Category: Digital Branding

Digital Branding

5 Marketing and Branding Tips for Industry Consultants

Branding and marketing need to become flexible practices because, in the business climate, change is inevitable. For companies that sell products, this isn’t definite because the product is tangible. With all the changes that come along, the product secures them, and they primarily focus on their branding and marketing. However, suppose you’re a consultant, or you deal with professional services organizations in general. In that case, you might be wondering how you can integrate an approach that’s flexible to your branding and marketing. You are thinking of how to incorporate change and still stand out.

Among many solutions, hire professionals from the Miami web design company to do the magic. Whether you’re a trial consultant working with lawyers or a business consultant meeting with executives, the following tips will help you build your brand and market your services as well.

Content Marketing

The first thing you should ensure is amazingly unique is the caliber of your website content. The content needs to be very precise, provocative, and it should stand out. It would help if you didn’t stop there, ensure that you match the same energy and quality while you do a formal assessment of your website analytics. The analytics will help you realize your content’s real market value to the people you target most. You should be flexible enough to regularly change your content to reach your audience better but still maintain your brand’s fundamentals. By doing that, you’ll create trust and build a following that will last long-term.

Optical Branding

If you’re a successful consultant or want to become one, you should be aware that success isn’t just based on psychological content and intelligent thinking. You should be mindful of the increasingly strong influence that visual design has. Websites are using more creative graphic design techniques such as copious subheadings, bold colors, infographics, and full-bleed photography. This is a creative way to have your audience engage more with the type of content you offer. It’s much more fun and easier.

Individual Branding

Individuals who are smart and care about their future success are creating online profiles. They build their profiles through speaking, SEO, blogging, social media, and content marketing while still pursuing their designated jobs. The same goes for professional services and consulting companies. They’re looking deeply into identifying who working in their organizations can efficiently use new tools to enhance their corporate brands. When looking from a brand management view, tension is created between promoting a corporate brand or the personal brands. It’s a problem most companies face, but they need to realize a consultant’s strength lies in how good their brand is.

Slogan

Slogans and taglines are very important to different brands because they can be inspirational, like Apple’s “Think Different.” A slogan can play a significant role in defining, inferring, and distilling your organization’s culture and purpose as well. A good one for your brand should be unique and still create change in your brand and marketing. A tagline is flexible; hence it can evolve easily with changes.

Social Media

It’s a popularity contest when you work as a consultant. The level to which you’re followed, cited, and invited determines how in-demand you are as a consultant. If you want to become popular, you have to combine all the tips mentioned above. You should, however, provide real value to people online and engage in current issues. If you don’t, people will eventually get tired of you, and all your efforts will be wasted.

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

Top Strategies for Growing Your Retail Business’s Brand in 2021

Many retailers understandably want to turn the page on the tough year that was 2020 and look forward to a 2021 full of growth and other successes. Having actionable strategies for meeting those goals will help put them in reach. Here are some reliable ways to grow your retail brand this year.

Train Your Staff

 

Your employees are extensions of your brand. If customers walk into your store, engage with workers and typically get bored, misinformed or uncertain replies, they won’t likely have positive impressions of your overall brand.

 

Explore ways to invest in training so your employees collectively provide excellent experiences. For example, you might require workers to engage with all visitors to a physical store within two minutes of their arrival. That approach ensures people don’t feel unseen or make incorrect assumptions about products or services.

 

Ensure workers never say, “Sorry, I’m not sure,” and go back to their tasks when customers ask for information they don’t have. Instead, they could be proactive and say, “Sorry, I’m not sure, but let me get a colleague who can answer that for you.” Additionally, teach employees to engage in gentle upselling efforts or suggest alternatives when the products people want are out of stock. Doing that should raise your overall sales.

Offer Branded Items

 

Anyone who’s been to the Big Apple has almost certainly seen shoppers carrying Bloomingdale’s brown shopping bags — the containers are instantly noticeable with their thin, rounded letters. Each one has the size printed on the front, such as “Big Brown Bag,” with the store name on the side. The simple design is so iconic that the department store sells reusable vinyl zippered totes featuring it.

 

This example proves that branded items keep companies in customers’ minds. They’re also appropriate for organizations that are much smaller than Bloomingdale’s, too. You can give the items out as freebies if your retail brand has a community event presence. Alternatively, keep the goodies near the cash register and give one to each person who buys something.

 

Consider which items people will most likely use and enjoy. For example, pens and notepads are handy things recipients will need often. Also, products such as keychains and magnets are practical items that keep your company’s name in frequent view.

Provide Accurate Stock Information If Possible

 

Most people can’t help but feel disappointed if they arrive at stores and find the products they want are not available. Investigate whether your inventory management system could enable launching a feature that lets people instantly check stock levels on a website or app before arriving at a store.

 

When shoppers want items you don’t have, give them immediate options. For example, you might give them real-time updates about shipments on the way. Alternatively, if you operate more than one store in a consumer’s area, let them check stock at a different location. You can also give employees easy ways to special-order the products customers request. Then, shoppers will realize workers are doing everything they can to assist.

 

Maintaining reliable on-shelf availability (OSA) poses challenges for many retailers. If it’s a persistent problem for you, get to the bottom of what’s happening and fix it. For example, does the issue occur because you wait too long to place orders that replenish the shelves? Perhaps stock levels are too low because of incorrect forecasting that failed to anticipate demand.

