Have you heard of PWA (Progressive Web Apps)?

PWA’s are a great idea. They are definitely going to make some changes to the way we interact with apps on our devices.

  1. They are more reasonable in terms of time and money to develop. Basically, you’d be developing a website and app at the same time.
  2. They function like a native app, for the most part, and if made right, have awesome UX. 
  3. A lot of bigger businesses are developing PWA versions of their native apps because they are realising the benefits of doing so

There’s so much information out there, but you can read more below and decide for yourself.


Progressive Web Apps are:

  • alternative to traditional native apps,
  • are more cost and time efficient to develop
  • can also broaden a business’s target market.

What is a PWA?

Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, are web apps that load like regular websites or web pages, but behave like native apps.

Simply, they’re a website you can download onto your phone. They’re actually a website with no search bar and access to your storage so they can save things to your phone, like photos. In some cases, it’s possible to send push notifications even when the user isn’t on the website.

There are a lot of benefits to this new technology, but first, it’s worth taking a look at the differences between PWAs and native apps.

PWA vs Native App

PWAs, in a lot of ways, behave like Native Apps. But there are some key differences.

PWAs don’t require an app store, which gives more freedom concerning creating different types of apps. Also, PWAs are progressive, meaning that they work for every user, regardless of their browser choice or device and fit desktop, mobile and tablet screens.

They’re connectivity independent, so they can work offline or on low-quality networks and are very easy to install. The PWA icon will be displayed on the user’s home screen without having to deal with app stores.

It’s also important to note that writing a website is much quicker, and therefore more cost-effective — building a PWA is like making a website and app at the same time! The developers can create one version of the app that’ll display the same way, and seamlessly, on all devices

Finally, PWAs are far more lightweight, meaning that they take up less space on your user’s devices, but also allow your users to consume less data.

PWAs are still a new technology, and that means they aren’t perfect. Not just because anyone can use them, because older browsers might not support them. Also, a lot of people might not know how they work and won’t realise they could install the website like an app. It may also be said that they’re harder to find because they aren’t readily available in app stores yet. There are still some fun functions that can’t be used with PWAs, like fingerprint scanning, but it’s only a matter of time before PWAs start to function the same, if not better than native apps.

Why Build a PWA?

Most companies that need to target a broader audience on their mobile devices are creating PWAs. Mobile websites are quick and easy to get, but the user experience isn’t great. Native apps have excellent user experience, but they are limited to specific devices and must be downloaded from an app store. This means that businesses lose the benefit of their users’ impulse behaviour. PWAs pre-cache, which means that they download the most recent version of the site when they connect to the internet.

Compared to native apps, PWAs are generally just more efficient and work on demand — they’re always accessible. It’s also easy to re-engage users through features like push notifications.

PWAs are app-like, and use app-style navigation and interactions, so users won’t feel that they have the same problems when trying to navigate tricky websites on their mobile devices. The user also consumes less data and doesn’t have to sacrifice any of conveniences they would have using a native app.

Many businesses are now moving towards creating PWAs to save on costs, but also because they want to reach a wider audience. As a result of native apps being developed specifically for iOS or Android, and the fact that they often consume a large amount of data limits businesses to a smaller audience of users. Some of the more notable PWA projects and their successes are Twitter, StarBucks, Trivago and Forbes.

PWAs Are Awesome!

For business owners, developing a PWA rather than a native app, or alongside an existing native app, is absolutely worthwhile. It means a business can save more time and more money. On average, companies that have built PWAs managed to do so in roughly 3 months. Because of the overall efficiency in developing PWAs, developers have been sharing their knowledge about how to make an app a PWA.

Depending on the project, having a PWA developed can be a smarter move, especially if the business goal is to broaden your market reach, you’re working with a smaller budget or just want to build something using the latest technology!

Have an idea – drop us a line idea@automationsquared.com

 

How Small Businesses Can Improve Customer Support Through Social Media Presence

One of the greatest problems with the traditional customer support lies in the fact that it’s generic, repetitive and genuinely turns people away from the idea of actually filing a complaint, provided that it’s a minor thing. Just the thought of those generic questions and that annoying song that these companies play while they wait are simply too much for some people to handle.

On the other hand, a truly quality customer service, the one with outstanding representatives and a great problem-solving methodology would cost an arm and a leg. This also goes for outsourcing, seeing as how the services of a great customer support agency won’t come cheap. So, all of this being said, what is a small business to do? One of the things they could try is enabling their social media presence to take up a part of this function.

1.    Responding to customer comments

First of all, you need to understand the fact that not every comment about your business is a complaint. Sometimes people just want to ask a question or mention an issue that they’ve noticed. The latter is sometimes quite constructive and it comes completely free of charge, seeing as how all that a person making a suggestion really wants is to get a better product/service in the future.

The greatest advantage of social media comment response lies in the fact that your audience doesn’t really expect them. Imagine having thousands and tens of thousands of followers, the number of comments would be proportional to this, which is something that your audience is not only aware of but can also confirm visually. After all, they can see the comments left by other people. Still, a comment from a member of your staff is a nice gesture. On the other hand, not responding in a traditional customer service model would be outright insulting.

