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Can Minimalist Design Help You Generate More Leads?

Published on March 23, 2020 by in Guest Post

A great product is never going to sell itself – you need your website to represent your values, and the overall design of the user experience needs to reflect the worth of your product or service. Now more than ever, that design can be the key point at which your customers will make their decision. In a sea of potentially similar brands, you may feel that putting more details and more information into every aspect of your design will help make you stand out, but it will actually do the exact opposite.

To avoid alienating customers and to make sure that your experience from product packaging to every single icon and image on your site is seamless, you should check out a guide for branding and go with the minimal approach. That way, you’ll preserve the key points you want to convey without depriving your website of its inherent emotional value. Here’s how minimalist design helps you generate more leads and convert more customers in the process.

Website performance improved

The more features and cumbersome design details you want to add, the more challenging it becomes for your site to load quickly and without glitches. That, in turn, deters your visitors from spending time on your site, and it can lead to a 7% loss in conversions. Even a single-second delay in loading speed can lead to such disastrous results, so it’s vital that you make sure your design works in favor of your website performance.

Focus on establishing the key elements of design you need on your site, and then work your way from there to eliminate anything else that serves no functional purpose and that prevents your visitors from enjoying the browsing experience. Such a stance will help you increase customer satisfaction and attract more leads in the process!

Calls to action stand out

A site brimming with clickable details and plenty of beautifully-designed features might seem visually striking to you, but it can actually be very confusing for the visitor to find the necessary category, contact your brand, or simply order from you. Calls to action merge with the rest of your site’s look, making it extremely difficult for visitors to buy. Even if you have a single software-based digital product you’re offering, each feature, icon, and call to action needs to stand out, and minimalism allows that to happen.

For example, icon design for tools allows brands to showcase the key features of the product while at the same time drawing attention to the key call-to-action buttons on the page. No clutter, no fluff, and simple, sleek design let the customers enjoy the content more and it simplifies their decision-making infinitely.

Meeting customer preferences

When brands keep adding functionalities and features to their site, they are merely following their misguided desire to help their customers find what they’re looking for. Clutter, however, achieves the exact opposite. Research by HubSpot has clearly shown that 76% of customers want website design that makes it simple for them to find what they need, which is perfectly accomplished with a minimalist take on your website look and feel.

Customers might already be on your site, which shows that they already want to interact with your brand, but to make sure you can actually qualify them as leads and convert them into buyers, you need your design to work in your favor: and they voted for minimalism.

Easier decision-making

Your customers sometimes head over to your site without a clear intent to buy. In such instances, if they are greeted by a slew of useless content, intrusive adds and pop-up notifications flashing in their face, they will hardly find the patience or the trust to keep browsing your site. Instead, they should be greeted by a sleek, simplified look and feel, so that they can focus on your product and your brand.

When they can process key information without major interruptions or design flaws, they can reach their decision significantly faster, especially since your polished website provided enough information without any fluff and presented it in a visually-appealing way.

Customers like having options, but simplifying their decision when they’re already on your site is going to become an advantage in favor of your brand. With minimalist design solutions, brands can actually achieve so much more with less, create a lasting impression, and cause their brand to be more memorable as a result. Use it to appeal to your own target demographic, and you’ll allow your presence to grow.

 
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Business Processes You Should Automate in 2020

Everyone involved in the corporate world has spent a lot of time on the most tedious tasks they wish they never had to deal with. Starting from manually entering data on a Friday afternoon, over checking e-mails constantly to make sure nothing important has gone unnoticed to creating reports, we’ve all been there. And done that. So, it comes as no surprise then that automation of such tasks and processes is one of the best things that has happened to business in general.

Just think about the number of hours and the amount of stress that have been avoided as a result of not having to deal with such mundane tasks! While streamlining has entered many aspects of business operations and made everything run much more smoothly and swiftly, it would be wrong to assume that we’ve exhausted the opportunities to automate business processes. Here are some of them that you might not think of immediately in this context, but which can be automated to help you achieve better results.

Document reviews

Document generation can help you dynamically generate, edit and approve documents that your company produces regularly, such as contracts. You can set various languages, formatting and geo-specific content, while workflow automation allows meta-approval of data at any stage of the process. Approved team members can make real-time changes and monitor updates without the need for manual notification and without pushing back on a deadline or increasing the risk of publishing an unfinished or unpolished document.

