customers know what you’re selling, they’ll probably hear your company’s name, see your logo or check out your website. And long after they’ve shopped with you, your logo and branding will keep your company on their minds.

Product branding — the logos, packaging, and package design for individual products or product lines — is often distinct from your business’s branding. This is especially true with the more products and product lines your business offers. This product branding, which is often the first impression a customer gets of your overall company, matters just as much as business branding.

Below, we’ll cover why product branding is so important and offer tips on how to improve it.

Branding Can Encourage Product Recognition

One of the biggest benefits of strong product branding is that it makes your goods both easy to spot in a storefront and easy to remember. Distinctive packaging, over time, helps you build product recognition — which can assist your business in securing sales and new customers.

Word-of-mouth recommendations remain extremely influential, with 83% of consumers saying they trust recommendations from family and friends more than any form of advertising. Your customers can only recommend your products to their acquaintances and relatives if they remember the name and look of them. Strong, distinctive product branding is especially important for this reason — it’s what makes your merchandise easy to remember.

Branding Can Build Credibility

Sleek and professional package branding is a key part of building credibility with your audience. 

While your packaging may seem like it shouldn’t count as much as the quality of the product you’re selling, research shows that consumers put a lot of stake into a product’s appearance. Most Americans say product packaging design influences their purchasing decisions, according to survey data from Ipsos. The younger and more educated someone is, the more likely they are to say that they consider packaging in buying decisions.

Packaging and branding probably aren’t the only factors customers consider. Most customers will also consult reviews and field recommendations from family and friends. However, there is a good chance that your branding will be the first thing to draw consumer impressions. The mental effect of packaging goes beyond credibility. According to the same Ipsos survey, 69% of Americans believe that products packaged in cardboard or paper rather than plastic are more likely to feel “artisanal” or “handcrafted.” 

If you’re trying to appeal to an audience by creating an intimate or crafty feel, opting for plastic packaging could cause your overall brand messaging to fall a little flat. Professional product branding is also helpful in developing retail relationships, which are essential if you plan on relying on big box stores to sell a significant number of your products.

How you brand your product is also how you make it stand out against competitors. It also plays a role in developing a relationship with your audience. At some point, your product will probably be placed in direct comparison with similar ones — whether on a physical shelf or digital storefront. Strong, professional packaging gives customers a reason to take a look at your offerings rather than your competitors’ goods.

Branding Helps Customers Tell Products Apart

Product branding can also help you differentiate similar products in the same line. 

For example, a food and beverage company may sell two versions of the same product with some key differences — a standard bag of chips and one with reduced fat and salt. Subtle branding differences — like using words or phrases like “light” or “low fat,” coupled with a modified color palette and product imagery — can go a long way in helping customers tell the difference between items.

These differences typically aren’t major — most brands want to keep their overall product look unified — but they can show customers that they have options available. The right package branding decisions will help consumers make the right choice, reducing the risk of them going home with a version that doesn’t meet their personal preferences.

Building an Effective Product Branding Strategy

Product branding is often the first element of your company a customer will see. As a result, strong product branding is critical if you want to attract and retain loyal buyers.

If you want to build an effective product branding strategy, remember the benefits it can provide. When creating your product’s appearance, you want to balance professionalism — which makes your goods more credible to consumers — against distinctiveness, which will help shoppers pick your brand out and remember your business. 

You’ll also want to consider the different products and product lines you offer. If a handful of your goods are distinguishable by small but notable differences, your product branding can signal these variations. Even small changes in product packaging can help customers find the version that best fits their needs.

Lexie is a branding enthusiast and web designer. She loves checking out local flea markets and taking her Goldendoodle on hikes. Follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner and check out her design blog, Design Roast.

Legal BrandingLocal Branding

Why Pursuing a Finance Degree from Online Colleges is Best

When it comes to considering college, there are a number of extremely important factors to consider. What will you major in? What school will you choose? Will I be a full time student, or is a non-traditional approach the best? While all these questions must be taken into account, the answers may be more related than it might appear at first.

First, choosing a major of study can be very important, as what classes you intend to take can strongly shape your degree program experience. A medical degree, for example, will require in person courses, as there are heavy lab requirements, internships, and other hands-on learning experiences to consider. If your interests more closely align with business, however, the options are much more open. Finance degrees, as well as other types of business degrees, are well suited towards non-traditional study, giving students the choice of format that fits their life best. Finance degrees, in particular, are especially online friendly, as much of the coursework revolves around math and accounting concepts that don’t see much benefit from face-to-face contact. While personal contact and social skills like leadership and teamwork are important in business, there are other ways that these kinds of abilities can be nurtured and encouraged from a distance. Group projects, for instance, may still take place online, working with classmates, and coordinating over video chats.