2.    Making one-on-one connections

Another thing that you can do via your social media presence is to make one-on-one connections with your audience. The way this works is also fairly simple. First of all, it’s fairly easy to say thanks to a person who is a loyal brand fan for a longer period of time or to publicly welcome a newcomer. With the help of IM/DM service that all social networks have, you also get to communicate with your audience in real time, which is a great advantage. With the help of chatbots, your audience can even get an instant response, as well as be notified of how long they’re likely to wait, on average.

3.    Social media marketing

The problem with the issue of customer service is the one of trust. Do they trust you enough and believe that you can actually solve their problem? If not, they won’t even bother contacting you, which doesn’t mean that they won’t slander your brand and products all over the internet. In order to avoid this, you need to present your company as a brand that cares about their customers and has a team of technicians ready and willing to leap at any pressing matter that any of your clients can encounter. The best way to go about this is with the help of an experienced social media marketing agency. In this way, you’ll develop a game-plan that will help you address this issue accordingly.

4.    Addressing the issue publicly

One more thing that social media does for you is to allow you to gather data. This means that if a large number of your customers are raising the same question over and over again, you might need to address this issue publicly. Sure, a one-on-one approach will always be superior, however, this can also have a preemptive value. How? Well, people who are asking the issue directly need to be answered directly, nonetheless, those who come to your page after you’ve already addressed this issue publicly will just be able to apply the fix, without having to ask a question.

Naturally, this also gives you an opportunity to solve some problems with your products and services. As the old saying goes, if you’re 100 percent satisfied with your product, you’ve launched too late. Think about it, problems are bound to occur, which is why your audience wants to see how you perform under pressure. With the help of social networks, this is something you can do with ease.

5.    The community

The next thing social media can help you with is to develop a community which is a massive customer support boost. Why? Well, have you ever been to a customer support forum? If you did, you must have noticed that it’s as likely that the problem will be solved by another user as it is that this answer will come from a moderator or a developer. In other words, by simply keeping your community alive, you can create a scenario where someone else is tacking your customer support for you, completely free of charge. This alone is a massive boost that can help you out immensely.

In conclusion

At the end of the day, you need to understand that the problem with telemarketing and landline-based customer service lies in a deeply rooted psychological problem. Namely, millennials and teens prefer texting to talking over the phone. By making your customer support based on the model of social media communication, you will completely transfer it into an environment that they’re fully familiar with. In this way, you’ll make them comfortable and ready to open up. After all, isn’t this what you’ve wanted from the very start?

 

Guest Post by Ian Pearson

3 Tips for Implementing a Digital Badge Program at Your Organization

This is a great post from Credly, the reason for guest posting here on my blog is that it references two majorly successful programs I created and built.

Here you go:

Today, more than 73 percent of American adults consider themselves “lifelong learners,” according to the Pew Research Center. Increasingly, responsibility for delivering that learning falls upon employers; 89 percent of millennials think it’s important to be “constantly learning” at their job. If they don’t learn, they’ll leave. Faced with the reality that training is a necessity but trainees are highly mobile, companies are struggling to act on Virgin founder Richard Branson’s classic admonition to “train people well enough so they can leave; treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

As organizations pursue innovative approaches to treating employees “well,” they seek to create thriving cultures of achievement and recognition. Many are discovering that investments in recognition technology pay dividends, with O.C. Tanner reporting that such investments can yield significant improvements in key business outcomes, including a 20 percent increase in revenue, a 26 percent increase in employee retention and a 36 percent increase in customer satisfaction.

To achieve those returns, employers are seeking new ways to memorialize, validate, make use of and share the skills of their employees. They are using digital badges to honor existing employee skills and to publicly recognize new abilities.

Digital badges are portable, data-rich representations of demonstrated skills and certifications. They offer organizations and individuals alike the potential to convert workforce-relevant knowledge and skills into an interoperable currency for the labor market. The best badges offer transparency into the relevant achievement, offering meaningful performance insights that are fully integrated into day-to-day enterprise decisions and activities. Here are three tips to keep in mind when implementing a digital badging initiative at your organization.

Make it Meaningful.

Before getting into the “how” of digital credentials, it’s important to also focus on the “what”: For what skills or competencies will you offer badges? How will you determine when someone meets the criteria to receive a badge? And how can third parties add even more weight to badges through endorsements and standards alignment?

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) engaged regional employers to identify and define the most in-demand skills and competencies in the advanced manufacturing industry. To further solidify the value of the credentials, some are aligned to industry standards, such as the National Institute for Metalworking Standards. In taking this strategic approach, CCCS worked with the people who would ultimately review the badges to ensure they would carry the most value possible in the markets for which they were intended.

Make it Measurable.

Management guru Peter Drucker famously said that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Where a typical resume might list sales responsibilities and even the size of the budget managed, innovative companies like IBM are measuring precise levels of performance and then recognizing that performance with portable, digital and verified evidence in the form of digital badges. At IBM, sales teams review a personal dashboard of over 60 different metrics that track progress toward pre-identified goals and allow individuals to distinguish themselves in the context of a large organization.

