Browsing All Posts By admin

5 Tips To Maximized Your Construction Equipment

Whether you are purchasing brand new or used construction equipment, ensuring you are getting the most out of each piece is the next crucial step. Although many companies may want to forge ahead and utilize all equipment right away, careful considerations are needed to make sure you are taking full advantage of all equipment items. This article outlines the steps you must take to ensure that your company is using equipment profitably and efficiently. Through these five tips, find ways to proactively to extend the life of your construction equipment and machinery.

Maintain a Good Relationship With Suppliers

The dealer who sold you your equipment isn’t just a salesperson, he or she is a wealth of knowledge about your new investment. If questions arise about the operation, maintenance, or anything else regarding the care of your equipment, a good relationship with your supplier means you will always have someone knowledgeable to call for an answer. Similarly, if you encounter any problems with your machinery, that same supplier can probably help you troubleshoot and get you back on the job site. Ultimately, your supplier is an incredibly valuable resource when it comes to understanding the ins and outs of how your equipment works. Forming a long-lasting relationship will only bode well in the future if you need to purchase other pieces going forward.

Properly Train Employees 

Good employee training can make a huge difference in extending the life of your equipment. When operators aren’t 100% sure about how to use the various controls, the potential for unnecessary wear and tear – or even worse, equipment damage — is significantly higher. By putting your employees through a training program or providing one-on-one instruction, you create well-informed team members who will use your machines properly. Occasional training refreshers are also a good idea to keep your employees well-versed on procedures and keep your equipment running smoothly.

Store Equipment Properly 

While construction equipment is designed to withstand all sorts of rugged conditions, it’s not designed to be left out in job sites, or exposed for very long periods of time. Making an effort to keep your machinery in a proper storage facility will go a long way in preventing the possibility of damages. Temperature-related stresses are often avoidable if the equipment is stored properly. Although the circumstances may dictate that equipment is to be left out over a short period, try your best to avoid this. Moreover, if a piece of equipment, machinery or vehicle has done its job on a project, make it a priority to store it away in case of any unpredictable accidents that may occur on a busy job site. Similarly, cleaning equipment regularly, especially before prolonged periods of storage, will help to keep it in good working condition and have it ready for your next job.

Keep Up With Regular Maintenance

All machinery needs regular preventative maintenance to operate well. Check with your supplier (see the first tip on keeping up a good relationship with suppliers) to get your specific equipment’s maintenance schedule, and then perform that maintenance in full every time it is due. Regular maintenance often includes oil analysis and changing, cleaning residues, and replacing worn-out components. It is easy to forget about this or prolong it until later, but keeping your equipment well maintained is essential. By not being diligent and leaving equipment maintenance overdue, you may experience irreversible damage which can shorten its life cycle.

Implement an Equipment Management Software 

You may keep meticulous records, but even the most detail-oriented person can’t compete with good equipment management software. A good program will keep tabs on things like operating costs, hours of use, maintenance records, return on investment, deprecation and more. Many equipment management systems work on mobile phones, laptops and tablets, making it easier to access important data from anywhere and at any time. If you are inexperienced with equipment management software, many developers offer free trials, so be sure to test out a few options before settling on the package that suits your needs the best.

Like any big investment, you want your construction equipment to last a long time and is an essential component of your business. Without reliable and well-maintained equipment, you run the risk of delaying the progress of existing jobs and hurt your chances of securing more projects.

Final Thoughts

If you find that your pieces of equipment and machinery aren’t lasting as long as you’d like, perhaps your issues can be fixed by implementing more thorough training and maintenance. Also, project delays due to equipment damage are often avoidable and are often caused by inadequate maintenance or improper use. Taking these steps into consideration will stand to benefit your company in the long run, and provides a short checklist to ensure your equipment continues to function well for a long time to come.

 

Blog Source: Construction World | 5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Construction Equipment

READ MORE +

The Best (and Worst) Question to Ask When Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency

QUESTIONS

You’re in the process of selecting a digital marketing agency and depending on where you are in that process, you’ve probably already completed the following tasks:

  • Narrowed your list of contenders
  • Thoroughly scoped out their portfolios
  • Scoured their websites for clues about everything from overall competence to company culture
  • Spoken to several of their past or current clients

Now — after all the research and the vetting, after some initial back-and-forth communication — it’s time for a phone call, face-to-face meeting or video chat with your top contender. If this is the case, then you’re no doubt preparing a list of insightful and challenging questions to help determine if the agency is a good fit.

So while now may seem like the perfect time to talk about the most important question you can ask during that interview, let’s start with the least important question to ask your prospective digital marketing agency. It’s a question far too many companies waste time and brain cells on — one that actually increases your risk of being disappointed down the road.

“Do You Have Any Specific Experience in My Industry?”

This is a tough question for many reasons and here’s a hypothetical scenario to help explain why.

Imagine for a moment that you are a giant client (say Budweiser, for example) who is seeking a new agency. Are you going to ask the contenders if they have any experience working for a beer company? Of course not. You’ve selected your finalists because they are outstanding companies, not because their roster of past clients includes beermakers. Plus, why would Budweiser want to limit its options to agencies that have worked with other beermakers? The answer is: they wouldn’t.

‘Industry Experience’ Overrated in Search for Digital Marketing Agency

Some agencies achieve success by specializing in one industry or vertical market. But when agencies limit their focus to a particular area of interest, it generally means they believe they’ve discovered a formula that applies to all companies within that industry. This means it is exceedingly likely that they will fall back on what they’ve done before.

Warning: This heightens your risk of being served a boilerplate solution – and in the world of digital marketing, boilerplate is synonymous with mediocrity.

Asking the tired “industry experience” question puts the focus on what makes you similar to other businesses in your industry. When, in fact, to develop a successful marketing program the emphasis must be on celebrating what makes your business different. Special. Unique.