So if education in business and finance online can be just as good, what might help one to decide whether to go online or traditional? For starters, online degree programs are designed to be highly flexible, allowing you to work around an existing schedule if needed. This is one of the main reasons that people go for online degrees: it enables them to keep working, to keep watching the kids at home, or to avoid lengthy commutes back and forth to campus, all while still working towards a degree. Online classes are often “asynchronous,” meaning that you don’t necessarily need to tune in at a particular time on a particular day to get your lecture, as it’s recorded and available to be listened to at any time. Beyond that, however, it also means that you can review and re-listen to the lecture as many times as needed to fully grasp the content, without worrying about slowing down class for your professor or classmates. That’s something that in-person classes will never be able to match, as they typically operate on very tight schedules which leave little to no room for questions. At best, you might be able to stay after or visit the professor during office hours—at a time that’s convenient for the professor, and not for you. A student with questions in an online class need only send an email to get help, and in particularly difficult situations, may be able to get that direct assistance with video chats. For a topic like finance, it’s almost an ideal situation, giving both the opportunity to have help when needed and allowing you to progress through the class at your own pace.

Another reason why finance makes an excellent choice is the usefulness of the field. Employment of individuals in finance careers is growing, with nearly every finance job cataloged by the Bureau of Labor Statistics experiencing average or better growth over the next ten years. Some, like financial managers, are even seeing huge growths of 16%, over three times the national average. Finance skills are extremely in demand, and any means of obtaining these skills will be valuable, particularly if it doesn’t impact your ability to continue your life as is. Combining the affordability of online degrees with a work-at-your-own-pace flexible learning style and the highly desirable skill sets of finance makes for one of the easiest ways out there to shift from a current career to the more profitable world of finance.

If you’re looking for a change and think finance is a good fit for you and your talents, it’s definitely worth considering an online program. They’re less expensive, just as good as a brick and mortar university education, and far, far less disruptive of your daily life. Get started today, and before you know it, that high-paying new career will be yours before you know it!

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

Digital Marketing Essentials for the Medical Community

Technology has transformed different sectors of the economy including the medical sector. The internet has proved to be a critical tool in the marketing world.

Just like any other sector, the medical community has taken advantage of the internet to market their services. According to a study conducted by Google, search engines drive users to medical facility websites three tines compared to other sources. The study also revealed that 44% of patients who search for information via their mobile devices end up booking appointments.

If you are looking to increase your presence online and reach many patients, then consider the following digital marketing essentials:

1. A simple website

Your website is an important element in your digital marketing strategy. It serves as your virtual office. As such, you should ensure that it is designed in a way that makes it easy for users to navigate. This is because not all of your patients may be well versed in technology and the internet.

When people visit your website, they are looking for specific information. You should, therefore make it easy for them to navigate and find whatever information they are looking for – in the shortest time possible.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization is one of the best digital marketing strategies. If you are serious about your online business, then you need to employ the SEO technique.

The search engine optimization strategy ensures that your website is ranked on the first page of popular search engines. Another advantage of search engine optimization is the ability to focus on a specific category of audience.

That means you are able to create certain keywords that target certain patients in your area. For example, SEO can help bring attention to hydrogen peroxide IV oxygen therapy for those who could benefit from its medicinal potential.

3. Email marketing

Email marketing is another great component of the digital marketing strategy of medical professionals. Despite the fact that social media marketing appears to overshadow the use of emails, the truth is that email marketing is still effective. However, its effectiveness depends on how the strategy is being implemented.

Ensure that you segment and personalize emails to reflect the needs and interests of your patients. You cannot send similar emails to your existing and potential clients. In other words, your emails should be tailored to the needs of every client.

4. Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media has taken the world by a storm. It is estimated that there are almost 3 billion active social media accounts today. That tells you how much social media is influential in the modern world.

One area that has significantly been boosted by social media is marketing. Most companies have invested in social media marketing – because of its effectiveness. As a medical practitioner, you are able to reach a larger audience within a short time compared to other sources.

5. Content marketing

Content marketing is all about creating content that’s relevant to your audience. It is a marketing strategy that’s almost similar to search engine optimization.

When using a content marketing strategy, you generate content that will attract and drive traffic back to your website. In other words, content marketing guides you in producing content that’s engaging and relevant to your niche.

