How To Get Your Customer Service Team Ready For The Challenges Of Digital Service

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, September 21, 2017

Digital technology has helped to transform the way many organisations do business, but it has also revolutionised the customer service experience as well. And while many of the changes are extremely positive, digital service does also present some significant challenges, which need to be understood and met head on.

One of the key component of any organisation offering
customer service training solutions must be exploring digital communications and understanding customer expectations. Here, we take a look at some of the ways in which you can get your customer service team ready for the challenges of digital service.

Multiple Communication Channels

One of the single biggest challenges presented by the shift towards digital service is the range of different communication channels that are potentially open to customers. In particular, it is important that your customer service training highlights the differences in etiquette and usage between these channels.

For example, the volume of tweets sent to businesses 
doubled between 2013 and 2015, because Twitter presents an extremely convenient option, with its focus on short messages. However, your team need to possess the required customer service skills to deal with issues and complaints in 140 characters or less.

By contrast, Facebook allows for more detailed responses. Both Twitter and Facebook are public platforms, meaning any response you make to customers will be there for all to see, so being polite and respectful is essential. Meanwhile, live chat functions are more private and the faster nature means staff need to be able to think quickly.

Making Effective Use of Data

The shift towards digital service has brought with it a number of potential benefits, including the ability to collect and utilise customer data to inform interactions with them. However, one drawback is that customers often have to face dealing with multiple different customer service reps, rather than a single person on a one-to-one basis.

One way to make this a non-issue is by keeping a customer database, logging important information, customer comments and any promises that have been made to that customer. Customer service training should also teach team members how to use such a tool and highlight some best practices, so there is a level of consistency.

"Moving to digital should actually improve the customer service experience," 
says Jim Marous, co-publisher of The Financial Brand. "Not only can such a database monitor commitments made, but it can also provide a reminder to internal parties who may need to help live up to commitments made by others."

Meeting Customer Expectations

Finally, in order to meet customer expectations, your team needs to be absolutely clear on what those expectations are and in the digital age, customers are arguably more demanding than ever. Nevertheless, your team must be equipped with the right customer service skills to deal with these demands, or risk falling behind competitors.

In particular, customers want quick responses to digital communications. In fact, 72 percent of people who complain on Twitter expect a reply 
within one hour. When this expectation is not met, 29 percent would tell a friend about the experience and 24 percent would consider buying less from that company in future.

Customers do not want to have to repeat their problem to multiple people, so facilitating communication between reps is essential by implementing processes that allow visibility when needed by the appropriate teams. They also expect companies to reply to them through the same channel they made contact, and in the same way. This means if you received a publicly visible message, your reply should be publicly visible too. Similarly, if the original contact was through a private message, you should not publicise your conversation.

Author Bio:

Monika Götzmann is the EMEA Marketing Director of Miller Heiman Group, a global sales training and customer experience company. It specialises in providing exceptional sales training courses to provide organisations with sales ready solutions for their employees. She enjoys sharing her insight and thoughts to develop better sales and customer service skills in sales people.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Junk Removal Companies

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, September 21, 2017

Marketing online is nothing new to the world, we’ve seen the rise of SEO and the fall of conventional advertising like billboards and newspaper ads, they’re still present, but fading. When faced with unique services like junk removal, people have a tendency to shy away from online marketing for some reason. The beauty of the internet is that you reach almost every single person on the planet, this creates a massive audience for your services and increases the chances of making a sale through the roof.

Take advantage of the internet

Before starting, be sure to cover every area, from social media to sponsored ads – take extra care that you build an online presence in every larger hub out there. There is no reason to skip out on any opportunity here as every little bit counts and can payoff big-time. Another key idea is to invest in SEO, this will help generate organic traffic (people that come actively looking for your services) which will increase sales and help do something else – spread the word. After a few hits, you’ll start racking up positive reviews on all of these platforms, slowly building up a name for yourself.

Pick a target, stick to it

Once a strong online presence has been built, it is time to specialize. Just like any service, junk removal requires a key demographic it will appeal to. This is achieved through everything from van coloration to slogans and client benefits. No one is perfect, there’s always going to be certain types of people who simply won’t like your service for the most absurd reasons and that is perfectly okay. Appealing to a wide audience is great for a blanket approach, but singling out a core focus group will help you advance in the right direction and pull more likeminded people in.

Like with people, the same approach can be applied to locations. Truth be told, handling business locally is much easier to do and builds rapport with the community. By focusing a target area with your marketing, you make sure that your services are offered to those who need it and to who it can realistically be provided to. This is where a little thing called geo-targeting comes in, essentially focusing all of your ads on people browsing from your area of operation.