Help Consumers Save Time

 

Price is not necessarily the top priority when people choose where to shop. A recent survey found 53% of people intend to shop in ways that save time, even if they don’t provide the lowest prices. Another finding that supports the time-saving trend was that 56% of people would keep shopping in convenient, easy stores.

 

You can strengthen and grow your retail brand this year by highlighting how your store facilitates efficiency. Maybe that means letting people reserve products online and pick them up at the retail outlet. That’s an appealing option for individuals who know what they want and don’t need to browse. If people learn your retail brand lets them make the most of their precious time, they’ll want to keep supporting it.

 

Helping people save time could also mean changing how and where you stock items. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some grocery retailers created dedicated aisles of the products people wanted most — from soap and hand sanitizer to shelf-stable foods. That was a smart and effective strategy that let frazzled shoppers go to one place and find many of the items on their lists.

Cater to Shoppers’ Omnichannel Preferences

 

Despite the ongoing rise of e-commerce, many people still buy what they need in physical stores. Retail analysts point out that the lines between physical and online retail are increasingly blurred. This transition has led to a rise in omnichannel marketing, whereby people expect to shop on numerous channels and get an integrated, smooth experience each time.

 

For example, even when consumers visit physical stores, they often use their phones while inside, relying on those devices to steer their purchasing decisions. Other shoppers let specific product needs influence whether they shop in a store or online. Someone might prefer to buy a new pair of jeans in a store but go to the same retailer’s website within a month to buy a scarf.

 

The main takeaway is to avoid focusing too much on a single retail channel. People often switch between several, and they appreciate high-quality, customer-centric experiences regardless of which ones they choose. Providing those for them will grow your brand and give people more opportunities to interact with it.

Consider Investing in Augmented Reality

 

Experts remain unsure to what extent COVID-19 will continue affecting retail in 2021. That’s why it makes good business sense to evaluate how you can help people feel safe, no matter what the future holds. One way to do that is with augmented reality (AR) tools that help people shop for things with safer processes.

 

For example, Ulta Beauty’s GLAMlab allows people to virtually try different hair colors, brow shapes and makeup as they shop in the stores. The brand does not offer tester products during the pandemic. However, the technology provides a safe substitute and drives sales by removing the uncertainty of buying beauty products blindly.

 

Laura Kohl, the company’s senior vice president of applications, data and integrations, explained, “What’s fun about going into an Ulta store is actually trying on some things or smelling the products or feeling the product, that just can’t happen right now. So at least with this virtual try-on, it quickly shifted into that … It complements the store experience.” Also, AR is increasingly accessible to small businesses. Shopify has an AR tool specifically geared toward smaller companies.

Succeed With Brand Building in 2021

 

Building your brand should be a methodical process. Following the tips here and abiding by other best practices does not bring overnight results, but you should see gradual improvements. If possible, use metrics to track how well different approaches work after using them for at least a few months. Then, it’ll be easier to justify investing more time and money into those approaches for the future.

Author:

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.

Digital Branding

Essential Skills Every Successful Penetration Tester Must Have

Cyber-attacks are one of the fastest-growing threats with the majority of organizations reporting cybercrime. Companies are conscious more than ever before and are considering cybersecurity strategies to protect their businesses from cyber threats. However, it is not enough to respond to these attacks, it is important that they devise strategies like penetration testing and take a proactive approach to protect their business. A penetration testing company ensures hiring the right people for the job so that there can be a proper cybersecurity strategy in place.

 

Following are some essential skills that every successful penetration tester should have:

 

Knowledge of vulnerabilities and tool suites

 

One of the most commonly asked questions when hiring a pen-tester is to determine whether he knows more about modern vulnerabilities. An expert pen-tester should know if a client has a security product that can detect a particular tool. This is a common factor that helps in assessing a candidate for his expertise. Testers should not be helpless when they cannot use modern pen-testing tools. They should not blindly rely on the vulnerability scans. The reported vulnerabilities have known exploit code that can be used to detect system weaknesses. In order to test is a vulnerability exists, they exploit code to leverage and rectify it. Organizations do not just look for exploit writers but pen-testers who know how to modify existing exploits to make them work in specific networks for the purpose of pen-testing.

 

Learning is a continuous process

 

It is not possible for a tester to be an expert in all domains but they should be active learners and develop real-time experiences. Rather than relying on a write-up code from a security firm’s exploit, they should be able to build a virtual machine, obtain the code, and test it themselves. With the help of experience, testers build their muscle memory. Although this skill may not be very helpful in the penetration tests, yet they have the ability to recall their memory to learn new ways.  To become a proficient penetration tester, they can demonstrate continuous learning by sharing videos of their learnings. Videos are a common way to demonstrate expertise and recall all the necessary steps involved in pen-testing.

 

Understanding secure web communications

 

It is extremely important for testers to understand everything from how to register a web domain name to apply it to a cloud IP address and generate certificates for the domain, etc. In addition, they should also understand the web technologies. Web apps are common and pen testers should know how they are built, how to identify input fields, gather information, etc. to exploit the functionality of the app.

