Category: Martech

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaS

The Best Zoom Alternatives for Work and Play

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed more people than ever to work remotely. Yet, to function well, many types of teams still need to meet, including teachers, marketing professionals, and software developers like those at BairesDev. As a result, online meetings have become the norm and the videoconferencing application Zoom has become a well-known name and a de-facto alternative for group chats.

Zoom is also helpful for creating socially distant gatherings of family, friends, and other groups. But it isn’t perfect. In addition to being disappointed by Zoom’s limited features, users have experienced issues with data privacy and “Zoombombing,” which describes the activity of trolls who enter Zoom meetings uninvited and express hatred or display offensive images. The privacy issues stem from the application not being end-to-end encrypted, resulting in leaked user email addresses.

You may choose to use Zoom despite these drawbacks. But if you’re looking for a change, there are many similar applications available for you to try, including those listed here. 

Google Meet

If you want to replace Zoom for business meetings, Google Meet is a good application to try. You can include up to 100 participants per meeting and you get unlimited call time for free from now through September 2020. After that, call time will be limited to 60 minutes unless you upgrade your account. Google Meet also offers real-time translation, a useful feature for international calls.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is another good choice for work-related meetings. Each meeting can accommodate up to 250 participants and you can store your conversations, files, meetings, and apps in a shared workspace. Useful features include the ability to search conversations, customize notifications, and blur your background for privacy. To use Teams, you must have an Office 365 subscription or a trial subscription of Teams.

Skype

Skype was one of the first videoconferencing applications and it’s still useful for online meetings. The new Meet Now feature enables functionality similar to Zoom and meetings can accommodate up to 50 users. You don’t need an account to sign in, just a link. Special features include reaction emoji, call recording, and the ability to blur your background. Skype offers both free and paid versions.

GoToMeeting

Packed with features, GoToMeeting enables you to include up to 150 participants per meeting with the entry-level plan or up to 3,000 when you upgrade. This application allows you to include multiple facilitators, share your screen, record and transcribe meetings, and assign follow-up tasks. You also get drawing tools to help participants make important points while presenting.

WhatsApp

For more informal conversations, such as those with family or friends, WhatsApp is a good option to try. While better known for messaging, the app does allow you to videoconference as well. You can include up to eight participants on each call, and the app is free to use. The best thing about WhatsApp is that it can be used across platforms, so it doesn’t matter if you use an Android device and your cousin has an iPhone. WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption so you can be sure your conversations are secure.

Facebook Messenger

If you’re on Facebook a lot, Messenger is a great tool for videoconferencing with friends. Even if you don’t use Facebook much, it might be worth using Messenger for those calls because the video quality is better than that of some other apps. With Messenger, you also get emoji reactions, stickers, and the ability to include up to six people on-screen during a video call (though you can have up to 50).

FaceTime

Practically synonymous with video chatting, FaceTime enables those who use the Apple ecosystem to easily communicate with each other. You can get up to 32 callers on at one time and use special features to project your digital look-alike or add fun effects in your call. FaceTime is also end-to-end encrypted so you can be sure your calls are secure.

Discord

Discord is popular with gamers because it integrates with games like Call of Duty: WWII and Divinity: Original Sin 2. But it can be used by anyone who wants encrypted chat, messaging, and video call functionality. Users can set up their own “rooms” in which to chat via video or text. Up to 50 users can participate in a call.

Houseparty

Many things are just not possible with social distancing, but game night isn’t one of them. Houseparty enables you to connect and also provides the entertainment! Up to eight callers can play Trivia, Head’s Up!, and other fun games that are included. The app also allows you to purchase additional games if you want.

In Summary

Social distancing is making communication more difficult, but the right technology can help. If Zoom isn’t for you, there are many other options available for keeping in touch with colleagues and friends.

DevelopmentInsightsMartech

6 Ways Wearable Tech Makes Everything Better

Modern technology has penetrated every spore of our daily life to the point that we wear every time we step outside the house. Whether it’s a smartphone or an Apple Watch, high-tech wearables are there to make our lives easier, help us look better, and help us in times of trouble. In fact, here are the 6 ways wearable tech makes our lives better in every aspect imaginable.

Monitoring our health

You know how doctors like to say that it is better to prevent a disease than to treat it? Well, prevention has never been easier with portable health monitors. Wearable sensors that track our vital functions have come a long way, as they are now microscopic in size. Some of the variables a modern health monitor tracks include the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, etc.