That’s why Marketing 101 places high priority on identifying your “unique selling proposition,” and why the need to be unique is emphasized at every step of the inbound marketing process.

So here’s a much better question to ask. For the purpose of discussion, let’s call it: The Most Important Question You Can Ask When Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency.

“How Will You Help Me Highlight My Uniqueness to Beat My Competition?”  

It’s All About the Process

Behind every great agency there is a process tailored to help you discover, nurture and celebrate your uniqueness — to guide you in leveraging and showcasing that uniqueness to stand out from your competition.

So rather than fixate on whether an agency possesses or lacks experience with a particular type of company, you’ll develop a far more helpful understanding of what they bring to the table by grilling them about their process.

  • Ask about their ability to devise a custom program of digital marketing strategies tailored to each client’s individual needs and goals.
  • Ask what methods they’ll use to become an expert on your business and your industry.
  • Ask how their process enables them to achieve winning outcomes for clients regardless of industry.

The best agencies will have developed and fine-tuned a process that has proven successful for a broad range of interesting clients. In fact, don’t be surprised if they become so enthusiastic when talking about their process that it may be hard to shut them up.

They may not be experts about your business or your industry at the outset of this process, but they will be experts at conducting an initial and ongoing discovery process that is focused on inquiring, listening and fully understanding your business, your industry and your goals.

They will also be experts on using the unique information you’ve provided to begin talking about tactics and strategies for:

  • Improving search engine rankings for your most important keywords
  • Creating top-quality content that draws visitors to your company
  • Distributing your message to target audiences and tracking the results
  • Using data-driven analytics to continually adapt to new insights and optimize results
  • And, ultimately, generating new leads

The best digital marketing agencies are experts at becoming experts

They’ve invested in professional writers to sharpen and amplify your message. Their team will include SEO, social media and digital marketing specialists who understand how to put in place the ideal mix of strategies tailored specifically to your company. They are constantly educating themselves about the newest, most effective tools and tricks of the trade.

The ever-evolving art and science of digital marketing depends upon understanding and celebrating what is unique about each client and creating a custom mix of tactics designed to capitalize upon that uniqueness.

While it is certainly true that various industries differ from each other in significant ways, many businesses share two common characteristics: They want to increase sales of their product or service, and they rely on growing quality website traffic to generate new leads.

This means that, while a given company may operate in a niche industry, its goals are arguably somewhat universal – and actually quite familiar to top-notch digital marketing agencies whose mission is to help companies achieve such goals.

Here at Vital, we spend all day, every day working hard to help a diverse mix of clients achieve winning results. Contact us today to learn more about our highly creative, individualized, data-driven approach to brand strategy, website development and inbound marketing.

 

Blog Source: VTLDESIGN |The Best (and Worst) Question to Ask When Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency

READ MORE +

Maintenance Tips for Heavy Construction Equipment

Heavy machinery can be one of the most costly investments for a contractor, so proper maintenance of such equipment is vital to ensuring a maximum return on investment—not to mention the fact that the extra care increases both production and profit on individual construction jobs. After all, if your heavy equipment breaks down, it may well stop or significantly delay work for an entire construction site, potentially costing your company thousands or even millions of dollars.

Establishing a regular maintenance schedule for your heavy construction equipment is a simple way of protecting your investment and avoiding costly breakdowns. By developing and enacting a preventative maintenance routine, you can not only extend the life of your equipment but also save time and money.

Implementing a Maintenance Routine

The first step in properly caring for your equipment—and perhaps the most important step—is establishing a regular routine for inspecting and maintaining equipment. Each piece of equipment should be checked on a daily basis in order to watch for issues such as fluid levels, proper tire inflation, leaks in fluid lines, and/or any loose, cracked, or missing teeth on attachments’ cutting edges. Regular maintenance needs, such as oil changes or new brakes, should be performed in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications and scheduled in advance. By scheduling such repairs in advance, contractors can ensure that they are not forgotten and that plans can be made to work around a machine’s downtime, avoiding lost productivity.

However, if your equipment is exposed to particularly harsh environmental conditions, then you’ll also want to adjust manufacturer recommendations accordingly. For example, in an area with a lot of dust, changing air filters might be required on a more frequent basis.

Keeping your equipment clean and free of debris should be another part of routine maintenance that can help to extend the life of the equipment and prevent corrosion, so attention to surroundings and environment should be given regular attention. Ideally, this can be attended to along with daily checks for upkeep issues such as those listed above.

Following Manufacturer Recommendations

Maintaining your heavy construction equipment requires more than simply following a manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Taking proper care of your equipment while it is in use is also critically important to avoiding machine failure. One way that you can reduce the risk of breakdowns is by following a manufacturer’s guidance when it comes to how equipment should be utilized.

Each piece of heavy construction equipment was designed with a specific task in mind, and to be used with certain attachments and parts. When operators use the equipment for jobs they were not designed for, repair them with inappropriate parts, or use attachments that do not fit properly, they run the risk of causing a machine’s breakdown. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for how equipment should be used and repaired—including which parts should be purchased—is an important component of maintaining your fleet.

It should be noted that specific machines were also manufactured to lift and carry a certain amount of weight, and operators should be aware of such limits. Exceeding the performance specifications and limitations of a particular piece of equipment can compromise its efficiency and effectiveness, and can ultimately lead to a failure that may endanger workers. Failing to follow weight limits for loads, inclines for transits, and other specifications can contribute to both mechanical issues and safety issues.

Training Employees in Proper Machine Operation

A properly trained operator can make a significant difference in the longevity of a particular machine. A well-trained operator will cause less wear on equipment, as he or she will understand the machine’s capabilities and limitations while also picking up on any maintenance issues immediately. A good training program for a heavy equipment operator should include a review of the operator’s manual for the specific piece of equipment, a demonstration of the systems and controls, a review of the preventative maintenance routine for the machine, and testing to ensure that the operator has acquired the right skills and knowledge. For some equipment, special certifications may be required before operation commences.

