How does today's branding work?
Digital Branding

Today’s Social World Branding

In today’s social media enriched society, many businesses assume they can do the branding and marketing themselves.  This could not be farthest from the truth.  Businesses, new or old, need help with their brand and marketing more than ever in our social world branding environment.

Remember there is a difference in brand and marketing.  Brand IS the Company and what you represent.  Branding includes everything about the company, from the tag line, to colors, to logo and more.

Marketing is the effort(s) put into making your brand known.

What are some practical tips that small businesses can take until they can hire a company or someone knowledgeable to assist with branding and marketing?  There are some things a business can do, especially in the social world, to help make their brand known.  This can even lay some groundwork for help later.

Branding Tips Include:

  1. Audience – who are you trying to reach?
  2. Consistency – are you consistently putting out articles, blogs, posts and more?
  3. Hashtags – be sure to make use of hashtags for the industry you are in and your company name, as well as, who the brand wants to reach.
  4. Focus – there must be a focus, not simply putting out a massive amount of data or arbitrary posts.

Audience

An important factor to reaching others with your brand is to make sure that you are targeting the right audience.  Too many people and companies throw so much up on social media but do not try to reach a specific audience. They are casting a net that is too wide and, if anything anyone is reached, it is usually by mere accident. 

To begin targeting the right audience you must think like the person(s) or company you are trying to reach.  Who would be your perfect client? Even consider some of your current or past clients that were a great fit. Assign a name and characteristic to your ‘ideal client’.

There are many good ways to write up a profile of your ‘Ideal Client’ that a simple Google Search can assist in finding.  Many go to the trouble of drawing or sketching their ideal client (often also called a ‘Buyer Persona’).  There are many templates that can help you through the process of finding out ‘who is your ideal client?’.

Consistency

It is impossible to build a brand, especially in the social media world of today, without being consistent.  There are too many images, sounds, and videos on social media to make an impact if you are not always making sure you are branding your work and shares. 

Inconsistency breeds confusion.

Consistency not only applies to branding all posts but also applies significantly to how much you share.  The company must post on a regular basis whether you want to or not, whether you have material or not.

A couple of ways to keep consistent posting:

Use a scheduler for curated content – this can be Buffer, HootSuite, Social Pilot or others.  In the past Buffer was our go-to, but recently changed to Social Pilot and must admit is much better with awesome options at reasonable pricing. You can even find out the best times to post with these programs and set it as scheduled and leave it.

Create content ahead of time.  When there are a few extra minutes somewhere (I know it is unusual for a business owner), but sit for 5-15 minutes and capture quotes or write a blog, even record a few tips on your phone or computer and schedule it to post when needed.

Post at least a few times a day.  It used to be good practice to just post a few times a week. That is no longer the case.  Think of all the images and videos that come across one of your platforms in a day.  It really would be impossible to know a brand without seeing it often.  It can take 7 touch points before someone will begin to think about doing business with your brand.  How will they be able to have those if they only see 1-2 posts from the brand every other day?  It certainly will not stick in the mind unless consistent.

Hashtags

Yes, use hashtags!  Those little ‘#’ symbols before wording and separate them with a comma.  Be sure to decide on a hashtag for the company prior to beginning to use.  Shorten the name, if it is a long name, and if able include the local city. For instance, our local networking group is eWomenNetwork and we are in Richmond, Virginia.  The organization is International, so our hashtag is  #ewnrva.

Be sure to use hashtags related to the industry you are in and where your ideal client will be hanging out.  If the person your company is trying to reach is in groups of sales, then you would include #sales or #salestips possibly.  There are many articles regarding the use of hashtags, so if curious about more information they are easy to find.

Focus

Finally, Focus is key.  When doing social world, branding keep focused on the core values and brand of the company.  This includes curated content and other posts you share.  If your company is a marketing company trying to reach lawyers, you do not want to share how your grandchild just cut his first tooth on your company page.  Keep focused on the goals set and keep the brand and colors the same in all you share as much as possible. Others will soon recognize the articles and posts you share on online as coming from your company. 

It is very easy to become sidetracked and distracted on social media.  Therefore, the focus should also apply when online sharing.  Set a timer or even as soon as finished doing the company work, just disengage.  Save it for personal time, otherwise, three hours go by without your realizing. Be mindful and focused on the people you are trying to reach.  Try to think from their perspective and what they will want to see or what would be helpful to them.

Social media can be very successful for many brands.  Although it is recommended to hire a professional, it is understandable that small businesses, starting out, may want to try some of these steps themselves.  Be mindful while you are on social media that you represent the brand. When able, hire a professional to assist your company with their social world branding.

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Tammy Durden is President & Founder of Tammy’s Office Solutions.  Tammy’s Office Solutions helps micro, small and enterprise businesses in bookkeeping, digital marketing (brand, social media+), virtual assistant services (OBM, Presentations+) and Writing Services.  Tammy loves empowering disabled professionals to work by assisting their clients to achieve success.

Digital Branding

Gumtree Australia Evolving With Brand New Logo

 

GumTree

Gumtree Australia New Logo

 The Australian arm of world renowned classifieds website Gumtree, has replaced its dated old logo with a sleek and modern design.

The fresh new logo on the Gumtree Australia site keeps the heart and soul of the original logo, whilst eliminating unnecessary visuals.

It has been crucial for the company to cultivate their online community. After a lot of market research, results showed that many consumers had negative feelings towards the previous company logo.

Feedback received stated the old logo lacked significance and was a little too chaotic for the modern day online shopper. Therefore, Gumtree hired design and branding connoisseurs Koto, to create something more in line with today’s online consumers.

The original design encapsulated a Eucalyptus or Gum tree. The gum tree belongs to the Eucalypt family and reflects natural connotations of stability and growth.

However as mentioned, it looked visually hectic and has not been changed much since Gumtree’s inception.

The tree is essential to the Gumtree brand, so the brief required that this remain. The tree has now been positioned and designed in a way that enhances recognition. The fresh new tree design can scale up or down on mobile devices or billboards.

The ideas for the new design kept three main criteria in mind; simplicity, digital and modern.

Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Gumtree Australia’s new logo uses very simplistic geometric shapes to represent the gum tree. It uses a bright green color for emphasis.

As a giant of classified websites, the new logo finally reflects Gumtree Australia’s digitally innovative and sophisticated development.

The logo is now streamlined and functional, improving brand perception and reflecting the usability of the site.

Consumers use Gumtree to find something to buy, or post an ad to sell a service or product. 80% of Gumtree consumers use the website from their mobile device, so the new logo had to be simple, but recognizable.

Before settling on the final design, Koto presented Gumtree with eight options to choose from. The new logo was decided upon based on user feedback.

The new logo has been met with a lot of positivity from designers.

Logo Tree

Source: Pixabay

What has been most significant about the entire process is that Gumtree adapted and transformed their logo in response to user opinion.

Although it is occasionally risky to put your business decisions in the hands of your customers, this rebrand process proves that Gumtree is essentially a customer-driven business, that are willing to take on customer feedback and act on it.

How To Create A Video Advertisement That Works?
Digital Branding

Real Talk: How To Make A Video Advertisement That Influences

This is a guest post from Gary Cain of Memory Tree, a video production company that works with high tech firms in Austin, Texas and Waterloo, Ontario. Over the last two decades, they’ve produced thousands of videos, from 30-second National TV commercials to 20-minute orientation videos produced in 18 languages and everything in between.
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Times are A-Changin’

When you’re creating a promotional video, there’s a temptation to stick with the same old format we’ve been seeing for years — the classic booming announcer’s voice, grand statements, and a smiling homemaker washing pans with fragrant dish soap. The trouble is, the classic ad format doesn’t work like it used to. According to a recent Marketo survey, nearly two-thirds of consumers are sick and tired of the hard-sell.  The classic ad format is seen as insincere and their messages just aren’t seen as credible. The times have changed, and consumers are now rewarding brands that communicate with authentically. The days, people are only responding positively to real talk.

Nobody Trusts your CEO

No matter how inspiring and earnest your CEO, a message directly from him or her may still fall flat. When you have a personal vested interest in selling your product, people will be skeptical of everything you say. The solution? Let someone else do the talking for you.

Choose a Champion

Find a champion — a customer that’s not only willing but eager to talk about how your product or service has enriched their life.  To convince consumers that your product is worthwhile, it helps to hear it from somebody who is just like them. 

In this video for Westmount Golf & Country Club by Memory Tree, a lifelong member shares his personal story.

 

 

If you’re a little misty-eyed after watching that, you’ve experienced firsthand the powerful impact that a lightly branded advertisement can have on a viewer.  This advertisement is effective because of its authenticity; a real person sharing a personal story about his life and family.  The golf course is another character in the greater narrative. The drone footage of the mist over the greens and sound-ups of the birds are there to convey that this is a special place. It’s the quiet backdrop that facilitates important moments of father-son bonding and communication. Instead of a cheesy slogan followed by a “sign up today” call to action, Westmount simply adds their name briefly at the end – a light touch that completes an authentic message.

Conclusion 

People crave authenticity. If you believe your product has made a positive impact in the lives of your clients, let one of them become your champion in your next advertisement. By allowing someone else to tell a real story that involves your brand, you will gain the trust and the business of your target audience.

productivity-tips
Digital Branding

50+ Productivity Tips To Save Your Life And Business

Productivity is essential for the efficiency of your personal life and business life as well.
Overcoming the deadlock of the dreadful indecision and taking that first step is much appreciated and wanted.
After all, when talking about boosting productivity, you will surely improve yours once you go through all the rules presented in this article.