Digital Branding

How to Get Media Coverage and Good PR for Your Startup

When you are first starting out, one of the biggest issues that you may have is getting media attention. It is difficult to build credibility, awareness, and exposure if you aren’t able to gain media coverage

It is important to find the right methods of getting media exposure because some may not work when you are first starting out. So, you may need to be a bit creative when thinking about how to get press. This guide can provide you with the tools that you would need to win the media coverage that you need. We will look at:

What is media coverage?

Before you can start applying media coverage tips to your business, you need to know what it is. However many ways you look at it, media coverage basically means publicity and in the world of PR, it can also be called “earned media”.

Your goal is to win earned media, which is a way of building your company’s reputation by using press coverage through third-party media publications. You will also be applying owned media, which would be any content that you are publishing on your own channels.

Earned media vs. Owned Media vs. Paid Media

There are many media and marketing tactics that can grow your company and they may all seem confusing together, but let me break it down for you.

Earned media can include Social media shares, viral content, customer success stories, recommendations, guest articles, product review pages, and media mentions. This is media that you have basically “earned” it comes from the things that you are posting and feedback from your target audience. 

What are the benefits of earned media?

  • Builds awareness: it allows you to reach more of your targeted audience. It opens you up to new customers across different media outlets. It gets more eyes on your product/service. 
  • Heightens your credibility: Producing great articles for publication can demonstrate your industry knowledge and build credibility in your field. It shows that you are informed about the market that you are trying to break through. 
  • Boosts your SEO, Increases your leads and sales, and ultimately increases trust.

Owned media can include Blogs, websites, mobile apps, whitepapers, case studies, social media accounts, and media kits. This type of media is what you create on your own, things that you have put up that are trying to reach an audience. 

Paid media can include PPC ads, sponsored content, display/banner ads, and retargeting. It is basically advertising that is directly paid for. This would include using social media influencers to promote your product/service. It can be very effective in driving traffic to your business, but you would need to gain and receive sufficient trust within your target market, which is where the influencers come in.

STEPS TO GET MEDIA COVERAGE FOR YOUR STARTUP

STEP 1: Build your narrative using owned media

You need to make sure that your internal message, branding, and in-house content is in great condition so that when you pitch to media outlets, it seems like you know exactly what you’re doing. If the things that you are writing and posting are lacking in detail and looks like it has been done by an amateur, you are less likely to even care about giving you media coverage.

Make sure that you convey who you are, what you do, and what your values are.

STEP 2: Identify the most relevant journalists

The media coverage that you are trying to get should and need to be relevant to your business. Which is why it is important that you research where and how you want to win your earned media. 

  • Make a list of all the publications that you read and that you are aware is related to your industry. 
  • Use tools to find publications that your competition has put up and have gained media coverage in 
  • Select a few keywords that are related to your business or industry 

STEP 3: Setup media monitoring

This is relatively related to the last step, it is important once you have posted or been posted that you listen to what your target audience is saying about your brand, your competitors and anything that is related to your business.

STEP 4: PR Tactics for winning press coverage: 

  • Guest articles 
  • Press releases
  •  Podcast appearances 
  • Product Reviews Page 
  • Newsjacking 
  • Interviews

STEP 5: Goal setting

It is important that you set reasonable goals for yourself. Basically state things that you know you can achieve, because if you aim too high and you are not able to achieve them, it would seem that you are unreliable to your audience.

STEP 6: Start building relationships with the press

Make friends with the press, you need them on your team if you want to emerge into the market. You can start building relationships through social media, connecting with them locally, and using programs like HARO to find the relevant journalists and media outlets for you. 

STEP 7: Pitching to media outlets

Once you have developed a relationship with them, you can start pitching to them. However, do not do it in a way that seems pushy. Find a way to connect with them on their level first and then go from there. At the end of the day, they are getting so many messages daily about people that want media coverage, so find a way to stand out and they are more likely to read through your pitch.

Provide a good hook for them to be attracted to by

  • Providing a fresh perspective 
  • Offering new insight 
  • Challenging the norm 
  • Breaking new ground 

Media coverage is a very important part of PR, so figure out a way to be personal and different from the competition. Make sure that what you are doing is relevant to them, don’t waste your time pitching to an outlet that doesn’t accept guest posts, don’t pitch to more than one person at the same publication at the same time, and when you are trying to follow-up, don’t seem too needy or pushy. 

You want them to like you. You want them to be interested in what you are trying to get media coverage for. You want to be different.

To get professional help from our PR professional to create your customized email pitches, press releases, press kits, etc. Check out our website and our packages for more information.

Digital Branding

How To Promote Brand Using An Online Community

Building an online brand nowadays goes beyond creating marketing messages. A business requires to form genuine connections with its customers to excel online. Your business acquires more attention and develops as a brand when people can link to it and believe it is dependable.