 

Writing script or code 

 

Certainly, a tester’s code does not have to be production quality but it can be a plus point if he knows how to code. The main languages that they need for basics are Python, Powershell, Peri, and Bash. besides knowing these languages, they also need to excel keyboard-fu so that they can manipulate data in any format that is required.

 

Soft skills

 

Report writing skills are a must for pen-testers so that they can describe complex issues in ways that even non-technical people can understand. It is important for them to excel in their speaking and writing skills. All these skills add up to their chances of being selected to work for a renowned penetration testing company. Since testers need to work in teams, it also means that everyone needs to know how to set up and tear down an equipment/application. The task of packing up the equipment is not that easy so it may take some time to learn that. As everything moves smoothly, QA teams can manage to achieve their projects in time.

 

Certifications 

 

It is a misconception that pending all time and energy to get certifications will lead to a job in the penetration testing field. Although certifications can be a positive factor, yet they are not a reason to hire. Certifications that pen-testers can acquire include Offensive Security Certification (OSCP/OSCE) or SANS certifications. Also, as penetration testers are there to assist organizations to strengthen their cybersecurity, testers who understand the managerial side of a business are also preferred.

 

The above-mentioned factors are some important aspects that a penetration testing company may consider when hiring penetration testers. Thus, it is crucial for pen-testers to have access to modern tools and expertise in the field so that they can be an active part of the QA team and achieve cybersecurity.

Digital Branding

5 eCommerce Marketing Mistakes to Be Aware of in 2020-2021

With all the marketing efforts and spent resources on getting an eCommerce store to sell more, you surely wouldn’t want to repeat the calamitous errors of others. In this post, we’ll introduce you to the 5 things to be on the lookout for, bring up which mistakes not to repeat, give tips, and mention what you should get your hands on for your own online store if you haven’t up to this point.

1. Optimize your product images

If you know at least something about search engine optimization, you’ve most likely heard that page load times matter. A lot.

Not only is a slowly loading page terrible in terms of SEO (hint: Google won’t rank well a backpedaling page that takes forever to open), but it also causes terrible bounce rates. Users hate wasting their time waiting for the page to load. They get angry when this happens and leave the site.

Why am I bringing this up? Images are responsible for slowing down a page in way too many cases. Thus, being a marketing specialist, do what you can to optimize your eCommerce site’s speed. Consider implementing caching tools, perhaps, turn to your developers for this one as the best-fit tools to use will differ from one eCommerce platform to another.

If you fall short of techy background, try starting with manual image compression and opting for progressive image formats (these are, for instance, WebP or JPG). 

Below is a screenshot from a product page on the official Philipp Plein eCommerce store. As you can see, the site uses pictures of “weight-friendly” JPG format in the gallery. Plus, I ran a page speed test with a free tool just for fun, and this product page (although it has 5 high-resolution images in the gallery) loads in as little as 5.2 seconds which isn’t that bad.

Product gallery image type on the Philipp Plein website  Screenshot taken on the official Philipp Plein website

2. Add user-generated content widgets from socials

Using cross-posting as leverage is a wide-used marketing strategy. So why not solve several problems with one action?

How? By hooking up user-generated posts to your eCommerce website. You’ll enhance your social presence, grow your audience, enrich social media content, make existing clients who make the posts happier, and give other shoppers some inspiration to get your products.

A great example of such a UGC widget is the “Share How You Wear It” section available on the product pages on the official Reebok website. Clients are allured to make posts on personal social media pages, posts should feature the product that they’ve bought and tag the official @reebok account. If these simple terms are met, the person gets a chance to make it to the gallery.

User-generated content widget with client social media posts on the Reebok website  Screenshot taken on the official Reebok website

3. Get the most of your customer reviews

No matter how hard you try to persuade your potential customers to buy something, the words of those who have already purchased the product are still going to be more convincing. This is why it’s vital to not overlook the reviews that your customers give. Even more so, being a marketer, you should put in some effort to encourage people to leave reviews and to react to them too.

A hint here is to enhance your order delivery confirmation emails or communication. Add a short link to the feedback form on your website’s product page and offer several percent off for the future purchase or some other sort of perk to reward the person if they take the time to write a comment on the product they’ve bought.

From a technical perspective, the feedback section itself can be as fancy as you want. A good idea is to place a review summary prior to the specific client comments, this can assist users who are browsing the item in making quicker conclusions.

To provide you with an example of proper implementation and use of client feedback, here’s how customer reviews look like on the official Maybelline New York website. We see a star rating at the top of the page, the number of reviews (43) takes the user straight to the reviews if clicked. The section has a neat summary, every reviewer’s short personal data, and comments are seen.

Product reviews as seen on the Maybelline New York website  Screenshot taken on the official Maybelline New York website

4. Start using personal product picks

General “recommended products” sections are a deal of the past. Pitching items that the person may actually like and making such product choices based on the user’s earlier shopping carts, bought, and browsed items is a whole new thing. It’s a personal approach that everyone should strive for when communicating with clients, even if it’s done via a page on the web (marketers should be aware of that). And this can substantially grow your average check sizes.

This can be reached by getting a hold of modern personal product page functionality. It’s usually artificial intelligence-based, capable of tracking user behavior, and makes bulls-eye item choices that are displayed to the user.

