improving search engine rank
    SERPs 101: How to Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

    Did you know that a whopping 90% of the population never scrolls past the first page of Google? When was the last time you’ve taken a moment to check where your website shows up when you type in your business name or important keywords related to your company? If you just so happen to be like countless other businesses out there, then chances are your website might not pop up within the first 10 spots. Heck, it might not even pop up on the first page at all.  The good news is – you have the power to change this. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can effectively monitor and improve your search engine ranking, then this article is just for you.

    What are SERPs?

    “SERPs” is simply an acronym which is widely used to abbreviate the term  search engine results pages. SERPs are the pages which pop up when you type an inquiry into a search engine such as Google.  There are countless pages which are often returned upon the input of an inquiry — far too many to go through. This is because Google alone indexes trillions of website pages. So, what Google does, is it prioritizes these results for you based on their likelihood of providing you an accurate and robust answer and then displays them to you in hierarchical order.

    Why search engine rankings are crucial to success

    Google’s search engine algorithm essentially attributes a SERP score to every page on your website. Your SERP score, or search engine ranking, is directly related to the effectiveness of your search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, your marketing campaigns, as well as the length of time that your website/brand has had to establish trust with Google’s algorithm. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that it’s extremely difficult to outrank major brands and companies for the simple fact that they have significantly deeper pockets than you. But, this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. You still have a chance at ranking high for keywords, especially niche keywords and getting on the first page of Google. All it takes is some hard work and commitment.

    Are you aware of Google Algorithm Latest Updates? - Home


    How to improve your SERP ranking

    Fortunately, there are numerous steps you can take to help improve your SERP rankings.  However, in order to be effective, you’ll need to stay dedicated and focused. By crafting effective marketing and SEO campaigns and staying patient, you can work to begin to improving your SERP ranking one day at a time.

    1. Marketing

    Crafting effective and compelling marketing campaigns is a crucial step when it comes to improving your SERP score. The more mentions, hashtags, articles your brand has, the stronger it becomes in the eyes of Google’s algorithm. To be honest with you — it’s pretty much a popularity contest. And to be blunt — the major corporations are always going to win. This is because they have countless resources they can pool into their marketing strategies, whereas the average business is often limited by their budget. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t create viral content, work on increasing your popularity on social media or work hard to get influencers to tout your brand/services! 

    Fortunately for you, there are numerous tools available which can aid in your efforts to craft more effective digital marketing campaigns. Much of it begins with performing diligent research and finding the right keywords, topics and trends to touch upon. Most recently, influencer marketing has become an extremely popular way to get your brand out there and repped by popular figures within the social media space. So, take the time to tap into some influencer marketing agencies to see how they can help you increase brand awareness and establish an authority presence in the digital space!

    2. SEO

    SEO is another critical component to improving your search engine ranking. Is your website optimized to the fullest? Are you leveraging niche and long-tail keywords as a way to combat against the monopoly that many large corporations have over SEO? We’re not just talking on-page SEO — technical SEO is just as important.

    Lucky for you, there are also numerous tools available on the market to aid you in these efforts as well. Whether you use a plug-in such as YoastSEO or tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Backlinko or Ahrefs, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. If you find that you just don’t happen to be the savviest when it comes to this, don’t be afraid to reach out to an expert and ask for help. Companies such as ours specialize in aiding businesses such as yours in increasing their search engine rankings effectively and efficiently.

    3. Being Patient

    The truth of the matter is that increasing your search engine rankings doesn’t happen overnight. So, naturally you’re going to want to be wary of any services which promote instant or unreasonably fast results. You simply can’t rush the algorithm. You can help it along by doing your best to implement strong and effective tactics, but overnight success is few and far between. Be patient. It takes a while to establish your brand/website as trustworthy in the eyes of Google’s algorithm. But the good news is that the longer you stay dedicated, the more you’ll continue to build up your trust.

