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Promoting Your Business Online: Tips and Tricks

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Online Business|Promoting Your Business Online: Tips and TricksStarting and growing a new business is an endeavor with many levels. Once your behind-the-scenes work is done, and you have launched your business, your main concern will turn to promotion. After all, you need your business to make money, and it can’t do that without attracting clients and customers. The business world has become more digital than ever before, and as people spend more time in their homes, promoting your company online is a vital way of reaching potential customers. The internet is a saturated place, and you’ll need to utilize every trick in the book to make sure your business stands out among the rest. Here are a few of the best tips to get you off the ground, and let your business thrive.

Invest in Advertising

It’s understandable that as a new business you might be scrimping on every penny. However, one place it’s important to invest in properly is your online advertising. A good advertising campaign can really put your business on the map. Even if customers don’t click on the ad itself (although conversion rates are obviously important, and a great way to measure the success of different advertising agencies), simply seeing your company logo will help them to think of you as an established, well-regarded company. If you can get into people’s minds, even subliminally, your advertising will be a long-term success.

Use Social Media and Target Audiences

As part of your advertising campaign, do not neglect social media platforms. Advertising on these platforms is a particularly good way to target your audiences. Depending on the type of business you are running, you may want to appeal to different demographics, whether by age, location, or another parameter. Social media algorithms can help you target your ads at the people who you want to see them. This saves you time and resources, allowing you to focus your promotion where it will be most effective.

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SEO is Everything

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a way to make your business website appear higher up in the results for different search engines, such as Google. As many people come across businesses whilst searching for certain products or services, this is a hugely important way to promote your company and attract customers to your website. An SEO agency will work with you to create the most effective SEO plan for your business, including identifying the keywords you want to be associated with in search engines and then creating content and links that will boost your connection with those words.

Post-Purchase Tactics

A post-purchase follow-up sequence is every interaction you have with a customer after they have used your services or bought your product. At first, this may not seem relevant to business promotion. However, it can be a vital way to spread the word about your business. Sending an email to a recent customer asking for feedback, in the form of a starred or written review, is a fantastic way to gather promotion material that you can then use to attract new customers. Word of mouth is a great way to grow your business’s profile online, and post-purchase sequences are vital ways that you can kickstart this process.

Indirect Methods: Content and Third Party

So far, we have mainly talked about direct methods of promoting your business, such as advertising, targeting audiences, and encouraging positive reviews. However, sometimes indirect methods can be just as effective. Part of an SEO campaign may include creating content for your website in the form of blog posts and articles. These articles do not need to directly advertise for your business, but simply offer advice and discussion regarding adjacent, industry-specific topics. By doing this, you promote the image of your business as a trustworthy source, helping customers feel at ease with you, and further spreading your online reach. This can be even more effective if your content appears on third-party websites, rather than your own. Guest posts, interviews, and opinion pieces can all help to direct customers towards your business from elsewhere, and they often don’t cost you a penny.

Offer Incentives

Finally, one brilliant way to initially attract customers is by offering incentives. There is a fine line to draw here; you don’t want to make yourself look cheap, but a killer deal can hook customers in. It’s then up to the quality of your products to keep them engaged and coming back for more. Including a deal for first-time customers as part of your advertising campaign can massively increase your conversion rates, promoting your business efficiently and quickly.

A Strategy for Online Entrepreneurial Success

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Online Success|A Strategy for Online Entrepreneurial SuccessDevelop An Idea

Ideas are funny things; they can strike in an instant, grow in your mind over many years, or disappear for a while, only to re-emerge at some point in the future. If you have an idea for an online enterprise, that’s a good start; if not, there are ways to develop them into workable ones that have a chance at success. That is the key point. Every idea has been done, so don’t worry that it isn’t original; what you’re looking for is what makes the idea special or unique to you. How can you develop an idea that’s been done a thousand times before into something that is fresh?

Know Your Market

If you don’t know your market well enough, you won’t know what you’re getting into, and chances are you won’t be competitive once there. Avoid this eventuality by conducting thorough research into your competitors and what they bring to the table. Go on social media, follow them, sign up to their mailing list, and even buy their products. By experiencing their product as a customer, you will soon get to know what they do well and what could be improved upon. In terms of improvements, that’s your job. Wherever you notice an inefficiency, you can cease upon it as an opportunity to create a USP of your own.