Storing Equipment

A final piece of the maintenance puzzle involves making sure that your heavy construction equipment is stored in a secure, dry location in order to protect it from the elements. If you have followed the above steps, you will already be spending a fair amount of time on performing routine and preventative maintenance, but taking this final action of storing your equipment in a covered location—and keeping it away from moisture and direct sunlight when not in use—will ensure that your hard work will not be wasted. By properly storing your equipment, you will reduce the risk of rust, corrosion, and other degradation.

Setting up a maintenance schedule for your heavy construction equipment is a smart way to start extending the life of your machinery and prevent costly delays on your job sites. Going further, contractors who commit to daily inspections and following manufacturer guidelines in all respects will get the utmost value from their equipment, and be ensured that on-site safety guidelines and warranties can be upheld on a long-term basis. By following these tips, a contractor can establish a solid plan for preventative maintenance and increase the productivity and efficiency of machinery.

 

Blog Source: Equipment and Contracting | Tips for Maintaining Heavy Construction Equipment

READ MORE +

How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency

digital marketing agency

Any business knows you must effectively market your brand and what you do in order to be successful. As more and more business is conducted online, and more potential customers search for products on the web, you need to have a solid digital marketing presence and strategy in place, especially if you are launching a new business.

Unfortunately, the workload can sometimes be more than your in-house team can handle, especially when it comes to the web. Even if you already outsource your marketing, there are times when you may require an additional partnership if you feel your online efforts are lacking. Advertising in the digital space is complex and involves a specific set of knowledge and tools to be conducted effectively. Luckily, there are professionals out there to get your company’s digital marketing efforts on the right track.

THE QUESTION THEN BECOMES: HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY?

A lot of that depends on who your company is and what you do, as well as your specific wishes. So the first step will be recognizing that you have a marketing problem and need some assistance from a digital marketing agency.

Assess Your Company’s Specific Needs

Before you can even begin the process of digging into finding your new partner, you should assess your needs internally. Identify what you want to achieve through your digital efforts as well as the role your digital agency will play to help achieve your goals. You must have a distinct vision for both sides if you want the partnership to work.

There can be many unique reasons that you want help with your digital marketing, but you should be able to identify a clear-cut area that requires attention. That might be pushing a new product or reaching a new market, or perhaps you want to update your brand or are planning for some accelerated growth. Whatever your reasons may be, define them fully before you even begin your search.

Here are a few more questions you can ask yourself before approaching an agency:

  • How much money do you have in your budget for your digital marketing efforts?
  • How much time are you able to invest in the partnership?
  • If you have an in-house marketing team, what skills does your team already have and in what areas are you lacking?
  • Answering these questions is critical to outlining the kind of help you require, and gives any potential partners a clear vision for what your relationship might look like. Once you’ve laid out your answers to these questions, you can identify specific requirements your company has.

For your marketing team, this will target those areas you identified to not be up to par. You can outsource these areas of need to your partner and figure out how to collaborate your efforts to form a cohesive unit.

And since you’ve already outlined your specific goals, you can match them with the specific services you desire. This might involve content creating and blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), marketing via email, social media, or search engines, online advertising, web analytics, web design and development, and much more.

Do Your Homework

Naturally, there are a lot of reputable digital marketing agencies out there to choose from. There are also a lot of swindlers who are out for a cash grab, who will promise the world and string you along while they collect more and more money and never deliver any real results. Since this is obviously a situation you want to avoid, it’s vital that you do your homework to separate the contenders from the pretenders.

The best way to ensure you establish a partnership with an agency that will produce results, is to find one that has a good track record of doing just that. Established digital marketing agencies should be able to show you some of their past work, and how they were able to work together with a company to achieve its goals. Obviously, an agency that can tout itself as award-winning or has an impressive client list of big brands will be the most attractive, but this doesn’t necessarily make them the best fit for your business.

A digital marketing agency that has a niche in your field may indeed be the best fit, so when you look into the agency’s track record for success, also keep in mind what type of company they were working with. Often, strategies can be applied across industries, but marketing for an e-commerce business that sells blenders is a lot different than a local brick-and-mortar restaurant group. While you might be attracted to an agency who has worked with a brand you’re a fan of, the tactics used may not apply to what you need.

Just as you might have better luck with an agency that has experience working in your field, you also want them to have expertise that matches your special needs. If you require assistance boosting your local SEO, you might not be excited about an agency touting its paid media services. When you express your wish, they should be able to show you the skills they’ll use to achieve your specific goal.

Experience is a valuable tool in the digital marketing industry, but they also must keep up to date with the latest trends a strategies. The company should be able to tell you about what’s hot right now in digital marketing and how they can use these new tools to help your business.

THE DIGITAL MARKETPLACE IS EVER-CHANGING, SO YOU WANT SOMEONE THAT KNOWS HOW TO KEEP UP.

An agency with a history of success should also have references. If a company has had a good experience with the agency, they will be more than happy to speak with you and recommend their services. Testimonials on their website are great, but you’ll actually want to talk with past and present clients to get a better idea of how the agency will work with you.

Find A Digital Marketing Agency That Fits Your Style

Keep in mind that these agencies aren’t just selling their clients’ products, but also their own. When you research different agencies, look at how they market themselves. If you enjoy the look of their website and find it easy to navigate, this is a good sign. On the other hand, if their website underwhelms you, it’s a red flag. A good digital marketing agency’s website will tell you exactly who they are and what they do, as well as how they can help your brand.

And style goes beyond just the looks of their website and work – you also want an agency that will fit in with the culture of your company and your way of doing business. If you stress casual as part of your business brand, you might not mesh with a professional agency that is more corporate, or vice versa. If you have a small business, you may want to match with a smaller digital marketing agency. Local businesses may have better luck hiring an agency that is based in their area, and so on.

