DevelopmentInsights

How to Improve Your Customer Help

The customers’ journey is an important thing to keep track of in today’s market. Customers who are happy with their journey with your brand are more loyal – and more likely to make future purchases than those who aren’t. You also have the ability to build better relationships with the customers through a positive customer experience.

Naturally, the customers’ journey doesn’t stop when they make a purchase. Offering good customer support and aftersales services is also an important thing to do. To improve customer support, here are some of the strategies you can implement right away.

Keep Track of Support Requests

One of the worst things you can do when providing customer support is not keeping track of customers’ requests properly. This usually leads to the customers having to explain their issues again, which is extremely annoying for them.

A simple IT solution is all you need to manage customer requests better. A help desk software is a great foundation and will lead to better – and more efficient – customer support. The help desk software then acts as a way to manage your customer support efforts.

The IT industry has used help desk software to provide invaluable services to their customers. Today, other industries are using the same approach to deliver the same level of user experience across their customer base.

Service-Minded Employees

The next challenge to tackle is employee development. You can’t expect to offer good customer support without employees who are serious about offering the best customer service. Training and development programs are how you reconfigure employees to have a more service-oriented mindset.

You can start by strengthening the customer service skills of key employees. The most important skills to develop are empathy and patience, good product knowledge, the ability to mitigate customers’ complaints intelligently, and good worth ethic in general.

These skills can be further supported by the good understanding of customer touchpoints and how every part of the customers’ experience can be improved. Even bad customer experience is an opportunity; through good customer service, those disappointed customers can become your most loyal ambassadors.

Focus on Interactions

The incredible solutions you deliver are important, but how you deliver them is even more important. You want to make sure that the good aftersales experience you provide is the experience the customers see and feel too.

The way to do this is by ensuring customer support is delivered in a timely and pleasant manner. You can establish policies to allow the customer support executives or officers to do just that while staying within the boundaries of SOPs.

The way executives interact with the customers’ matters too. Offer a more personalized approach, listen to what the customers really want, and don’t be afraid to admit mistakes. Admitting your mistake even before customers launch their complaints is a powerful way to ensure that the customers always have a great customer experience.

Combined, these strategies will substantially improve customer support and the overall customer journey. Add sincerity to the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for offering stunning aftersales service that keeps customers coming back for more.

DevelopmentInsights

Why You Should Invest in a Digital Kanban Board

Digital Kanban boards are taking the tech world by storm as the software helps teams to prioritise tasks and improve efficiency in the workplace. Kanban might have started off as a physical board, but the digital version of the software is becoming very popular and it is something that you should consider investing in if you want to improve how your team works. In this article, we are going to take you through some of the reasons why you should invest in a digital Kanban board and the benefits that this piece of tech can bring to you. Keep reading if you’d like to hear more about this.

What Is Kanban Software?

Kanban software comes in many forms with many different companies giving their own take on this sort of organisational structure. With Kanban software, you input tasks onto the board when they first are confirmed. From here, tasks move across the board depending on their level of completion. This means that tasks can be prioritised, and staff efficiency levels can be monitored. Make sure to learn more about Kanban software before you invest in this piece of technology to ensure that it is right for you. You can learn all you need to know by reading Kanbanize’s guide “Kanban Software: Explore the Opportunities“.

Easy to Use

With an online Kanban board, you can create it to work for the type of project that you are completing. Every team is different and so the fact that this type of system is so easy to use makes a huge difference. When you first download the software, you can choose the type of layout that you want, and you’ll find it really easy to add new cards and move them along the board when you need to. This type of technology is a lot easier to use than a physical board that will require you have to write on cards or print them out. With an online Kanban board, you can edit the cards in a matter of seconds.

Great for Teamwork

If you have a large team then you will love this benefit of using an online Kanban board. When you put the different tasks on the board, your whole team can see it and they can grab a task and get it done. You don’t need to worry about things slipping through the cracks as Kanban doesn’t allow for this. If you invest in this software, you won’t need to inform your team of what they need to do and when it needs to be done by because they’ll already know. You’ll save yourself time on having meetings and sending out emails and you’ll be able to get your work done more quickly.

Remote Workers

One of the best things about Kanban software is that it can be used by any member of the team no matter where they are. As long as they have access to the software on their computer or their mobile phone app, they can view the board online and get started. This works really well if you have remote workers or you don’t have the main office. You could also consider getting rid of your office and having your staff work from home. They’ll be able to stay connected using the Kanban board online and you can still get your work done effectively.

Improve Efficiency

If your team struggle with getting things done on time, you’ll find that having an online Kanban board can totally change the way they work. The system works well to improve efficiency and you’ll be able to identify the weak points in the company. Perhaps someone is not getting as much work done as you’d like, maybe you could use this information to try them on another task or analyse what they did well. Making use of a Kanban board can really help you to understand how your team works and you’ll be able to get your projects done on time.