Cater to a wide audience

Although having a focus group is important for hits and revenue, it is important to tailor any online content to be inclusive as possible. Whatever leeway is left should be spent working on reeling in new groups with the resources that are left. Singling out a specific demographic and location will build your brand, generally engaging content will help raise awareness of that brand. A blog is a good addition to a site, giving visitors quality content and sporting increased conversion rates across the board. Another thing worth looking into is mobile optimization, a great deal of internet traffic is carried out via mobile, be sure to capitalize on that.

Play both sides

Creating a good landing page is a must, widely-considered as the face of a company, it can make or break a deal and as such requires a lot of attention. If interested in pointers, look no further than Pinkjunk Rubbish & Junk Removal. Sydney has seen this company sprout a while back and it definitely set a standard for how rubbish collection companies should handle their marketing online. The landing page is eye-catching without being intrusive with imagery and to-the-point supplements to the side. Naturally, their conversation rates are through the roof.

Another option of generating buzz is the use of the Pay Per Call method. This essentially revolves around having your service promoted around by supply partners and having any calls forwarded back to your business phone. Phone calls are more personal and generally provide more accurate data loosely filled out online forms that were just skimmed over. This approach covers the old-fashioned individuals who still operate using landlines and who knows what else. With a landing page to take care of any online traffic and a phone line to handle other means of contact, all the essential bases are covered and it just becomes a waiting game.

Rinse and repeat

The digital marketplace is an ever-shifting torrent of dos and donts. With the entire thing liable to change at any moment, marketing teams need to stay on their toes. However specialized the service being offered may be, it is not immune to the changes that come with each passing day. By picking a gimmick and sticking to it, rubbish collectors give junk removal a new and fresh presence online and are guaranteed to cause a commotion once the word gets out. 

Streamlining Your Video Content Marketing Campaign

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, September 21, 2017

At this point, most entrepreneurs understand the importance of video content marketing. It drives customers to your site through accessible, attention-grabbing visuals, stronger emotional connections, and improved SEO. To top it off, 70 percent of marketers note that video content typically boasts a clearer boost in sales than any other form of marketing.

Nevertheless, many small business owners elect to ignore the potential of video content marketing.This is often due to how content creation is perceived as excessively expensive or laborious — and that the effort involved doesn’t justify the results. However, with a streamlined process, these concerns can be eliminated. Here are three ways you can improve the productivity this process:

1.  Create Videos That Appeal to Your Customers

The first, and arguably the most important, step is to generate ideas for content that will appeal to your target buyer persona. Strong video content either appeals to the interests of your customers (while remaining relevant to your niche) or answers specific questions about your product or service that customers are likely to have.

If you haven’t done so already, gather some information about the demographics, needs, and desires of your customer base. This can be acquired through interviews with customers, surveys, and social media. As you analyze this information, you should identify common traits that define your average customer and compile those traits into a persona. All of your future video content should directly appeal to this persona. 

As you flesh out video ideas, keep in mind that effective videos comprehensively lead customers through the marketing funnel. Not every video needs to include a direct sales pitch, but each one should at least increase awareness of your brand. Furthermore, they need to be engaging; whether you aim to inform, entertain, or inspire, videos must maintain audience interest to make an impact. There is a delicate balance: overly advertorial videos may cause your audience to become disinterested, while failing to properly brand your content will cause a video to fail to drive sales.

2. Find the Right Video Sharing Platform

The next step to your campaign is to find the right video sharing platform for your needs. Depending on the size and resources of your business, it may be viable to host your video content directly on your website. However, bandwidth issues might cause videos to load slowly, which may cause customers to leave your site before viewing the content.

A great alternative to this is to use websites like YouTube or Vimeo to share your videos. The only caveat here is that you need to ensure that your videos are optimized for those platforms. When converting videos for YouTube, for instance, you need to select a format that is compatible, such as .MP4, .MOV, .MPEG4, or .AVI — though YouTube has stated that .MP4 is the preferred file format. If you film your content at a high resolution, it may be wise to choose a lower resolution when converting videos, as these will upload more quickly.

As a bonus when using video sharing platforms, you can even encourage loyal customers to follow your channels. When used in conjunction with social media shares, this can be an extremely effective tactic for keeping in touch with potential and recurring customers. As noted in a resource by Rutgers University, “Social conversions are particularly important for eCommerce and lead generation sites, especially considering that (they) typically offer a lower cost-per-conversion than advertising on search engines.”

Finally, don’t forget about mobile optimization. Considering the many ways that mobile technology has inarguably changed our lives, it is important to ensure that videos are optimized for phones and tablets. While this won’t be a concern for marketers who opt to use a popular video sharing platform (as those are typically already optimized for mobile), you will need to do so if you decide to host content on your own site.

3. Test and Refine Your Content

Ideation isn’t a static process. As you gain followers online, gauge your audience’s reception to specific types of content. Do some perform better than others? Are there any recurring sentiments expressed in comments regarding your video quality or style? Being willing to adapt to consumer demands not only improves your ability to drive conversions, it also demonstrates your receptiveness and willingness to truly listen to your customers — an essential part of earning a client’s trust.