To show you a neat use of this feature below is the “You may also like” product pick example on the official Fendi website.

“You may also like” personalization block on the Fendi website  Screenshot taken on the official Fendi website

5. Create gift finder sections, seriously

As marketers, you must understand the importance of making it easy to sell things. Putting together various guides, collections, and finders that’ll help users make up their minds as they’re in search of what to present as a gift to someone is a fabulous move. You assist your buyers and sell more.

It is considered good practice to place such “Gift Ideas” in the top menu of the online store. Secondly, it makes sense to break down the suitable items by recipient, occasion, or budget. Thirdly, if gift ideas are gathered as category pages, having on-page filters to simplify the search is nice too.

For some inspiration of what this can be like if handled properly, take a look at how the “Gift Guide for Men” is presented on the official Adidas website. As you can see, the guide is assembled as a separate page, furthermore, users can filter the gifts by size, category, product type, color, etc.

Gift ideas section for men on the official Adidas website  Screenshot taken on the official Adidas website

Final Thoughts

To conclude the above, marketers should be on the lookout for the following five mistakes:

  1. Unoptimized images or other factors that negatively influence page load times.
  2. Missing out on user-generated content via social media.
  3. Not using customer feedback properly (which is a mighty and persuasive tool).
  4. Not having your product picks personalized (and people like individualized shopping experiences).
  5. Not having gift ideas or gift-hunting guides up on the store.

We hope that you’ve found this piece handy! If you have any more often-occurring marketing mistakes in eCommerce in mind, feel free to share them in the comments below.

 

About the Author

Alex Husar

Alex Husar, CTO at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Magento migration and Salesforce development services. He graduated from the Czech Technical University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering. Alex’s expertise includes both full-stack dev skills and a strong ability to provide project-critical guidance to the whole team.

 

Social media:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-husar
https://twitter.com/AlexHusar1

 

 

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

What are 3 Instagram tools you need to keep up with trends?

If you use Instagram not just for sharing your images with a close circle of friends, you need more than just the app itself. Having an engaging IG page is a perfect opportunity for a business to attract new audiences and interested clients. Do you know that in 2020 Instagram hashtags work similarly to SEO keywords that help get your content exposed to more people? It takes some time to research these words, but if you know what Instagram hashtag generator to use, you can easily find the best hashtags that work for promotion. 

The point is that discovering new Instagram tools will help you better your content strategy and make the most of your online business. In this article, you will find out more about tested Hashtag finder, Instagram font generator, and Profile analyzer – keep on reading to learn why these tools are useful. 

3 tried and tested Instagram tools you need in 2020

#1 Toolzu Hashtag generator

If you try google hashtag tools, you’re gonna see many options on the web. But when you start using them, you realize that most of the tools are not convenient. 

Toolzu is a handy tool that lists over 12 million hashtags, and new ones are added regularly. This tool lets you discover hashtags by keyword or with the help of AI-algorithms. You can simply paste a link to any post or upload a picture. 

In front of a hashtag, you can see how intense the competition will be if you use it (the graph Difficulty). For example, if a hashtag is used in millions of posts, the content is saturated, and your post will be among the recently added for just a couple of minutes. That’s why it’s worth to include in your set medium and more niche-specific hashtags. 

The main upper hand of using a hashtag generator instead of the in-app search is that you can copy them instantly. The app does not allow you to do that to click on a hashtag and view the content. 

What are other benefits:

  • The option of mentioning 5 keywords per search
  • Looking for hashtags in any languages
  • Deep analytics on hashtags including top posts

If you haven’t been using hashtags because you were lazy to discover them via the app, use the effortless yet effective way – the Toolzu hashtag finder. The 7-days trial period is free of charge. 

#2 Fonts generator by Bigbangram

It is getting more and more trendy to use other than IG default fonts. Bloggers who write long captions tend to organize their texts better – with bold headlines, highlighted words. Hence, an IG copy turns into a meaningful article. It’s also helpful to add various fonts into your bio description and IG name. 

If you think that to type in a different font, you need to hack the IG app; you are mistaken. The only thing you need is a proper Instagram fonts tool, and I recommend you to check the one by Bingbangram. 

You need to insert or type any text in the Latin alphabet, and it will be immediately converted into a style you choose. The library lists dozens of fonts in various moods – classical, romantic, minimalist, gothic, etc. 

I like most of all that it is possible to preview how a style will look from a phone screen. There is a simulator, and I advise you to check it if you are looking for a fresh font for your name or bio. 

Try fancy characters for your page – the tool is forever free. 

#3 Profile analyzer by Ingramer

 

Finally, I number 3 on my list is the Analyzer of profiles by Ingramer. This tool will be helpful for those who are growing and looking for some ideas on the accounts of their competitors. Sometimes, spying on strategies of successful accounts helps to get insights. 

What info will you get:

  1. Reals stats, like the engagement rate, to see if the followers are active and the content is interactive
  2. Best-performing content that will help you to get what kind of media your audience consumes better
  3. Top hashtags that you can also try in your captions
  4. Posting schedule that you can consider when deciding what time is better to post to get more interactions

All in all, you need to collect the list of the popular accounts in your niche and paste their names into the Analyzer tool. After, you can use the data to adjust your IG posting and content strategy. 