The smaller the sensors, the more functions can a health monitor has. In fact, the size of the monitors has made them not only a commercial success but it has helped scientists conduct more thorough research, as it is easier to find test subjects who are willing to wear inconspicuous sensors on their bodies.

Keeping seniors safe

The two categories of people that benefit from health monitors the most are professional athletes and seniors. The formers use these gadgets to track their athletic performance, while for the latter a high-tech wearable could help save their life.

Devices designed to keep seniors safe use Wi-Fi, cellular, and GPS to automatically detect a fall or a heart issue (when paired up with a health monitor) and alert emergency medical services in real-time. More advanced models come with artificial intelligence that literally learns the owner’s lifestyle so it can instantly react in case of a medical emergency.

An extra benefit of these devices is the geolocation function. It can help guide the wearer back to their home, which is not uncommon for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The location data is fed directly to a cloud, so you can track your grandmother if she gets lost in Dunedin and walks all the way up to Chain Hills, for instance. 

Making the switch to e-cigarettes

Apart from simply tracking your health, tech wearables can actually help you make the switch to a healthier lifestyle. One example is tobacco smokers who are making the switch to vaping. If you have noticed people wearing e-cigarettes around their neck in downtown Wellington, then they are former smokers (there is no combustion when vaping).

In fact, vaping stores are so popular nowadays, that you can vape in Dunedin and choose from a variety of vape mods. These prolong the experience and e-liquids are there to provide you with a taste of your choice, from coffee, across fruity flavors to gummy bears taste.

An improved image of the world

For those people who wear prescription eyeglasses, there are smart cameras that get attached to the frame of the glasses. The main function of the camera is to recognize people, text, and various objects. Pointing the camera at a section of a text will enable you to hear whom you are talking to or have an inscription before your eyes read aloud.

Not only are these cameras cool as heck but they can become a lifeline for vision-impaired people. The smart cam verbalizes the world around us, enabling even the blond people to fully enjoy their visual surroundings. People who would normally need prescription glasses can now read books without straining their eyesight.

Better than a hearing aid

Although New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has a subsidy scheme for getting hearing aids, they are still expensive and inaccessible to some people. Luckily, there are tech wearables complete with apps for those people who have difficulties discerning voices in a crowd but aren’t eligible for a hearing aid nor they really need none.

The biggest advantage of smart hearing amplifiers is their price, as on average they cost ten times the price of brand new professional hearing aids. These amplifiers resemble a Bluetooth headset, so they are easy to put on and remove. Some models have optional microphones you attach to the person speaking to improve sound quality.

Getting a tan in a smart way

Finally, a tiny sensor had been developed recently to indicate the strength of UV rays to the user. Mere 9 millimeters in diameter and battery-free, the tiny device is worn on the thumbnail. The person wearing it will never again spend too much time in the sun, ensuring they get a nice tan. After two weeks, the data from the little devil is uploaded to your smartphone where an app analyzes it.

As you have seen from our 6 examples, our lives are radically altered by wearable tech. From health monitors to vaping, wearables make everything better and more enjoyable.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaSSEO

Best Google Chrome Extensions for Small Businesses

Google Chrome has arrays of extensions that you can use to scale your business. You can use them to send emails, automate tasks, and safeguard your documents online. The extensions work on your PC or Mac once you have downloaded them. Here are the top applications that are of immense benefit to your business.

1. Todoist

Todoist is a useful tool that will help you organize all tasks in your organization. You will work with other workers as a team to complete all the jobs. Plus, you can assign individuals to work based on their skills and talents as well. As the boss, you can track the tasks regardless of your location. The highlight is that you can set reminders via Todoist so that you won’t miss out on significant job events.

2. Helium 10

Helium 10 is an Amazon Chrome extension for sellers that help them check prices on various items. You can keep tabs on the cost of specific products in your line of business. Once the prices drop, Helium 10 will alert you so that you can set competitive rates. This way, you will generate profits based on the trends that come with the cost of goods. The best part is that you will get data on Amazon and other global online sellers. You will be ahead of other businesses that trade in the same products as your enterprise.

3. Grammarly

The app is essential since you need to create content from time to time about your company. On that account, Grammarly removes typos and grammar mistakes that make online content appear unprofessional. Once you install it, it automatically corrects all errors when you write to attain polished posts. Your emails will be easy to read and have the correct spelling as well.