Discover Efficiency

As an online entrepreneur, you must always be on the lookout for ways to be more efficient. This might be in the form of outsourcing distribution using companies like DME Supplies or using third party warehouse solutions. Depending on your business and industry, it could also mean implementing appropriate software to help improve your business’s efficiency and bring down the costs. Luckily, the internet and many modern online brands are set up for efficiency. Because of this, many options exist to serve companies operating in diverse industries, so it should be easy to find what you’re looking for.

Keep Your Day Job

Regardless of whether you are immediately successful or not – chances are you won’t be, but best of luck – it’s a good idea to keep your day job for the foreseeable. Being successful online is a sort of balancing act. You need to grow the business in the same way you might grow a tomato plant. Give it soil and water, light, and nutrients, and it will grow steadily into what you want. Until then, you need to keep an income coming in. It doesn’t have to make you rich, but if it pays the bills while your business gets off the ground – that’s good enough.

Get Organization

Basic organization can take you a long way, and in some cases, it can be the difference between success and failure. A solid business plan can help here. If you know your financial responsibilities, and you’re committed to your short and long term goals, your strategy should be easy to see and implement. Don’t be afraid to review your SMART goals and business plan regularly – there’s no such thing as too much planning.

3 Tools for Streamlining Processes in Manufacturing

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Manufacturing Processes|3 Tools for Streamlining Processes in ManufacturingManufacturing processes are complex and they often consist of multiple steps. So, in order to maximize profits, businesses have to find innovative ways to streamline these processes and reduce the time they take to complete.

If your manufacturing processes are inefficient, then there are a few things you can do to improve them, including getting rid of obsolete steps and improving the communication between your employees. There are also some amazing tools available that will help you to streamline these processes. Some of these tools include:

1.Salesforce

In order for manufacturing companies to be successful, they need to take good care of their customers. This is where the Salesforce tool comes in. Salesforce is a customer relationship management solution that brings customers and companies together. It makes sure that all departments including sales, marketing, commerce and service have a shared view of every customer. Salesforce for different industries is available, meaning that no matter what industry you work in, this is a tool you should consider. Salesforce solutions by Alt-Solut are a brilliant option for businesses wanting to streamline their manufacturing processes.

Here are some of the products they use to help you achieve this:

  • The service cloud – this allows your customers to connect with a specialist or find answers to any questions they may have in a fast and traceable way. Keeping track of your customers’ needs and concerns allows you to support them and run your business more effectively and efficiently.
  • The sales cloud – this helps companies to increase their customer base. It gives them the ability to notice potential deals as well as the ability to close more deals, all while increasing overall productivity.
  • The sales force CPQ – this allows you to provide accurate pricing and it can increase your ability to send quotes more quickly
  • Manufacturing cloud – this can help you to create transparency through each process.

2. Kanban

Kanban is another great tool that manufacturing companies can use to streamline their business processes. It is a Japanese scheduling system for lean manufacturing. This tool allows you to highlight problem areas by measuring the cycle time and lead time of each step. One of the main benefits of this tool is that it can help you to avoid overcapacity.

Unlike many other continuous improvement tools, Kanban is less about revolutionizing and more about evolving. This method looks at each part of the process as a fluid and changeable piece.

3. PDCA Cycle

The Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle allows you to test out hypotheses and ideas. The four stages of this cycle include:

  • Plan – set out your goals and work out how you will achieve them
  • Do – try out the first few steps of your plan to see how well they work
  • Check – keep an eye out for areas that can be improved. You can do this by evaluating each step you’ve implemented as you go along. This allows you to spot problems at each stage of the process.
  • Act/adjust – depending on what you find in your evaluation, make any necessary changes in order to meet your goals.

Most manufacturing businesses are eager to streamline the complex processes within their business. Streamlining these processes can not only increase overall productivity, but it can also increase profitability. However, streamlining these processes can often be time-consuming and daunting. This is where streamlining tools come in handy. Why not try using some of the above tools in your business to see what a difference they can make?

