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Best Marketing Strategies

When we compiled our list of 2020 marketing tactics at the end of 2019, no one had any idea what was really in store for the year to come. Now, we know 2021 will continue to see ripple effects from the pandemic and, even when it’s over, consumer behavior will never go back entirely to the way it was before.

the 18 best marketing strategies for 2021
This has profound implications for brands and marketers in 2021. On top of that, technology and regulatory changes will require preparation. We asked marketing experts how they plan to tackle 2021—here are the 18 topics they zeroed in on.

18 of the best ways to market your business in 2021
The following list provides insights into many strategies you’ve already heard of, including SEO, customer retention, ecommerce, and video and influencer marketing. It also includes new strategies related to cookieless advertising and privacy changes, as well as new approaches to help you cater to the new COVID-weary and social change-conscious consumer of 2021. No matter the strategy, the idea is the same: to market personally and value your customers, but also efficiently so you can save time, scale-up, and keep running your day-to-day.

1. Optimize for Google’s next update
With Google’s Page Experience Update coming in May 2021, new metrics called Core Web Vitals—which will measure site load time, interactivity, and content stability—will start to impact overall search rankings.

google’s page experience update core web vitals page experience
“Basically, anything that could annoy a user of the page may negatively impact the Core Web Vitals metrics and lead to a lower ranking in search results for that page,” said Mark Coster, owner of web design agency Web Design for Businesses.

That means brands will have to start optimizing for Core Web Vitals by being more user-friendly than ever before.

best marketing strategies for 2021-core web vitals
“Pages and elements must load fast and not leave users waiting,” said Lee Savery, content executive at digital agency Ricemedia. “The delay before a first input must be very short, allowing users to interact with pages as fast as possible. There mustn’t be any unexpected changes in layout while users load and scroll the page. Not addressing these elements could lead to your site dropping fast.”

2. Prepare for the end of third-party cookies
2021 will also be the year marketers prepare for two big changes to come in 2022: the end of third-party cookies and new privacy regulations in California.

“We have to get comfortable with privacy-first data collection practices. That means focusing on list-building and developing one-to-one relationships with customers,” said Harry Maugans, CEO of consumer privacy service Privacy Bee. “Make sure that your campaigns in 2021 help you build your first-party data so you rely less on Other People’s Data.”

The death of third-party cookies will change how digital ads are targeted and tracked, but Dave Toby, director of digital marketing agency Pathfinder Alliance, said there’s still “considerable confusion about how campaigns will be affected.”

best marketing strategies for 2021- privacy-first data collection
“The coming year will provide a final chance for marketers to educate themselves about the impact of the cookie-less future and to prepare for it,” he added. “The most important action involves improving access to, and effective use of, their valuable first-party data—and ensure agencies have a clear plan for placing and measuring campaigns after the change.”

In addition to getting comfortable with privacy-first data collection practices, brands will also have to build their own data collection infrastructure to comply with coming regulations in 2021.

“Fines in California start at $2,500 per occurrence, so it’s financially prudent to prepare in [advance],” Maugans noted.

3. Foster first-party relationships
In 2021, having direct relationships with customers will be even more important as the online landscape becomes even more cluttered with brands trying to reach digital consumers. But it will also be important because one-to-one relationships mean brands can personalize content for better experiences.

Houman Akhavan, CMO of CarParts.com, said a first-party data strategy yielded “incredible results” in 2020, including “record conversions.”

“A critical part of this first-party data strategy has been using the correct customer data platform technology—one that is scalable to process millions of records of customer insights, including real-time signals that must be acted upon immediately before they go stale,” he said. “Thus far, leveraging our customer data platform has allowed us to generate over a quarter billion personalized one-to-one messages. We’ve seen our click-through rates increase by as much as 400% and our email revenue has doubled.”

best marketing strategies of 2021 first-party data
Image source

4. Focus on customer retention
And for brands struggling to recover from the events of 2020, focusing on existing customers may be wise.

“In an uncertain economy, most brands—especially niche retailers— should focus on existing customers,” said Jonathan Frey, CMO of electric bike retailer Urban Bikes Direct.

For his part, Jim Pendergast, SVP of commercial financing platform AltLine, expects to see B2C brands emphasize mobile marketing for customer retention.

“Think things like personalized push notifications on smartphones and loyalty incentives if you download mobile apps to shop or transact indirectly,” he said.

“Keeping existing customers happy is cheaper than acquiring new ones because brands have bypassed the early stages of the customer journey and have more data to work with for personalized messaging,” Pendergast added.

What’s more, mobile interactions like SMS (and even email) are a direct link between brand and customer—and bypass third parties.

What’s more, mobile interactions like SMS (and even email) are a direct link between brand and customer—and bypass third parties.
“The pandemic has been catastrophic for small firms…but this simply further heightens the need for small firms to own their audience and have a stellar brand reputation because those are the only things they can leverage against the tech giants,” said Jake Meador, director of the content strategy at marketing tech company Mobile Text Alerts.

5. Start selling on social
Another burgeoning trend with potentially far-reaching implications is social commerce.

social-shopping-organic-Nike-post
In 2020, Facebook launched Shops for both Facebook and Instagram, allowing users to shop directly on the platforms.

Bruce Biegel, the senior managing partner of management consultancy Winterberry Group, expects to see more focus on social commerce in 2021, along with new marketplaces, to shorten the customer journey from search to conversion.

the best marketing strategies for 2021 social commerce
“It brings a whole new opportunity for marketers to put their products in front of potential clients,” said Jeff Anning, founder of electric skateboard brand Evolve Skateboards. “Retailers are working hard to reduce the friction from product to purchase, using in-app shopping on social media channels.”

That is why Evolve will be “heavily testing and trying to reduce drop-offs by selling directly from social media channels” in 2021, Anning added.

6. Follow statements of purpose with action
2020 was also a year in which consumers and brands alike took stances on social justice issues.

“After the murder of George Floyd and the global human rights outcry we saw in late May, companies and brands will need to continue their promise towards inclusion and cultural competency efforts,” said Tara Miremadi, digital brand manager at health and fitness marketing agency Margaux Agency. “Many statements were released, but the key for brands looking to solidify their relationship with consumers is how they follow through with continued action.

Kent Lewis, president of digital marketing agency Anvil Media, believes brands will do this in 2021 as they “appeal to enlightened consumers that care deeply about a company’s purpose and commitment to social and environmental sustainability.”

7. Build trust
Meanwhile, the pandemic accelerated a trend in which consumers are looking to spend money with brands that not only share their values but brands they trust.

“As consumers have become even more selective of where they spend their money, they want to know the businesses they support have their best interests in mind,” said Colin Palfrey, CMO of espresso equipment retailer Majesty Coffee. “Building trust doesn’t require a big budget. All you have to do is make a promise to your customers and keep it.”

Mark Wood, CEO of glass fence manufacturer National Pool Fences, agreed brands have to focus their messaging on giving consumers peace of mind—even after the vaccine.

best marketing strategies for 2021-build trust
“The pandemic will have a profound and lasting impact on customer mindset and messaging that focuses solely on product or service instead of compassion and trust will not fly,” Wood said. “Since our business already has a focus on safety, tweaking our message to be about cleanliness and peace of mind will be an ongoing strategy through 2021.”

8. Grow communities
In addition to demonstrating they are trustworthy, brands should foster communities of loyal customers in 2021.

“The notion of community building isn’t novel, but brands in 2021 need to understand that loyalty is coming back and brands that know what it is their customers want, as well as how to engage them through transparency and humility, is what will become the difference-maker,” said SEO consultant Itamar Blauer.

Olga Petrik, CMO of Gmail CRM firm NetHunt CRM, agreed brands should invest more in loyalty and retention for 2021.

“Their existing customer base has come this far with them throughout the pandemic—it’s stable to some extent,” she said. “By switching from customer support to a customer success strategy, a business can ensure that customers receive maximum value from a product.

9. Optimize for voice search
We’ve seen voice search in previous year-end predictions. However, 2021 may be the year it really takes off as consumers used their voice-enabled devices more while they were at home during the pandemic.

Google Voice Search microphone icon
“This, in turn, meant people were more willing to explore what their smart home devices could do and open a dialogue with them and begin to learn and rely on them,” said Polly Kay, senior marketing manager at window covering retailer English Blinds.

As a result, brands should optimize for voice search by focusing on longer-tail keywords that reflect how consumers ask questions or make requests verbally to stay ahead of the curve.

“Much [like] Google introduced mobile-first ranking for SEO even in instances of user searches on desktop devices, so, too, is it highly likely that as the popularity of voice search queries increases, Google [will] place a heavier weighting on ranking and rewarding content that successfully meets the needs of voice searchers,” she added.

best marketing strategies for 2021- voice search
In fact, Shiv Gupta, CEO of digital media marketing agency Incrementors, said there’s a real opportunity for small businesses to capitalize on local search invoices.

“About 22% of users use voice search by Google to get details of local businesses,” he said.

10. Lean into local SEO
Speaking of which, local SEO is another marketing strategy to make a repeat appearance on this list. This time, it’s because brands can update their Google Business Profiles via their Google My Business Accounts to include pandemic-friendly details like online appointments and curbside pickup and delivery, said Sarah Blocksidge, marketing manager at digital marketing agency Sixth City Marketing.

For more COVID-conscious local SEO tips, check out 13 SEO Strategies for SMBs During COVID-19.
“Since everyone will still want to stay in close proximity to home, but also support small local businesses, it is important to make sure your Google My Business account is optimized and active,” Blocksidge added. “Having strong reviews is also a part of this, on sites like Yelp and [the like] because if a customer needs to hire someone for any type of service, they will want to read up on other people’s positive (or negative) experiences on how they are handling safety protocols and [the like].”

11. Go casual in social videos
The trend toward social video will undoubtedly continue in 2021.

Mark Hayes, head of marketing at video-based advice platform Kintell, noted TikTok has over 500 million users and is available in more than 150 global markets. It has also spurred copycats like Instagram’s Reels, which launched in August 2020. (Twitter’s Fleets, which came out in November 2020, offers similar 24-hour-only video capabilities.)

Platforms like TikTok allow marketers to more naturally weave brand content into users’ feeds.

Sarah Walsh, strategic account manager at digital marketing agency Branch & Bramble, expects to see Instagram users move from static posts to Reels in 2021.

“While video content has a certain expectation to be high quality, Reels owns a unique territory where they don’t have to be beautifully shot or exceptionally designed to gain attention,” she said.

This means brands can let their hair down a bit.

Lindsey Wigfield, CEO of content marketing agency Sweet Home Marketing, agreed brands are moving away from always looking professional by embracing hashtag challenges on TikTok, for example.

best marketing strategies of 2021 TikTok hashtag challenge
Image source

“My prediction is that even more businesses will catch on to the positive brand vibes that are generated through a more laidback social media approach,” she said.

Indeed, marketer, copywriter, and web developer James Blews said video content helps marketers overcome the feeling of disconnectedness we’ve suffered from in 2020.

“Everyone from landscapers to real estate agents to credit unions will need to use more and more video to overcome that and stay connected to people,” he said.

12. Go live
An extension of this video trend is live streams, which will also remain popular.

Reuben Yonatan, CEO of VOIP guide site GetVOIP, noted a sharp uptick in brands going live during the pandemic to interact with consumers in real-time.

Instagram Live promotion example
“In 2021, going live will continue to be a rising marketing trend,” Yonatan said. “Going live leverages the fact that people working from home are spending more time on social media.”

For tips on live streaming, check out our Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Youtube Live tips.
Ryan Gould, VP of strategy at B2B marketing agency Elevation Marketing, agreed it’s an inexpensive option to stay connected with consumers and foster more meaningful relationships.

“At the start of quarantine, we started seeing it done in a lot of unexpected businesses like shuttered restaurants teaching free cooking classes and yoga studios running free live sessions in order to keep consumers engaged while they can’t visit,” he added.

13. Tap into micro-influencers
2020 was a good year for micro-influencers like Nathan Apodaca, the viral cranberry-juice-drinking TikTok star, and Tony Piloseno, another TikTok user with wildly popular paint-mixing videos who was fired by Sherwin Williams—and then hired by Florida Paints.

With TikTok showing no signs of slowing down, the power of influencers—big and small—is expected to continue in 2021.

Lewis noted the pandemic amplified influencers’ impact on sales when in-store shopping options were limited.

“Social media use dramatically increased during the pandemic and research firms believe this trend will be lasting,” he said. “A recent study found that 40% of people reported that they purchased a product online after seeing it used by an influencer on YouTube, Instagram or Twitter.”

best marketing strategies for 2021-influencer marketing
That’s because influencers speak on a more personal level and give honest opinions that resonate more with their followers, Lewis added.

“As traditional budgets were being cut, social influencers and bloggers were seen as a lower-cost alternative to TV and radio,” said Joe Sinkwitz, CEO of influencer network Intellifluence. “Now even with positive vaccine news and early-stage optimism over the possibility of normalcy come Q3 2021, we’re seeing a doubling down effect of influencer budgets expand as the early testing brands from early 2020 are now recognizing the channel is one worthy of reinvestment.”

14. Use retailer media networks
Retailers like Amazon and Walmart were among the few to actually benefit from changes spurred by the pandemic.

In recent history, Amazon has also diversified its advertising portfolio, adding units like Sponsored Video Ads, Sponsored Display Ads and OTT ads.

“With these additions, Amazon has become a fully enclosed ecosystem, supporting the whole marketing funnel from product discovery to purchase,” said Natalia Wulfe, CMO of digital marketing agency Effective Spend. “Advertisers can use OTT and Sponsored Display to build awareness, video ads to educate and engage visitors, and traditional sponsored product ads to drive transactions.”

Combined, these developments mean advertisers can enjoy better reach and performance on Amazon than ever before, Wulfe added.

Sponsored Video Ads, Sponsored Display Ads, and OTT ads on Amazon can yield better reach and performance in 2021 than ever before.
Toby agreed the spike in ecommerce and related impact on budget allocations are projected to continue. He pointed to figures from eMarketer, which show advertising on ecommerce platforms jumped 39% in 2020 and will grow another 30% in 2021, capturing 13% of total U.S. digital ad spend.