As a single mom who juggles kids, baseball games and running a business, it’s so important to stay on top of everything that needs to get done. Let’s face it, we wear a lot of hats as a woman. Something that I do every day is to create a list of what needs to be done. I tackle those big important ones first. You know, the ones that people put on the back burner while they go through those little, easy to complete ones. I think we have all been guilty of that! Creating your daily list, completing ones that immediately generate revenue first, then the ugly ones that we put off and following up with the little things that can be pushed off to tomorrow if need be. By following this pattern, I feel more accomplished by the end of the day! Deanna Fusillo, Sassy Girl Media

There’s a really simple way to increase productivity. Make an audit of your daily work routines and identify all points that you can automate or cut loose. E.g. use a tool like YouCanBook.me to avoid what I call the “meeting setup ping pong” (“Hey, is Wednesday at 9 AM ok?”, “So maybe Thursday?”) and integrate your CRM with other software. By eliminating few clicks from every process, you gain more time to do the stuff that matters. Bartosz Majewski, Right Hello

It’s so important that tasks are delegated between your team. Do not undertake tasks that are too large and cannot be completed within a certain timeframe. The hardest aspect to this is trusting the team behind you. We’re lucky enough here at MadeByShape to have a solid team who love what they do and excel in their relevant fields. Andy Golpys, Made By Shape

If we do things that we like, we don’t get distracted and get into the zone very easily. Most of us think that this can only happen with tasks that we are passionate about, but we tend to forget that we can put passion in any task that we do. Doing things with passion is a mindset. By focussing on the big picture of the task on hand even the dullest task has a higher reason. – Frédéric Ghys, Silicon Armada

productivity

Everyone works differently but I find that I am the most productive when I can camp myself out at a coffee shop for a day. As long as I can have my cup of joe, free (fast) wifi, and an electrical outlet, I can work all day. There’s something to be said for being amongst a crowd of people, also trying to get work done, and the ambient noise where you feel like you’re not alone. William Tang @  Going Awesome Places

I find that the biggest challenge when it comes to being productive is not getting overwhelmed with everything on my plate. It can be hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes, which is why I use a series of tools to help me stay on track:
Trello. I rely heavily on Trello for all my long-term project planning, especially when I’m working with others.
Digital calendars. I use my digital calendar to keep track of all my high-level to-dos, like meetings, calls, and due dates.
Day planners. I’m obsessed with my Day Designer, which allows me to break down my days into to-do lists with checkboxes for each day.
I also try to fit as much “work” into weekdays as possible. I run my own company, so it can be tempting to let work seep into other areas of my life, but I find that the times when I’m most productive are when I’m physically at my desk during the workday. Alyson Shane – Owner, Starling Social

1. Planning. In the company, the workflow is built according to the Scrum methodology. The key point is planning tasks.

Planning is divided into daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual and annual.
Every morning the team discusses what tasks its participants will perform. Each participant fixes his tasks for the day and works only on them.

• Each task is posted on the board in the column “In work”.
• After the task is completed, the task is moved to the “Finish” column on the board.
• New tasks are posted in the column “New tasks”.

2. Breaks. Take a break every hour for 5-10 minutes. Take your relax-time to re-immerse yourself in the task. It is better to take a break and gain strength, than to work on a task unproductively.

3. Silence. Quiet surroundings help to concentrate. The company has a working area where most of the time employees work in silence.
In a separate room – you can relax and discuss various issues.

4. Retrospectives. Every month, half a year, a year – conduct a retrospective, where you discuss with your colleagues your achievements, as well as your plans for the future period. Awareness that you are doing an important thing greatly increases productivity.

5. Reading books is one of the best tools for personal growth. For example, in the library of the company WOXAPP already more than 250 books.

6. Say “No” to new tasks. Work without interruption is the guarantee of efficiency.

7. Get up early. Go in for sports or exercise. The company WOXAPP practice a 5-minute exercises during the day.

Finally, the most important thing is to keep your personal goals in focus and live harmoniously!

Company WOXAPP is an experienced mobile application developer. On the market since 2011.

Over this time company has developed more than 50 projects.

Responsiveness is crucial! You must engage with your audience, and in a timely manner. Vincent Sharps, Mindgrub

As a blogger, I often work from home. It’s great under some circumstances where I need the silence and solitude to write, but it can also feel lonely and sap my creativity. I find working in contact with other people really helps to boost my creativity and productivity. I like the background noise and going to a shared location also gets me away from the distractions of my home. Coffee shops are pretty good for this, but I recently tried coworking at The Farm SoHo coworking space. It really helped as I got good advice from the other members using the space, and it was great to have a change of scenery. Gemma Church, The Farm Coworking

I find keeping things simple as one of my top tips for increasing productivity when writing. Humans tend to overanalyze. When I find myself way out in left-field, explaining every detail, I step back re-think, re-adjust and go back in. No one cares about every detail. In fact, when reading web articles and posts people tend to focus for less than a minute. Time is sacred and shouldn’t be wasted on unnecessary points or facts. One can write an amazing article and engage readers by focusing on the proposed topic and produce content that makes the reader wanting to know more.
Dana, founder of 365 Days of Health and Fitness.

“80% of success is getting out of your own way. If we stop doing things that are counterproductive, we have time and resources for things that matter. Nobody lost weight or became wealthy drinking a latte every day. Jay Elkes, Extreme Common Sense

Arguably the best productivity lesson I’ve learned over my years of blogging, is that an editorial calendar can be a life-saver! When you’re using an editorial calendar, you’re automatically organizing all of your blogging, which not only helps you save time – and saves you of those “oh, no, I don’t have anything to publish today” moments – but it also helps you get better results from each and every blog post.
You can better strategize your blogging schedule and content and make sure that whatever else happens, you at the very least have blog posts planned and ready to publish. It also helps you plan the right blog post at the right time so that you maximize the results you get from each one. Lilach Bullock, LilachBullock

The CEO of Swipii, Chitresh Sharma, quoted Winston Chruchill on productivity as his favorite tip: “Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.”

Identify your biggest obstacles that are preventing you from reaching your goals. For example, as a writer, I need to find a way to write stellar content efficiently to get more work from return clients and attract new clients. To achieve my goals, I use Grammarly to make the editing process much easier and a tool like Ninja Outreach to scour for potential leads. By refining your goals, you pinpoint goals you need to accomplish and focus all your energies to reach them.
Christopher Jan Benitez, ChristopherJanB.

As a content marketing team, we find automation and routinizing the most effective.
Automate less creative processes by using management tools (Trello), editing and proofreading (Grammarly, Hemingway) and more. This clears more space for creativity.
There’s a blend of collaboration and solitary work in marketing to keep everyone on track – so time management is crucial. Choose whatever works best for meeting deadlines – the 5-3-1 rule, the Pareto Principle, or the Pomodoro Technique. But to boost the quality, this content strategy is essential:
Conceptualization. Research the topic in general and understand the basic concepts.
Ideation. Research smaller chunks – micro-goals are easier to achieve and more manageable.
Drafting. A first draft is not a post yet. It outlines two or three problem areas that might interest our audience.
Writing. Research key ideas in depth and develop them into articles.
Revision. Look at ways of getting ideas across through storytelling, imagery, and metaphor. Choose the tone. Improve cohesion and readability. Konstantin Pogrebnoy, Code Tiburon

I am always looking for ways to do my work more efficiently and thus I like to develop scripts and workflows to optimize my work, this allows me to increase my output while reducing the amount of time I spend on a particular task. Also, a big productivity booster is the fact that I delegate, reduce or eliminate tasks that I don’t need to do. I really believe in and live by the 80/20 rule which states that 80% of the results that I achieve will come from 20% of the tasks, so I only focus on the tasks that will yield the best results. Alejandro Rioja, Flux Ventures

Plan your day before going to bed, get up early next morning, take on the least desirable and energy burning tasks first, and stay away from social media! Desirable and energy burning tasks first, and stay away from social media! Saad Khan, Cygnis Media, Inc

Plan not only work but a rest too. Margarita Logoshina, Mentalstack

productive-energy

Work with a Timer – I always use a timer when writing articles or working on a project. This strategy lets me dedicate a set amount of time to devote to a project and helps me stay on task. I use Toggl and can see the timer ticking on the tab at the top of my computer screen. Writing becomes a game to beat the clock. If I gave myself 2 hrs that day to write an article draft and see the timer creeping towards the deadline, I can feel a surge of determination to get more done and more words on paper before the time is up.

Get Rid of Your Phone –  Do more than putting your phone on silent – get it out of sight! I throw mine in a drawer and don’t touch it until break time. Better yet, try giving it to a trusted co-worker and make sure they don’t give it back to you until the break you pre-establish with them. While you may know better than to respond to a text while working on a project, even glancing down at your phone screen when it lights up with a notification can cause you to lose focus. Kaycee Wegener, Rentec Direct

We all sit and stand all day long, how we get our bodies moving is the important question. DeskStand™ offers a range of ergonomic products that are not only give you a healthy posture but get you moving too. By staying active and moving your engagement levels increase in the work place and so does your productivity and alertness. We strive to bring the very best quality product to any active work lifestyle, globally. Ryan Roberts, DeskStand

Staying productive in my daily life is critical. I currently run four divisions of my business so staying organized is essential for me to stay on track. My absolute best tool has always been simple list-making. I make a goal list for the month for the bigger needle-movers I want to achieve, a weekly to-do list to make sure I am advancing, and a daily list each morning to tackle each item that needs to be completed within the day. To be able to look back and cross off everything that was accomplished in the weeks and the month overall is empowering, and it provides a solid timeline for where I’m headed next! – Kristin Weissman, Owner and  CEO of Studio K

For me, planning and prioritizing are the key to maximizing productivity. I always plan my weeks and days in advance, using Trello to map out my tasks, prioritize activities and ensure I hit my deadlines. Trello is also great for teams, helping everyone keep track of what they and their team-mates are working on. Cam Shearer, Digital Risks

As an owner/manager, I canʻt imagine running a business without making lists of things to do and prioritizing their importance. Itʻs important to be “productive” and not just “busy”. Not only do lists help me attack my days more efficiently, but they also insure that nothing gets overlooked which brings me a peace of mind. As for the Captains, they have lists too, only a different type of list. Similar to a pilot, our Captains have checklists to make sure their boat is ready for an amazing day out on the water. This helps with their peace of mind too, knowing they didnʻt forget to check the plugs, oil, or load snorkel gear, etc. Without these lists, I do not think we would be where we would be today. Nathaniel, Na Pali Experience

Create a blog wall. In our office, we have colored index cards and write topic ideas as they pop up, questions from clients, new technology, whatever. And pull a card from the wall whenever we need inspiration. Lorraine Ball, Roundpeg

Even though I work for a technology company, I still rely on writing to-do lists in notebooks to check off each task I complete. It adds an extra feeling of accomplishment and keeps me organized. I also like to set appointments for myself on my Outlook calendar – this allows me to prioritize and get the most important things done without interruption. – Ashley Fontes, Tech Networks of Boston

to-do-lists

I’m more productive when I give my attention to one thing at a time, so setting my phone to airplane mode helps me focus on the task at hand and frees me from the distraction of endless notifications. Nwando Ivenso, CapitalSquare

Always pre-plan the subjects and points you want to touch on before you dive in. This helps separate the create processes and the writing processes & always results in a lot more of a focused & informative blog post. Personally I mindmap all the points I want to cover, then arrange the headings after to create a logical flow through the article. If you aren’t a mindmap fan I know other well-known bloggers who just bullet point all the points they want to cover first then start writing. Henry Reith, Fridge Magazine

The most powerful productivity technique that I use before starting any sizeable task, or even before starting my day, is planning, planning, planning! Starting with the end in mind gives you a great head start.
When you have an idea of how you want something to go, it’s much easier to begin a task (no easy feat) and stay focused on it (probably even more difficult).