    Example Search Rankings Report


    Monitoring your search engine ranking

    When it comes to establishing your presence on search engine results pages, you’ll need to do more than just implement tactics in order to improve your ranking. This is because rankings are far from static and constantly changing as information continues to be indexed by Google’s algorithm every second of every day. This is why consistently monitoring your ranking is so essential. When you monitor your rank, you gain access to valuable information which can help to fuel your strategies and tactics for improvement.

    For instance, let’s say that you decide to implement a keyword strategy. You pretty much will be left mostly in the dark with regards to how effective it is or isn’t without monitoring. However, when you do implement a process for monitoring, you are able to see how effective your strategies are and how your website is performing in response to their implementation. Fortunately, there are numerous tools on the market such as SEMRush, MozPro and Ahrefs which can help provide you with in-depth analytics and tools which can be leveraged in order to help you monitor and track your rank.

    Monitoring your competitor’s SERPs

    Monitoring your search engine rankings is crucial in determining your status and driving your strategies. However, it’s not just your own website that you should be concerned about. Who are your biggest competitors? We’re not talking big name companies and corporations. We mean the companies within your niche which are performing slightly better than you. If you don’t know the answer to this, then you’ll have to dig in your heals and do a little research first. Once you know the names of a handful of companies as such, you’ll need to start monitoring their status, performance and progress as well. When you begin monitoring your competitors’ rankings, you gain access to valuable information which can help fuel your strategies for improvement.

    For instance, let’s say you find that your competitors are ranking high for a certain number of keywords. This is great information to know, because it helps inform you on which keywords you should use in your strategy. Or perhaps, you’ve noticed that their ranking is fluctuating a bit or has taken a nosedive after the implementation of a strategy. This can help you be aware of things not to do so that your website doesn’t have the same fate. On the other hand, if they’re performing well, then gaining access to analytics on their performance can help you effectively mirror some of the positive tactics they’ve implemented. Remember: consistently monitoring your competition is every bit just as important as monitoring your own performance because it can help provide further insight into the steps you need to take in order to stay one step ahead.


    Your SERP score is arguably one of the single most important things to focus on if you’re looking to improve your online presence and grow your business. If you’re looking to increase your search engine ranking, then you’ll need to focus on a combination of effective marketing, SEO and monitoring/tracking strategies in order to do so.  Fortunately, there are numerous tools available on the market in order to help you achieve your goals. Use this article as a guide to keep yourself on track and to get off in the right direction when it comes to improving your website’s SERP score. And remember – nothing is going to happen overnight. Beware of any products or services which promote unrealistic results. This takes a tortoise versus a hare mentality. Improving your search engine rankings takes time, dedication and consistent effort. However, the benefits are extremely worthwhile.


    Which tools do you use to monitor and/or improve your SERP score? Let us know your experience with them in the comment section below! We’d love to hear from you!


    Lesson #28: How important is it to be on the first page of SERPs?



    How to Monitor Search Engine Rankings

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    tag management systems, google tag manager
    Tag Management Systems: Why You Need a Platform like Google Tag Manager in 2020

    Tag management is still a relatively new field. As a result, many business owners and marketers are finding themselves a bit confused as to why a solid tag management system is so crucial to their marketing efforts. However, leveraging a tag management system such as Google Tag Manager (GTM) can do everything from help you in reducing your marketing costs, to increasing the speed of your website and implementing more efficient digital campaigns. If you’re interested in learning more about marketing tags and the benefits of tag management systems like GTM, then this article is just for you.

    What are marketing tags?

    Let’s start with the basics. After all, there’s no use in delving into the benefits of tag management systems such as Google Tag Manager if the entire concept of tag management in general still remains relatively ambiguous to you.

    So, first thing is first — what are marketing tags?