This can be done effectively through A/B testing. By using minor variations in your video style and format, you can compare how certain changes impact the effectiveness in your videos. Be mindful to test for meaningful, substantive changes; by focusing too heavily on the minutiae, you can waste a lot of resources for relatively trivial information. However, reflecting on some changes, such as how you engage viewers, how your product is displayed, or how you present information, can be illuminating. Researching different approaches to these areas can gradually improve your video marketing content.

These are a few of the basic steps you can take to ensure that your video content marketing campaign will take off smoothly. By considering what your customers need, which video platform to use, and how to continue to improve your content, your chances of finding success will improve greatly. If you are willing to create effective content for your audience, you will establish yourself as an expert in your niche — and improved sales will doubtlessly follow.  

How Are Website Design Agencies Benefiting from Instagram Marketing?

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, September 21, 2017

Instagram is the platform that welcomes all professions and passions with open arms. This platform is ideal for designers, photographers, and sellers since it is an image-heavy platform. You can directly showcase exactly what you are selling. Instagram is gradually becoming the hub for website designers. The new features including Instagram video and image gallery allow the users to display their work entirely.

Instagram for website designers

Some website design companies do better than the others on Instagram do. If you are a new brand starting out on Instagram, there are a few secrets you need to know. First, always include Instagram as a priority in your social media marketing strategy. Second, almost 300 million people use Instagram on a daily basis. There are over 700 million user profiles and over 100 million business profiles on Instagram. Therefore, you need to do something extra get new followers for Instagram. Something interesting and engaging is easier said than done.

Try new display software

Have you ever tried something like Canva? Maybe you have heard of Stencil, PicMonkey, Easel.ly and Pablo. These are image-editing sites that have the power to transform any mundane Instagram profile into something awesome. Some of them have free features, which you can use to create a robust social media marketing strategy. These allow you to create interesting stories that simply stand out. You can tweak with the colors and the background, insert your brand logo and choose new fonts to give your story the extra edge it needs.


Engage more users

Studies show that posts with geotagging engage 79% more users. It is a significant improvement over generic posts that do not indicate any location. It is a part of local marketing. If you are interested in attracting a local crowd, do not forget to use the right hashtags. It is critical for local website design companies, who help small and medium businesses by creating professional websites. 

Take the help of galleries to display your previous design work that involves companies whom you have already helped. Create your own business profile on Instagram and then move on with your marketing strategy. Sometimes, creating a marketing strategy for website design companies on Insta does not require a budget. It just needs oodles of creativity and smartness.

Videos get more users

Use the video sharing feature to share client testimonials and reviews. Show time-lapse of a project you have worked on. Provide interesting information about your company that sets you apart from other website designers. All in all, Instagram helps you tell your story. So why not add some quirk and stay ahead of the competition to grab the attention of the clients you really need.

Instagram’shashtag method allows all professionals to attract the right kind of attention. It is a natural filter, which keeps irrelevant crowds at bay. For website designers, designing the perfect Instagram profile should be a rookie job that takes less than a day.

Author Bio: Harris is a leading blog writer and content marketing professional with thousands of real Instagram followers for his postings.

Anik Singal and 6 Inspirational Young Digital Entrepreneurs You Should Learn From

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Over the past few years, the digital economy has grown in leaps and bound, thanks to the diligent, resilient, and out-of-the-box thinking of today’s leading digital business entrepreneurs.

Having become multi millionaires from exploring the vast resources and opportunities of doing web-based businesses, these exceptional digital CEOs are providing inspiration to the next generation on how to make money and a thriving career on the digital space.

They simply identified a common problem, proffered solution and monetized it. They also prove that following one’s passion or investing in a field of expertise is one of the bedrocks for Internet technology business success.

We present to you some of your top most inspirational digital CEOs today…

Anik Singal (Lurn Inc)

Anik Singal is a leading digital entrepreneur, film maker, philanthropist and multi author. He is the founder and CEO of Lurn Inc; an e-learning enterprise with a vision to create a new generation of successful digital entrepreneurs through valuable information and resources.

At only 25, Anik Singal is widely recognised as one of the most successful digital publishers today. He is the author of the famous books, the Circle of Profit: How to Turn Your Passion into $1 Million, Passion To Profit, and The Email Lifeline.

His other areas of specialty include affiliate marketing, building backends and funnels, search engine optimization, profit-generating product launches business management consulting, and article. marketing.

Named twice as an Inc 500 CEO and listed as a Top 3 Young Entrepreneurs by BusinessWeek, Anik founded his marketing company, Lurn Inc with just $100 seed money; and successfully grew it into a multi million dollars enterprise within a few years.

He is a 2005 finance graduate from the University of Maryland at College Park, and also the CEO of CEO of VSS Mind, which had enrolled about 21,000 students in Lurn programmes and launched the long awaited product “Learn build Earn” with Mark Ling.

