Everything You Need to Know Before Setting Up a Construction Business

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, September 28, 2017

Starting a company is no easy task. Whatever your realm of business might be, it will test you and push you to places you never imagined. Construction work is no different, the hoops one has to jump through to get going are much more than having a pickup truck and a few power tools. With all the regulations, permits, insurance coverage and other paperwork, people tend to get overwhelmed. At first glance, it can look like a truly daunting task but a closer, more organized look can help immensely in figuring what to do and how to do it.

Plan it out

The first and obvious thing any future contractor should do is to plan out everything they might need. This will equate to the roadmap your business will follow and will determine important factors like financing. A fleshed out plan will help track business progress and make benchmarks to see how well it is doing compared to the plan that was set in motion. The most important areas to cover are, in no particular order: developing a cohesive marketing strategy, managing finances, coming up with a clear business description and coming up with a management summary.

Seek out funding

Financing the business is something everyone should be looking into before even considering anything else, without the proper coin for eventual problems and hindrances down the line – the business will tank before it has even started. The first logical step would be to look inside our own savings. This can be a bit of a gamble, but so is starting the business. If tapping into the savings account isn’t an option for whatever reason, there are other options out there. There are multiple platforms out there that help independent contractors find government funding to get a proper start.

Permits, permits, permits

Yeah, who would’ve guessed, there are numerous licenses involved. Despite having a business license, you’ll most probably end up requiring a permit for anything you can think of. This is both good and bad, o one hand – customers are assured that a contractor’s work is up to par. On the other, getting all of those can be a huge pain in the neck. If you’re in the States, then you’ll have to acquire special state licenses, specific to the state you’re currently operating in. It will be a pain, it will be frustrating but it is necessary so you can operate freely and not have to look over your shoulder every time you bring out the ol’ trowel.

Tackle insurance

This is more of a safety net than anything else, and what a safety net it is. Worker’s compensation is a must for any business owner, especially construction work where the chances of getting injured are substantially increased from the get-go. If any vehicles are involved, there’s auto insurance, builder’s risk is always present and, let’s not forget the crown jewel of paperwork – liability insurance. These will provide a layered defense for both your company’s well-being and its finances. You’ll also have contingencies in place should any of your workers get injured during a project, which helps both sides cope.

Don’t skimp out on surety bonds

Nowadays, most contracting jobs will require companies to obtain a certain number of surety bonds before they can do business. The folks over at Correct Constructions point out that this has become a norm and that even private customers can require specialized performance and payment bonds. The reason why this is weird is because these were almost exclusively related to government projects in the past and are now slowly seeping into the private sector. The effective three-way ensures that both parties are protected and can be reprimanded should they fail to fulfill their end of the bargain, in the end – it’s worth getting.

Get in touch

When all of these have been sorted, reach out and consult people about anything you could have possibly missed. Apart from these, there are other factors that can influence your business’ direction, they just can’t cause as much harm as these can. When considering starting your own company, look into the market, make a solid business plan and stick to it. Obtain any licenses or permits you may need early on to avoid headaches down the line and get coverage – safety first. 

Growing your Business through Online Marketing: Traditional email marketing vs. Instagram and social media

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, September 28, 2017

Social media has changed the face of online marketing forever. Social media has made affiliate marketing a lot effortless compared to the old days' email marketing methods. It is now more personal as social media accounts cannot pretend to spam and the users can choose whether to subscribe and follow them online or not. However, the disadvantage is that social media comes up with new features now and then and sort of makes the old features obsolete, so you probably need to come up with new marketing strategies every time.

Instagram is one of the most globally used social media websites nowadays with about 700 million users logging in almost every day. It is necessary for businesses to stay updated for them to stay relevant in the competition and also measure their success and customer reviews. Social media grants this the most. With communication and community being the pillars of any social media, it is not difficult to make Instagram a place to build up a community of loyal followers.

The old vs. the new

No matter how much social media gains popularity, email marketing will always be more personal as it is a complete one on one session. However, unlike social media, where the audience gets to choose to follow or not through email, they get spammed. Of course, they may not respond. Social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media sites for that matter, usually takes a more impersonal approach. On these sites, you can post something that can be addressed to every one of your followers. However, with an email or newsletter, your business can target and approach the contacts personally with each having their first, and the last name included. Naturally, it demands more attention and possibly will result in a better outcome.

Changes in Social media over the years

Social media has changed a lot since its beginning. They have no included this personal approach and giving value to the customers. Posts on social media now have mention, reply and tag option where the page or business owner can directly respond to any comment you feel worthy. Also, most social media sites now have started including the inbox feature in them, where your followers can personally contact you, and you can choose to respond. Also, there is this new feature on Instagram and a lot of other social media sites where you can post something for 24 hours or host a live event or Q&A sessions with your followers. These types of things do add a lot more trust in the brand.