PwC has gone one step further with its own “success tracking” program, which makes various employee metrics publicly visible. Team members from both IBM and PwC can be spotted on Twitter on a regular basis sharing their achievements, generating actionable data and marketing value back to both companies.

Make it Interoperable.

Early railways in the U.S. and Canada used six different track widths called gauges. This structure meant tracks were often unusable by other railway operators. As a result, trains – and therefore the flow of people and goods – were limited to certain geographic areas. The standardization of gauges after the Civil War made everything simpler. Trains could travel further, tracks could be shared, and commerce and travel became more efficient.

Standardization in digital credentials provides many of the same benefits, enabling the use of credentials across a wide variety of environments, including social and professional media, learning and talent management systems, and everyday communication media like email and blogs. The IMS Global Learning Consortium today leads the technical specifications for the Open Badges Standard and helps ensure that the emerging labor market currency is accepted wherever opportunity awaits. Make sure the badges you offer your students, employees and members align with these standards, and they will be easily transferrable, providing a plug-and-play experience across a broad digital ecosystem.

Read the original article from Training Industry here

 

Adaptive vs. Responsive Web Design – Pros and Cons by Ian Pearson

In theory, adaptive design sounds like a high-end option, while the responsive design may seem like something improvised but this is definitely not the case. Think about it, just 15 years ago, phones were completely different devices, used for something completely different than they are today. In 10 years, they may get replaced by something else.

Last several years saw massive breakthroughs in the field of VR, with new devices being released, while AR stands to make this transition even greater. In just a couple of years, most cars might have AR windshields, so how will this affect the world of web design? The truth is we don’t know. However, most business owners are having trouble keeping up with the issue of adaptive vs. responsive web design as it is, which makes these hypothetical, futuristic questions a bit out of place. Still, in order to shed some light on this issue, there are several pros and cons of both of these trends.

1.    What are the similarities and differences?

We should probably start by stating some of the obvious similarities and differences between these two design trends. For starters, both of them have the same purpose – improving websites visuals and functionality across various devices. This is especially important for mobile users which are currently the majority of the online world.

The difference, however, lies in the experience that your audience receives on different devices. While responsive website only focuses on the size of the browser, adaptive design chooses one of the layouts it has in store depending on the device you’re using to access the site. Moreover, a responsive website has a greater versatility and flexibility, seeing as how adaptive website only comes in six different widths: 320, 480, 760, 960, 1200 and 1600.

Needless to say, this could cause a slight problem with desktop users with particularly large monitors or Smart TVs attached, seeing as how the biggest 1600 wide resolution may not be enough. Nonetheless, these are rare isolated cases which can be completely neglected.

2.    Preparing for the change

The first thing you need to have in mind is the overall user experience, which, tends to be slightly in favor of responsive web design (adaptive still performs better for each device individually). Sure, with the right device in mind, skilled designers can do wonders even with adaptive design, yet, devices are constantly changing in screen sizes. Sure, you have smartphones and tablets covered, however, what if the next big thing in the world of mobile devices is something between phone and tablet in screen size?

What if it’s something larger than both, yet, smaller than a standard laptop screen? What if, it’s the AR or VR we’ve discussed in the introduction? So, those who are planning for the long-run might find that the universal adaptability that a responsive website has to offer might give you a better overall ROI.

3.    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Another benefit of responsive web design lies in the fact that you have a single website to work with. Multiple versions of your website are allowed and, usually, not sanctioned by Google, yet, you have to understand that it still represents a duplicate content, which is not something most search engines appreciate. Apart from this, enacting all principles of on-site optimization on multiple websites is exhausting, even if the adaptive website didn’t take longer to build than their responsive counterparts. Still, no matter what you choose, it would be wise to revise your digital marketing strategy, while weighing in your options.

4.    User data prospecting

One of the greatest examples of adaptive web design lies in the fact that these templates have an easier way of determining which device your user is currently on. For instance, you can tell if a single person accesses your e-store from multiple devices while using the same account. Moreover, you can keep track of the number of repeat visits and even take note of the device that the purchase was finalized on.

Most importantly, you can use GPS to track the whereabouts of the user, which is important in several different aspects. According to one of the recent surveys, as much as 78 percent of local mobile searches eventually become offline purchases. Those who sell their products both online and offline should take special note of this particular piece of information.

5.    The amount of work

Earlier on, we stated that adaptive web designs take longer to build, however, when it comes to the amount of work invested in a single version of the website, it’s more than clear that responsive design developers are at a clear disadvantage. In order to cover every scenario possible, responsive web designs have to be made with a solid HTML5 code, which takes a lot of skill, effort and dedication. Even then, you might have some trouble with older devices and legacy browsers (on the other hand, it’s not like this is adaptive website’s strong point either).

As for the adaptive design, its greatest advantage is the fact that it provides users with a completely new experience for each device they use. After all, your customers want to see that they’re worth walking that extra mile for and this is where adaptive design shines. However, making six versions of your website (even if it’s the simplest layout there is) is a lot of work. Out of the two, the latter one is much more likely in need of some professional assistance. With the responsive design, you need a skilled coder, with adaptive, you most likely need a team.