It’s important to make note of how things feel when you meet in person, especially if you want to build a lasting relationship. Choose an agency that suits your style so you will enjoy working together for a long time.

Take Your Time & Plan For Long Term

Digital marketing isn’t as simple as throwing money at the problem and watching the results roll in. This will be a strategic partnership that will build your business toward a better future, and one that you should view as a long-term relationship. Choosing the right partner will take some time, but it will be worth it. But if you make an impulsive decision, you’ll end up wasting your time and money.

Since your relationships with a digital marketing agency is a partnership, you’ll want a company that can help push your company forward. You want a partner who will get in the trenches with you to work through issues, not someone who throws up their hands and declares it’s not their problem.

You should really view the process as if you are making hires to your actual company. An open, transparent relationship will achieve the best results. This will involve a lot of collaboration, cooperation, and someone with whom you are on the same page. They’ll have to understand your company, your wants and needs, your goals and your ideas, and provide feedback and care for your company and campaign.

 

Blog Source: Power Digital Marketing Agency |  How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency

READ MORE +

10 tips for construction managers to improve management

Tips for construction managers

1. Always plan ahead

This should be your motto. Plan everything and plan ahead. You as a construction project manager have to start planning way before the actual construction will begin. In addition, you must revise and evolve your plans until you finish the work. From start to finish i.e., the design, pre-construction, and the actual work stages of a project demand major planning. This planning never remains consistent though and has to be revised every now and then as the workload unfolds. Your planning is what will make the project a reality. Project collaboration is the key to a construction manager when it comes to finishing a project. Never forget that.

2. Mapping the pre-construction phase

You can never predict as to what can happen at a construction site. A thunderstorm, a sandstorm or even a hailstorm. These are just a few natural problems you might have to deal with. Mapping the pre-construction phase usually helps you get an idea about the environment. Historic data can be your most valuable ally in such cases. This, in turn, lets you make changes and adjustments in the design and pattern of the construction.

3. Be humble

Your real test begins when the actual work starts. You will work with seasoned professionals, few may be new at this or could have decades of experience in electrical engineering, scaffolding, plumbing, and carpentry etc. Be polite where you can and firm where necessary. It is your job to make people work together in harmony. You have to lead the way. But remember, being humble with everyone is just the first step.

Also, you cannot keep scolding everyone to get the job done. There will be times when you will have to be on the site 24X7 but that doesn’t mean that you can lose it. Be patient and humble. Always.

4. Communication is the key

Communication is what builds relationships and gets the work done. If you don’t talk well no one will want to listen to you, let alone work for you. You will come across people from diverse educational, cultural and economic backgrounds. Hence, be understanding and communicate with them accordingly. Poor project collaboration can lead to mistakes and disagreements amongst team members. There can be no mistakes when it comes to construction. One less brick here will collapse the whole facade. Communicate! Be the manager they need you to be. Digital tools can also provide you with great help in that direction, as they can allow you to exchange information and project updates in real-time.

5. Lead and take everyone with you

You as a manager cannot construct the whole building by yourself. You need a team that will listen to you and do what you tell them to do. But you cannot just randomly tell people to do things. You have to assign the right job to the right person. You cannot ask the carpenter to paint the door or attend the budget meeting, can you?

Similarly, don’t ask the senior staff to carry out menial jobs. Be a good assigner and get the work done. Other than ordering work, make sure you always ask for a follow-up. You can only be a good manager if you keep your eyes and ears open before and after your work gets done.

6. Manage time

As a construction manager, you will always be swamped with work and may often fall short of time. If you don’t stay wary of things, you may end up ignoring important issues. Managing time is about staying on top of things, being organized and ensuring that work is filed correctly every day. You have to prioritize work and issues. Finish what needs to be done first and then move to the lesser important things. Set goals and work on them.

7. Be informed of the costs

You have to understand the cost of construction. Be informed of the cost of materials, people, equipment, and the whole process. You cannot always get into the details and comment on the most minute of costs. But you can be aware as to how much money is going where and how much everything major thing is costing.

Just understand departments and costs to get valuable insights and experiences. This will make you a good construction manager and allow you to always make informed and good decisions. This all means only one thing- more productivity from your end and in turn from your employee’s end as well.

8. Read the contract document thoroughly

It often happens that construction managers don’t read the contract document thoroughly till the time an issue arises. But it is too late by then. You have to understand the importance of the contract document, which ensures that the contractor and the customer are both meeting their obligations entailed in the document. This would minimise troubles, conflicts, and arguments.

9. Negotiate well

You have to be an amazing negotiator and persuader if you want to get work done. You will have to negotiate with your own team, your customers, subcontractors, and suppliers. You have to convince people every day that your decisions and your way are the best. Be that the negotiation of prices for materials or anything else, you have to do it in the best way possible.

10. Be responsible

A construction site is just a step away from another disaster. You need to be extra careful with everything that is happening on the site. You are responsible for all those lives. Safety has to be the number one priority. Before, during, and after the construction, the building has to stand. Poor workmanship cannot be a thing when you are handling the work. Stay informed and be responsible.

This isn’t it. There are a lot of other things you need to keep in mind if you want to be a successful construction manager. These include being on the site as much as possible, keeping your eyes and ears open and taking responsibility for your actions. Always remember- one mistake at your end can hamper the lives of a lot of people.

Bottom line

Leading and managing a team of a hundred members isn’t easy at a construction site. But if you set your goals, take help from time to time and always plan and then act, you will never have problems. Success is never far when you know how to channelize your efforts.

Also, you have to know that all this knowledge isn’t available in a university curriculum. It comes with hands-on experience. So, get out there, learn and start working.