4. Buffer

It is a widely used Google Chrome extension that links all your social media accounts. You can advertise your products via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn with one click. The posts become automatic, making social sharing a seamless thing to do. The highlight is that you can track and analyze results to see the number of likes, shares, and comments.

5. Boomerang

Boomerang is the best extension for your email account since it manages the messages that you send or receive. It can delay texts until when you are ready to view them in free time. In addition to that, Boomerang can help you schedule when you want to send emails. You can track messages if you don’t get feedback from your clients. The best part is that you will know if the recipient has read the content or not, thanks to Boomerang.

6. Click & Clean

As part of technology, your business will face risks such as cyberattacks and other cybersecurity breaches. Therefore, you need to protect vital information that you have searched via your browser. Click & Clean is the ideal mechanism to clear history and cookies. It gets rid of cache and typed URLs so that no one can have a wind of what you are doing as part of your venture.

7. Fakespot

If you buy products in bulk online, you need to know if they are authentic or not. Fakespot allows you to determine genuine and fake reviews from customers. This way, you can purchase items that will not discredit your business. The extension pans out the difference between honest and untrue comments about specific goods. You will view the real grades from A to F that show the value or worth of the items that you intend to buy.

DevelopmentMartechSEOStartups

Why San Diego is a Great Location for Tech Startups

Tech startups are some of the hottest companies in existence today. However, there’s always the question of where they should be located. For 2020 and the future, let us take a very close look at why San Diego is an excellent location for tech startups.

Great Location with Relatively Lower Costs

To start things off, San Diego features relatively low costs compared to the rest of California. Let’s not get confused, the price of living is still high. But it is moderately affordable, especially for a startup. An office can be rented at a reasonable price. If you’re willing to commit to several years of rent, these deals are even better. Utilities also aren’t extremely high. On a day to day basis, tech startups will find that they pay less than their counterparts in other cities with a large tech presence. As for your employees, they’ll be spending less as well. Food and transportation costs are very affordable in San Diego. This means that more people are flocking to the city, and your employees will be set up for success in financial regard.

A Strong, Supportive Tech Community

Next in line, San Diego features a strong tech community. There are already many tech startups in the area that make for high competition. In particular, this is a friendly sort of competition. While companies in some industries are fiercely at war with each other, this is not true for the tech industry. Many of these startups work alongside one another and even bounce ideas off each other. As the company across the street makes progress, you’ll want to achieve the same. There are tech festivals and celebrations throughout the year that feature the latest developments. These are fantastic ways to stay up to date with the newest tech and look toward the future. When your startup wins an award or recognition, other businesses throughout the city will respect this achievement for what it is worth.

A Rich Talent Pool

Another factor that is similar to a strong tech community is the number of tech graduates. Thousands of students from nearby universities are looking for internships or their first job out of college. They have completed all the relevant coursework and are more than qualified to take on a startup job. Moreover, they are hungry and have a genuine interest in tech. If you situate your startup in San Diego, you’ll be able to work with all of these graduates. It’s a relationship that goes both ways. You’ll have the best workforce at your fingertips, and your startup will surely see success. At the same time, these graduates will be able to work for a promising startup instead of a company that doesn’t fit their interests.

A Diversity of Resources

Last but not least, the diversity of resources is phenomenal, from San Diego water purification resources like Rayne Water to San Diego billboard companies like Lamar. Solar energy is a thriving business, as well, because San Diego is a city that is highly focused on renewable energy. In particular, solar panels are commonly found on the roofs of many downtown buildings. The Southern California climate is perfect for generating these sorts of renewable energy. It will lower the cost of your electric bill and help the environment at the same time.

That Perfect Weather

Northern California draws a lot of people in the tech industry, but unless you like wearing a jacket most of the year, there’s no comparison to the weather in San Diego. Every few years, another news publication writes an article about how San Diego is the finest place to live. Maybe that’s why the city’s motto is: “America’s Finest City.”

When all is said and done, San Diego is an excellent location for tech startups. It’s nearly the perfect environment for a startup looking to make waves in the tech industry. Take all of the above factors and more into consideration!

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaSSEO

Visuals in Landing Pages: Using Them Right

Tapping on the emotional instinct of your prospects and customers is imperative if you want your landing pages to convert and bring you better sales. Visuals can be a powerful element that can make your visitors smile, share valuable information, inspire the readers, and encourage them to make the purchase.