In conclusion

While some suggest sticking to desktop users because they still boast higher conversion rates, others suggest switching to smartphone and tablet users for their sheer numbers. In truth, you need both of these demographics. In the past, you had to set up a store in each city and an international office in every major business hub in order to become omnipresent on the market. Now, you simply have to pick the way in which your website will respond to different devices and make it count. After all, the business world never looked kindly on those focused on shortcuts.

 

 Ian Pearson

Managing Your Online Presence

 

In this day and age your online presence is one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy and the day to day running of your business. Not only is the internet everyone’s first point of call when it comes to finding a new business or product, but it’s also where people do their research into said businesses and the reputation linked to it. Which is why having a strong and positive online presence is so important. To start with you need to ensure that the equipment you’re using isn’t going 5o hinder you by being broken or outdated, so have it looked at by an IT specialist company like https://littlecomputerpeople.com.au/pc-mac-repairs/, next, look into building a professional but accessible website and matching social media profiles, either DIY them or hire someone to do it for you.

 

Set time aside for updating and posting

Organise a set time each day to post something on social media, and once a week for a blog. But don’t just write anything – missing a week is much better than posting rubbish content. Being organised will help you to make sure you’re staying up to date online, and it also helps to gain and retain followers.

 

Bulk write to give yourself time off

To stop filler or bad posts, write up some posts in advance. You can schedule these to post automatically each week which is perfect if you’re going on holiday know you’re going to be too busy to do it. If you’re not big on writing, then look into outsourcing work to a freelancer through freelancer.com where you can request blogs or social media posts in bulk.

 

Consider hiring

Alternatively, you can hire a full time or part time employee to manage your social media and website for you – this enables you to dedicate that time to other aspects of the job, while also ensuring that the content and relevancy of your blogs and posts are at a high level.

 

Social media is your best friend

Social media will always be the best tool at your disposal, it’s quick and easy to use and it can be a great way for you to interact with your customers. There are so many successful interaction examples littered throughout the internet where companies have used social media to diffuse a situation, reply to a comment and even slyly promote themselves through other company’s channels.

 

Keep your personal and business lives separate

You are not your business and your opinions are not your business’ opinions. You might feel strongly about a certain pollution, but that might alienate part of your audience if you were to promote that opinion as your company’s. Have values and have morals and stick to them – like against animal testing and for eco-friendly practices, but don’t get involved in debates that could lose you a huge chunk of your client base.

 

Make Money By Sitting at Home Through Digital Marketing

The digital marketing is defined worldwide as the promotion of the new/ existing brand using digital technology. It is done via the mobile phones, desktop screens, digital signage, and other digital devices. This professional domain requires two things, one is the digital device and the other is a perfect internet connection. The fact that all the work is done through the internet allows the employees to have flexible workplaces and working hours. The internet is accessible at any place at any time. Thus, digital marketing is the ideal professional that facilitates working from home as a full-time worker, part-time worker or a freelancer.

Many studies are conducted debating the benefits of flexible working hours and workplace. One of them conducted by Alfred P. Sloan foundation states, “Employees working in an environment viewed as more family-supportive experienced lower levels of work-family conflict. The reduced work-family conflict was in turn related to greater job and family satisfaction, followed by greater overall life satisfaction.” Nonetheless, it helps the companies save their health insurance costs and witness a positive work environment too.

Here are the different digital marketing job options that you can avail by staying and working at home:

  1. Marketing analyst

Become a marketing analyst! This is how the branding agency Dubai found its highly skilled marketing analyst. While in search of a creative yet talented analyst, the team came across a freelancing worker and assigned him a few tasks. The regular submission of quality work impressed the team and they hired the employee for a permanent job. You can try your luck too!

The job nature of a marketing analyst is to study the data given by the company, analyze it and come up with a strong, challenging and an impressive marketing strategy. This requires a peaceful environment, detailed study, and an organized yet quiet workplace. Your home or your study room is the perfect place for this job. Look for different opportunities and work as an analyst.

  1. Content manager and strategist

Generating good content requires time, determination, good research, creative mind and know-how of the latest trending styles. The job of content management for a brand requires studying the brand and discussing the type of content they want you to generate. Once this conversation is done, you can easily work through your home and submit content on regular basis via emails to the company you are working for.

The job here varies as you can be the content strategy developer (working on the disciplines that must be added in the content marketing campaign), a content generating team manager or simply a writer.

How to manage your content generating team through the home?

The technologies like webcam and applications like Skype that offer conference calling and video chat has made it easy for you to work from any place you find comfortable. Add the use of OneDrive or the Google Drive and you’ll be able to delegate the tasks to your workers quite easily. By staying at home, you can update the documents, edit the submitted work and approve any other piece of content sending it to the main client. Just learn the use of latest technology and you’ll be able to work from home.

 

Blogging and guest posting:

Blogging is another creative way to earn through digital marketing. Many brands all around the world run their blog along with their official website. The blogs offer the viewers the type of content that they want to read like answers to different queries, latest news and reviews on the newly launched products and so on. The blogs help keep the viewer in the loop and make them feel valuable. Thus, you can write a blog for a company who is establishing its brand. Blogging is one of the best ways to earn money through digital marketing. Also, there is the job of guest posting. It allows you to contribute articles and content posts to different websites sharing your ideas on the desired topic.