SMS notifications

Even though most businesses still use e-mail to administer notification, it’s been proven that SMS click rates are much higher. This means everyone is much more likely to read and respond to a text rather than an e-mail. So, if SMS notifications are integrated into a business process, the results will be much better and there will be a significant reduction in the time needed to complete a request. If you make additional effort and consolidate notifications from multiple lines of communication (phone, e-mail, SMS), your employees will spend less time going through messages or notifications and they’ll actually spend more time working.

Digital marketing and social media management

Automating your marketing efforts is a particularly tricky task, but it can really yield some positive effect. The bigger the company, the more content is created and some sort of automation is needed to keep up with it all. That’s why many companies are turning to reliable and efficient digital marketing reporting tools to obtain relevant data quickly and accurately. Based on those carefully compiled reports, managers are able to analyse the results of their attempts to use various digital marketing strategies and social media advertising options, which seem to be critical for success these days.

Customer Support

They say that working with people is the most difficult type of work. Not many will disagree with this statement, which leads us to a conclusion that automating processes such as customer support can be of great help. Help centres, chat-bots and other artificial intelligence systems can be used to proactively solve the problem of providing the best possible customer support. Not only is it faster to use such systems, but they are also available 24/7, every single day. By spending less time dealing with angry customers on the phone or chatting on social media, such systems provide your employees a great relief and the customers are likely to appreciate being able to get assistance round the clock.

Employee on-boarding

One of the most arduous processes is hiring, especially since more and more employees are jumping ship than before. This means that the hiring processes occur much more often than in the past. Another significant change that has affected the hiring process is the expectation of new employees. Namely, millennials don’t want to wait around for somebody to show them what to do. Instead, they want to find all the necessary information at their fingertips and be given the tools to do it themselves. While this is a substantial increase in demand, employees should actually embrace it and automate parts of the on-boarding process. After all, that’s what fresh organisational models are all about.

Sales

Every salesperson loves closing deals. That’s what they live and work for. However, there is something most of them despise and that’s paperwork, i.e. updating a CRM in modern sales. Instead of spending their precious time prospecting and having conversations with clients, they still have to deal with activities like call logging and filing. Luckily, these necessary activities are made for automation. A sales team can use connected devices, paperless contracts and automated call logging to allow for digital workflow between various sales tools. That would also help them spend more time selling and less time manually entering data.

As you can see, there’s still a lot of room for automation in today’s business world. While many aspects have already undergone major changes since the introduction of automation, it’s clear that many more are following suit. Logically, the sooner automation is successfully implemented, the sooner you’ll be able to reap the benefits. So, think about your business processes and try to automate as many of them.

 
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4 Effective Ways to Reduce Unnecessary Business Costs

Turning a profit and increasing the financial stability of your entire business doesn’t depend solely on what you bring in – it’s also defined by what you take out of your budget. Smarter spending habits for you and your employees and strategic savings choices can help a great deal in what you do and what you don’t do in terms of your business costs. You have a multitude of opportunities to cut extraneous expenses every day, as long as you show your employees how, and you yourself begin implementing more forward-thinking practices.

Among many ways in which you can elevate your business’s financial stability and help allocate those funds towards more meaningful departments, the following several can be very effective in cutting your daily costs. Let’s take a look at a few powerful, but simple solutions to add to your arsenal that will help you preserve your budget for better business purposes!

Switch to digital over paper

Business as usual typically means that you’ll sift through a pile of paperwork concerning your projects, print out presentations for all attendees, or go over contracts with your employees or even clients practically every day. Think of the amount of paper, printing cartridges, electricity, ink, and a slew of other materials spent on such processes. Their prices may seem very minor compared to other expenses you surely have, but when you sum them all up, you get a very steep expense curve that you can cut very simply: go digital.

Most, if not all of your paperwork can be easily turned into digital copies that can safely be kept in cloud storage solutions rather than a mile-long office of storage space and drawers that you’re also paying for. Not only is the cloud a more sensible, affordable option, but it also simplifies team collaboration and improves company-wide communication by allowing you immediate access to any data you and your employees need. 

Use free and cheap marketing channels

You’ve surely used your fair share of complex marketing strategies that have helped you spread the word on your company to your customers. That, however, doesn’t mean that the most affordable portions of that very same strategy haven’t been the major contributor to your success. For example, social media campaigns can be exceptionally potent when it comes to attracting attention, inspiring engagement, and boosting brand awareness, and yet, they can cost virtually nothing at all. 

Crafting content that gets views, shares, and reactions is also something your team can probably cover on a regular basis without incurring massive expenses for your business. Ultimately, yes, you will need professional marketers to step in and help launch an all-encompassing strategy that will cost a pretty penny, but for the majority of your efforts, you can use free and affordable marketing solutions that can deliver brilliant results sans the high price tag. 