Measurability is helping drive this change, Toby said.

“According to an April study from Catalyst and Kantar, advertisers believe leading ecommerce sites provide better measurability of ad ROI than many other digital ad types, including social media ads,” he added. “Additionally, ecommerce sites know a lot about their customers, which is key to ad targeting without reliance on third-party cookies.”

15. Establish brand partnerships
2020 brought us successful brand collaborations like McDonald’s and Travis Scott, Adidas and Allbirds and Adidas and Lego, which means more brand collaborations are likely on the horizon.

“Unexpected partnerships between corporate brands capture media attention, generate social buzz and allow for cross-marketing to customer bases—without celebrity endorsement fees, all of which plays well in an era of hard-to-capture consumer attention and tightened budgets,” Toby said.

But brands that, say, don’t have the resources to hire a Travis Scott can instead team up with brands that offer complementary products or services. That’s what thermal imaging brand ThermoGears did when it was looking to bring new visitors to its website.

“Email marketing is one of the most cost-efficient marketing channels, but it’s only as powerful as the quality and size of your list,” said CEO Julien Raby. “One approach that is working well for us right now is co-branded emails. In short, we approach companies with an audience similar to ours to craft a deal involving both offerings. We then send this offer to both our email lists.”

the best marketing strategies for 2021- partnerships
One such company was a brand that produces hunting clothes.

“By sending a deal to our respective lists, we got access to a new audience without investing media dollars,” Raby added.

Now, the brand plans to double down on the tactic in 2021.

16. Get into augmented reality
Also expect to see more augmented reality (AR) executions in 2021. This will allow brands to show consumers what objects will look in their homes, like Ikea’s AR catalog, or how clothes or accessories look on their bodies, like Warby Parker’s virtual try-on app.

“The pandemic encouraged marketers to think uniquely for ways to connect with consumers who always stay inside their homes,” said Stephen Light, CMO of mattress retailer Nolah Mattress. “The solution was AR marketing, which helped the target market get a feel of owning the product even without seeing it personally.”

He noted the biggest misconception about AR ads is they’re expensive, but they’re actually more budget-friendly than traditional channels.

best marketing strategies for 2021 augmented reality
“Besides being cheaper than print ads, AR ads can skyrocket engagement rates since they are more interactive and offer a newer experience than traditional marketing mediums,” Light added. “The best part about an AR ad is that marketers can reuse the content across various marketing channels, making it a cost-effective tactic for audience interaction.”

Daniel Snow, CEO of performance and social media marketing agency the Snow Agency, too, said he plans to expand on augmented reality marketing in 2021 as it helps brands connect with consumers even in lockdown. Plus, by showing consumers what products look like, brands reduce the likelihood of returns.

17. Automate what you can
Another tactic to help decrease the budget and increase efficiencies is marketing automation.

Sharon van Donkelaar, CMO at LinkedIn marketing automation company Expandi, said automation helps free up employees from “many boring and routine business tasks.”

This includes Automated Bidding in Google Ads.

“Google Ads marketers constantly tweak and adjust campaigns, keywords, and bids to get the most for their advertising dollars,” said Thierry Tremblay, CEO of online database software Kohezion. “The problem is all of the tweakings comes at a cost that is more in hours and higher management fees. Enter Automated bidding, which allows Google to automate prior moves to adjust your bid in real-time.”

Matt Bertram, CEO of digital marketing agency EWR Digital, noted other automation software can develop, launch and analyze multiple campaigns on autopilot.

google ads automated bidding strategies
A chart we adapted from Google’s more comprehensive automated bidding breakdown.

“At the end of each campaign it will test, segment and analyze conversions,” he said. “This leaves you with huge time savings and allows you to focus solely on monitoring the results and optimizing to improve future performance.”

And David Kolodny, cofounder of startup studio Wilbur Labs, noted the value of automation and real-time data skyrocketed in 2020 because it was so important to understand what was happening in the moment—and it’s impossible for manual processes to keep up with such rapid change.

“Though trends are smoother now than they were in March and April, we are still seeing rapid customer behavior changes on a daily basis and real-time data loops have directly contributed to greater marketing efficiencies,” Kolodny said. “By utilizing automation wherever applicable— and connecting it to real-time data—we have been able to ensure that our portfolio companies are maximizing every opportunity available to them. Real-time data and automation will be the difference between companies that excel in 2021 and those that are left behind.”

Learn how to bid like a pro using Google’s Automated Bidding in this post
18. Embrace B2B2C
In 2021, we’ll continue to see remote work and unemployment, which will impact B2B marketing in particular.

Email marketing may suffer as a result of inactive email addresses, said Graham Smith, marketing director of B2B marketing consultancy Marketing Graham. That could, however, be a bright spot for LinkedIn InMail campaigns, which generally have high open and click-through rates.

Dillana Lim, CEO of data technology company Versium, recommended adopting a B2B2C approach by associating consumer attributes with business target lists.

“In other words, mapping a personal email address to a business email or a physical street address or cell phone to a name of a business professional at a particular business,” she said. “This means that B2B marketers can now utilize all the targeting capabilities that B2C marketers have been using for years to effectively reach their ideal prospects at scale across all digital touchpoints.”

You now have 18 ways to grow in 2021
Will you be able to try them all? Maybe not. For some, you’ll pick a few and give them a shot. For others, it will be more worthwhile to pick just one and really focus on it. It all depends on your industry, your audience, and your business goals specifically. Take a look at what your competitors are doing and what your audience is saying, and refer back to this list so you can start building a plan:

Optimize for Google’s next update
Prepare for the end of third-party cookies
Foster first-party relationships
Focus on customer retention
Start selling on social
Follow statements of purpose with action
Build trust
Grow communities
Optimize for voice search
Lean into local SEO
Go casual in social videos
Go live
Tap into micro-influencers
Use retailer media networks
Establish brand partnerships
Get into augmented reality
Automate what you can
Embrace B2B2C

 

Source: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2021/01/04/best-marketing-strategies-2021

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Best Canvas Prints

Having a wide assortment of options can be a blessing when you’re shopping for something specific, but when you’re not exactly sure what you want, it can quickly become overwhelming. This is especially true when you’re deciding on a purchase as emotionally charged as a canvas print.

Around the world and across cultures, the visual memories we display in our homes become tangible connections to the past that are rarely if ever, replaced over time. Any print you purchase is likely to remain with you for years, even decades, and choosing the right mode of presentation can be as important as the image itself.

To help you decide which print format is right for you, we’ve devised a little breakdown of our ten favorite styles of canvas prints.

1) The Basic Canvas Print
the basic canvas prints

Sometimes the best option is the most basic one! Boasting a bolder presence than traditional framed photographs, our no-frill basic canvas prints allow your image to take center stage without any distractions. These free-hanging, frameless prints are ideal for interior designers who prefer not to be bound to specific décor choices since canvas prints can be moved from room to room effortlessly.

All our museum-quality prints are hand-stretched on poly-cotton, water-resistant canvas with kiln-dried pine wood that resists warping. They are printed using vibrant HP latex UltraChrome UV-resistant inks. As a finishing touch, each print is available with the option of a scratch-resistant laminate. Furthermore, all prints come with a lifetime warranty. Our canvas prints are available in standard and custom sizes that can be made-to-order to suit interior spaces.

2) Framed Canvas Prints
Framed Canvas Prints

Our framed canvas prints provide the textured, visual appeal and durability of canvas, with a framed print’s traditional look. Create a statement piece to compliment an existing photo gallery or begin a gallery without the hassle of custom framing expenses.

Framed canvases come in a ready-to-hang condition, straight out of the box. Select from 300 framing styles and 60 matte colors to create a completely uniform look, mix, and match to create an eclectic, signature look that’s unique to your design space. We also provide a variety of glass options to protect your print far into the future.

3) Collage Canvas Prints
Collage Canvas Prints

Collage canvas prints are the perfect medium for telling a visual story. Choose up to 36 photos that share a common theme: different shots of a special day, various milestones met, or just your favorites of a specific subject. Collage canvas prints are great for limited space when you have so many great shots that it’s hard to choose. Several collage prints can also create a sentimental border around one larger photo, forming a colorful subtext without taking away one central image’s emotional power.

Collage prints tend to be the most personal of our canvas prints because the choice of photos and how they are arranged gives the viewer exciting insights into both the subject of the images and the person who set them. The personal touch makes a collage canvas print a unique heirloom and a treasured gift for all ages.

We offer an array of template options to make it a snap to design your own collage. You can request emailed design proofs, so you don’t have to worry about any surprises upon delivery.

4) Panoramic Photo Prints
Panoramic Photo Prints

Bold and dynamic, our panoramic photo prints take on a life of their own. A panoramic canvas prints demands to be seen and allows you to frame any room’s focus according to your desire. Hang one above a bed or sofa to create visually pleasing parallel lines, or infuse an office or studio with powerful creative energy.

You don’t even need the original photo to be panoramic. Our online editing tool allows you to easily edit and crop any image to fit a panoramic aspect ratio. Because of its eye-catching gravitational pull, panoramic prints are welcome with a more minimal-style décor. They also create a pleasant “window effect” in smaller living spaces lacking good views of their own.

5) Split Photo Canvas
Split Photo Canvas

Another show-stopping centerpiece, split photo canvases, creates a striking visual effect by utilizing multiple canvases to create a unified image. A split canvas print makes a dramatic focal point in any room by harmoniously consolidating the space into a single image. Like our collage prints, a split photo canvas tells a story, but it is one movement rather than thematic content.

How the photo is split across panels allows you to control how the piece is viewed by your audience – moving the eye from top to bottom, from side to side, or flowing towards a center point from the outside edge. Split photo canvases are a delightful way to make an iconic art print of your own. Starting at a two-panel diptych up to a nine-panel multi-panel piece, any photo can be arranged according to our convenient design templates.

6) Hexagon Prints
Hexagon Canvas Prints

The innate wisdom of bees taught us that the hexagon is the most space-efficient shape in nature. Indeed, hexagon canvas prints are excellent space savers while also being whimsical and trendy to boot! Hexagon prints are perfect for creating personalized displays – especially in small spaces such as staircases, hallways, or nooks that might be oppressed by larger images.

Create a beautiful wall design with a larger collection, or scatter them throughout your home for a nontraditional photo presentation. Mix and match your hexagon prints with those little floating hexagonal shelves that are all the rage online to create tiny tribute areas that will tie your visual themes together.

7) Canvas Floater Frames
Canvas Floater Frames

While framed canvases mimic their traditional photograph cousins, canvas floater frames are explicitly designed to display canvases to their fullest effect. Surrounded by an austere, mounted border, floater frame canvases emerge as a stunning, three-dimensional body that expands outside of the frame without glass.

Canvas floater frames are often used in art galleries to display works of art. That can instantly elevate a simple selfie to the status of a masterpiece. Floater framed canvases are also uniquely versatile, as they can be hung or function as stand-alone pieces on a flat surface.

8) Pop Art Canvas
Pop Art Canvas

The pop-art movement redefined modern art traditions, just like our pop art-inspired canvases will redefine your interior décor! Bright with fanciful color and campy 1950s and 60s charm, CanvasChamp can help you transform any image into a playful masterpiece.

Our online design tool will allow you to take cues from famous pop artists like Warhol and Lichtenstein with their signature pixels and grids. Or you can even design your own caricature! Pop art canvases create lovely conversation pieces for offices and dorm rooms. Or give it as a one-of-a-kind gift to the modern art lover in your life.

9) Mosaic Canvas Prints
Mosaic Canvas Prints

Can’t decide between the merits of a split panel canvas and a collage canvas print? Mosaic canvas prints offer the best of both worlds! These striking prints have all the compelling style of a split panel canvas, but because it is printed on a single canvas, you won’t have to worry about hanging multiple canvases to get the stunning effect! Utilizing a tiled effect, reminiscent of ancient glass or ceramic artwork, mosaic canvas prints incorporate elements of the old world and the New that is at home with a wide variety of tastes and styles. Customize your mosaic print to suit your taste – in gorgeous, UV-resistant full color, a stylish color gradient effect, or black and white for a stunning contrast of shadow and light.

10) Rolled Canvas Prints
Rolled Canvas Prints

Stretched canvases aren’t for everyone! For the indie-music lover surrounded by posters, a stretched canvas would stick out like a sore thumb. Rolled canvas prints have all the benefits of any printed canvas from CanvasChamp – high-quality water-resistant canvas printed with vivid, UltraChrome UV-resistant inks.

But now you can choose to display it in any way you see fit! Use rolled canvas prints for any project that demands high-quality images but must travel or be frequently reorganized, like a portfolio or event decor. Or redesign your favorite movie and music posters in a medium that won’t fade and tear.

Whatever your style, CanvasChamp can help you create exactly what you’re looking for! Unlike other printing sites, we offer customizable large canvas print sizes because your creative vision isn’t one size fits all!

Our online design tool makes designing your new heirloom or artwork easy and quick. And our staff is on call 24/7 to help you answer any questions you might have before purchasing. All our prints carry a lifetime satisfaction guarantee, so you can order with confidence, knowing only the best quality prints come from CanvasChamp!

Your canvas print will be with you for many long years to come, and we make it easy to ensure your print is precisely the way you envisioned it.

 

Source: https://www.canvaschamp.com/blog/best-canvas-prints

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A Truly Unique Piece Of Home Decor

The way you decorate your home can make a big statement about who you are and what you care about. When you want to make a lasting positive impact on anyone who visits your home, one of the best ways to do so is by decorating your home in a meaningful way. That’s why we think customized artwork is perfect for displaying in your home!

Personalized artwork gives you a chance to decorate your home in a truly unique way. When your goal is to create a warm, welcoming, and joy-filled environment in your home, using custom paintings with personal significance to you is the way to go. With custom paintings, you have the freedom to choose what your home looks like – you can decorate in a way that is entirely one-of-a-kind!