That’s the reason a brand community can fortify and extend the reach of your brand online.

It’s probable that your business already possesses an active community on forums, social media, or your website. You can build community engagement to promote your brand’s growth. You can even leverage community-designed content to develop your brand.

#Present A Brand Value For Your Community

Customers will spend in your brand as your community signifies the values your brand is all about, permitting you to break your dependence on advertising and promotions.

# Explore Emotions To Grow Customer Retention

View brand communities for a few of the most luxurious brands in the world, such as Porsche cars, Rolex watches, or Montblanc pens. All of us know someone (perhaps yourself) who is an ardent fan and would never think about buying from a rival – whether you possess the money to buy one or not.

When your community members are joined to your brand and the community surrounding it, it builds a switching barrier. Due to their loyalty and investment in the community, they won’t be so price sensitive and will be less probable to shop about.

You don’t require to be a luxury brand such as Rolex for this to function for your brand also. Moroccanoil is a premium body and hair care brand that has built a community, Beauty Circle, around the worth and advantages of utilizing their products.

By exploring the emotions connected to looking and feeling your best, they’ve created a big  online brand community, without needing to think about reducing their prices to be the cheapest beauty oils on the market.

Make emotional attachments the bedrock of your community. Irrespective of what you sell, your one-time shoppers will become committed repeat purchasers as loyal members of your brand community.

# Build Valuable Brand Advocates

Your community can’t prosper if nobody is familiar with it. Fortunately, when you motivate your community members, you can alter them from being customers into brand advocates. Advocates like your brand and constitute a precious marketing channel, serving as a community megaphone to aid bring others into your brand experience. Besides, while they’re evangelizing for your business, they even spend double as much as an average shopper.

Energy gum makers Run Gum took complete advantage of community and brand advocates through their referral program. Numerous people don’t know what energy gum is, so their advocates were entrusted to educate outsiders and garner them into the Run Gum community. Run Gum’s investment worked, leading to a 200% growth in repeat purchase rate all due to their brand advocates.

The growth of your community only implies positive things for your business. By motivating brand advocates, they can distribute the value of your brand to help rope in new excited customers, and build a more engaging community experience.

# Understand What Prods Your Customers

The sole way to improve your customer experience is by knowing what your customers are experiencing.

Building an online brand community permits you to know what eggs on your customers, along with what they do and don’t appreciate the customer experience. Laced with all the product reviews, social engagements, and feedback forms, there are plenty of ways to discover everything you can do to make all interactions with your brand delightful.

When Altenew refurbished their website, they wished to discover how much they had improved the online experience. Believing their community would present honest evaluations, they emailed their members to receive some warm feedback. This aided the website project at hand, besides giving insight into what members value. Bolstered with that information, Altenew could better the entire customer experience for their shoppers.

Community members have invested effort, time, or money in your brand. That renders them perfect to offer feedback, aiding your understanding of what your customers truly value concerning your brand.

# Raise Brand Awareness

Word-of-mouth is still the most successful way to increase awareness and develop a business. In reality, people are 84% more probable to trust a recommendation or referral if it emanates from a friend, implying the value of community at an all-time high.

One of the leading ways to increase awareness is through brand ambassadors. The founders of theSkimm, a reputed daily newsletter, ascribe nearly 20% of general company growth to the ambassador program. “Skimm’bassadors” distribute the newsletter with friends and get swat and perks for striking specific referral milestones.

Bumble, the networking and dating app, designed the Queen Bee ambassador program. Queen Bees aid market the app within their networks and localities. They don Bumble-branded swag and hold in-person mingling events with thought leaders and influencers in their cities. These grassroots community efforts have aided 26 million users to form connections in only 3 years.

# Let Customers Discover

Communities not just promote growth, but they can be the most precious and truthful source of feedback for businesses. Conventional product marketing research, like focus groups and surveys, aren’t as trustworthy as once believed.

A series of experiments discovered that, when associating in conventional research, people get the Hawthorne Effect. People know that they’re being examined, so they alter their behavior as a consequence. This same effect doesn’t happen, however, when people exchange on social media and other online spaces.

Online communities, not just aid offer brands a profound understanding of customer requirements and desires, but user-produced content, like comments and reviews, are regarded as more genuine. Regarding 97% of online buyers read reviews prior to making a purchase, it is vital that communities are actively engaging and generating content around a company’s product.

Glossier, a skincare and beauty products brand, has mastered the art of making customers do this. They have built a huge, dedicated community that communicates through Slack, Instagram, and in-person events. Before Glossier inaugurates a new product, its editorial arm – Into the Gloss – will post an “open thread” soliciting advice on what its readers desire.