Make business travel less costly

Whether you want to send your employees for an educational conference that is also a perfect opportunity for networking, or you’re looking to impress your clients by visiting their head office in a different state, business travel is an integral part of growing a company and establishing a reputation. That said, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, especially when you head over to faraway destinations such as Singapore or Hong Kong. You can look for smart ways to reduce those costs with the use of various credit card perks.

For example, you can use unlimited cash back credit card that will allow you to cut extraneous costs and retrieve some of your spending abroad. These cards cover various expenses, such as dining out, purchasing petrol for your business vehicle, or regular travel expenses for accommodation and flying. Look into the options that make the most sense for your business, and you’ll be surprised by how choosing a great card can mean saving money in the long run. 

Encourage employees to work remotely

What may sound like a perk that only benefits your employees can actually become a major source of savings for your business. Although there are advantages of keeping your team in an office where they can collaborate in person, spend time brainstorming and attending meetings, allowing them to work from home can save you so much in the long run by avoiding high costs of renting out an office space, paying for transportation fees, fuel, and covering utility bills.

In turn, this will help in other, more far-reaching ways. For example, your employees will likely be happier because they’ll have a more flexible schedule and more time on their hands to spend with their loved ones. As a result, they’ll be healthier and happier, use up fewer sick days, and become more productive, actively increasing the profitability of your business. Some of these financial benefits will be noticeable right away, like the absence of utility bills, rent, and other fees, whereas others will increase over time.

It takes time to develop a cost-cutting strategy that works for your business, but some strategies are equally beneficial for any industry and any business model out there. You can safely and slowly begin adding and adapting these into your long-term strategy to preserve your budget, cut extraneous costs, and watch your business presence grow. 

 

 
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How To Maintain Brand Consistency Across Different Channels

Consistency is what customers expect and love in a brand. 

Let’s think about Lush for a moment. All these lovely colors and scents, combined with the raw form of their natural products, will bring around bouts of guilt-free indulgence, happiness and fun whenever you walk into their store. 

Your experience will be pretty much the same wherever in the world the store is, and similar feelings will arise if you engage with their website or their social media channels. And they’ve accomplished it all by being consistent.

Still, brand consistency requires strategic efforts from your end. Here is how you can maintain the consistency of your brand across different channels.

Use brand guidelines

One of the first things you should do to keep your branding consistent is to create guidelines that will be accessible to all your employees and used for external purposes too.

Depending on the size of your business, your guidelines don’t need to be very elaborate. The basic brand guidelines, most often include the following:

  • Logo- design, variations, reversed and monochrome logo, responsive logo and logo spacing.
  • Typography- your brand’s font, headlines, sub-headlines, paragraphs.
  • Colors – primary and secondary brand colors.
  • Brand imagery – a selection of appropriate and inappropriate photos when it comes to lights, composition and subject.
  • Social media assets – avatars and header images.
  • Brand stationery – letterheads, business cards.

Since your brand is more than your visual identity, try to make your guidelines a bit more comprehensive, and include:

  • Brand mission – what defines you as a company,
  • Brand story-why you’re different from others, why your brand matters.
  • The tone of your brand voice- how you communicate with your audience (professional, friendly, informative…)
  • Signage.

With such extensive guidelines, both your employees and the external agencies won’t be having any difficulties in delivering a consistent experience to your customers.

Make your assets easily accessible

Apart from creating your brand style guide, make sure all the professionals who are creating branded materials have easy access to your approved brand materials.

Having the most up-to-date versions of your logos, images, templates, fonts, and even copy, in one place, will make your workflow run smoothly, and decrease the chances of making a mistake.

You can use tools such as DropBox or Google Docs to share your branded files easily.

It’s of crucial importance to dedicate one member or a single department team to manage your print and your promotional merch so that they will make sure your brand assets are used correctly. 

Brand internally

Your customers want your brand promise delivered through each one of the touchpoints, and for such purposes, a brand style guide is simply not enough.

To provide the kind of experience your customers expect, your employees need to believe the promise of your brand. They need to have a deeper understanding and be inspired by the brand’s values and identity. 

You can successfully achieve this by establishing a corporate culture that is consistent with the very same values your brand stands for. Try the following:

  • Incorporate your brand values into your onboarding and training programs.
  • Communicate the role each one of the employees has in delivering the brand’s promise clearly.
  • Incentivize your employees to be your brand advocates.