In this post, we’ll answer any questions you might have about custom paintings – how they are made, how to get one, and why you should consider using meaningful, personalized artwork to decorate your home. Keep reading to learn more!

Custom Paintings: How Do They Work?

Getting a beautiful piece of unique artwork from Paint Your Life is an incredibly quick, simple, and enjoyable process. It all starts with you finding a photo that you love.

Our team of talented artists can create customized artwork based on a wide variety of subject matter. From family photos, personal portraits, and wedding pictures to your favorite photos of your pet or even your home, the possibilities are many! If you have a photo of your family that you love most, this is the ideal point of reference for your custom piece of artwork from Paint Your Life.

Once you have selected your reference photo, a gifted artist at Paint Your Life will start the process of turning it into a masterpiece. Your artwork can be created in one of a wide variety of mediums, as well as in a multitude of possible sizes. You can even select a beautiful frame to pair with your artwork, making it completely ready to hang on the wall right when you receive it.

The process is as simple as that – select a photo that you love (or take a new favorite picture), send it to Paint Your Life, select your medium and dimensions, pick an artist, and then you’re all set!

Why Hang Custom Paintings In Your Home?

Custom artwork can have a truly unique impact on the look and feel of your home. When you decorate your home with artwork that means the world to you, you are bound to feel much more comfortable and at home in the space where you live. It’s incredible how art can transform a space, and custom paintings have the power to fill your home with joy.

At Paint Your Life, we believe the artwork that you display in your home should represent what you and your family care about the most. That’s why our talented group of artists is always ready to paint beautiful renditions of your favorite family photos! By turning your precious memories into expertly crafted works of art with Paint Your Life, you can give your home a complete one-of-a-kind feel that perfectly represents the spirit of your family!

Custom artwork from Paint Your Life is available in a wide variety of mediums, so there’s something for everyone. From acrylic, watercolor, and oil paintings to drawings in charcoal, black pencil, and colored pencil, our artists are proficient in turning your photos into multiple types of incredible artwork. Getting custom artwork from Paint Your Life means having the freedom to personalize your home decor on a level that would otherwise be impossible.

Getting custom artwork from Paint Your Life also gives you the opportunity to discover what types of artwork you love most. By exploring our online gallery, you can look at a multitude of drawings and paintings based on photos. If you’re new to decorating your home with artwork, you’re in for a treat. Looking through the wide variety of mediums of artwork offered by Paint Your Life, you’re bound to find a specific medium that you love. There’s no wrong choice of medium – whatever you love most is perfect for you and your home!

In addition, custom artwork from Paint Your Life can make an unforgettable gift. When you want to give something deeply personal and meaningful to someone you love, there’s no better present to give than a piece of one-of-a-kind art. Custom paintings and drawings based on photos have a truly special beauty and meaning that has the power to move someone to tears.

Whether you are giving a gift to a close friend, family member, or someone else, choosing to give a custom piece of art based on a favorite photo is always a great option. Artwork from Paint Your Life is especially meaningful when you choose a photo for reference.

Choosing an Artist

We want you to have the freedom to choose the perfect artist to complete your customized artwork. Each of our artists is incredibly skilled, and each of them has a distinct style. You can explore each of our artists’ portfolios on our website and pick which one is best for you based on their prior work.

Choose the artist you love most based on your personal preferences and what you think will look best on your wall. There’s no wrong choice of the artist – just follow your heart and choose based on the style of art that you love most!

How Does Pricing Work?

Your customized artwork can vary in price based on the number of subjects in your photo and the dimensions that you choose for your art. The bigger the artwork, the higher the price – but fear not, Paint Your Life gives you incredible quality at an incredibly affordable price. While many custom portraits can cost thousands of dollars, even our largest paintings are in a much more affordable price range.

When it comes to portraits, the number of people in your painting or drawing will have the biggest influence on how much it costs. The intricate details of each person’s face take time and effort for an artist to recreate, and the more faces included in a painting or drawing, the longer it can take to create. Each of our artists takes extremely great care to do your photos justice, replicating them in incredible detail. Because of the amount of care that it takes to transform a photo into a piece of art, a higher number of subjects in your photo will mean a more expensive piece of art.

In addition to the number of subjects in your photo, the dimensions you choose for your artwork will also influence the final price. Paint Your Life offers artwork ranging in size from 8” x 10” to 48” x 72”, with plenty of additional options in between. The bigger your artwork is, the more time and effort it will take to create. To make sure each artist has the proper compensation for their work, the cost of a painting or drawing is highest for the largest sizes.

How Long Will My Artwork Take to Arrive?

After you order your personalized artwork, it makes perfect sense to be eager to get it in the mail! Our artists work hard to be as efficient and timely as possible, and we can get you your artwork in as little as 16 days in some cases.

Getting your artwork in the mail never takes longer than a month, including the time taken for processing and shipping. The excitement for the unveiling of your custom artwork can build dramatically as this time passes, making it even more rewarding when your masterpiece arrives in the mail!

Paint Your Life Gives You a Masterpiece Like No Other

Most pieces of art that you would typically display in your home are copies or reprints of artwork that have been mass-produced. On the other hand, artwork from Paint Your Life is completely original and one-of-a-kind. It is a rare and precious thing to have a piece of entirely unique, meaningful, and personalized artwork to proudly display in your home!

Because artwork from Paint Your Life is so special and unique, your custom piece of art can become a precious family heirloom as time passes. Documenting and preserving the memories that you make with your loved ones is one of the most beautiful and worthwhile things you can do in life, and at Paint Your Life, we’re here to do everything we can to make your memories last forever! It all starts with taking a photo that you love, or choosing one that you already have, and getting it ready to be turned into a completely unique work of art. It’s as simple as that!

Source: https://www.paintyourlife.com/blog/2021/01/03/custom-painting-what-you-should-know/

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The Best Light Therapy

Using a light therapy lamp can be an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is associated with the lack of sunlight that occurs in the winter months. Because individuals take in less natural light in winter compared to sunnier seasons, they experience a drop in serotonin, the “happy chemical” that naturally occurs in our bodies. This can make some people feel more drowsy and depressed.1 Light therapy lamps can provide feel-good natural lighting when it’s not present in our environment.

Because people with general depression often also experience low levels of serotonin, this population can also benefit from using light therapy lamps. These lamps can even help those with sleep disorders—like insomnia, jet lag, or simply sleeplessness caused by a change in work shift schedules—because light therapy can aid in regulating our natural circadian rhythm, helping us fight fatigue and restlessness.2

Here are the best light therapy lamps for all your needs.

Our Top Picks
1 Best Overall: Verilux HappyLight Lucent

Pros
Portable and compact

Usable horizontally or vertically

Includes a detachable stand

Cons
No brightness setting

The 6-foot cord might not be long enough for some

The stand works best on even surfaces

Measuring 8.5 x 6.5 x .5 inches, the lamp’s symmetrical, square design ensures that it’s small and discreet enough to fit into just about any space. But don’t let the size fool you—the lamp’s 10,000 lux brightness matches that of the morning sun, without the unwanted UV rays.

The light fully stretches across the lamp’s front panel, bathing whatever room it’s placed in with clean, customizable light. The brightness helps for efficiency and comfort, all of which help improve your focus, boost your mood, and support a healthy sleep cycle. Its small build also makes it easy to take on the go and is sure to help you feel energized throughout your day.

2 Best Floor Lamp: Lavish Home Full Spectrum Sunlight Task Floor Lamp

Pros
Shock and vibration resistant

Adjustable height and angle

Easy assembly

Cons
Ideal for rooms over 350 sq. ft

The floor lamp’s flexible gooseneck design gives whatever room you place it in clear, bright light to energize anyone who walks in. With a 27-watt CFL Bulb that gives off just as much light as a 150-watt bulb without using the same amount of energy, you can experience a full spectrum of daytime sun hues for more focus, energy, and better sleep.

The lamp measures 60.0 x 10.0 x 9.0 inches and features a weighted base to keep it stable. With 1,300 lumens, its bulb can last up to seven months before being replaced. Get it in a variety of stylish colors.

3 Best Budget: Verilux HappyLight

Pros
UV-free

Designed to reduce eye strain

Compact

Cons
Bulky

Requires maneuvering to be positioned at eye level

While many light therapy lamps are larger and more expensive, Verilux’s HappyLight is compact and affordable. It is completely UV-free with flicker elimination technology and optic glare control lens lighting that reduces strain on your eyes and damage to your skin.

A full spectrum of 10,000 lux light intensity provides focus, energy, a boosted mood, and improved sleep. The lamp measures 6.3 x 3.0 x 7.4 inches, only weighs 1.5 pounds, and is super compact, so it’s easy to take with you on the go. Use it for a pick-me-up for 10 to 15 minutes after lunch or in the morning for a boost of energy.

4 Best Desk Lamp: Theralite Aura Bright Light Therapy Lamp

Pros
Adjustable height and angle

Four brightness settings

Lightweight

Cons
Top-heavy and may tip over

This UV- and glare-free, 10,000 lux therapy lamp has an adjustable height and angle, so you can set it up exactly how you need it to fit on your desk. With four settings and 168 energy-efficient LED lights, it’s perfect for anyone who wants to brighten up their workspace and improve their mood and focus, fight sleep disorders, and boost their general well-being.

With four light settings, you can adjust the light to your ideal brightness. For best results, the manufacturer recommends placing the light above your line of vision to maximize the amount of light that reaches your eyes. You should also be facing the lamp with your eyes open while using it to reap maximum benefits, but you do not need to directly look at the light. The therapy lamp comes in a painted white finish and weighs under 4 pounds, making it easy to maneuver and store if needed.

5 Best for SAD: Carex Day-Light Classic Light Therapy Lamp

Pros
Two brightness settings

Adjustable height and angle

Includes five-year warranty

Large light face

Cons
Heavy and bulky

The lamp provides 10,000 lux of glare-free, LED white therapy light. It has two light settings, blocks 99 percent of UV rays, and projects the light downward for maximum effectiveness. With a broad surface to project the light from, the lamp provides a full dosage of light from 12 inches away so that you don’t have to sit right next to the lamp. Designed to improve sleep, boost your mood, and improve concentration, it’s highly recommended for individuals who experience SAD.

The height and angle of the light are adjustable, and the whole unit stands on a pedestal. It comes with a five-year warranty, so you’re guaranteed to get the mood-boosting benefits you need.

6 Best Design: Bios SkyView Wellness Table Lamp

Pros
Four light settings

Aesthetically pleasing

Safe to use for extended periods

360-degree viewing

Cons
Expensive

If you’re looking for a light therapy lamp that is aesthetically pleasing and effective, check out the Bios Skyview Wellness Table Lamp. Using circadian technology, this sleek lamp features four different light modes—sunrise, daytime, sunset, and nighttime—to help boost your mood, and help you sleep better. Each mode features a different alluring hue to help strengthen your circadian rhythm, increase your productivity, and keep you alert throughout the day.

While it boasts an expensive price tag, it’ll look great in any room of your home while in use, or merely as a decorative touch. Better yet, Bios will plant a tree for every purchase made, making this lamp well worth the investment. It also comes with a three-year warranty, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll be covered should it get damaged.

7 Best Alarm Clock: Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock

Pros
20 brightness settings

UV-free

Five wake-up sound choices, plus FM radio

Cons
Control buttons are sensitive and not user-friendly

Lightbulb can’t be replaced

Whether you jump out of bed with ease at 5 a.m. or need extra motivation to stop snoozing your alarm in the morning, starting the day off with light therapy will boost your mood all day long. The Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock wakes you up with a gradual natural sunrise light in the morning. The light has 20 brightness settings to choose from, and it turns on around 30 minutes before your alarm, gradually getting brighter in an effort to wake you up gently.

The UV-free lamp allows you to choose between five wake-up sounds or FM radio for a gentle start to your morning. At night, it will help you sleep better with its dimming sunset settings and relaxing sounds.

The alarm clock measures 7.8 x 5.8 x 7.6 inches and weighs less than 3 pounds, easily fitting on your bedside table. If your power happens to go out, its new PowerBackUp+ feature will maintain internal clock settings and a backup alarm for at least eight hours. Get it with a 90-day money-back guarantee.

8 Best Portable: Circadian Optics Luxy Light Therapy Lamp

Pros
Convertible stand

Produces even, dot-free light

One-touch operation

Portable

Cons
Sensitive power button

Whether you’re looking for a travel light therapy lamp to beat jet lag or simply want the ability to move your lamp around easily throughout the day, the Circadian Optics Luxy Light Therapy Lamp is a great choice. It’s compact, with quick “one-touch” operation, and runs off USB power, so it’s easy to charge on the go.

The lamp is UV-free, with three settings that let you customize your light, and 10,000 lux brightness. It is specifically designed to beat fatigue, stop winter blues, boost your mood, and improve focus. Measuring 3.5 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches and weighing less than 1 pound, the Circadian Optics light fits perfectly into a carry-on or purse. Featuring LED lights that last for over five years, the discreet lamp also comes with a two-year warranty.

9 Best for Office: Carex Health Brands SunLite Therapy Lamp

Pros
Portable

Requires no assembly

Cons
Gets hot quickly

This lightweight design requires zero assemblies and is convenient to transport, making it a quick and easy addition to your office. Thanks to its 99% UV-filtered lighting system and 10,000 lux light intensity, it’ll help brighten up your office space and give you a boost of energy when you’re stuck indoors all day.

The light-casting surface is 10 inches tall and features “quick-change” bulbs for easy maintenance. It measures 2.0 x 8.8 x 13.4 inches and weighs just over 3 pounds, fitting perfectly on most office desks.

10 Best Blue Light: Philips GoLite BLU Energy Light Therapy Lamp

Pros
Five light intensity settings

Lightweight and portable

Can be used without an adaptor

Cons
Expensive

While most light therapy boxes emit white light, there are some people who prefer a blue light, which is supposed to be more energizing than other colors, like red or yellow.3 This blue light therapy lamp is specifically designed to mimic a bright, sunny blue sky without a glare.