    Marketing tags, often referred to as pixels  are short little snippets of JavaScript code which can be embedded into your website in order to perform a variety of tasks (i.e. live chat, advertising, analytics).  Perhaps the most notable example of a tag would be the Facebook Pixel which you have to embed into your website in order for Facebook to be able to track certain activities. When it comes to marketing, tags are generally used in order to collect information about website visitors and their behaviors. This valuable information can then be leveraged in order to inform numerous strategic decisions regarding everything from your website;s design to your sales pipeline, product offerings and more.

    Types of marketing tags

    There are basically two main categories of tags: functional tags and technical tags. Functional tags. as their names suggest perform a function of some sort whereas technical tags have, you guessed it, a more technical nature.

    1. Functional Tags

    Functional tags can further more be divided into two primary types:

    • Conversion Tags
      Conversion tags essentially are created for the purpose of tracking the performance of ad campaigns.  These can be set up within a platform so in order to identify certain behaviors or events which occur on your website. Once a specified behavior/event is “triggered” by a user, the tag begins doing its job.
    • Remarketing Tags
      Remarketing tags have the ability to change the content of ads and who they are targeted to. This is achieved based on the analysis of your user behaviors. Remarketing tags can further be divided into two sub-groups:

      • Simple Tags
        Simple tags are ones you create for an action which you are interested in using for the purpose of remarketing.

      • Smart Tags
        Smart tags are general tags which are generated by the tag management system in order to be placed on all of the pages of your website.

    2. Technical Tags

    Much like functional tags, technical tags can also be further divided into two sub-groups:

    • Image Tags
      Image tags are snippets of code which are inserted into your website for the purpose of sharing data with your ad server. These tags are dynamic and can change in structure and in terms of what they are tracking.
    • Script Tags
      Script tags are small, often static pictures which are loaded on your website in order to share data with your ad server


    Image result for tag management system


    What is a tag management system (TMS)?

    Tag management systems (TMSs) essentially make the process of creating, managing and implementing tags more straightforward and less “technical”.  Anyone can use a tag management system, however, not just anyone can create, implement and manage tags on their own manually without a relevant educational background or experience. 

    Tag management systems began to grow in popularity in the late 2000s due in part as a natural response to the rapid growth of marketing technology. With a tag management system, management and deployment of marketing tags is much more streamlined and don’t necessarily require the assistance and support of an IT professional. This of course means they can also help companies and marketing departments  save both time and money.

    In fact, according to recent research from Tealium, 73% of businesses surveyed stated that they believed using a tag management system helped them to reduce costs. With a tag management system such as Google Tag Manager, you don’t need to rely on a manual tagging or the ongoing assistance of an IT professional because TMSs are purposely created in order to streamline the processes and make tagging more user-friendly and efficient. 

    Speaking of efficiency, did you know that the same company also found that a whopping 69% of TMS users are able to implement their new tags in less than a day? Just 23% of companies who manually tag with IT assistance are able to achieve this.

    And the efficiency doesn’t just stop there — tag management systems also help increase the efficiency and speed of your website performance. The same company found that 64% of TMS users said their website was noticeably faster with more than 50% of them saying their tag management system made their website “significantly” faster.


    tag management system benefits

    The benefits of using a tag management system

    There are numerous benefits to using a tag management system. We already briefly touched upon the fact that a TMS can help companies reduce costs and improve website speed and performance, but that’s not all. Tag management systems also help create a common language between the marketer and the developer with regards to the data being collected and what it is used for. This in turn helps to establish greater understanding and trust between these two parties.

    Tag management systems also help increase agility and improve technical implementation process. With a tag management system, you can say goodbye to all those pesky pieces of code and hello to a streamlined container snippet which houses and manages all of your tags. They also help  marketers gain access to fresh, real-time data because deployment takes just moments as opposed to days or weeks. 

    Tag management systems also help provide you with peace of mind. Gone are the days when one has to become obsessive about the code being used. Is it correct? Is it error free? Is it optimized? With a tag management system, you can rest assured that the code is written well. In addition, with platforms such as Google Tag Manager, you also gain access to easy-to-use error checking tools.