How Your Company Can Benefit from International Recruitment

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article |International Recruitment|How Your Company Can Benefit from International RecruitmentAlthough international recruitment is on the rise, many companies and businesses are still reluctant to try it. If you are undecided about taking this bold new step, these key benefits could help!

Access to a Wider Talent Pool

International recruitment means you are no longer confined to finding the right candidate in your local talent pool. Now, you can select a diverse group of the most qualified and productive employees from anywhere in the world. Additionally, the new international hires might have unique skills that are not available in your country of origin, thereby affording you yet another benefit.

Insights into New Markets

Every business that has a unique insight into an emerging market will always have an advantage over other similar businesses. International hires allow businesses to get a better insight into different and new markets as well as customer types. For example, if you want insight into a market like Indonesia and the types of customers your business is likely to encounter in that market, you could use an Indonesia PEO to find candidates who will give you this unique insight.

International teams also offer your business more productivity and creativity. This is because international hires bring unique experiences and perspectives with them. This boosts the whole team’s productivity and creativity by helping the team think outside the box.

To ensure this creativity, innovation and increased productivity, companies should partner with a global recruitment company to find the right types of candidates. Incidentally, New Horizons Global Partners comes to mind. They help companies such as yours to find the right candidates in Asia, manage your payroll, and a lot more. If you are expanding into markets like Indonesia or any other country in Asia, you can learn about how they can help your business do just that at nhglobalpartners.com.

A Better Workplace Culture

Many companies struggle to hire people who diversify their workforce and enrich their workplace cultures in a meaningful way. Hiring internationally can solve this problem. Hiring internationally brings in different types of people who think differently and who can enrich the company through their unique cultures.

Building this better culture has its benefits including making for a happier and better-connected workforce, developing a global community of employees, and helping employees build professional and personal connections across the globe.

Helps You Cover Multiple Time Zones

Hiring internationally gives you access to candidates who will be working different hours should they choose to work remotely. This will allow your business to provide services round the clock if you can assemble a team that covers every time zone provided your business is large enough.

These increased hours also give customers and clients confidence in knowing that no matter the time of day or night, they can get served by your business.

Additionally, your business can bring in clients from different time zones if you have employees who will be focused on working with those customers and clients.

Hiring remotely might seem like a scary and expensive prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have an experienced international recruiting company behind you, it is possible to hire great candidates who can help your business grow into new markets and beyond.

6 Ways To Boost User Engagement With Your Business App

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Boost Engagement|6 Ways To Boost User Engagement With Your Business AppThe majority of businesses have their own dedicated app these days and if you don’t, you’re missing a big opportunity. Developing your own app is a brilliant way to increase brand awareness and it can be an incredibly effective sales tool as well. However, if you want to boost your business with an app, engagement is essential.

There are thousands of competing apps out there and it’s easy for your app to get lost in the crowd. If you are relying on a flashy design and a gimmick, you won’t find many long term users for the app and your business won’t benefit from it. If you want to be successful, it’s important that you have a clear customer engagement strategy in place to encourage people to download your app and, most importantly, to continue using it for a long time. Whether you are planning to develop your own business app in the future or you already have one on the app store, it’s important that you employ these techniques to boost customer engagement as much as possible.

Create The Right User Experience

If you want people to engage with your app, you need to make sure that they have a positive experience while using it. User experience is vital and a few small mistakes can make an app difficult and frustrating to use, which will seriously hurt engagement. A good user experience starts with the initial design process and extends throughout the build stages, and it’s important that you conduct regular usability testing throughout. Using the Infragistics Indigo.Design design-to-code system allows you to create basic designs and run usability tests, gaining a lot of insight into how positive the user experience is. When you base your entire design and build process around the user experience and use the feedback from testers to drive your decisions, you can ensure that the design is perfect and your app offers a great user experience.

It’s also important that you stay on top of maintenance issues and iron out any bugs right away. If certain features on your app don’t work or pages are slow to load, this will discourage people from using it again, so maintenance is very important.

Consider Your App Store Listing

Now that you have an amazing app that is easy and intuitive to use, you need to put it up on the app store and get people to download it. When you are writing your app store listing, you should consider it in the same way that you would a product listing. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t put enough thought into their app store listing and they struggle to get any downloads.