Conclusion

Having all the mentioned above tools at your fingertips will help you expand the reach of your content, create more eye-grabbing text, and apply some of your competitors’ techniques. Services like Toolzu, Ingramer, Bigbangram are widely-used by influencers, digital marketers, and business people. Do you want to try them too? Hurry up – more people want to see your content. 

Digital Branding

3 Steps To Improving Your Paid Digital Marketing Campaigns

Digital marketing campaigns are always a delicate balancing act. You want to squeeze as much value out of each dollar you spend. Which is why most of us prefer to use strategies that capitalize upon methods that are more organic and produce a greater return on investment. While approaches such as email marketing can be versatile and simple, sometimes you have to go with a more direct method.  

Paid digital marketing has been known to have something of a negative reputation. However, when done correctly it can be a versatile tool. It can be used to produce swift results, support other marketing efforts, and build engagement. That said, it’s not always easy to know strategies to employ. 

Let’s take a look at a handful of good practices for your paid campaign. What tools can you use to keep your goals on track? Where should you be placing your resources? With some additional effort, you can start to see some serious improvements in your paid practices.      

1. Take Care with Your Keywords

One of the main problems companies tend to come up against during their paid marketing campaigns is ineffectual keywords. Not only can choosing the wrong words or phrases result in poor results, but you’re also going to be spending more money than you need to — especially if you’re using a pay per click (PPC) approach. Therefore, it’s important not only to choose your keywords carefully, but to review them throughout your campaign to make changes where necessary. 

Using a keyword planning tool such as Google Adwords is a good start. But you shouldn’t be relying upon it. The problem here is that your competitors are likely to also be using the same tools, so to simply pick from these lists can find you diluting their effectiveness. Such tools are usually best used as a jumping off point. They give you insights into the keywords that are popular in your niche and among your demographic. Use this data as you would any other analysis, and combine it with your own insights and expertise in the subject to find keywords and phrases that other businesses may not have yet stumbled onto.

Don’t forget that the information you gather during this paid campaign can also inform your more organic marketing later on. When you provide data on successful keywords to an expert in SEO they can use this to help formulate a strategy that improves your rankings. Think of your paid campaign not just as a standalone project, but another tool in your expanding arsenal.    

2. Use Your Socials

Your social media can be one of the most effective marketing tools you have at your disposal. This applies to both organic growth and your paid marketing campaign. There is a lot of discussion surrounding whether paid advertising on social media is effective or not. As always, you can’t expect to throw out some marketing copy on your socials and expect the boost you’re paying for to do all the leg work. Its success comes down to how you use it. 

  • Be Relevant. This is the big one. The audience you’re targeting on social media probably aren’t the same people you’re seeking to gain from other methods. Your analysis should have made that clear. Not only that, but there will also be a disparity between who you’re targeting on Facebook as opposed to who you’ll pinpoint on Instagram. These are all likely to be very different people who respond to separate ideas and approaches. Make certain that the content you present — the images, the text, the product — is relevant to the social channel you’re advertising through. 
  • Have Clear Objectives. On both Facebook and Instagram, you have the opportunity to set preferences for your paid campaign goals. This can be to reach a certain demographic, improve engagements, widen your reach, among others. In order to use these correctly, you need to be specific about what you’re hoping to achieve. The tools that these platforms provide are really useful, but you also have to be vigilant about whether you’re using the right tool to suit your overall objectives.
  • Create a Schedule. Like most marketing tools, social media is a scalpel rather than a grenade. Specify your ads to appear on the schedule that matches your demographics’ period of highest engagement. You should already be using a social media management platform for your regular posts, and the best of these also provide insights into user engagement. Use this data for your paid campaign.    

3. Go Multimedia

Paid digital advertising has something of a reputation for being boring. That, or suspicious due to it’s overly commercial approach and intentions. The thing is, everyone you are pitching to with your paid campaign will be made immediately aware that these are marketing posts. Therefore you need to give people a fresh reason to engage with your paid marketing content. 

Be varied in your approach and use a mix of media; videos, blogs, podcasts, images. Yes, you are advertising to your demographic, but you should also be using this as an opportunity to provide them with something they consider to be of value.    

Videos are one of the most versatile ways to approach this. It is most frequently at the top of lists of effective marketing tools. Create something entertaining and informative that features your product or service. Demonstrate how what you do makes a difference to your consumers, and give visual and audio cues to engage with your call to action. There is the added benefit that you can make money from YouTube videos, too. By building up enough engagement you can use this passive income to offset your paid marketing costs.      

Wrapping Up

Paid digital marketing may not have been your first choice of approach, but it can produce valuable results. By taking a few additional steps to optimize your keywords, and use the variety of digital tools at your disposal, you can make a significant impact. 

Digital Branding

When Should Your Startup Expand Into New Verticals

Growing a startup into a successful and viable long-term business is the goal of every entrepreneur. Expanding your idea from a single concept into an expansive business with multiple different revenue streams and geographic distribution is a fun and exciting challenge. Exploring new verticals is an excellent way to grow and protect your business from market fluctuations and changes; diversification is the key to success.