# Encourage Customer Success

The concept of the lone genius who achieves success single-handed is a fallacy. The most successful people form part of inventive and supportive communities.

Effective communities insert value when they back members, offer a sense of camaraderie, form strategic connections, and constitute a source of advice that members can implement upon their own lives. Community members frequently exchange a passion for individual improvement and continuous learning.

The most successful learning strategies involve communities and promote discussion, instead of having individuals read a book or view an educational video alone.

In reality, Flatiron School, the outcomes-targeted coding school, discovered that the most successful learning method for students is to join them with different learners and industry leaders through online communities and in-person events.

# Push Brand Loyalty To Acquire Followers

Maintaining current customers involved is just as vital (if not more) than acquiring new first-time users. Accenture discovered that two-thirds of customers will “invest more on brands to which they are loyal.” Glossier, for example, holds that 90% of its revenue is by way of returning customers.

The greater time or effort that a person invests in a service or product, the more they’ll finish valuing it. Researchers from Harvard Business School term this the IKEA Effect. IKEA’s business model makes the consumer spend time assembling the products, so they incline to overvalue the brand and products.

Whether it’s by way of in-person events or online forums, communities are core to awareness, brand loyalty, and general success. A powerful and engaged community will produce improved products, learning, and innovation, together with company growth. Nevertheless, to be effective, brands require to create communities that go beyond selling a product and offer value and support for members.

Enhance SEO To Boost Your Product Promotion

As SEO trends are continuously changing, online brand communities are a certain way to ensure genuine and quality User Generated Content (UGC).

Creating a community of people who like your brand permits you to conveniently activate consumers to generate fresh and specific UGC, yielding an ongoing portal of content – this is useful for both getting new eyes on your products.

48% of consumers tell UGC is an excellent way to locate new products, and 25% of search results for the world’s 20 biggest brands are links to user-created content. This is awesome news for marketers.

# Creating Online Community Through BuddyPress

BuddyPress is the social networking plugin for WordPress that allows you to compose your own Facebook. Whether you want to build a social space for your family and friends, build a collaborative environment for your co-workers and partners, or somewhere in-between, the free and versatile BuddyPress plugin is for you.

By selecting a BuddyPress theme with a nice assortment of BuddyPress page templates, your visitors will be offered a consistent user experience as they navigate through your website. This includes the login and registration pages, member profiles, activity feeds, private messaging tools, besides more.

BuddyPress and its add-ons present a plethora of social networking features that when combined with WordPress and the proper theme, present unlimited possibilities.

Conclusion

Creating an online brand community is an investment worth performing. Current top brands know that it is hard, if not, impossible to compete on selection, price, or advertising muscle like it was previously. They know that another brand will always exist ready to lose more on the sale or spend more on that impression. That’s why they highlight on developing an online brand community that cannot be imitated by the competition.

Developing a brand community will not occur overnight, but those who are ready to make the investment will reap the rewards above.

Author Bio

Rohini Oberoi is a passionate blogger at brndle.com . She is an experienced blogger and has written many articles and blog posts on topics related to WordPress, web design, web development, and online marketing.

Personal Branding

5 Ways to Revolutionize Your Personal Brand for More Success

Whether they realize it or not, everyone has a personal brand. 

Your personal brand is all of who you are in public. If you get dressed to the nines to go grocery shopping, you’ve got a fancy brand. If you never swear, you might have a wholesome brand. 

Your personal brand isn’t necessarily who you are as a person. It’s more about how the world sees you. Yet if you want to be authentic, those two things should be aligned.

So your personal brand might feel boring to you. Because, well, it’s just you. 

But there are ways to revolutionize your personal brand to set yourself up for success. 

In this post I’m going to share five tips to supercharge your brand to help you stand out in your industry. 

1. Be the YOUest You

You’ve probably heard that Dr. Seuss quote that goes, “there is no one alive who is youer than you.” And that’s true. 

Too many people try to make their mark by acting like someone else. They try to mimic another personal brand that works. But the problem is that most people see right through that.

People love to see other people just being authentically themselves. And do you know why? Because it’s incredibly brave. Most people are scared to be themselves, which is why they love to see others doing it. It gives other people permission to do the same. 

2. Get Yourself Out There

To have a personal brand online, you’re going to need to get yourself out there on social media. You don’t necessarily need to spend all day on social channels, but you should invest your time in one or two social sites or apps that speak to you.

If you have very limited time to communicate who you are, you may have the most success on YouTube. This way, people around the world can get a feel for your personality and what you stand for immediately. And you can position yourself as an expert in your field rather quickly.