Take a look at this landing page inviting the visitors to a webinar that would discuss the future of retail-borderless commerce. It has perfectly combined text, visuals, and CTAs to encourage the readers to take action. 

That said, let’s move on to exploring the world of visuals in landing pages. 

1. Use relevant imagery

When your content is accompanied by relevant images, readers find it easier to grasp the message and make up their mind to complete the purchase. The key to using imagery is that if a message can be conveyed with the help of an image, there is no need to have a wall of text to explain it. 

Moo has gone a step ahead and incorporated the principle of storytelling in their email landing page. 

While the email shows an interesting GIF of a toaster with the CTA “Push the lever”, the landing page continues the story and displays a toast with toaster marks of 15% to promote their 15% off and coupon code.

2. Grab attention with GIFs

GIFs are the perfect substitute to videos as they emulate a video-like experience without any major impact on the loading speed of the landing page. According to GIPHY, 500 million active users spend close to 11 million hours in viewing GIFs on their channel which demonstrates the love for GIFs.  

Just make sure that the size of the GIF does not go over 1MB so that your page does not take too much time to load. 

3. Let videos do the magic

So many companies have started using videos in their landing pages to make the message more impactful for the readers and showcase your products or services effectively. You can either use the videos in the background or have a different section for the video followed by a sign-up form and CTA. 

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can even try out personalized videos on the landing pages. These videos can be easily created with the help of tools like Hippo Video in which you create a video template with placeholder text and then edit it with tailormade content according to the reader’s preferences.

4. Take help of illustrations

Illustrations are way more convenient to create when compared to videos or GIFs. Another advantage of these modern images is that they have a great visual appeal too. They can be used to symbolically represent an idea through graphics and explain your offerings to the visitor.

5. Harness the power of graphs

Often, marketers need to showcase complicated statistics on a landing page. Graphs can help you with this.

Here are some ways in which you can use graphs to their maximum potential.

i. Take help of scatter plots and treemaps to display huge set of information.

ii. If you want to show trends over a decade or two, use line charts or bar graphs. 

iii. Pyramids and pie charts work well if you want to show the proportion of elements.

6. Choose the right colors

Whenever you sit to strategize your landing page design and visual elements, pick the right colors according to your business type and industry. For example, if you are a premium brand, black and white would be the perfect choice for you. Remember Apple?

On the other hand, if you are an FMCG brand, red would work better for you. (Example: McDonald’s)

Green stands for tranquility, health, and good luck which makes it a good choice for brands that are related to growth.

To learn more about how to use the appropriate visuals, colors, and CTA in your landing pages, head to the insightful infographic by Email Uplers: A deep dive into “the use of visuals in landing pages”.

IMAGE EMBED CODE 

<a href=”https://email.uplers.com/infographics/landing-page-visual-elements/” target=”_blank”>

                  <img src=”https://email.uplers.com/infographics/landing-page-visual-elements/images/embed.jpg” alt=”How to Use Visual Elements in Landing Page to Boost Conversions” /></a>

                 Source:<a href=”https://email.uplers.com/infographics/landing-page-visual-elements/”> How to Use Visual Elements in Landing Page to Boost Conversions </a>

About the author

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

InsightsMartechProducts

10 Ways to Maximize your Kickstarter Marketing Strategy in 2020

At a very trying time of COVID-19, times are quite tough for businesses, especially startups and entrepreneurs. However, what if there was a way to get funding by putting your project, idea, or invention online?

In this article, we will look at:

What is Kickstarter?

For people who have been living under a rock, Kickstarter is a funding platform where creators can share and gather interest on a particular creative project they will like to launch.

Every project is created and independently crafted while the general public offers to fund them in return for rewards or the finished product itself.  They are the ones that ultimately send the projects into production.

Kickstarter is split into two types of users: creators and backers. Creators are of course the ones who present their project ideas and the backers are the ones who fund them.  To establish a great Kickstarter project, creators need to step up a page to display all the details of their project using text, video, and photos to tell viewers about their project. From there, creators set a funding goal and a deadline, and also need to include different levels of rewards backers can receive by pledging a specific amount because the more the higher the amount they pledge, the bigger the reward.

Kickstarter also has a number of general rules that creators must abide by for their projects. They must create something that can be shared with others; be honest and clearly presented; not be fundraising for charity; not be offering equity; and not involve prohibited items.

