The Negative Effects of a Clueless Programmer in Your Blog Staff

Many blog owners look forward to hiring a programmer into their workforce when they have the means for one and the role to suit them. For instance, you might want to hire a freelance programmer to help you design some software that will assist in growing your blog. Maybe you want to design a Java application to be used on your website, or perhaps you’ll look for an HTML5 programmer that can create some unique web-based applications to make the entire browsing experience more interesting for the reader. 

Unfortunately, most blog owners don’t understand the effects of a programmer and they don’t know how to make use of one, or even if they need one. At the end of the day, most of your content is written by you or fellow writers and that’s essentially what you “sell” to readers in order to build up your reputation. Knowing this, it doesn’t really make much sense to hire a programmer because they’re not exactly going to assist in creating content for you. There are, however, some fantastic uses for programmers in the world of blogging, and we’ll be going through some of them in this article. But first, let’s analyse the use of programming in blogging and why you should care.

blog staff

The link between programming and blogging 

One of the first things to mention is this: you DO NOT need programming skills in order to blog. This is probably already clear if you’ve written a couple of posts, but it’s important to state that before we dive into the more detailed options for bloggers that have an interest in programming.

First of all, programming will help you with web design. If you’re interested in creating a custom design for your blog instead of using the same WordPress template that a thousand other blogs use, then it’s important to have a brief understanding of programming in order to make the most of the options that the CSS language offers you. Programmers usually aren’t hired to make websites (that’s for web designers) but even the most stylish designers need some programming knowledge in order to make their designs stand out and more responsive.

Languages such as PHP are also fantastic if you want to fix issues related to WordPress (or whatever blogging platform you use) and it can also be used to enhance the features on your website. For instance, you can use PHP to create WordPress plugins and you can use it in conjunction with a database such as MySQL to create user profiles and other website enhancements that will improve the reader’s experience.

Now that we’ve listed some of the advantages that a programmer can bring to your blogging, here are some of the reasons why a clueless programming is a burden that needs to be removed as soon as possible.

They break more than they fix 

Programmers can easily break things they aren’t mean to. For example, this article titled How Memory Leaks Happen in a Java Application shows how easy it is for a memory leak to happen within a Java application. While Java isn’t used very often in blogging, it’s still a good example of how a clueless programmer can inflict more damage than they do good. If they create a program or plugin for your blogging website without understanding the effects it has on the user’s computer, then your website might turn into a complete mess that screws with the performance of the user’s browser and forces them to restart it every time they visit your website. This does nobody any good and can even give your website a reputation of being poorly optimised.

They make it hard for everyone else 

Programmers that are slow can cause delays and ultimately halt everyone else’s work. If you have a programmer working on widgets to be used on your blog and they fail to meet deadlines, then it can hold up the production of more content and it can set back your blog’s release schedule. To avoid this, you need an efficient programmer that can work in stressful situations, which is a quality that not many new programmers have until they’ve built up a sufficient amount of experience. If a programmer creates a terrible optimised piece of software and eventually leaves, then it’s up to you (or the next programmer you hire) to decipher their code and (assuming they haven’t commented it at all—a telltale sign of a clueless programmer). This can be incredibly frustrating if the software they designed has become an integral part of your workflow.

As you can see, hiring a clueless programmer does nobody any favours and you should have a good understanding of what a programmer can and can’t bring to your blogging before you hire one.

Need To Optimise Your Site’s Conversion Rates? Read This!

Do you manage a website? If so, you will no doubt be looking for ways to increase conversion rates on it. Sure, you might have read about some tried and tested methods online. But, how do you know which ones do what they claim?

As you can imagine, it can sometimes be a nightmare as you could end up making the wrong changes to your site. The good news is that today’s helpful article will show you how to optimise your site’s CRO rates. Ready? Good. Let’s get started!

Stop asking your visitors for lots of information

It’s likely your site will have forms on it. Examples may include contact pages or newsletter subscriptions. Did you know that many site owners ask for too much information from their visitors?

Let’s face it; many of us are busy people. We don’t have the time to spend filling out scores of form fields on a Web page. Only ask for information that you NEED, not what you THINK you should ask.

For a newsletter subscription, all you need is an email address. E-commerce sites only need a name, address, contact number and email address for customers. And contact forms only need three fields: name, email address and message.

Conversion Rates

Use contrasting colours for call to action buttons

So your website has an attractive theme and layout. But what happens when you want people to click on “that” button? You know, the one where they sign up to something or add a product to their online cart?

