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The 9 Best Tips for Saving Money on Essential Office Supplies

By Ashutosh Jha → Saturday, April 13, 2019
In the snapshot of a business day, buying pens and paper doesn’t seem like a big deal. But have you stopped to calculate how much that is costing you over time?

The little things do add up, in almost a sneaky way! This can have a huge impact on your business’ bottom line.

The 9 Best Tips for Saving Money on Essential Office Supplies
Before you let it be a budget buster, let’s look at 9 tips to help save you money on essential office supplies.

1. Know What Your Must-Have Items Are

To save money on office supplies, you need to understand which items are your basic must-haves and which ones are splurges. To do that, take a look at the supplies you order each time.

Do you need nicer pens? Or will the cheaper versions suit you just as well? Is supplying two printers a must or can you get away with using only one?

By evaluating the necessity of each item and looking at cheaper alternatives, the savings may surprise you. Every little bit adds up, it will make you no longer miss buying those fancy staplers.

2. Compare and Do Research

Buying office supplies is no different than buying anything else for your business.

You’re going to want to shop around for the best deal. It’s a practice that takes a little time at first but is worth it when you see the results on your bottom line.

Get online and look at all the suppliers you have to choose from. Compare the prices of the items you buy the most. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of shipping.

Talk with fellow business owners, ask them about which suppliers they use or recommend. They may have some inside knowledge of a supplier you hadn’t known about before.

3. Buy Generic

Sometimes it’s all in the name, and with many office supplies, that’s what you’re really paying for. Name brand products can be expensive but are they necessary?

Consider buying store brand or generic versions of office supplies. Especially if the items you buy frequently are items such as staples and sticky notes. You could see considerable savings by making the switch.

Don’t be afraid to buy generic with other items. Many times the quality is the same, if not better, then the name brand version. Experiment and see which items you like the most.

4. Buy in Bulk

There are some supplies you know you’re going to always need, like copy paper and pens. For items that are always in demand, consider buying in bulk.

Many suppliers give discounts on items when bought in a large quantity, savings that add up over time.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when buying in bulk. First, you’ll have to be okay with spending a little more upfront to get the savings. Second, you’ll need to have the room to store your extra supply until it’s needed.

Many consider that a small price to pay when saving money on essential office supplies.

5. Have a Supplies Gatekeeper

Having an open supply closet may be convenient, but you might be going through supplies quicker than necessary. Employees may be taking more than they need. Or they could be taking items for their own personal use.

Choose an office manager or administrative assistant as the supplies gatekeeper. They can help keep track of items going out and keep staff accountable for the supplies they take.

If you’re not comfortable with that idea, limit the supplies you have out in the open. You can keep the rest of the stock locked away until needed.

6. Reuse and Recycle

Reusing items you already have is a smart way to save money on office supplies. Plus, there are several creative ways you can go about doing it.

Set up an area in the breakroom where employees can leave supplies they no longer use, such as staplers and binders. Make sure these items are still in great working order. It’s a way for other employees to take what they need without having to order brand new versions.

Instead of throwing away all that scrap paper from the copier, set it in a box beside it. Employees can grab a supply for note-taking or phone messages without having to order new notebook pads.

7. Shop Online

Before you head out to the store, check out how much you can save by buying office supplies online.

Many suppliers only sell supplies online, such as GetInkToner.com. Without the overhead of a store, online retailers reflect their own savings in their prices. That means they may sell the exact same item as the big stores at a much lower price.

Shopping online is also more convenient for you. You can order from your desk without having to disrupt your business day. Plus, many offer free shipping when you buy a certain dollar amount.

8. Plan Ahead

One of the worst, and more costly, times to order supplies is when you have run out of something you need right away. Buying in a hurry likely means you’ll be paying more at a big store than you would if you had ordered in advance.

To avoid this, keep track of how quickly you go through each item. Set up a regular schedule to re-order, well before you run out. You can also have someone regularly check your supplies in case something is running out faster than normal.

Keeping ahead of the game will save you money in the long run.

9. Negotiate a Contract

Many suppliers will reward loyal customers with a cost-saving contract. If you have a supplier you prefer, it’s worth checking out if they offer such a deal.

These contracts give you savings on products for the length of the agreement. The savings can also include things such as free shipping and cash back perks.

The key to the contract is to negotiate the supplies you buy most often, that’s where you’ll save the most money.

Pad Your Bottom Line by Saving on Essential Office Supplies

Your business can’t run without office supplies, but you don’t have to let it strain your budget. Using these tips will help keep you stocked on essential office supplies while improving your bottom line.