Reasonably Priced

When it comes to Kanban software, you don’t even need to fork out a lot of money to get help with your business. This piece of tech is reasonably priced and if you find a good one, you might even get a free trial to see if you could really benefit from this type of software. Don’t be afraid to have a look around at what is available online in order to really improve how your businesses flow.

Final Thoughts

If you are thinking about investing in Kanban software, then you’ll find that it is actually a really good idea. There are a lot of benefits and you will see your business start to shine as you improve the way in which your team works. The systems are easy to use, and you’ll get to grips with them reasonably fast so make sure to try it now.

Development

How to Improve Your Search Rankings Using Brand Mentions

Brand mentions have become more important than ever. They have become an important part of SEO, and have a huge impact on search ranking. So it’s safe to say that brand mentions are redefining the way Google measures brand authority.

With everything going digital, even the style of marketing has changed and is very different from traditional marketing. When people mention your brand in the digital space, it becomes word-of-mouth marketing.

The mentioning of your brand by people basically involves them giving a shout out to your brand on digital platforms. This can be done in various forms like mentioning your brand in their social media posts, writing a review, or publishing a blog post. Some may be provoked by a milestone in your company, some by a case study of yours, or by an awesome thing that you’ve done such as redesigning your website theme and setting some trends along.

Why do you need to keep a track of these mentions?

By doing so, you can get a better idea of what people think of your brand and how they perceive it. Keeping track of your brand mentions will also give you a better idea of how you can optimize your backlink profile.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to improve your SEO rankings by leveraging brand mentions.

1. Write Guest Blog Posts

Guest blogging is one of the most successful and effective ways to build your brand. Guest blogging is also the best option for brand mentions. And it’s a cost-effective way to promote your brand.

The process of writing a guest blog post is quite simple and easy. You just need to get in touch with a website from your industry and ask them to publish your post. But remember to search for a website that has high domain authority.

There are many advantages of guest blogging which includes an increase in SEO, brand reputation, and traffic.

Make sure you publish your content on a high domain authority website. As this will have a direct impact on the search engine rankings of your site. This also affects the visibility of your brand and can help you find relevant audiences to showcase your expertise to.

Guest posts also help you build the reputation of your brand. And it’s a very well-known fact that having a good reputation can bring long-term benefits. Guest blogging is also an inexpensive way to increase the traffic for your website.

The case study of Groove is the best example of the power of guest blogging. The groove is a team of a handful of software experts with the goal of guiding small businesses with their clutter-free and easy to use the software.

They posted a guest post and successfully managed to reach more than 1 million people.

Image Source – Groove

2. Create Useful, Relevant, and Attractive Content

Website owners used to buy links to improve their SEO unnaturally. That’s why Google took strict action against this practice and introduced quality content as a ranking factor. Google created a new algorithm which ranks websites based on their content quality.

So you need to create content for your website which is unique, useful, and relevant to your niche. When you create content like this, Google will automatically find your content, thanks to the new algorithm, and likely improve your rankings.

When your content ranks better, it helps people find it faster and encourages them to talk about it and share it on their social platforms. This is how your brand can reach new heights.

But make sure to create content on trending yet relevant topics. But how can you figure out what is relevant and trending? You can use tools like Google Alerts. This tool will help you find out trending and relevant topics from your niche.

You can create alerts for trending topics from your niche. This actually cuts down the extra effort to research trending topics. It also allows you to opt for a content update strategy. This feature will provide you with a list of your old posts which you can update later on.

Image Source – Google Alerts

3. Provide Exceptional Customer Service

When you provide excellent customer service, it’s obvious that people will start talking about it. And they might even recommend your brand to their family and friends.

There is also good chance that people will talk about your brand on their personal blogs, vlogs, or on social media.

That can help you attract more potential customers to your website, resulting in an increase in your website traffic and conversion rate. But how will you stand out from other players and provide great customer service?

Here is a quick tip – never forget to acknowledge and thank customers who are writing positive reviews about your brand. Also, never ignore the customers who are not happy and have given negative feedback.

Always go back to the customer and discuss the problem with them. Then address the issue as soon as possible. And keep updating the customer about the progress in solving the issue via email or messages.

A perfect example is Samsung’s support page on Twitter, which is dedicated to providing great customer service. Support is available around the clock, seven days a week.

Image Source – Twitter

4. Always Track Brand Mentions

It’s important to track your online brand mentions as they can help you with reputation management opportunities and finding honest feedback. Tracking brand mentions also helps you gain a better understanding of how people are interacting with your brand.

By tracking brand mentions, you can get an idea of the satisfaction level of your customers. You can also monitor your online reputation and take the necessary steps to improve your reputation. Tracking brand mentions can also help you to develop metrics to measure and evaluate the popularity of your brand.