If your visitors seldom hit that button, the colour for it might not be grabbing their attention. All conversion rate optimization services providers state that is the main problem on websites. Make sure it’s not an issue on yours!

Stop using image sliders

You might assume that it’s the norm to use image sliders for above the fold content on your pages. Yes, they may look pretty. But, you need to stop using them. Here’s why:

  • They stop visitors from exploring your site at their own pace;
  • They distract those people from the rest of the page content;
  • And they can slow down the loading of your pages, especially on slow connections.

Get rid of the cheese factor

I’ve lost count of the sites I’ve come across that are just oozing with cheese (not the edible stuff)! How many sites have you seen with stock photos of people shaking hands, for example? Quite a lot, I’m willing to bet!

Are you guilty of having a cheesy website? If so, hang your head in shame! Once you’ve done that, remove said cheese. Stock photos are fine in some cases but don’t use them for all your content.

If you have a bricks and mortar shop, take photos of it and your employees serving customers. Don’t use a stock image of someone behind a till, for instance. People want to see that you are a “normal” business!

Make your content relevant

Last, but not least, it’s crucial your page content is relevant to the topic. So many people make that mistake, and they get punished by search engines for having “spam”!

I hope you’ve found this guide useful today. See you again soon!

How to Choose Right Keywords for SEO?

SEO and keywords go hand in hand. Is not it?

If you want to succeed in search engine optimization for your website and want to promote your website online via SEO tactics, you simply cannot ignore the keyword research.

No matter what the experts are saying about, having the knowledge of keywords and how they work is essential to rank your webpages.

Keyword is a single or a set of words that users type on the search engine to fetch relevant information. Based on the keywords put, search engines result pages show the most relevant sites that are optimized for the search term.

This article is for you to understand the most fundamental concept of SEO – keywords.

Why keywords are so important?

Keywords play an important role in the success of any SEO campaign. Whether you want to promote your website or sell your products (in case of e-commerce websites), using the right keywords can help you bring targeted traffic to your website. When you rank well for relevant keywords, it becomes easier for your audiences to find you online. So, to find and direct your target audiences to your website, having the knowledge of keyword research is very important.

Now that you know why you need the right keywords, it is time to know how to use the right set of keyword for your benefits.

Profit Making Keywords

When doing keyword research, it is important to know what kind of keywords you want to target. Profit making keywords are as the name suggest help you make profit.  This is beneficial for e-commerce websites and websites that want to directly sell their products and services. You need to find out what kind of keywords the customers are using like “cheap”, “affordable”, “discounts” and “free shipping” and other things.  You will need to create contents that include these keywords.  When you rank well for these keywords, your website will be shown at the top of SERPs every time a potential customer types the keywords.

Keywords that attract Traffic

While the profit making keywords help bring traffic to the website, it is not the same for everyone.  If you are looking to build strong customer base, following and establish yourself as the industry leader then, you need to aggressively pursue keywords that attract the right people. These people are not just your customers, but people who are looking for information. This is one of the best ways to increase the traffic to your website without spending a fortune on tactics like PPC (Pay per Click).

Pay per Click is very effective but only when you have tons of money to spend. Compared to that the organic method of using the relevant keywords in the content to attract the right crowd is much more sustainable, effective and most importantly cost effective option for small scale businesses. While this method may not bring immediate profit, in the long run it will help in establishing your authenticity.

The right Length of the keywords

The length of the keyword matters in the SEO. It matters a lot actually. There are basically three types of keyword structures:

  • Short-tail keywords (1 to 2 words)
  • Medium-tail keywords (3 to 4 words)
  • Long-tail keywords (longer than 4)

Short-tail keywords are more common, have lot of volume and are easier to rank. The only problem with such keywords is that there is a lot of competition. To win in this game you need content that can drive the traffic home and make your link popular.

The medium-tail keywords are of three to four words and have less volume than the short-tail keywords. The good news is that ranking for the medium size keyword is fairly easy. Even without the volume they have the capability of ranking well in the search engine pages.

The long-tail keywords are ever so easy to rank. But, the biggest problem with the long tail keyword is that not many people use it. But, you can use them to rank well anyway.

The trick here is to find keywords somewhere between the short-tail and medium-tail keywords and you are good to go.