Want to know how to save your business even more money? Check out these 7 cost-saving ideas to cut down on your startup's expenses.

The Future of Ecommerce: 2019's Hottest Trends

By Ashutosh Jha →
Ecommerce is the number one way for companies to grow their business. In this competitive marketplace, there were over 1 billion online customers in 2017. This number will increase to over 2.14 billion by 2021.

The Future of Ecommerce: 2019's Hottest Trends
If your company is considering tackling this trend, then this article is for you! Check out this helpful guide on the current trends that are shaping the future of ecommerce. Follow these trends today and watch your sales skyrocket past your competitors!

What is Ecommerce?

Ecommerce refers to selling and buying products and services using the internet. Ecommerce also involves transferring money and data to complete these transactions.

Ecommerce makes products easier to find and buy through online marketplaces. Both small and large companies have benefited from ecommerce. Retail ecommerce sales worldwide will reach $4 trillion by 2020.

Future of Ecommerce

As we advance through 2019, here are some emerging trends shaping the future of ecommerce. These trends include:

Personalized Customer Engagement

Customer engagement refers to how a company creates ongoing customer relationships. These relationships build customer awareness and brand loyalty.

Social media outreach and other marketing campaigns can build customer engagement. Ecommerce trends today include personalizing this engagement to the shopper’s own interests.

Online companies use customer page visits and search queries to recommend specific products. Companies can then use this data to customize their websites.

Personalizing websites makes them more accessible. People soon learn that they can spend as little time on it as possible when they shop.

You can learn more here on some of the best ways to optimize your online presence. Take these skills to create a portfolio of products with the right price and the right benefits. That way, you’ll be able to meet your customer’s immediate needs.

Artificial Intelligence Assistants and Chatbots

Other trends in ecommerce include using artificial intelligence assistants and chatbots. Artificial intelligence (AI) assistants operate on specialized software. This software can complete a task in response to a verbal command.

Chatbots use similar software to conduct an actual conversation. Chatbots can replicate how humans would respond in an actual conversation.

A virtual intelligent assistant can perform tasks or services based on verbal commands. These assistants can do receptionist duty or manage inventory. They can help with answering public questions, which lets you manage the business.

Interactive Product Visualization

Customers still expect to interact with the goods and services they plan to buy. Online reviews or expert opinions won’t be enough to convince them of the quality of products on the market. That’s where interactive product visualization steps in.

Interactive product visualization allows companies to display their product features with 3D animation. Virtual and augmented reality technology supports interactive 3D imaging.

Product visualization allows customers to interact with the product before they buy it. Customers can turn the product at different angels to see it from their smartphone or laptop. This visualization technology helps remove the doubt from any buying experience.

Ecommerce Brick-and-Mortar Buildings

Many ecommerce businesses are opening up physical, onsite locations to sell their goods. Some of these onsite stores are temporary pop-ups or are permanent storefront locations. Other eCommerce brands will attend special events or festivals to market their wares.

Ecommerce brands have noticed many benefits of establishing brick and mortar locations. These physical stores help them engage with their customers. In person sales also helps to enhance the customer’s buying experience.

Voice Search

Marketing researchers estimate that 50 percent of online searches will be through voice search by 2020. This trend is a significant opportunity for ecommerce. Voice search allows customers to conveniently buy products.

Voice search queries are conversational as opposed to only one or two keywords. That's why ecommerce companies are creating content written in a natural tone. This helps companies rank high with long-tail keyword searches.

Micro Markets

Another new ecommerce trend is the explosion of Micro Markets. Micro Markets are custom-designed vending machines that have their own self-checkout technology. These vending machines sell a selection of food and beverages in controlled coolers.

Micro Markets are an attractive business model. They don’t need any onsite staff to serve customers or take payments.

They also have advanced inventory capabilities to track products. As a result, Micro Markets are becoming a primary source for large employer’s work-site food.

Hyperlocal Ecommerce Businesses

Hyperlocal ecommerce businesses represent the future of online shopping. These companies can deliver food to you, for example, within an hour of ordering online. UberEATS and GrubHub are two examples of businesses using this business model today.

These companies have supply warehouses close to their customer base. This helps them to make fast deliveries possible.

Hyperlocal ecommerce companies compile a list of all local suppliers within their territory. They then team up with targeted resources to deliver goods in the quickest time possible.

Next Steps

Are you ready to tackle the future of ecommerce on your own? The good news is that you can start this revolution today.