Today, Singal’s digital publishing businesses , which also has offices in Mumbai and Hyderabad, directly generates over $20 million; contributes more than $100 million in online publishing sale.

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

At only 31, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is the world’s 6th and youngest richest person in the world. He is easily the most recognizable face in the new generation of world’s top and richest young digital entrepreneurs.

Zuckerberg started Facebook while he was still at Harvard University studying Psychology and Computer Science. But he dropped out in 2004 to focus on his promising social media project, which at that time was fast gaining popularity and acceptance.


Zuckerberg is valued at a worth of $44.6 billion and, along with his wife, Chan, has promised to donate 99% of their wealth to good causes, such as developing medical technology and boosting internet connectivity in developing countries.  

Blake Ross (Mozilla)

Thirty-one year Blaze Ross is best known for the Mozilla Internet browser, which he co-created with Dave Hyatt in 1998.

Worried about his mother’s frustrated user experience with the Internet Explorer, Ross began to closely study Netscape’s open source, where worked as an intern at the age of 16. While Interning in the company, he was assigned a project with a brief by American Online (which had just been bought by Netscape), but he constantly felt disenchanted with the browser.

Ross and Hyatt then began to think about creating a smaller browser that would be easy to manipulate and have mass appeal. The result was Firefox.

In 2005, Ross, a Stanford University-educated software engineer, was nominated for ‘Renegade of the Year,’ Wired magazine’s top Rave Award. He was also listed that year in Rolling Stone magazine’s hot list.

He joined Facebook in 2007 as Director of Product, resigning in early 2013. In 2015, he gained further attention after he wrote a fan fiction screenplay for the comedy series Silicon Valley produced by HBO television.

Ross is estimated at a net-worth value on $120 million.

Larry Page (Google)

Larry Page is Google’s 42 year old co-founder with Sergey Brin in 1998.

The computer scientist and an Internet entrepreneur is the CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc; and the world’s 12th richest person with an estimated net-worth of US$36.9 billion.

He stepped aside as Google CEO in 2001, handing over to Eric Schmidt, but re-assumed the role 10 years later: Then in 2015, he announced again he would be stepping aside, this time to take up the role of CEO of Alphabet Inc; which will primarily see to reorganize Google’s assets. Under his management, Alphabet has been seeking to make groundbreaking innovations in variety of industries.

Page, a 2004 Marconi Prize winner, is the creator of PageRank, Google’s most popular search ranking algorithm.

Duncan Cameron (MoneySuperMarket)

Like Zuckerberg, Cameroon too didn’t finish college, quitting with just six months to go. He made his mother livid with that decision, but in the end it proved a shrewd move.

Cameroon had chosen to invest more time and energy on his burgeoning business with his friend and partner, Simon Nixon. Together in 1999, they founded Moneysupermarket.com, an innovative financial services company based in Chester.

The Moneysupermarket.com business idea was accepted and embraced by the market and subsequently grew, racking up to £843m in value. In July 2007, it was listed on the on the stock market.

Some years earlier, Cameron had quit working but retained a stake in the company. Nixon paid him £162 million for his share in the enterprise in the period preceding the float in the money market. Cameron later sold the rest of his take for £38 million. Today, he is estimated to have a net value of £132 million.

Chad Hurley (YouTube)

The 40-year old is the brain behind YouTube, popular video sharing website, which he co-founder with PayPal colleagues Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. He is also CEO of MixBit.

Before launching YouTube, Hurley worked in the PayPal division of eBay, where one of his tasks was designing the original PayPal logo. At YouTube, Hurley was majorly responsible for the seamless operation of the tagging and video-sharing functions.

In 2006, he was voted number 28 on the list of ’50 People Who Matter Now’ on Business 2.0. In the same year, Hurley and Chen were $1.65 billion richer from selling YouTube to Google.

Hurley is estimated at a net-worth of $300million.

Max Levchyn (PayPal)

Ace American computer scientist and digital entrepreneur, Max Levchyn was the co-founder (1998) and former chief technology officer of PayPal. Presently, he is the CEO of digital lending start-up, Affirm.

At PayPal where operated as the CTO, the 41 year-old made a name for his robust contributions to the firm’s anti-fraud efforts. He also notably co-created the Gausebeck-Levchin test, which was one of the first monetized applications of a CAPTCHA challenge response human test.

In 2004, Levchin founded Slide and was a part of the company until he left in 2011. In the same year he introduced Slide, Levchin was involved in the setting up of Yelp, a social networking and review service; and as of 2012 is the business’ largest shareholder.

Levchin has also previously served on the board of directors for Yahoo! ; and also Evernote as at January, 2016. In 2002, he was named by Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 under-35 innovators in the world; and also the Innovator of the Year.

His net-worth is estimated at US$300 million.