The compact lamp gives off a blue light that’s supposed to be as effective as 10,000 lux white light. It has five light intensity settings to choose from, and it filters out UV rays to protect your eyes. Measuring 5.6 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches and weighing 14.11 ounces, it’s light enough to carry with you for mood-boosting benefits wherever you go.

Final Verdict
Narrowing down the selection, the Verilux HappyLight Lucent (view on Amazon) is the best because it checks all the boxes while staying convenient and affordable. A quick scan of the product’s reviews reiterates this point—people are seeing results, even if they were skeptical to begin with.

Circadian Optics’ other product on this list—the Circadian Optics Luxy Light Therapy Lamp (view on Amazon)—is a close runner up if you’re looking for a simple, effective product. It is an easy lamp to incorporate into your life, no matter what your routine looks like. Both of these products bring a level of customer-first thinking to the table, and it shows.

What to Look for in a Light Therapy Lamp
Adjustable Settings
If you prioritize variety, you may be better suited for a pick with multiple settings to choose from. Adjustable dimming and brightness allow for more versatile use, no matter the time of day, location, or season.

Shape
If you’re looking for a pick you can easily pack for work or vacation, you’re better off with a thin and rectangular lamp that’s complete with a detachable or convertible stand. Meanwhile, if you already have a permanent spot in mind for a lamp, you may have to factor in details like sturdiness, weight, and shape. Some options are best suited for even surfaces while others require more adjusting to stay at eye level.

Light Intensity
While the lux, or measure of light intensity, of light therapy lamps, may vary, most typically offer 10,000 lux brightness. Research suggests4 that indoor lighting generally provides 100 lux while a sunny day is 50,000 lux.

More advanced models may feature multiple brightness settings or sunrise or sunset modes for gradual adjustments to daytime or nighttime. Other notable features to look for include flicker elimination technology, glare control, and non-white light—which are all beneficial if you’re prone to light sensitivity.

You may also have a preference for LED lights over fluorescent bulbs due to their energy efficiency and longer life.

Timer
If your lamp doesn’t include a built-in timer, you should manually time each session to prevent potential sunburn and overexposure.

Follow your doctor’s and the lamp manufacturer’s instructions on the recommended frequency and duration of usage. Depending on your specific case and symptoms, this can range from 30 minutes in the morning to 10 minutes in the afternoon, to two hours in the evening5.

FAQs
How do you use a light therapy lamp?
Ideal for those who experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression, and mood disorders, light therapy lamps are especially effective during the fall and winter months due to the shortage of sunlight. While the lamp should be placed at close proximity, about several feet away, you shouldn’t look into the light directly for safety.

You should always follow the manufacturer’s suggested guidelines, from placing the lamp at or above eye level or limiting your time of exposure based on intensity. It’s typically recommended to use a light therapy lamp for a minimum of 30 minutes per day, in the morning. It’s relatively easy to add one to your routine, whether you’re working at your desk, getting ready in the morning, or streaming your favorite content.

How long does it take for light therapy to work?
While light therapy can help symptoms, it shouldn’t be relied on as a cure. Results will vary from person to person and can be felt as early as a few days6 if using a lamp with a 10,000 lux bulb daily for 30 minutes. It’s recommended to keep track of your usage and make a note of whether or not your symptoms are improving. Like anything else, consistency is key, and it’s best to add light therapy into your routine each day.

Light therapy beginners should direct any questions or concerns to their doctor or therapist and seek out individualized guidance on light frequency and intensity.

 

Source:

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Different Types of Digital Marketing

types of digital marketing

In the past decade, digital marketing has become a vital component in organizations’ overall marketing strategy. It allows companies to tailor messages to reach a specific audience, making it possible to market directly to people who are likely to be interested in their product. Digital marketing encompasses a wide variety of marketing tactics and technologies used to reach consumers online. Two academic team members from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) spoke about how digital marketing aligns with traditional tactics and shared information on some of the types of digital marketing in practice now.

A senior associate dean of business programs, Dr. Mark Hobson, said although digital marketing seems like a new world, in fact it is based in many of the principles familiar to traditional marketers and requires both foundational marketing knowledge and technical know-how.

Dr. Jessica Rogers, associate dean of marketing programs, said the two disciplines serve to connect with distinct groups of consumers. “… Traditional media is a great way to reach a broad consumer base, whereas digital media has the ability to reach very specific audiences,” she said “A key point is that depending on the target audience, some channels are more effective than others.”

Types of Digital Marketing

Rogers talked about some of the most popular types of digital marketing, providing a brief overview of each:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The goal of SEO is to get a business to rank higher in Google search results, ultimately increasing search engine traffic to the business’s website. To accomplish this, SEO marketers research words and phrases consumers are using to search for information online, and use those terms in their own content. According to leading SEO software company Moz’s “Beginners Guide to SEO,” SEO encompasses many elements, from the words on your web pages to the way other sites link to you on the web to how your website is structured. An SEO specialist can make around $59,000, according to Salary.com.

So, what are some things that can improve a site’s SEO? It’s important to understand that one of the things that makes SEO challenging is that the answer to this question always depends on Google and its most current algorithm. Keeping that in mind, here are a few of the most important things for SEO strategists and marketers in general to understand about how SEO works today, from Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO:

  • Content indexing – It is important to allow search engines to clearly “read” what your site content is, by doing things like adding alt text for images and text transcripts for video and audio content.
  • Good link structure – It is important that search engines can “crawl” your site structure to easily find all the content on your site. There are many things that an SEO specialist can do to properly format links, URLs, and sitemaps to make them most accessible to site crawlers.
  • Keywords and keyword targeting – Properly deploying your keywords – i.e. the search terms you want your site to be found for—in your content and headers is one of the fundamental building blocks of SEO. It is no longer good practice to “stuff” your content with as many keywords and keyword variations as possible. Writing high-quality content that uses keywords in the headers and a few times in the crawl-able page content is now considered better practice, and will make pages rank better in search results.

Pay-per-Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click refers to paid advertisements and promoted search engine results. This is a short-term form of digital marketing, meaning that once you are no longer paying, the ad no longer exists. Like SEO, PPC is a way to increase search traffic to a business online.

Pay-per-click can refer to the advertisements you see at the top and sides of a page of search results, the ads you see while browsing the web, ads before YouTube videos and in ads in mobile apps.

One of the other things that differentiates pay-per-click from SEO is that you only pay for the results. In a typical PPC model like a Google AdWords campaign, you will pay only when someone clicks on your ad and lands on your website. You can spend just about any amount of money on pay-per-click advertising. Some companies may see results from investing just a few hundred dollars, but plenty of large companies spend tens of thousands a month on pay-per-click.

How much it costs to run an ad or promote your search results will depend primarily on how much competition there is for your keywords. High competition keywords (i.e. keywords that many people are searching for and that many sites are trying to be found for) will be more expensive and lower competition terms will likely cost less.

When you set up a pay-per-click campaign, you will also be able to choose whether you want your ad or promoted results to be shown to users all over the world, or only within a specific geographic area. If you are marketing a brick-and-mortar business, this ability to tailor by location helps you not waste ad dollars serving ads to users who don’t live anywhere near your business, according to Google.

Social Media Marketing

This includes everything a business does via social media channels. Just about everyone is familiar with social media, but marketers must approach social with an integrated and strategic approach. Social media marketing goes far beyond simply creating posts for social channels and responding to comments.

To be effective, efforts must be coordinated and consistent rather than an afterthought. To help keep posts consistent, there are many online tools available to automate and schedule social media posts, although marketers only should use automation as a tool, not a “set it and forget it” solution. Users will figure it out quickly if there is no real person behind the posts.

Social media marketers should not be in a silo separate from other marketing functions. Social marketers need to work with the company’s wider marketing team to coordinate their message across all platforms, online and off, so that every part of the brand is telling the same story.

A crucial part of social media marketing is analytics: Social media marketers must also be savvy at analyzing the performance of their posts, and creating strategies based on that data. Another reason for marketers to be consistently measuring and tracking their campaigns is that this data allows marketers to demonstrate to business leadership that their efforts are driving users to engage with the brand and eventually converting users into customers, therefore providing value to the company, according to Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers.

In other words, social media marketing is a lot more complicated than managing your personal Facebook or Twitter profile. It requires a blend of creative thinking and objective, data-driven strategy, and may be a great fit for professionals who enjoy blending these two disciplines. A social media analyst with a bachelor’s degree can earn about $63,841, according to Salary.com.

Content Marketing

Content marketing uses storytelling and information sharing to increase brand awareness. Ultimately, the goal is to have the reader take an action towards becoming a customer, such as requesting more information, signing up for an email list, or making a purchase. “Content” can mean blog posts, resources like white papers and e-books, digital video, podcasts, and much more. In general, it should first and foremost provide value to the consumer, not just advertise the brand or try to make a sale. Content marketing is about building a sustainable, trusting relationship with your customers that can potentially lead to many sales over time, not just making a single transaction.

Content marketing works in symbiosis with other types of digital marketing: It is a way to incorporate SEO search terms into fresh website content, and the content created can be shared as social media posts and in email marketing publications. Looking at the analytics for your content marketing can tell you a lot about your customers: what are they looking for when they land on your site? What kinds of content make them stay on the site longer and keep looking around? What kinds make them lose interest and navigate away?

Unlike a method such as PPC, content marketing is a long-term strategy. Over time, marketers build up a library of content (text, video, podcasts etc.) that will continue to bring users to the site via search engines, according to Marketo, a marketing automation company. This content library also helps promote knowledge of your brand and increases your profile as a resource for information. And, if users are visiting your site for information, ideally they will remember you as an authority when it’s time to make a purchase.

Content marketing is a great avenue for people who enjoy writing and/or video and audio production. But as with digital marketing in general, it also calls for strong strategic and analytic skills.

Email Marketing

Even with the emergence of social media, mobile applications and other channels, email is still one of the most effective marketing techniques, Rogers said. It can be part of a content marketing strategy, providing value to consumers and over time convert an audience into customers. Email marketing pros not only know how to create compelling campaigns, they also understand optimal audience outreach and are skilled at analyzing customer interactions and data, and making strategic decisions based on that data, according to the American Marketing Association.

Email marketing software can offer many different analytical measures, but two that marketers are always striving to improve are the open rate –the percentage of recipients who opened the email – and the click through rate – the number of recipients who opened the email and clicked on a link in the email. According to leading email marketing software company Constant Contact, there are many things marketers can do to make their emails more appealing to users and more likely to be opened. These include:

  • Create a Sense of Urgency – Writing email copy that lets your recipients know that time is running out to get a special deal or that there are only a limited number of the offer available, can increase the number of people clicking through to your website.
  • Personalize Your Email – Setting your emails and subject lines up to incorporate the recipient’s name is a proven way to increase open and click through rates. (A sample subject line: “Katie, a special offer just for you.”)
  • Let Recipients Set Their Preferences – Allowing users to specify how often they want to hear from you can help keep some of your email subscribers subscribed to your list and clicking on your emails.

Mobile Marketing

This digital marketing type is this focused on reaching your target audience on their smart phone or tablet. Mobile marketing reaches people through text messages, social media, websites, email and mobile applications. Marketers can tailor offers or special content to a geographic location or time, such as when a customer walks into a store or enters an event.

According to a recent TechCrunch article, consumers in the United States now spend five hours a day on their phones. This represents a 20% increase from the fourth quarter of 2015. Users are also spending much more of their time in apps rather than on mobile browsers. In 2017, users are spending much more time with apps than watching television. 15% of that app time is spent with entertainment apps like Netflix and Hulu, 19% of it is spent on Facebook’s mobile app, 12% on other social and messaging apps, and 11% in gaming apps, according to the TechCrunch article.

Retail Dive reports that 45% of all shopping always or frequently involves a mobile device in some way, whether it’s used to do research, compare prices or make a purchase. For a majority of Millennials (defined the Pew Research Center as people born between 1981 and 1997), that number is 57%.

Marketers know that you need to take your message to where you customers are, and in 2019 it is very clear: your potential customers are on their phones.

Marketing Analytics

One of the major advantages of digital marketing is that it is highly trackable and measurable. Once, the only trackable marketing pieces were coupons and similar direct mail offers. If a customer used the coupon, you knew the message resonated. Today, analytics allow marketers to track user behavior at a highly detailed level: how many times they click on a link, how much time they spend on a web page, how often they open emails, and much more. But the vast amount of information available about digital marketing performance can feel like drinking from a fire hose, and marketers must be able to truly understand what the data mean and how they should inform strategy.

Not only does this allow marketers to learn what is successful with consumers and adapt their marketing messages moving forward, it also means they can demonstrate their value to the company. Understanding all of this data and using it to make strategic decisions is an important part of a digital marketer’s work, and one that sets them apart from their traditional counterparts.

There are many tools available for measuring the success of digital marketing campaigns, and many marketers will use some combination of these tools, depending on their needs and their audience (Fortune magazine reported that many marketers are using over 100 applications in their total marketing process.) One of the most used tools for marketing analytics is Google Analytics, which can be customized in nearly endless ways to measure how your site is performing, which keywords are bringing users to your site, how users are navigating through your website, and much more.

Having good, accurate analytics and the know-how to interpret them can help marketers “fail fast,” quickly cutting campaigns that aren’t working and building better campaigns around concepts that have a proven track record of success. Over time, you won’t just be using analytics to measure your campaigns – the analytics will also inform and improve your campaigns.

In a digital marketing degree program, you’ll study a wide range of issues pertinent to your marketing career, including marketing plans and strategies, branding, mobile marketing and digital advertising.

The job market is growing for advertisers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) predicts a 9% increase in the number of advertising, promotions and marketing managers. In 2018, the median salary for those positions was $132,000, according to BLS.

Digital Marketing Skills

Digital marketers support the wider marketing team and the strategic goals of the whole company by rolling out marketing strategies in the online environment, Hobson said. Digital marketers strive to be a voice for the customer and how they want to interact with a brand digitally, Rogers said. “(Marketers) strategically approach the brand’s channels to maximize investments, drive traffic and conversions, as well as manage integrated digital content,” she said.