Getting success on Instagram

Like any social media site, Instagram has its own set of rules. Firstly, Instagram is a photo-sharing app, so visually appealing content will grab more attention. Secondly, Instagram functions mostly on hashtags where you write something relevant to your content and theme and add hash symbol “#” at the beginning of the term without any space or any other special symbols. Instagram treats this as a hashtag, and if you click on them, you will be taken to the main search option of Instagram search page where your recent posts will be shown at the top.

What should you keep in mind while using Instagram for marketing?

There is one thing you should remember is that Instagram is a bustling site and for you achieve followers and likes, you need to be consistent and relevant. No post stays on a top search on Instagram for too long, and once it gets lost in the vast sea of search results, there is no finding it. So make sure that your post gets all the attention that it can get within the few minutes of it being posted. For this use a reasonable amount of tags that are relevant to your content. Presently Instagram allows up to 30 tags. However, you can opt for 10-15 right hashtags for optimum results. 

Additional help in getting more followers

When you start using Instagram or whether you have been using it for a while, you might notice that liking or following people usually results in them coming over to your profile and liking, commenting  and sometimes even following your profile. This is basic human curiosity, and any form of social media thrives on this basic human tendency. However, with your business setup and busy schedule, it might not always be possible to personally like and comment and follow every profile that might be relevant to you. This is where Gramista comes to your help. It is an app that can be used to automatically like, comment, follow or unfollow fellow Instagram users. It is a paid service but paying a little as an investment for your business should not worry you too much, as the benefits you will reap will be worth it.

The advantages of email marketing over social media

However, emails are still sometimes more effective than social media. The reason you will even consider taking your business online is to be able to gather new potential customer and promote your stuff. Moreover, social media giants like Facebook or Instagram may make you feel that you can get all that you want from these sites. Moreover, now you can even promote your content using a business profile feature newly introduced by Instagram. However, these Facebook or Instagram ads will not assure you total traffic or view even with the paid promotion. You have no idea what every follower is thinking; you just get a general idea. However, with email marketing, you can achieve personalized responses and thus, get a more concrete analysis. However, the is greater, and you cannot possibly hope to reach as many people as on social media within a short range of time.


Both email marketing and marketing through social media such as Instagram has their advantages, and as a smart business person, you should opt for both to get the maximum result. Some even add their email newsletter link to their social media account for users to subscribe to it. Even Instagram allows one extra link to be added into your profile bio which can lead to more traffic or email subscription as well. So you should use one to help the other and vice versa.

Author bio: Harris is a leading blog writer and content marketing professional with thousands of real Instagram followers for his postings. Here he explains the uses and conflicts between email marketing and social media like Instagram and how you can use apps like Gramista to increase your Instagram followers.

Major Blunders Marketers Make on Instagram

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

In the contemporary business environment, you need to think outside the box and one way of doing this is by incorporating Instagram into your marketing strategy. A HootSuite survey says there are over 500 million daily Instagram users and the number is growing. The popularity of this social media network has increased further with addition of video and Instagram stories, making it the fastest growing social media network. 

If you are like most marketers, numbers excite you a lot. Of course these numbers will help you strategize and make the best moves. Well, 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram since its launch in 2010. It gets even better, Instagram now boasts over 700 million monthly active users (MAUs) and these are sharing over 95 million photos and videos daily.

With engagement levels that are 58X those of Facebook, Instagram offers every marketer an opportunity to stay ahead of the competition. However, you need to appreciate the importance of likes in your marketing campaign. It is understandable that the rush for real Instagram likestakes precedence but then you have to strategize before getting started.

To get the most out of your Instagram marketing campaign, you need to learn from other people’s mistakes. While millions of photos and videos are being shared daily, millions more get no attention. As a business market, you appreciate how frustrating such a marketing campaign can get. To avoid this situation, avoid these major blunders:


  1. Never set your account to private – This is a common blunder with marketers and while it could be an oversight, the consequences could ruin the entire campaign. By setting your account to public, you have a bigger chance of reaching out to a larger audience.
  2. Lack of consistency – If you have decided to use your IG account to drive traffic to your website, make sure you use appropriate pictures. The idea is to provide content that will get viewers going to your website to learn more. If you start posting random pictures however good they might be, you will turn off potential followers.
  3. Failure to understand hashtags – The way you use hashtags can either make or break your marketing campaign. For a start, make sure your hashtags are searchable, short and relevant.   There’s no denying that hashtags promote engagement, which is what every marketer wants. When looking for free Instagram likes, make sure you consider popular hashtags that are relevant to your business when creating content.
  4. Failure to engage – If someone follows you then go out of your way to follow them and even like their posts.  However busy you might be, take time to engage. It is understandable that this might not be possible, especially now that you have much more to do. This is where Like4Like comes in handy to help you automatically like relevant posts.
  5. Poor content – This starts right from proofreading, relevancy of photos and the quality of captions accompanying your images. 