    Image result for benefits tag management system


    Why you need a tag management system

    While tag management systems are extremely beneficial, the truth of the matter is not everyone needs them. Are you actively using numerous digital marketing solutions or complex, enterprise-level analytics solutions? Do you currently have a mobile application or are you thinking about deploying one in the near future? What about your website? Does it need updated? Are you thinking about redesigning it? If you answered no to these questions, then chances are a tag management system might just not be necessary for you at the moment. However, if you answered yes to one or more, then you’ll be glad to know that you can benefit from a solid TMS.


    Image result for tag management system

    Google Tag Manager

    Google Tag Manager (GTM) is quite arguably one of, if not the single most popular tag management  system available to the public. GTM is a great choice for those looking to get into tag management because it offers simple, reliable and user-friendly tag management solutions tailored towards non-technical audiences for absolutely free. The interface is very user-friendly and the platform also gives you access to folders, instant search and autocomplete, preview modes, a site tag overview and the ability to publish in just seconds. It furthermore gives you the ability to create numerous triggers as well as control how your tags fire. We’re talking auto-event triggers, click triggers, form submission triggers, custom event triggers, as well as page view and history triggers.

    It also offers a host of features and technologies such as automated tag management, mobile app support, accelerated mobile pages (AMP) support, as well as the ability to sequence, pause and blacklist tags. Users can furthermore take advantage of multi-account support, multi-user support and user-level permissions as well as common and custom tag templates and convenient integrations with other Google solutions (i.e. Google Ads, Campaign Manager)  and third-party tag support.

    All in all, Google Tag Manager is a wonderfully user-friendly tag management system which provides users with access to a robust set of features and tools in order to streamline and optimize tag management and deployment.



    Tag management is a relatively new concept, but is quickly becoming an essential foundation underpinning effective marketing campaigns. Tag management systems such as Google Tag Manager can help companies in numerous ways by increasing their agility, giving them peace of mind and streamlining both the management and deployment of valuable marketing tags. If you’re new to the concept of tag management, then we suggest that you take some time to experiment with a free tag management system such as Google Tag Manager so that you can see first-hand how it can benefit you and your company. We’re certain you won’t be disappointed.

    Have you used Google Tag Management? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comment below! We’d love to hear from you!




    What are Marketing Tags and How They Affect Digital Marketing

    What is Tag Management?

    6 Compelling New Stats About Tag Management



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    voice search optimization
    Everything You Need to Know About Voice Search in 2020

    Over the past few years there has been a marked rise in the growth of voice recognition software and it’s easy to understand why. Many of us lead demanding, busy, on-the-go lifestyles and as a result, convenience has quickly become of paramount importance to the average consumer. According to a recent PWC report an astounding 71% of individuals surveyed said they would rather use their voice assistant in order to conduct a query as opposed to physically having to type it into their device. Voice search isn’t something of the future – it’s here – loud and clear. ComScore infamously predicted that 50% of all searches will be voice by 2020. We may not be there just yet, but that doesn’t mean we’re not close. If you’re interested in learning more about voice search and the various simple steps you can take in order to prepare your website for 2020, then this article is just for you.

    Timeline of mainstream voice assistants


    A brief history of voice search

    Voice recognition software has been around since the 1960’s so it isn’t exactly new, but mass mainstream adoption and commercialization voice assistants is. Google first rolled out Google Voice Search in 2010. The system required users to call into a telephone number at which point they were prompted to speak their search query and wait for results to populate on their mobile device. Needless to say, it didn’t catch on all too quickly.

    In October of 2011 Apple introduced Siri as the first digital virtual assistant with their iPhone 4s and Google rapidly followed suit by introducing Google Now in May 2012. Microsoft and Amazon quickly threw their hats in the ring with Cortana and Alexa in 2014 and Google released Google Assistant in 2016. Now we’ve got Samsung’s Bixby and IBM’s Watson as well. Today, voice recognition software is encoded in everything from mobile phones to laptops to watches and personal home devices. Practically everyone wants a virtual assistant. Which leads us to our next section.