 Your employees’ satisfaction with their working environment is also a significant factor in your brand’s consistency – a brand that stands for human rights will be seen as false and abandoned by many for discriminating their staff based on any premises. 

Thanks to digital communications nowadays, bad news travels fast and reach much wider audiences. Unfortunately, not many employers can be as proud and transparent with their employees’ reviews as  PostcardMania is.

Deliver quality

Whatever the form the contact between your customers and your brand takes, they need to have one more thing in common –quality.

This touchpoint may be a content piece you’ve posted on Facebook, a customer’s complaint or in-store purchase – all very different, but pretty much the same.

In each one, you have to focus on the needs of your customers and try to address them, adding some value to their lives. 

To add value, you can:

  • Make your content piece useful by successfully solving your customer’s problems. 
  • Make your customer support efficient by resolving your customer’s complaint during the first contact. 
  • Make an in-store purchase unforgettable by offering a special discount when your customers least expected it. 

A good path to achieving quality is consistently making your customers’ time worthwhile.

If you want your business to be successful, your customers must first be aware of your existence and easily differentiate you from the crowd. Focus on maintaining your brand consistency to achieve your brand’s recognition. This way you can install trust and positive associations in your customers and make them fall in love with your brand.

 

 
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4 Tips for Traveling To an International Business Conference

Even though most of our international business communications have gone fully digital, International conferences are still one of the preferred ways for expanding a professional network of contacts and meeting new associates abroad.

Still, traveling to an international business conference can be stressful. Whether you’re a presenter or an attendee, you have numerous roles to fulfill and a lot of people to impress, so you need to be well prepared.

Here is how to take some of the stress off, and get yourself ready for the travel.

Plan in advance

Depending on how the host organizes the conference, you might need to do some planning to make sure everything runs smoothly. Sometimes, hosts will plan all the details, including your accommodation. In some other cases, you will need to manage it all by yourself. 

Here are some of the preparations you need to do if you decide to attend the conference:

  • Confirm your attendance.
  • Book a flight. The earlier you book the flight, the more options you will be able to choose from, and you might even get a good deal and save some money aside.
  • Find accommodation. Try to book a room in a hotel or a motel near the place where the conference will take place. This way you don’t have to worry about transportation to the facility, neither stress yourself for being in a hurry.
  • Arrange someone to pick you up at the airport.

A wise thing to do is to put all the important details, such as flight schedules, your hotel’s name, and the address, and all other important information related to the conference on a list which you will always have with you.

 If you’ve already made arrangements to meet some people, make sure you include their names and contacts, as well as the names of the companies they represent.

Examine possible difficulties and opportunities

International conferences provide great networking opportunities, so prepare yourself for both the small talk and some serious business conversations. 

A wise thing to do is to learn more about business etiquette of the country you’re visiting, and at least a  few common greetings and phrases in the native language, to show the hosts your appreciation and respect.

Also, try to get acquainted with the country’s current challenges, both the economic and political ones and to explore the current trends in your niche. Fortunately, there are some great portals online where you can find all this information organized in a single place. 

One of the great examples is a digital magazine Week in China where you can find all the details you need for the local Chinese trends in the industry of your choice, but much more than that too.  Such information might give you an idea of potential ways of collaboration with foreign associates, so you will know what to focus on while networking.

Research the location

It is always a good idea to thoroughly research the location of your business conference. Your conference schedule will surely occupy the most out of your time, but you’ll have some free time too, which you can use according to your own likings.

Research the city you will be staying at, and map out the most important sights you would like to visit once you’re there. Also, explore the options your hotel offers and whether it has adequate fitness facilities you can use to keep up with your daily exercise routine. 

As soon as you find out the exact dates for the conference, research your travel insurance options, and choose the one that fits your needs the most.  Medical expenses can be very high in foreign countries, and having your insurance covered can take some stress away in case of an emergency. Travel insurance will also cover your expenses if your luggage is stolen or lost and alleviate your inconvenience.

Pack accordingly

It’s always the best to have the checklist ready in advance so that you don’t forget to pack anything important. Your checklist should include:

  • Personal items. Check whether your passport and ID are packed, as well as your travel cards and travel insurance, your driver’s license,  credit cards and some cash. If you’re using some medications, pack them too, as well as your personal hygiene items.
  • Business items. Don’t forget to pack your business cards and all other materials you’ll need to promote your business.
  • Clothing items. You will need some professional clothes, as well as casual ones. If you plan to be active during your stay, pack some fitness clothing too.
  • Technical items. Pack all the devices you will be using and their chargers. If you will be doing some work while you travel, pack the items you’ll need in your shoulder bag.