Invest in virtual assistants who can screen customers or answer questions. This will free you up to take command of the direction of your company’s future.

Optimize your product portfolio to enable voice searches and harvest customer online data. Not only will you enhance sales, but you’ll have a road map on creating a great digital strategy.

For more business insights, don’t forget to check our website. We’re here to help you reach your goals and make sure your business becomes the success we know it can be.

10 Simple Tricks To Boost Your eCommerce Conversion Rate

By Ashutosh Jha → Thursday, April 11, 2019
A quick glance at your website analytics shows that your site visitor count has skyrocketed. Your PPC and SEO efforts have really paid off and you’re generating a lot of interest in your business.

You take a look over at your conversion rate, however, and it’s a very different story. It has completely flatlined. It might even have decreased. What’s the deal? Why isn’t anyone biting?

Boost Your eCommerce Conversion Rate
Does this sound familiar to you? If so, we have compiled this list of 10 simple tricks to help you out.

10 Tips to Boost eCommerce Conversion Rate

Follow these tips and take full advantage of your rising leads, successfully converting site users into paying customers, helping you to make a real return on your investment!

1. Air your authenticity

Building trust in a B2C context is achieved in starkly different ways online vs offline.

Retailers with physical stores immediately emanate legitimacy. The store, its wares, and the employees are physically visible to the consumer. There is little question whether the transaction will result in you receiving the product you desire when you are actually carrying it to the checkout yourself.

Customers will not put blind faith in an eCommerce store when deliberating a purchase. There are few signals to indicate that the store owners are credible, so customers are prone to abandoning their carts in fear of being scammed.

Boost your eCommerce conversion rate by airing social proof. Integrate your unfiltered customer testimonials from third-party review platforms to clearly show browsing customers that you will follow through on your promises.

2. Get social

Your conversion rates will suffer if you present yourself as a faceless brand, devoid of any personality. Customers are looking for more personal experiences with the companies they purchase from.

Managing active social media accounts is an effortless way to build this connection, engaging directly with your audience by sharing tidbits behind-the-scenes at your company, showing the people behind the brand.

Laying this foundation will help you strengthen your relationship with your target customers, encouraging them to convert.

3. Call them to action

Your website interface should guide your customers seamlessly through the conversion process. The user experience should be clean and informative and should end with a bang with a fantastic call-to-action (CTA).

Not all CTAs are effective, however, so be mindful about your choice or words and your placement. Work out what suits your target audience and your customer journey best.

The CTA should:

  • Clearly communicate what you’d like your target customers to do
  • Evoke curiosity and radiate positivity
  • Have a sense of urgency about it
  • Express the benefits of taking action

Neil Patel has written an excellent CTA construction resource to adapt to your particular needs.

4. Carefully craft copy

In the absence of a trained salesperson to walk you through the features of a product, your website copy needs to do the talking.

Your product listing copy should tell a story as well as outlining all of its basic, practical information. It should strike the right balance between emotive seduction and promoting its tangible benefits.

General information like its uses, dimensions, and material used will help the customer determine if it meets a practical need and including customer stories will heighten its affective appeal.

To brush up on your copywriting skills, eCommerce experts Shopify have compiled a neat resource on writing effective product descriptions.

5. Strike up a conversation

Whether you integrate a live chat or chatbot feature into your eCommerce website, your customers will appreciate having access to instant communication.

In the past, conversion rates would often falter when customers became frustrated with the slow communication lines with retailers. Long waiting times on phone lines with awful elevator music or emails that are responded to within 2 or more business days just weren’t good enough.

The instantaneous responses that come with chat widgets have streamlined and sped up the process of responding to customer queries which in turn helps to boost conversion rates. Customer concerns are allayed in real-time whilst they sit on the website pondering whether to purchase something from your eCommerce store.

A fantastic example of this in practice comes from popular online-only fashion retailer ASOS who launched a shiny new chatbot in 2018.

‘Enki’, as it is referred to, takes customers by the hand through the conversion funnel. Enki’s individualised approach to each customer allows it to act like a personal shopper, massively increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Don’t leave your customers alone and in the dark. Be there for them 24/7, capturing sales at all times of the day.

6. Flexible returns

Often, customer expectations don’t align with reality. Whether they’ve overlooked a product detail when they purchased it or the online photo looks marginally different to the received product, there is an element of risk involved in eCommerce.

This potential risk is enough to put your potential customers off following through with a purchase. Promoting a free returns policy can allay their concerns, providing them with a safety net should they change their mind.

Include a returns policy section on your eCommerce website which outlines all the necessary FAQs, like how long it takes to process a refund and how to send the product back.