 

Blog Source: Genie Belt | 10 helpful tips for construction managers

READ MORE +

15 Best Online Marketing Tips for Small Business 2019

TARGET THE RIGHT AUDIENCE FOR YOUR PRODUCT

This is one of the fundamental online marketing tips for small business. Making it easy for customers to find you won’t help until you have a clear enough idea about who your target market is. Do your homework and draft out the personas of potential customers, or the advertising money will sip through your fingers. I’m not suggesting that you should hire a research professional or buy a comprehensive industry analysis. Every business owner can determine their target audience based on the characteristics of their product.

To whom (in terms of social position, gender, age, financial conditions) would you offer your product or service? Who would be interested in the benefits it offers?


DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS GOALS

Once you have sketched out the personas of your future buyers, get specific about how you define a successful small business. As an entrepreneur, you must be already measuring sales, profits, expenses, cash revenues and some kind of KPI for your activities. If not, read a brief overview of them. Now add digital advertising milestones to your working set of metrics. For example, you expect that promoting your commercial blog will affect the revenues up to a certain point in several months. But how can you make sure that you are moving towards your goal every time you write a blog post? We recommend considering such metrics as total visits, new sessions, channel-specific traffic, bounce rate, and customer retention rate. It’s natural to have multiple objectives, given that you can track the results and follow Internet marketing tips for websites.


CREATE A BUSINESS BUDGET

Small business Internet marketing can help you grow the visibility of your brand provided that you follow the proven digital marketing ideas. You know your target market and key metrics, now it’s time to set your budget. We have several suggestions on how to do it like a pro.

  • One of the best ways to be thrifty is to choose activities that complement and enhance each other (like content marketing and SEO).
  • Abandon what’s not working (remember, we talked about measurements first). Even a small budget can be distributed wisely if you constantly monitor you’re the actual results of performance.
  • Make multipurpose materials. Social media and blog posts can be distributed across different platforms with minimal alterations. Such recycling is a cost-effective way to improve your site’s SEO ranking.

BUILD A SMART BRAND FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Today’s consumers are used to companies fighting for their dollars and inventing comprehensive and meaningful user experiences for them. For instance, your lifeless social media accounts or the poor design of your blog can negatively impact the overall impression your brand leaves with its audience (you can check out awesome web templates here). Today’s customers find it equally annoying when an offline shop does not accept credit cards or an online retailer does not respond to Twitter or Instagram comments. You want your digital presence to be seamlessly integrated into people’s everyday lives, so personalize and improve your communication, offer free resources and services that are relevant to the product you are selling. Smart branding always pays off. That’s one of the most proven digital marketing tips for small businesses in 2018.

USE THE MAJOR SEO HACKS

Of course, our checklist cannot go without a mention of SEO as one of the essential online marketing tips 2018. For your web address to be displayed in the top ten results of major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), can optimize the URL, include target keywords in the content, and write blog posts on popular resources as a guest contributor.

Blogging is a win-win strategy.

Provide useful or entertaining (or both) content to your readers and they, in turn, will get to know you and your product better. You can promote your business brand even more effortlessly after your blogging establishes you as an expert in your sector.

GET MORE LOCAL CUSTOMERS

In order to target local consumers, make sure that your company details are available and updated in Google maps. It would be nice to have several customer reviews with high ratings there. Also think about publishing more local information on your blog (e.g. news and gossips, hotel or restaurant reviews) or just include geo-specific content everywhere, so that people in a certain geographic area could see it first. That’s one of the top Internet marketing tips for beginners. Go local in order to make your online marketing for small businesses to deliver fruitful results.

 

USE THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA

You already know your target market, now it’s time to start conversations and build relationships with them. Connect with your targeted community in a personal and mutually enriching way, be open and pay attention to their feedback – these simple attitudes will result in more sales.

LEVERAGE YOUR EMAIL MARKETING TO INCREASE WEBSITE TRAFFIC

Even social media promotion will not do all the work by itself. Offer subscriptions to those of your readers who want to stay informed about updates, sales, special offers or discounts.

USE PPC ADVERTISING

PPC is a good option, especially for the newbies who cannot earn their visits organically. Choose specific keywords that are most closely associated with your product and have your ads displayed in the search engine’s sponsored links.

USE BENEFITS OF ONLINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Online reviews rank in search engines, thus helping your business to rank higher as well. Online customers tend to choose those products and services that were reviewed by other buyers, which grows the reliability of your brand automatically. Reviews can also encourage the web users to take a specific action, like placing an order or checking out details about your offerings.

As a rule, local businesses have a number of happy and satisfied customers. For some reason, they forget to remind happy clients to give their honest reviews about the offers they purchased. As a rule, those are the angriest customers that leave reviews about their experience in dealing with a brand. In order to chive a balance of positive and negative reviews about your business, push for the customers to leave their honest feedback. This will help your brand to rank higher in the popular search engines. This is one of the best digital marketing ideas that really work.

SET AND MEET YOUR CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS

There are so many sites available on the web. Some of them look identical, some others aren’t even worth a mention. Wonder why? That’s always a good idea to learn from the example of the most impressive and successful web designs. There must be something in their designs that attract the target audiences and makes their websites stand out from the competition.
There is no need to waste your time on the conceptualization of what kind of web design your business site should feature. Take a look at the examples of some of the most successful businesses in your niche. What tricks and hacks do those use on their web platforms? Learn from their example and create your own design (but don’t copy your competitors!).

 

Blog Source: MonsterPost | Top 15 Online Marketing Tips and Tricks for Small Business 2019

 

 

 

READ MORE +

Facts about period pain and how to treat it

The technical term for period pain is dysmenorrhoea. It derives from an ancient Greek expression which literally means ‘difficult monthly flow’.

Facts about period pain

If you have dysmenorrhoea you are not alone. Around 80% of women experience period pain at some stage in their lifetime. You can suffer from period pain from your early teens right up to the menopause. Most women experience some discomfort during menstruation, especially on the first day. But in 5% to 10% of women the pain is severe enough to disrupt their life. If your mother suffered period pains, you are more likely to suffer too. In 40% of women, period pain is accompanied by premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, tender breasts, a swollen stomach, lack of concentration, mood swings, clumsiness and tiredness.