Be prepared that the conferences abroad can differ significantly in their style and tone, and culturally as well. Try to adapt to these differences, and use this opportunity to learn new things and form connections, as they might be useful one day.

 
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Tips for Companies That Want to Endorse Sustainability

Global warming is not the thing of the future but the thing of now. Humankind stands witness to great changes planet earth has gone through in the past 50 years and people are waking up to the fact that life as we know it is in danger. Many species of flora and fauna are already lost and the global temperature is rising and we all are to blame, some more than others, of course.

Business owners have a special responsibility because they are in a position to influence more people so sustainability is something each entrepreneur should strive for. While some are already on their way to achieving their ‘green’ goals, others are just getting started and might be a bit lost as to how to handle it. With this in mind, here are a few tips to help you kickstart your sustainable business strategy.

Set a clear goal

Your goal (or goals) should be as precise as possible – a general goal such as ‘I want my business to be sustainable’ will not cut it because it doesn’t help you with finding a way to achieve it. People usually choose the most optimal strategies, tools, and means based on what they strive towards so you would need a more ‘tangible’ goal. 

Instead, you can set several concrete goals, such as becoming a paperless business in the next nine months, transitioning from physical to virtual operations in the next year, re-designing your products’ packages in the next three months, etc. Once you have them grouped like this, you will easily come up with a strategy and focus on accomplishing the tasks. And each time you tick one goal off the list, you will feel more motivated to persevere and come up with more efficient ways to reach your aims. 

Involve your employees

Your employees are the moving force of your business and their loyalty and hard work shouldn’t go unnoticed. That being said, in order for your desire to move towards sustainability to come through, you need to get them aboard and to engage them actively in the strategies. 

What you can do is choose one person who will be a sustainability spokesperson and share your goals and plans with the rest of the staff. Employees are often afraid of changes in the sense that sometimes they mean people losing their jobs, so having a person from their own ranks reassuring them and explaining the reasons and all the steps will help the changes be firmly embedded into the core of your business. Another thing this ‘green’ spokesperson can do is to make sure that things change on a smaller scale as well by collecting suggestions around the office on how to make the workspace and daily routines at the office eco-friendlier. 

Extend a helping hand

Sustainability shouldn’t only dwell within the walls of your workspace – your good practices need to extend their reach. If your business is successful, you should find a way to help out your local community by e.g. collecting plastics laying around the streets and floating in rivers, giving business lectures for free, offering to help with kickstarting a ‘green’ startup to the best business idea that wins a competition you organize, etc. 

If your finances allow you, you should also strive to think globally, beyond the borders of your state and find a corner of the world whose community can use your help. When researching exotic markets they know little about, entrepreneurs often consult with local companies, such as Jack Brown Invest Islands Foundation in case of Indonesia, so that together they can help locals gain access to education and improve their economy in the long-run. By raising locals’ awareness and the living standards as well, you will be placing the environment in better hands.  

Be on the lookout for improvements

Your mission is not finished once you make the sustainable processes your permanent strategy. This is because things evolve in the fast-paced world and so must your practices. You should monitor your practices and the results and always strive to achieve more and to involve more people, companies, and organizations. 

For instance, when looking for suppliers, make sure you choose to collaborate with those who truly care about the products and the environment and apply sustainable strategies, as opposed to just reaching a particular number in sales. Also, when organizing business trips, you should choose agencies which think ‘green’ in terms of transportation means, restaurants, hotels, etc. Your influence can and will touch your customers too so they can also introduce eco-friendly solutions to their daily activities and purchase habits. By creating a chain of suppliers, employees, businesses, and customers that embrace the ‘green’ philosophy, you will aid sustainability on a greater scale.

Wrapping up

Entrepreneurs take a special place in the sustainability chain due to their influence: their strategies can raise awareness of their customers and employees who will start thinking about how to apply some good practices in their private lives. By choosing to collaborate with like-minded businesses and by helping communities which are in need, you will be setting an example to other business and creating a path they can follow.

 
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How to Improve Customer Experience of Your Website

In the modern business world, it goes without saying that you need to establish an online presence. However, devising an amazing marketing strategy, having paid ads, and interesting social media posts will not get you the wanted conversion if your customers feel dissatisfied about the main face of your business – your website.

If they follow a link in the search for specific information and instead find a miss-matched pile of images, fonts, and numbers, they will simply move on to another website. This is because we are all busy and don’t have enough time and nerves to waste them surfing an unorganized website. With that in mind, here are some pieces of advice to help you improve your customer experience and perception of your website.