A simple, yet astonishingly useful tool you can use in any situation is the list.

A list is an extremely versatile tool, in that it allows for quickly jotting down steps or building a detailed plan.
With big projects, I like to break down my lists into categories. When I’m creating a website, for example, I’ll break down my list to include staff, roles, budget. marketing. social media, and so on.

Whether a list is straightforward or intricate, it remains a powerful key to getting organized and staying on task.

Acey Gaspard, A Touch of Business

I’ve found that one of the best ways to work productively is to plan out your entire week as if it were a puzzle. Whether it’s a regular weekly take, a long on-going project or a quick one-shot task, we only have a certain amount of time during the week to get work done. Make a list of all your weekly tasks and block out time during your week to work on each task. Schedule time to work on high priority tasks earlier in the week and lower priority tasks later in the week. This will ensure that you have time to touch on all projects and make the most of your time. Shawn McFadden, Dallas Riffle

productivity

Having an editor and someone to post the finished article is essential. It’s usually the last 10% of edits and getting it live that I find most challenging. Being able to hand that off to others is extremely valuable and helps me keep my commitments. Diona Kidd, Knowmad

Write and post on a schedule and post the same time each week. If you can’t post at least once a week you probably shouldn’t be blogging for a living. Look to hire help if you can’t post regularly, such as freelance writers, to keep your blog fresh. If you don’t have the funds, many writers will write for credit, if you promote them on your site. Shell Harris, TopTenz.net

As a blogger and a freelance writer, I never had the luxury to wait for inspiration to start working. I had to train myself to work whether I feel like it or not. So, after searching for ways to keep myself focused on my work and motivated I found out about the 52/17 rule. It’s simple. You work for 52 minutes with the complete focus on the task at hand and take a break for 17 minutes. Then you repeat. I use a timer app on my phone to manage this. So far, it’s been quite effective. Roshan Jerad Perera, Freelancing Hacks

“Constant distractions from social media and email made it hard for me to focus when working on my book series, so I had trouble meeting deadlines with my publisher and editor. To remedy that, I began to check my email and social media first thing in the morning and then unplug from the outside world for four hours. My productivity has more than doubled and the quality of my writing is much better when working with no interruptions. My routine has become food for my soul.” Cherie Ruffo, author of Amanda Fisher & the Source Crystals book series, CherieRuffo

“Automation is my greatest productivity hack. Good automation means keeping your personal touch while spending less time doing it!” Sean and Mittie, Sean and Mittie

To make my days as productive as possible, I schedule tasks in my calendar the night before. Rather than just winging my todo list, I treat every task that needs to get done as an appointment. This keeps me on track and ensures that everything gets done in a timely manner. Allyssa Barnes,allyssabarnes.com

Don’t lean on technology. Technology can be a godsend to productivity, but it can also be a time suck. I have applications that allow me to sync my calendars and task lists to my various devices, which is great. However, I’ve also spent countless hours trying to figure out different programs in the name of productivity to no avail.

I combined topic days with an editorial calendar to boost productivity on my blog. I try to have certain topics on certain days of the week, which allows me to plan posts a bit further in advance. When I’m really in the mood to write about one topic, I can schedule several posts weeks ahead. That not only helps me reduce the deadline pressure but also helps me see at a glance on the calendar where I need to focus to remain on schedule! Patrick Phillips, Patrickkphillips.com

One of the best productivity hacks I’ve learned is to hire people who are better at specific things than I am. I actively work to ensure I’m the dumbest person in the room. By doing this, I become less needed on a day-to-day basis to complete projects, and the company’s talent actually accomplishes more than I ever could. Joshua Conran, Deksia

I’ve found that the best way to increase productivity is to create a routine around the tasks that need to get done. I do the same things at the same time each day. It may sound robotic, but I also block time for ideas that require more creative thinking. This way everything has a place and a process. These routines quickly turn to habits once repeated, and I find myself checking off my to-do list rather easily. Joseph DiTomaso, All The Rooms

As a working mom, I typically get my kids up and off to school in the mornings. This could leave me quite unproductive since I often don’t even get into the office until after 9:00am. However, about a year ago I started getting up early to do my hardest work (brain work and writing) after meditating. To be most productive schedule meetings and other “talking” in the afternoon. Amy Rosenberg, president Veracity

Keep your email minimized during the day to tackle what’s on your to-do list. Set designated times to check your inbox such as 11am for 30 minutes and 6pm for 30 minutes. This will help you tackle your to-do list and eliminate interruptions.  Lindsay Joy Higgins, LeaveittoLindsay.com 

I’ve found that changing up my location is incredibly helpful for increasing my productivity. When I get restless while working in an office or at home, going to a local library or cafe can revitalize my creativity. For me, it’s important to choose a new work location that’s quiet, as I’m always reading and writing. The morning is my most productive time and it’s often most helpful for me to change up my environment in the afternoon and evening to keep that flow going.  Angelica Valentine, Proto.io
As a blogger and a freelance writer, I never had the luxury to wait for inspiration to start working. I had to train myself to work whether I feel like it or not. So, after searching for ways to keep myself focused on my work and motivated I found out about the 52/17 rule. It’s simple. You work for 52 minutes with the complete focus on the task at hand and take a break for 17 minutes. Then you repeat. I use a timer app on my phone to manage this. So far, it’s been quite effective. Roshan Jerad Perera, Freelancing Hacks

When it comes to managing projects, project management tools can help, but they are not a replacement for sound management practices and hands-on experience. Good project managers know project management software is just tool which makes it easier to plan, track and collaborate on projects more effectively, but does not replaces basic management knowhow. David R. Robins, Collaboration Corner

A strategized task-list can really boost your productivity level drastically.  Start the day with tasks that directly align with your “bigger picture” then gradually move on to other day-to-day less commanding tasks.  Avoid getting lost in your to-do lists by reviewing your performance daily to assure being on the right track. David Kosmayer, CEO – Bookmark Website Builder

Stay inspired – in my case this means getting outside and challenging myself to new Kauaʻi hiking adventures on a regular basis. By doing so I am able to write with more fluidity and passion, remembering why I started the blog in the the first place and coming up with great new content ideas. Maintain a directly felt sense of connection to that of which you are most passionate about! Jeremiah Felsen, Owner & Lead Guide @ Kauaʻi Hiking Tours 

List everything. I use a mix of paper lists and SimpleNote app, so I have my lists everywhere. Breaking work into manageable chunks makes life much easier. Elliot Taylor, Raison

Even though I work for a technology company, I still rely on writing to-do lists in notebooks to check off each task I complete. It adds an extra feeling of accomplishment and keeps me organized. I also like to set appointments for myself on my Outlook calendar – this allows me to prioritize and get the most important things done without interruption.   – Ashley Fontes, Tech Networks of Boston

Limit your time for everything.  The more time you allow yourself to complete a task the longer you will take so keep deadlines short.  If you give yourself a week to complete something that will only take 2 hours if you just crack on with it then get on with it, do it quickly, finish it and move on to the next thing. Lynette Green, Virtual Head Office

Set Goals and prioritize daily! In addition to establishing goals, I find myself constantly re-prioritizing things daily. Working in a content and advertising operations environment means things are always going to pop-up that need immediate attention. These can be a major distraction against overall productivity. Prioritizing daily, allows me to measure not only what was accomplished each day but keep a tally against overall productivity tied back to my goals. Everyone has their own methods of organization whether it is lists, post-its, notes, email, tasks, etc. but prioritization is the key to increasing productivity. Mark Verone, Gogo 

I do find that I’m more productive and more relaxed if I start my day early with a set routine. There’s always room for flexibility (life is unpredictable!) but overall, if I wake up and am able to complete a handful of tasks that I’ve already planned for, the rest of my day goes a lot smoother. It decreases stress because I don’t spend my entire day worrying about when I’m going to work on the things I accomplished that morning. I don’t know if beginning your day early with a routine actually gets you ahead in the grand scheme of things, but I do think the early bird has an advantage in terms of time management and peace of mind. Megan, Hole Punch Design

At wandermelon, we believe in setting yourself up today for tomorrow. So the day is not done till you’ve written up tomorrow’s to-do list, in order of importance, and cleared your desk in preparation for a brand new day. To begin, try a cold shower, a brisk walk and a hot cuppa to energize the body. Then, all you need to do is focus your mind on your list and power through it – no distractions! Reward yourself with a healthy mid-morning smoothie, do some yoga stretches with the cat, cross those done’s off, and move on to the B, C, D list. Rinse and Repeat. Kate Ayrton,  Wandermelon

Understand, Understand, Understand — Understand your audience, you must know who you’re talking to so you can save time. Understand people! Once you understand your audience, understanding what makes your audience tick is your next step. Finally, understand your craft and become an expert in your industry. As an SEO, I have to be an expert so I can reassure people without any doubt that I can help their rankings grow. James McMinn JR, Matchbox Design Group

productivity hacks

The most important part of productivity is process, and the most important part of process is people – you’re only as good as your process and your people.” Anthony De Marco, Boston Web Group