The need to be where the customers are at all times means that digital marketers have a significant responsibility to be attuned to changes in technology, social media and software.

Technology changes quickly; the hot social media app of today may be all but abandoned by next year, but many of the foundational principles of marketing remain the same.

Today, many employers are requiring experience in Google Analytics, Google and Facebook Ads, HubSpot and Hootsuite, according to Rogers. In a master’s in digital marketing program, you’ll learn the foundations of tools such as these, exploring and applying them through coursework. They are also looking for candidates who are proficient in Adobe Creative Suites and have a working knowledge of SEO and keyword research.

However, some important pieces of the marketing puzzle have not changed since the days when companies primarily advertised in print, radio and TV. All marketers need strong communication skills and a strong basis in marketing principles.

Employers include these soft skills with the technology-related proficiencies in job posting requirements, according to Rogers.

“A basic tenant of marketing is communicating a marketing message to a target audience,” she said. “… Not only must we communicate with our teammates, but we must be able to communicate to customers, executives and more. These folks are our target audience and without strong communication skills, messages will not be received in the way in which we intended.”

Since digital marketing is a rapidly changing space and it is imperative for companies to stay up to date on new and emerging strategies, Hobson said. There are many ways that companies do this, some of which are the responsibility of digital marketers and some of which is done by other departments.

“Staying ahead of the competition has never been more important,” Rogers said. “The landscape for businesses is changing so rapidly, that is has become a key strategy to include looking to the competition to help inform your own digital strategy.”

Source: https://www.snhu.edu/about-us/newsroom/2017/11/types-of-digital-marketing

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Facts About Digital Marketing Strategies in 2021

need to know bout digital marketing

Digital marketing is more important than ever. Take steps to create or improve your marketing strategy today to accelerate your results

Where do you start if you want to develop a digital marketing strategy? It’s still a common challenge since many businesses know how vital digital and mobile channels are today for acquiring and retaining customers. Yet they don’t have an integrated plan to support digital transformation and company growth, and engage their audiences effectively online.

If your business doesn’t have a strategic marketing plan you will suffer from the ten problems I highlight later in this article and you will lose out to competitors who are more digitally savvy.

For each of the ten problems, I will also recommend marketing solutions and next steps to help you optimize your marketing strategy to win more customers.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing, specifically, refers to ‘Achieving marketing objectives through applying digital technologies and media.’

Digital technologies and media include:

  • Company websites
  • Mobile apps
  • Social media company pages
  • Search Engines
  • Advertising
  • Email and automation
  • Digital Partnerships with other digital companies

However, to be truly successful, digital techniques must be integrated with traditional media such as print, TV, and direct mail as part of multichannel marketing communications. More importantly, now more than ever, you need to be able to demonstrate the value of your work.

Our RACE planning framework splits up the customer’s digital experience over Reach, Act, Convert and Engage – the full customer journey.

Within each technique, there are lots of detailed tactics that are important to success. So, they need to be evaluated and prioritized. For example, dynamic content for email automation, website personalization to programmatic, retargeting, and skyscraper content for organic search.

Not sure where to begin? Our dedicated marketing training gives you all the tools you need to optimize your marketing strategy across 10 of the hottest marketing channels and strategies.

Smart Insights members are applying Learning Paths to strategize, upskill, and grow their businesses. From campaign planning, to email marketing, SEO, content, and more. Get started today.

The challenges of digital marketing

In my experience, a common challenge is where to start drawing up your digital marketing plan. I think there is a fear that a massive report is required, but we believe that lean planning works best. That’s why all our Learning Paths are integrated across the RACE Framework, so you can create one integrated strategy.

Your plan doesn’t need to be a huge report, a strategy can best be summarized in two or three sides of A4 in a table linking digital marketing strategies to SMART objectives within our RACE Framework. As a Business Member, we can support you to get it right the first time.

Digital marketing for beginners

From talking to companies, I find the creation of digital plans often occurs in two stages.

  • First, a separate digital marketing plan is created. This is useful to get agreement and buy-in by showing the opportunities and problems. At this stage, you can map out a path by setting goals and specific strategies for digital.
  • Second, digital becomes integrated into marketing strategy, it’s a core activity, “business-as-usual”. But, it doesn’t warrant separate planning, except for the tactics. This is the stage at which your integrated omnichannel marketing will be the most effective. This is the aim, and we can get you there.

How does your digital marketing compare?

Our Managing Digital Marketing 2020 report found that that nearly half of companies don’t have a clearly-defined digital marketing strategy. But of those who do, the majority have integrated it into the marketing strategy (the second step mentioned above).

Currently, about 12% are still using a separate digital document, which is the first step in the process towards a fully integrated strategy.

So, what are your next steps to fully optimizing your digital marketing strategy?

I’m sure many of the companies in this category are using digital media effectively and they could certainly be getting great results from their search, email, or social media marketing.

But I’m equally sure that many are missing opportunities for better integration, or are suffering from the other challenges I’ve listed below. Perhaps the problems below are greatest for larger organizations that most urgently need governance.

We’ve got bespoke marketing solutions to support both large and small businesses to optimize their marketing strategy with Learning Paths. Our step-by-step marketing training supports you and your team to plan, manage and effectively optimize both your daily marketing tasks and longer-term strategic action towards your goals.

All our marketing tools and templates are integrated across the RACE Framework. This renowned marketing structure is designed to empower managers and marketers with a clear, concise winning marketing strategy, to win more customers. Find out more.

10 reasons why you may need a digital channel strategy?

So, if you don’t yet have a strategy, or maybe you want to review which business issues are important to include within a strategic review, we’ve set out the 10 most common problems, that in our experience arise if you don’t have a strategy.

1. You’re directionless

I find that companies without a digital strategy (and many that do) don’t have a clear strategic goal for what they want to achieve online in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. And if you don’t have goals with SMART digital marketing objectives you likely don’t put enough resources to reach the goals and you don’t evaluate through analytics whether you’re achieving those goals.

2.  You won’t know your online audience or market share

Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you haven”t researched this. Perhaps, more importantly, you won’t understand your online marketplace. The dynamics will be different from traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behavior, competitors, propositions, and options for marketing communications.

We’ve got marketing tools to support your research and planning. Our popular competitor analysis module in our RACE Practical Digital Strategy Learning Path is packed with templates and matrixes to review the relative performance of your key competitors. Plus, find out more about your audience’s intent with our Google Keywords planning tools.

All our marketing training will support you and your team to build a winning marketing strategy to reach, convert and retain more customers and accelerate your ROI from digital marketing. Sound good? Take your next steps to a winning strategy by getting started today.

3. Existing and start-up competitors will gain market share

If you’re not devoting enough resources to digital, or you’re using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch!

As a member of Smart Insights, we’ll keep you updated on the latest trends and innovations in your sector. So you can stay ahead and not fall behind.

4. You don’t have a powerful online value proposition

A clearly defined digital value proposition tailored to your different target customer personas will help you differentiate your online service encouraging existing and new customers to engage initially and stay loyal. Developing an omnichannel marketing strategy is key to this for many organizations, since the content is what engages your audiences through different channels like search, social, email marketing, and on your blog.

5. You don’t know your online customers well enough

It’s often said that digital is the “most measurable medium ever”. But Google Analytics and similar will only tell you volumes of visits, not the sentiment of visitors, what they think. You need to use other forms of website user feedback tools to identify your weak points and then address them.

6. You’re not integrated (“disintegrated”)

It’s all too common for digital marketing activities to be completed in silos whether that’s a specialist digital marketer, sitting in IT, or a separate digital agency. It’s easier that way to package ‘digital’ into a convenient chunk. But of course, it’s less effective. Everyone agrees that digital media work best when integrated with traditional media and response channels.

That’s why we recommend developing an integrated digital marketing strategy, so your digital marketing works hard for you! With your integrated plan in place, digital will become part of your marketing activity and part of business as usual. Find out more.

7. Digital doesn’t have enough people/budget given its importance

Insufficient resources will be devoted to both planning and executing e-marketing. There is likely to be a lack of specific specialist e-marketing skills which will make it difficult to respond to competitive threats effectively.

As a member of Smart Insights, you’ll have access to strategy and planning tools including performance and digital maturity benchmarking, and regular marketing data reports, so you can keep track of your position in a competitive landscape.

8. You’re wasting money and time through duplication

Even if you do have sufficient resources, they may be wasted. This is particularly the case in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks.

That’s why you need to invest in a marketing strategy that works for you and your team, to plan, manage and optimize your digital channels and platforms. Drive the marketing results you need to achieve your business objectives, and boost your marketing ROI.

9. You’re not agile enough to catch up or stay ahead

If you look at the top online brands like Amazon, Dell, Google, Tesco, Zappos, they’re all dynamic  – trialing new approaches to gain or keep their online audiences.

10. You’re not optimizing

Every company with a website will have analytics. But many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once your digital marketing strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to the continuous improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email, and social media marketing.

Transform your marketing strategy and accelerate your results today with Smart Insights

So, the good news is that there are powerful reasons for creating a digital strategy and transforming your marketing, which you can use to persuade your colleagues and clients.

Source: https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/digital-strategy-development/10-reasons-for-digital-marketing-strategy/

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The Best Wall Arts Ideas

The best way to fill a space you love is with memories that mean something. Photos of past travels, big milestones, celebrations, and even just your candid every day make any house feel more like home. Before you fill your bare walls with photo art or framed prints, take time to plan your display.

To make things even easier on you, see what wall decor ideas below are ideal for your space.

1. Build Your Own Art Gallery at Home

Like most of us, you likely have hundreds of (if not thousands) of digital photos stored on your phone or computer. A great way to celebrate those moments is with a gallery wall that you can see every day. Read our in-depth guide here for a start to finish tutorial on how to hang your own gallery wall.

Gallery walls elevate any space in an artful way using a beautifully curated print collection as its core. In creating your own, you’ll get the chance to both infuse warmth and accentuate your own personal style. Add in your own one-of-a-kind touches with accent pieces like:

  • Multiple textile types including fabrics or canvas prints
  • Imagery that ranges from stark black-and-white to shots that are vibrant and colorful
  • Non-photo objects like flags, letters, or medals

2. Make Photo Grid of Your Prints

The key to this type of wall display is achieving balance. To get started with a photo grid or mosaic, make sure you have:

  • A ruler or measuring tape
  • A soft graphite pencil
  • Gentle adhesive like washi or double-sided foam tape
  • Floor or table space to blueprint your photo placements

Start by laying out the images on a flat space in the bounds of the shape that you want them. Measure the padding between each print to create consistency. We recommend using square photo prints set all at the same size that share a similar tone.

When you’ve mocked up the grid that you like, carefully mark each photo placement on the wall itself using a soft pencil. Begin adding each photo print starting at the center of your grid and expanding outwards using your tape. Measure the space between each print to ensure the white space is uniform throughout.

3. Use Large Format Photo Prints

Large formats prints amplify your subject matter. Large format photos typically stand on their own, but there are some playful ways to display them by grouping multiple prints together. A couple out-of-the-box ideas include:

  • Make Dialogue: Your images can “talk” to one another by inverting similar portraits to one another.
  • Clip Your Image: Create a continuum of captured landscapes, cityscapes, and horizons by clipping the image to print as two or three frames. Then display each print with a gap in between.

4. Metal Wall Decor for a Wanderlust-Wall

What better way to feed your wanderlust than with scenery that aren’t bound by frames? Metal photo panels are especially ideal for this with their true-to-life, reflective finishing. This wall decor project is simple to achieve but really elevates any room.

Just ensure that your snapshots fully cover the photo panel for a completely borderless effect. We love this wall decor type for its lightweight versatility. Print out your most authentic interactions with locals or the most vibrant sunset from a past trip. Mix and match by pairing larger portrait metal photo decor with slimmer stacked landscapes.

5. Add Sophistication to your Space with Acrylic Wall Art

Acrylic wall art adds depth to your imagery unlike any other wall decor option. Its polished acrylic layer draws out every detail of your photo.We recommend choosing images that celebrate deeply-colored or bright undertones. When pairing multiple pieces of acrylic wall art together try to use similar photography styles and balanced color palettes.

Keep eye level in mind when hanging acrylic wall art since it has a captivating three-dimensional quality to their display. About 8 inches above your couch or bed frame is a good rule of thumb. This way, you can still enjoy your photos when others are seated or resting.

6. A #Shelfie for Selfies

Instead of displaying your photos all on walls, use a stylish shelf. Set up a shelf in your living room for selfie photos alongside other nostalgic items. When decluttering other rooms in your home, think of which objects could be saved for these shelves. Interesting little mirrors, ceramic figurines, or special items might also find a nook here.

These types of displays are also great for showing off your children’s photo art and designs. Even self portraits made by your children add fun inserts of personality.

7. Classic Canvas Wall Decor

Canvas photo prints can give your space a warm feel in a room that needs texture and life. Family and wedding photos are a go-to for canvas wall art, but original artwork gives this traditional option a new twist. Try to match the art to the color of your furniture for an even, balanced feel.

Gallery wrapped canvas has a seamless profile with the wall. This type of photo display is ideal for high-trafficked areas of your home like staircases, breakfast nooks, and hallways.

8. Family Staircase Display

Make sure you know where you want the pictures to hang on your staircase wall, as getting this right can be tricky. Ensure that each picture hangs just above the outer railing, so that the full photo is visible from a distance.

One fun idea is to let your photos tell a story as the visitor to your home climbs the staircase. Perhaps they are photos of your children, who age as you climb higher. Or, maybe you select pictures of your relatives — different generations along each step.

9. Mantelpiece Memories

A living room mantelpiece is the perfect place for wall art. It is already an area to gather and relax, so select the photos that are special to you, and that you want to share with others.

Many folks reserve the fireplace mantel for their vintage pieces, so if you want warm neutral tones here, select photos in sepia, black and white, or with earthy-colored frames.

Share your most favorite moments by exploring all of the wall decor options for your space today.