Finding the right time to move into a new vertical can be challenging, though. Move too soon and you risk overextending yourself, but move too late and you risk your business stalling. In the following article, we’ll provide you with some advice on how to find the best time to move your business in exciting new directions.

Expanding Vertically

Vertical expansion is the process of moving your business into a new field, with the goal of diversifying your operations, risk, and revenue streams. When executed at the right time and into the right areas, vertical expansion can take your business to a whole new level, complementing and synergising with your existing business operations.

Aaron Babb, Director of Aevum Health had this to say on the importance of expanding his business, even when he was in a comfortable situation – “New verticals relating to new markets or revenue streams are an incredibly powerful business growth technique that allows for expansion without significant additional costs. In a small to medium-sized business often your biggest issues are cashflow. Seeking out and finding new verticals allows for additional revenue once set overheads have already been established boosting business cash flow.” 

Test the Market

As most startup entrepreneurs will know, not every idea is a golden one. Some things appear great on paper, a sure-fire path to success, but once they are moved into the marketplace they fall apart. Testing your idea for vertical movement is important to not only evaluate whether it is a viable idea that the market will accept, but also if the timing is right. 

Gary Vaynerchuck, prolific social media magnate and business advisor has this to say on testing the market “If you’re worried you won’t be able to communicate your idea to the existing market, maybe your idea needs some rethinking.” 

A small market test may demonstrate that while the move is something your customers are ready for, your business isn’t in a place to make the move with the attention and focus required.

Get the Timing Right

Timing is everything when it comes to expanding your business into a new vertical. If you make the move too soon into your startups’ lifecycle then you risk derailing your core concept by spreading your resources too thin. If you make the move too late, though, you risk being too heavily integrated into the core business platform. Keep vertical expansion constantly in your plans, regularly assessing when the best time is to move forward without diverting mission-critical resources, but while you are still small and agile enough to move and adapt into a new area.

Identify the Motivators

One of the most important questions to ask yourself when considering moving your business into a new vertical is why you are doing so? Identifying the motivations behind the move will help you to thoroughly assess whether now is the best time to be making a change.

Tim Ferris, author of the 4 hour work week “The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?”

If the motivation for exploring new business avenues is the wrong thing, then you risk the idea falling flat. Vertical expansion should be done at a time in the business when you have a solid footing in the core business vertical and have maximised your current potential. If the motivation for expanding into a new vertical is because your competitors are doing so or you are just looking for a new challenge then the timing may not be right.

 

Moving your startup into a new vertical will almost certainly be harder than it was launching the idea initially. When a business is just starting it can afford to be much more dynamic in its movements and decisions. It can also afford to make mistakes and recover from them with relative ease. Once a business has been established, pivoting into a new vertical is much more difficult as you have to carefully balance the existing business operations, staff, and customers while trying to launch something new. The cost of failure is much higher, but the benefits of success are too. Identifying the right time to make the move is critically in boosting the chances for a successful expansion.

Digital BrandingLegal BrandingSaaS Branding

Keeping Home Improvement Clients Safe and Happy During The Pandemic

Despite the many changes resulting from the national pandemic, the home improvement industry has seen a significant business spike. As more people remain indoors, the desire to create a safe and decent environment to live in has increased. While this is great news for contractors, acquiring new clients still comes with some challenges. 

COVID-19 Fears

Though homeowners understand the importance of keeping up with maintenance and repairs, fear of contracting or spreading the coronavirus causes some hesitation. As such, local home service providers like an Orange County insulation installation contractor or a San Diego County rodent proofing company must develop strategies to put their clients’ minds at ease. Continue reading for some practical solutions. 

Get Educated

Before you can ensure your home service clients that you have their best interests in mind, you must get educated. Learn about COVID-19 in your service area. What are the rules and regulations set forth by the federal and local governments? What recommendations have been provided by the CDC? What are some health and safety practices that other home service providers are using? 

Develop Workplace Safety Procedures

After you’ve done some research on keeping clients and employees safe amid the pandemic, you should develop workplace safety procedures. Here is a look at some things you might consider adding: 

  • All contractors must wear PPE at worksites.
  • Contractors must get screened and tested regularly for COVID-19.
  • Should an employee become sick, they must go home, and quarantine, and clients notified immediately.
  • When possible, contractors should commute separately. 
  • Staff should properly sanitize work areas throughout the workday.
  • Keep onsite crew to a minimum during projects.

Once you’ve developed new workplace safety procedures, ensure that your crew fully understands what is expected of them. Then, add this information to your company website and social media pages so that potential clients can see what you’re doing to ensure everyone’s well-being. 

Offer Virtual Solutions

While in-person meetings are common during a home improvement project, this practice is risky in the middle of a pandemic. Whether you need to meet with your clients to go over the blueprints and budget or to discuss changes along the way, utilizing digital resources like video conferencing software is highly recommended. You can schedule meetings that provide an in-person vibe without putting anyone in harm’s way.

Project management software is another digital solution that can enhance productivity. Such platforms allow you to communicate with key players from subcontractors to clients, on vital project information. You can delegate tasks, share blueprints, provide a budget, manage teams, and maintain timelines in real-time. It reduces your need for in-person meetings and dramatically reduces everyone’s risk of contracting the coronavirus. 