Is your preferred Domain Name Unavailable? What to do next

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Having an online presence requires a Domain Name; but what happens when your chosen name has been taken? Sadness, anxiety or both. Usually these are the feelings that accompany the discovery that your Domain Name is unavailable. Nonetheless, you don’t have to be anxious; sometimes, the best things come in ways we don’t expect.  Don’t give up, you can rest and take a walk but here are things to do in this circumstance. Once you have exhaled and you feel better, follow the tips outlined below.

1. Don’t Stress

There is an advice going viral that a domain name must have ‘.com’ so, everyone searching feels exceptionally unfulfilled without a ‘.com’ name. If this is the result of the unavailability, don’t stress, many websites without a ‘.com’ succeed and continue to do so. Were you suggested any alternatives? If so, you can choose from those provided or if not, keep reading.

 

2. Be Creative

 

Explore and be creative by choosing a totally different name from the one that you previously had. The TLD can be a .net or .org, just ensure the Domain Name itself doesn’t sound or look spammy. You can add an extra word or letter such as ‘a’ or ‘the’, to the chosen unavailable name, especially if it is a business name you already trade with; retaining such name will go a long way in spreading your brand. Whilst being creative is great, avoid the use of ‘misspelt word’ ‘numbers’ and ‘hyphens’ says Neil Patel Co-Founder of Kissmetrics, as they all give a negative appeal to your chosen name.

 

3. You can choose to retain the name

You can retain the name by simply playing around with it, turn the words around and think about a different language you love and choose the spelling in that language. For example, you wanted www.ebay.com, you could check what bay means in Spanish or Finnish, just a second or third language you wouldn’t mind learning. You may find out your joy returns and it may end up giving it a different sophisticated international feel. However, keep in mind that sometimes it is not the name that does the magic but the brand. For example if Google was Foogu.com and they developed it as much as they did Google, it will still become what it is today. Instead of Google.com, it will be Foogu.com, so, fix your mind on building your brand.

4. Create a List of Keywords

Whatever your site is going to be about, you can form keywords (not an Exact-Match)that depict the subject matter of your proposed website. You may be surprised that you will get a new name that strikes the chord of your previous chosen name from the keywords search. At the end of the day, when a web user wants to search for sites and blogs relating to his desired result, what is usually used are keywords, hence, you get the best of both worlds. A recommended site to use for this exercise is ‘Wordtracker’. Moreso, when choosing a Domain Name, you should think of its Search Engine Optimization.  Your competitors will clamor to be ranked high on search engines, so you want to focus on a Name that is SEO friendly. The closer your keywords are to your domain name the better for you because, without a purposeful SEO on your website, it will be an automatic result to pop up when searched for.

 

5. Social Media Compatibility

 

Do you know that, if you have a chosen Domain Name, but you are yet to search for its availability on Social Media sites, you may regret the registration after you discover that some other person is using the same name on their Social Media Platform(s). So, if you are yet to search on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and all other sites, you should do so as soon as possible. The unavailability may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as you wouldn’t want to be confused with another person after registering a name that’s already a brand to another. To this end, run a check on all Social Media Platforms before you make the final pick and settle on a Name. For this purpose, ‘Namechk’ is a great tool or you can search manually on each platform. Whatever name you choose, top domain name companies like Discount Domains and Go Daddy will make the registration process straightforward.

6. Look Inward

 

If all else fails, what about your name? It is less possible to have too many persons with your exact names and if there are, many people do not think about registering their names as a Domain Name. Suffice to say that, your name can represent the delivery of any product and service. This practice is common with Law Firms where you see names such as Steve, Michael and Robin so their Domain Name may be something like www.stevemichaelndrobin.co.uk. Where this is the case, they have a brand. Their names have given them that special tag, which, if they build it up and become one of the best Law Firms with excellent customer-centric services, no one really cares if the domain is their names, what they care about is the brand and quality of service provided. In a nutshell, registering your name will be your brand and also encapsulate all your companies. Think about it.

7. Consider an Expandable name

Generally, people make choices based on ‘the now’ and form Domain Names respectively but, what happens if your company wishes to diversify and have subsidiaries later on? Or, what will be the result when you are offered a partnership by a multinational firm and you want to include a keyword pointing to the result of the partnership into your Domain Name? If you already chose a Name that boxed in what your current business is about, you may end up registering a separate Domain Name for the same business line. Therefore, the advice here is, keep your name expandable, let it have a definite focus but not a closed one.

8. Marry your Final Choice

 

Funny isn’t it? But we can borrow an analogy from the institution of marriage. With marriage, people marry who they love, but over time, to have a successful home, you must love the person you married. The same logic is applicable here, decide that you will love the final result of your Domain Name journey, since, after all is said and done, what matters most is having a definite brand and a strong online presence. Make the decision and then make the decision right!