Sell photos/ videos online:

The advertising companies in Dubai often buy photos and visual content videos that they find new and interesting. If you are good at photography or video making, you can sell the photos and short videos to digital marketing companies as well.

  1. Strengthen your hold on social media

The versatile and never-ending branches of digital marketing call upon workers to contribute in any way possible. Like content marketing mentioned above, the social media marketing is one of the best ways to earn money through digital marketing. The multiple jobs that you can do from home in this domain include:

  • Create fillup forms to generate leads
  • Generate advertisement layouts and campaigns on LinkedIn, Twitter and FaceBook
  • Post, re-post and share content post links on different social media
  • Increase the page likes/ followers
  • Comment on different posts
  • Offer prompt customer care service via social media platforms
  • Manage the social pages and post regular updates
  • Try to reach the maximum amount of targeted audience

Other than these options, you can make videos for YouTube, run your own channels there and earn money from it. The whole procedure is a bit lengthy and requires consistency but it is one of the easiest ways to make money by staying at home.

  1. Work on an e-book

While working on an e-book, the digital marketing expertise that is required include impressive content generation and advertisement of the e-book. Choose a nice, trending topic and then focus on the pattern that the majority of the users find easy to read and understand. Come up with new, fresh content and use all your creative skills to make this book a great read.

Once it is finished, you can advertise it on the online e-stores like Amazon or any other online store, sell it there and earn money through it.

  1. Join different freelancing platforms

The dozens of freelancing platforms are available on the internet. From freelancer to Upwork, Fiverr and many others; you can get digital marketing related projects from clients throughout the world. These portals are the most renowned freelancing hubs where you can get jobs according to your talents.

The nature of online marketing jobs is different. You can upload your gigs or make a statement of what kind of work you can handle. Bidding on work project also helps in increasing the chances of getting a job in digital marketing at home.

 

  1. Product marketing manager

The product marketing manager has to mainly establish an active on-site performance, keep himself up to date with the latest product release and master internal communication. All of these can be done by staying at home. All you need is a working internet connection, understanding of the software and information of the web-based products. RightScale, a Santa Barbara-based cloud computing firm is one such example of the startup offering the work-from-home position to the product marketing manager. You can find more on the internet.

  1. Profit by selling products on an e-store

The online stores are extending their roots into every possible professional domain. From the educational sector to the medicinal, fashion to technology; you’ll find e-stores selling products/ services from a variety of categories. You can make use of this digital marketing branch. Design products like online educational courses, video tutorials, hand-made products or clothes and sell them on platforms like Udemy, YouTube, Etsy, and others. It is one easy way to earn money via online marketing!

Satisfied much?

The seven different ways that we have listed above cover most of the job possibilities in the digital marketing domain. The catch is to find something that you are good at. The above-mentioned seven branches allow you to discover more work positions within them. Browse through your options and find more opportunities to make money through the home.

 

 

Contributor

Junaid Ali Qureshi

is a digital marketing specialist who has helped several businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Elephantation, eLabelz, Smart Leads.ae, Progos Tech and eCig.

Use Digital Marketing – Anytime Anywhere by Junaid Ali Qureshi

The rise of the innovative trends in digital marketing is a proof of how far marketing has come since the late nineties. The present era is all about building new marketing strategies, incorporating new trends in it and producing the better result than the previous ones. Every now and then, the marketing and branding teams and advertising companies in Dubai and elsewhere are in the quest of raising the standards of their campaign in order to achieve business success.

The good news about digital marketing is that it can be done at anytime from anywhere. The idea behind its dominance is to create ease for the marketers, improve their and business performance and impart an exceptionally amazing customer experience. The offline marketing and advertisement that used to compel the viewers to participate in the sales have now shifted towards a better marketing approach to online internet services. It is simple, easier to conduct and produces more results. Before we introduce you the latest trends and benefits of the digital marketing, let’s find out what it is.

What is digital marketing?

It is widely known as the promotion and marketing of the products using the internet service on the digital technologies like laptops, mobile phones, and display advertisements. There are seven foundational disciplines of digital/ online marketing and each one of them has a huge impact on the progress of the marketing campaign.

Digital marketing is made up of search engine optimization, search engine marketing, content management, social media marketing, affiliate and email marketing, and pay-per-click advertisement. Though offline marketing is one of the two pillars of digital marketing according to Neil Patel, we’ll discuss the online marketing below.

 

How to use digital marketing to increase sales?

There are dozens of benefits of digital marketing that can help you boost your business. Among them, the increase in return on investment, driving more traffic, increased sales and conversions are the top ones. Also, the implementation of digital marketing enhances the brand reputation and caters to the needs of mobile consumers. This type of marketing is often termed as being cost-effective. According to the Gartner’s digital marketing spend report, 40% of the people claimed to save a considerable amount of money by using digital methods of marketing their products and services.