Tools to find the right keywords

Finding the right set of keywords for your website is easy thanks to some of the amazing tools that help find them. The first tool is the Google search itself. Make use of the auto-suggestion of the keywords. This can help you find the keywords that are being frequently used. Likewise, Google has other tools too that help find the right keywords like the Google Keywords Planner, Google Correlate and Google Trends.

The user forums like Quora, Reddit ad Yahoo can help you find the keywords. The website generally answers the questions of the people looking for something and the keywords used by the users is most likely to the keywords used in the search engines. These are some of the useful tools to help you find the right keywords.

Keywords research is an important step to achieving your SEO goals. When you make the best use of it you can achieve your goals in very less time.  Whether you are selling product or services or simply want to share ideas, make keyword research your number one strategy to reach your goals.

5 Steps to Develop a Successful Blogger Outreach Campaign

There are many strategies that can be used to improve a website’s visibility, and creating quality content in the form of blogs that are posted on independent blog sites, is one effective way to drive traffic to the company site.

Blogger Outreach Campaign

Blogger Outreach Campaign

In fact, although blogs can increase your traffic, they can also do a host of other useful things, and if you are thinking about including blogger outreach into your digital marketing plan, here is a guide on how to go about it.

  1. Source the Right SEO Provider – Unless you happen to be an SEO expert, this should be left to the experts, who will help you to define your goals from the outreach campaign. If you want the best blogger outreach agency, then take some time during the selection process, and after an initial online search, you should have a few SEO companies that offer such a service.
  1. Define your Goal – It might be a new training manual and you wish to give it maximum exposure, or perhaps you are about to launch a new product line and want to generate some interest. If you deal with the right SEO company, they will have the right influencers who will post your content on busy websites that guarantee maximum exposure. Other reasons why you might require outreach blogging is to create a level of authority on any particular topic, which can be achieved using guest blogs.
  1. Creating Quality Content – Unless you happen to have a team of established bloggers sitting around doing nothing, you will need the services of a digital marketing agency, and one that has experienced web content writers in their team. Once the topics have been decided upon, the nest step is to work out the keyword insertion and any links that are to be included, and the agency would be able to create high quality content on demand, which is ideal. If you would like some examples of how quality content can benefit an online business, read through informative articles that point out practical ways of presenting online content.
  1. Organise the Influencers – This is not something that the client would normally be involved in, as the content is really the only part that requires client input, and the digital marketing agency would already have an extensive network of high traffic blogging sites, which is where the content will be placed. This is a critical part of the process, as you really do want the content posted on a busy site that attracts your target audience.
  1. Post the Content – Once your SEO partner has published the content online, they would use special software to track the results, and with a steady supply of regular blogs on a range of topics, your company will receive a lot more than extra traffic, as this will develop your company’s image and add authority across a range of platforms. Social media sites play a big role in blogger outreach strategies, and this would all be handled by the SEO agency, who have a range of tools to promote their clients’ websites. Of course, one would need to track and report on the outreach campaign performance, and by using an established SEO company, you can instantly bring up data for analysis, which allows you to make necessary adjustments, should they be needed.

Outreach blogging can be a very effective way to promote a product or service, and with the right people at the helm, the right content placed in the right locations can literally transform a business. It is essential to seek out an established SEO provider, as only then can you be sure of getting the desired result.

What Is A Successful Digital Marketing Strategy?

Things have changed a lot since I started my career in digital marketing in late 2009.

Based on my 6 years of experience in the digital marketing industry on how to rank websites in Google and other search engines, this article will help a beginner to create, optimize and rank a website easily.

What you will read here is the fundamentals of the search engine optimization. I deliberately have inclined the article for the beginners as I want it simple and to-the-point for those who are in the starting of their career in search engine optimization.

What Is A Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

Introduction

The digital marketing is no longer just about manipulation of the search results. But it’s about adding high quality, highly relevant and often effective content to your website which meets a PURPOSE that delivers better USER SATISFACTION. At the same time high relevant and contextual links are pivotal for a successful SEO CAMPAIGN.

If you are serious about getting better ROI and drive relevant but free traffic from different search engines, get ready to invest enough time and effort into your website and online marketing.

All search engine that includes Google, regularly tweak their algorithm to rank only QUALITY websites  in their search results, so forcing all webmaster to invest the effort in great content and great service that attracts real customers and editorial links from other reputable websites naturally.

The Rule

The rule is very simple, if you’re willing to create a buzz about your company, you have to add a lot of great content to your website along with social promotion and link building. But if you try to manipulate, you may ranking quicker but never last in a long run race. The penalty is sure, and often until you fix the issues – which I know can LAST YEARS or even you may have to start it form the zero again. PANDA & PENGUINE updates are such examples which even forced highly popular websites to change their strategy and make the website more SEO friendly.