7. Be our guest

Imagine the length of queues and the time you’d waste if you had to fill out a detailed registration form every time you wanted to buy a product in a store. You’d probably react by limiting the number of times you purchased something, wouldn’t you?

If you have an inflexible purchasing process on your eCommerce store which forces customers to create an account and fill in field after field of personal details, you’re likely to see a dip in your conversion rate.

Adding a guest checkout option will cater to customers who are in a rush, allowing you to capture extra sales.

8. Away with discouraging delivery costs

Have you ever looked with despair at your shopping cart abandonment rate? Would it comfort you to know that the average rate of abandonment is a staggering 70%?

One of the most influential factors pushing customers to quit before they pop in their card details is the shock of added delivery costs.

Luring customers in with what appears to be a decent deal, and then whacking on shipping costs at the end, can make them feel betrayed, forcing them to exit your eCommerce store out of principle.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to cover shipping costs yourself. Instead, incorporate them into your original product price so you’re being fully transparent up front.

Despite the overall cost being identical in both cases, customers are more likely to convert when there is consistency and honesty throughout the purchasing process.

9. How far to go?

A sure-fire way to deter customers from converting is to design a long-winded customer journey with no indication of how far they have to go to reach that final confirmation screen.

One of the main attractions of purchasing online is the swiftness of the transaction. There’s no need to trek out to the brick-and-mortar store. No need to hunt around the racks and rails looking for the product. No need to wait in a queue while a frantic sales assistant rings up order after order. There’s often no way of estimating how quickly you’ll get in and out of the store.

With this in mind, your checkout process should be transparent, upholding the attraction of online shopping versus visiting a physical store. Demanding that customers go through multiple stages in the checkout process on your site might be necessary but it’s incredibly off-putting.

A simple way to combat this is to implement a progress bar.

A progress bar serves a two-fold purpose. Firstly, it shows them exactly how far they have to go to complete their purchase, giving a clear signal that the process will end and outlining exactly what steps they need to do.

The second benefit is nicely summed up by Brian Dean of Backlinko: “It sounds simple, but a progress bar motivates people to finish what they started.” It stands to show them just how far they’ve come already, giving them that push to keep going or face wasting time.

10. Extensive payment methods

Modern digital consumers are accustomed to an array of weird and wonderful payment options, and if your eCommerce website doesn’t support their favoured method, they’ll instantly exit your website.

Basic credit and debit card payments were formally sufficient, but newer methods like PayPal and Google Pay are becoming more dominant.

The world of debit and credit card processing has come a long way in the past decade in particular,” notes Stephen Hart of Cardswitcher. “There is at least an astounding 200 alternative payment methods in the UK alone. With so many bases to cover, if you don’t have an extensive payment support offering, your customers won’t convert.”

Let the conversions roll in…

Optimizing your eCommerce store for conversions is a finicky process. Seemingly small issues can take a major toll on your sales.

If you know what to watch out for, you can revise and refine the user experience on your eCommerce store and firmly send leads down the conversion funnel with ease.

These 10 tricks can do wonders for your website - can you think of any other tips?

About the Author

Laura Fields is a writer, lover and dreamer, based in drizzly London town. A freelance journalist, she's recently escaped from the topsy-turvy world of magazine journalism to write about home, travel and lifestyle on the web.

How To Make Website Successful: 5 Key Elements

By Ashutosh Jha →
Your approach to web design can determine your site’s success. If you want to rank in the search engines, acquire new customers and develop a healthy revenue, there are some key features you’ll need to incorporate into your new website.

How To Make Website Successful

How To Make Website Successful

However, you must look beyond beautiful aesthetics and focus on everything from SEO to online marketing. Here are five key elements that can make your website a success.

1. A Good Domain Name

The domain name you choose should not only complement your brand, but it should be easy to remember to encourage return visits. However, you’ll need to secure the name before someone else does. Once you have brainstormed a range of potential domain name ideas to suit your online venture or blog, find out how to get started with domain registration.

2. Visual Appeal

Your web design will provide your visitors with the first impression of your brand and business. If they don’t like what they see, they’ll be tempted to navigate from your website and potentially visit a competitor.

While every website should be unique in its design, there are some key features you should incorporate:

  • White space (don’t fill a site with text and images to avoid clutter)
  • High-quality photos and graphics
  • An attractive layout

If you’re unsure how to create a beautiful website, contact a professional web designer to create a visually appealing site that will encourage your visitors to explore.

