Archives October 2018

Steps To Develop An Efficient Social Media Marketing Plan

Steps To Develop An Efficient Social Media Marketing Plan

 

In today’s world, marketing on social media has come far more effective than any other form of advertising. Businesses are quickly expanding their marketing strategies to accommodate various social media platforms. Business owners have started searching for innovative yet easily accessible ways to grow their businesses online. However, most of them do so without formulating a properly documented strategy first. Following are a few steps that can assist business owners in ensuring that their marketing plan is effectively implemented on social media.

Audit To Analyze Your Current Social Influence

Before starting the development of an appropriate strategy, it is better for the business to know where it stands. It needs to audit its existing social media presence while keeping in mind several areas such as that social media platforms that it is most active on and the platforms that bring it the most response from customers. Another important thing to look over is whether a business’s profiles on social media are fully optimized or not. Optimization is vital as it allows business owners to compare their profiles with those of their competitors. Tools are now available to allow businesses to assess their key areas that need improvement and exactly how to improve them by providing a deep and insightful analysis.

Identify Your Target Market

The most important thing when expanding online is to single out your target market. The more specific you are when identifying the needs of your targeted customers, the higher the chances are of you achieving higher sales and increased profit margin. When differentiating amongst the population to single out your audience, you need to focus on age, location, income index and job title. However, the most important thing to know about your specified customer is the social media network that they frequent. Placing an advertisement on a platform that is popular amongst your audience is most likely to help you form a pathway towards your goals.

Form A Mission Statement Specifically Designed For Social Media

Before developing a statement for social media, it is important for business owners to remember the target market that they wish to reach. A mission statement reflects not only the brand identity, but the central aim of the business. Therefore, it needs to be thought out with much care and focus to certify that it is understood by both the potential and existing customers. People are more willing to buy products and services from experts rather than businesses with generalized mission statements that do not specify the main purpose of their social presence.

Categorize Crucial Metrics for Success

In order to improve its social media presence, a business needs to be able to measure it. Gaining a huge number of followers is not enough when determining the success of online marketing but, a business needs to keep an account of its profit margins as well. You should be able to justify spending finance on expanding your brand online. Metrics such as the current conversion rate and brand mentions should be considered firsthand. Furthermore, the more the number of shares on each post, the higher the number of potential and existing customers are being reached. Time being spent on the website by the employees for the sole purpose of marketing should also be accounted for.

Post Interactive Content To Engage Customers

Because many businesses make the mistake of skipping to this step right away, is the reason why they fail to create an effective marketing plan to implement on social media platforms. If the steps above are not paid any heed to, creating engaging content will not ensure success in the long run. After the target audience has been identified, their attention can be captured relatively easily. Images, videos and other relevant information can inform customers about the business’s product or service. It can also increase their knowledge with news and blog posts. Old posts can also be recycled by the business by pining or flagging them with current information. Furthermore, posts can be shared again in different formats to reach as many people as it can. However, formats selected should be in sync with the mission statement otherwise they will fail to serve their purpose. Surveys show that infographics, interviews and eBooks can also help customers understand not only the business, but the product or service that it is known for.

The content posted on social media is the backbone of strengthening a business’s social media presence therefore, it should be formed so as to engage as many customers as possible. It is highly recommended that business owners should create a calendar that outlines exactly what they will post on which social media network, the content it will carry and the format that it will be shared in.

Utilize Management Tools To Enhance Your Social Media Presence

Using tools does not guarantee a strong social media presence but those businesses that use the right tools have a higher probability of establishing their brand identity online. Using management tools allows a business to boost its productivity. Perhaps the most important benefit that these tools can provide is to allow the business to schedule its posts. A content calendar can indicate when content has to be posted and marketers can use these tools to share them at the time indicated. Thus, the effectiveness of a business will significantly increase.

Follow, Analyze And Tweak

Perhaps the most important step is to assess the success that your social media marketing plan is yielding. It is important to go through the process of trial and error to further optimize the content shared. Every effort made to expand your influence should be tracked and fully analyzed. If problems arise, they should be dealt with accordingly. Tools should be used to maximize efficiency. Businesses should also consider reevaluating the social media networks that they should continue posting their content on. The networks that are able to reach the target market with ease, engage them and trigger a response should be identified and paid special attention to.

A business should constantly strategize new and innovative ways to optimize its social media presence.

 


Best Ideas for Small Business Marketing

Best Ideas for Small Business Marketing

Since small business have a limited amount of time and a budget that restricts them, they often find it difficult to survive in competitive markets. However, below are several ideas that professionals recommend that small business can use to market their business.