    Have you used voice search to find information for a local business in the last 12 months? | BrightLocal Voice Search for Local Business Study


    The growing demand for voice search optimization

    Today, voice recognition software is encoded in everything from mobile phones to laptops to watches and personal home devices. Practically everyone uses voice search and as a result, the industry is a-booming. According to eMarketer, voice commerce sales peaked to an astounding $2.1 billion last year alone. Juniper Research further estimates that there will be a whopping 8 billion digital voice assistants on the market in use by 2023.

    When it comes to voice search, Amazon leads in the voice-enabled speaker device market but Google still dominates the search engine market with a share of 92.71%. So, needless to say, when they start to make updates in order to further accommodate voice search, everyone takes notice. Their 2013 Hummingbird update changed search in profound ways by emphasizing natural language processing and taking into consideration things such as context and user intent. As a result, the focus became less on keywords and more on conversation and meaning.

    This algorithm update coupled with the widespread popularity of smart devices using voice recognition software means that companies now more than ever need to be prepared to optimize their websites and content accordingly.

    voice query length.png


    5 Ways You Can Start Optimizing for Voice Search Today

    According to recent data from Location World, approximately 2 in 5 adults use voice search at least once daily — and it they use it for more than just finding out information. According to recent data from Amazon, the use of Alexa for shopping more than tripled in 2018 from the previous year (NOTE: at VisioneerIT, we offer voice search technology which can help you sell your products using Alexa voice).  It’s important to note that there’s a significant difference between typed and spoken queries and as a result, voice search optimized websites will have a much greater advantage in 2020. If you’re looking to nab position zero, then we have 5 steps which you can use to get you started off on the right foot.


    1. Use natural language

    Let’s say you’re looking for some great grub in your area for the evening. If you head to your go-to search engine, your query ‘might look something like “best restaurants near me”. However, if you’re like the many individuals who use a voice assistant on your mobile device, your query is most likely to sound more along the lines of “what are the best restaurants near me?”. Our point here is that voice search queries tend to be longer than your average typed query. Not only that, they also tend to be conducted in a conversational tone. This is the exact opposite of what is expected when it comes to typed queries. Instead of ruthelessly optimizing for keywords, focus instead on what you need to do in order to optimize for semantic search. Use conversational keywords and phrases that are common when speaking and phrase these long-tail keywords in the same manner in which they are usually spoken. It’s not only ideal for voice search, long-tail keywords are furthermore a great strategy to use for traditional SEO.

    2. Question phrases

    When someone is conducting a typed query on a search engine, the goal is generally to get the main idea across as succinctly as possible. You’re not exactly trying to write a novel. If you’re looking for a black 1981 Pontiac Firebird you might type something like “1981 black Pontiac firebird for sale”. It’s not exactly a beaming example of English grammar. However, when using voice search, users tend to frame queries in the form of questions such as “Where can I find a 1981 black Pontiac firebird for sale?”. Keep this in mind when it comes to optimizing for voice search. It’s important to consider user intent as well as to think of ways to include potential questions your audience may have in your content, headers or subtitles. Not exactly sure where to start? There are numerous resources online which can help you identify the various questions your target audience may have surrounding your topic. Answer the Public is an immensely popular tool as such.

    3. Aim for featured snippet quality

    You may not exactly know what a featured snippet is by just hearing the name but you’ve definitely seen one. These little guys are the pieces of content that have been awarded the ever so coveted spot of position zero. They are above-the-fold snippets of useful information pulled from only the most worth of articles and featured in the spot before the rest of your search engine results. According to SearchEngineWatch, you can pretty much be certain that if the search results which get pulled up for your query include a featured snippet, your voice assistant is going to pull its answer from it. So, if you’re looking to rank highly in voice search results, you’re going to want to focus on making sure that you are delivering high quality content that Google would display in a featured snippet.