3. Use Consistent Messaging

You don’t need to come up with a catchphrase (unless you really want to), but you should be consistent in how you address people in your audience. Figure out what’s unique about your audience and come up with a nickname or a way to address them. 

Don’t make the mistake of calling them fans or anything that makes you seem like a raging narcissist. But instead try to find something that addresses their interests. If you’re stuck, check out this list of strangely unique job titles for some inspiration. Use this and other consistent messaging across all channels to reinforce your branding.

Whether a message is written or spoken, everyone should be able to tell it came from you. This means that you should be careful about outsourcing unless you have stringent brand guidelines. 

4. Create “A Look” 

In line with consistent messaging, you’re also going to want to create consistent imaging. This means using the same color palette for graphics, and it may also mean adding the same filter to every photo. Decide what works best for your brand and stick with it. It’s okay to switch things up here and there, but consistency is key in personal branding.

5. Refine Your Offer

In order to keep people interested, you’re going to have to provide value. So it’s up to you to decide what value you’re going to provide.

What can you offer that would be of greatest interest to people? And even if you’re giving away information for free, you’re going to want to find a way to monetize your personal brand. Create a brand plan before you start trying to monetize. This will help keep your message and purpose on track.

So, are you ready to revolutionize your personal brand?

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

7 Reasons Why Users Interface Design Plays An Important Role In Web Development

In today’s digital age, having a website is not an option anymore. Every business must have a website and maintain a healthy digital presence in order to attract prospects. When it comes to a business website, user experience is everything. If a user lands on your website and leaves with a bad taste in their mouths due to poor user experience, they will never return to your website again.

Similarly, if a user visits your website and gets a great user experience, they will surely return to your website. User interface of your website can make or break your website because it is what influences the user experience your website visitors will get. If you have not diverted all your energies and resources towards improving the user interface design during web development, your users will always get a below par user experience.  As a website developer in New York, your main goal should be to make the user interface a joy to use for your users.

In this article, you will learn about seven reasons why user interface design plays a critical role in web development.

Clarify Brand Vision

Just like your brand vision, your target audience should be the focal point of your user interface design. When you design user interfaces with users in mind, you tend to create user interfaces that your users will love to use. It will also help you to refine your design and make changes based on user behavior and preferences.

In addition to this, it also clarifies your brand vision and gives you a better understanding of what your brand is all about and what you are offering to your customers. This will give a clear direction to your branding efforts and will increase your chances of your marketing campaigns to become successful. If you are lucky, you can also gain a competitive advantage over your competitors as well.

Improves Website Usability

To create stunning user interfaces, you need to develop a better understanding of your user preferences and behavior. Once you have done that, it will be easier for you as a web developer to provide them what they are looking for on your website. Moreover, this can also help you decide which features and functionality you should include and which ones to leave out from your website.

When users only get what they need, it will improve their user experience and make your website a pleasure to use. Take user input and feedback and tweak your website user interface from time to time. This will not only give a new look to your website but also sends a clear message to users that you value their input.

Enhance Customer Satisfaction

When you pay extra attention to website usability and improve the user experience of your website, it will directly impact customer satisfaction in a good way. When your website visitors are able to perform the action they want every time, they would surely keep coming back to your website for more because their customer satisfaction level is sky high. All you have to do is to maintain that customer satisfaction level by delivering a great website experience on a consistent basis. You will see a massive improvement in conversions and revenue while your website’s bounce rate will decrease drastically. 

Make Website Navigation Easier

What are the main characteristics of great user interface? It is easy to use and has all the elements at familiar places so that the users don’t have to go looking for it. When users get what they are looking for instantly, they will stay on your website longer and explore other pages of your website. Make it easier for them to jump from one page of your website to another by placing a navigation button at a prominent spot where users can easily see and click on it. Avoid hidden and cascading navigation menus as it can hamper the user experience. Hamburger menus might work great for smaller screens such as smartphones but it might not be such a great choice for the desktop version of your website.

Deliver Seamless Experience

Nobody likes to wait, especially your website visitors. If your website takes ages to load and makes your website visitors wait before they can interact with your website, it will destroy the user experience of your website. Even when your website is loaded, make sure that it responds to user inputs instantly. There should be no lag or stutters. That is where website optimization comes into play.

Get rid of extras from your website to make it nimble so it can load up quickly and respond to user inputs without any delays. Use a content delivery network and minify code to improve the website speed. You can also compress multimedia files such as images and videos so they can load quickly even on slow internet connections.