You need to think about why people would want to download the app in the first place. What problems are you solving? What are the best features on the app? Instead of simply telling the customer what the app does, you need to create a story and explain to them why they can’t live without it. If you are stuck for ideas, check out the listing on some similar apps and look at the listings on the most downloaded apps so you can get an idea of how they entice people and encourage downloads.

Get Your App Onboarding Right

Convincing somebody to download your app is the first step, now you have to convince them to use it on a regular basis. The onboarding process will help the user get to grips with what the app does and how it works. Unfortunately, there are a lot of common mistakes that people make with their app onboarding.

If you launch straight into a tutorial that teaches the user about all of the advanced features of the app, a lot of people will switch off. They are still not quite sure about the benefits of your app yet so you should start by giving more detail about what the app does. Using screenshots of different features is a great way to give people a sense of the utility of the app without bombarding them with a tutorial. Once they are familiar with the overall features of the app, you can then start with the tutorials. It’s best to have separate tutorials that run when somebody clicks on a certain section of the app. This prevents people wasting time learning how to use features that they are not interested in.

Login and authentication is another thing that people get wrong during the onboarding process. If you require a user to be logged into your app for any reason, don’t ask for this right away because you are instantly putting a barrier up and people are less willing to create an account before they even know if they like the app. It’s best to let them explore for a while and get to grips with the basic features and then ask them to create an account only when absolutely necessary. Forcing people to commit to your app too early is likely to put them off and cause overall issues with engagement.

Manage Permission Requests Properly

Permission requests are so important when developing an app because people are very cautious about online security. If somebody downloads a new app and it immediately starts asking for permission to access their camera and their contacts, they may be suspicious, especially if it isn’t obvious why the app requires those permissions.

Ideally, you should keep permission requests to a minimum and you need to be careful about how you word them. When asking for permissions, you should always explain why so you can put the user’s mind at ease. You also need to display a message if permissions are denied, explaining that this will affect the functionality of the app and some features will not work.

Deciding when to ask for permission is important as well and a lot of app developers make the mistake of doing it all as soon as the app opens. But bombarding the user with a lot of permission requests right away will make them more suspicious and it also stops them from getting to experience the app right away. It’s much better to split the permission requests and only ask when the user tries to access a certain feature.

Use Push Notifications

Continued engagement with your app requires some prompting because people may simply forget about your app. Using push notifications reminds them that you are there and demonstrates the value that your app provides, so people are more likely to keep coming back. However, you do need to be careful about how you use push notifications because if you get it wrong, you may encourage people to delete your app.

Constantly spamming people with useless notifications is the easiest way to get them to delete your app. If you are going to send somebody a notification, there needs to be a reason for it. For example, if you sell products through your app, you can send them suggestions or information about any new deals and offers. Whenever you update your app and add something new, send out a notification inviting people to give the new features a go. These kinds of push notifications provide value to the customer and offer them something, so people will respond to them. But if you send lots of notifications that don’t offer anything, people will get annoyed and delete the app.

Your notifications will be far more effective if you personalize them and tailor them to each specific user. It’s also a good idea to use deep linking on your notifications. This means that users will be taken directly to a specific page so, for example, if you send a notification with a product suggestion, they can go directly to that product by clicking the notification. This makes the process a lot smoother for the user and adds more value to your notifications.

Incorporate Live Chat

Being able to communicate directly with your customers through the app is very important. If you don’t have a clear line of communication and a customer has an issue, they will usually leave a negative review on the app store. Naturally, bad reviews make people far less likely to download your app, so engagement suffers in a big way. Introducing a live chat feature will help to avoid that issue because users can message you directly if they have a problem with the app and having that direct line of communication there is a brilliant way to improve overall engagement. You can also use live chat as a way to improve your customer service, so it’s definitely a great feature to add to any business app. If you use chatbots to answer the basic questions, your users can get an instant answer to their queries.

Developing an app with great features isn’t enough to be successful these days because there is so much competition on the app store. If you want your app to help you boost your business, it’s important that you focus on engagement and you have a clear strategy in place to encourage people to download your app and use it on a regular basis.