3. Visible Contact Information

According to a recent study, 64% of web visitors want to see a company’s contact information. If the details aren’t accessible on your website, they might leave your website for good.

To encourage your visitors to get in touch, you must display the following features on your homepage:

  • A telephone number
  • Email
  • Contact form

It can prevent your visitors from browsing through your website to find your contact information, so they can quickly and easily get in touch with your company.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Unfortunately, many companies overlook the importance of search engine optimization when launching their first website. However, it is an element you can’t afford to disregard.

If you want your website to rank highly in the search engines and enjoy a wealth of traffic, you must embark on effective SEO tactics, such as:

  • Content optimization
  • Descriptive URLs
  • Writing optimized meta descriptions
  • Building internal and external backlinks
  • Improving page speed
  • A good user experience (UX)
  • Updating your website with fresh, well-written blog posts

There is no point creating a stunning website if no-one can find it online, which is why you need to master SEO to exceed your competitors in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

5. Online Marketing

It’s not only SEO that can help your visitors find your site, as online marketing strategies can also help your target audience to find you online. To attract new customers, readers, and email marketing subscribers, you should:

  • Write compelling social media posts
  • Publish third-party guest posts (generate backlinks back to your website)
  • Work with influencers to grow your brand recognition and traffic
  • Run paid social media marketing advertisements

By following the above marketing tips, you could potentially boost your brand recognition, improve your web traffic and increase your conversion rate.

11 Tips for Boosting Foot Traffic & Attracting Customers to Your Store

By Ashutosh Jha → Wednesday, April 10, 2019
If you read the news, you’ve probably heard of the retail apocalypse. As the world of shopping shifts online, brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to keep up and convince customers to come inside. In fact, it’s believed that close to 75,000 stores that sell clothing, furniture, and electronics are expected to close up shop by 2026.

11 Tips for Boosting Foot Traffic & Attracting Customers to Your Store
But your business doesn’t have to meet the same fate. There are ways to boost foot traffic, attract customers to your store, and avoid the retail apocalypse.

11 Tips for Boosting Foot Traffic & Attracting Customers to Your Store

Need some tips on bringing people into your business? Here are 11 tips on how to improve your retail storefront, so you can convince customers to come inside and start buying.

Create a Great Display Window

If your business is located in a mall or destination with a ton of foot traffic, you already have a giant potential audience. You simply need a way to capture their attention and bring them over to your store. You can achieve this with a great display window that tells your brand’s story in a way that piques a customer’s curiosity and encourages impulse buying.

Not sure how to create a great display window? Use bold shapes and vibrant colors to capture the attention of customers. Showcase products or sales offerings but be sure to keep things clean as clutter will drive customers away.

If you're struggling with your signage, here's more information on how to create a great one.

Host a Great In-Store Event

In-store events are a fantastic way to bring customers inside your store. If you want, host entertainment or offer light bites for customers as they peruse your shop. Walk them through any new offerings you have and entice them to buy by offering exclusive in-store event deals.

Talk to your employees about what kind of event they think would entice customers most. Then ask customers if there is anything they’d want from an event. Just make sure you plan in advance and invest more money then you’ll ultimately get out of it.

Hold a Workshop or Seminar

Do your products offer training or expertise to properly use? If so, think about hosting a seminar or website that shows customers how they can make the most of your products.

You can host product demos or educational seminars. Anything you can do to establish your company as an expert and trusted resource customers can depend on.

Connect with Old and Existing Customers

Business isn’t just about bringing new customers in, it’s about keeping your existing ones coming back for more. And by investing in your existing customers, you can encourage the established foot traffic you already have.

Reach out to customers over social media and email to recapture their attention. Offer a thank-you discount for their previous shopping or inform them of any new products or services you now offer. You can also offer a referral bonus or discount for customers to encourage them to recruit new customers.

Take Note of Who’s Passing By

A great way to engage with potential customers is to identify who they actually are. Stand outside your shop and look at who walks by and looks inside.  See where they come from and go to next to understand who your audience is, and if it differs from how you advertise.

By paying attention to your customers, you can better adjust your storefront materials to match that demographic.

 Promote Your Business Using Mobile Apps

Sometimes customers don’t come to stores simply because they don’t know they exist. A great way to address this issue and encourage foot traffic is by using location-based apps.

Many apps like Groupon and FourSquare let you post about your limited-time deals to customers within a certain distance range. This can help you target customers who are so close they can’t help but come into your store and buy.

