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Friday, 29 July 2016

Listening: The Secret to Success

Success is a relative thing, and it’s rather hard to achieve unless some important secrets are deciphered. One of those secrets of success for a company is listening to the customers as nowadays the customers are not passive recipients anymore, the internet and the surpass of information available have turned them into people dictating their own rules.

My friend started a business of electronics about a year ago. Well, he started off as a small electronics shop, but my friend’s unique business talents and ability to work with customers carved his way up to success. He recalls a particular customer, a pensioner, who visited the shop and bought an earphone costing about $19. This is not very cheap, so he mentioned that he was actually paying a good deal for an earphone and it better be good. The shop consultant ensured him that it indeed was, so off he went.

Next day as my friend says he heard a noise from his room in the corner of the shop and hurries to consultant desk. There stands the old man cursing about and waving his hands in anger, shouting that the earphones he had purchased were broken (in fact when he bought it, they weren’t), and the consultant shouts back at him that he broke it and now tries to put the blame on the shop, and that there was no way he would get his money back. This made the old man even more furious, and he shouted that he would tell all his relatives and everyone he knew not to buy any single product of that particular shop.

My friend, who had been standing a little far and observing the developments, then comes near, introduces himself as the director and asks what’s the problem. The old man goes on with his story in the angry tone but my friend’s soothing tone and calm, relaxed manners soon calm him down. He takes the broken earphone away from the old man, accompanies him to the section of earphones and tells him to choose any of the earphones regardless of price, and offers to return his money back.

People in the shop curiously gather around them as the old man chooses one of the best earphones. He thankfully shakes my friends hands, denies to take the money back and leaves the store.

The next day my friend brings me the daily newspaper with the cover story of what happened in the shop! The old pensioner turned out to be a journalist of the local newspaper, and expressed his gratitude in that specific way. No need to tell that from that day on this shop was the most competitive one in the area, and the business flourished.
My friend then started to use social media and social networking sites to get the success going on.He started using social media shares to outspread its services and products. Creating a fan page on Facebook, where hundreds of people clicked on “Like” and got introduced to his products and services, helped to gain customer reviews and opinions, so this way he knew for sure what their feedback was, what new suggestions and ideas there were for him.

This was a great way of listening to your customers, and the results showed up immediately. No need to mention how a smart business person can get this huge profits and benefits, as well as more importantly, the company’s goodwill by just listening to it’s customers.

In the end, the Customer is the one who is always right!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

5 ways businesses can continue being effective with social media marketing

If businesses know anything about social media marketing by now, they know that it is in constant evolution. It is no longer only about a consistent presence and strategy, but it requires much more.
What businesses should already be doing if they have taken on social media marketing:
  1. Know and be where the target audience is, which doesn’t mean having an account on every social media channel. It’s finding out what channels potential clients are spending most time on and putting the effort into those platforms.
  2. Develop communication based on your buyer persons. Knowing who the buyer personas are for a company is of the essence if a business is going to effectively tailor all their social media content to attract those potential customers. If a brand doesn’t know who their speaking to, the likelihood of reaching the right audience is null and void.
  3. Consistent presence. Whether a business posts once a day, three times a week or once a month, the importance is that one’s presence is consistent. A lack in consistency not only hurts a brand’s visibility, but it also throws off the audience. One’s target audience will lose interest and most likely find a business that offers the same services, but is sharing value on a regular basis that will attract and keep their attention.
  4. Engagement is a must. To build relationships takes time and effort, but above all it takes interaction. People today have the chance to interact on the existing online platforms they visit (websites, forums, social media sites, communities, etc.) and they want to interact. Give them a reason to come back, give them a reason to share socially and interact. Communicate with them and those visitors will return to ask questions, subscribe to newsletters, engage with content and be interested in what’s being shared.
  5. Analyze the data collected and make modifications where necessary. The same way a business needs to know their buyer personas, they also need to analyze the data that comes in through the different platforms their on. The data is the only way a business can know what’s working and what’s not. If it gets totally ignored there’s no way to tweak one’s social media marketing efforts accordingly.
With the above being said, what needs to be added to a business’ social media marketing efforts, as the online world evolves and gets noisier and noisier are the following:
  1. Produce more content to offer more value.
  2. Listening even more to what is being said online by the community and one’s industry.
  3. Being more creative in the ways one shares content and what is produced, as well as diversifying methods to engage the social media communities.
  4. Emotional connection is at the start of any business endeavor to developing a strong bond with customers. If clients don’t feel emotionally connected to the brand, the relationship can’t grow.
  5. Sharing more value through what is being sent out across social media channels. The amount of information people can find online is only increasing and without value one’s target audience will find themselves visiting those sites and social media channels that do offer value.
If businesses wishes to continue being effective in their social media marketing approach they must evolve along with the social media world.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Inbound marketing: Out with the old, In with the new