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Best Organic Baby Formulas

1.Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO Infant Formula

Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO Infant FormulaWhy we like it: The Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO Infant Formula is designed with premium ingredients. The milk delivers immune support while also encouraging immune cells to release protective proteins comparable to natural breast milk. Similac has created a formula that has absolutely zero artificial growth hormones.
Editor’s Rating:

The Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO Infant Formula advertises that parents report a reduction in fussiness, crying, gassiness, spit-up after just one day of using the baby formula. It is a reliable brand as Similac is the number one used baby formula in hospitals.

Ingredients
The organic baby formula is terrific for immune support. If your baby has a sensitive stomach you may want to consider the product. The

2’ FL human milk oligosaccharide is one of the closer recreations of actual breast milk that we have ever witnessed.

The product also doesn’t contain any artificial growth hormones. Furthermore, it is good for the brain and eye development. The ingredients DHA, Lutein, and Vitamin E help with growth and development.

Unique Features
Similac prides itself on creating one of the most natural, and authentic baby formulas similar to actual breast milk. The elimination of artificial growth hormones is another great feature of the product. The formula is also sold in a value size that offers 50% more power than the standard 1.45 lb. container.

Warning/Side Effects
The baby formula does contain DHA which not every parent supports. The ingredient is a hot-button issue in the world of baby formulas. We recommend doing some further research on the subject before making a buying decision.

Will Your Baby Like it?
Similac has attempted to replicate the taste and ingredients of natural breast milk as closely as possible. Though it is unreasonable to find an identical match, most babies can adapt to the new solution over a little time.

Pros
Produced with milk very comparable to actual breast milk
Contains zero artificial growth hormones
Helps reduce negative symptoms of a baby formula
Cons
The formula does contain controversial DHA
Costly organic baby formula

2.Plum Organics Grow Well Organic Infant Formula

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Why we like it: The Plum Organics Grow Well Organic Infant Formula is certified for infants as well as toddlers, unlike a lot of other products on the market.
Editor’s Rating:

The Plum Organics Grow Well Organic Infant Formula is one you can trust because it contains lactose instead of other sweeteners. The formula is also certified safe for both infants and toddlers, where many other products are only certified for toddlers. The product is shipped in a square container that doesn’t get beat up in the process.

Ingredients
The formula has the benefit of lactose instead of other sweeteners. Your baby also gets whey protein. You should note these ingredients as some of them are controversial:

Soy oil
DHA
Palm oil
Soy lecithin
Synthetic nutrients
Unique Features
The milk products are sourced from organic farms so you know your child gets the best. The DHA will benefit your baby’s brain and eye development, though some consumers prefer to steer clear of these substances. It would have been better if the DHA wasn’t extracted through hexane yet some parents are still okay with the ingredients.

Warning/Side Effects
There are some consumer complaints about babies getting constipated.

Will Your Baby Like it?
Your baby will probably take a liking to it because lactose is used to sweeten the formula, However, it is not the best tasting formula on the market.

Pros
Non-GMO ingredients used in the formula
Lactose is used to sweeten milk and provide carbs
Safe for newborns and toddlers up to 12 months
Ingredients mostly safe for sensitive stomachs
Cons
Some questionable ingredients
Contains DHA which some parents don’t like
Taste is debatable

3.Earth’s Best Organic Infant Powder Formula with Iron

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Why we like it: Earth’s Best Organic Infant Powder Formula used to contain corn syrup. However, the brand revisited its ingredients and came up with a solution that is far better for the long-term health of your baby.
Editor’s Rating:

If the brightly colored tub catches your attention it’s a good thing. This formula contains lactose which is an excellent source of that desired sweet taste as well as necessary carbohydrates. The cows where the milk is sourced from are grain and grass fed.

Ingredients
Another excellent product containing lactose. The formula also provides organic non-fat milk and whey protein concentrate. Do take note of some worrisome ingredients such as:

Palm oil
Synthetic nutrients
Soy
DHA (thought it’s water extracted)
Unique Features
This product’s claim to fame includes:

The DHA is water extracted.
It’s FDA-approved as an infant (not only toddler) formula.
USDA certified as organic.
Cows, where the milk is sourced, are fed a natural diet.
Warning/Side Effects
The added iron gives the formula an extremely metal smell and taste. Some parents may notice their children unwilling to taste it. There are also some complaints about constipation.

Will Your Baby Like it?
The protein is fairly easy to digest even if the taste is not all that grand.

Pros
Great prebiotic level for babies with sensitive stomachs (prevents excessive gas)
Contains lactose
Proteins are easy to digest
Cons
A few worrisome ingredients
Contains DHA

4.Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula

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Why we like it: The product claims that it is modeled after breastmilk. As a result, it makes the Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula an easy transition from natural breastfeeding.
Editor’s Rating:

Breast milk was used as inspiration for creating the formula. It resembles breast milk in many ways like the prebiotics it contains. The formula is designed to provide adequate nutrition from birth up to one year of age. It is certified as organic by the USDA. The handy, square container makes packing and storage simple.

Ingredients
You need to decide whether these ingredients are safe for your baby. A few of them are controversial:

The milk is sourced from organic farms.
Delivers prebiotics at the right concentration for a supreme diet.
It contains DHA and ARA which can benefit your baby’s development. However, the value of DHA and ARA is debated by industry insiders.
Unique Features
The Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula has one of the highest levels of prebiotics on the market.

Warning/Side Effects
Though a high concentration of prebiotics is healthy, it can also cause excessive gas as well as discomfort. Therefore, it may not suffice for babies with sensitive stomachs.

Will Your Baby Like it?
Since its effects resemble that of breast milk—creating healthy flora in the baby’s stomach—your child may absolutely love the formula. However, the resemblances are mostly in ingredients, not texture. It may take some time for the baby to get used to the texture. The thin consistency is unfamiliar at first and requires higher doses to get the proper amount of nutrients.

Pros
No gluten or corn syrup
No GMOs
Designed for easy digestion
Cons
Makes some babies very gassy
Thin consistency not for every baby
Contains DHA which not all parents approve

5.Baby’s Only Dairy with DHA Toddler Formula

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Why we like it: Baby’s Only Dairy with DHA Toddler Formula is sold with some high honors. It is rated “Best in Class” for Purity and Nutritional Superiority by CleanLabelProject.org. It is an applaudable rating consider Clean Label Project tests over 500 different baby formulas and foods. Additionally, the non-GMO baby formula is certified USDA organic.
Editor’s Rating:

The highly-rated organic baby formula is non-GMO. Additionally, even though the product contains the controversial DHA it is non-hexane processed which makes it safer for most parents. The formula is packaged in 100% BPA-free containers and created right here in the United States.

Ingredients
Some consumers may bat an eye when they find out Baby’s Only Dairy Toddler Formula contains DHA. However, the organic DHA is naturally sourced from egg yolks. It is not extracted with hexane which many believe is far healthier. DHA is known to have some benefits for brain and body development.

Additionally, the formula features several other organic ingredients. The balanced nutrition is GMO and gluten-free. No hormones or antibiotics are used to treat the cows that produce the dairy. The brand also avoids feeding its milk source with feed that contains pesticides or fertilizer.

Unique Features
Baby’s Only has done whatever it takes to create a very natural, safe organic baby formula. The non-hexane approach to processing DHA is considered much healthier. Even special measures are taken to make sure the packaging is safe for your child. The formula is highly rated by the Clean Label Project and USDA.

Warning/Side Effects
Even though the DHA is not extracted with hexane there is still some controversy regarding the ingredients. Some parents prefer to avoid it altogether.

Will Your Baby Like it?
The taste is always acquired by a baby and the transition from breast milk to formula is not always a quick one. Each baby is different. However, you should start to notice a healthier baby based on the high nutritional value and contents.

Pros
Highly rated organic baby formula by Clean Label Project
Certified organic by the USDA
Container and packaging is 100% BPA
Gluten-free
Non-GMO
Specialized process for DHA extraction using natural ingredients
Cons
Contains DHA which is a dealbreaker for some parents
Not the cheapest formula available

6.Vermont Organics Milk-Based Organic Infant Formula with Iron

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Why we like it: In addition to practical nutrition, the Vermont Organics Milk-Based Organic Infant Formula is packaged really well. The container provides a convenient scoop handle during feeding and then tucks into a corner for improved storage.

Editor’s Rating:

Vermont Organics presents parents with a balanced formula. The ingredients provide all the necessary components a baby needs during its first 12 months.

Ingredients
The Vermont Organics Organic Infant Formula is a milk-based substance. The ingredients include both non-fat milk (which contains lactose) and some glucose. Glucose adds sweetness yet isn’t the most healthy ingredient.

The oils are organic yet include palm and soy oil. Both DHA and ARA are present to help with the development of a child. However, some parents are opposed to having the ingredient in baby formula.

Unique Features
There’s a focus on giving you no:

Pesticides
Antibiotics
Growth hormones
It’s certified as organic by the USDA and Quality Assurance International 02FTP.

Warning/Side Effects
Look out for signs of constipation. Please discontinue if it occurs. There is also a concern that some of the nutrients are left behind at the bottom of the bottle since the formula doesn’t always dissolve correctly.

Will Your Baby Like it?
The added sugar will make it tastier than some other products mentioned on the list. However, it may have a gritty texture to it which some babies won’t like.

Pros
Practical container with scoop
Focus on environmental sustainability during manufacturing
Products sourced from free-roaming cows
Affordable organic baby formula
Cons
Contains soy products
DHA extracted with hexane
Difficult to dissolve
High sugar levels

7.Munchkin Grass Fed Toddler Milk Drink

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Why we like it: The Munchkin Grass Fed Toddler Milk Drink is adept at producing extremely healthy ingredients. The milk is only sourced from grass-fed cows. The product does not contain any controversial ingredients like maltodextrin.
Editor’s Rating:

We should begin by letting you know that the Munchkin Grass Fed Toddler Milk Drink is not a certified organic product. However, it contains many of the substances parents traditionally search for in other verified organic foods. Consequently, if you can make peace with not seeing the certification label then you will likely appreciate the baby formula.

The Munchkin product is GMO-free. It is intended for children up to the age of three which makes it a long-term formula. It is not specifically designed for infants so it may lack some vital nutrients necessary for newborns.

Ingredients
The formula contains skim milk from safe sources and also has lactose. Lactose helps with nutrition and also enhances the taste. the product does have some soy ingredients and processed items, so if you know your baby is sensitive to these ingredients you will want to shop elsewhere.

Unique Features
Milk ingredients are sourced from happy, grass-fed cows from New Zealand. The brand claims that 100% of the milk is sourced from grass-fed cows. Additionally, there is an immunity booster called Lactoferrin in the formula.

Warning/Side Effects
The Munchkin Grass Fed Toddler Milk Drink is not certified as organic by the USDA.

Will Your Baby Like it?
The sweet taste allows most babies to warm up to the formula sooner than others. However, every baby is different so there is no guarantee your baby will like the taste.

Pros
Milk 100% sourced from grass-fed cows
No GMOs or antibiotics
DHA and ARA are hexane free
Cons
Skim milk used
Not organic certified

8.Honest Company Organic Non-GMO Premium Formula

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Why we like it: Honest Company has created a standard formula is impressive in its own right. It provides parents with a healthy alternative if they wish to steer clear of DHA. There is also no corn syrup used in the formula. It is great to see Honest Company live up to its name and offer a fully transparent product.
Editor’s Rating:

The Honest Company Organic Non-GMO Premium Formula is all about giving babies the highest quality ingredients. It is refreshing to see that Honesty Company has bypassed DHA and other controversial ingredients. Iron supplements brain development since the product lacks DHA.

Along with a balanced meal for your baby you get additional prebiotics to improve the immune system. The packaging it also resourceful as the contents are shipped in a square container that is easy to hold during feeding times.

Ingredients
The balanced formula is enhanced by:

Iron
Vitamins
Calcium
Choline
Folic Acid
Unique Features
The formula delivers prebiotics meant to support the immune system. It is also easily digestible. The formula contains high amounts of iron.

Warning/Side Effects
It is important to always study the discomfort of your baby when putting them on a new formula. There are a few complaints that the formula may cause constipation.

Will Your Baby Like it?
Since it contains lactose the liquid food should taste sweet enough for babies to love it.

Pros
Helps the immune system
No corn syrup or gluten
No GMO
Milk sourced from grass-fed cows
Cons
Expensive option
Contains palm oil
Contains soy ingredients

9. The Honest Co. Organic Non-GMO Sensitive Infant Formula

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Why we like it: Another baby formula produced by The Honest Company to make the list. The product rates well for two reasons: A) It offers lower levels of lactose if your baby has trouble digesting it, and B) none of the ingredients are extracted with hexane.
Editor’s Rating:

The formula is a reduced lactose product yet not completely free of the ingredient. If your child is fussy at times due to lactose, it is a great alternative since it only contains 26% lactose compared to other products we have reviewed. The lower lactose levels should also reduce gas. The Non-GMO Sensitive Infant Formula also does not contain DHA.

Ingredients
Organic milk sourced from grass-fed cows is used in the product. Additional protein is garnered from whey protein. The carb source is reduced lactose and your baby benefits from added vitamins & minerals. In terms of fat, you’ll like the organic coconut. However, the formula still includes palm oil and soy.

Unique Features
The content of the formula features 74% reduced lactose. The formula is easy to digest and has fewer clumps compared to other brands.

Warning/Side Effects
The formula will have adverse effects on babies that are completely lactose intolerant. It is a good suggestion to stir the formula well then shake it before feeding. It tends to produce a lot of foam and bubbles which will make the baby gassy. There is also the potential for constipation like most baby formulas that are available. Please make sure you stop using it if the formula causes pain or noticeable changes in indigestion.

Will Your Baby Like it?
The Honest Co. Non-GMO Infant Formula closely resembles breast milk. It works well as a transition from breastfeeding to the bottle.