 Keep blog posts short, and always include a picture!  I try to keep my blog posts short enough so that they fit on the average cell phone screen, and I always include an attention-grabbing photo.  Miriam Otto, Blue Frog Shoes
My most effective technique for getting things done is to map out a schedule of my entire day with clear, actionable goals. The night before, I’ll write down 3 goals that I need to accomplish the following day. As soon as I get to my office, I map out my schedule hour by hour leaving just enough time to accomplish those 3 goals while still allowing for regular meetings and anything else that might pop up. This forces me to stay focused and get things done because I hate not accomplishing my goals. – Christophe Limpalair, Scale Your Code
How much time do you spend looking for your keys, phone, glasses and other items you use frequently? By putting items in the exact same spot, without exception, you can save hours over a year by never having to look for them. It also reduces stress when you’re not running around frantically at the last minute looking for these things! – Lori Dennis, Lori Dennis Interior Design
My productivity tips are actually a list of four pretty actionable pieces of advice:
1) Stay as organized as possible.
2) Have a good, supportive help system.
3) Employ honest workmen with an excellent skill set.
4) Make sure to tell the truth at all times.
Start with the most important and time-consuming task on your list first as we naturally procrastinate them and as the day unfolds many other unplanned things disrupt our schedule. Being an interior designer, I have discovered, that by getting the main things out of my head early in the day, sets my mind free to be more creative and at the end of the day I feel more productive. Develop the mental discipline to focus on one thing at a time and try to finish what you started. For example, I have specific times during the day when I respond to emails and check in with social media. – Renata Pfuner, Pfuner Design
Make a to-do list and prioritize it. Then, do the most important thing first each day. Everything else should wait or be handed off to someone else. – Mary Foster, AsterHouse Design

Staying organized and being prepared for the next day’s tasks and meetings have saved me so much time. I use to waste so much time driving back and forth to the office to grab things for each client and looking for items I didn’t have with me. I have found that if I start and end my day looking at my task list and meetings for the day ahead I can organize and be prepared with everything that I would need. I also digitally organize all of my notes and photos at the end of each meeting or each day in a program called Trello, which I can access from my computer or mobile device and ALWAYS have all my client information, notes, and photos with me at all times. This has been INVALUABLE! – Christine Julian, Christine Julian Interiors

While it may sound strange, staying disciplined about breakfast, lunch and snacking plays a big role in personal productivity. Overeating or eating unhealthy foods during the day can make you feel sluggish and tired, and make you lose focus, which on turn can lead to major losses in productivity. Healthy eating and committing to portion control, on the other hand, can help you keep your edge for the full work day. Phil Singleton, CEO, Kansas City Web Design

 

Close all browser tabs not relevant to what you are doing, and put your best pair of headphones on. – Logan Abbott, President of Voip-Info.org

How do you manage to get productive? That’s the million-dollar question for every type of job! In my case, everything should start by making a good detailed plan. When I want to boost my productivity, I always make sure to write down on a piece of paper all the different tasks that I have to complete. In that way, I can have a good overview of what I need to work on and I can prioritize my responsibilities accordingly. Some privacy and good music can also help a lot. Finally, I would strongly recommend to everyone, who is reading this, to invest on a good laptop and digital tools that could minimize the manual “busy work”. In that way, you can save valuable time daily and remain focused on your work. Anastasios Koutsogiannis, GenieBelt

A big challenge can be not getting overwhelmed by what’s on your plate. What’s helpful is to begin by gathering your tasks by e-mail (or wherever) and simply writing them down. Once you write them down you can prioritize and set yourself deadlines for each task. The important thing isn’t to meet every deadline but approach them realistically. Tasks that consume less time can be completed intermittently. Don’t beat yourself up for not meeting every deadline, just be prepared to set new ones and strive to meet them. Overall, these are good problems. It’s better to be busy than to be bored 🙂
Anthony, The Movie Blog

Businesses have goals and objectives to achieve which can be used to measure its level of success and growth. In the past few years, the businesses have seen a shift in business philosophy and hence has affected the design of project management. The project management software helps save the time wasted on juggling the task and takes care of you and your team to have more time focused on core operations to complete the project. It helps to manage a large project by assigning each individual task in the team and simplifying team collaboration, thus increasing the overall work productivity of the team. Nilam, Software Suggest

The best thing to remember when it comes to business is: under-promise and over-deliver. Katarina, Kanis Life

Digital Branding

30+ Best Marketing And Tech Blogs To Follow In 2019

The universe of tech blogs is vast! One of the reasons for it is an inescapable fact: people interested in technology spend hours and hours time with computers, so there’s no surprise why a Web-based medium is so wildly popular. Just notice how many more tech blogs there are than, say, blogs about home remodeling or sailing! And, surprise, surprise there are even more tech blogs than blogs dedicated to cute kittens. So, in the ocean of opportunities, the question becomes more difficult than ever: Which of all of these tech blogs are worth your time? To help answer that, the following list surveys the very best

Best Tech Blogs To Read

1) Clockspot

Workplace Productivity, optimization and management tips for every business professional.

2) Invoicebus Blog

On the Invoicebus Blog, we share knowledge on billing, invoicing, accounting, marketing, productivity and business management to easily succeed in your business. This blog is brought to you by the team behind Invoicebus, the automated cloud invoicing platform.

3) Madrivo

Madrivo works only with reputable global brands to deliver data-driven lead generation, customer acquisition, and brand awareness campaigns through email, mobile, social and display advertising, partnering with the most proven, ethical, and compliant publishers to deliver sustainable, scalable returns. On their blog they share their best insights and tips in the departments mentioned!

4) The Next Scoop

The Next Scoop is an Internet Marketing Blog, providing an benchmark news, tips and information related to Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Updates, Google Algorithm updates and Reputation Management. Their Blog houses expert take opinions and reviews on all the latest creative, marketing and internet related stories from the daily, week basis.

5) TechnoGiants

A great blog that will help you stay on top of your game. A constant and intensely passionate way to follow tech news of every stripe.

6) eMarketing Blogger

eMarketingBlogger is SEO & Blogging (How-To) Tips Blog run by Navneet Singh. Here you’ll find in-depth articles on SEO, Link Building, Blogging, Lead Generation and Conversion Optimization strategies. This blog has been featured in Forbes and Marketingland. Here is a recently published article on 17 Blackhat Techniques Killing Your SEO Campaign.

7) The Content Rewired blog

The Content Rewired blog is regularly updated with articles on effective content marketing. It’s a great resource to find tips, tools, and tactics to improve content marketing and corporate storytelling. Posts cover content marketing strategy, content creation, content amplification and promotion, and analytics. Content Rewired specializes in helping Fintechs and other B2B companies tell their best stories online. 

8) The Good

The Good publishes weekly long-form insights focused on helping ecommerce brands turn more of their visitors into customers.

9) Delightfully Designing

Improve your branding, design + general business knowledge with helpful articles that are sure to help you build a thriving brand.

10) ERPINNEWS

Apart from the top ERP News Channel with hand picked content, ERPINNEWS (News driven success)  specialises in providing lead gen service which helps businesses reach their target customers using their USP. They invest a lot of time and resources in their customer upfront and provide first 5 leads complimentary. Customer only pays for subsequent leads, if they are happy with our quality of service and lead.

11) Ultimate QA

Nikolay Advolodkin is a seasoned IT Professional, Test Automation Expert, and Quality Assurance Innovator whose dedication to innovation and progress has earned him the reputation as a strategist in the information technology space. Throughout the span of his technical career, he has not only cultivated extensive experience, he has received extensive acclaim for his continual success. Now he shares his experience on his blog on UltimateQA blog and in his online courses.

12) Contentmart

A global content marketplace, has come up with the most innovative concept of bringing in both content buyers and content creators together from all around the world, on to their platform and leveraging them to benefit from each other. It connects thousands of clients & writers globally over the platform and has progressed since its inception in the year 2015. With thousands of projects completed to date; they offer comprehensive multilingual content writing services, including business writing, web page content, articles, blogs, press releases, travelogues, case studies, whitepapers, and academic writing across print, electronic, and digital media platforms.

13) Mashable

News, rumor and comment about social media and social networking: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and all the other examples of semi-organized Web-based crowd behavior.

14) eAskme

eAskme is a place that not only help you to grow an internet entrepreneur but also help you to learn how to stand in the hardest times of the life. It talks about startup business, money making opportunities, business ideas, growth hacks etc.

15) ALC21

The everyday consumer wants reliability and good feelings in a continued relationship with companies when they choose to purchase their products or services rather than temporary customer service.Therefore, it is important to have a good grasp of the current trends to apply the appropriate marketing techniques to the different situations at the time.

16) Matt Curry

A great blog and resource for everything Linux; from Raspberry PI, home automation, to DevOps help, and even getting started with the basics.

17) O’Reilly Radar

Tim O’Reilly and his team put out intelligent tech analysis, with the emphasis on predicting what’s coming before it fully arrives.

18) Geckoboard

Geckoboard – a live TV metrics dashboard software – uses their blog as a platform to help online businesses use their data simply and effectively through in-depth articles, interviews, and video content.

19) iSmart

A ton of great information about multi-channel, online-offline B2B lead generation approach that consists of Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) / Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Advertising, Event Management and Telemarketing.

20) Wired’s Blogs

Preternaturally irreverent, but backed up by a hefty staff of in-the-know tech reporters, the Wired News stable of blogs is one of the Internet’s most influential.

21) Socedo

Socedo is a blog that exclusively focuses on the B2B marketer who needs insights, ideas, case studies and inspiration. Every week, Socedo provides actionable, B2B -centric, in-depth content that help busy B2B marketers take their programs to the next level. Key topics covered including social media strategy, SEO, marketing automation and content marketing.

22) Coast Of Illinois

Coast of Illinois encompasses the Midlife and Times of Landlocked Beach Bum Laura Ehlers as she sails, cooks and adventures through life in the Midwest, all while noting those little things that make living fun.