Marketing Tips for Kickstarter Campaign

The reality of any Kickstarter Campaign is that it takes a lot of time and energy o prepare, create, maintain, and manage a Kickstarter campaign. There are definitely certain steps that people as project creators can improve their chances of success on Kickstarter. 

1. Do your research

Creators need to research their project before anything happens. The questions that they need to answer before starting their campaign is: how much does it actually cost to make their project? What is the minimum amount of funding they need? How many days do they want to run the campaign? Are there already similar projects?

You need to figure out how much it actually costs because it will help when it comes to creating rewards. They also need to research domestic and international shipping costs. Kickstarter is all or nothing, so companies need to remember and understand that if they don’t reach their funding goals, they do not get any money. If they set the money goal too high, they risk not hitting their goal and won’t get any money and reciprocally, if it is set too low, you may not be able to fulfill your obligations to backers. 

Campaigns can last anywhere for one day to 2 months. Longer campaigns do not guarantee success because companies may have exhausted resources by the time the project wraps up and on the other hand, campaigns that are under 30 days risk not getting enough exposure and can result in less funding. 

Companies also need to do their research to see if there are other similar campaigns because if there are, there really is no point in putting the campaign up because just because something similar that raised a lot of money will not translate into instant success for your project. 

2. Spread the news about your upcoming launch

It is important to spread awareness for the upcoming launch. Having a website is very important because it drives traffic to it. Adding a banner at the top of your homepage with a call to action to sign up is very important so that people could learn more about your upcoming launch. The leads that you receive should be nurtured leading up to launch day with about one email a week. The emails that are sent out should educate subscribers on your product, tell them why they need your product, and explain how Kickstarter works and inform them of when and why you’re launching your project. 

It is also important to build up social media presence and creating advertising campaigns. The more informed subscribers are about your product and upcoming launch, the more likely they are to convert into actual backers once your project goes live. 

Sometimes it can be difficult to run everything and stay on it constantly, so employing companies like Pressfarm can help with public relations and creating everything needed to build a successful crowdfunding campaign. 

3. Email existing and new contacts

Email marketing is a great way to spread awareness for your upcoming launch to new and existing contacts who have shown interest in your product. The main goal is to get subscribers on board with your project and have them ready to spread the word. However, don’t stop emailing when you are live, you can keep sending out emails with important campaign milestones too. But, during your campaign, do not bombard your family, friends, or other subscribers incessantly because it can lead to a large number of unsubscribers. 

4. Make an engaging video

Your video that you create is the main point of your campaign and it is the first thing that people look at. You need to make sure that your video is easily understandable and gets your project’s point across. Longer videos tend to have a lower video completion rate and there is a correlation between a high video completion rate and overall funding.

5. Create an easy-to-read Kickstarter page

Digital content should be written for the people who tend to skim instead of reading in detail. When you do this, you are making your content more digestible and easier to understand. Campaigns should be very visual and get to the point without using too much content. 

6. Make sure your rewards are easy to understand

Keep your rewards descriptions short and to the point. You need to let people know what they are getting, how much they are saving and when they will be getting them. Do not over do your rewards because a campaign with a lot of rewards rarely works and creating a small quantity gives you a chance to introduce new rewards like flash sales, during your campaign.

7. Include multiple images

You should use high resolution, high-quality images for your social networks, advertising efforts, press releases and blog posts. Also, if you will be using any print media, they should also be hi-res images. 

8. Create a Bitly link

You can use Bitly to shorten your Kickstarter page URL and use that link when you are referencing your project. Bitly actually provides great stats because it includes how many clicks you link there and where they are coming from. This information will help decide where to spend the most time promoting your project. 

9. Utilize updates and your backers

You should create periodic updates on  Kickstarter to send to your backers. Write updates when you hit milestones to thank your backers and use them to pass on the message of new stretch goal rewards and drive backers to your social network. 

Your backers already like your project, so they are the ones that will help you and be your biggest advocates. Ask them to help spread the word whether it be word-of-mouth or social media. Make it easy for them to share by including short messages they can copy and paste to share on social media outlets. 

10. Social media is important

Create your profile on the top networks by starting a Facebook Advertising campaign to build an audience base, help build your email list and begin building buzz around the upcoming launch. 