Author Bio
Harris is a leading blog writer and content marketing professional with thousands of real Instagram followers for his postings. Learn more on Like4Like Instagram technique for his blog.

10 Ways To Future Proof Your SEO

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Over the years SEO went through some drastic changes thanks to Google's algorithm updates. Every time a big update was released, like Panda or Penguin, we saw a huge shift in rankings. Some websites were all of the sudden launched to the top of their SERPs, while some were completely filtered out by Google, becoming completely invisible for search engines. The fact that Google's updates can create such havoc is really important since you have to focus on those SEO aspects that almost definitely won't be changed in the near future. We'll show you some of the best ways you can use to future-proof your SEO and avoid losing your ranking literally overnight.

#1. Get Familiar with Google's Algorithm Updates

The single best way to predict how algorithm updates will shape the future of SEO is to get familiar with its past. Knowing exactly what Google targeted over the years may prove invaluable for setting up your own SEO strategy, the result being not having to worry about the ensuing chaos that might hit you or your business. You'll know what to expect, when to expect it, and to what extent the changes are changing search results. Also, even more importantly, you'll figure out some of the things that the Big G values and rewards for, like high-quality content, or great user experience. Knowing your enemy is half the victory, even though Google isn't exactly anyone's enemy. Or is it?

#2. Go Mobile Friendly

Mobile devices have taken over as the number one option when it comes to initial searches on the search engines. And the gap keeps getting wider, as more and more people use mobile devices every day. When Google released its Mobilegeddon update, it targeted websites that weren't optimized for mobile devices, but only for mobile device SERPs. The thing is that being mobile friendly is unlikely to ever become a bad thing, so you really can't go wrong with it. It's a no-brainer really, a no risk - high reward type of thing. Go with responsive web design, keep user experience top-notch, and you'll be all set for the future.

#3. High-Quality Content

Ten years ago you could write any gibberish in about 300 words, all while stuffing two dozen keywords in the headline, and you'd be able to climb the SERPs. This is because search engine algorithms weren't able to recognize the good from the bad, they only cared about keywords and links, even low-quality ones. But all of that changed and content is now an extremely important factor when it comes to organic search ranking. Through multiple updates, websites that had high-quality content always came on top, as they were rewarded for their diligence and originality. Today, if your content satisfies the needs of your visitors, Google will recognize it through a number of metrics, like time spent on a certain page.

#4. Evergreen Content

There aren't many businesses that succeed at creating the right content first time. They either do it to promote their sales or to highlight positive customer experience. While this is fine, this type of content doesn't last very long and it doesn't bring too much to the table when it comes to both visitors and search engines. Instead, you should focus on creating evergreen content, the type of content that you'll know is going to be relevant in a couple of years. Are you a pizza store owner? Cool, have an article written about different types of doughs and what are the best ways to achieve perfect crust. Like we said, the future is all about delivering what your visitors need, and evergreen content will do just that.

#5. Keep Your Reputation Unharmed 

Reputation is already a minor factor when it comes to ranking with search engines, but it's likely going to become more important over the next few years. If your website is linking towards a number of low-quality websites, Google will recognize it and trust you less, thus decreasing your rank. The reason for this is obvious - when you're linking towards a certain website you're vouching for its quality and credibility with your own reputation. If the website is for any reason filtered by Google then you'll feel the consequences as well. This is why you always need to focus towards linking only towards websites that truly deserve it.

#6. Brand Names are Losing Impact

For a long time, brand names were a big factor when it comes to SERPs and they had way easier time to reach the top. However, with the shift towards mobile devices brand names started losing impact. Users are mostly using mobile devices to search for generic restaurants, stores, or monuments near them so it's only natural that the importance of global brands diminishes for certain search queries. This is why SEO Company Australia recommends focusing on products/services instead of trying to climb through your brand's name. Of course, increasing your brand awareness should always be the thing, but not for the needs of SEO.

#7. Be Trustworthy

Google has developed its algorithms so well that they're now said to be able to recognize if you're giving your users facts or false info. This is because Google wants its users to stop relying on external links for trustworthiness, which is why you'll always want to double-check anything you write on your website. It's much easier to spread a rumor than to write a fact-backed article, but you'll have to do it nevertheless if you want to be rewarded by Google.

#8. Don't Cut Corners

As we already mentioned, some black-hat techniques used to work really well when it comes to SEO, but that time is long gone. You can no longer abuse a loophole and expect to get on the top of the SERPs, mostly because there aren't that many. However, even if you do find a way to rapidly increase your ranking quickly, think twice about it because it might cost you in the long run if Google decides you've played dirty.