23) Become A Writer Today

If you’ve always wanted to become a writer (or the idea has kicked in just now) this blog should be your first and must-visit stop. An awesome and in-depth guide on how to start your blog, step by step and avoid mistakes as much as possible. Bryan has boiled it all down for you, your is just to jump to the article and pull out that valuable info from it.

24) TechRepublic Blogs

Covers the enterprise IT world: servers, security, tech staffing, virtualization, software as a service, and consultancies.

25) Computerworld: Opinion/Blogs

Experienced voices providing commentary that focuses on enterprise technology yet also delves into consumer tech, featuring voices like Windows pundit Preston Gralla and IT watcher Don Tennant.

26) Omniconvert’s CRO blog

A collection of articles and resources related to conversion rate optimization. They offer great optimization advice for e-commerce, SaaS, and publishing businesses. Some of the most covered subjects include A/B testing, personalization, lead generation & landing page optimization.

27) Volume SEO

Volume SEO provides actionable SEO advice drawn from in-depth case studies to help you grow your organic search engine traffic. You won’t find hyped up regurgitated content here, just the good stuff based on results.

tech-blogs

28) InfoWorld

Topics like JavaScript, Sun, Dell, SOA – these blogs focus on mission-critical tech for large corporations.

29) eWeek Blogs

If it has to do with technology – from jobs to security to platforms – there’s commentary about it at the eWeek blog portal. Keep your eye on leading tech pundit Eric Lundquist and security expert Matt Hines.

30) Shoestrings & Fancy Things

A blog that talks about the intricate love story between brands and consumers, Shoestrings & Fancy Things, is a place to explore tips, how to’s, ideas and challenges, about Content Marketing, Digital Strategies, Storytelling and other assorted goodies.

31) Techy Mantra

An awesome blog about web development, graphic design, marketing and tech news.

32) M-Connet’s Magento & eCommerce Blog

Great collection of article on Magento 2, eCommerce trends, online holiday sales and startup tips. updates weekly! A useful resource for eCommerce technology people.

33) BusinessWeek’s Blogspotting

Heather Green and Stephen Baker survey cutting edge technologies: behavioral technologies, privacy rights, social media.

34) Technology Review’s Blogs

Wow, these folks have high IQs (no wonder they write blogs published by the August Massachusetts Institute of Technology.) “Personal genomics”…“people aware computing.” Getting ready for some very heady stuff.

35) John Reviews

In johnnreviews Website You Will Find An In-depth Reviews About The Latest Highly Recommended Internet Marketing Training Courses + Tools + Important Tips To Enhance Your Online Business.

37) Automizy

The Automizy blog is recognized as one of the 60 best marketing automation blogs. It features in-depth, actionable articles on marketing automation, email, growth, and SaaS marketing. Their mission is to make the lives of marketers and entrepreneurs easier by providing great resources.
 
38) The Chat Shop
 
Here you will find the musings of live chat experts from delivering real conversations. The blog brings together insight from The Chat Shop experts and some select guest authors about the latest trends, techniques and thinking regarding sales enablement and customer service.

39) Prevaj Consulatnts

PREVAJ offers technical solutions and services and their blog helps all those who need insights in web, cloud, eCommerce and mobile technologies.
 
40) iTristan Media Group
 
For us it’s all about being fast, or first, better or innovating to be the best. The speed of digital business means that there is no standing still. Even micro-improvements in how we do business make a difference so in DigBiz articles and podcasts we discuss it all. From the very nerdy, to best practices, finance, sales, creativity, to the innovative cutting edge, if it’s digital and brings a perspective on improving we’ll talk about it.

 41) DSquad

 The DSquad is an innovative, results-driven digital marketing agency that specializes in effective search engine optimization (SEO). Their commitment to clients is their honest, open and transparent process support, aiming to achieve all the search engine homepage ranking, no matter how client’s keyword needs, and through the use of various forms of social media, they make sure that your site is fast, streamlined and reputable in the eyes of the digital world.

 42) The Art Of Service

 The Art of Service’s Standard Requirements Excel Dashboard and accompanying Books are for managers, advisors, consultants, specialists, professionals and anyone interested in self assessments. Their pledge is to empower and enlighten technology leaders to truly gain a competitive advantage within their field.

43) Limpid China

All the latest from China Internet and marketing experts and specialists who have experiential knowledge about the market, consumers, trends and many more.

44) SBWeb Center

The Small Business Web Center was created to provide advice and resources for small business owners trying to take their business online, or for people who just want to make some extra money on the Internet. Why the focus on small business? Because, small businesses make up the majority of businesses in America, and they are the ones that are the most disadvantaged. I will be sharing news, information and opinions on a wide range of topics related to online business, including SEO, online marketing and small business tips.

45) Buildateam Academia

Buildateam Academia is a place where you can learn a lot of development, design and how to use it wisely in order to skyrocket your business.

46) Copley Sutton

Copley Sutton is a copywriter who believes that excellent content is the fuel that drives SEO and online reputation management. His skills involve SEO copywriting, user-friendly blogging, and website content that’ll keep users hooked and ready to buy.

47) Beaconsoft Ltd

Beacon track website visitors from individual social posts. They discover which posts drive the most website traffic and sales, and learn how to replicate the success. Also, discover the effectiveness of each social post; learn what message performs best with clients audience and see the actions directly resulting from each.

48) Blog Virals

Blog Virals is founded in 2016 as a result of simple observation. Their motive is to give people latest news regarding tutorial & some entertainment through viral blogging. Blog Virals provide best blogging tips & tricks. They want to teach everything regarding blogging, how to earn money online & much more things.

49) James Willett Blog

Take your REST Assured, Gatling and other technical testing skills to the next level by visiting this expert blog.

50) Nogentech.org

The latest technology blog for its visitors. A collection of contents and useful resources related to SEO, online tech, marketing tips, gadget reviews. 

51) Function Point

The Function Point Blog brings together insights into project management, productivity and marketing best practices to help creative teams stay positively productive.

52) Startupily

Startupily is a platform for entrepreneurs seeking useful content, resources, and tools to start and grow their business.

53) IntelligenceBank DAM Blog

Marketing departments move at the speed of light and streamlining management processes for creative assets and brand compliance is essential for today’s marketer. Visit the IntelligenceBank DAM blog to learn how some of the world’s largest brands simplify marketing processes.

54) Youmegeek.com

A tech web blog about all things computer, blogging and internet technology guides.

55) Jason Fox

More than 30 years of combined marketing for real estate professionals this company understands that your time is precious. That you are juggling the duties of Sales Manager, Customer Service Representative, Accountant, Marketing Manager, and CEO. That’s why they are here to help – both with their services and their content they put out regularly.

56) Shane Barker

Shane Barker is an accomplished digital marketing consultant. From working with celebrities on digital reputation management to obtaining a #1 national ranking with PROskore as a social media consultant, Shane has built an impressive list of accomplishments in digital marketing. As a regular contributor to publications like Salesforce, Yahoo Small Business, Marketing Profs and others, he continues to grow and share his knowledge.

57) Gurock

With more than 34 thousand subscribers, this blog is a carefully researched and popular article hub on software testing and QA every few weeks. You can find top resources to become a better tester, learn new tools and build a team.

58) Arcs & Curves

Knowledge Hub On Arcs & Curves Knowledge Hub you can get actionable advice, digital marketing tactics and captivating content on Marketing, Social Media, Lead Generation, CRM & more! Check them out on www.arcsncurves.com, and don’t forget to subscribe to their newsletter.

59) Spec India Blog

SPEC INDIA is a boutique software solutions company based in Ahmedabad, one of the most enterprising cities of Gujarat in India. With their beginnings about 30 years ago, they have proven their capabilities in providing accelerated and cost-effective enterprise software development solutions to a large portfolio of customers across the globe. On their blog they share many insights from their three-decade long experience and all the lessons learned.

 60) Dev Mountain

DevMountain is an industry-leading coding school that began in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains. Founded by fellow coders, DevMountain’s expert faculty are passionate about sharing their craft and empowering the next wave of programmers, entrepreneurs and designers. Their blog features many insights for future web developers, programmers and anybody wanting to get into tech.

61) GreenRope’s Business Blog

GreenRope’s Business blog focuses on CRM and marketing automation strategy helping business succeed with a complete and comprehensive technology stack.

62) JBKlutse.com

JBKlutse.com is a go-to Tech and Social information website. They focus on delivering up-to-date content on trending tech and social issues everywhere. They run product and service reviews and features for both individuals anorganizationsns.

63) Folderit.com 

DMS Blog covers topics from efficient business management, cyber security and SaaS business software to articles about achieving a healthier workplace and office hacks.

64) Coding Sans

They love building web and cross-platform mobile applications. The team behind the code loves to share insights on their blog. Be sure to check them out to learn more about latest development practices.

65) Network Bees

Network Bees is a technology blog that focuses on a wide range of of topics, including Search Engine Optimization, Rank Tracking and Web Hosting. In fact, if it’s about technology, you are likely to find it on Network Bees. Although it was started only a year ago, Network Bees has already gained a large number of loyal readers.

66) Continuous Testing Blog

Eran Kinssbruner is an influential blogger and speaker at global conferences like StarEast, StarWest, DevOps West, AndroidSummit, Eurostar, Automation Guild and QAI Quest. Eran’s trying to provide valuable practices to developers and testers at organizations large and small. At a community level, he’s founded Meetups in both Boston and Israel to empower, educate, and bring together local dev/test experts, and launched a LinkedIn Group with over 5,400 mobile developers and testers from all over the world.

67) Socedo Blog

The Socedo blog is the go-to resource for digital marketers and social media managers at growing B2B companies. Learn from interviews with experts, case studies from innovative marketers, and anecdotes from the Socedo marketing team about building a social media audience, growing traffic, and increasing conversion rates.

 68) Etech

Etech has grown over the past 20 years to be a leading outsourcing provider of intelligent sales, effortless customer experience, and advanced technology solutions. Started with 400 seats in Deep East Texas and grew to be a global company with 2500 seats without mergers or acquisitions. Today, Etech has 8 successful contact centers located throughout the United States, India, and Jamaica. Global presence, combined with the knowledge and adaptability, allows Etech to provide a remarkable difference to the customers and provide outstanding insights on their blog.