There is no doubt about the fact that brand mentions are very important to the business. But it’s a very time-consuming task. There are tools that can help you track your brand mentions in a much more efficient and effective way.

Tools like Google Alerts are very popular and are widely used for keeping track of brand mentions. As you grow your brand, you will get more brand mentions on social media platforms. Now you cannot be everywhere at the same time, so this tool gives you regular updates on the brand mentions you are getting.

Now you know the advantages of tracking brand mentions. So go ahead and create an account in Google Alerts and it will automatically send you an alert for any mention of your brand.

Image Source – Google Alerts

Final Thoughts

It’s not possible to improve your search rankings overnight. In fact, SEO is a long-term strategy. If you want to stand out from your competition, it’s always better to stay one step ahead. And tracking brand mentions is one of the best tactics to not only improve your SEO efforts but also monitor your brand’s reputation.

There are tools that can help you track and monitor your website’s search engine rankings. You can use tools like Keyword Tracker or PRT to quickly and easily track your rankings. You can also use these tools to monitor your progress or changes in your rankings.

Do you know of any more ways to improve search rankings using brand mentions? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

Development

Internet of Things Trends for 2018

Internet of Things (IoT) is a transformative trend making big splashes. With the booming ecosystem of 20 billion connected devices announcing its triumph and widespread adoption on the roll in major industries, it needs no introduction. The only question is what facet of it will manifest the most, and reshape modern products, workflows, and processes. Well, this year will not be the time of IoT revolution as much as it will be the year of infrastructure consolidation, increased investment, and steady growth. The driving force behind these developments comes in the form of following prominent trends.

● Poised for growth

On the broadest level, we see that the whole IoT sector is primed for dynamic growth. More and more devices are coming online with each passing day. By 2030, we could reach a threshold of 30 billion connected pieces. The consumer segment will have the largest share of IoT installed base. Moreover, a lion’s share of the market will be dominated by businesses offering wearable devices, industrial equipment, smart/automated home tech, and high-tech cars.  Retail, supply, and healthcare sector are not lagging behind. In fact, they are expected to undergo a phase of rapid growth as well.

● Increased fragmentation

On the flipside, this proliferation breeds the so-called “fragmentation frustration”. Namely, growth in the area of as-a-service (aaS) and cloud solutions has shown that fragmentation poses a tough challenge for companies. Adoption is not really frictionless and it demands a considerable investment of resources. There are also many compatibility issues because we will have to wait a bit more for device standardization and certification to really kick in. Those who struggle will likely have to rely on leading Internet of Things agencies for everything from strategizing to custom tool implementation.

● IoT and OT convergence

Traditionally, IoT and Operational Technology (OT) were separate domains. Nowadays, however, the gap is becoming narrower. Many companies are realizing the advantage of IoT and OT teams working hand in hand towards more efficient deployment of new solutions and initiatives. What is more, OT will have a profound impact on the design of IoT apps in 2018. They will be more friendly and accessible to end users, such as field workers and plant operators. The advantage is clear: operational decisions can be reached in real-time, by those who are closest to the workflow.

● Heightened security risks

Data breaches galore raise many eyebrows and for good reasons too. Undermined cybersecurity is yet another byproduct of soaring IoT growth. As they become more complex, networks also include more loopholes that have to be addressed. And this is no task for amateurs. Attack surface is bigger than ever, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated, and the environment is largely unregulated. It is up to users to come up with tools and measures for preserving privacy and data safety. Note also that most attacks will be motivated by financial gains and seek to exploit IoT vulnerabilities.

● Mobile gains dominance

The shift towards a mobile-first internet world is old news already, but are we heading towards the mobile-only frontier? This kind of prediction might be premature, but there are signs that mobile platforms are being increasingly used as management systems for IoT devices. Both early adopters and late-comers are transitioning and the booming mobile market will only fuel this tendency. On the other hand, IoT is likely to change the way mobile apps are made. These products will work via new modes of connectivity and lean towards the native and hybrid end of the market.

● Data processing remains a challenges

Staying on top of the immense influx of data across channels is a daunting task, which lies beyond the capacity of human workers. Companies will have to step up the game and use more refined and cheaper methods of processing big data. In this day and age, trends like edge networking and hardened legacy frameworks are a necessity more than anything else because they lead to less network demand and operating costs. And to really harness value from vast data pools, businesses will seek to employ advanced (AI) analytics and machine learning tools capable of real-time data streaming.

● Conclusion

Despite noticeable growing pains and a handful of hurdles, 2018 paves a promising trajectory for gains in connectivity. From there, we can see IoT only going up and up. It is slowly becoming the backbone of consumer value and mainstay of the business growth across industry sectors. Yet, the full potential of this technology is still being realized. We will need even more powerful analytics, machine learning, and AI systems to support rapidly expanding IoT space.  One thing is for certain, though. We are witnessing the emergence of large inroads that will carry this cutting-edge technology to grow and evolve beyond imagination.