Conclusion

Creating a Kickstarter Campaign is very easy, but getting the right backing and the right amount of money is the hard part. Timing is everything because you want to be the project that people are wanting to back, so you need to see what your competition is. Your product needs to be something that people want and are willing to put money into. These tips are as simple as it comes and used correctly will maximize your Kickstarter Marketing strategy. 

DevelopmentInsightsMartech

Understanding the Difference Between Popular Platforms for Business

Over the years, modern marketing techniques have evolved to provide businesses with a more efficient and effective approach to build and promote their brands. Since modern marketing relies on data, the use of platforms such as Customer Data Platform (CDP) and Data Management Platforms (DMP) are on the rise.

Unfortunately, many businesses and marketers aren’t familiar with these platforms yet. Here is a brief guide to help you understand the differences between popular platforms.

Customer Data Platform

In the past 12 months, the CDP landscape has exploded, with over 100 sellers claiming to provide customer data platforms. However, to find the right solution for your business, you need to know what a DP is and what it does.

So what is CDP and how does it help small businesses?

A CDP is a form of technology used to understand your company’s client base and scale personalized experiences on various service, sales, and marketing channels. First, it collects data from first-party and 3rd party data sources, real-time interactions, and customer identities.

Second, it stitches this data together and removes any duplicates to create a single, persistent history of every client. CDP also empowers small businesses and marketers using a user-friendly interface to segment audiences, analyze customers, and project future actions.

Lastly, it allows businesses to automate the orchestration of one-on-one personalized marketing campaigns on several commerce, customer experience, and marketing channels.

The main difference between CDPs and other platforms, such as the customer relationship management platform (CRM), is that it can ingest huge volumes of data by connecting to all types and sources of customer data. Hence, your small business can form a much more comprehensive view to understand your audience better and act accordingly.

Data Management Platform (DMP)

Most people confuse CDPs with DMPs. But, DMPs plan and manage advertisements on third-party websites and enable retargeting using site cookies. A DMP focuses more on anonymous categories and customers, while CDPs focuses on creating single profiles for each customer.

A CDP also creates a persistent client profile and stores the data to create a single record, which can’t be accomplished by DMPs.

Customer Relation Management Platform (CRM)

A CRM is a service and sales tool that logs direct interaction with clients. This includes:

• Price quote

• Customer complaint

• Customer questions

It also updates client information such as phone, email, and name. Although both CDP and CRM collect consumer data, a CRM can only track a client’s intentional interactions with your business via manual entry. Additionally, CDPs can track both online and offline data, while CRMs can only track online data.

Digital Event Distribution Platform DED

IT organizations use DED for the transmission of data from one technology to another. For example, when new content is created, you can use DED to trigger the content from your content management system to another management system.

The main difference between DEDs and CDPs is that DEDs have a little marketing feel. Therefore, a marketer has to rely on the IT department, which makes the process of ideation to execution slow. In contrast, CDP makes customer data quickly accessible and actionable, increasing internal marketing processes.

Multichannel Marketing Hub Platform (MMH)

MMH, also known as marketing clouds, is used in the management and delivery of marketing campaigns through push, text, social, and email channels.

So, in conclusion, what makes CDP different from other systems? CDP is a packaged system that creates a unified, persistent client database and can ingest all types of data sources while being marketer-centric.

DevelopmentInsightsMartech

How 2020 Became a Landmark Year for Online Learning

In recent years, technology has begun playing a large role in everyday life. Everything from communication to fitness classes to shopping has moved online. Up until now, education has been an exception to this technological shift. However, the climate of 2020 is leading to a big change in the way we look at educational technology and online learning.

Granted, some technology has already made it into the educational sphere, especially with the incorporation of iPads and laptops into many public schools. A small subset of higher education institutions has also offered online options in recent years. In 2020, however, options have increased significantly for those wanting—or needing—to make the shift from traditional educational settings to the online world. For example, it’s possible to earn an AACSB online MBA no GMAT required. Without the need for hours spent in a physical classroom and time spent on rigorous entrance exams, higher education is becoming much more accessible to those who can’t take in-person classes due to circumstances such as work and childcare.

Online degrees are becoming more normalized. With the general technological shift and the increasing need to work while in school, it was a long time coming, but educational institutions had little incentive to change their models. COVID-19, however, has changed the landscape. With everything closing due to safety regulations, colleges and universities have no choice but to shift online or close their doors. As many students abandon their dorms and settle in at home for online lectures, 2020 has proven that online learning is effective. It’s an increasingly viable option that is becoming the new norm.