Tony Delmercado, the co-founder, and COO of Hawke Media shares his thoughts on online marketing by saying, “Small efficiency improvements in conversion rates, email capture, and retargeting can pay huge dividends — tighten up the mouse trap first, then buy eyeballs. You’ll acquire and retain customers more cost-efficiently and keep money in your coffers for higher-risk marketing strategies.”  Thus, there are expert techniques and ways only through which you can make a fortune out of marketing.

Here are the latest essentials of digital marketing for 2018 that you can implement at any time and from any place you are:

  1. Strengthen your hold on blogging and content generation

Demand metric puts forward the study results that content marketing costs 62% less than the offline traditional marketing. It also states that it generates triple times more leads. With digital marketing at hand, it is necessary to nurture every opportunity at hand. Content generation and management is one of the best ways that promote digital marketing.

Thus, the ever-green trend in marketing is to focus on the content that you generate. Hire experienced and skilled writers, get content posts from the influencers and write blog posts. It has been proven that people who invest in blogging tend to get more customers for their business brand. Some recent innovative ways to tackle the content are as follows:

Learn the art of storytelling:

Story telling through SnapChat, FaceBook and Instagram are now viral! The idea is to capture the mesmerizing moment from the manufacturing or promoting the product department and posting it to make it accessible for the viewers. It helps in keeping them in the loop. Branding agency Dubai focuses on the art of storytelling as it is one of the trending ways of content marketing.

Invest in the world of video content:

The second way to promote content marketing is to use visual content. The videos are the finest way to communicate with the customers these days. On YouTube people watch a billion hours of video per day while on FaceBook 8 billion videos are seen every day. This shows how promising customer engagement is with the help of videos.

 

  1. Bring marketing automation into use

The digital technologies are advancing every day and new software are introduced in the market. Marketing automation is similar software that helps you prioritize and perform the marketing tasks much more effectively. For this, you need to take a look at your business goal list and identify how you can enhance the business revenue by incorporating the software in your business. The idea is to integrate marketing automation in your inbound marketing strategy and automate repetitive tasks.

  1. Identify your goals and tools to use

Digital marketing is goal driven. Though this not one of the latest trends, still it is the utmost action that should be taken by the marketers. Shooting aimlessly would result in no potential benefit. Thus, it is important to list down a series of goals that your business company wants to achieve. Then, in accordance with that, the marketing goals and domains on which more focus is required are decided. Also, there are several marketing tools in the market that help in improving the marketing practices. Using those vastly helps the marketer in making his work the best art piece.

  1. Long-term bonding with social media marketing

The social media marketing trends are constantly changing owing to their great response. The things you need to keep your eye on is the long-term active presence of your social media profile. It is not a one day job to maintain and manage the social media network instead it requires dedication, consistency and long-lasting effort to enhance the productivity of the business through social media. In 2017, a 60% increase in social media marketing budget was seen as compared to the previous year and in the coming years, even more, is expected. The trending uses of social media marketing include investing in influencers and micro-influencers, live streaming, generation Z, and the use of AR/ VR applications.

  1. Enhancing customer experience

You need to master the art of offering amazing customer experience and this is what promotes customer retention and generates more leads. All the efforts that you apply in digital marketing are weighed against the customer lead generation and amount of increased sales. The latest technologies like artificial intelligence and the use of chatbots, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality experiences; all of these are designed solely to enhance the customer experience.

An online marketing strategy is an extensive one which requires round the clock care and consideration. But, once you have built the foundation of digital marketing with the essential elements and ideas mentioned above, you’ll see how strong and useful it is!

 

Junaid Ali Qureshi

is a digital marketing specialist who has helped several businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Elephantation, eLabelz, Smart Leads.ae, Progos Tech and eCig.

How Social Media Helps Thrive Your Business by Junaid Ali Qureshi

The social media stats by ‘we are social’ suggests that by the end of 2017, there were 2.80 billion active global social media users. Among them, the FaceBook social media platform had 1.37 billion active users. This number is soon to be rounded off to 2 billion alone for the most trending social media platform in the year 2018. The next in line is Instagram followed by Snap Chat and Pinterest. Each social media platform offers great benefit.

The power of connecting with the people all around the world, through one way or the other, that it holds is immensely valued in the global business industry. The different business firms in U.K, U.S, the Middle East, and the advertising agencies in Dubai invest their time, money and effort in social media for the betterment of the business company. The social media marketing is at its peak in the present era and here is how it helps thrive your business:

  1. Helps in the initial ‘creating awareness’ phase

The social media promotes a business industry by creating awareness about the brand products and services on a large platform. Whether you have a small business or a large setup, it is impossible for you to sell the products if you haven’t introduced your brand to the general populace. The first thing that the social media helps in doing is creating your online presence. Once the brand is on the online platform, you can add photos, images, live videos, short videos and blog posts to let others know about your brand and how it works.

  1. Generates interest and encourages the action of the viewers

The leading branding agency Dubai shares their experience of social media marketing. They vouch for the fact that it helps in directing the interested viewers to the official website thus generating leads. Is it possible? Yes, it is!