    4. Structured data/schema markup

    Structured data is a system where names are paired with a value in order to help search engines when it comes to indexing and categorizing website content. A while back Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex got together and came up with Schema.org (aka Schema) as a way to help people provide the information that their search engines need in order to provide the best search results possible. Schema is “a semantic vocabulary of tags” (aka microdata) that you can manually add to your HTML code in order to make it easier for search engines to read, interpret and represent your webpage. It often results in rich snippets of information being displayed (i.e. star ratings) underneath the title of your webpage. This tactic has been proven to not only increase click-through rate but to also drive traffic and provide a competitive advantage to websites which use them. While you will need to know a thing or two about code, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert in order to implement it. You can easily generate your own code for your webpages by using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.

    5. Improve your local SEO

    Voice search tends to be more mobile and locally focused. In fact, one 2018 study conducted by BrightLocal found that a whopping 58% of individuals use their voice search in order to find local businesses. It also found that consumers are most likely to use voice searches in order to find additional information about businesses that they are already familiar with. This really comes as no surprise as people tend to use their voice search when they’re already on-the-go or planning on going somewhere. In fact, the phrase “near me” is extremely popular when it comes to voice searches. Most of these search bots use business listings in order to find the requested information. The quickest and most simple way to do this is to head on over to Google My Business and register your company. Fill out as much information as possible and make sure to keep it accurate and up to date.


    Gartner predicted that by the year 2020, approximately 30% of all searches will be screenless. We still have 11 months to find out if that prediction pans out, but the truth of the matter is that you can’t afford to not be prepared. Optimizing your website for voice search is no longer an option – it’s a necessity. Use this article as a useful guide to help you get caught up on all things voice search related and to help strengthen your website so that you have an added edge over the competition in 2020.

    Are you interested in leveraging voice search to help increase sales? At VisioneerIT, we offer voice search technology which can help you sell your products using Alexa voice. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can increase customer loyalty and improve your sales, contact us today at www.visioneerit.com.











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    the ultimate guide to ccpa compliance in 2020
    The Ultimate Guide to CCPA Compliance in 2020

    The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is largely considered a landmark legislative piece set in place in order to afford greater protections to consumers and their privacy rights in the United States. Enacted in 2018, the CCPA officially took effect as of January 1st of this year. If you’re a business owner who is interested in learning more about the CCPA, as well as the responsibilities required of you and the  rights afforded to your consumers, then this article will serve as a great guide to get you in-the-know and compliant for 2020.

    consumer rights


    Consumer Rights

    Right to request disclosure

    The CCPA affords consumers the right to request that a business disclose both the “categories and specific pieces” of personal information that the business has collected as well as the categories of sources from which the information is collected. It also affords consumers the right to request the business/commercial purpose for collecting or selling personal information as well as the right to request that the business also disclose the categories of third parties with whom which the business shares this personal information.

    Right to delete

    A consumer has the right to request that a business delete personal information which they have collected from the consumer.

    Right to opt-out

    A consumer furthermore has the right to instruct a business which sells personal information about them to stop selling said information. This is referred to as the right to opt-out.

    Right to non-discrimination

    The CCPA additionally affords consumers the right to non-discrimination. This means that a business may in no way discriminate against a consumer due to the fact that they have exercised any of the rights afforded to them by the act. Examples of discrimination include denying goods/services, charging different rates for goods/services, providing a different level or quality of goods/services to the consumer or even simply suggesting that the consumer will receive a different price, level or quality of goods/services.

    Consumer remedies

    The CCPA furthermore provides consumer with a number of remedies in the event their personal information become subject to “unauthorized access, exfiltration, theft or disclosure” as the result of a business’ negligence. In the case of such event, the consumer has the right to:

    1) Damages no less than $100.00 and no greater than $750.00 per consumer per incident OR actual damages (whichever amount is deemed greater)

    2) Injunctive or declaratory relief

    3) any other form of relief deemed appropriate by the court

    These remedies are only available if the consumer provides the business with 30 days’ written notice in which they identify the specific provisions which they feel have been violated before pursuing any action against the company.