Tools Making Online Learning Possible

Since most class structures are geared towards in-person lectures and discussions, the way professors teach must change a lot to be compatible with online learning. Luckily, many software companies have developed or promoted cost-effective tools to make the shift possible. Many schools already used tools such as Google Classroom, Moodle, and Schoology to keep their students organized, but these class management tools have become much more integrated into the learning experience. While they might previously have been a useful way to remind students of their assignments and provide a place to turn things in, classroom management tools in 2020 are vital for scheduling, assignments, and asynchronous lectures and forums. They have become the central hub in place of traditional classroom learning.

With the shift to online classes, asynchronous lectures are more important. Students living at home need more flexibility to work and contribute to their families, and their internet access might be less dependable. Recorded PowerPoints and Zoom lectures posted to classroom management sites make this more flexible schedule possible.

Despite the need for asynchronous options, most professors still opt for at least some synchronous lectures and discussions to preserve the classroom community. Platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have increased in popularity and become a new staple on students’ laptops.

With the help of new technological tools, most 2020 education has moved online. While it may have already been possible to get a degree from the comfort of your home, now it’s the new normal. As schools and companies continue to normalize and optimize online learning, schools may find that it’s more convenient and cost-effective. 2020 has changed the way we view education—and likely changed its future. Online learning may well be here to stay.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechProductsSaaS

How Can I Use Videos For Lead Scoring?

Like marketing and sales tactics, videos can and should be calculated.  This information can be used to guarantee your work will reach the right people.  Videos require a different approach to metrics with different numbers when building the correct lead scoring process.  We at Inovit will break down how lead scoring works and how different kinds of videos fit into the scheme.

Just What Is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is evaluating a prospect or customer readiness to buy your products or services. This is determined by the level of engagement with your service or brand and the customer’s intention in purchasing.  For a long time now, customers are seen as a funnel but you must realize some customers are non-linear with sustenance going beyond the final sale. Lead scoring measures behavior from one customer to another.  The most popular way to achieve this is with marketing automation platforms including Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, or Act-On.

Every company has different needs and ways to evaluate their customers.  Sales and marketing teams must create a lead scoring system that will work for both parties to deliver the best results.

Your traditional lead scoring assigns values to different interactions with your marketing or sales activities. In some cases, different interactions may be a lot more valuable than others.  This all depends on the level of engagement of the prospect with your company.  Each interaction is weighted or given a number of points based on the level of importance of every interaction of your sales or marketing team.

For instance, a prospect that has signed up for a webinar or watching a sales demo would be considered a more valuable prospect than someone viewing a video in your newsletter, liking a video post on Facebook, or viewing a YouTube pre-roll ad that plays before a featured video.

A lead scoring template will tie a numerical points system to each interaction that connects with the customer’s journey.  In other words, the more points a prospect has, the more qualified the sales or marketing lead will be.  There are different point thresholds that carry the consumer through the journey, prompting sales and marketing teams to perform other actions when engaging with the prospect.

We are huge fans of explainer videos and one from Hubspot breaks it down really well:

Some examples of template, marketing, automation platforms such as Marketo and Hubspot have excellent resources to help you get started.

Why Is Video Lead Scoring Different?

Videos are a unique medium with different metrics than those of sales and marketing tactics. Each metric should be mapped to your lead scoring chart with different levels of engagement connected to different tiers of the customer journey.

Using video lead scoring metrics information along with information from your prospect’s business to create a lead scoring scheme to accurately predict the likelihood that a prospect will become a customer, is risky.

If you look back at past data and see who your current clients are and how they behave, would be ideal.  Many marketing automation platforms are offering increases by sophisticated tools to help you.

About Video Production For Different Stages of A Customer’s Journey

Now that you understand how lead scoring works and what metrics to use to evaluate, it’s time to look at how different types of videos play a role.

Top-Of-Funnel Videos

You should think about top-of-funnel videos as an introductory phase for your viewers.  You need to capture your viewers and get them engaged in your brand.  This is your big opportunity to set a really great impression.

Explainer videos will help educate new viewers and give them an insight into who you are.  Broadcast commercials and social media videos can help reach out to new audiences.

As said before, brand awareness videos must prove value and must answer some very important questions:

• What makes your business different from others?

• What makes you better than your competitors?

• Why should prospective customers listen to you?

• How can you help me?