Offer Free Wi-Fi and USB Chargers

Free Wi-Fi is a great way to attract bored customers or people who are open to shopping at your store but may not normally come in on their own. It’s a great strategy; in fact, 62% of businesses report that customers spend more time in their store after they started offering free Wi-Fi.

Another great way to bring customers in? Offer free USB charges.  Customers love free charging stations, and shopping around your store will give them something to do as their phone charges.

Provide Animal Amenities

Believe it or not, but a store being pet-friendly can be a great motivator for customers to come in.  And all you really need to do that is to put out a water bowl, offer some treats, and have some doggy bags on hand in case of any messes. Making pets welcome is a great way of making your customers feel even more welcome, and this strategy is especially great for businesses in public markets or outdoor spaces.

Provide Discounts for In-Store Shopping

Providing discounts for customers who check-in to your store on social apps is a great way to encourage them to visit your store. It also alerts other potential customers that people are shopping at your store. And once they’re there, offer exclusive in-store perks for people who buy in the store.

Partner with Influencers and Celebrities

Do you have a bigger marketing budget? Why not partner with a celebrity or influencer as a way to attract customers to your stores.

This chance to meet celebrities is something many customers can’t pass up, and they’ll be more likely to buy because of it. And the buzz around it can also help drive more traffic to your website.

Host Wellness Classes or Clubs

This strategy is great for retailers who work in the athletic gear or wellness space, but it is something any store can try out. Organize things like run clubs or partner with a local yoga studio to get potential customers engaged and motivated. Not only will you get them moving, but you’ll get them to think of you as more than just a store.

Ready to Up Your In-Store Strategy?

Retail isn't dying because of the Internet, but it is requiring stores to evolve to keep up. By trying out these 11 tips, you can increase foot traffic to your store and attract more customers.

Are you in need of marketing advice or assistance? Check out our services to see how we can make your business profitable!

4 Nifty Blogging Tools to Save You Time and Grow Your Blog

By Ashutosh Jha →
Are you a blogger? If you've been on your blogging game for a while, you might be time to spruce things up a bit. Fortunately, blogging tools have come a long way in recent years.

4 Nifty Blogging Tools to Save You Time and Grow Your Blog
If you're ready to take your blog to the next level, read on. We're here to outline some of the best blogging tools out there.

Who's Hosting? 

Changing up your hosting platform can offer you a lot of new options. This can also help you feel more inspired, if you're tired of staring at your old layout. WordPress is by far one of the most popular blogging platforms, but there are plenty of other ways to host your blog.

If you have considered getting into the e-commerce world, for example, you may want to consider Shopify. Many of Shopify's website templates include a blogging platform. While the monthly fee is considerably higher than you'd see with a platform like Weebly or Wix, you may find that you can easily make up the difference in sales.

Blogging Tools from Google

Yes, good old Google is leading the charge in making it easier than ever for bloggers. Google apps make sharing information between devices easier than ever.

On the go? Type up your next blog post on your computer using Google Docs, then make edits on your phone while you're out and about.

Want to keep records of the brands and contacts you've made so far? Try Google Sheets. This spreadsheet application is just as easy to access on your phone as it is on your laptop.

Use Keywords to Optimize Your Blog

Need a little help with SEO optimization? Google has something for that too. Check out their keyword planning tools to help you get more traffic to your blog.

By using keywords in your blog posts, you can boost your presence as an authority on a given topic. The more of an authority your website is seen to be, the better you'll rank in search results.

Search engine results pages, also known as SERPs, are a key component for getting more traffic to your blog. The more pages you have that use keywords specific to your blogging niche, the more likely you are to be seen.

The more clicks you get, the more clout you'll have in your niche. This boost can help you grow your social media following. If you successfully grow your social media following, you're far more likely to get more sponsored offers from advertisers. This can help you become more of an authority in your niche overall and grow your online presence.

Keep Your Fans Close

If you're using a blogging platform, you likely recognize how important it is to keep in touch with your fans. If you remember MySpace, you likely recognize how social media platforms can wane in popularity.

Keeping a record of who your fans are and how to get in touch with them is the perfect way to ensure you don't lose the following you worked hard to grow. A great example of how you can do this is through hubspot mailchimp.

By using a mailing sign up, you'll have a way to reach your fans no matter what happens to your social platform of choice.

Looking for More?

If you're looking for more great blogging tools, be sure to visit our website. We offer lots of great resources perfect for making your blog the next viral success.

We're here to help you grow your online success. You've worked hard to grow your following, let us show you how to take your brand to the next level.