References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2017/12/19/the-top-8-iot-trends-for-2018/#514e3ff267f7

https://www.statista.com/topics/2637/internet-of-things/

https://www.cio.com/article/3246630/internet-of-things/6-internet-of-things-trends-that-will-dominate-2018.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/01/04/the-internet-of-things-iot-will-be-massive-in-2018-here-are-the-4-predictions-from-ibm/#8a71fe8edd33

http://www.digitalaptech.com/3-ways-iot-is-changing-the-future-of-mobile-applications-development/

Insights

A beginner’s guide to crypto currency wallets

If you’re just getting started with cryptocurrencies you’ll probably agree that wallets can be a bit of a pain. There is often a relatively big learning curve that comes with effectively trading, sending & receiving and actually using crypto – all of which need a wallet to do so.

In this post, I’ll quickly dive into some of the key elements of a crypto wallet which will help beginners get started.

Hopefully, in the future, and with new technologies being developed, wallets and storing of crypto funds will become very simple.

We definitely need crypto to be at the lowest barrier to entry as possible in order to spur mass adoption. However, for now, you should sit back, take a few notes and get ready to learn a few things.

What is a cryptocurrency wallet?

In its very basic form, a wallet represents a cryptocurrency investor’s bank account. It’s program that stores private and public keys and helps the user interact with blockchain technology in order to use cryptocurrency. Your cryptocurrency isn’t really stored on your wallet but instead lives on the blockchain. Your wallet gives you access to it.

Different types of wallets

Seeing a wallet as a piece of software will help you understand the different types better. There are many different types of wallets but as a beginner, you’ll only need to understand the following:

Desktop wallets: A popular desktop wallet example is Exodus which is able to host a range of ERC20 (Ethereum blockchain) tokens and many of the biggest names such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, EOS etc.

Mobile wallets: Mobile wallets come in the shape of a mobile application. Using a mobile wallet means that your crypto is always with you, but it’s a little less user-friendly compared to desktop wallets. If you’d like to install a mobile wallet, give Eidoo a try.

Online wallets: When you register on a cryptocurrency exchange, that exchange creates a wallet for each of the tokens that you trade. It is possible to store all your crypto on online or exchange wallets, but it always comes with some risk as hackers love going after crypto exchanges. Some of the biggest crypto hacks include the $460 million Mt Gox hack of 2014.

Tips for security

Wallet security can a very technical and complicated process. However, there are some basic principals you can follow to keep your crypto safe.

  • Make backups of your private keys on multiple storage devices. Some people even print copies and store them in safety deposit boxes.
  • Never share your private keys with anyone.
  • Watch out for scam or phishing sites that try to steal your information. This is especially important with regards to online or exchange wallets. Always make sure you are on the site you need to be and not a fake copy of it.

Tips for transferring coins between wallets

When it comes to paying for something with cryptocurrency you own, it requires some concentration and a little know-how. Let’s say you want to invest in an ICO and the ICO only accepts Bitcoin as payment for their tokens.

In order to purchase their tokens, you’ll need to own Bitcoin. Next, you’ll want to access your wallet whether it’s desktop, mobile or based online. You’ll need to navigate towards your Bitcoin wallet and send the appropriate investment amount to the ICO’s Bitcoin wallet address.

It needs to be from a Bitcoin address to a Bitcoin address otherwise it won’t work. Follow the same principle for any other cryptocurrency you use.

Never try to type a crypto address, always copy and paste it to avoid making mistakes.

I want to participate in an airdrop, what type of wallet should I use?

It’s best to follow instructions given to each specific airdrop. However, as most ICO projects and airdrops, as discussed on The Crypto Coin Authority Blog, are based on the Ethereum blockchain, you’ll need an ERC20 supported wallet. For this, you can either use Eidoo as mentioned above or MetaMask which is a popular browser-based wallet.

Which wallet should I get started with?

Blockchain technology has raised serious interest among investors, with many publicly traded stocks seeing a price per share growth just as a result of adding “blockchain” to their names. This has led to a surge in volume for cryptocurrency penny stocks that trade as regulated securities. Cryptocurrency wallets are not necessary for trading those public stocks because that industry is more highly regulated with protections for investors. It is, however, highly suggested that you protect your assets with a cryptocurrency wallet if you are investing in cryptocurrencies themselves, due to the heightened risks involved.

It all depends on what cryptocurrencies you plan on investing in. If you plan on getting some of the big names like Bitcoin or Ethereum then a simple mobile or desktop wallet as previously mentioned will work fine.

You’ll need an exchange wallet to trade, but that gets set up when you register for the exchange. Some cryptocurrency has their own wallet that you’ll need to set up in order to own those tokens.

The same principals apply as with most desktop and mobile wallets.