 


Boosting Your Organic Traffic Through Content Marketing

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, September 18, 2017

While PPC (pay per click) is still a valid tactic for getting more traffic on your website, surveys have shown that having a high-quality content is even more reliable in the traffic it generates. What's even more important is that content marketing will also help you turn a visitor into a customer more easily than any other method, while also improving your brand loyalty and brand awareness. Setting up your content marketing strategy takes time and effort, but with this guide, you can get started today.

Write Catchy Headlines

For starters, you should keep in mind that having great written content isn't enough, simply because you need to get people to read it. The best way to catch someone's attention is to have a well-written headline. The importance of headlines is further highlighted through a simple fact that most of the content shared on social media wasn't even read by the people who shared it. This means that headlines alone are actually more important than the rest of the article, at least for organic traffic increase. Some simple tricks include asking a provocative question or offering a quick solution to the problems your audience resonates with. And don't forget to use a keyword or two in your headlines.

Research Your Keywords

While people might be sharing your content because of the catchy headlines, sharing isn't enough when it comes to organic search increase. In order to become visible to your audience, you need to start using the right keywords. You can use a tool like Google AdWords to find established keywords for most niches, but this will only get you so far because what you need are actually long-tail keywords for which you have a chance to rank well. Writing long-tail keywords will not only increase your traffic but also get more visitors that are further along in the buying circle. While someone looking for "Chicago style pizza" might only be interested in what it is, someone who searches for "Late night pizza delivery Detroit" is probably going to buy a product.

Use A/B Testing

A/B testing, when done right, can significantly improve your website's performance and help you with the conversion rate. It's very important to get a good idea of what A/B testing is and how to use it to your advantage before you even start testing. When it comes to content marketing, A/B testing can help you choose a headline, content topic, or generally help you with what will work best on your blog. Having a successful content marketing strategy requires you to have a lot of input, and A/B testing is the best way to get it.

Optimise Your Landing Pages

Having a homepage drawing traffic to your website isn't enough, and it often won't bring the best results. What you need is to create new pages and get started with Search Engine Optimisation in order to increase their ranking when it comes to search results. Poorly optimised pages hurt your rankings, which is something you'll want to avoid at all costs if you're ever going to increase your organic traffic. Having a well-optimised blog is a great way to start driving people to it and converting new users to customers. 

Visual Assets

We already covered that online audiences don't have the attention span in order to read too much, which is why it's imperative to have visual assets on your landing pages. Optimise your images and they will help you drive even more traffic to your pages. Most people learn and remember through visualization, so images and videos will get your audience more interested in your content. Just make sure that they are topic related and in turn, they will make your content much easier to absorb.

Make Your Content Shareable

It's the age of smartphones and social-media, so it's very important to do everything you can to make your content shareable. Basically, you want to have a story that people won't be able to keep to themselves but want others to see as well. Because of mobile-device users, you'll also want to avoid forcing people to copy paste the URL's, so make sure to add social-media icons for Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter on your blog. Being social-media friendly can increase your organic traffic quite significantly, but also help with your search engine ranking, so don't shy away from it.

Conclusion

In today's online world, you can have the best service or products but it won't matter if no one knows about them. Having high-quality content can help you become more visible, and increase your organic traffic significantly. By following these easy tips, you'll make sure to increase your organic traffic over time and hopefully grow with it. Just remember to stay in touch with current trends, as it can mean the difference between failure and success in the online world. 

Successful Restaurant Brand Building Depends on The Right Mix of Strategy and Technology

Barbara Spagnola - Friday, September 15, 2017


Before you launch a brand building campaign for restaurants, it is important to have complete clarity about what restaurant brand is. Unlike many other products that are central to the brand because of its direct relation to it, the brand of a restaurant does not comprise of the product alone.  Although food is the product that you market through restaurants, many other elements constitute the brand. The food is as good as the place where you consume it – so goes the saying in the restaurant industry. It means that the atmosphere of the restaurant and the ambiance together with the quality of food constitutes the brand.  While these are the major components of the brand, other elements like the level of hospitality and employee behavior, the interior decoration together with furniture, fixtures, and furnishings, everything has a part to play in creating the restaurant brand.

Competing in the restaurant business in the US is quite challenging because your business is one of 600,000 eateries of the country. Unless you can create brand equity for your business, you will never be able to make the business survive. Once you can establish the brand, you stay at an advantage because it would become easy for customers to identify your business and relate it to the mouth-watering dishes. Brand recognition is essential for ensuring a steady stream of revenue that keeps the business afloat. How you can handle the tricky business of restaurant brand building will become clear as you keep reading this article.