There are two different types of period pain:

Primary dysmenorrhoea

This commonly occurs in teenage girls and young women, towards the beginning of menstrual life. The cramping pains are caused by the womb contracting to shed its lining. There may also be pain caused by the decreased supply of blood to the womb. The pain is mainly in the lower part of the abdomen but can go into the back and down the front of the thighs. Some women feel nauseated at the same time. It is a perfectly natural condition and for many women is simply a mild monthly discomfort. Primary dysmenorrhoea can be eased with the contraceptive pill as well as some relaxation techniques.

Secondary dysmenorrhoea

This may not start until your mid-twenties or later. It is unlikely to cease after childbirth. The pain is not restricted to “time of the month” bleeding and can occur throughout the cycle. Periods may become heavier and more prolonged, and intercourse may be painful. Secondary dysmenorrhoea can be a sign of other conditions, including pelvic infections, which may need urgent attention. If you start to experience period pain as an adult you should not hesitate to consult a GP.

Managing with a period of pain

There are a number of simple ways to ease the discomfort.

  • Relax in a hot bath with aromatherapy oils.
  • Cuddle a hot water bottle.
  • Back and stomach massage is effective for some women.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing in a couple of days prior to and during your period.
  • Gentle exercise such as yoga may help. A regular relaxation programme before the period is due and on the first few days helps to relax the muscles and improves blood supply to the pelvic area.
  • For fast relief, take a painkiller specifically designed for period symptoms.

Lifestyle changes

Research has shown that period pain symptoms can be eased by modifying lifestyle. So try the following:

  • Smoking is thought to increase the incidence of period pain by reducing the supply of oxygen to the pelvic area.
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption.
  • Eat high fibre foods and plenty of salads and vegetables.
  • Daily vitamin E supplements have been shown to help.
  • If you eat red meat make sure it is lean. Eat more chicken and fish.
  • Cut down on sugary foods, chocolate, cakes and biscuits.
  • Reduce the amount of salt in your diet to avoid water retention.
  • Choose pure fruit juices or mineral water rather than sugary drinks.
  • Take a supplement containing gamma linolenic acid (GLA) such as evening primrose oil or starflower oil or vitamin B6. Both help maintains hormonal balance.

If pain persists visit your GP for a check up. You might be prescribed:

  • Non-hormonal drug treatments: tranexamic acid or mefenamic acid.
  • The contraceptive pill: not only will this reduce some of the pain and discomfort but will make your periods lighter and more regular.
  • Stronger pain killers that you can’t buy from a chemist: these should be started as soon as the period starts–don’t wait until the pain is at its worst to take them.
  • The intra-uterine system (IUS) may be suitable for some women: this is a very effective method of contraception which may also reduce blood loss and period pains.

Blog Source: Women’s Health Concern | Period pain

READ MORE +

11 Effective Tips To Be A Successful Digital Marketer

How effective is your digital marketing strategy? Would you consider yourself a successful digital marketer?

If that question makes you feel queasy, you’re not alone. Digital marketing is hard to get right, and it’s changing every day.

The only way to keep up with these changes and get ahead of your competition is to innovate. Get out of your comfort zone, experiment, and test new methods to improve the effectiveness of your digital marketing.

If digital is a big part of your business, then you’d be familiar with terms like link building, content marketing, social media marketing etc. These are umbrella terms covering a number of marketing techniques that can really up to your game.

But knowing this alone is insignificant if you don’t know how to make the most of each technique with new and interesting tactics. So let’s walk through some techniques that can increase the effectiveness of your online marketing.

1. Guest posting

While you may have heard arguments that guest blogging is being overused as a tool for link building, and losing value as a means of useful content deliverance, none can deny its effectiveness in the marketing world.

Guest blogging is here to stay, so you better make it part of your marketing strategy!

Ironically, the hardest part about guest posting is not the content creation; rather, it’s sourcing the blogs. Thankfully, the internet is a great place where you can find solutions to every problem imaginable.

BuzzStream is one solution to the ordeals of guest posting. It carries out a number of tasks for guest bloggers, such as:

  • Prospecting links
  • Keeping track of unique projects
  • Keeping track of good links
  • Analyzing results for you.

2. The Skyscraper Technique

As interesting as its sounds, the skyscraper technique requires that you find the tallest skyscraper content in your niche and improve it with stories of your own.

Once you get going, you will realize the numerous ways you can edit and improve people’s content and make it so much more useful. Also, you will be amazed by the grand attention your content receives through the skyscraper method!

Here are three fairly easy steps to guide your way through the skyscraper technique:

  • Dig out linkable assets – topics and content that are already faring well and earning laurels in the niche of your business.
  • Make it better. You can make it longer, update it, better design it, and/or add more detail to it.
  • Reach out to people to provide you backlinks. The website you choose should have already posted something relevant to your linkable asset, be part of your business niche, and should be ranking higher than your own.

3. The Moving Man Method

This relatively new term coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko has taken marketing agencies by surprise. The method is the marketing equivalent of revamping old clutter to create something way more useful than the original.

This marketing technique requires you to:

  • Search for sites that share your market but have moved to a new URL, changed names, stopped offering services, stopped updating resources, or have completely shut down their online business.
  • Produce content that is up-to-date, more powerful, and more relevant than what the defunct website had to offer.
  • Access the hundreds of people still linking to the old website and ask if they would be interested in linking to your webpage in lieu of the defunct, outdated webpage.

Simple and witty, just like what we expect from marketers of the twenty-first century!

4. Internationalizing SEO

Internationalization is a method not too common but of great significance. You make your website/blog accessible to more people by offering it in languages of more than one country. Makes sense!

Offer translations of your website in multiple languages and localize words to get your fair share of an international audience.