BLACK HAT SEO is the easiest way to rank a site, still today. But it is not permanent. If you are a real business who intends to build a brand online – you can’t use blackhat SEO methods at all.

Opportunity 

The science of ONLINE MARKETING aka SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION, is to understand how the people use the search engines, and how the search engines process the search terms to display the results to the users. So in can be described as the process of putting a lot of tools in your basket together and look for the better opportunity. At the same time the relevancy plays a vital role in search engine optimization. 

Search Engine Optimizer

When we talk about a good search engine optimizer, he needs to be smart enough to understand how search engine comprehend websites and how they process & generate the ORGANIC SERP to actually satisfy the user. Different the search engines have their own guidelines to rank websites and show them in SERP. They do not work same. An optimizer needs to understand the short term and long term risks involved in different types of optimization processed.

There are rules to be followed or ignored, risks to be taken, and battles to be won or lost. The very first goal of any digital marketing campaign is to increase the traffic to the website and get better visibility but not in the cost of penalty and violation of guidelines.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” width=”90%” ][highlight]All search engines are raising the “QUALITY BAR” of their ranking factors to offer high quality and high relevant results to users. So the success of the SEO campaign highly involves HEAVY INVESTMENT in QUALITY CONTENT, ON-PAGE OPTIMIZATION, NATURAL LINKS, EASY NAVIGATION SET UP, MOBIL RESPONSIVENESS, CONVERSION OTOMIZATION….. If you don’t follow the guidelines, better you re-evaluate your campaign today. Otherwise you will find yourself in a war with search engines in the coming year.[/highlight][/box]

Constant Ever-Flux in Ranking 

Search engines, at its center the ranking algorithm is about CONTENT, KEYWORDS and BACKLINKS. Then come RELEVANCE, TRUST and REPUTATION. At the end comes the GOOD USER EXPERIENCE. All these mixed together perform in the algorithm to offer a SERP for the search engine users.

A search engine’s job is to make it hard to manipulate the results they show in SERP. So the algorithm goes under regular updates to improve and close the loop-holes in it, which closes the doors for the spammers to invade search results.

The END

I hope you have found it interesting while walking with me through the basics of SEO. Now it is time for you to share your thoughts and suggestions. Your comments will be highly appreciated.

If you need someone to help you with your search engine optimization, feel free to contact me.

Good Luck!!

All That You Need To Know About Your Brand Logo

Logos are essential for any brand to be identifiable. Logos contribute much more than just being an identity or marker for the brand. There is just so much to logos that one has to keep all aspects of the brand in mind while creating a logo. There is a reason people prefer looking for the best logo design company for a simple logo. Logos are all that your brand needs to stand out.

logo design

What is a logo?

A logo, in layman terms, is a symbol or a design taken up by an organization to work as an identifier. However, a lot of brainstorming goes into a logo design. No matter what business you are into, your logo is your representative in your absence. Your clients and associates will recognize your work by the logo. The respect for your logo is directly proportional to the respect you and your business generates.

Usually, businesses create a logo that spreads the idea or philosophy of the company. This is the reason, business owners like to bestow the trust on the best logo design company.

How to select a logo?

Choosing a logo is, honestly, a tough task. Most business owners make the mistake of rushing through and getting a logo that looks good the first time. The problem, here, is people associated with your business are going to look at it for a long time. Your logo is the introduction of your company. Therefore, first things first, never rush while getting a logo. Let the company responsible for making your logo take enough time to craft a masterpiece. Imagine the logos of some of the greatest businesses, like Apple or Baskin Robbins. They hadn’t got the logo idea in a day’s time. They took their own time and created logos that are relevant and relatable still today.

Here are some factors that should be taken into consideration while creating the logo for your business.

Idea:

The “idea” of your logo should be clear to understand. It might explain the phenomena that gave rise to your business, like the logo of Apple INC., or an insight to your business, like the Baskin Robbins’ logo. The plan is to create a connection with the consumer by your logo. A thorough brainstorming session with logical explanations will see you through to a great idea.

Elements:

Broadly, there are two kinds of elements in a logo – Graphic and Text. Both the elements, if present, need to be in a perfect synchronization. This would help in getting the logo the attention it deserves. However, one needs to make sure none of the elements are loud. Going with the current trend or using cliches looks good for a short while, but not in the long run.