Is your marketing inbound or outbound? While the two terms may be unfamiliar to non-marketers, they represent different strategies for generating leads and creating sales for your business.
Marketing has evolved massively over the past 15 years thanks to the Internet, and what most lay people think of when they hear the word “marketing” – television ads, billboards, banners and more – represents just one form of marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Think of outbound marketing as a loudspeaker – it’s a platform your business uses to broadcast its message to other people. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is focused on pulling in customers that are already looking for the information and solutions that you provide.
Like outbound marketing, there are a wide variety of different inbound marketing methods, many of which are primarily online. Some of the most popular forms of inbound marketing include:
  • Social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn with the use of social share buttons.
  • Content marketing via guest blog posts or a company blog
  • Search engine optimization or PPC search engine marketing
  • eBooks, white papers and other targeted forms of content
  • Email marketing lists that your audience opts in to receive
The defining difference between outbound and inbound marketing is the nature of your communication with clients:
  • Outbound marketing delivers a one-way message to an audience that might not be listening or interested.
  • Inbound marketing delivers a two-way message to an audience that’s already looking for you.
Inbound Marketing Is Taking Over...But Why?
For decades, the dominant form of marketing was outbound. Television ads, radio jingles and print messages – the type you’ve probably seen on Mad Men – offered businesses the most cost-effective way to communicate with their audiences.
The Internet has changed this, and since consumers now choose the content they consume, inbound marketing is on the rise. It’s more cost-effective, targeted to an audience that’s more responsive and allows you to have a two-way conversation.
You can easily respond to prospects via your Facebook page or the comments on your most recent blog post. With inbound marketing, you aren’t just yelling your message at a non-responsive audience; you’re having a real conversation.
It’s also easier to track, measure and optimize. While a radio ad is very difficult to track, it’s easy to calculate the profitability of a PPC search advertising and see whether or not it’s performing to your expectations.

Despite these huge advantages, inbound marketing does have some downsides. It’s often targeted at a smaller audience than an outbound campaign would be, and the huge amount of content produced by other businesses makes standing out tough.
With the right strategy, however, a targeted inbound marketing campaign that uses content, social media and search effectively can produce a return on investment that makes the average outbound campaign look hugely expensive.

What is Outbound Marketing?

In simple terms, It is the traditional method of marketing that we tend to think of when we hear “marketing” mentioned. It’s TV ads, billboards, radio jingles, newspaper space and other one-way marketing communications.

The defining characteristic of outbound marketing is that it involves your business actively getting its message out. Your focus is on reaching new customers that may not already know about your brand instead of appealing to those who already do.
There’s more to outbound marketing than traditional TV or radio ads. The various forms of outbound marketing include:
  • Direct mail brochures, postcards and sales letters
  • Online display advertisements (AdWords Display Network)
  • Telemarketing, cold calling and door-to-door sales
  • Print advertising in targeted newspapers and magazines
  • Trade shows and industry conferences
Outbound marketing has some big advantages, as well as some disadvantages. Its biggest advantage is that it allows you to reach a large audience very quickly. With the right budget, outbound marketing can reach millions of people overnight.
Through smart targeting, you can also reach an audience that’s like to be interested in your offer. Examples of targeted outbound marketing include direct mail send to specific businesses or keyword-targeted campaigns on the Google Display Network.
The biggest disadvantage of outbound marketing is that it’s very easy to get lost in the sea of other marketing consumers come into contact with. The average person sees 3,500 ads per day; in order to stand out, you need a very persuasive message.
Another key disadvantage of outbound marketing is that it’s often very difficult to track and measure. Traditional forms of marketing like radio ads or TV commercials can’t be tracked, measured and optimized using digital analytics software.