    In the event the business has the option to and is able to cure the violation within 30 days’ time and provide the consumer with written notice of such, no legal action against the company may be taken.


    CCPA Business Responsibilities and Compliance

    Definition of a business

    The definition of a business as defined by the CCPA includes businesses which:

    1) Have an annual gross revenue of more than $25 million

    2) Receive, purchase, sell or share for commercial purposes the information of 50,000 or more consumers, households or devices.

    3) Receive at least 50% of their annual revenue from selling the personal information of consumers


    4) Control or are controlled by a business as such and share common branding with said business

    Providing notice to consumers

    Collection or sale of personal information

    The CCPA mandates that businesses must provide notice to consumers at or before the time of the collection of personal information that they intend to collect said personal information and how they intend to use it. Furthermore, if a business sells personal information to third parties, they must additionally provide “explicit” notice to consumers that their information may be sold and that the consumer has the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information. Children under the age of 16 years must provide opt-in consent and a parent or guardian must provide consent for any children under the age of 13 years.

    Financial incentives

    Businesses must also disclose any financial incentives which may be applicable for the collection, sale or deletion of a consumer’s personal information. They must furthermore provide the consumer with the manner in which they calculate the value of their personal information and how the financial incentive is permitted under the CCPA. Financial incentives may take the form of monetary compensation or discounted goods or services in terms of quality or price. However, these financial incentives must be directly related to the value of the personal information which is provided to the business.

    In the event a consumer gives opt-in consent to enter into a financial incentive program with the business, the business must clearly describe the terms of the program and the fact that it may be revoked by the consumer at will. The CCPA furthermore specifies that businesses may not use financial incentive programs which are deemed “unjust, unreasonable, coercive or usurious” in nature.

    Providing reasonable access to consumers for submitting requests

    The CCPA further mandates that businesses must provide “reasonable access’ to consumers for the purpose of submitting any requests to the business with regards to the collection and use of their personal information. A business must make available to consumers at least two or more designated methods for submitting requests which include at minimum, a toll-free number. In the event a business operates solely online and has a “direct relationship” with the consumer, it may instead only be required to provide an email address for submitting such requests.

    Website compliance

    In the event the business has a website, the website must be made available to consumers for the submission of requests regarding their personal information. There are also specific guidelines associated with this task. For instance, the business must provide a “clear and conspicuous link” on their homepage titled “Do Not Sell My Personal information” which directs the consumer to opt-out of the sale of their personal information. A business may also not require a consumer to create an account with them in order to direct the business not to sell their information.

    The business must also ensure that any and all individuals who are held responsible for handling consumer inquiries are informed of all of the requirements associated with doing so and how to direct consumers to exercise their rights according to the act.

    Furthermore, if the business has an online privacy policy, they are required to update the information on it at least every 12 months. The privacy policy must include a description of the consumer’s rights and a list of categories of personal information which the business has collected about the consumers in the previous 12  months. At VisioneerIT, we make compliance simple by offering a convenient website plug-in which automatically updates your customer policies whenever the laws change.

    Responding to consumer requests

    Identity verification

    The CCPA mandates that businesses must verify the identity of consumers making requests to them regarding the collection and use of their personal information. However, a business may not require that a consumer create an account with them in order to make a verifiable consumer request. If a business is unable to verify the request, they are able to deny the request, but are required to comply to “the greatest extent” that they can.

    Requests to delete information

    In the event that a business receives a verifiable request from a consumer to delete their personal information, the business must comply and also notify any potential service providers to delete the consumer’s personal information from their records as well.

    Opt-out requests

    Businesses receiving opt-out requests from consumers must comply by refraining from selling their personal information. Businesses must also respect the consumer’s decision for a period of no less than 12 months before making another request that the consumer authorizes the sale of their personal information. Consumers may authorize other individuals to opt-out on their behalf and businesses must respect the requests made from said authorized individuals. Businesses must also treat any user-enabled privacy settings which signal a consumer’s decision to opt-out as a valid opt-out request.