#9. Think About the Users First, Search Engines Second

The sole reason why all the updates from Google are hitting the SEO world so hard is because most of the businesses concentrated their efforts on satisfying search engines. Google has tried to increase the value of user experience through a number of updates, and the chances are they will continue to do so. If you focus on the keywords that your target audience is going to use, you'll inevitably satisfy both the user and the search engine. The same goes for your content, link quality, website speed etc. By satisfying your users you'll most likely be rewarded for it when it comes to organic search ranking as well.

#10. Respect Google's Rules

If you want to stay on Google's good side you'll clearly have to respect their set or rules. You can find everything from technical aspects to quality guidelines in their Google Webmaster Guidelines. By ensuring you're respecting those guidelines you'll also ensure to avoid their penalty, which is something you definitely want if you're looking for a brighter tomorrow. You'll also find the best practices that Google rewards, so it's definitely a must-read for anyone looking to improve their ratings.

Final Thoughts

Users are becoming the most important thing when it comes to SEO, and your strategy for the future should reflect it. Focus your efforts towards fulfilling their needs and being there for them (through quality Customer Service, or by being diligent on your social media accounts with replies) and you'll more than likely stay out of harm's reach. Google has the power to reward and destroy online businesses, so you should definitely try to stay on good terms with them. 

Most Common Types of Digital Marketing

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, September 25, 2017

One way to describe digital marketing would be to compare it to teenage sex: “everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it…”. While this particular joke might seem absurd, it isn’t exactly that much off point.

You see, while the term digital marketing gets tossed around a lot, which makes the greatest majority of people believe they know what exactly that is. However, if you ask these people to explain what content marketing, PPC or SEO are, they might pause for a moment or even fail to give an answer altogether. In other words, not only are they not using them, they aren’t exactly sure what these methods entail at all. With this in mind and without further ado, here are several most common types of digital marketing that every business will encounter, or be in need of, sooner or later.

1.      Pay-per-click (PPC)

The first digital marketing method we are about to discuss is the popular PPC marketing. Here, the website owner is directly paying to the advertisers for every visit that comes through their website. The way this works is quite simple – you display an ad on someone’s website (let’s say blog) and every time someone clicks on this add, you pay that particular blogger a fixed fee. The best thing about this method is that it is quite easy to quantify, seeing how you pay for the exact figure of traffic boost that comes to your website. Bloggers trying to earn money this way might either go with affiliate marketing or Google AdSense, so they should be first two stops for an aspiring business willing to invest in PPC strategy as well.

2.      SEO (Search engine optimization)

Another term that a person getting started in the world of digital marketing is about to encounter is the SEO. Still, what is SEO exactly? In order to give an answer to this question, one must first know how search engines work. You see, an internet is a vast sea of data and information and without at least some form of pattern or organization, one wouldn’t be able to find anything they are looking for. This is where search engines come in. Through a complex algorithm, search engines sort, rank and display this data as search results. SEO is merely a process to improve your website’s standing on the World Wide Web.

3.      Social media marketing

Another thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that social media aren’t simply meant for reconnecting with your high school friends. A lot of companies are using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as the main platforms through which they promote their business. However, this requires a no small amount of planning and a huge deal of strategizing. For instance, every network has its own audience, which is why you should first identify your target demographics. If you plan to sell arts and crafts items, your platform of choice should probably be Pinterest, while for digital tools and software you might want to try YouTube. At the end of the day, the greater your reach, the better, which is why you should always try to create a solid presence on at least several platforms at once.

4.      Content marketing

The best way to make people interested in what you have to offer is to actually present them with something that adds value. This, however, means that you should come up with quality content that either entertains, educates or gives your audience something to think about. The greatest problem with content marketing is the fact that it requires a lot of research, work and talent. Still, if you manage to meet all of these requirements, the results are bound to follow.

5.      Email marketing

Finally, while some may assume that email marketing is dead, nothing can be further from the truth. On the contrary, this particular method of outreach has been on a steady rise since the dawn of the internet, making it a true anomaly in the world of digital marketing. Nonetheless, in order to make it work, you need to A) learn how to make your audience interested by using as little words as possible and B) learn how to make a killer subject line. Moreover, keep in mind that in 2017 people mostly read emails through their mobile devices, which is why you should also find a way to make your emails mobile-friendly.

In conclusion

As you can see, digital marketing is hardly a rocket-science, yet it is still horribly underused by most businesses out there. Unbelievable as it may sound almost half of small businesses in the U.S. didn’t have a website in 2016. This figure alone might be enough to explain why 90 percent of all startups and SMBs fail within the first five years of doing business. Make no mistake, a strong online presence is mandatory in 2017 and the only way to achieve it is through adequate digital marketing.

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.