Boost Conversions and Rankings

When users can easily get the information they are looking for and complete the desired action, you are more likely to convert them into paying customers. If you consistently deliver great user experiences, users will start trusting you and will start to show interest in doing business with you. With search engines like Google paying attention to user experience factors and ranking websites based on that, a website that delivers a better user experience will rank higher than a website that doesn’t.  

Anticipate Customer Expectations

When users are the center of attention of all your user interfaces and a lot of research has gone into designing those user experiences, you can easily identify user behavior and preferences patterns. This enables you to anticipate their next move and fulfill customer expectations in a much better way than before. This way, you can make it easier for them to take the next step and convert prospects into paying customers.

How does user interface design impact web development in your opinion? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

About the author

Usman A. Khan – Digital marketer at Branex – a website design company. He is a curious soul and spends his time learning and researching new subjects every day including – technology and website design. He regularly pours out his learnings as a blog on various platforms and wants to leave his mark on the digital landscape.

Digital Branding

Reasons to Hire a Web Designer

Have you have found enough reason to set up a website for your business but still do not know whether you should hire a local web designer?

Look out for these four signs that direct that you need to find a professional web designer.

1. You are too busy to build the site

Website design takes a lot of time. You need to go through the fundamentals slowly as you develop a robust site that will aid your business goals. You have to come up with a unique design that speaks out your brand and makes your business stand out from the rest of the competition.

If you are too busy to spend quality time on building your business website, you could miss a golden opportunity to get traffic to your company. People won’t take a second look at your site if it is not aesthetically pleasing.

You do not want to waste the chance to get people on your site. If you are busy with other things, the best thing is to contact a web designer and let them build a proper site for your company.

If you hire the right one, they will dedicate the quality time needed to bring the site of your dreams to life. This way, you won’t lose sleep about fixing time in your busy schedule for web development.

2. You are not an experienced web developer

Your site is a vital aspect of your company. It is essential that you put in the right houses to create a perfect site for your company. If you have never done this before, it can be hard to build a proper site that helps to attain your business goals.

You cannot just build a basic website and hope that it drives results for your company. You need to go through a lot of things in the planning of the process and assess how each element you add affects the user and their experience. If you have never built a website before, you might not be in a good position to create the perfect site for your business.

By hiring a local web developer, you bring experience in building profitable sites. They understand how to piece different parts of your site and how they can individually contribute to your business goals.

3. You are not familiar with driving results through your site

It is not out of the picture for companies to have a starting point for their site. You could have a rough idea of how you would like the website to appear, but you might not understand everything that needs to be done for it to drive the best results.

Various elements can collectively add up to a certain experience for your audience. A simple aspect of a site such as adding a video or a Call-to-action button can go a long way in affecting how people react to your content. If you have no idea about all the things required for a website, contact an expert web designer who will help you to determine all these things that are needed.

By hiring a local web designer, you will work with a seasoned professional that will help you find out what is needed for your website. They will adopt your rough ideas and bring them to life while consulting you along the way to ensure that they create the correct thing. This makes sure that at the end of it all, you get the right site that brings in good results for your company.

4. You need a standout site that differentiates you from the competition.

When bringing up your ideal site, you need it to be above the competition. It is vital to have a special site that is made to create a memorable experience for your audience.

If you decide to make the site on your own, you will most likely rely on a template builder to create it. These builders make it easy for you to bring up the site, but they do not make your site any different from all the others in the niche. You will look similar to all the other sites that have utilized similar templates.

You need to create a site that stands out from your competitors. If you contact a web developer, they will assist you to create a custom site that works for your company. You will get one that gives customers a unique experience and stands out from the rest.

Digital Branding

4 Essential Tools to Streamline Your Workload

A high level of productivity is what workforce management expects from their employees in the modern-day workplace. Business owners have set the bar high because they are forced to keep pace with the unique demands of their customers. If a business fails to meet the needs of customers, then chances are, it will fall behind the competition.

To take an edge over the competition, it is essential that employees know how to tackle a heavy workload. But a majority of people struggle to get everything done when it comes to managing an ever-growing to-do list. There are days when employees find it hard to manage a constant stream of tasks that demand their attention.

If you are struggling to complete all of your assigned tasks, then here is good news for: there is a variety of effective tools out there that can help you to streamline your workload. Below is a list of some of these tools; so let’s take a look!

Hootsuite

Are you a budding entrepreneur? If yes, there is a good chance that there is already a lot on your plate and you are unable to manage the workload on your own. Well, this is exactly where Hootsuite steps in!

