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Seven Quick Ways to Use Snapchat as a Brand

Seven Quick Ways to Use Snapchat as a Brand

Seven Quick Ways To Use Snapchat As A Brand

With over 100 million daily active users and 400 million snaps per day, Snapchat is one of the fastest-growing social networks and is fast becoming a vital part of global marketing strategies. With Snapchat, you can increase community engagement and brand awareness through innovative marketing campaigns. As a business, Snapchat can help you build an engaged following, increase loyalty, and boost your brand visibility through daily stories that engage and excite audiences. Snapchat stories, which last only 24 hours, are a string of snaps used to create a video narrative. There are over 1 billion views of Snapchat stories each day. Below are seven quick ways to use Snapchat as a brand.

1. Share Milestones

When your business is on the verge of something big—finishing a major project, achieving a new milestone, or preparing for a big event—the last thing you have time for is marketing. However, these are definitive moments of your business that reveal personalities and culture. Snapchat stories are a great way to fit some quick and easy marketing without spending hours finding the perfect photo to post. This will let you stay connected with your audience without missing a beat in your bigger event.

2. Pull back the curtain once in a while

Use Snapchat to give your customers a look at what goes on behind the scenes at your company. Buyers still like feeling as if they know the story behind your company. With Snapchat, you can provide behind-the-scenes content to your community, which helps create and engage a strong following. Show off your company and make sure to have fun with it. Capture birthday parties, Friday afternoons or company outings. The sky’s the limit on showing how your brand differentiates itself with company culture.

3. Promote Your Other Social Media Platforms

Another way to use Snapchat for your business is to provide instructions in your Story for action on a different social media platform. For example, you can have them send you a Direct Message on Instagram with a promo code that you provide only on Snapchat or tell them to follow you and comment on a certain post on Twitter in a particular way with a specific hashtag and they get a free coupon or some other prize.

4. Provide Access to Live Events

Snapchat is perfect for real-time social media marketing because it can give the audience direct access to live events. You can use it for product launches, trade shows or one-of-a-kind events like the 1,000th customer to shop in your store. Snapchat gets your audience excited because you’re providing a different, more authentic view of what’s going on at the event.

5.      Deliver Private Content

You can also use Snapchat to provide special content to your audience that they might not receive on other digital platforms. Think of something unique to surprise your community of followers.

6.      Offer Contests, Perks or Promotions

Everyone loves social media giveaways and promotions, so think of ways you can keep your followers coming back for more. For example, you could offer promo codes or discounts to the fans who watch your entire Snapchat story, or ask them to take a snap while holding your product or You can get your followers involved with Snapchat-exclusive coupon codes or other exclusive promos. Make it fun and your brand’s reach is sure to grow!

7.      Drive Traffic to Your Website

You can use Snapchat to drive traffic to your business website. Though like Instagram, Snapchat doesn’t allow you to post clickable links, You can instruct users to go to specific URLS, but they should be easy to remember, or easy to copy and paste into their browser.

 

Running a Successful Google Ad Campaign

Running a Successful Google Ad Campaign

Running a Successful Google Ad Campaign

There is no doubt that Google AdWords is one of the most impressive success stories in tech history, and it’s largely responsible for Google’s $600 billion-plus valuation. Running a successful Google Ad campaign requires intelligent work. You can’t simply throw money at Google and expect to get leads. Instead, you need to do your homework and leverage the targeting (and other) tools the AdWords platform puts at your disposal. You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot on AdWords to get a lot out of the pay-per-click advertising. But even if you have a small daily budget, you want to make sure your money is not being wasted — or at least try to ensure that the right people are clicking on your AdWords campaigns.

  1. Understand What AdWords Is For. Before investing a dime into an AdWords campaign, it’s important to understand its strengths and weaknesses. While AdWords is excellent for highly targeted, measurable and rapid results that lend well to lead and sales generation, on the other hand, AdWords requires a significant and ongoing investment, and every impression or click is paid for. It is typically not a cost-effective tool for brand awareness. When designing your campaign, keep the platform’s strengths and weaknesses in mind, and save brand awareness for your other marketing efforts.
  2. Have a clear goal.

The most important part of any search engine marketing (SEM) campaign is to have a clear goal in mind. The point of almost any AdWords campaign should be to grow sales, as opposed to merely generating brand awareness. With that in mind, you need to know what specific action you are trying to get your target market to perform. Is it completing a lead form? Calling an 800 number? Making an online purchase? Before you go live with your campaign, make sure you’ve identified that goal and know how you’ll measure the results.

  1. Keep your target customer in mind when writing your ads.

That is, make sure your ads follow the AIDAS of advertising. Your ads should attract the (A)ttention of your audience, raise customer (I)nterest, convince customers that they (D)esire your product, lead customers towards taking (A)ction (include a call-to-action) and provide (S)atisfaction if they end up choosing your website.