Better yet, it does so while delivering value to your audience in the form of engaging, useful content that earns their loyalty. A carefully crafted blog post can often lead to more sales than the most eye-catching, targeted display ad ever could.
Is Your Business Inbound or Outbound?
As the Internet grows more and more social, inbound marketing is going to become increasingly more profitable for businesses that understand it well. Is your business adapting to the rise of inbound marketing or are you stuck in an outbound mindset?

Protect yourself and your information with a VPN

We've already talked about data protection and security at the enterprise level, but what about for the typical Internet user? What's out there to protect them? There are multiple options available for small businesses meant to protect their workers while on the go, but what about for just personal, non-work use? The options are not as plentiful. One option that is available, however, is Hotspot Shield and it is available across PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. It starts at the wonderful cost of free, with a paid version available for even more protection and customization. At its core, Hotspot Shield's main purpose is to protect your privacy across multiple devices and connections.

One of the alternative of protecting users data and their credentials is implementing single sign-on method (SSO). The method is based on highly secured SAML technique. SSO allows one click login to multiple websites of same business using one ID credential.

Using Hotspot Shield's Virtual Private Network (VPN), users can hide their IP address. The program uses HTTPS encryption to save you and your information across the web, including sensitive information like password and  credit card numbers. Due to your newfound anonymity, you'll even be able to view blocked websites and take full advantage of streaming programs like Netflix by setting your VPN to a different country. To set your VPN to a specific country, however, you will have to purchase the Elite version of Hotspot Shield.

One of Hotspot Shield's main benefits is just protecting your data when on public Wi-Fi. By encrypting your data, it keeps potential prying eyes from seeing your activity. This includes that Facebook message from your mom, as well as more serious information like usernames and passwords information. While it's rare that someone will be looking to invade the average Joe or Jane's computer on a public Wi-Fi connection, it's not unheard of. On top of that, Hotspot Shield offers users malware protection when browsing the web, and the Elite (paid) version will even warn users of potential phishing threats.

Constant network protection is not something many of us "normal" Internet users ever really think about. As long as you have a solid password, you're safe, right? Well, sadly, that just isn't the case anymore. Attacks can come from anywhere, even that Starbucks you like to hang out in to surf Tumblr and buy random items off of Amazon. Using a product like Hotspot Shield can help protect you from hackers, scammers, and even those annoying spammers. With minimal effect on connection speeds (it has actually helped some users' speeds), and a free version available, it's worth trying out.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Reasons: Why Business Must Deploy Single Sign-On?

Do you have an online business? If yes, then how many websites do you have that are associated with your business? More than one? Yes! Then how your customers and users are authenticating themselves to multiple websites of your business? Is it by login separately to each of the website? If the answer is yes, then you are in a big trouble, my friend. You immediately need to take some step regarding providing a frictionless login to your customers.

Having multiple websites means multiple usernames and passwords to login. Authentication to multiple websites using separate credentials is annoying for customers and users. By doing this you are forcing your customers to create more usernames and passwords and to remember them too. Is it not enough reason for them to leave your websites?
Now you must be wondering how you can avoid the situation. Simply by providing a seamless and quick authentication to users you can convince them to stick to our business. The question arises here is how? How can you do that?

Do you ever hear about Single Sign-On technique? It is a technique that is going to help you to overcome from this critical situation. With Web single sign-on(WSSO), users do not have to sign-in each time when they are authenticating themselves with different websites of yours. That means only by authenticating themselves to a website they get a permission to access all of your related websites. Sounds great! Right? But there are other benefits also you can enjoy if you implement single sign-on technology to your websites.  