Giving Out Free Samples

Owners of the business are advised to be open to providing samples of their products or trials of their services to customers. For example, it is obvious that a furniture company will not give away a free sofa to check whether the customer is happy with it or not. What they can do is offer fabric samples to their existing or potential shoppers so that they can assess the quality, the color or whether the sofa will fit in with their current décor. A simple fabric sample could influence the customer’s decision. In the same way, allowing a customer a trial of the service that you provide will give them an insight as to how beneficial your service is to their business or personal lives.

Take A Look At Your Online Listings

It is highly recommended that business owners should ensure that the information displayed online for their business is up to date, relevant and accurate so that customers are not misled in any way. There are several tools available now that make it easier for businesses to scan their profiles across Google, Facebook, Bing and other sites.

Do Not Ignore Email Marketing

Whether the business is looking to improve sales temporarily or in the long run, it is important to have a number of people on your email list. Customers can be encouraged to join your email lists through various offers on your website or blog. Once enough people join the network, the owners also need to establish and maintain a long-term relationship with these customers.

Update And Edit Previous Content

Another way for small businesses to increase their returns on investment can be through repurposing old posts. An easy way to do that is to post the same information in different formats like using podcasts for an already written article. However, another way to recycle content is through using one of the most popular posts and reposting it with recent and relevant information.

Employing Experts To Market Your Business Online

Hiring experts to increase awareness of your product or service can prove to be quite useful for small businesses. There are a number of organizations that not only create campaigns for you to run online, but monitor and manage them on your behalf as well. Amongst other services that boost your presence online, such organizations are trained to design websites, manage your digital listings and even display your advertisements to the target audience.

Market Your Product Through Demonstrations

Customers often prefer to have a true sense of the value of the product or service before they buy it. Therefore, demonstrations should be prepared beforehand and placed on blogs or websites in the form of screenshots, videos, free time sensitive trials or walkthroughs. As they add a human element to the product or service being sold, demonstrations can prove to be extremely useful for small businesses.

Setting Up Chatbots

Because chatbots are easily accessible and affordable, small businesses are often advised to use these to communicate with customers. Besides allowing owners to engage their customers by instantly replying, chatbots can be programmed to sell products, give automated replies to specific questions, create awareness about the product or service and even take bookings. A wide array of tools online can assist a business to select the best package to suit their needs. Customers can be kept updated about any relevant information relating to the product or service that the business is selling and at times, a viral buzz can be created to capture public attention.

Content Writing For Publications

Offering publications to write their content and contribute is a great way for business owners to market their product or service. Media outlets are always looking for contributors who would write their content either to be communicated locally or on a national or international platform. By doing this, the business can not only gain recognition but establish itself.

Participating In Charities

Getting Involved in charities or organizations working for a good cause can prove to be helpful when owners set out to market their business. A potential customer may decide to buy your product or utilize your service if they too believe in the cause and are looking to contribute to it. Also, charities boost a business’s image in the community.

Placing Advertisements At Grocery Stores

Though it sounds odd, this recommendation has proved to be quite useful. At times, people are willing to support small businesses that operate locally who can easily gain recognition by placing their brands on grocery carts or on shopping receipts.

Using Localized Marketing

Encouraging customers to buy their products from local businesses can also prove to be fruitful. Starting with advertisements placed in local newspapers or magazines and then moving on to running campaigns that are specifically designed to capture the attention of the locals can go a long way. Furthermore, word of your business can travel from region to region creating awareness and establish a brand image.

Hosting A Gathering

Potential customers can be brought in if the business has premises that can be used to host a gathering. Experts can be hired to keep the focus on the business and answer questions regarding the product or service. In this way, customers are kept engaged and relevant information is also communicated.

Branding Business Vehicles

Given that the product or service that the business offers requires knocking on doors, then branding vehicles can prove to be a profitable opportunity. There is no limit to potential customers who can be found anywhere. Therefore, driving around frequently can not only create awareness, but land clients for the business who are searching for the product or service it provides.

 

 


Cryptocurrencies – A Brief Guide about Digital Currency

Cryptocurrencies – A Brief Guide about Digital Currency

 

Cryptocurrency is digital money that was invented to be secure. It is basically associated with the Internet that makes use of cryptography, a process of converting readable information into an unbreakable code to keep track of all transactions including transfers and purchases. Cryptography was designed to tailor to the need for secure communication during the Second World War. Since then, it has completely evolved in the digital world with important elements of mathematical theory and computer technology to become a secure way to carry out information, communications, and financial transactions online.