Learn about their preferences

One of the first tasks when it comes to improving customer experience is learning as much as you can about them and their preferences. In that manner, you will be able to share the appearance, functionality, and content of your website to their liking. Some of the useful data include their age, sex, occupation, marital status, geographic location, as well as device preference. There are many software solutions that can help you accumulate and analyze that kind of information among which Google Analytics is perhaps the most popular one owing to its user-friendly structure. Once you obtain these pieces of information, you will be able to target your audience more precisely.

Motivate an emotional bond

People are known for remembering stories far better than a bunch of statistics. Instead of showering them with an array of numbers and data, think of conveying your message in the form of a story. Your content should aim to create an emotional attachment towards your brand and stories are the best manner to do so. The choice of words, the style, and the overall tone can be skillfully combined to prompt curiosity, sadness, anger or affection, depending on your goal. And another crucial strategy is to strive to maintain the same elements in every piece of writing since if one content leaves an impression that it has been written by a teenager while another by a politician, your audience will be confused with the lack of consistency and your brand identity might be compromised.

Pay attention to the design

Since improving customer experience should result in a boost in conversion rates, content is not the only element to keep an eye on. Your website’s design is a major contributor to conversion, so the choice of pages, navigation, color scheme, font, images, etc. is vital for your success. However, sometimes is it difficult to express everything you want, while other times you yourself are not even certain which can create discord between your wishes and the actual design of your website. So, it is best if you ask the agency you hired to provide you with a detailed web design questionnaire so that both you and them are clear about what you wish to achieve. Not only will this clarify your vision but you will also be clear regarding the pricing and expected project duration.

Ask for feedback

No matter how much effort you put into creating an optimal website design and marketing strategy, it doesn’t mean that the customer experience will be up to par. In order to learn how your customers perceive your choices and your efforts, you need to ask them and the best thing to do is ask for real-time feedback. This means that incorporating live chat to your website is a good strategy that will allow you to get instant feedback and to be able to react swiftly if need be. To show your customers how much you appreciate them taking their time to share their experience, it would be good to send a follow-up email to thank them and reflect on their complaint, praise or question. Also, to take it a step further, connect each feedback to a specific customer support agent because that is how you also show your employees recognition for their contribution. 

Conclusion

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and try to take a look at your website through objective eyes – would you explore it or move on? Naturally, this also depends on whether you visited the site because of a concrete desire to purchase something or simply to check out the offer but no matter the initial intention, your website needs to be a smooth and tempting ride for your customers.

When you research their inclinations, you need to shape the content and the design based on them. And after asking for feedback to make sure everything is optimal, you will soon notice a rise in the conversion rates.

 
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How to Improve Client Relationship in a Digital Marketing Agency

In a bubbly and creative world of digital marketing, it is not always easy to establish and sustain a harmonious relationship between an agency and a client. Change of circumstances is a valid cause for a client to change the agency but misunderstandings and an unprofessional stance are something to be entirely avoided.

The rapport between these two parties is crucial for the agency not just in terms of profit but also reputation because word of mouth is still an important channel of communication. So, here are five things to keep in mind so that the client relationships of your agency can blossom.

Providing smooth onboarding

For the cooperation to run smoothly from the beginning, you need to make sure that every step is welcoming, starting with the onboarding process. The first meeting that should be organized involves the sales team giving away the client to contact people. Next, you would have an internal meeting where the team members would get acquainted with the client and individual tasks and obligations would get distributed. The final meeting in this cycle is the one where the client meets the team that would be working on their project and this is the right time to present your agency in a good light and to show them your team’s dedication, efficiency, and expertise. From the perspective of the client-agency relationship, this client kick-off meeting needs to be brief, informative and prepared in advance. 

Understanding their needs

One-size-fits-all is not the strategy you wish to be popular for in the digital marketing business so always keep in mind that you have to approach each client differently. For instance, if your prospective client is an ambitious startup company whose experience in marketing is limited, you will have to dive into their plans. Once you understand what their short and long-term plans and ideas are, you will be able to come up with a tailored strategy for their business. Many small business owners set broad goals which lack definition and just like everyday goals, in order to know how to approach them, they need to be analyzed and narrowed down. This is an area where you might offer some advice but strictly in the marketing domain. 