Moving forward

There you have it, very simple and basic advice on cryptocurrency wallets – perfect for a beginner getting started with their first piece of the cryptocurrency market! Keep in mind that this guide is very basic and there is much more to learn.

However, that’s the beauty of cryptocurrency, there is always something new to learn. Now it’s your turn to go out and start a journey of a lifetime!

Development

A Road To The Future: The Who, What And Why Of Smart Roads

In a time where it seems that everything is linked to technology: our homes, our cities and of course, ourselves, it is no surprise that there is a view to introducing such practices to something that many of us travel along every day: roads.

Smart roads, much like smart homes and smart cities, have been devised to aid commuters in making their journeys a much more interactive experience.

The plan is to revamp the way we see our highways and streets to provide live feedback on traffic, weather, and road conditions and find solutions towards harnessing and generating solar energy to help usher in the age of autonomous vehicles.

Benefits of Smart Roads

Everybody, at one point or another, has experienced the loathsome drag of sitting in traffic that stretches as far as the eye can see. We have all found ourselves coming across an unexpected delay that disrupts the journey and leads to apologetic phone calls explaining that arrival may be a little bit later than expected.

Smart roads look to eliminate such issues. There are those digital road signs which inform you of slow traffic in the next ten miles, there are those that warn to slow down due to motor accidents, but this technology is painfully outdated and there is no guarantee that everyone will pay attention when passing them.

So, what if you could receive this information directly to your vehicle way ahead of time and suggesting alternate routes without the grating whine of Google Maps telling you over and over again to turn around? Having traffic information sent directly to your dashboard will warn you ahead of time if you need to make adjustments to your route.

Another positive is the ability to generate solar energy to help light the way, as well as aid the charging of autonomous cars to reduce battery loss.

The emphasis on green, renewable energy has encouraged people to look towards alternative methods of transport such as carpooling, public transport, or cycling. This is not always possible for long commutes, though, and so there are still many cars on the road that produce carbon emissions every day, to and from destinations.

Using solar energy will allow for a reduction in such emissions. As more people adopt electric or autonomous cars, the added bonus of charging-while-driving offered by smart roads will demonstrate a reduction in harmful gases polluting the air every day.

Challenges in Transition

There are however challenges associated with making the transition from traditional roads to smart roads. Currently, the primary reason is that not enough people own cars that would benefit such adaptations.

While there has been a surge in purchases in the last four years, there are just 150,000 owners of electric cars registered in the UK. It is not yet viable for governments to implement smart roads across the country because the market share does not suggest such actions would be a sound investment.

As autonomous are not yet commercialized, the cost to undertake these changes would not be beneficial. As attractive as a self-driving car might seem to some, there are still doubts regarding their safety. The recent Uber accident has brought many people back down to earth and made them realize that even though we have the technology, a driverless future is still far from reality.

Prominent Smart Road Nations

Wanting to stay ahead of the curve and demonstrate a willingness to start thinking about the planet, there are a number of nations that are committed to working on, developing and eventually introducing smart roads across their land.

Thoughts immediately go to the likes of the USA, the home of prominent electric vehicles like Tesla, but it is not just Elon Musk and his merry band of geniuses, as well as Smart America, who are focusing on such developments. Just recently, Sweden introduced their first smart road that charges electric vehicles while driving.

The road itself is merely a pilot scheme covering a two-kilometer stretch just outside Stockholm, but should it prove successful, it shows that this technology can be effective and might even prompt more people to invest in electric cars.

Smart Roads in the United Kingdom, http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5251763
(Copyright Bill Boaden and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.)

Countries such as the UK have also been planning for smart roads for some time and have recently begun to implement these in 2017/2018 as seen above. In 2015 testing for charging-while driving began to solve the long commute issue. Another country that appears to be leading the way is China, which has been working on their first-generation smart road products that include solar panels generating energy.

New Road, New Technology

Solutions to adapting our roads from the old ways to the new may not entirely remove the potential for road damage, but they can help in other ways. Solar energy is now cheaper to develop than ever before, and using this to help power streetlights and road markings will reduce the amount of electricity needed to be produced.

Norway is working on fiber-optic technology to install under the surface that records information about passing traffic to provide real-time updates to drivers and help them understand what to expect during their journey.

Sweden’s aforementioned smart road utilizes charging strips along the roads, assisted by a robotic arm that connects to such strips while driving. It is not that the driver can sit back and relax – they are still responsible for steering – but the charging strip will help them avoid needing to stop and charge during long journeys and keep the car powered throughout.

Linking the roads themselves to vehicles through the Internet of Things will make the typical travel experience much more interactive. Traffic updates, roads that honk, renewable energy are all aspects that can be considered for inclusion.

A Road To The Future

Technology is always looking for solutions to make our lives easier. Smart roads have the potential to be just what weary commuters are looking for. Autonomous vehicles working in tandem with smart roads would allow for some extra sleep on the way to work, help towards fixing the environment and perhaps even solve congestion issues on busy highways.