Ask for Testimonials

Word of mouth remains one of the most effective ways to acquire new clients. The pandemic may have resulted in many people’s social distancing, but they can still spread the word about your home improvement business. Digital branding solutions like positive customer testimonials or reviews go a long way in decreasing your target audience’s fears. 

When you complete a project, ask your clients if they’d be willing to record a video or write a review on your company website. They could talk about their initial fears, how you and your crew accommodated their needs, and their satisfaction with the finished product. As interested parties inquire about your services, the positive testimonials and reviews put their minds at ease. 

If you’re a home service provider who experienced a decline in business during the pandemic, you’re not alone. Though homeowners are interested in keeping their homes safe and comfortable, the fear of the coronavirus causes them to put off much-needed services. If your business will survive these trying times, it is vital to make necessary changes that accommodate your clients’ needs while ensuring their safety. Using strategies such as those provided above, you show your target audience just how committed you are to keeping them safe, which can ultimately grow your business.

How Webinars Can Benefit Nonprofit Branding? Free Tips & Advice.
Digital Branding

How Webinars Can Benefit Nonprofit Branding? Free Tips & Advice.

If you’re new to the trade, branding is probably the last thing that comes to your mind when you think of organizations that deliver true social impact. However, a well-organized nonprofit branding is crucial to the successful development, functioning, and aim completion of the org.

A strong and reliable brand:

  • Helps your nonprofit stand out amongst other competitive foundations, so your brand message and efforts to spread your cause gain popularity and reach a large audience.
  • Grows your nonprofit’s visibility, generates support, boosts fundraising, and helps obtain other donations.
  • Attracts and engages potential volunteers to join your team and contribute to your work and mission.

According to LiveWebinar.com, online seminars are an excellent approach for a present-day organization with modern visions and ideas to manage successful and efficient branding. These web seminars are a low-cost alternative to in-person and events, that help you describe your nonprofit in a more human way to gain attention and help. They offer you a valuable opportunity to reach many people around the world and raise awareness about your cause.

So how to create an impressive and memorable online seminar to promote and grow a nonprofit organization? Check out the following tips and guidance on how to run a successful webinar to boost the progress of a non-business entity:

Tell the Nonprofit Story

The primary goal of nonprofit branding is to both convince the mind and touch the heart and thus favor an organization traditionally dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating a shared point of view. So, start the webinar with enticing storytelling about the org while keeping in mind the following tips.

  • Mind the difference between the personal brand and the brand promise. This way you can best empower the cause for achievements.
  • Show how you spend funds and donations.
  • Talk about what are the current obstacles and needs of your organization.
  • Convince and intrigue the audience to build trust in your cause.
  • Be sincere and tell authentic statements.

The webinar offers practical methods to justify them with facts and data in the form of diagrams, tables, and graphs. This information, presented professionally, proves to the attendees that your org has a real impact.

Read more from us:

Build Empathy and Emotion via Compelling Content

The webinar serves great for that because it allows you to intertwine the presenter with inspiring multimedia to convey the spirit of altruistic work you and your staff do.

A great way to build empathy is through creating a nonprofit video to explain your mission and to motivate your audience by showing that everyone is valuable and contributes to a cause.

6 Steps On How To Start Your Own Video Production

Increase Your Reach

An aspect of successful branding is to reach as many people as possible, and a webinar is becoming one of the best options for that. There are attendees who already interested in nonprofit activities and willing to register. A great way to further better your funnel is to offer an online course as free training for anybody onboarding the cause.

How to Optimize Your Online Seminar to Attract Even More Participants?

How to Optimize Your Online Seminar to Attract Even More Participants?

Well, consider leaders or virtual leaders of another organization or individuals competent in your field to take part in the webinar as guest speakers, panel participants, or moderators on a specific topic. This is an innovative approach to grow your nonprofit’s reputation amongst a new audience and spark curiosity towards your work.

According to tech professional Antoine Bechara, guest speakers probably have their own audience and if you help him or her to leverage it to the fullest, you can further increase interest in your nonprofit and cause. Always encourage both speakers and viewers to spread the word about your organization. If your message is authentic and right, you’ll be surprised by the extent of the results possible!

Choose High-Quality Leads

No matter how many presenters there are, or whether you or someone else runs the webinar, pick a host who is a professional for a successful event and branding.

A qualified presenter:

  • is aware of the webinar topic and all details related to it;
  • is intelligent, confident, but not arrogant, and has excellent public speaking skills;
  • focuses on the goals of the webinar and chooses the most suitable strategy to run it;
  • carefully lays out the content and doesn’t miss important points within the allotted time frame.

Eager for inspiration? Read “Branding Strategies That Can Propel Small Businesses

Increase the Traffic to Your Website

As an activist of a nonprofit, you probably own a website about the org and the work you do. It’s important that you promote your site to increase awareness about your mission. Use the webinar to introduce your website to your target audience.

According to volunteer management experts Volunteer Mark, an online seminar offers you an ideal opportunity to share info, organization details, and how to register and volunteer rights. Direct your viewers to the website and encourage them to share it.

Final Thoughts

So, if you struggle to promote your nonprofit and accomplish your aims, focus on an approach to develop strong branding. It builds a reputation, increases awareness, and helps you raise money. Webinars are a sustainable and efficient way for your brand strategy to reach many people and potential contributors.