You need to consider middle-of-the-funnel videos.  Once you have captured prospective customers who are interested in your brand, you need to prove your overall value and then turn these people into positive sales leads.  Once you are at this stage, make sure you are giving them more in-depth information that agrees with your audience’s point of view.  Videos like webinars, case studies, how-to, and customer testimonials can give you an edge for prospective customers looking to learn more about how your product or service will benefit them.

A more in-depth video explainer video that is tailored to certain products, services, or industries can provide your audiences with detailed answers to specific questions.

Sales –  Bottom-Funnel Videos And Renewals

Think about it, bottom-funnel videos are the most important part of your sales team.  These videos are constantly used on demos, with existing customers, and even sales calls.  These videos can be perfect for a product walkthrough, explainer videos, or specific topics for webinars, and so much more.

Retargeting and Creating Loyalty Among Potential Customers

It can be quite beneficial for reactivating leads that have gone cold or to entice repeat purchases using videos. The type of video will depend on the viewer.  You might choose to target a YouTube or social media ad toward visitors to your website that did not convert. You might also send a video email to follow up with a customer who attended your webinar but did not enter the funnel. Videos can excite current customers regarding a new product or a feature with an explainer video that breaks down into detail about your product or feature. You already know these people have invested in your company with a brand, so give them a little shove in that direction.

The Value of Lead Scoring With Videos

You have put a lot of work into creating a video so it’s very important that you make the effort to measure the impact. Lead scoring is very valuable because it will give you the insight to create a video that will give your audience the very best experience and entice them to buy your brand.

A Short Summary

We have added a great deal of information in this article to draw viewers to your site and purchase your products. We have gone over choosing voice-overs vs animated text while pointing out that voice-overs have become more popular and why. Why mobile devices need to be discussed on a different level as the data connection is now so much faster.  But ask yourself if this an avenue that will work best for your viewers?

We cannot impress upon you enough, if you are using someone else’s work, you must get permission from the creator due to copyright laws. There are so many articles on the subject, read all you can and become familiar with all the dos and don’t s regarding copyright.

We at Inovit have gone out of our way to provide you with valuable information that will take a while to digest while helping you find the best marketing tactics that will work best for your videos and draw your potential and current customers to your site and buy your products!

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5 Tech Solutions Being Used by Property Management Professionals

Technology has revolutionized the real estate industry in many ways. There are several tech solutions that have been developed by different companies and individuals. All of them are aimed at making the operations of property management professionals easy.

Considering the fact that the real estate industry is one of the most profitable, there is stiff competition in terms of attracting clients. That’s probably why most of the tech solutions available are geared towards improving service delivery.

Property management professionals who previously depended on manual ways of tracking data and the use of  spreadsheets  can now take advantage of cloud-based software to keep their data and facilitate automation of work.

Whether its part-time landlords in Lansing or full-time Austin property management professionals, both will benefit from the following array of tech solutions:

1. Property Matrix

The property matrix software is considered one of the most comprehensive tech solutions available. It is a cloud-based based software that provides a complete suite of management applications such as building maintenance, CRM, tenant and lease tracking, property marketing, and property accounting. All these features are available in a user-friendly interface designed to enhance quick access to various tools. To improve user experience, the software allows one to filter particular units, manage invoices, and track maintenance requests.

2. Buildium

Buildium is another great software used by property management professionals. It is mainly used in streamlining the leasing process. It also has automated features such as rent collection late fee reminders. Besides that, the software assigns duties to respective staff as well as handling management maintenance.

3. Propertyware

Another great tech solution in property management that enables stakeholders to keep track of all activities in their business. Property managers are able to use the software to oversee the leasing life cycle as well as maintenance management. The good thing about this software is that a user can filter rea time data and customize information to fit their business. It can also be used on different devices. It is important to ensure that you get the latest version of the software – for easy operations.

4. TruPlace

Property buyers and renters spend a lot of time online looking for prospective homes to buy. This implies that more information is posted about a certain property, the more views, and interest in purchasing it. This software can give you a competitive advantage through the optimization of virtual home viewing. Besides, a property owner can use the software to prepare and send floor plans to respective houses – hence providing potential clients with detailed information on various houses they would wish to purchase.

5. Mynd

This software solves the problem of rent collection from tenants and home buyers. Customers are able to use the software to contact property managers, make payments, and place service requests. On the other hand, property owners can see real-time reports and transactions. This makes it easy for them to take quick action in case they detect any issue.