While there is certain to be delays and issues with the installation of smart roads, finding the right systems that benefit both the driver and the planet will help other nations adapt and develop similar technologies for their own use. Countries such as the USA, UK, Sweden, Norway and China have already begun, should their methods prove successful, the rest of the journey could be easy riding.

Insights

6 Ways Micro-Influencers Will Increase Your Sales In 2018

Everyone is talking about it, most brands have tried it, and others remain skeptical. What is it? Influencer Marketing. The current buzzword and latest social media marketing trend is a popular way to grow brand reach, social media following and most – importantly, sales.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a word-of-mouth marketing strategy that involves identifying and engaging with influencers and their followers by sharing content, thoughts, and opinions online about a brand’s products, services, and experiences. As mentioned, many big brands rely on the use of influencers and have taken full advantage of its provided success. Daniel Wellington, Frank Body, Triangl Swimwear, Coachella, … just to name a few who have reaped the benefits.

 

Depending on your brand, your campaign objectives, as well as your budget, that will define what type of influencer you decide to partner with. There are three types of influencers: micro, macro, and celebrity.

How Micro-Influencers Can Increase Sales  

TapInfluence partnered with Nielsen Catalina Solutions in 2016 which revealed that influencer marketing generates 11 times the ROI of traditional digital marketing. So… just exactly how can micro-influencers increase your sales?  Check out our 6 ways that micro-influencers will increase your sales in 2018!

Reach

By selecting the right influencers, you gain access to their niche following base.

Believe it or not, it can be better if your influencer’s audience it relatively small, especially if you have a specialized product offering. You want your influencers to reach audience members who are most likely to participate in the call-to-action and become your customer. By utilizing a micro-influencer campaign, you are able to reach a new set of users who would be interested in your product but might not have otherwise known or shown interest in your brand without being backed by a credible influencer.  

Brand Messaging

Partner with a micro-influencer that resonates with your brand. You will want to find an influencer whose audience isn’t so large that your message will get lost, but also large enough that your message will reach potential qualified leads.

Developing your brand message is crucial for awareness, therefore, you want it to remain consistent even throughout the influencer marketing campaign process. Although you want the brand messaging to remain the same, don’t restrict the influencers access to creative control. They know what their followers best engage and interact via certain language and design, and they too need to remain authentic.  

Trust

Successful influencer marketing depends on trust. Influencers are known to have their followers best interests in mind when posting, which makes them credible and trustworthy. Typically, consumers trust their peers and the recommendations they provide, hence why brand marketers are turning to influencer marketing. This is because micro-influencers remain unbiased as the relationship is based off similar beliefs and values and not-necessarily a paid advertisement, whereas a celebrity-influencer receives compensation for their posts. Trust isn’t only found in the influencers, due to this strategy is also establishes consumer trust for a company.

Loyalty

Influencer marketing allows for brands to build loyalty through influencers themselves. By choosing an influencer who personally reflects the brand’s values, the organization can leverage that influencer to increase customer loyalty.  

Trackable Sales

Tracking sales can be difficult to begin with, and adding in an influencer marketing campaign just makes the process even more complicated. This is because the sales cycle can extend beyond just the campaign, making continual tracking essential for measurement and results purposes. There are a few ways to track influencer marketing-powered sales via UTM parameters such as comment to buy, tracking pixels, x-hour window, retargeting, promo codes.

Engagement

Research conducted by PWC shows that revenue growth is tied to customer engagement. With micro-influencers, you are guaranteed to have higher engagement. Another study by HelloSociety revealed that micro-influencers are able to generate 60% higher engagement than other traditional means. Due to the strong relationship and sense of community established between the influencer and their followers, they are more likely to interact with posts. Engagement is created through consistent communication with their followers. Engagement can be measured by reviewing social analytics such as clicks, likes, reactions, shares, comments, and mentions.

Influencer marketing is truly a growing and effective trend. If you haven’t done so already, definitely explore this marketing strategy for your brand. To recap, working with a micro-influencer to promote your products provides you with access to a larger reach, strengthens your brand messaging, builds trust and loyalty, provides you with trackable sales, as well as increased engagement levels. When you’re successful complete with your micro-influencer marketing campaign, you will have boosted sales.

Want to know more about this topic and how to get started with your own campaign? Reach out to our friends at Socialpeeks, as they promise that the “results of influencer marketing have shown to have one of the highest ROI of any digital marketing activity”.

 

Author:

Brooklynn Boyer is Marketing Director for Socialpeeks, a marketing technology company that runs wildly successful influencer marketing campaigns with the help of its campaign management team. Visit www.socialpeeks.com to learn more.