In present time, cryptocurrencies have become a universal phenomenon. While it is still geeky and not understandable to many people, financial institutions and governments are familiar with its importance. It’s really hard to find a major bank or large financial institute that did not conduct research about virtual currencies or publish a paper about them. There are even many accounting firms that have started so-called blockchain projects to educate people about blockchain.

However, beyond all the above efforts, the majority of people including bankers, scientists, developers, and consultants know very limited about virtual currencies. Most of them often fail to even understand the basic ideas of any cryptocurrency available today. In this article, we will walk through the whole section about cryptocurrencies to learn about where they originate from, how they work, and how they emerged as an important product of virtual cash.

What actually Cryptocurrencies are

In simple definition, cryptocurrencies are limited entries in a database that cannot be changed until someone meets the specific conditions. Units of digital currency are generated with a process known as mining which uses a computer and internet to solve complex mathematical problems that create coins. You can also purchase virtual currencies from brokers and store or use them through cryptographic wallets.

Financially, virtual currencies and applications of blockchain technology continue to be promising and expect more users to avail their benefits. According to experts, there is a strong likelihood of other transactions such as stock, bonds and other financial assets to be operated through blockchain technology. The cryptocurrency market is pretty fast and wild. However, no one can deny the risk of experiencing extreme validity in this rich ecosystem of coins. It is very common that a currency gains 20 percent a day, sometimes 100 percent and loses the same on very next day.

Bitcoins – The First Cryptocurrency

Created in 2009, bitcoin is the first form of digital currency which is still the best known to many people. Satoshi Nakamoto was the unknown inventor of the first cryptocurrency who never planned to invent virtual money. He built a peer-to-peer electronic cash system with the intention to invent something that many people could not create before cryptocurrency. According to Satoshi Nakamoto, this electronic cash system will use a peer-to-peer network for preventing double spending. It is an entirely decentralized system and functions without any server or central authority. Satoshi’s decision to make a peer-to-peer cash system resulted in the invention of cryptocurrency. Although bitcoins are complex and a bit technical, having a proper knowledge about them can make it as easy as ABC.

Peer-To-Peer Electronic Cash System

In order to work with mainstream cash, you need to have a payment system with an account, balance, and transactions. Almost all payment networks need to prevent double spending in order to help users prevent spending the same amount twice. This is usually done with the help of a centralized server which tracks record about the balance.

With a decentralized payment network, on the other hand, you do not have a centralized server. For that reason, every single entity of the network is recorded in order to carry out this job. All peers in the network need to have a list of each transaction to see if future transactions are legitimate or an attempt to double spending. At this point, it is interesting to understand how these entitles can keep a consensus about financial transaction records.

If a peer of the payment network disagrees about only single entity of minor balance, it causes everything to break. It needs an outright consensus to be rightly on the track. As a matter of fact, you would need to use a centralized authority in order to declare the correct status of balances. But Satoshi made it possible to achieve consensus without needing to have a central authority. Virtual currencies are important segment of this solution that make it truly fascinating and help it rolling over the world.

Common Cryptocurrencies

Aside from bitcoins that was the first and the most important digital currency to date, there are also many other cryptocurrencies that have taken the world by storm. These include:

Bitcoin

As the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin is the most commonly traded digital currency up to the present time. During it turbulent journey, bitcoin has also witnessed a time when it was soaring as high as $20,000 in the end of 2017 before it crashed down to $6000. As of May 2018, bitcoin has a market capitalization of around $128 billion.

Ethereum

Used in the ethereum blockchain, this is the second most popular form of digital money. Ethereum was invented in 2015, and has a market capitalization of about 56 billion dollars in present time. With the latest market value of $1300, this cryptocurrency has gone through a stormy history. Due to a major hacking event two years back, ethereum torn apart into two different virtual currencies and briefly brought down its value to as low as 10 cents. However, ethereum is stable now and has been proved hugely popular as a landmark for other virtual currencies using the code of ethereum blockchain.

Ripple

Developed in 2012, ripple is another famous distributed record system. It can be used to keep record of many sorts of transactions beyond cryptocurrencies, the developers of ripple has a working history with major financial institutions like Santander. Currently, the market capitalization of ripple has reached around $24 billion.

Litecoin

Litecoin is very much alike bitcoin but has faster moved ahead to bring different innovations such as faster payments and easier transaction processes. At this point, the market capitalization of litecoin is around $6 billion.

What Miners Do

Everyone can be a cryptocurrency miner. Having said that a decentralized network cannot delegate this task, cryptocurrencies need some sort of mechanism to prevent individuals from abusing them. The inventor of bitcoin set a rule for miners wherein they are needed to use their computer to qualify for this job. In, fact, they need to find a hash – an important product of cryptographic function that will connect the new block to its predecessor. This process is known as the proof-of-work and is based on the SHA 256 hash algorithm in bitcoin.