Stick to our detailed guide and tips on how to run your webinar to make sure that your nonprofit stand out and make the impact you desire.

 

Author: Dimitar Karamarinov

Dimitar is an award-winning digital multi-instrumentalist with authorship in a broad range of digital medium and multimedia starting as early as 2006. With over a decade of experience in audio, graphic and motion design, along with various forms of business and communication, Dimitar Karamarinov gains experience with companies of grade Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Inc 5000, and multi-continent companies, along with various charity initiatives under his belt. Dimitar Karamarinov is proactive in appearance on established media such as Forbes, Metro News, CMSWire, BBN Times and more.

marketing-strategy
Digital Branding

Is Your Product Packaging Hurting Your Branding Efforts?

Because consumers have access to so many choices, we typically see how a company presents itself before we ever try one of its products. Branding, as a result, can be just as important as the actual quality of your product — especially when stocked with other products in a supermarket or listed on an online storefront.

Your product packaging could be the first encounter a new customer has with your brand. It needs to quickly communicate what you’re trying to sell, what makes it different and why the customer should buy that product rather than any of the others stocked in the same place. There are also practical concerns — like functionality or stackability — that may make product packaging less effective than it could be.

These are six ways to tell if your product packaging may actually be hurting your branding efforts and what you can do to design packaging that sells a product, rather than hold it back.

1. Your Packaging Doesn’t Tell and Sell

Good packaging should both tell a customer what’s inside and sell that product. With a glance, a customer should have a decent idea of the product inside and why it’s unique.

Simple or subtle design elements can communicate a lot about what makes your offerings unique. Bold color schemes and elegant fonts can suggest high-quality, luxury items. Textures, earth tones and agricultural imagery, on the other hand, can tell a customer that they’re looking at a product that’s organic, all-natural or sustainably made.

Some of the success of your product containers may be dependent on your branding. If your brand doesn’t really tell the story of your company — what you sell and why you sell it — it may be hard to correct brand-aligned packaging that effectively tells and sells. In this case, a rebrand or smaller adjustments to your company’s look may be the best option.

2. Your Packaging Is Wasteful

Wasteful or unnecessary packaging is bad for everyone and the planet. It often costs more, may generate hard-to-recycle waste and could alienate customers who are looking for ways to reduce their consumption.

Simple tweaks can make product packaging much more eco-friendly and efficient. Switching to sustainable packing materials, for example, or opting for biodegradable plastics, can reduce waste. Typically, you won’t need to rebrand to manage wasteful packaging. Tackling inefficient or non-sustainable product containers is a good place to start if you want to make your brand seem greener or cut back on manufacturing costs.

Wasteful products — like those in plastic clamshell containers — can also be hard to open, combining the problem of wrap rage with growing consumer dislike of plastic packaging. While containers pose a very temporary inconvenience for customers, they can still be frustrating, and may even make a customer less likely to buy from the same company.

3. Your Packaging Makes the Product Hard to Use

Hard-to-use packaging can hurt any product, even if the packaging is an effective brand ambassador in every other respect.

For example, a company may manufacture a cleaning spray in a distinctive bottle that is, unfortunately, not ergonomic or makes it hard to use the last of a product. This product may secure the first sale with its look, but turn off a customer from future purchases because it’s hard to use.

Ease-of-use should be one of your key considerations in package design, along with look, durability, stackability and sustainability. Simple usability testing or fielding feedback via email surveys can give you a sense of how well your current package design works and how it could be improved.

4. Your Packaging Is Inconsistent

Consistency in branding is one of the marketer’s best tools. With consistency, it’s more likely that customers will really remember your brand. With awareness, they could develop a preference for your products and may even recommend your business to friends or family.

Products in the same line should look like they’re coming from the same company. This helps build brand awareness, and it may even encourage customers to buy other products you sell if they have good experiences with your company.

5. Your Packaging Is Hard to Ship or Stock

Unusual packaging can help a product stand out. However, it can also make items more expensive to ship or stock. Packaging that’s not durable enough may also sustain damage in transit, potentially making a product unsellable.

Simple changes can help here. Square or rectangular boxes are always going to be easy to ship and stack. Looking to your competitors may also help. If they’re well-established, their packaging may provide hints for how you make your offerings easier to transport or shelve.

These changes may also provide an opportunity for making your packaging or containers more sustainable and more durable or efficient at the same time.

6. Your Packaging Is Hard to Understand

If a container makes any claims, it should be in the language that a customer speaks. Clearly communicating benefits with phrases your target audience will understand can help make sure they don’twalk away confused about what your product offers.

Understandable doesn’t always mean simple. Some businesses — like those manufacturing supplements, high-end skincare products, electronics or niche items — may have a highly informed customer base. These consumers can have different vocabularies and may expect clearer, more direct descriptions of how a product works.

References to specific ingredients, like vitamin C, creatine or rosehip oil, could confuse a general audience, for example — but the benefits they offer may be perfectly clear to certain customer segments.

How to Keep Packaging in Line With Your Branding

Packaging and branding that work together will be essential if you want to attract customers and keep your business growing. When evaluating your products, it’s best to make sure their containers effectively communicate the benefits. They should also be easy to use and open and, whenever possible, generate minimal waste.

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.