Insights

Choosing a Domain Name That’s Right for Your Website

Before your new site can take the web by storm, you’ll need to decide on a suitable domain name. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Whether this is their first site or one of many, a fair number of site owners fail to put in the proper amount of effort when selecting domain names. Tackling the name selection process with a lackadaisical attitude can have a number of far-reaching consequences, most notably low search engine rankings and confusion on the part of visitors. Luckily, choosing a name that perfectly suits your site doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Putting the following tips to good use will ensure that your site receives the domain name it deserves.

Utilize Relevant Keywords

When creating a domain name, it’s important to give prospective visitors a solid idea of what your site’s all about. This will help keep confusion to a minimum and improve your chances of receiving a favorable search engine ranking. For best results, choose words that emphasize the specific field your sites cater to and any services you may offer. For example, if your site is meant to promote a hamburger restaurant in Austin, TX, your domain name should be something along the lines of “BestBurgersAustin.com” or “AustinBurgers.com.” In the search for premium domain names, the importance of clear-cut keywords cannot be overstated.

Keep it Short

In the digital age, people are bombarded by information from all fronts. Whether surfing the web, watching television or checking social media, most people are constantly processing new info at a relentless pace. That being the case, it’s in your best interest to keep things brief when deciding on a domain name for your website. Not only will this make your domain name easy to remember, it will ensure that it can easily be typed as well. For best results, make a point of limiting your domain name to no more than three words. Additionally, if possible, make these words as short as possible. The shorter the name, the more likely it is to make a lasting impression on prospective visitors suffering from information overload.

Limit Your Use of Symbols

In the quest to create a catchy, concise domain name, take care to limit your use of numbers, hyphens and other symbols. The inclusion of any of these items can make domain names very cumbersome to type, thereby increasing the likelihood of typos and misdirected visitors. Regardless of what area of interest your website serves, odds are it has its fair share of competition – and prospective visitors won’t hesitate to hit up one of your competitors if accessing your site becomes a chore. While it’s true that a small number of successful websites have domain names that break this cardinal rule, these represent rare exceptions.

Choosing the right domain name can seem like a daunting prospect, particularly for first-time site owners. However, with the right tips at your disposal, this doesn’t have to be the case. Keyword integration, brevity and the exclusion of unnecessary will all serve you well in your efforts to craft the perfect domain name.

Martech

How to use live videos to grow your business

An important element of crafting a winning content marketing strategy is live video. The tribe of content marketers leveraging Facebook live video and YouTube live streaming is multiplying. This can be attributed to the fact that YouTube has an estimated 1.5 billion active monthly users and stands second to Facebook. Facebook has an estimated 2 billion active monthly users. The numbers are colossal!

Can live videos be used to grow and build a business? Yes!

According to Facebook, users are 3 times as likely to watch a live video as compared to a non-live video. Facebook live video and live YouTube streaming can help you generate business leads, acquire new customers and retain the existing core base.

According to Statista, Facebook live and YouTube are the go-to platforms for streaming live videos. Let’s look at the state of live video streaming platforms.

Platform

Preference Percentage

Facebook Live

17%

YouTube

16%

Snapchat Live Stories

12%

Periscope

9%

Twitter

9%

YouNow

8%

Others

5%

Here is an informative account on how to use live videos to grow your business and make money live streaming.

#1: Host a live session

Thinking of hosting an on-location event?  Have you finalized the venue? Have you taken overhead costs such as food, transportation, stationery (books, pens, etc.), etc., into consideration?

Here is a simple and cost-effective solution – Broadcast live so that you can do away with over-head costs. Only a small number of your audiences will be able to join you for an on-location event. By hosting a live session, you can target a big chunk of audiences.

#2: Answer questions

Content marketers and influencers are known to write informative and insightful blogs. Audiences may post their queries and concerns in the comments section. It may take a day or two for the influencers to answer all the questions. Sometimes, it may take a week. In all likelihood, questions may be repetitive and extremely complicated. Providing lengthy answers is not a viable solution. Lengthy blog posts and answers can eat up your valuable time.

Shouldn’t customer service be top-notch? If yes, how should you ration time between doubts clarification and promotion? YouTube live streaming and Facebook live video are here to help.

You can use Facebook live video to host a Q&A session. This encourages audiences to tune into live video sessions. They can get their doubts, concerns and issues addressed sans any delay.

#3: Give audiences behind-the-scenes videos

Audiences are keen on learning about how you work. They want to know more about your core competencies. They want to know how you treat your employees. Introduce your staff to your viewers. If you give your audiences an inside look at your business, they are likely to be delighted.

Let’s say you make ice creams and dairy products. Dairy industry in the US is messed up completely. Cows are exploited a big time. For all intents and purposes, your business can be a first class exception. You can show your customers how you treat and how much you care for animals. You can broadcast the entire quality inspection process. 