Colors play an important role in conveying a message. Make sure to use the right color to put across the theme of your organization and reinforce your message.

Not just colors, fonts also play an important role. One needs to make sure that the fonts are in the right format. This will revoke the right emotions among your target audience.

Use simple elements in your logo to keep it more relevant. However, consistency is also important in the logo. Make sure to use the white space and negative space effectively.

Audience:

One needs to make sure about the target audience. Your logo needs to be designed to attract a target audience. Your elements and message need to be an instant attraction for your target audience. For instance, if your business is something related to the 20 something youth, it should have a hint of pop culture and relevance to the age group. Every business needs to understand and cater to the target audience. Your logo will be a great way to start the conversation.

Adaptability:

Adaptability is the need of the hour. With technology changing at a pace like never before, your logos need to be adaptable. Are you still wondering why your logo should be adaptable? Your logo is going to be everywhere, including the letterheads, posters, merchandises, invoice and any other marketing material. If your logo is not adaptable enough to serve the purpose in these materials or various gizmos, your brand will start losing relevance.

These are 4 areas you should pay attention while getting your logo. It is advised to go for an experienced logo designer who will help you through with all the aspects of the logo. Making of a brand and taking it up the ladder is a tough task. Hire the best logo design company you can lay your hands on to get a logo that explains a lot by just being there.

Getting the perfect logo design company is the next part of getting a logo worthy of your brand.

Here are some areas you can notice in your logo design company before hiring.

  • Portfolio: Have a look at the portfolio of the company. You will get an idea about the kind of design the logo designers have done in the past.
  • Experience: When it comes to designing a brand logo, experience counts. An experienced designer will know the logos better.
  • Understanding: It is another professional trait of a good logo designer. The understanding of the brand, the message, and the aesthetics are essential for crafting the perfect logo.

These 3 traits are essential in a logo designer. You should look at the traits and get a logo design company having these traits in balance. Branding is a tough ball game and a well-designed logo is the first step towards it. Several aspects should be considered while getting the logo for your business. Your logo will represent you in all stages. It is the flag bearer of your business philosophy and message. Consult the best logo design company you can find to get a logo that stands out. A logo that stands out from the others makes your brand big in the vicinity.

A well-placed strategy and a self-explanatory logo will team up to create a strong brand message, always.

A Look inside the Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is a huge concept and defining it in one simple line definition is like saying the sea is huge and has all kinds of water creatures. Nevertheless, content marketing in its simplest form can be defined as an online marketing strategy that focuses on creating quality contents, publishing and distributing those contents across various platforms like social media and blogs for the target audiences with the aim of generating more customers.

Content marketing is also somewhat unpredictable with so many online marketing tools coming up every few weeks. For a content marketing strategy to succeed, it is vital that you use the latest and the hottest trends to stay on top of the competition.

Content Marketing Strategy

Who Needs Content Marketing?

Today, social media platforms have become one of the most powerful content marketing tools. With millions and millions of people present online across the world, you have the best opportunity to reach out to your target audience.

Basically, a business needs content marketing strategy to take it to the next level. It’s not just the established business that need content strategy. Anyone who wants to create a fan base or customer base and want to make their product or services known ( not entirely for sales purposes) will need a solid content marketing strategy to reach out to a vast target audience.

Compared to the other medium, social media platforms are one of the best ways to start with online promotion.

How Content Marketing Helps Your Business

Businesses whether small or big, know that they need content marketing as much as they need traditional marketing strategies. But, how does it actually help?

For instance, you have a home cleaning business specializing in all round house cleaning from floors to carpets to kitchen. You don’t have a very successful business so you want to improve it. You start blogging about various house cleaning issues, such as how to remove stain from the floor or how to clean tiles. With regular posts your blogs gets ranking in the Google and other search engines.

There are many people who find it difficult to clean house on their own.  So, when they search for house cleaning tips and methods online they find your blog. With information rich posts and easy DIY solutions, people start following your blogs and soon you start getting cleaning assignments when they find it too difficult to handle it own their own.

Likewise, you can also share those blog posts in social media platforms like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and many more. This way you increase your customer base with a content strategy that offers them solutions and advice they are seeking. And, once you establish yourself as an expert or reliable resource, you will start getting more work.