Mostly, there is no need to understand details about hash algorithm beyond that they can be the base of a cryptographic puzzle. You can only create bitcoins if you solve a cryptographic puzzle – a series of complicated mathematical problems. Once you have found a solution, you can build a block and store it in the blockchain. You can also add a coinbase transaction that can give you a particular number of bitcoins. As the difficulty of cryptographic puzzle increases the constant of computer power you invest, there is only a precise amount of crypto coins that can be generated in the given amount of time.

Transaction Confirmation

Cryptocurrencies consists of a peer-to-peer network. All peer have records of the complete history of each transaction and so the balance of each account. In this system, a transaction serves as a file that says, “Jamaica gives X bitcoin to Mark”, and is signed by Jamaica’s private key which is a basic public cryptography key. Once signed, the transaction is broadcasted within the network and sent from one peer to all other peers. All this works according to rule of a basic peer-to-peer technology.

Confirmation is a highly important part of cryptocurrency transactions. While the transaction is recognized almost immediately by each peer, it takes a specific amount of time before getting confirmed. An unconfirmed transaction not only remains pending but can also be forged. A confirmed transaction is set in record and is not reversible. Furthermore, confirmed transactions are part of an immutable record of historical transactions of blockchain.

Why Invest in Cryptocurrency

As a new form of money, the markets of cryptocurrencies have boomed suddenly which means your small investment can turn into a large money overnight. This attribute has also led professionals and unprofessional risk-takers investing in cryptocurrencies, finding them a quick way to make money or an important part of their investment portfolio.

Cryptocurrencies are secure and provide a level of anonymity. Their transactions cannot be reversed or faked. Moreover, there is a low transaction fee that makes virtual currencies more reliable than mainstream money. With the decentralized natural of cryptocurrencies, everyone can avail them. However, they can be difficult to set up and only some stores are accepting them for spending.

Investing in cryptocurrency can also work the other way. Like other currencies, the markets of virtual currencies go through instability phases and have dropped significantly many times. For that reason, you should be aware of the potential risks when investing in crypto coins.

Properties of Cryptocurrencies

Principally, cryptocurrency is all about token entries in a decentralized consensus database. The most interesting part of virtual currencies is that they are created on cryptography and strongly secured by math. They process of consensus-keeping is secured with strong cryptography.

Cryptocurrencies can be spilt into transactional and financial properties. For the most part, all forms of digital currencies share a common group of properties. Let’s start with transactional properties here.

Secure

Crypto coins are protected through a public cryptographic key system. Only the miner can use this key and send cryptocurrency. Since cryptography is a strong key of big numbers, it is almost impossible to break its idea.

Irreversible

Once confirmed, a cryptocurrecny transaction cannot be reversed by anyone. Once you sent money, it’s gone. Unfortunately, there is no safety net to help you prevent such situations.

Anonymous

In cryptocurrencies, transactions and accounts are not connected to real-world identities. You can make a specific address made up of 30 characters to receive bitcoins. Even though cryptocurrencies allow you to evaluate transaction flow, there is actually no need to connect to the real-world identity of miners with those addresses.

Genuine confirmation

Transactions can be confirmed by the miner only. It’s their job to take transaction, verify them as legit and broadcast them within the network. Once a transaction is confirmed, the miner adds its record to the database to make it a part of the blockchain.

No Need of Permissions

Digital currencies can be used without permissions. You just need a software program which can be downloaded for free to use. Once you have downloaded it, you can mine bitcoins and do desired transactions.

Globally Fast

Cryptocurrency transactions are broadcasted almost immediately within the network and are usually confirmed in a matter of minutes. They take place in a global network of systems and are completely indifferent from your physical location.

Below are descriptions of monetary properties of cryptocurrencies.

No Debt

No cryptocurrency represent debt as it just represents itself. It is quite unlike the fiat money on your bank account which is created by debt.

Well-ordered Supply

There is a specific limit of supply of the token in almost each cryptocurrency available today. As a rule of thumb, the supply of token is controlled by a schedule written in the code.

While they are still fairly new and unstable form of assets, cryptocurrencies are definitely gaining traction and are most likely to have more standardized uses in coming years. With its revolutionary properties, virtual currencies work like digital gold. The cryptographic key will most certainly make it easy for large-scale adoption including developing protection for investors. Cryptocurrencies are currencies that are free from political influence, promise to maintain and increase their value over the time.