In this digital age, it is, without a doubt, essential to promote your brand on social media. But we can’t deny the fact that uploading posts to different social media sites can be a nerve-wracking, time-consuming, and cumbersome task. Therefore, you can consider relying on Hootsuite to save your precious time.

This app enables you to create and schedule social media posts on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Just take the time to sync your account of Hootsuite with your social media accounts, and you will be able to schedule your posts.

Hootsuite also helps you keep track of brand mentions in addition to scheduling posts on different social media channels. With this app, you can make sure that your official social media accounts are active even when you are busy dealing with other projects.

Asana

Chances are, you find it hard to organize your work and looking for an app where you can manage the different projects. Well, there is no need to look further as Asana is right here to make the lives of you and your team better and less stressful. It is a project management tool that comes with an array of features that enable you and your team to track their work.

What makes this exceptional is the fact that it comes with incredibly easy to use, simple, yet effective user interface. With the help of this tool, you can easily set to-dos and create tasks- you can organize all of these into projects. Not only that, this app also enables you to assign different tasks to your team from within the app.

With this tool, you can keep your whole team on the same page by adding reminders and monitoring tasks. You can even check the status of the tasks. You will certainly find Asana useful to manage or working on a team project.

Teamweek

If you are in search of a project planning tool, then your search ends here! Teamweek is a great tool that leaves no stone unturned in giving you a clear overview of what different team members are working on this week.

This app plays a vital role in assigning work evenly among your employees. This simply means that there will be less pressure on your team which will eventually lead to smoother team operations. What’s more? You can access this tool from any device using high-speed internet.

Wunderlist

Do you find it hard to organize your own tasks? If yes, then Wunderlist is here to your rescue. It is an easy-to-use task management tool that plays a vital role in managing your projects, plans, and other tasks.​

What you need to know is that you don’t necessarily need to be a genius to use Wunderlist. This app manages to constantly notify you about important tasks and projects. All you have to do is take the time to write it down in the app, sit back and relax because Wunderlist will now be in charge of reminding you about all the essential tasks.

With Wunderlist, creating to-do lists has become easier than ever. Make sure you make the most of folders to group related lists. The best thing about this app is that you can not only set due dates but add reminders to those lists as well.

Not only that, you can also add notes and reminders through the Wunderlist app. This app allows you to share lists with colleagues and communicate with your team. If budget is your main concern, then you can opt for this app’s free version. You can also sign up for its premium option to gain access to more features.

Wrapping Up

No matter how overworked and overwhelmed you are, the aforementioned tools will help you better manage your workload. Not only that, these you can rely on these tools to have more free time in the process and combat stress in no time.

Digital Branding

5 Reasons Web Designer is Better Over Templates for Websites

There are a number of variables that come into play when you want to make your business achieve the results you desire. One of these variables is the website. A majority of the sales and interactions of the business world now happen online. A company can not get very far these days without having a proper business website. Your website is the face of your company on the internet and the only means of interaction between you and your customers. There is a whole list of reasons for not relying on a template to save costs. Let’s take you through some of the most prominent reasons that will completely take you away from ever using a template.

Uniqueness

A website designed by a trusted designer will always have a unique aspect to it which a template can never provide. The design will be original and customized for your business model only. If you ever select a template for your website you will be able to find hundreds of similar designs on other sites. Your website needs to stand out and saving your money by using a cheap template will never let that happen.

Target audience

A web designer always studies and understands the type of audience and customers you want to target. The designer will make the website in such a way that it appeals to your target audience the most. Every successful business is known to work on its target audience which only happens once you stop diverting resources to the people who won’t take interest in what you have to offer. A template can not provide you with such a service.

Efficiency

Using a template means you are displaying your products and services in a pre-set format instead of designing it on your own. A web designer does exactly the opposite of what the template does. The professional will showcase your products and services in the most effective manner. Tim Hebel of Beanstalkwebsolutions.com says you only have eight seconds to get the attention of someone visiting your site, so it needs to have interesting media, a prominent headline, and a large call-to-action button that is tempting to press. Without having such elements on your website you can not expect a lot of sales from it.

Utility

Almost all the templates you find on the internet have been designed and put there at some point in the past. This means that most of them are not updated to synchronize with the latest devices and gadgets out there. A professional web designer, on the other hand, will make sure that the website is able to run smoothly on every device possible.

Maintainance

You might save some money in the beginning by using a template instead of a qualified designer but after a while, your website will require changes and additions. These updates for your website will be complex and you will require professional help for this. In the end, you will anyway land up at a web designer’s doorstep, asking for help to maintain your website.

While deciding on important factors like a website for your business, you should never be stingy. Getting a website made is a one-time process and you should take out a budget for a professional web designer to make it.