Brand positioning

Before embarking on the brand building exercise, you must carefully assess how customers perceive your brand. This way, you can ascertain its position among many other brands. Do customers consider your brand worthy enough to recall at the first chance or would they find it fit for placing somewhere in the middle of their list of brands? For determining the brand position as accurately as possible, you have to rely on the parameters of price, place and promotional needs linked to revenue generation. Once you know the position that the brand occupies, you can chart out the brand building campaign accordingly. It would be clear to you, how much of emphasis you must attach to the different aspects of the brand building exercise to ensure that the efforts bear fruits.

Focus on developing loyal customers

The value of any brand depends on how strong is the base of loyal customers. The wider the base of consumers who are willing to go along with the brand is, the more will be its value. Therefore, you must focus on attracting people to the brand and take measures to ensure that they find enough reason to stick to it, no matter what may come. It would ensure that customers remain loyal to the brand and spread the good word about it that helps to create brand value. There comes a time when the consumer loyalty pays back in the form of sharing its goodness across the internet by using different media and platforms. 

The process of creating a community of loyal customers can begin by setting up a business page on any chosen social media platform.  Special business promotions through discounts and special offers help to win consumers who stay loyal to the brand. Spreading the brand through professional and social associations such as sports teams and local schools are other ways of ensuring customer loyalty.

Brand promotion

Having gone through the above process, you should be able to create brand awareness and start the process of building brand equity. However, you have to reinforce the position that the brand has earned, and make efforts to push it up the ladder. To generate the impetus necessary to make the brand move upwards, you must arrange for its quick to recall in the minds of customers through aggressive promotional campaigns.  By using the technology of digital signage, you can create a close connection with consumers that help to leave a lasting impression of the brand in their minds. Make the brand identity unique by using attractive logo and tagline that resembles the brand and facilitates its quick recall.  The better you are in using the interactive features of digital signage, higher will be the impact of the brand building campaign. Proper use of videos and images reinforces the brand message that takes into consideration other aspects of the brand that helps in creating a profound impact on the minds of customers.

Create the right noises

Use high-intensity advertising that reminds customers of the brand together with the ambiance and hospitality that awaits them at the venue. By using the TV menu board to display well-designed promotional content, create a constant buzz about the brand. Ensure that customers would become so familiar with the brand that the slightest mention of anything in relation to it would flash the brand name in their minds like a spark before they can think about any other brands.

 In addition to the use of digital signage for the brand building exercise, you can adopt any other appropriate advertising means that you deem fit. Depending on your budget, you can choose anything from television to radio and from the print media to online campaigns to augment the advertising campaign. Cover all aspects of the brand in the advertisements so that the mere mention of any one helps customers to co-relate it with the brand.

Use the right proportion of resources

You cannot achieve the desired results in brand promotion by depending on digital signage only.  Although it is a major weapon in your armory, the use of other resources of promotion in the proper way contributes together in creating a vigorous promotional campaign that upholds the brand. Create the best strategy for placing the brand at the right position, and direct all efforts to derive the best results. How well you co-ordinate the resources would determine the rate of success in brand building.

Monitor the campaign closely and evaluate the campaign data to gauge whether it is moving in the right direction.

Author Bio: Karen Anthony is a business tech analyst. She has been working on the digitization of businesses, use of LED signboards, including TV menu board in restaurants and the rise of out of home advertising for the last 5 years. 

4 Simple Tips for Handling a Business Expansion

Barbara Spagnola - Friday, September 15, 2017

Your new start-up looks like a success, your sales increased and now you need to scale your business. Although this is a great news, there are some challenges you must address before start you enjoying the obvious growth. First of all, you’ll need a few new employees, and bigger office space, perhaps. Before doing anything, make sure to work through all possible issues that can show up on our path, and resolve them as soon as you can. The text below will provide you with some useful tips on how to successfully handle this turbulent period.

Prepare for bigger expenses

Keep in mind that growth in earning comes with growth in expenses, as well. Since your business is now bigger, there are additional tasks you need to take care of, and you have the same amount of time. Because of that, you will need to recruit, train and hire a few employees. All these steps will cost you some resources, and since you now have more people working in your company, you will need to move from your home office into bigger commercial space.

This new office will come with additional expenses, such as utilities, security, insurance, and don’t forget: the payroll expenses. In order to avoid unpleasant situations, go ahead and start tracking expenses from day one. Set some new sales goals, motivate your workers and continue growing. If done properly, your business won’t suffer and it will expand further.

Redefine your priorities

With more sales, new staff members, and bigger working space, your focus will shift toward different challenges and ventures. All of that will shift your time and energy as well, so your priorities must be adjusted. Feel free to share the tasks you used to take care of in the past. Be aware that you won’t be in a position to monitor everything and everyone, so think about hiring or training a manager who will take some organizing responsibilities on themselves. Go ahead, make the new schedule and accept that your company needs you somewhere else now.