5. Psychological techniques

Many times while implementing your marketing strategy, you will have to think like more than just as a marketer; you will have to think like a psychologist.

Understanding the psyche of your audience and creating content that they can actually relate to are skills possessed by only rare, true marketers. If you learn the art you can conquer the hearts and minds of your audience.

This psychological effect is sometimes created by the use of powerful words. Don’t hesitate or fall short of researching such power words within your niche as they can compel new customers to join your community.

The second strong psychological effect is that of social sharing and caring. Use social media sites and communication to your full advantage by being humanistic and generous in your approach. Connect with people and other companies as people. When they share your content, always remember to return the favour.

6. Increasing your website’s click-through-rate (CTR)

Increasing your CTR in search engines is a time tested method of improving search engine ranking for websites.

Business blogs and websites have been going through the struggle for a long time. However, it’s really not that hard if you have a systematic approach to it.

CTR can be increased fairly easily by:

  • Wise keyword selection
  • Quality content
  • Eye-catching titles
  • Comprehensive, engaging descriptions
  • Prompt Calls-to-Action
  • Using breadcrumbs in the URL
  • A Table-of-Contents plugin
  • Getting Google site links

7. Sharing through LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is a wonderful place to run into new businesses and clients, stir up conversations, offer deals, and market your products in the process. In order to provide value and engage in a conversation with members of your target audience, share content through LinkedIn groups.

  • Comment on and share popular content
  • Begin conversations by asking a question
  • Post your own content (videos, blogs, Infographics, etc.) in the group

8. Innovative emails

Who hasn’t tried email marketing in order to address a wide audience? But the process and content of email marketing have become so monotonous and predictable that most companies usually get ignored by email recipients.

It’s about time we start getting innovative with email marketing;

  • Instead of blindly sending your emails into the vast expanse on the internet, aim for specific people with certain interests. You can email all the people who tweeted about a certain product in your niche as an example.
  • Long gone are the days of pesky looking emails. If you wish your emails to be read by recipients, design and compose them with grace and wit.
  • Use less text and more compelling images in emails.

Learn from the geniuses, such as Dropbox which designed this sleek, beautiful email you just cannot ignore!

9. Innovative link building

There’s no point in trying to target and build connections with random websites which have no correlation to topics in your niche. You can better spend the effort on reasonable prospects. Companies employ a number of methods when trying to identify and reach to potential websites which can backlink to their content.

One such technique is email marketing to people who have backlinked to relevant content already. Get in touch with these websites which have established positions in the market. Break the ice with them and ask politely for a feature or two of your own website.

10. Using advertorials

Advertorials are the way forward in the present age of content marketing and promotion. They are unique and unlike traditional advertising because the content imitates editorial content but serves to fulfill the goals of a brand.

Following are ways to make advertorials advantageous for your brand:

  • Find the right match of magazine/online publication for your advertorial.
  • Make sure your advertorial is clearly labeled as ‘advertisement’ as per the FTC’s latest laws and guidelines, or else it may get banned.
  • Remember, advertorials are more like blog posts. You don’t directly sell the product; you sell content related to your product.
  • Don’t forget to share your advertorials on social media sites.

11. 301 redirects

Redirection is a process of sending both users and search engines to a URL different from what they requested. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which transfers almost all of the link juice to the new page.

A 301 redirect is the most preferable type of redirect because it indicates to browsers, search engine bots, and the users, that the page has been permanently moved. Search engines may take some time to discover your new page but once they do, they will take your new page to the same rankings where your former page stood.

Wrap

The 11 ways of making online marketing more effective are the latest and most responsive of their kind. However, online marketing is a long, on-going process which cannot be summed up in 20, let alone 11 techniques.

Go beyond your threshold, employ all the methods discovered here and you might eventually find what works best for your business.

 

Blog Source: Jeff Bullas | 11 Advanced Tips To Be A Successful Digital Marketer

READ MORE +

20 Tips for a successful digital marketing

The 20 digital marketing tips outlined below will dramatically increase your chances of succeeding online.

The list is by no means complete but it’s a good starting point for beginners to digital marketing.

What is Digital Marketing?

Before digging right into the tips for online marketing success, let me first explain what is digital marketing for those that are new to this term.

Digital marketing is marketing that is executed through the Internet and electronic devices.

It has a number of pillars but the most important are:

  • Web site
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Banner advertising

Digital Marketing Tips

As you can see from the image above, each component of digital marketing is a huge chapter on its own.

Nevertheless, I will try below to summarize the most important tips for each component so that you increase your chances of successful online marketing.

Web Site Tips

#1 Use your own domain – Buy a domain name that is relevant for your business and use it to build your brand.

#2 Use a VPS – Spending $20-$40 a month for your own virtual private server is not that much compared to the benefits you get.

#3 Make it professional – Spend some time thinking about your website structure and look and feel. Identify the purpose of having a website and make sure that this is reflected in the design.

#4 Make it fast – Try to make your website as fast as possible by avoiding unnecessary graphics or other cosmetic elements.

Search Engine Marketing Tips

#5 Spend time on SEO – SEO is not a once-off process but something that you have to do as an ongoing process. If you are not sure what is the best way to do it, hire professionals to do it for you. They can help you set up an SEO strategy to get results fast.

#6 Spend money on PPC – Pay per click platforms (think Google Ads) are great because they can get you, customers, fast. If you are serious about your digital marketing, PPC should be part of your monthly budget.

#7 Don’t forget Bing Ads – Google Adwords is the most well-known system for PPC advertising but there is also Bing ads which can get you good results with less budget.

#8 Start slow and grow profitable – Once you start with PPC, don’t put all your money from the beginning but start slow, optimize your campaigns and make them profitable and then increase your budgets.

Social Media Marketing Tips

#9 Build your presence in the social networks that are related to your business – There are a lot of social networks available and you don’t have to use them all. Select the ones that are related to your business and potential customers and concentrate on those.