Why Content Marketing makes more sense than Other Strategies

Surely, content marketing makes more sense when you compare other marketing strategies like PPC. PPC or the Pay Per Click is a costly affair with a very limited lead generation results. This can be easily deduced by simple analysis. After a month long campaign, you have managed to generate a lead and spend some money. Well and good since you don’t mind paying if you are getting what you need. But, the problem is you have to repeat the same thing the next month as well, which means spending more money. But, once you stop spending money, the leads will too stop coming.

Now, take content marketing.

Once you write a blog and add a link to the website where your target audiences or general followers can sign up for your weekly or monthly newsletter or say 1 free cleaning service, you will have a lead. You will notice that you have same number of leads with your content marketing campaign as you had with your PPC campaign. The only difference is that you didn’t have to spend money on it and it is long lasting. As you keep writing blogs, you will get more followers and eventually generate more leads.

Content marketing offers a cost effective and scalable solution to lead generation that every business wants.

What your Content Marketing Team Should Look Like

This purely depends on your goals and budget among few other things like the size of the company and your marketing team. A single person marketing team will have to:

  1. Create Content
  2. Optimize it for the SEO
  3. Manage social media profiles

As the team grows, the content marketing strategies can be approached in more different ways, such as each person becomes responsible for a particular part. One person or team could take the responsibility of content creation, other for purely search engine optimization purpose and other for managing social media profiles. When these responsibilities are handled by different team or people the focus becomes more sharp and specified.

Hiring the right person for your content marketing team will require understanding the specific goal you want to achieve. You need to decide whether you need an expert content creator or designer or SEO manager or just anyone with good knowledge will do.

Getting the right Tools for content marketing strategy is important so that you get the best chance to market your content.

Measuring the Effect of Your Content Marketing Strategy

Creating and distributing content using the right tools is not enough. You need to constantly measure the effect to see what your growth level is. Regular reporting keeps you on the line and lets you eliminate anything that is having a negative effect or having no effect on your content strategy at all.

Content marketing can take your business to the next level when you realize its true potential. It’s out there. It is a cost effective solutions that you have been looking for and with a marketing strategy as big as this, you have a plethora of opportunities.

The Do’s And Dont’s Of Modern Internet Marketing

We wanted to set the record straight today by highlighting some great and terrible online marketing strategies. With a bit of luck, people just starting out in the business world will benefit from the information in this post. Thousands of dollars are wasted every single year by people who don’t select the best methods and ideas. So, you need to pay attention if you want your new company to go from strength to strength. At the end of the day, we all want to make a fortune and retire early, right?

Modern Internet Marketing

Here are just some of the do’s and don’t you need to consider:

Do

  • Invest in social media advertising

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are perfect for promoting your business operation. You don’t have to pay anything to open an account, but there are some great advertising tools for those who want to invest. If you spend time working on nothing else this year, social media promotion is essential.

  • Focus on SEO

There is no getting away from the fact that SEO could help your business significantly. Millions of people search for companies like yours every single day. Making sure you’re at the top of relevant search results will boost traffic. That should mean you get more conversions and more sales. Just look for local SEO tips to boost your rankings in your chosen areas. Of course, you could also outsource the task to professionals who work in that industry.

  • Seek media attention

Getting media attention for your brand is much easier in the modern world. That is because there are thousands of popular news websites you could target. You might find it hard to get mentioned in national newspapers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a buzz online. Just create a mailing list that contains all your media contacts and send messages when you have some news.

Don’t

  • Forget the importance of content marketing

Content marketing is a new concept no business owner should ignore. The process involves mentioning your business naturally within well-written articles. There are companies you can use to deal with the process one your behalf. However, people who are just starting out could get started without outside help.

  • Put all your eggs in one basket

When you find an internet marketing concept that works, it’s tempting to put all your eggs in one basket. Even so, you need to spread your efforts over a wider area. You never know when a certain idea might stop producing positive results. You would be stuck if that happened and you had everything invested in the strategy.

As you can see, there is a lot to learn when it comes to modern internet marketing. The basic rule of thumb is that you should only invest when you find a winning process. Always research the methods used by your competitors to ensure you are not overlooking something important. You will have to spend a lot of money to ensure your brand becomes a household name. However, it’s worth the expense and effort if your business succeeds.

Business Image – Your Guide on Reputation Management

Among the factors instrumental in success or failure of a business, one is branding. If done right, branding can help a business jump many hurdles. If done wrong, it can tarnish the reputation of a business.