Keep an eye on the office

If you want satisfied costumers and motivated employees, you will need to run your new office perfectly. That means you need to keep it spacious and clean all the time. With all that people moving around, there is a potential for clutter and your job is to fix it once in a while. Hire a few cleaners that will visit the office once a week, and get rid of all unneeded pieces of furniture and other items. The best way of saving those is to rent one of the available supercheap self storage units in your area. Another way of keeping it clean is to donate unneeded stuff to charity and those in need.

Don’t forget about your private life

The most dangerous trap entrepreneurs can fall in, is most certainly, workaholism. Don’t let this happen to you and start thinking about balancing your work and life. Yes, this may be very hard since there are so much to do and there’s more and more every day. Don’t forget that you started this business to live better and work less in the future.

Let your employees do some of your work. You shouldn’t feel bad to burden them a little bit since most of them really need more experience and that will help them to develop professionalism. Avoid work-related stress by any means since that’s not the reason why you scaled your company. Your loved ones shouldn’t be neglected because of your job. Give your best to find enough time to share your positive vibes with them, and hopefully, motivate them to become more active and successful.

Final thoughts

If you do everything properly, you won’t feel any difficulties during the scaling period. Your company will continue to grow, and the overall revenue will increase. Make sure to incorporate some of the tips mentioned above to handle all issues with ease. Remember that first five years are crucial. If you manage to keep up with the tempo, you will build healthy company prepared for all challenges appearing down the road. Keep up with a good job, take care of your employees and your loved ones, and the bright future will wait for you.

Challenges Of Starting A Garden Business

Barbara Spagnola - Friday, September 15, 2017

Setting up a garden in your backyard can be a really fulfilling hobby. After a while, you’ll see that you can produce more than you can consume, so you might end up with an idea to go professional. Making a living from gardening comes with a bunch of challenges, and the text below will pinpoint some of the most important. Go ahead and get well informed about all details before making your final decision.

You’ll need to work every day

Growing and taking care of plants looks like a simple job at the first glance. You should be aware that your customers will rely on you every day in the week. Some of them would like to get the job done in a specific time, so you’ll need to be available. Working with companies will be easier since the contract will determinate the working hours. Unfortunately, making those contracts will be hard, in the beginning, so you’ll need to work with individuals at first. Your best advertisement will be the feedback from your previous clients, so make sure to always show up on time and handle your tasks professionally.

Choosing the right location

In order to avoid transporting expenses, make sure to start working within your neighborhood. This may end up as a bad option as well. Go ahead and research your competitors to see if there’s a place for another gardener in your area. The best way to blend in is to offer services that are high in demand, but there aren’t enough people to take care of them. This is the shortest way of gaining some customers. Once you’ve met a few people and did a great job, you’ll see that your client list will expand in no time.

You’ll need specific set of skills

You may be very talented and experienced in landscaping, but being a professional gardener requires some extra skills. Besides landscaping, you’ll need to be efficient in finance related issues and you’ll need some good people skills. Before starting a new career, ask yourself if you have the following skills:

  • A creative mind set
  • The ability to communicate with different people
  • Good organization skills
  • Proficiency in planting and maintaining the garden
  • Negotiation skills which will help to maximize the profit and drive down the expenses
  • Motivation to stick to this profession for a long time
  • Basic knowledge of accounts and business
  • If you recognized yourself in the list above, feel free to start planning your first steps as a professional gardener.

Training and tools

It is illusory to speak about professionalism if you are not well trained and don’t possess the tools needed for gardening. Make sure to get yourself high-quality equipment. It may cost you a bit, but it will certainly repay in the long run. Get yourself a pair of gloves, a fancy hat, an affordable hose pipe, scissors etc. Once you’re geared, attend a few gardening courses and get certificates which will look great in your portfolio. Use every opportunity to learn and practice. That way, gardening will become your biggest passion.

The initial investment

Gardening is like any other business and it requires some initial investments as well. As you could see above, your first expenses will be made for tools and gardening certificates. Make sure to maintain good business connections with your suppliers so they’ll be willing to assist when needed. Another way to save money, in the beginning, is to buy just the small pieces of equipment and rent bigger. Try not to get into a line of credit since that can ruin the whole journey. Go around and find the best deals for equipment and supplies. At the end, get yourself a good laptop to use it for designing purposes.

What can go wrong?

Let’s say you made your decision and became a professional gardener. In order to keep this job, you’ll need to do your best in many different areas. Don’t forget to do your research considering the market and competition. If you skip this step, you’ll end up losing money on buying the wrong supplies for example. A lot of new information and tasks may affect you negatively and you can become disorganized. You’ll avoid this pitfall if remain focused and motivated at all times. At the end, avoid spending the money you earn. While your business is small it’s much smarter to reinvest your profit. That effort will most certainly repay in the long run.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are some good and some bad sides of professional gardening. If you aren’t prepared for hard work you shouldn’t go with this business. If you are, on the other hand, an enthusiast who wants to learn a lot and be creative and organized, gardening may become your dream job. Go ahead and start planning.