69) Livestorm Blog

Livestorm is the modern software for webinars and live video sessions online. On the blog, they write about video marketing best practices on a weekly basis.

70) Deliverbility Blog

Deliverbility is a Bulk email verifier and validation tool. Their blog covers latest advancements and trends in Emailing Campaigns.

71) Ask Tester

AskTester is not just another forum. AskTester is a community of professional testers where we can freely ask questions about testing, speak up your opinions, show your interests and sharing quality content. Noa t like forum, AskTester will make sure your voice is heard.

72) BroadVision Marketing 

BroadVision Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that focuses on helping increase awareness, drive revenue and attract ideal prospects for your business. We blog about the latest marketing trends, search engine news, and provide marketing tips and expertise to our readers.
 

73) Process Street

The Process Street blog writes enthusiastically about the tedious side of your business, covering operations, processes, and automation without the jaw-breaking yawn. As well as processes, Process Street writes about startups, marketing, and technology.

74) JReport

JReport empowers companies to embed the most sophisticated reports and dashboards into web applications. Check out our blog for the latest on embedded analytics technology.
 

75) Trunk.Ly 

Trunk.Ly is an online WordPress resource which focuses on WordPress tutorials, How-to’s and more. The main goal of this site is to provide amazing information on anything everything about Blogging.”
 

 76)  Blogsden

Aspiring community for Blogsden readers which provides useful content on various topics such as Development, Web Design, Business, & Marketing, Etc.
 
Local Branding

Essential Wedding Planning – Tips and Tricks

Most of us dream of our wedding day for years. We have this image in our mind of what the perfect wedding is. However, we have no idea what goes into making that perfect event. There are a million details that must be addressed to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

In our minds we see bridesmaids rushing around getting dressed, and the groomsmen in their tuxedos laughing on the steps of the chapel. What we do not give much thought to is the florist, caterers, DJ, minister or official, or the videographer. We do not think of the crews setting up chairs and setting tables, the cake being delivered, the limo driver or the bartender. There are so many ways to make wedding planning mistakes, but professionals are here to help. 

There are a lot of talented people that must work together in order to give you that perfect day. We have interviewed wedding professionals from around the country to get some great tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your wedding. So let us share with you advice from the experts.

food-couple-sweet-married

Wedding Planners, Vendors and other pros

We believe in the importance of a good wedding planner. The vast majority of problems and issues that dance on the nerves of the bride and groom are easily dealt with by an experienced wedding planner. If you can only afford one luxury for your wedding day, we suggest you hire a wedding planner.

Karlee Jaramillo from Karlee K Photography shared her opinion about wedding planning:

“You’re engaged! Congratulations! Getting started in the wedding planning process, the biggest tip I can give would be to decide which wedding professional is the most important to you. Maybe you’ve been following a photographer’s work on Instagram religiously, waiting until it was your turn to let them capture your story in the dreamiest way. Perhaps you know that you could never do all the work alone, and having a talented planner who knows the in’s and out’s of making your wedding absolute perfection is your top priority. We all have that go-to vendor who we’ve just been waiting to reach out to ever since we met the right person, the vendor who fills our Pinterest board with our ideal wedding day. Reach out to that vendor before anyone else, and choose your day based off of their availability! I can’t count the times where so many couples have been so disappointed because the vendor of their dreams was already booked, but you can avoid this! And to do so, you may have to compromise somewhere else! Say you envisioned a Fall wedding in October, but the photographer is booked solid through November. You may want to consider a Summer or Winter wedding, and that’s ok! You will not regret making a small sacrifice in one area to work with someone who you know will take the best care of you when it matters most!”

Professionals Scott and Dana Halvorson of Weddings By Scott and Dana explain it best: “Dream weddings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and to plan a truly memorable wedding can seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips to ensure your wedding will be an event to remember.

  • Know what you want: This is not just any ole wedding, it’s your wedding. Talk to you partner and decide what type of wedding you both would really enjoy. Personalize your wedding to match your personalities. Starting with a solid idea of what your dream is will make all the other decisions easier.
  • Get Help: Armed with your dream in mind, search out the professionals that can turn that dream into a reality.Everyone you hire, from your planner to your invitation designer, should know what your expectations are. Hire people who have experience with your type of wedding, then trust them to do what they do best.
  • Consider your guest: Think about your guest and how they will experience your wedding. Taking time to make sure your guest will be comfortable, occupied, entertained, and appreciated will create an event they will remember for years.
  • Have fun: Plan to enjoy this special day. Everyone will notice and it’s contagious. If you have fun so will everyone else. When everything is over, and you are reminiscing about your wedding, the fun you had is what you and your guest will remember the most.”

Cassandra Key-Lyons of Bridal Magic advises brides on ways to lighten their load and make things run much more smoothly:  

“My advice to couples planning their wedding: once you’ve made a decision, like picking your decor and color palette, stick with it. Don’t cause yourselves stress and confusion by continuing to look at alternatives. There are plenty of options out there but go with your instincts and what you want as a couple. Pouring over wedding websites and magazines long after you’ve already settled on something will only muddle the process. Also, don’t do something because you think you’re supposed to. If you don’t want a guestbook or to hand out favors with your initials on it, then don’t. It’s your wedding, so make it everything you want it to be.”

Courtney Branson from Lovely Little Blog also shares the idea to keep it simple. The internet is flooded by the ‘best wedding ideas’ but what if the brides just stick to what makes THEM happy?

“Pinterest can be your best friend or worst enemy. It’s great for sparking ideas and showing vendors your vision. It’s tempting to let it go past that but I encourage you to plan the wedding that fits your budget and vibe. There’s nothing less magical than realizing you’re in debt day one of marriage or planning a wedding that feels disingenuous to your relationship. You want folks to say, “This feels so y’all”. Don’t let the Pinterest board cloud your instincts.”

Betsy Tomasello, of Betsy Blue Photography, is in agreement on brides letting the professionals do what they do. That is the only way to get the best results. She says:

“One of my favorite ways to serve my brides is to include timeline assistance with every wedding booking. I’ve witnessed hundreds of weddings and am always happy to share my experience on when the best light might be for portraits, or possibly a more flattering position to angle the arbor in order to allow for the best light on the couple for their photographs.Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking, so why not rely on the experience of professionals around you to help plan your day to be as fluid and beautiful as possible.”

When it comes to wedding vendors, photographers, planners, and other professionals, John Lennon of Lennon Photography had this to share:

“Look for vendors who have a passion for what they do. A typical sales pitch equals common quality. You deserve vendors who dream of the perfect wedding because those are the people who care enough to deliver it to you.”

Trust your event coordinator to have some pretty cool ideas. They are up to the minute on wedding trends and traditions. Be open to their suggestions.

Kristin Rockhill, Wedding Stylist & Floral and Event Designs, has an eye for design and color. She says:

“Grey is my favorite color! When it comes to setting a stunningly styled tablescape my go to linen choice is grey. It pairs perfectly with wood tones, neutrals, pastels and even bright and cheery hues like lemon and tangerine!”

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if we are creating the wedding we really want. If you want a small, intimate, gathering, then go for it.

As wedding expert, Maria Fernanda Marion of Blog da’ Maria Fernanda points out: “keep it small. Small weddings are more intimate and cozy.”

Lisa Gilbert from Lisa Gilbert Photography added:

“There are so many little details involved in planning a wedding and it can be exhausting. You need to prioritize their importance to you and then LET GO. Think about the last two or three weddings that you attended as a guest. What do you remember? The food? The centerpieces? How great the DJ was? Chances are, the things that stood out to you are the same things that will stand out to your guests, so stop worrying about the details that will fade (is anyone really going to remember the exact shade of your napkins?) and focus on the ones that are are meaningful to you (like keeping the dance floor packed). Then, let the people you’ve hired to take care of these details do their jobs, while you relax and enjoy the best day of your life!”

Bride showing Engagement Ring on Left Hand on Wedding Celebratio

Venue

Alexis Wilkins, the wedding and event planner at Alexis Wilkins Events shared her opinion with us:

“My advice would be to fall in love with a venue and not so much a date. Many brides dream of a wedding on a particular date but when they find a venue they love their “date” may not be available. If you love the look and feel of a venue, the date won’t matter as much to you.”

Beauty

On this single day, you want to be the most beautiful you have ever been.

Take these tips from Nina Moran, Cheekadee Makeup Artist:

“Summer can be hot and sticky but let’s keep the hot in our makeup and ditch the sticky! Whether you are doing your makeup yourself or having it professionally done, here are some tips to keep your makeup fresh on your big day!

Tone with witch hazel, we really like Thayer’s, Witch Hazel. This will remove any unwanted oil that may interfere with the longevity of your makeup

Prime your skin- We love Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12 Hour Perfecting primer. This product refines the skin, is waterproof and diffuses fine lines and imperfections.

If you are super oily you can use a mattifying product like Face to Face Super Matte Anti-shine. Just a bit it the t-zone will do.

Set your makeup with a setting spray! Our favorites are Model in a Bottle, or Makeup Forever Mist & Fix. This will really improve your makeup wear!”

Kelly Brown from lulaandsailor.com added:

“Search For The Dress!

Every Bride is different as is the journey of wedding planning. There may not be a “favorite” part of the wedding planning process but my from my experience last year; it was without a doubt the search for the perfect wedding dress. Most brides wouldn’t take it quite as extreme as I did. Being a fashion blogger and wardrobe stylist I really wanted to document the process, especially because I visited thirteen stores. Yes, THIRTEEN STORES you read that correct lol. If I could give advice to a bride it would be to really take your time finding the perfect dress and take a lot of photos. Only you will know when you have found your perfect dress. Enjoy and savor every moment! “

pexels-photo-169198

The Wedding Gown

Brides have to make sure to choose the perfect dress for the ceremony. Amanda Speed, the Managing Director Shades of White Bridal shared with us what she finds important about wedding dress shopping.

“Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting pieces of planning your wedding, so how do you get the most out of your experience?  Shop early!  Ordering in and altering a gown can take to 5-9 months.  Book only 1-2 appointments in a day and be choosy with who you bring, too many opinions can be very overwhelming.  Have fun, relax and be honest with your consultant about what’s really important to you – allowing the consultant to really engage with your needs and vision will give you the best of his/her professional abilities and that’s when the magic happens!”

Photography

Photography is a major priority for any wedding. This is a day that must be captured for eternity. Some day our great-grandchildren will look back on this day and we want them to see the love and hope we had for the future in our photographs.

Professional and devoted photographers do their best to make the wedding day special for the couple. Some of them even include a complimentary engagement session. Why is that? Angelina from Asterisk Photography replied to this question:

“We do this because it allows for 3 really basic yet crucial things to develop: Consistency, relationship, and trust.

These 3 items are so important to have with your wedding photographer –

First – having the same photographer shoot your wedding and engagement allows everything to be seamless and consistent. Brides usually pick their wedding photographer because they love their style – by having the photographer do both, your wedding style really shines through.

Secondly – Relationship. Hmmm. this is a big one for me! I love shooting weddings because of the relationships I get to form with my couples. The more I know my clients personally, the better I know how to serve them well.

This leads to our final reason: Trust. We all know that every relationship is built on trust. During that engagement session time, you’re able to build trust and relationship in a casual setting, the wedding day pressure isn’t around so you and your fiance are freed up to have fun!”

 Ayyyna Budaeva from Mango Studios added:

“Your day will come and go very quickly, remember to sit back, relax, don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the moment. Coordinating a wedding can be stressful but stay calm and focus on the big picture, and your photos! A wedding is a gathering of your closest family and friends in one room to celebrate your love and commitment to each other, celebrate that and live in the moment in order for your wedding photos to look organic, natural and effortless!”

Alicia Williams from Cordele Photography emphasizes the importance of referrals and some research before hiring your photographer. But most importantly…

“First, Relax!  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a wedding!  Research, ask friends and use google!  Friend referrals will give you a good sense if you like the vendor because you like the referrer.  Also, take notes at events and weddings you attend. Look at season color palettes Check out Color Me Pretty!  Talk to vendors and see if you jive with them.  Especially the photographer! They may take pretty pictures, but you want to have fun with them, they follow you everywhere!”

 

Bethanne of Bethanne Arthur Photography offers this advice for the couples:

“When searching for a photographer to capture your big day, keep a few things in mind.

  • Can you afford this photographer?
  • Are you willing to expand your wedding photography budget if you find your perfect match, in regards to photography style?
  • Do you feel comfortable with them?
  • Does your fiance feel comfortable with them? Do they seem personable?
  • Does this photographer seem to treat clients and events as just transactions, or do they try to get to know you or find a point of connection?
  • Do you love their work? It is so important to choose someone that actually has a photography style that you love.

 

These are your wedding photographs; these are priceless heirlooms you will have for the rest of your life and beyond, as they are passed down through the generations. Do not just hire someone because they are the least expensive, someone you know is friends with them, or they have 10,000 followers on Instagram. Choose a photographer that shoots images you love and swoon over; choose a photographer that you feel like you can connect with!”

Jillian McQuerrey, the owner of B.O.B. Photography, agrees with Bethanne about that special connection between the bride and photographer. She shared: “One tip I can wholeheartedly recommend is to do your research. I always tell couples I speak with to chat with more than one photographer. After that, choose the photographer you “click with”, love their work and feel comfortable around. If you think about it, you will spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than your significant other. So you want it to be an enjoyable experience. The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the more natural your photographs will look.”

Many brides try so hard to control everything, for forget that they have hired professionals to relieve them of that stress.

This point was driven home by Betty Simpson, of Betty Elaine Photography, “Trust your photographer and other vendors! Yes, it is your wedding day (hooray!), but you do not need to be burdened with having to control the day or schedule out your timeline by yourself. Once you know what your wedding day is going to look like (location, ceremony start time, etc), it is important to talk to your wedding photographer about how much time they need for pictures. Let them draw up a schedule for portraits and help you figure out when hair and makeup should be finished. Your photographer will know the best time of day for outdoor pictures, how long you need them for getting ready pictures, and if a first look would be more practical for your wedding day.”

There are always little budget busters that manage to show up with weddings. Take care of small things and the big things will take care of themselves. The main thing is to have your day, have your memories, and have fun!

Here is a great tip by Jenna Henderson, of Jenna Henderson Photography “While wedding planning, don’t forget to budget a little money for after the wedding to use for prints of your wedding photos! After all, when the whole day is over, the photos are the only thing that will remain. You want to make sure you have enough cash stashed away that you can give your beautiful memories the treatment they deserve, whether that be in the form of a fine art album or perhaps a gallery of large framed prints. Printed photos also make a great gift for your parents as a way to say thanks for all of their support.”

Brandon O’Neal, of Brandon Oneal Photography, says it like this:

“As a photographer, I see weddings as a dance between preparation and chance. We like to allow the celebrations unfold naturally, but we often manipulate the timing and locations ahead of time so they work out in our favor for great images.Prepping for the day is essential- create timelines, do the meetings, set up the vendors. But, when the day comes, my biggest advice is to enjoy it no matter what. Brides put lots of time and energy into planning the day and it would be such a waste to not enjoy it. I want to photograph my brides and grooms having the time of their life, not micromanaging every detail and worrying about the flowers being just right – that doesn’t make for great images. So plan, then let go!”

Wedding photography is an art. So much depends on the location, timing, lighting, and ambiance.

Leslee Mitchell of Leslee Mitchell Art is an artist and photographer. As such, she has a wealth of knowledge she was gracious enough to share. She says:

“Light is 100% of every photo. It’s not 99%, it’s 100%.

Don’t let family photo time eat up more time than necessary. After all, the most important photos of the day are the ones of the bride and groom. No wedding is complete without the family photos, but family photos do not have to monopolize a majority of photo taking time.

However long your hair and makeup artist tell you it will take to complete hair and makeup, add at least 30-45 minutes. It’s common for hair and makeup to run over on schedule. When hair and makeup run over, you will receive fewer photos due to lost time that cannot be recovered.

Just relax. The most beautiful photos are the candid shots. Make a point to not know where the photographer is every second of the day. Chances are they’re somewhere looking right at you through their lens. Don’t mess up what could have been a beautiful, candid moment of you because you’re scanning the room looking for your photographer or trying to figure out if you’re being photographed.

If you hate being photographed to the point you almost break out in hives have a cocktail and relax. If you can’t relax, you will appear tensed in your photos. Don’t be hard on yourself. The majority of people are uncomfortable when they’re being photographed. Have a plan in place to be able to relax when it’s time to be in front of the camera. You’ll be very glad you did.”

Communication is key when it comes to your wedding. Details must never be left to chance. This tidbit from Leigh Fabozzi of Leigh Elizabeth Photography is right on the money! Leigh says,

“Maximize your photographer’s coverage by creating a timeline in advance. Make sure to sit down or have a phone call with your photographer about a month out from your wedding to finalize the timeline. Ask questions, iron out the details, and get on the same page. This will ensure your wedding day runs smoothly and stress-free!”

Carly Fuller from Carly Fuller Photography shared the idea of picking your home as a location for engagement photos. She stated: “Stay at home and capture your first professional photos in your first home together as a future married couple! One of my favorite places to capture a couple is in their own environment. All your favorite things surround you and even kitties are welcome!” By doing so, the engagement photos will be natural, and they’ll reflect your true personality.

Our Favorite Tip

Throughout the rest of your lives together, there will be issues and situations that monopolize your time. Take this advice from Candice Benjamin of Candice Benjamin Photography. Make this a habit throughout all of life’s challenges and you will always be content.
Candice simply states: ”Have a weekly date night where you aren’t allowed to talk about the wedding. Enjoy your time together!

5 Steps to Successful Digital Marketing for Tech Companies
SaaS Branding

5 Steps to Successful Digital Marketing for Tech Companies

When I first approached Dean Ara, I was amazed by his know-how and skill levels in the product marketing area. He is the Principal and co-founder of Total Product Marketing. With 17 years of technology marketing experience, he’s run channel marketing programs, go-to-market positioning, and product launches, and managed the online reputation and identity for dozens of clients. That all said, we had to get his guest post on Altitude Branding – and here he is, without further ado:

——————————–

Looking for a better, more effective way to market your products and services in the cloud, hosting, and tech space without having to spend a bundle or resort to expensive marketing solutions? With the increasing number of startups jumping into the arena, it’s hard to stand out above the scrabble of climbing all over one another to get those customers you just have to have.

The marketing of tech products and services isn’t like the marketing of motor oil. There you just pick the viscosity grade you want and a brand name you’re familiar with. It’s different when you’re doing digital marketing for tech companies. People who need you might be familiar with your company name or brand or, they might not.

Your prospects are considering a pretty hefty investment and will do a ton of research before they even approach you. And how do most of us do our research today? We “Google it.”

Will your prospects find you? 

They will if you try this well-planned, five-step digital marketing plan for tech companies — a winning MSP marketing plan that matches your products and services with client needs and educates them in the process.

Give it a try and move ahead of your competitors.

Step 1: Evaluate Where You Are

“If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.” — Sir Terence David John Pratchett, English author

As Pratchett noted, it’s hard to figure out where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. So, start your digital marketing plan for tech companies by evaluating where you are now.

What’s Your Value Proposition?

First, figure out what product or service you’re selling and what differentiates your company from others selling the same things. Turn this into your value proposition — that concise statement that explains what benefit you offer for which business(es) and how you do it better than anyone else. Put another way; your value proposition pinpoints and solves the problem your target buyer is experiencing and describes what sets you apart from your competitors.

Then look at how you currently go about marketing your wares.

Are You Using Enough Marketing Channels?

Digital marketing is a multi-channel activity. It’s not enough to put up a website and expect people to find it. You’ve got to discover where your prospects are likely to be and also be there so they can find you.

More than 75% of B2B use three or more channels when conducting their research, according to Blue Nile research, with 80% leveraging online search and company websites.

What channels are you using?

Of the multiple online channels available, which do you use?