The social media network is the ideal way of digital communication and without it, it is nearly impossible to reach billions of people at once (explained ahead). Thus, it can be used to drum up interest in your product as well. The discount offers, sales contests and give away offers attract the users instilling the interest to invest in the brand. Furthermore, the call-to-action on the social media encourage the users to click on the website link. The link directs them to the website’s landing page which in return helps thrive the business.

  1. The wide reach of the social media platform

As mentioned above, the numbers of people who use the social media are countless. This means if you are investing in a national or international business brand, you’ll need to reach out to a lot of customers to make your brand popular. The social media networks are the golden place to do so. You can target any type of valuable customers you want. According to Marketing Sherpa, the 95% of the online adults aged 18 to 34 most probably follow a business brand via social media. The adults in every region of the world, either men or women, use Social Media. Even the children and elderly, and people from every profession use it making it easier for you to reach the general and desired population.

  1. Drives more traffic to the website

The use of images, blog posts, content status, and videos on the social media platform helps in driving more traffic. The followers of the business brand are attracted and convinced to browse through and see what the brand offers. The CTAs and impressive brand’s discount offers enhance the trust and drive more traffic to the official website through the shared links.

 

 

 

  1. Improves the website’s SEO

The studies show that establishing an online presence on the social media networks and promoting the brand there helps in elevating the rank of the official website in the search engine. There is no doubt that social media marketing is one of the best ways to conduct digital marketing. The multiple links shared and traffic driven through different sources along with its proper website development makes the business industry popular on the internet. Thus, it is important of search engine optimization!

  1. It establishes customer loyalty and relationship

Customer loyalty is what ensures the business growth and prosperity and to achieve this it is very important to maintain the social media business profile. An active profile is what proves to the users the authenticity and trustworthiness of the brand. The Texas Tech University’s report on social media concludes “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Thus, focus on your social media marketing and facilitate the viewers as much as you can.

  1. A cost-effective way of marketing and promoting the business

There are both online and offline ways to market your business. The former one is cost-effective as compared to the latter one. This is because all it requires is a high-quality internet connection, a good digital marketing team with latest skills and expertise and investment in the form of innovative and new ideas.

A small business company can benefit from this nearly free, highly targeted, cost-effective marketing solution by carrying out the actions by themselves. And if they aren’t aware of how to do it, hiring a team that knows the job is the best resort. This still costs less than marketing through other means. Hubspot states that 84% of the marketers find as little as 6 hours of effort per week enough to generate increased traffic. Doesn’t this prove the cost and time-effectiveness of the social media marketing?

  1. Offers good customer support service

The Bain and Company showcase the result of a study saying that the businesses that keep in touch and engage with their customers are 20 to 40% more likely to earn increased revenue per customer. Also, the use of social media helps in keeping the customers intact. How does this happen? One of the reasons for this customer engagement and retention is the fact that social media allows the business to offer great customer support service. By solving the customer’s queries and problems, the business team makes them feel important and valuable. This is what maintains their loyalty to the brand.

  1. Increased social advertisements

The state of social 2018 report suggests that 67% businesses intend on increasing their advertisement budgets. This means that other than the offline advertisement and the one through GoogleAds, the scope of paid social advertisement is increasing rapidly. This is one of the latest trends to be followed in the social media marketing for the year 2018. The idea behind is to make the product known and accessible for all.

  1. Increases the sales

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When all the above-mentioned ways and techniques are summed up, they offer the result of increased sales of the product! The social media definitely helps in increasing the sales of both the offline and online business stores. A research shows that 70% business-to-consumer marketers acquire customers through the social media namely Facebook.

In the end:

These are the top ten ways in which social media boost the business industry. Running a business in a competitive environment like that of today is a tough job. It requires all the effort and sources that you can use as leverage against the other business and social media marketing is one of the best one. Start practicing social media marketing to understand in depth the way it promotes the business.

 

Junaid Ali Qureshi is a digital marketing specialist who has helped several businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Elephantation, eLabelz, Smart Leads.ae, Progos Tech and eCig.

B2B Content Marketing Trends to Shape Your Strategy in 2018 and Beyond by Kimmy Maclang

The content marketing landscape is like a runaway train. It’s tough to keep up because everything moves so fast—thanks to search algorithms and the emergence of new technologies like marketing automation and big data. There are now more platforms than ever where consumers and audiences can be reached.

As a result of these emerging technologies and consumption behaviors, our attention spans have shortened significantly and the way we create, search, consume, and share content is changing. The lines between the various digital marketing disciplines are now becoming increasingly blurred, with each discipline overlapping another as campaigns become highly-integrated.

 

Adapting to Change

Consumers nowadays are smarter and more powerful than ever. All the information they need is just a tap or click away. They can research about the products and services they need before they decide to purchase. They can see other users’ reviews and experiences about a brand, and likewise, write reviews for brands they’ve interacted with.

As consumers become more powerful at influencing the success of companies, competition becomes tighter and fiercer. Brands need to fight for their own share of the market and clamor to get their audience’s attention. There’s too much going on. As such, marketers need to constantly determine what consumers want and need, and how to best deliver it to them. When consumer behavior changes, so does the marketing landscape.