The 2015 KFC “fried rat” fiasco is a primer on the importance of public perception. The news of KFC serving fried rat to customers was phony. But the rumor whirlwind was so strong that even loyal KFC customers went into criticism mode and began abusing the Kentucky-based chicken wing franchise.

It took a whole month for KFC to regain the lost image.

The incident shows public perception can be irrational. It can be turned against anyone or any brand, and at anytime. Further, social media can fuel it.

Strategies You Should Follow to Polish Up Your Branding

Here are some strategies to polish up a brand’s image:

A unique proposition

Customers are tired because of tirades. They have seen almost every maneuvering technique used by brands. In 2016, what customers expect most from brands are transparency and uniqueness. The two are actually tied together – unique brand strategies don’t require manipulation and increase a brand’s transparency quotient.

Companies that uphold a unique premise and connect it to their branding have an easy time dishing out a unique selling proposition. In the food and beverage industry, Cadbury, Bournville and Toblerone are all top chocolate brands. To compete with them, the Mast Brothers (Rick and Michael Mast) have come up with the idea of DIY chocolate making. It’s their USP.

Despite not being among the celebrated shoe brands, TOMS Shoes has a niche customer-base because whenever someone buys a pair of shoes from them, they hand over a new pair to a child-in-need. Even though some people claim such acts of charity isn’t doing any good, their generosity cannot be undermined.

Furnishing a selling proposition that’s totally unique helps your branding rise above the fold and turn all eyes. More importantly, it establishes your identity as a brand.

Consistency is key

There are too many bottlenecks for branding – both anticipated and unanticipated. Consistency is the key to overcome these bottlenecks. To build positive branding, an enterprise needs to maintain consistency. As discussed in the previous paragraph, uniqueness pads out identity.

So a business must have a distinctive approach and a unique selling proposition. The awareness of consistency should permeate through its hierarchy. From c-suite executives to customer service reps – everyone should place consistency above all other things.

Imagine you run a golf-equipment manufacturing firm and your USP is you only use biodegradable products in your manufacturing units. If any non-renewable product is ever found in your warehouse or production unit, then an uproar would soon follow hurting your branding. Surveys have already shown that 90% holiday shoppers expect consistency from brands. So be consistent in whatever you do. Or else, public perception towards your branding will turn negative.

Product photography

This one might sound out of the box, but bear with me. This is the age of visuals – the more visuals you have, the easier it is to endorse your brand. Rejecting product photography is turning your face from visuals, despite knowing their importance in marketing.

Let’s find out how product photography benefits brands:

Increased revenue: The presentation of a product is as important as its quality. Leverage product photography to present your product in a captivating manner to prospective customers. If they are impressed, then its sale will increase, fetching you and better revenue.

Tap multi-channel marketing: Product photography enables you to promote your brand across all platforms – social networking, video sharing and even email and newsletters. Tapping more than one platform is better for brand recognition. With product photography, it is guaranteed.

Develop content catalogue: If you run an online shop, product photography aids you in cataloguing content. The stunning product photographs in your inventory can quickly capture visitor’s attention. Besides, you can reproduce and reuse those photographs in the form of print or electronic format.

Because product photography consists of the above benefits, include it in your marketing plan.

Make new connections

Branding is all about creating a network. Failing to make connections with industry leaders, with influentials and more importantly, with audience leads to decreased visibility. Put simply, it enfeebles your branding.

It’s 2016 and a number of brands are interested in co-marketing than competition. Case studies also prove that co-marketing comes with greater benefits for brands than competition. Among its many benefits, one is connecting with people/brands with a huge follower-base on social media. Such individual and brands can cross-promote.

Content marketing is widely acknowledged as the most resourceful tool for branding. A content marketer called Jeff Stephens, founder of Top Shelf Blogging explained the advantage of cross-promotion by saying “sharing others’ content establishes a deeper direct relationship with that person and endears you to those you have yet to meet.”

Making new connection inevitably leads to co-marketing and co-branding, even though there’s a little difference between the two. In the end, it polishes up a brand’s image.

Summing up

The four strategies, discussed here are simple to follow. Brands don’t need to cough up too much money or have technical expertise needed to use cutting-edge tools. Just a little marketing acumen and diligence – and that’s all.

Hence, follow these strategies and stay ahead of others.

E-commerce Product Reviews: Now More Important Than Ever

The Wall Street Journal reports that more than half the population (approximately 190 million US residents) will shop online this year. And according to a survey by Fortune.com, which polled more than 5,000 online shoppers, more than 51% of all purchases made are online.