Pros
Reduced lactose helps with digestion
Grass-fed cows used as milk source
No DHA (which is a drawback if you actually want this for your baby)
Cons
Contains palm oil

10.Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant Formula with Iron

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Why we like it: The combination of ingredients caters to certain niches, especially parents that want to avoid lactose. It is a good solution for folks that want balanced nutrition and all the vital components of a diet for their little one.
Editor’s Rating:

Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant Formula is a solid choice for the baby’s first year. The balanced formula works well if the child is lactose intolerant. The ingredients were carefully selected to closely resemble actual breast milk. It is a good transitionary fluid.

Ingredients
The Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant Formula is soy-based. However, it is one of your better options if you have a lactose-intolerant baby. The product also contains a large amount of iron and supplements like vitamins.

There are high levels of DHA which is beneficial for baby development though some experts disagree on its range of effectiveness. Parents also feel differently about DHA. Organic glucose syrup is used to sweeten the milk due to the absence of lactose. It is not the most healthy option and can lead to a hyper baby.

Unique Features
The lactose-free formula features high iron levels. It also has some of the highest levels of DHA found in baby formulas, making it an ideal option if you trust the substance for its developmental benefits. The product is both Kosher and USDA certified organic.

Warning/Side Effects
High sugar levels can make a child hyperactive.

Will Your Baby Like it?
The formula tends to get very frothy during mixing. If your baby isn’t used to the texture it could prevent the child from wanting to taste it. The foam can also cause more gas than ordinary. There is the ability to adjust the mixing method (stir instead of shake) to try and counter the dilemma.

While the ingredients resemble breast milk the taste is not similar. Your baby may find it too strong as it can smell like metal or fish.

Pros
No lactose
Balanced nutrition for lactose intolerant babies
Organically certified by USDA
Cons
DHA is extracted with hexane
High iron levels create a strong smell
Doesn’t provide the best taste for a formula
long-term health, growth, and development.

 

Source: https://littleonemag.com/best-organic-baby-formulas/

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Best Fort Building Kits In 2021

Kids are curious by nature. They are imaginative and are keen to understand how things work. When kids play, they not only get to practice decision-making but also learn new skills!

Yes, plastic toys and plush animals are fun, but there is something else that is even more fun to play with. They are fort building kits!

Fort building kits allow you and your little ones to create amazing structures. Kids will be able to create caves, forts, tunnels, or even rocket ships! They are not only fun to play with but are educational as well.

Fort kits help to increase your child’s critical thinking, social, and leadership skills. It is the type of playing a set that is not only engaging but contributes to your child’s growth and development as well.

Now before you rush to your favorite toy store and get the best fort building kit for your child, give our article a read. We have picked the finest kits in the market that your kids will love!

1. Type
There are several different types of forts and playhouses available on the market. It is crucial that you know about all the types before purchasing one.

The variant that consists of fort building sticks and balls is the most commonly seen. These consist of plastic sticks of different lengths and connector balls that need to be put together.

One of the major benefits of this variant is that you can get creative with it and create a range of unique structures.

The second variant comes in the form of a complete playhouse. These are basically standalone play tents for toddlers that requires little effort to assemble. They have a specific theme such as a house or cabin and can be used outdoors.

2. Size
Fort building kits come in various sizes. The size of the structure you will create depends on the number of components. With more sticks and connector pieces, you can create bigger structures that can accommodate 2 or more kids.

If you are looking to build massive forts and castles, select the product with a higher number of pieces. This will give your children sufficient room to play inside the fort.

It will also allow you to put in additional toys. If you want something small that can fit in your child’s room, purchase the smaller indoor forts for sale.

3. Features
Readymade forts come with an array of useful features. Some forts come with multiple flap doors and windows that provide ventilation. Others have tunnels that can be used to access other forts. Others are reversible, which allows you to set them inside out. Select the product that has the most features.

4. Portability
Portability is one of those factors that are always welcomed, and in the case of fort building kits portability is a bonus. Some kids tend to enjoy playing outdoors more than they do indoors. Kits that come with a travel bag allow you to carry them anywhere. This means that trips will never be boring for the kids.

5. Quality
Quality is an important factor to consider purchasing a kid’s fort builder. The components need to hold together well to keep the fort stable. Also, it needs to be strong enough to withstand children’s activities. The best fort building kit usually comes with quality components that will give your years of service.

6. Expandability
At some point, you may think of building bigger forts. You don’t have to purchase a different brand in order to do this. Some fort building kits are expandable. You simply have to purchase another set of the kit and use it with your existing kit.

This way you can create bigger structures and increase the children’s play area. It might also open the doors to new fort designs.

Our Top 11 Best Fort Building Kit Reviews In 2021

1. Crazy Forts, Purple, 69 pieces

Let your kid’s imagination fly with crazy forts!

Crazy forts give your children the flexibility to build various shapes. It consists of sticks and balls that when connected forms a structure. You can create massive cubes or forts and cover them with a blanket or a sheet to complete the setup.

The product consists of 69 pieces. It consists of 44 brightly colored green plastic sticks and 25 purple balls. The balls have multiple slots where the fort building sticks can be fitted. You can also join the pieces with another set of Crazy Forts to create massive structures.

When it comes to building quality, the structure when put together can withstand years of fort building. The parts are well made and form sturdy formations.

The construction toy is relatively simple to set up. To build a frame, simply insert and twist the sticks in the slots. For the right configuration, the ball should have the Crazy Forts logo facing upwards. Repeat the process until you have finished creating the fort.

It is a fun activity that will keep kids engaged and entertained. By building creative structures, children will develop motor skills and increase social interaction amongst themselves. The product is compatible with kids ages 5 and above.

The set is quite portable. Although the box of Crazy Forts cannot be reused, you can put all the contents and put them in a plastic container and take it with you. It also comes with an instruction booklet, which consists of various fort designs.

2. Discovery Kids Construction Fort 72pc Build & Play
Discovery Kids Construction Fort 72pc Build & Play
Unlimited fun at an affordable cost. Discover your child’s inner creativity with this Fort building kit from Discovery kids.

This product will keep the little ones busy for hours. It consists of 72 pieces that are comprised of plastic blue sticks and orange balls. Simply start connecting the pieces and let your imagination take over. It has a sufficient amount of components for a decent-sized fort.

You can also use another set of Discovery kid’s fort building kits to build bigger structures. After the construction is complete, simply put a sheet or a blanket over the structure to complete the setup. As easy as it is to build, you can disassemble it in a short time.

When it comes to stability, the completed structure can hold its shape very well. Even though it is sturdy, the weight of the blanket can cause the structure to bend slightly. To avoid this problem, simply use a blanket with low mass, and you will be all set.

Quality Wise, the product is decent. The components are made with great quality plastic which will not wear out easily. The sticks are easy to insert and stay locked in place.

The product is suitable for kids of all ages. With a bit of adult supervision, it is possible to build creative and unique structures that will keep the kids entertained and engaged. The set provides collaborative play between boys, girls, and adults as well.

The product is an ideal gift for your children as it will bring the entire family together.

3. The Original AirFort No-Floor Design

Don’t want to go through the hassle of assembling a fort part by part? Then the Original Airfort is the perfect product for you.

The Airfort is an inflatable playhouse that requires no assembly. To inflate the playhouse simply attach a box fan in the front. Within 30 seconds, it will be inflated! The fort measures 6.5 ft. in diameter and 4 ft. in height when inflated, which is spacious enough to accommodate multiple children and parents as well.

The playhouse has a no-floor design. This eliminates the chances of floor shifting. Also, you don’t have to worry about cleaning any food spills. The fort features multiple viewing windows which allows kids to see outside. It also comes with a mesh divider that prevents the kids from reaching the box fan.

The spacious fort is ideal for hangouts and playdates. It can also be used as a private play space for your kids. It doesn’t contain any doorways to access the tent. It basically hovers over the ground so you can access it from any side by simply lifting one side of the tent.

The product is made with a lightweight material which makes it soft and breathable. The airflow of the fan doesn’t disturb the children’s play as it gets diffused by the mesh fabric. The fort has sufficient space to fit in pillows and blankets, making it ideal for sleepovers.

With 7 exciting color variations to choose from, Airfort makes the best fort building kits on the market. Your children will have a hard time choosing which one they love more!

It also comes with a matching travel bag, which you can use to take it with you on trips. The bag is incredibly small and doesn’t require much storage space.

4. Straw Constructor STEM Building

Fun, engaging, and innovative. These words define the STEM building toy set.

This product is a STEM-based toy set that consists of 300 vibrantly colored pieces. The pieces consist of interlocking straws and connectors that are fun to use. It is a multipurpose building set that helps children enhance their engineering and motor skills.

The colorful plastic straws fit perfectly with the connector pieces. The straws can be flexed to create arches. This allows you or your kids to create unique structures. They will be able to create forts, tunnels, caves, rockets, or even a boat!

The variation in the color of the straws enhances children’s imagination. It also helps with color recognition and learning. They can create their own or team up with a friend and construct creative shapes. This will boost their social and leadership skills.

It not only promotes creativity as well as education. Kids will be able to learn the differences in colors from a young age, it will also help the young learners to learn basic mathematics such as addition and subtraction.

The components of the set are made with materials that are non-toxic and BPA free. In case the straws or the connectors get dirty, they can be cleaned with warm water and some soap. Quality-wise, the set is one of the finest in the market. The components don’t feel cheaply made and are long-lasting.

Overall, the product has all the finest features, making it the best fort building kit in the market. As a cherry on top, the set even comes in a reusable bag that can be used to store the contents when not in use.

5. Everest Toys Crazy Forts, Glow in the Dark, 69 pieces

Building cool structures just got better with the glow-in-the-dark fort building kit from Everest Toys.

The kit consists of 69 stick and ball pieces. The pieces are comprised of 25 glow-in-the-dark balls that illuminate at low light. The balls are geometrically precise and can easily fit the sticks to create a wide range of creative structures.

Creating forts with this kit is quite straightforward. Simply attach the sticks with the glow-in-the-dark connectors and let your imagination do the rest. Since the kit does not include fabric, you can use any sheet or blanket of your choice to go with the forts.

You can create various structures with the kit. Apart from forts, you can build caves, pirate ships, castles as well. With a bit of creativity, you can also create unique structures of your own. If you are looking to build bigger structures, simply use another set of Crazy Forts and connect it with your kit.

Quality-wise, the kit is as good as the more expensive options on the market. The poles can support a considerable amount of weight from the fabric without exhibiting any flex. Also, this kids fort builder sticks lock firmly to the connectors, which is essential for building sturdy structures.

The kit promotes your children’s motor skills as well as the ability to understand the designs and follow directions. Building forts with this kit also enhances social skills as it encourages interaction and teamwork.

Toobeez is a well-known brand that focuses on making quality playhouses and forts. With EZ-fort, you can build a wide variety of structures that your kids will absolutely love.

The product comes with 54 pieces that include tubes of different lengths and locking mechanisms. The number of pieces may seem less, but it is perfect for building mini forts that can fit two children.

The size is perfect for living rooms and bedrooms. You can also use the second set of EZ-Forts to build bigger structures.

EZ-Fort is an excellent product for developing your child’s critical thinking skills. It not only inspires your child to create unique structures but also increases their communication skills as you will be constantly interacting with your little ones to create amazing structures. You can also build your forts outdoors for additional fun.

The kit excels in terms of quality. The components are well made and form a stable structure when completed. The balls consist of many slots and are geometrically precise. The tubes lock into the slots well and don’t dislocate easily.

The kit comes with a white fabric that can be used to cover the structures. Alternatively, you can use your blankets or sheets of your choice. The finished structure holds the weight of the blankets remarkably well. It doesn’t bend or flex much under heavy stress which makes it durable.

The number of possible structures you can create with this product is endless. Create a castle, a fort, or a super special hideaway!

7. Fort Magic: Fort Building & Construction Toy Kit
Fort Magic: Fort Building & Construction Toy Kit
If you are looking for a kit that comes with all the bells and whistles, then Fort Magic is for you!

With Fort Magic, you can not only build forts, but a ship, and a submarine as well. It comes with 354 pieces that allow you to build big structures with ease. Your kids will be able to create unique structures for inventive play.

The product consists of straight and curved sticks that support the structure, and connector pieces of various shapes and lengths to join the sticks. It also comes with a color manual, which has the design of more than 20 structures that you can build.

The directions in the manual are easy to go through. You can get a frame ready within 15 minutes. As the product doesn’t come with fabric, you have to add your own. This allows you to add sheets of different themes or colors to go with the design of the structure you have created.

The build quality of the components is simply excellent. The sticks are sturdy and provide great stability to the built structures. The connectors hold the fort building sticks firmly in place and don’t dislocate from time to time, which is common on cheaply made fort building kits.

The endless possibilities of structures you can create with Fort Magic are simply amazing. You can either follow the designs that are in the instruction manual or get creative and build unique structures of your own.

Overall this is an innovative kids fort builder that will enhance your kid’s imagination and promote creative play.

8. Matchaccino Glow in The Dark Construction Fort Building Kit
Make your creations glow with the Matchaccino glow-in-dark fort building kit.

Take your forts to the next level using this glow-in-the-dark building kit. The 77-piece set is an excellent set to enhance your child’s creativity. Your child can create amazing structures that will be visible in the dark.

The kit consists of 28 connector pieces and 49 sticks. They can be arranged to create playful structures such as forts and hideaways. The set is perfect for kids who are 5 years of age or above.

One of the most interesting properties of the sticks is that they are incredibly flexible. This opens the door to more design options such as tunnels or curved caves. You can also combine the kit with another Matchaccino glow-in-the-dark set to make massive structures.

The set can help encourage your child’s development. As they will try to join the pieces and build a fort, they have to face multiple obstacles and take them as a challenge. By going through them, it will enrich your child’s problem-solving skills, and hone in on their imagination and creativity.

Quality-wise, the pieces are incredibly durable. The kit is made with strong plastic and can withstand any roughhousing by the kids. It can even be used outdoors for additional fun!

9. Playlearn LARGE 800 Piece Straws

Create interesting structures with your little ones and educate them at the same time with the Playlearn Large 800 piece straws.