By providing an easy login to the websites, you are improving the user experience. User experience is something that matters the most for the website owner. Good user experience leads to more leads and boosts up sales and profit.
Single sign-on is the safest user authentication process to the website. It is very hard for data thieves to steal users data because the SSO system is based on Security Assertion Markup Language(SAML). The technique also reduces password fatigue since users only need to remember a single set of ID credential to access number of websites. For businesses, it is helping in reducing the cost of support help desk by reducing the number of calls requesting for password reset. As I already told that it provides a quick and reliable access to websites and saves users time, this results in more productivity as users now can focus more on websites rather than remembering passwords.

So, what are you thinking? If you want to enjoy all the benefits that are mentioned above and want your business to be on top of your niche, you need to implement this awesome technology today itself.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Things You Must Keep In Mind While Going For Two Wheeler Insurance

Purchasing a vehicle of your decision is the joy that can’t be described in words. In any case, as you purchase your fantasy auto or bicycle, it's additionally essential that you guarantee its wellbeing and security. This is the reason you ought to have scope set up to guarantee that you don't need to confront any monetary hardships, if there is any terrible incident.

Keep in mind, on the off chance that you have a decent protection insurance, then, it can repay you for the misfortune against mischances and robberies, which can happen at whatever time with no notice. Nonetheless, it's critical that you search for different choices and look at the quotes before you settle on a choice. Likewise, in the event that you purchase an arrangement from a presumed and tried and true organization, your bike protection case will be settled opportune with no bothers. The whole procedure will be extremely straightforward. After the mischance or incident, you will need to take your bicycle or bike to the permitted repairman and relying upon his estimation, the organization will repay you.

On the off chance that, your bicycle or bike has been stolen, then it's an imperative that you document a police grumbling, at exactly that point, the insurance company can begin the method. Once the organization confirms that there is no fake activity included, the case check is given over to the proprietor. Additionally, your approach will proceed after the disaster or mishap. In any case, in certain cases, some organizations charge more for reestablishment thinking about the extra risk of mischance with proprietor. Alongside this, there are sure focuses that will help you cruise through the whole system easily!

• The harm, misfortune or the burglary ought to be accounted for to the safeguards promptly; additionally to the police, if required

• Receive the case structure from the safety net provider in the wake of furnishing him with the important data

• Fill and present the finished frame together with a guess of the misfortune to the safety net provider

• After this, the organization will compose an examination of the harmed things to assess the misfortune. Now and then, if the misfortunes are excessively grave, then, an expert authorized surveyor is designated

• You need to supply the mandatory archives to check the measure of misfortune

• If you are not ready to set up the reason of misfortune, then, you need to build up that the misfortune or harm has happened because of a secured peril

• After this, the case is settled after you and your organization concede to a sum

Remember all these components, purchase the strategy frame a decent organization and you will never have issues settling the bike protection claim.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Deadly Mistakes That Kill Your Social Media Strategies

For businesses especially for online businesses, social media plays an important role in promoting their brand. Businesses do their analysis, hire consultants and lots more to utilize the power of social media for their business. However many  times, businesses make a number of deadly mistakes while using social media that stops them from getting success. Read the article to know what are such mistakes and how you can avoid those mistakes to boost your business.

Lack of social sharing buttons

Yes, there may be no doubt in that you are working on different social media platforms to promote your brand among more customers but it doesn’t mean that you do not need to add social media share buttons on your website. Adding WordPress social share plugin to your website makes your content more reachable by allowing your readers to share it with their social networks if they find it worth to share. Adding social sharing buttons can facilitate your users to spread your word which helps in driving more social media referrals and improve social presence of your brand.

Having accounts on all social networks

Having accounts on social media networks to promote your business is must but having an account on all social media platforms that are not necessary from your business point of view is not a good decision. It only leads to a state of confusion. To get expected results you need to be selective. Select social media platforms that are useful from your business point. Analyze your audience, customer, readers where they are  hanging out, what are the social media on which they are mostly online and what is the most preferred social media platform of your targeted audience then select your media networks accordingly.

Irregular posting

The time of posting your content on different social media platforms is very important. One should pay special attention on the timings. Not all of your audience is online on every social media network at the same time. Each social media network has its own peak timings when it drives most engagement. Do a research on the best timing to post on particular social media platform then post your content, so that it should reach out to the maximum audience.

These are the three most deadly mistakes that one should avoid while making social media strategies for business marketing.