  1. Don’t mislead customers.

Don’t mislead your audience! Make sure that each ad group is entirely relevant for the landing page you’re promoting and that it’s only being displayed for relevant queries.

  1. Use negative keywords.

Always remember to include negative keyword targeting Negative keywords are keywords related to other keywords in the campaign that are not related to what is being advertised. This further qualifies the ads within a campaign, ensuring ads do not show to users who would not find them relevant anyway. Negative keywords help to streamline your ad, presenting it on more relevant search result pages. This drives better quality traffic and leads to your landing pages, while also improving your Google AdWords Quality Score.

  1. Target your ads.

Implement all three types of keyword targeting — exact match, phrase match, broad match — into your targeting strategy. Bid the most for exact match keywords and the least for broad match keywords. Separate ad groups by keyword type, in addition to category, to keep the campaign well-organized. You can also target ads according to type of website. And you can target prospects by certain Web behavior, like often visited websites that are relevant to your business.

  1. Don’t ignore mobile users.

Ensure that you are using mobile-preferred ads within your enhanced campaigns. This allows for customized message and mobile specific calls-to-action (CTAs) that will speak directly to your mobile users.

  1. Always be testing.

Once you identify your AdWords campaign goal/action, plan various tests to try to maximize your outcome. These tests should span the entire funnel, beginning with identification of keywords to bid on and which ad copy to use, to the design of the landing page and any follow-on email marketing campaigns. Test, test and then test again. You can only guess what might work best, as it’s impossible to predict exactly what your targeted market will consider as being most appealing and trustworthy. Sometimes one single word can make all the difference.”

  1. Implement conversion tracking.

Being able to see what keywords are triggering a sale or a lead is huge in bid management and optimizing the account to increase ROI. Setting up conversion tracking is critical. For your business a conversion may be a purchase, a sign-up or a lead. It is the action or actions that you want your visitors to take on the website. Without proper tracking in place, you cannot trace and promote the successful keywords, ads or keyword themes.

In addition, if you don’t have conversion tracking code on your website, you can’t know which keywords or text ads are effective and ones are bad to pause. Some actions you can do with Google Analytics, but as an advertiser, you need to know what happened after a user clicks on your ad. Did he purchase your product? If yes, which keyword/text ad/ad group/campaign triggered the conversion. By this way, you will know which part of your campaign worth to bid on.

  1. Monitor and tweak your campaigns.

AdWords settings can be adjusted throughout the duration of each campaign. Take advantage of the opportunity to make changes while the campaign is running. Make search term reports your best friend. Your search term report can help you identify low click-through rates, higher cost-per-click keywords, decreased time on site and a host of other issues that can negatively affect your bottom line. Using the search term report, you can then clear out keywords that have become obsolete or are low performers- and replace them with new keywords that will hopefully perform better.

  1. Use Google’s Remarketing feature.

Don’t neglect Google’s Remarketing option. As long as you’ve configured it correctly in Google Analytics, Smart Lists leverages Google’s big data capabilities to track who has visited your website by any means (including AdWords campaigns), and identifies who is statistically most likely to convert. Google then pushes that data back into AdWords for you to use in your AdWords campaigns for remarketing. It’s a powerful tool that not many people know about or have talked about for making the most of your ad dollars.

  1. Set up your Adwords campaign with a proper plan.

Many people create their Adwords campaign themselves without a proper plan and lack of knowledge about how to set up a successful campaign, which leads to many problems of their Adwords account. Use descriptive names for your campaigns and ad groups based on product category or campaign network (display network and search network). Make sure one campaign targeting only one product category. One ad group only targets one product/service with a group of keyword theme. Also, an ad group should contain no more than 4 text ads.

13. Optimizing for Cost Per Click (CPC).

For obvious reasons, your CPC is extremely important to your bottom line. Each individual keyword will have a unique CPC and conversion rate. This gives each keyword a varying effective CPC. Depending on the cost of goods sold, the range can be wide, and it will be up to you to calculate this number.

A few ways to optimize for a targeted CPC range include:

  • Lower max bid. If you want to lower your CPC, lower your max bid.
  • Improve ad copy.Review your ads and optimize your ad copy to improve keyword relevancy.
  • Create more targeted ad groups.Taking ad optimization a step further, you can segregate targeted keywords into specific ad groups.
  • Target less competitive keywords.More competitive keywords typically have higher CPCs. With a little research, you can find lower-funnel keywords with less competition and a lower CPC.
  • Optimize landing pages.Part of the Ad Rank equation includes the relevancy of the landing page. With a better-optimized landing page, you can lower your CPC.

When you put all these steps together, you’ll find that you have a hot and highly effective Google Ad campaign running.