The Playlearn building set is designed to be both fun and educational. It allows your child to be creative from a young age. It also increases their thinking skills as they try to connect the pieces and build beautiful structures.

The 800 pieces consist of straws, connector pieces, and clips. The straws are flexible which allows your children to create arches. This allows them to construct shapes that have endless possibilities.

With a bit of creativity and imagination, kids will be able to create amazing structures such as castles, boats, and rocket ships!

The brightly colored straws perfectly interlock with connector pieces at different angles. The clips help to connect two straws increasing its length. With the number of pieces in the set, you can build massive structures. Also, you will not run out of pieces that easily.

Not only does the set excel in terms of quantity, but it also does for quality as well. The straws are quite thick are feels great in the hands. They measure 20mm in length and are 7mm wide.

They can withstand a reasonable amount of weight so you can drape a light sheet over the structure to complete the fort.

As the components are colored differently, you can use them to learn basic arithmetic calculations. The set also develops the child’s hand-eye coordination and communication skills.

The set comes in a storage box where you can keep all the pieces when not in use. This way you won’t misplace or lose any of the components.

10. ZoZoplay Straw Constructor STEM Building Toys

Enhance your toddler’s development by using this amazing STEM building set from ZoZoplay!

The vibrant colored components will surely fill your child’s heart with joy. It will be even more exciting for them when they create cool forts. With this stem-building toy set, your toddlers will be able to build a wide variety of structures, starting from basic alphabets to cool castles.

The building kit is designed to increase your child’s skills from a young age. It boosts hand-eye coordination and increases their perception skills. You can also use a kit to entertain and educate them.

The kit comes with 400 pieces, which are comprised of straws and connectors. The components fit together perfectly, and will not dislocate easily. However, you can bend them to create cool arches or any semi-circular shape. This gives you an opportunity to create any possible shapes.

When it comes to the quality of the components, the product ticks all the right boxes. The pieces when combined form sturdy structures. Also, they are durable and will last long. As the pieces are made out of plastic, you can give them a wash in case it gets dirty.

The components don’t contain any harmful elements. They are non-toxic, BPA-safe, and free of lead. It poses no threat to your child’s health and is completely safe to play with.

11. Everest Toys Crazy Forts, Pink

A fort maker kit for the little princess in your house!

Everest fort building kit has 69 pieces which are comprised of plastic sticks and balls. It is colored in pink for the little princess in your family.

Assembling the pieces doesn’t take much time. The kit has sufficient pieces for creating a wide variety of structures. You can build cool structures such as caves, pirate ships, and castles. With a little bit of creativity and imagination, you can build your structures as well.

Crazy Forts excels when it comes to quality. The sticks are of equal length and the connector pieces are geometrically precise. The plastic sticks lock on to the balls perfectly, which is essential for making stable structures.

The structures you create with crazy forts are sturdy. It can withstand the weight of thick sheets or blankets without bending or flexing. You can add another set of Crazy Forts and connect it with your existing one. This will allow you to create bigger shapes.

As the kit doesn’t come with fabric, you have to drape your own sheets or blankets over it. You can use a princess-themed sheet to match the pink building components.

Disassembling the fort is also very simple. As it doesn’t come with a carrying bag, you can put the components in a container and store them.

Crazy Fort’s pink building kit will exercise your child’s mind and also help them to develop their motor skills. The kit also encourages social interaction and creative thinking skills.

 

Source: https://playcomparison.com/best-fort-building-kit/

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ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BRAND STRATEGY

The world’s most adored and successful brands didn’t just pop up overnight.

The truth is: It takes focused strategy and (a whole lotta) work to build a truly great brand.

But what is brand strategy?

In a nutshell, it’s your game plan for entering and conquering your company’s niche. It outlines all the good stuff, like your brand identity, positioning in the market, and the types of messaging and marketing that will resonate with your target audience.

It can be your greatest asset or your unfortunate demise.

Above all else, it’s the vehicle for building real connections with people. And here’s a little secret: Real connections turn into loyal customers.

In this article, you’ll learn about brand strategy and the various traits that strong brand strategies tend to share. We’ll also provide examples of good brand strategies as well as give you a few steps to start your brand strategy plan today.

Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Hire yourself and start calling the shots.

GET STARTED FREE
What Is Brand Strategy?
You can think of your brand strategy as a 360-degree business blueprint. Ideally, your brand strategy outlines the key elements that make your brand unique, your mission and goals, and how you’ll deliver on them.

A strong brand strategy is meticulously crafted, taking into account all aspects of your market, niche, product or service offerings, customers, and competitors.

This should all be rooted in as much data as you can get your paws on.

In the beginning, you’ll need to take some leaps of faith – this is unavoidable when you’re starting from scratch. But with each new visitor, follower, and customer you get, there will be more glorious data to create meaningful strategies that actually translate into results.

Elements of a Brand Strategy
Here’s a brand strategy template that can help you cover all the bases:

Sub-strategy Goals and approach
Brand objective Your vision, mission, and purpose. Why does your company exist and what impact will you have on your audience, community, or even the world?
Target audience Speaking of your audience, who are they? What are their interests, needs, passions, and habits? Understanding them intimately is critical for your success – so don’t skimp on this.
Brand positioning Carving out your slice of the market. What does it take for you to be a big deal in your audience’s life, and what strategies will you implement to get there?
Brand identity What people see when they interact with your brand – your visual identity like logos and images, as well as your tone and voice, customer support, and reputation. Bonus points for storytelling that incorporates your brand objective in a meaningful way.
Marketing strategy Playing the long game, how will you communicate what you’re all about, in a way that your audience is actually receptive to? How will you build and nurture your customer relationships? This can include everything from social media to paid ads to email marketing.
How to Develop a Brand Strategy
There are generally three phases for the brand strategy process:

Plan: This is the intel phase. Before you start your brand-building strategies, do your research to make sure you have a solid handle on the market, your specific niche, your competitors, and the roots for your marketing strategy.
Build: Once you have a basic plan in place, dive into those brand-building steps. Create your brand identity, including your logo, color palette, and other visuals. Create your website, social channels, and other media through which you’ll execute your brand strategy plan.
Execute: Marketing is the fuel for your brand engine. Launch your brand and fully utilize all the messaging strategies you planned and the marketing channels you built. Don’t stop until … ever. Just don’t stop.
Let’s break these phases into five actionable steps.

Do Your Research
Market research is non-negotiable if you want to grow fast. This process helps you build a solid brand development foundation, giving you important insights into things like:

Fleshing out your business model, like adding certain products or offerings that go well with your initial ideas or narrowing down your target audience.
Pricing for your offerings based on potential value and competitors.
Who your main competitors are, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
The types of marketing messages and strategies that your audience responds to best.
Social media is absolutely your market research friend. If you’re starting a dropshipping store, beeline to Instagram to see what’s going on in your niche. And definitely spy on your competitors.

Here are some more research resources:

Facebook Audience Insights: Free Facebook user data based on their shopping habits and profile data like demographics, preferences, and interests.
Pew Research Center: A wealth of free information gathered through demographic data, public opinion polling, media content analysis, and other social sciences research.
Statista: Free and paid access to more than a million facts and stats about consumer and digital markets around the world.
Marketing Charts: All sorts of marketing data, analyses, and graphics. They offer free graphs and paid reports.
Create an Awesome Brand Identity
During your research phase, it’s basically impossible to not get inspired with ideas for your own brand identity. That’s why we recommend dipping your toes into the market before making any final decisions over your identity and aesthetic.

Here’s a checklist for important brand identity elements:

Company name: If you need some ideas, check out Oberlo’s Business Name Generator.

Logo and slogan: Shopify’s Hatchful can help you make a cool, crisp logo in a snap – no design skills needed.

Color palette: Pick three to five colors, and stick to them for all of your branding and marketing materials. This will help to solidify brand recognition. Oh, and don’t forget about color psychology to set the mood.

Fonts: Like your color palette, pick no more than three fonts, and stick to those on all of your materials. Canva has a great guide on font pairing.

Photos and art: In the world of online shopping, killer visuals are key. If you’re dropshipping, take awesome gorgeous product photos. Set the stage with lighting, imagery, models, and accessories, and then carry those themes throughout.

Voice and tone: Silly, conversational, inspiring, dramatic … the way you deliver messages can be just as important as the messages themselves.

Storytelling: Emotion goes a long way. Create a bond with your customers by giving them your backstory. How did the brand start? What are your values and mission? Your dreams and promises? Get personal.

A beautiful website: Please don’t send people to a glitchy, slow, or sketchy website. This is exponentially more important for an ecommerce business, where your site is your backbone. One study showed that 94 percent of respondents have rejected or mistrusted a site based on the web design alone … don’t be that site.

For more on brand identity, check out these resources:

Brand Awareness: 5 Tips for Creating a Powerful Brand Identity
How to Brand Your Dropshipping Store – Step by Step Guide with Examples
Develop an Actionable Marketing Plan
Having a sweet brand isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got to drive it home with continuous messaging on all sorts of channels.

And once you’ve roped them in, you should keep them roped in by strengthening the relationship and earning their loyalty.

Basically, you’ve got to keep going for the rest of your brand’s life.

We never said it was easy.

Here are some considerations for the marketing portion of your brand strategy plan:

Sales funnel: Especially for an ecommerce site, a sales funnel can smoothly lead your visitors to become customers, and customers to come back for more.

Social media marketing: The world – and all its online shoppers – are at your fingertips with platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and more. In addition to organic posting, try paid tactics like influencer marketing and social media ads.

Content marketing: This is a big deal. Technically, every product video you create, social media post you make, email you send, or blog post you publish is content marketing. When you use content marketing best practices to pull customers through your sales funnel, it can be massively impactful.

Email marketing: Email marketing is yet another effective tool for your sales funnel. One study found that email is 40 times more effective at helping companies acquire new customers than Twitter or Facebook. It’s powerful stuff.

Here are some more marketing resources:

How to Market a Product: 24 Effective Marketing Tips to Skyrocket Sales
The Complete Guide to Video Marketing for Businesses in 2021
How to Create a Content Strategy That Actually Drives Traffic
How to Land Your First Sale Fast with Social Selling
15 Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement Quickly
16 Email Marketing Tools To Craft and Send Perfect Emails
Be Reliable and Trustworthy
Consistency is key. Don’t start out with haute couture branding and then veer left field into soccer mom chic territory. Likewise, don’t use deeply emotional messaging and switch to sarcasm and jokes.

The whole point of the brand strategy process is to carve out a clear, distinct voice and image for your company – and stick to it in every single aspect of what you do.

Before making any merchandising, branding, or marketing decisions, ask yourself – Is this in line with my branding strategy? Does it “fit” with everything else and enhance the narrative I started?

If a new idea is even a little bit off, scrap it and try again.

In addition to keeping your branding and messaging consistent, it’s also critical that you keep all the promises you make. If you offer shipping in one week, those packages better darn well get there in one week.

Losing a customer’s trust is the fastest way to lose them and tank your reputation in the process.

Track, Assess, and Evolve When Needed
Evolution is necessary for our survival on this floating space orb – why should there be an exception for your brand?

The research was the first step in this process. But the truth is, the process should be in a loose infinite loop. You should always be diving into your Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, and other platforms to see how all of your campaigns and efforts are performing.

Google Analytics is a personal favorite, as it gives you a wealth of in-depth information about your website visitors and what exactly they do on your site – down to the last click. If you don’t have a Google Analytics account, create one now.

Install Google Analytics Shopify

Always be on the lookout for ways to improve. And accept that sometimes improvement needs to happen from the ground up, starting with essential elements of your business branding like your tone, marketing channels, or even your brand identity.

Creating a Brand Strategy: Examples to Inspire You
Target audience focus: Mollyjogger
mollyjogger brand strategy

Mollyjogger was made by nature lovers, for nature lovers. It’s right there in the slogan: “Field, Forest & Stream.”

You can see this profound understanding of the brand’s audience in virtually every aspect of its brand identity – from the deep forest greens and river blues in their color palette to the fun and adventurous brand fonts to the lifestyle photography that showcases their products in action.

You can’t beat the personal touch of that red station wagon packed to the brim with camping equipment. The type of vehicle alone is a clear example that their audience lives a more humble lifestyle that leans away from luxury and more toward rugged.

There are even an ax and some firewood packed in there, too.

That’s hardcore.

Brand storytelling: Tropical Sun
brand storytelling Tropical Sun website

Tropical Sun sells Caribbean-inspired products in the UK. The owners nail the storytelling facet as they explain the brand’s humble beginnings.

It connects “the UK’s thriving ethnic communities” back to their culture and brings them together. Humanizing the brand is so much more powerful than any generic list of health benefits or product quality.

Plus, that clever world map made of spices really drives home the concept of bringing people together.

The photo alone gets an A+.

Cohesive marketing: Harper Wilde
Harper Wide’s brand strategy

Harper Wilde is a bra brand with a fun, cheeky attitude. But it’s more than just that – it champions and empowers women socially and politically.

This is the kind of brand that connects deeply with the passions and identities of its customers.

Right off the bat, you can see that Harper Wilde donates a portion of profits to The Girl Project, an initiative that puts girls through primary school. The owners also work with a manufacturer that strives to empower Sri Lankan women.

And they do it all with puns, hashtags, and the occasional silly photo.

“Together we will lift up your ladies and the future leading ladies of tomorrow.”

Get it?

They use their branded hashtag #LiftUpTheLadies on their website and social media to create brand cohesion between channels.

The company Instagram carries on these concepts, shifting smoothly between political messages, jokes, and product photos.

 

Overall, it’s an expert job of strong brand development that’s embodied in all of the company’s marketing efforts.

Wrapping Up
The fact is, when created properly, your brand strategy provides support and direction for your business.

It tells you what your company’s position in the industry is, relative to your competitors, and what makes it different from the rest.

With the right personality, colors, voice, and actions you take for your brand, you can make it more appealing for both your staff and prospective customers.

 

Source: https://www.oberlo.com/blog/brand-strategy

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