Handling disagreeable situations

Every once in a while, an uncommon situation happens and the manner you react says a lot about your business experience and your willingness to improve a potentially rocky client relationship. If the issue is a misunderstanding on your agency’s part, you have to make sure your apology is quick and honest, and if it is on the part of the client, it is necessary to find an unbiased way to present the issue. An unpaid invoice is an unpleasant topic but if it is vital you approach it rationally and calmly. However, in cases as such, besides being understanding of your clients’ issues, you also need to think about your own small business finance and consider using the unpaid invoices as collateral. This would ensure you have a healthy operational cashflow and that your agency’s growth doesn’t depend on individual clients. 

Communicating transparently

Grounds for sound communication are erected during the onboarding process, where the needs and strategies are shared. Throughout your collaboration, both parties need to be frank about each aspect in order for everything to work. That level of sincerity is possible only if there is regular communication – both parties need to find time for briefings and meetings and your clients need to provide you with honest and constructive feedback about your work. You would need to recap what was done and analyze the efficiency through website traffic and leads so you can adjust the goals. Naturally, since your digital marketing agency has more than one client and you must be busy, you can presume your client is as well, so it is crucial you respect their time and avoid canceling at the last moment. 

Building a partnership

For this relationship to work, it has to be more of a union and, in a manner, your team needs to be a continuation of their company’s marketing vision so the members are to be chosen wisely. This partnership is a two-way street and one party’s success reflects the success of the other. You need each other’s productive support to achieve the planned goals and honest feedback to adjust and improve certain practices. Since an effective digital marketing campaign is a complex project which takes time to create and maintain, cooperation is the key as well as respecting the expertise and experience of the other party. 

Conclusion

Since the marketing campaign is the face of a business, it needs to be tailored exactly to the business’ needs. If your agency is in charge of some business’ marketing campaign, you first have to get to know them, gather a team which will be in charge of their project and create a bond. The team members should be communicative and dedicated to their project as if they were performing it for their own company. 

However, in order for the campaign to be effective, you have to deepen that relationship and create an atmosphere of understanding which will be reflected in the way you communicate and handle unpleasant situations. Nurturing this relationship is a way to ensure a long-term and prosperous collaboration.

 

 
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How to Grow Your Sales Team Effectively

Sales teams are hard to grow. The job is demanding and turnover is relatively high, with even good workers quitting after failing. However, the need for a sales team is always there and it cannot be ignored. With the averages for turnover reaching as high as 34% in 2017, it suddenly becomes very obvious just how difficult it is to keep and grow a successful sales team. These are the facts, there is no denying them. However, let us focus on what can be done for the statistics to change when your company is in question.

Start with high expectations

When looking for good candidates for your sales team, make sure you pick great resumes with high-achievers from the get go. Since there is a limited number of openings, this creates competition even before the work has begun. Your existing salespersons will also start feeling the heat, which should make them do better. If they don’t there is an alternative already waiting for them, which is the actual beauty of having sourced out several potential high-achievers from the start.

Keep the team growing

As you expect the inevitable turnover to come for your team, you should always keep one step ahead. If you can expect one third of your salespeople to quit (or get the sack) over the course of the year, you should be working hard on filling those gaps. However, do not do it by hiring only when you have no other choice – this will create a situation where your hiring quality goes down. You need to be ahead of the curve and keep a steady inflow of candidates, just like the first time you started creating your team. Keep looking for quality resumes, keep interviewing and keep hiring, funneling the quality to the top, all the time. Never stop doing it. 

Use any tools at your disposal

Your team needs to be ready for anything, but most of all it needs to be functional in the contemporary world. Not only are modern sales departments introducing the bdr role more and more, but they are well aware of the latest technology that helps them do their jobs better. Project management tools are a must, of course, alongside cloud storage for easy sharing and collaboration. You should have a sales tool that will provide analytics for your team, as well as allow for template sharing, engagement tracking and similar.

Know what you have accomplished

Although sales require many unmeasurable qualities to achieve success, some metrics have to exist in order for your team to know what to aim for, as well as quantify their success. Your Key Performance Indicators should include things like conversion rate, new leads per month, or new business vs renewal business. Add a healthy dash of revenue churn, client churn, your overall margin, as well as the revenue growth rate, which might be good to have in rear view. Think about individual team KPIs where you might track what people said they would do vs what they actually did. It could be an enlightening thing to see, both for the company and the individual team members.