What Artificial Intelligence (AI) could mean for your business

What Artificial Intelligence (AI) could mean for your business

What Artificial Intelligence (AI) could mean for your business 

Originally the term Artificial Intelligence was created in the 1950s based on the possibility that machines could act like humans to perform general tasks without the need of a human. Simply put though, AI is a subfield of computer science. It is an aspect of technological progress, aimed at benefitting us in terms of making our tech more efficient. All of the tech giants are investing heavily in AI with Facebook revealing their plan to go all in into AI, AR, and VR at the annual F8 conference.

Forrester predicts that there will be more than a 300% increase towards investments in AI amongst all businesses in 2017. In 2016 there was almost $1.5 billion invested in just the first half of the year. AI will offer capabilities like predictive analytics, thereby reshaping your decision-making process and ultimately improving the way you and your brand work. As a business owner, you need to start thinking now how your organization can benefit from using it.

Artificial Intelligence brings technologies and processes together to make machines work smarter and to have the ability to discover insights, suggest predictions, and strategize recommendations.

AI is also not just about making your business run easier, but better. AI reflects the process of human self-improvement and operates based on acquiring knowledge over time. This means that AI is always learning from the data received to produce more refined outcomes. This means AI increases efficiency and productivity when delivering the products and/or services of your business and in the end finding ways in which to completely discard basic tasks.

Plus, not only does AI increase efficiency but it reduces the chances of critical mistakes to be made. By detecting unusual patterns like payment fraud or spam filtering, AI can notify businesses about suspicious activities.

As a marketer, it can be time-consuming to plan blog post topics, discover keywords, personalize and automate content, schedule social shares, test landing pages, and review analytics. If a machine was able to accurately create those tasks it would free up the marketer to enhance the recommendations. It would help us marketers, to optimize the content to ensure what we’re creating is actually relevant based on their behaviour.

More so, while advanced machines may replace low- skill jobs, AI technology lacks a key component which is intuition. This is where AI technology and humans work off of each other’s strengths to be able to work harmoniously to solve problems. Because of AI, there’s an increase in workplace productivity and efficiency.

AI will continue to be a hot topic for everyone. Staying ahead of its development is highly recommended for anyone wanting to benefit their business.

 

 

6 IT Companies to Watch

6 IT Companies to Watch

6 IT Companies to Watch

Next-generation technologies are promising to revolutionize business processes. In many ways, it is a boon time for enterprise technology. for finance chiefs trying to pick their way through whitepapers, conferences, product pitches, and webinars, the array of products and vendors can be dizzying. And new IT companies pop up continually, making it difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest.

The 6 IT companies that make this list offer compelling products that address definable pain points in many businesses, and while many of these vendors are privately held, they look to be formidable players in their categories.

  1. Automation Anywhere.

Automation Anywhere is the clear market leader in the burgeoning field of robotic process automation (RPA), and 2017 is shaping up as a year when demand for RPA could explode. Like other RPA vendors, it sells robotics software designed to automatically replicate keystrokes that humans make to complete back-office processes. In the case of Automation Anywhere, such processes include procure-to-pay, quote-to-cash, human resources administration, and claims processing.

Automation Anywhere counts 27 channel partnerships that generate about 50% of its revenue. Forrester Research ranks it first, among many strong competitors, in both the strength of its product and the strength of its overall strategy.

  1. Sprinklr

Sprinklr manages more than 4 billion social connections in 150 countries and mines some two dozen social media channels for information about clients’ individual customers. Sprinklr incorporates that data directly into a client’s existing CRM system. The company co-exists with industry Goliaths, like Salesforce and products from Adobe and Oracle, and provides extra value for businesses that are looking to include social media in their advertising and marketing campaigns.

With more than 1,300 employees in 14 offices worldwide, the six-year-old company now lists 9 of the world’s 10 most valuable global brands as clients, including the likes of Nike, McDonald’s, and Microsoft.

  1. Oomnitza

Most vendors of IT management services focus mainly on “things” that by now are considered at least a generation or more old: desktop computers, laptops, cell phones, and servers.

Oomnitza, which raised a modest $2.3 million of funding in 2014 and since then has grown quickly, has a software-as-a-service subscription offering flexible enough to manage a lot more than laptops and cell phones: its product manages the sensors and other new-age capital equipment that make up the Internet of Things. Oomnitza’s software tracks the lifecycle of devices and objects—from the time they’re budgeted pre-purchase, all the way to archiving the data generated by obsolete assets earmarked for destruction.

  1. Workiva

The company’s Wdesk cloud-based platform features proprietary word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications built on top of a data management engine. But don’t mistake Wdesk for a desktop application suite, because it’s in a whole other league. The platform offers synchronized data, controlled collaboration, granular permissions, and a full audit trail. Companies trust it for reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission, managing audits, and complying with Sarbanes-Oxley.