10 Business Benefits of Branding and Why You Need a Strong Brand

By Ashutosh Jha →
It only takes ten seconds for consumers to form an opinion about your brand. What kind of message do you think your branding efforts are sending?

If you haven't been prioritizing branding for your business, now is the time to start.

10 Business Benefits of Branding and Why You Need a Strong Brand
People are forming opinions about your business and your products or services whether you like it or not, so you might as well do what you can to try and control the narrative, right?

10 Best Business Benefits of Branding

If you're not sure where to begin when it comes to branding, keep reading. Listed below are ten benefits of branding that you cannot ignore.

1. Stand Out

One of the greatest benefits of a solid branding strategy is that it helps you to stand out from your competition.

Whether you're using custom packaging to stand out on store shelves or unique ads to stand out online, a strong brand will increase the likelihood that people will notice and remember your business.

In today's world, where just about every market seems saturated, any step you can take to separate yourself from the pack is going to pay off in a big way.

2. Increase Customer Loyalty

Good branding practices help to increase recognition and customer loyalty.

Customers feel more attracted to brands that they recognize them and have seen them online or on store shelves before.

A potential customer might walk by your product a few different times before they decide to try it. The more they see it, though, the more likely they are to eventually pick it up.

Once you've connected to your customers in some way, they'll go out of their way to buy what you have to offer, even if it's available to them for a lower price somewhere else.

3. Increase Credibility

Strong branding can also help you separate yourself from your competition by increasing your authority within your industry.

With the right branding efforts, you can establish yourself as an expert and someone who can be trusted more than other businesses that sell similar products or services.

Remember that you are helping to build your company's brand whenever you speak or share something online. If you have a professional, authoritative presence, people are going to be drawn to you and what you have to offer.

4. Increase in Revenue

The better your branding practices are, the higher your revenue is likely to be.

There's a reason businesses spend so much time and energy on branding and marketing -- because it pays off. If you take the time to invest in building your business's brand right now, you're going to be much better off later on.

As you build your brand and start increasing recognition, you can start to charge more for your products.

You'll be able to raise prices and trust that people will still buy your products or services because they love your company and the message behind it.

5. Attract Ideal Clients

Good branding also lets you attract your ideal clients or customers. With the right message and marketing tactics, you can bring in the right kind of people to your business.

For example, if you want to attract high-paying customers, you need to create an aura of high-value and luxury around your product. This might mean using higher quality packaging or colors like silver and gold that are associated with wealth.

6. Increased Confidence

Good branding helps customers to feel a greater sense of confidence when it comes to using your product or service. It also helps you as a business owner to feel more confident in your products or services.

When you put in the effort to establish great branding practices, you can rest easy knowing that people are seeing your business in the same light in which you see it.

7. Consistent Marketing

When you put in the time and money to establish a strong brand right from the beginning, all of your marketing efforts become easier.

It's easy to know which colors, fonts, and phrases to use since you've already done the work to decide what kind of message you want your company to put out.

You'll also always have guidelines to return to and make sure your marketing tactics line up with your companies overall brand and mission.

8. Maximize New Product Launches

By building a strong brand now, it'll be easier for you to launch new products in the future.

People will be more inclined to try out products that you release since they already love your original line up.

Even if you release something that's totally different from what you've done in the past, people will still be interested in giving it a try.

9. Attract Talent

Good branding helps you attract the right kinds of clients and customers, but it also helps you attract the right kind of employees.

When you make an effort to build a brand around a particular message or idea, you're going to attract employees who relate and share your same values.

What could be better for business than having employees who are on board with your brand from day one?

10. Connect Over Shared Values

The right branding strategy also allows everyone, employees and customers alike, to bond and connect over shared values.

This allows you to create a community of like-minded people, which is especially important in the era of social media and online connection.

If you're in the middle of a branding or rebranding project, click here to learn more about how you can create a feeling of community around your company.

Start Reaping the Benefits of Branding Today

As you can see, building a strong brand is incredibly important if you want your business to succeed long-term.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you start learning more about branding, and you might even be tempted to give up altogether.

Remember, though, that there are too many benefits of branding to ignore it or leave people's perception of your company to chance.

Do you want to learn more about building a brand and effectively marketing your products or services?

If so, be sure to check out our brand-building articles today. This article on online branding is a great starting point.

7 Unusual Marketing Campaign Ideas That Deliver Extraordinary Results

By Ashutosh Jha →
Marketing is a $1.7 trillion industry worldwide. Such a significant amount of money spent on communicating with customers represents a lot of messages that bombard audiences daily.