  • Website
  • Social media
  • Email
  • Organic search and rankings
  • Paid search (pay-per-click)
  • Display ads
  • Affiliate advertising

You certainly don’t need to use all channels. But remember, the more channels you use to present your content, “the more opportunities you’ll have to drive potential customers to convert.”

Now it’s time to move to step two of our guide on digital marketing for tech companies.

Step 2: Determine Your Goals

It’s quite likely you’re among the many who’ve listed lead generation and increasing sales as their top two goals. But you can’t just snap your fingers and make it happen. You need to plan how you’re going to achieve those goals. And you need to make them measurable.

So, by how much do you want to increase sales and by when? By what percentage do you want to grow your leads and by when? Then you need to figure out how realistic those numbers are and whether you have the time, resources, and budget to make achieving them reasonable.

If you do, then it’s time to turn to digital content marketing. Demand Metric found that:

  • Content marketing generates about three times the leads that traditional marketing does
  • 90% find content they perceive as directed toward them useful
  • 82% of people feel more positive about a company when it provides useful content
  • 70% would rather learn about a company through an article over an ad

However, don’t stop reading and get on to writing just yet. You’ve got to develop your digital marketing plan. Let’s face it. Most people look at reading about cloud hosting or SaaS as less sexy than watching paint dry. So you’ve got to figure out a way to appeal to the customers you want.

Step 3: Define Ideal Customers, Create Buyer Personas

The success of digital marketing for tech companies hinges on understanding your target audience, the people/businesses to whom you want to sell. The more detailed you can be, the better.

And you can learn more about buyer persona in this ideo by SEO link builder Julian Goldie

Who Are Your Ideal Customers?

You can’t be everything to everyone, and why would you want to, anyway? Imagine all the irritable, unpleasant, late-paying, and rude customers you’d have among the gems that respect you and sing your praises. 

In a perfect world, the ideal customer is one:

  • Who knows he has a problem
  • Has discovered your solution
  • Can afford to pay what you charge
  • Will become a brand advocate and refer others to you

But we don’t live in a perfect world, so you need to add the customer

  • Who can’t yet name the problem for which you have a solution, but who knows something’s a bit off

Understanding the Buyer’s Journey

It’s this last person that typifies the first part of the buyer’s journey — the process people and businesses go through before making a purchase.

Digital marketing for tech companies must absolutely recognize this process in order to appeal to ideal customers and those who could become ideal customers. There are three stages:

  • Awareness or discovery — when pain first sets in and the person wants to eliminate it, but doesn’t yet know how
  • Consideration — where they’ve named the problem and are actively seeking solutions
  • Decision — where they narrow the solutions to one or two and work to justify purchasing it

Creating the Buyer Persona

As HubSpot notes, personas are “fictional, generalized representations of real people” that fit your ideal customer profile. Personas make it easier when it comes time to tailor your content, marketing messaging, and services to the particular needs, attitudes, actions, and concerns of the different categories of people you sell to.

You might only need a couple of personas if you’re very niche or very small; others will need more. Possibilities include:

  • Harried Harry, CEO
  • No-Nonsense Nelson, CFO
  • Geeky Gary, Head of IT
  • Challenged Charlie, Head of IT
  • Searching Sally, Geeky Gary’s admin assistant

In order to create effective personas that can be used by sales and marketing, you need to do some research. There are likely several people/job titles involved in the company’s decision making process and you need to know which each of them are.

Interview your customers, conduct research, and then create the personas that include the following information:

  • Job title
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Location
  • Age, gender
  • Lifestyle, family info
  • Particularities — makes decisions quickly, likes phone calls, evaluates all options, bottom-line guy, etc.
  • Business or department goals
  • Challenges pain points faced in trying to do their job
  • Typical sales objections to your product or service
  • How your product or services solves those challenges, overcomes the objections, help them meet their goals

Step 4: Create Content to Address Buyer Personas’ Pain Points

Think back to the buyer’s journey. It starts when there’s a problem that needs a solution. Think from your potential customers’ perspectives. Are they trying to research what causes it, how to solve it, or what options exist? You’ve got to address all that — and your digital marketing for tech tactics will vary in each stage of the journey. Your buyers need information, research, educational content, that inform and guide them along the process to reach the decision stage.

Marketing tactics to consider during the buyer’s journey include:

Awareness stage — Blogs, eBook, white papers, industry research, checklists
Consideration stage — Comparison guides, videos, infographics, webinars
Decision stage— Case studies, customer testimonials, spec sheets, live demos, free trials

Forty-six percent of businesses surveyed by Blue Nile Research want data and stats to help them during the decision stage. But that “is less about buyers wanting to read dense academic reports and review charts …  than it is about them wanting the marketer to give them the information they need to make an educated purchase decision.”

But, once you create all that content, consider search engine optimization.

Include SEO in Your Content

Search engine optimization isn’t just about the speed at which your web page loads. It’s also about your content — and its relevance to the user’s search query. So you need to really get inside your prospect’s head and deliver exactly what they’re looking for.

Google has turned to artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques “to help it better understand intent behind the words searchers enter, and to make its results more relevant,” says Marcus Tober, founder and chief technology officer of Searchmetrics. “User signals such as how often certain results are clicked and how long people spend on a page help the search engine get a sense of how well searchers’ questions are answered. That allows it to continually refine and improve relevance” — which it does by changing its search algorithm up to 600 times a year.

Again, it’s clear your content must meet the need of your customer. So, think before you write. What is your prospect going to search for? How would he phrase his Google search? What are they keywords in that search that you can capitalize on?

Then, map your content to those keywords.

This could help your web page rank higher in search results — but more importantly, it can help the potential customers looking for your solutions to find you more easily.

Step 5: Measure Your Success

If you’ve come this far in your digital marketing plan, terrific. But don’t stop yet. 

Now you need to measure how effective it’s been. Why go to all this bother and not know what’s worked and what hasn’t?

So take a look at your content marketing success metrics to discover your most — and least — popular web pages, blog posts and email campaigns. You should aim to measure traffic, engagement, and conversions to help you determine the return on the investment you’ve made.

There are many metrics and tools you can use, but at the least you should measure reach, looking at:

  • Number of unique visitors
  • Time spent on each page
  • Email forwards
  • Conversion rate — the number of people who completed your call to action
  • Social shares
  • Click-through-rates

You can go further and breakdown what you look at depending on your focus:

  • Lead generation — use click-throughs, conversions, time to conversion, leads generated per offer, landing page new contacts
  • Brand awareness — website traffic, blog post visits, social shares and follows, document and video views

Conclusion

The four top challenges businesses faced with their digital marketing plan identified by the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Trends report are:

  • Producing engaging content
  • Measuring content effectiveness
  • Producing content consistently
  • Measuring the ROI of the content marketing program

No wonder. Digital marketing isn’t easy. But at the same time, those four challenges are essential ingredients of successful digital marketing for tech companies. So, if you need a hand — or a complete plan — the experts at Total Product Marketing can help. We can assess where you are, learn where you want to go, devise a plan to get you there, and give you the tools to evaluate your success. Give us a call at 855-646-8662.

Local Branding

Modern Transit Solutions Can Help Establish Your Brand

The Costs Of Air Travel

You don’t have to own a server array to compete with “the big dogs”, as the saying goes. Using cloud computing solutions, you can do many of the same things they do internally for a fraction of the cost. This allows you to compete, increasing profitability, scaling outward, and eventually being able to source internally.

Today, borders are being eroded and distances consumed by the ability of technology to overcome. You’ve heard phrases like “the world is a global village”, and “it’s a small world after all!”. These sentiments are on the increase, and relatively native to modern times.

Before Columbus found the “east Indies”, as he called them, it’s doubtful you’d hear the sentiment “it’s a small world after all”. That is a consequence of developing social and technological development with time. Today, it’s gotten to the point where business executives in America may regularly go to places as far afield as Japan.

Your small business will be expected by many prospective clients to be continuously available, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, it will be expected that you have transit capabilities. There are many situations where potential clients may be interested in working with you, but will want to meet with a representative personally.

If you only have to make such transits an 11% part of your annual calendar, that’s going to come to between forty and forty-one flights. Should an average flight cost $500 directly, and in total $1200 indirectly (because of the employee time involved), you’re looking at between $24,000 and $48,000 a year on flight expenses.

Solutions

Since many small businesses have to travel regularly in order to become established, playing coastal ping-pong between Los Angeles and New York (not to mention the occasional furlough in Denver), sometimes securing private flight options ends up saving them money.

In America today there are about 211,000 private pilots. That’s not a large number, considering America has 320+ million people currently. What it means, though, is that there is an existing industry in private aircraft, private aircraft parts, and the facilitation of solutions beyond the commercial sector. For example, those who do wish to buy outright jet ownership may instead wish to look into jet card cost and consider joining a program that can give them access to jets and even help them save some money on their flights.

You might even say that the industry is ideally sized right now. There’s a lot of room for expansion and innovation. While regulations exist, they haven’t hit that corporate juggernaut level known to be profitably hazardous in the long run.

travel

With these things in mind, for those who’ve crunched the numbers and found private flight is recommendable, there are a few pointers worth taking into consideration. One, you’ll have to do all your own upgrades and maintenance. Two, you’re going to want a solution that can be sourced anywhere; sometimes private airstrips are remote.

A third thing to consider is that you’ll want to source the best possible components for your aircraft, like those developed by aircraft engineers at Lycoming.

One of the reasons AeroInStock.com offers Lycoming carburetor solutions is because of their pedigree; according to Aero’s site: “…carburetors manufactured by Marvel-Schebler Aircraft Carburetors LLC continue with the implementation of modern manufacturing practices and engineered product improvements to ensure delivery of outstanding carbureted fuel controls.”

Protecting Your Investment

Finding known solutions in parts supply for your private aircraft represents an investment in the plane’s future, and potentially a cost-saving endeavor for your small business. When you can reach more diverse clients more quickly, you have a greater chance of establishing a strong brand whose influence isn’t limited to local clients.

The world is a global village continuing to expand, intermingle, and conduct business. If you can establish your brand with such a mindset, you have a good chance of maintaining it for years to come.