  1. SecurityScorecard

Founded in 2013 by Yampolskiy and Sam Kassoumeh, the former head of security and compliance at Gilt Groupe, the software-as-a-service provider collects “thousands of signals every second” regarding the cybersecurity of companies.

After gathering that data via a proprietary search engine and subscription services, the firm then assigns a company a letter grade from A to F. In language that’s a bit thick with tech jargon, the firm’s website gives an overview of the sources its search engine scans: “malware analysis pipelines, monitored hacker chatter crawlers, honeypot/sinkhole infrastructures, vulnerability cadence checkers, and deep social engineering sensors.”

  1. Slack

Slack’s secret is its simplicity. The platform lets users keep track of their messages by organizing them into channels. Instead of sending individual emails that get lost in inboxes, users can communicate directly with colleagues in real time. The conversations are searchable and highly transparent, although they can also be private. The company even rolled out voice and video chatting to users last year. According to Slack, its plug-ins, including popular ones for Trello, Skype, and Dropbox, are downloaded 415,000 times each month, making it one of the fastest-growing enterprise-messaging companies. But Slack’s simplicity doesn’t stop at messaging. The platform also allows users to share files by dragging them from the desktop and dropping them directly into the Slack app. It’s that efficiency and integration that Slack is betting on to boost growth in 2017.

 

Culled from http://ww2.cfo.com/technology/2017/04/20-tech-companies-watch/

Starting a Blog

Starting a Blog

Starting a Blog

So, you have a business and you want to start a blog to build and establish your brand on the social media scene but you just don’t know how or where to start. Have no fear, it’s really not rocket science. I have brought you some easy to follow steps to starting your own blog. The aim here is to explain the necessary steps to a good and successful blogging start but before we proceed, why is starting a blog important for your brand?

There are many reasons why it is important to start a blog:

  • Become a published author.It’s no secret. These days, publishers rarely work with authors who don’t have an online presence. The reason is simple: it’s a lot easier to sell books to people who already know you. A blog is one of the easiest places to start.
  • Get more exposure for your existing business.A blog gives anyone–from individuals to large companies–the ability to reach a large number of people at very little cost.
  • Just write.If you want to write, share your story, encourage others and build a community, a blog is a great place to do that.
  • Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news. There are literally millions of blogs online (don’t worry, you can make yours stand out and get noticed!).
  • It’s a great way to express yourself and also a fantastic way to share information with others.
  • You become a better person and a better writer.
  • The best reason? You can make money doing it!

Below are the steps you need to take in starting a blog:

Step 1: Decide what to blog about

As a business, company or organization, this step will be easy to determine. Your blog should be related to the product(s) or service(s) you provide, or the cause you promote. It requires a lot of content to get going and to remain interesting. Also, choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority. The aim is to get people referring to your brand as the go to blog on particular subjects you are expert on.

Step 2: Choose a blogging platform

This is perhaps, the most important step in starting a blog. There are many services you can use to start a blog or website. You may be tempted to use a free service, but know you’ll be limited, and in some cases, quite severely. You get what you pay for, as they say. Using a paid-for service isn’t expensive and it pays off in the long run. Of the many blogging platforms out there, WordPress is, by far, the most popular with over 82 million active users and it is super easy set-up, free to use with tons of free themes and layouts. It also has a massive support forum in case you get stuck.

Step 3: Find a host

A host provides server space for your site. Put simply, when your site lives on a server (instead of on your personal computer on your desk), others can find your site on the internet.

Step 4: Pick a domain name & hosting package

A domain is a web address. The domain is basically the URL of your website. Examples: google.com (Google.com is the domain), Facebook.com (Facebook.com is the domain).  You may or may not already have a domain. To have an existing domain, you would have registered it with a domain registrar, like GoDaddy or Blacknight. Hosting is basically the company that puts your website up on the internet so everyone else can see it. Everything will be saved on there. Think of it as a computer hard-drive on the internet where your blog will be saved.  Most, if not all hosts, should have a “one-click” WordPress install solution on their admin panel. That button will automatically install WordPress on your blog. Once WordPress is installed on your website, all you have to do to start blogging is go to your WP-Admin page usually www.yourblognamehere.com/wp-admin and start writing by adding a new post.

Step 5 – Designing your WordPress blog

Make your blog look exactly how you want it to. To choose a new theme, you can either head to Appearance > Themes and install a free WordPress theme. WordPress also has this awesome feature that allows you to change themes with just a few clicks. Whenever you get bored of your current blog template, you can just switch to another one without losing any precious content or images. Keep your theme professional and let it reflect your brand’s personality.

And there you have it. Your blog is up and running with the easy as ABC steps above.

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