Unusual Marketing Campaign Ideas
Amidst this cacophony of voices, your brand needs to stand out or risk drowning in the noise. Unique marketing campaign ideas for your brand become a critical tool you must build and consciously develop to succeed.

7 Best Unusual Marketing Campaign Ideas

Here are seven unique approaches to marketing that will differentiate your brand from the rest.

1. Leverage User Generated Content in Your Marketing Campaign Ideas

In today's world, social media is a part of most people's routine. For your brand, being on social media is an essential strategy in meeting your target audience.

When your brand has cultivated a following on social media, it will need to connect with them. Using content from your followers is one of several unique marketing ideas to create awareness and build brand equity at the same time.

55% of customers cutting across different age groups trust user-generated content more than any other form of marketing.

Leveraging user-generated content concerning your brand will harness the power of this type of high-value trust.

An excellent example of this is when Wayfair finds and shares ways in which their customers are using their products in their spaces.

Seeing another customer post a stylish photo of how they use a product builds high-level trust which influences purchases.

2. Create a GIF

They say that a picture is worth 1000 words. In the online space, a GIF is worth many more words.

A GIF is a micro video that passes on a message or an idea in less than five seconds. That kind of effectiveness can help you design creative marketing materials that stand out.

Your brand can use particular websites dedicated to creating GIFs to develop a unique micro video that will be on message.

GIFs tend to play on humor. If your brand can craft a creative yet humorous one, it will connect with your audience.

The moment of humor it sparks will subconsciously carry on to your brand, building its equity in that customer’s eyes.

3. Create a Spectacle

A popular choice among time-tested creative ways to advertise is the spectacle strategy.

Here, the goal for your brand is to carry out a seemingly outrageous or unexpected activity in a public square. The unusual spectacle will not fail to grab the attention of the passing public.

More importantly, it will keep you top-of-mind as the experience will be hard to forget.

For example, a mattress manufacturer can decide to create a transparent glass box in a mall or other public spot. Inside that box will be a person who will attempt to live in it for some days.

That spectacle will drive curiosity from onlookers. You can then record it on video to further leverage on their reactions.

4. Use an Exhibition Counter

An exhibition counter at a trade event or a shopping center can help you uniquely market your brand.

The first step is to create a booth that is designed in an unorthodox manner. Such a design will immediately grab the attention of your target audience.

The key here is to let your counter speak for you. When those you're targeting look at it, they ought to immediately and fully grasp what your brand is all about. It should create an unforgettable visual experience for them.

The second step is to tie in a social media aspect to your booth. You want whatever is happening offline in your booth to crossover online and support your brand there.

5. Capitalize on Nostalgia

If your brand has been in existence for some time, it possesses a unique currency; nostalgia.

People love to remember the past positively. With the history your brand has built in the market it can conjure up and connect with customers using this emotion.

In the offline world, you can create ad campaigns that play on memorable moments your brand had in the past.

For example, a bread manufacturer that has been operating for several generations can run a campaign using past themes that were humorous or emotional.

When the audience sees this, they will recall all the things in their lives that were happening then. That kind of emotional tie-in with your brand is priceless.

In the online space, your brand can take part in the #TBT moments to bring up fond memories of its history.

6. Show up in Unexpected Places

Brands and businesses tend to market themselves in the same kinds of places. While billboards, online, television, etc. are battle-tested, your competitors happen to be there as well.

An out-of-the-box approach to marketing such as showing up in unexpected places can give you mileage. That element of surprise will not only grab the customer's attention, but it will remain a memorable moment.

For example, a cosmetics company that decides to commission street artwork of its products will communicate uniquely. Sephora is well known for deploying this tactic to reach its millennial demographic effectively.

7. Unorthodox Sponsorship

Customers are familiar with sponsorship deals and programs that brands use to market themselves.

Your brand can use unusual sponsorship tactics to create a unique factor that stays with the target audience. For you to pull off such a move, you will have to think critically and creatively.

For example, Citibank surprised the market when it decided to sponsor the Citi bike program.

A traditional bank sponsoring blue colored bicycles used in urban areas was unusual. That eyebrow-raising strategy created a level of uniqueness for the brand in the eyes of the audience.

Get Noticed

Brands and firms today are making investments into marketing that total to eye-watering sums. The ability to speak to your target audience and make an impact is a high-value skill.

The level of creativity you put into your marketing campaign ideas contributes to determining whether your customers will notice you from the firm next door.

Did you know that storytelling marketing can generate excellent results?

This article will give you insights on how to leverage this form of marketing to build a compelling brand.

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