Brands need the right marketing foresight that will enable them to develop and plan their strategies according to accurate predictions of future market developments. In short, you need to future-proof your content marketing strategy by staying abreast of the trends.

 

Noticeable Trends

What may help a brand succeed today may not be what’s relevant tomorrow. That’s why it’s important for marketers to remain vigilant in keeping up with the trends.

2017 is almost over, and 2018 is just around the corner. While there have been many changes in the content marketing landscape, there is one thing we know for certain—content marketing will become even more relevant in the coming year.

Yes, there will be changes in content marketing, but these changes will help B2B marketers reap tangible growth and deal with marketing ROI pressures. Here’s a comprehensive list of content marketing trends that will help shape your strategy for next year:

Content Marketing Adoption

Content marketing is no longer the new marketing trend. Brands and marketers are no longer questioning whether it’s worth investing in. It has already proven to increase brand awareness, engage prospective customers, improve brand loyalty, generate leads, and increase overall profit and revenue.

Companies are now asking “how” instead of “why.” The relevance and importance of digital content to the success of any brand or organization is obvious, so much so that in the survey produced by MarketingProfs and CMI, it was discovered that 91% of B2B businesses are currently using content marketing to fuel their success. Furthermore, the number of brands and marketers who focus on content marketing to build their audience grows by 18% every year.

The same survey also revealed that 77% of marketers claim to be successful in their content marketing efforts now compared to last year. This means that content marketing is maturing, and more businesses are adopting the right strategies to achieve their content marketing goals.

Another statistic that backs up the value of content is how content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more unique website traffic than non-leaders or followers. If that’s not proof enough to get serious with content marketing, nothing will be.

 

B2B Buyer Insight

For B2B content marketing to be effective, marketers need to consider what buyers need and want above all. It’s no secret to marketers that a brand needs to establish itself as a thought leader to be considered credible and authoritative by consumers.

In the 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report by DemandGen, it was confirmed that 87% of B2B buyers give more credence to content from industry leaders.

The report further revealed that 47% of B2B buyers rely more on content for research and making purchase decisions, and that they consume at least three to five pieces of relevant content before initiating contact with a sales person.

 

Content Creation

According to a recent study, 78% of B2B marketers claim that higher quality of content and efficient content creation contributed to the increase in overall success of their content marketing campaign.

Case studies and white papers are still the top content format according to 78% of B2B buyers. Buyers also reported that they give more credence to peer reviews, user feedback, and third-party publications.

To increase the quality of content, B2B buyers recommend that content creators provide more benchmarking data and use research to support the information they provide while lessening any attempts at direct promotion.

 

Content Distribution and Promotion

When it comes to content distribution, it’s important for B2B marketers to be consistent in publishing content. A study reveals that 91% of the top business blogs today publish content at least once a week, while another recent survey shows that 58% of B2B marketers deliver content consistently.

Despite the fact that gated content such as case studies and e-books remain the top content formats for B2B marketers, 71% of B2B buyers want content that’s easier to access according to the DemandGen 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report.

However, 95% of buyers claim that they’re willing to provide their name, company, and email address in exchange for valuable content, while only a fourth of buyers indicated that they’re willing to provide their phone number. So, it’s better for marketers to stick to the basic information requirements when gating their content.

In terms of engagement and encouraging content sharing, the top channels to use would be LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. For best results, ensure that your content is sharable on those top channels, no matter what other platforms you may choose for content distribution and promotion.

 

What This Means for B2B Businesses

Content marketing isn’t going anywhere in the near future. Yes, content and social media marketingmay be converging, but as far as content is concerned, social media is just another platform where content can be distributed, promoted, and shared.

Whether your marketing team is big or small, what’s important is to develop a content strategy that enables your brand to consistently create and publish valuable content that attracts your target audience. This involves knowing who they are, what they’re interested in, and how they consume content.

Long-form content that’s backed by data is most relevant information for modern B2B buyers, and will remain so. That includes white papers, case studies, and e-books. To further compel your audience, make sure that your content is presented creatively so that it’s visually appealing to readers. Share and promote your content on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to generate as much leads as you can.

Bottom line, the content marketing landscape is rapidly evolving, so brands need to stress the importance of being flexible. When change is the only constant, being able to adapt quickly to serve the changing needs of your audience will do wonders for making your brand stand out from the crowd.

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Setting up a “Success Tracking Practice” by @tobyberesford

Many organisations need a success tracking practice, they just don’t realise it yet.

As any Team Sky cyclist will tell you – it’s great to be able to rely on the Team Sky staff team and the array of coaches on everything from telemetrics to nutrition.

Think about having your own team of performance coaches at work – wouldn’t that be fabulous?

Well some organisations are already well on their way – PwC, the United Nations and others – have set up success tracking programs, initially targeted at social media success. Employees can sign up to the program and they get personalised tracking scores combined with peer networking and coaching advice to help them succeed at social media.

The success tracking approach is one that you can introduce into your own organisation, or as a consultant, you can provide as a service to your clients. All it needs is a blend of coaching and attention to numerical feedback.

Learn more in this slide deck:

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