#10 Don’t over-promote your business and services – Social media networks are not about business but it’s about people, so make sure that you don’t over-promote your business or services but instead try to make your pages useful with content that may interest your readers.

#11 Use paid to advertise – Getting social media followers for your business it’s harder than you think. People like to follow other people and interesting pages so the easiest way for you to get your pages in front of a lot of people and increase your chances of finding new followers is to use advertising.

Content Marketing Tips

#12 You need good and original content – Digital marketing is about content, whether this is text, images, videos or audio you need good and original content for your website and social media pages. Without a content marketing plan is like walking with your eyes and ears closed.

#13 You need a lot of content – There is huge competition on anything you plan to do online so you have to be ready to perform better than the competition by publishing better and more content than they do. It’s not exactly a quantities came (quality is still more important) but it does play an important role.

#14 Don’t just publish, promote as well – Publishing good content is very important but it’s also important to promote your content and bring it in front of the eyes of the right people (these are the people that are likely to become your potential customers and also more likely to re-share your content).

Email Marketing Tips

#15 Email still converts better than other sources – Despite the dominance of social networks, email still performs better than most of the digital marketing channels. A targeted email list is likely to generate more profit than a targeted social media campaign.

#16 Build an email list from the beginning – If you are starting now make sure that an email list is part of your plans. Give incentives to people to give you their emails and make sure that you don’t spam them but send them information that is useful to them.

Mobile Marketing Tips

#17 – Make a responsive website – Although you don’t have to make your website responsive, a responsive website has more advantages than having a mobile and a desktop version. It is actually recommended by Google as the best approach to mobile websites and it is also a hot trend in the digital marketing industry.

#18 – Don’t forget mobile apps – Besides having a mobile-friendly website, do not forget that your users and potential customers are searching and downloading apps (like crazy) from Google Play, Apple AppStore and Amazon. If you want to be found in those stores, you need to develop and submit your own native apps.

Banner Advertising Tips

#19 – Sometimes it is just better– While PPC is the easiest and most effective way to reach customers, sometimes it is just better to find a website that has the traffic you want and contact them to buy advertising space. This way you keep the middle man out and this makes both you and the publisher happy.

Digital Marketing does not have a start and end date

#20 The opportunities are endless – A PPC or social media campaign may have a start and end date but your digital marketing efforts don’t. The opportunities for promoting your business online are endless and the above 20 digital marketing tips is just a very quick summary of what you can in each area.

 

Blog source: reliablesoft.net | 20 Digital Marketing Tips for Online Marketing Success

 

READ MORE +

8 effective digital marketing tips for small businesses

1. Optimise your website for mobile

With 80% of Internet users regularly browsing the web on a mobile device and Google’s recent decision to reduce the search engine ranking of websites that aren’t optimised for smaller screens, it’s become essential that your website is mobile-friendly. You can test here if your website is considered mobile-friendly by Google. We wrote a post all about ‘Mobilegeddon’ here.

2. A blog for the ‘long tail’

We recently noticed that a client of ours gets 80% of their website traffic from blog posts that were more than two months old. This finding, that the ‘Long tail’ of blogging could be where most of your traffic will come from, seems to be little understood or heeded by SMEs. Next time you look at how much you’re paying for pay-per-click traffic, bear it in mind.

 3. Use Ads Manager to manage your Facebook Ads

If you’re using Facebook for marketing, advertising is now essential to achieve any kind of reach. And if you’re using Facebook Ads properly, i.e. testing different ads and segmenting your target market, you’ll get better results using Ads Manager.

Ads Manager is a free Page and ad management tool from Facebook that is optimised for use in Google Chrome. The benefits of using Power Editor include optimised bidding, easy to use custom audiences (see ‘remarketing’, below), more accurate device targeting and a central image library for your adverts.

4. Make your LinkedIn Profile stand out

This one’s not for everyone, but adding a few symbols to your LinkedIn profile can really help it stand out from the crowd. You don’t want to overdo it, but putting arrows or bullet points next to your core skills or abilities can point potential clients to what you want them to read. There’s a great list of symbols here that you can just copy and paste.

5. Use LinkedIn for SEO

This is a cheeky one, but by customizing the website links from your LinkedIn Profile to your website, you can add valuable back-links to your site.

When you add your website LinkedIn uses the default text ‘my website’, but you can change this text to whatever you want – for example, marketing agency – giving your website a little SEO boost. To do this, edit your Contact Details and select ‘Other’ for the website, then edit the description text.

6. Create auto-responders to thank email subscribers

If you ask people to sign up for your email newsletter or bulletin, it’s best practice to contact them quickly (immediately, even) to say thanks and give them something of value, to show you’re committed to helping them.

Email marketing tools, ourselves included, enable you to create multiple autoresponders, so you can send a tailored welcome email to subscribers – perhaps with a coupon – with different interests soon after they’ve signed up to your list.

7. Twitter Ads help build your following/awareness

If you want to build your online presence within a specific industry, Twitter Ads might be just what you need. You can target your promoted Tweets at the followers of your competitors, leading industry figures and media sites to either attract new followers or get clicks to your website.

We’ve managed to get the cost per click of Twitter ads down to two pence for some clients, though the costs tend to be more for harder to reach or B2B sectors.

8. Use remarketing – it works

If you’re not familiar with the term, ‘re-marketing’ means advertising directly to people you already have a connection with. This might include visitors to your website, your email database, Twitter followers or fans of your Facebook Page.

All of the major advertising tools offer re-marketing (though Facebook calls it Custom Audiences) including Google Ads and it’s proven to offer higher returns than normal online advertising for lower costs. The Constant Contact marketplace offers several tools that aim to make retargeting your email contacts easier.

 

Blog Source: Constant Contact | 8 very practical digital marketing tips for small businesses

READ MORE +