Grow your sales culture

The people in your sales team are what makes up your sales culture, but in order to live by it, you need to establish guidelines, lead by example and, most importantly, hire people who fit that state of mind. After that, train them and structure the team so that it grows towards unity. The culture helps your team work better together, however, this works only if the members fit well within it. Once again, this all starts with the choices you have made when shortlisting and hiring people, which is a process you need to perfect over time. Perhaps your culture prefers having rockstar-type of salesmen, perhaps it requires hard workers and number crunchers. Perhaps all of them. But you need to be aware of who you need and work towards getting those people in your sales team. 

Bringing all those high-quality working people together and giving them a purpose – that is what creates a team. But providing them with a culture within which they can improve and grow and become part of it, even steering it in the right direction – that is the ultimate goal. 

 
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5 Ways Companies can Start Investing into the World of Cryptocurrency

The world of cryptocurrency is an ever-evolving ecosystem that welcomes individuals as well as private and government organizations – anyone who wants to trade in cryptos, invest in new ICOs, expand on their products and services, or help the blockchain technology develop as a whole. Of course, there is no denying that the industry is constantly evolving and changing with the latest trends and market conditions, so it’s only fair to say that businesses looking to get into the cryptocurrency game should research their investment options carefully.

Minimizing risk and financial expenditure while maximizing ROI is the name of the business game, and even though high-risk crypto investments do come with promises of a high ROI, you need to be careful when balancing the risks vs the possible rewards. Here are the five solid ways you can start investing into the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Accept cryptocurrency as payment

The first and most obvious way your company can venture into the crypto-verse with minimal investment, to test the waters so to speak, is to start accepting payments in various cryptocurrencies. This is just one of the ways customers are using cryptos in everyday life. Nowadays, there are many platforms you can use to process crypto payments, store them in your company’s digital wallet, trade the cryptocurrencies yourself, and even convert the revenue into traditional currencies if you wish to get paid immediately and avoid the price volatility of digital currencies.

What’s more, you can develop a company-wide cryptocurrency program and give your employees the opportunity to delve into the world of cryptocurrencies themselves by paying their salaries this way. This practice is still uncommon because of the price volatility of cryptos, however, forward-looking companies and blockchain businesses are already paying for marketing and advertising with cryptocurrency.

Invest in a promising crypto or blockchain startup

As a company looking to expand into the crypto market and the blockchain itself, you might want to consider investing in, acquiring, or developing a promising startup. Blockchain technology has its applications in every industry in the modern business world, and no matter the market you’re in, there is probably a business idea out there that can help you build your competitive advantage and innovate new and exciting products, features, and services in the crypto world.

Whether you’re looking to improve data security, or make all financial processes more efficient, or develop new and exciting features for your customers, you can acquire a startup that is developing these technologies and make them your primary strategic partner. This way, you can use a team of blockchain professionals to innovate your way to the top of the industry.

Start mining and trading in cryptocurrency

Another direct and lucrative way for a company to venture into the realm of cryptocurrencies is to invest in crypto mining technology in order to add transactions to the blockchain and release new currencies. To achieve this and stay competitive with other crypto miners out there, you will need specialized equipment and hardware with a lot of computing power and a legitimate crypto mining software to ensure proper verification.

Next, you can leverage this technology to start trading in cryptocurrencies on the blockchain yourself. You will need to pick a reliable exchange platform, a multi-currency wallet specialized for businesses instead of individuals, and monitor the market trends in real time to make cost-effective trading decisions. These solutions will allow your company to capitalize on cryptocurrencies quickly, and support the development of the blockchain technology itself.

Join a consortium of companies

Of course, you are not forced to enter the crypto and blockchain markets on your own, as nowadays there are many groups of forward-looking companies you can join in order to invest in the development of blockchain technologies, and share the risks among your partners. In turn, this will allow you to mitigate a lot of the risk and improve your investment potential by working together to achieve a higher goal.

No matter the industry you’re in, there is probably a consortium of brands interested in investing in the development of blockchain applications specific to your niche and in order to resolve certain issues. From finance to logistics, from healthcare to automotive and beyond, companies around the world are partnering up to improve their industry as a whole.

Launch a new token through ICOs

And finally, as you expand into the market and gain experience with blockchain and cryptos, you can start investing in the development of your own token, perhaps one that will take the cryptocurrency world by storm and become the next big investment opportunity. Through Initial coin offerings (ICOs), you can raise the funds needed to propel the development of a new cryptocurrency that you can use for your own products and services.

Wrapping up

It’s common to see individuals venturing into the intricate world of cryptocurrencies, but in recent years we are seeing a new trend that has companies investing in blockchain technology, new tokens, as well as products and services that support the development of the crypto-verse. Invest in these opportunities yourself, and open up another lucrative door for your brand.

 
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