Such videos can improve customer confidence in your brand and boost your sales

#4: Conduct live tutorial sessions

I use Facebook Live to explain complex processes and methodologies. I have expertise in using Adobe Photoshop. I organize live tutorial sessions to explain how to efficiently use Photoshop software. ‘

I also maintain a Facebook group and more often than not, I give free mini-courses to the members.

Audiences may not be receptive to lengthy blog posts. However, they connect well with live videos.

#5: Host Product / Service Launch sessions

Thinking of launching a brand new product/service?

People go crazy during product launch sessions. This is one of the reasons why Apple announces new product launches, upgrades, and redesigns by hosting live sessions. Check out Apple’s archive of product launches and services. You will gain a mountain of knowledge!

#6: Promote your scheduled events

Still using Twitter to promote your upcoming events? There is little harm in resorting to traditional techniques. But did you ever think of using live videos? Create a post to keep your audiences informed on your special announcements. When you go live, unfold the specifics and details of your upcoming event

Don’t forget to share your easy-to-remember URL. It is likely that viewers may not have enough time to write it down. It’s best to post the link in the comments section. It’s easy to create easy-to-remember URLs. Use tools like Bitly.

#7: Generate huge product pre-launch buzz

For all intents and purposes, you can bet your chances on YouTube live streaming to generate huge product pre-launch buzz. Let’s say you have a shipment of an innovative product which is yet to hit the markets. Tease your audiences by using a live video. By teasing your audiences, you are building excitement.

Provide a link to take pre-orders. If your prospective customers have any doubts, clarify then and there. Capitalize on the excitement!

#8: Share breaking news

Be the first one to share industry relevant breaking news. Share your opinion(s) on how exciting or terrible the news can be. Tell your audiences to keep viewing your timeline for updates and events.

#9: Go live with an industry influencer

Invite an industry influencer or an opinion leader. Do a live interview with him / her. Your leads are likely to multiply.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to focus on the quality of live videos. Purchase a tripod and a stabilizer to stabilize your videos. Shaky content is loathed by audiences. If you are keen on doing live streaming with a smartphone, invest in a tripod mount. And yes, optimal lighting is also mandatory. Purchase a portable LED lighting solution. Nobody likes dark and poor quality videos.

Found this post useful and insightful? Keep watching this space for more informative content on Facebook live video and YouTube live streaming. Cheers!

Startups

Awesome Tips to Create a Distraction-Free Tech Team

No matter how hard we try sometimes, we just can’t seem to find enough time to handle all of our work-related and personal responsibilities throughout the day.

Distractions are running rampant in our society with the advent of email, smart phones, social media, and so many other technological advances that seem to suck up our time.

If it’s not one distraction vying for our attention it’s another.

You’re probably tired of your phone and text messages coming in at all hours of the day and night. Are clients always emailing looking for status updates?

It’s time to learn how to navigate these major distractions. But how do we do it?

This isn’t going to be easy, but you can learn how to focus, get in the zone, and eliminate distractions so that you can stay there when you need to be productive the most.

How to Use Time Blocking to Get in the Zone

At regular intervals in our lives, we have these large lists of responsibilities that we have to accomplish. And no matter how hard we try, we never seem to make a dent in them. The responsibilities keep piling on and there is never enough time to get everything done.

Or is there?

Maybe you just aren’t using your time wisely. Maybe, if you focused on a concept called time blocking, and eliminated your biggest distractions for a short while during the allotted blocks of time, you’d have an easier time completing projects on your to-do list.

What is time blocking and how does it work?

First off, add everything on to-do list to your favorite digital calendar, an online time clock like Clockspot, or put it in a physical date book if you prefer to have a hard copy.

By doing this, you will have allotted a specific date and time to complete each one of your most important action items on your list. Make sure you’ve blocked off enough time to complete each specific item.

Why schedule my to-do list on my calendar?

By putting it on your calendar, you’ll realize in your subconscious that these tasks are important enough to schedule them. So you will take them seriously and work on them in a focused, less distracted manner.

If you truly want to enter the zone and accomplish amazing things in very little time, you’ll avoid your biggest distractors and begin working on your calendar full of important tasks without any interruptions.

Work on the Tasks That Are Most Important First

As you look over your to-do list, there’s no doubt that a few key, important tasks are going to immediately jump out at you.

Everyone’s list has things that they want to get done and things that they absolutely have to get completed, no if’s, and’s, or buts about it.

As an example, let’s say you need to set up a crowdfunding campaign. You’re using the site to raise money for a vacation that you desperately need to relax, unwind, and regroup.

Since this is such a big priority in your life right now, you should add to this task to your calendar first. That way you’ll be able to focus on it immediately.

When you work on your most important tasks quickly, you’ll feel a lot less stress because you’ve eliminated these challenges from your to-do list.

Plus, you’ll even have more time available to take care of the less important items on your list. Or you can just kick up your feet and take a break for a little while because you deserve it!