Trillions of dollars now change hands through online merchants.Estimates vary, but the number of e-commerce stores is in the tens of millions.How then do consumers decide which e-commerce site to use?

Eighty-eight percent of all respondents to a recent poll said that online reviews “greatly influenced” their decision as to what to purchase and from whom. According to the Consumerist website, 70% of consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase. Some experts estimate the percentage is much higher, closer to 90-95%.

review

E-commerce reviews are now more important than ever.

Online Reviews

If you want to remain ahead of the competition and build a loyal client base, you must pay attention to your product or service reviews. Online reviews are an essential feature of a website. Without strong online reviews, you cannot hope to succeed.

Website reviews provide consumers with a snapshot of your company as seen through the eyes of fellow shoppers. Good, believable reviews inspire trust and confidence in your product or service. Independent and unbiased reviews will make a potential client much more likely to buy from your site rather than a competitor’s online store.

Remember also that online reviews generate conversions that enhance your search engine rankings. Google can index product reviews, so an increase in reviews will increase your keyword ranking. You just want to make sure that those reviews are positive!

Here are some online review strategies to help you boost your e-commerce reputation.

Ask!

If you want reviews of your products, you should ask for them. Reach out to your existing loyal customer base. Ask them to supply you with an honest appraisal of your product or service.

You can offer them a discount coupon or some other incentive to write the review, as that offering an incentive also encourages repeat sales. Once you do so, part of your strategy going forward should be to include a note or link to a review site with every sale to encourage your customers to write reviews.

Solicit Reviews from other Websites

It is easier to find people, even those who may not be current clients, to review your product than you think.

Find a similar product on Amazon or elsewhere online. Look at the poor reviews.

Sometimes reviews provide email addresses. Contact the reviewers and offer them a free product or a deep discount for your product in return for an honest review.

Bloggers

Chances are there are plenty of bloggers who write about products like yours. Use Google and search for appropriate bloggers, then reach out to them and ask them to review your item. Offer them a sample, so they can review your product honestly.

Third Party Reviewers

There are lots of third-party review sites that have reputations for generating reliable and authentic reviews. They use actual customers who have purchased and used the products.

Contact one of these websites to help boost your reviews. This will help build credibility for your online store.Be careful, however, as many sites offer fake reviews, which will ultimately hurt your reputation.

Contact Amazon Top Reviewers

Some people love to review products and many consider it a hobby. On Amazon, it is very easy to find and contact them. They would provide an excellent, in-depth review of your product.

Social Media

Facebook and Twitter are great places to find people willing to review your product. Use your company’s Facebook page to solicit reviews.

On Twitter, the advanced search function will let you find people reviewing products like yours. Simply search for your product name with a hashtag “productreviews” or “amazonreview.”

Email Marketing Software

Research and contact a good email marketing company, or purchase an email marketing software product. Compile a list of verified email addresses and target them with offers of some sort of incentive in return for a product review.

LinkedIn

You can find potential product reviewers through LinkedIn. You can search for people, or companies, whoreview products. Use InMail on the site and get in touch with them, offering the same incentives you would to others for providing a review.

As with the third-party review sites, do your research and avoid the fake reviewers.

Engage Your Customers

The more you engage your customers, the more you increase their interaction. Maintain an active blog on your website. Post articles related to your product.

Make you and your site industry experts. Offer tips and advice related to your niche. Doing so will encourage your readers to comment and review your products.

All Reviews Don’t Need to be Positive

Due to the rise of fake online reviews, it is now harder than ever to gain a customer’s trust. Amazon does an excellent job of combating this problem by issuing a verified purchaser badge beside the reviewers who have purchased the merchandise.

Extremely positive and highly detailed reviews raise red flags, because no satisfied customer will take the time to gush so much about a product they bought online unless they were paid to do so. For every five-star review, you are bound to get some unsatisfied customers or four-star reviews for your merchandise. In fact, it is desirable to have these types of slightly negative reviews as they show your reviewers are real people.

You can use the negative review to your advantage. Some online retailers have even taken to displaying a “most helpful positive review” as well as a “most helpful negative review” side-by-side to prove their reviews are genuine.

Last Words

Focus on and implement a product review strategy to garner the most you can out of your online reviews. Make your reviews work for you. If you’re unsure about how your online review strategy will work with your website, contact your ecommerce web design agency. The right e-commerce review strategy is a powerful tool that can boost sales and enhance your online reputation.