    Delivery of requested information

    The CCPA also has various guidelines associated with the delivery of and response to requests from consumers. For instance, business disclosures must cover the 12-month period preceding their receipt of the verified consumer request and must be made in writing.

    Disclosure and delivery of the requested information to the consumer must also be made available free of charge via the consumer’s account with the business, by mail, or electronically within 45 days from the date of the consumer’s request. In the event the disclosure of said information is sent electronically, it must be sent in a “readily useable format” which allows the consumer to easily transmit the information to another entity “without hindrance” (i.e. PDF file).

    The CCPA also dictates that businesses are not required to provide personal information to a consumer more than twice in a 12-month period. Furthermore, a business may request an extension for the delivery of the information in the event one is necessary as long as the consumer is notified of the extension within the initial 45-day period.

    Businesses are also entitled to charge an administrative fee for requests deemed “manifestly unfounded or excessive” or refuse to act on such requests altogether as long as the consumer is notified for the reason of refusal. However, businesses which take such action should keep in mind that they will have to bear the burden of having to demonstrate (potentially to the courts) that a consumer request was in fact “manifestly unfounded or excessive”.


    The CCPA further mandates that businesses must maintain records of consumer requests and the business’ response to these request for a period of 24 months in order to remain compliant. If a business collects, purchases or sells information on more than 4 million consumers, they are subject to additional record-keeping and training obligations.

    Compliance violations

    Businesses are deemed to be in violation of the CCPA if they fail to cure any violations within 30 days after they are notified of non-compliance. In the event the case of such event, businesses will be subject to an injunction and liable for civil penalties of a maximum of $2,500.00 for each violation. If found violations were intentional, businesses can be subject to as much as $7,500.00 in penalties for each intentional violation.


    As of January 2020, the CCPA has officially gone into effect. As a result, businesses of all backgrounds and sizes are now liable for remaining compliant under this groundbreaking piece of legislation. If you’re interested in learning more about the specifics of the CCPA, a copy of the code can be found on the California Legislative Information website. Getting compliant and staying compliant takes due diligence, time and commitment. Use this article as a guideline to stay ahead of the game and set your business up for success in 2020.

    At VisioneerIT we provide automated access to compliance free of charge to all businesses hosting their websites on our platform. Our convenient  plug-in has the ability to automatically update customer policies whenever there are changes in the laws. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our website at www.visioneerit.com.









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    10 social media monitoring tools to drive engagement
    10 Social Media Monitoring Tools to Drive Engagement

    Virtually everyone understands the importance of a strong social media presence. Everyone wants to be heard, to be seen, to talk, to make an impact — but the truth of the matter is that establishing your presence is only a part of the game.

    If you’re looking to truly succeed on social media, then you’re going to have to become adept at listening. Social listening (also referred to as social media monitoring) can be used to keep track of everything from your brand’s presence, to your competition’s presence, your customers, and even industry trends. It’s essential because not only does it help drive engagement, but it can also provide you with a wealth of information and insights which can be gleaned in order to influence important business decisions.

    Fortunately, there are numerous tools on the market which can assist you in your efforts at social media monitoring. If you’re interested in learning more about the various monitoring tools you can leverage in order to drive engagement, expand your reach, get more in tune with your customers and scope out the competition, then look no further than these next few lines.


    Image result for mention social media


    1. Mention


    • Free ($0/month)
    • Solo ($25/month)
    • Startup ($83/month)
    • Enterprise ($600+/month)

    Mention is an extremely popular social media monitoring tool that is used by numerous companies including Comcast, Microsoft and Alibaba. Their basic plan is free and allows you to monitor keyword-based alerts, boolean alerts and up to 250 brand mentions. It also allows you to publish content directly to your Twitter or Facebook, schedule your posts and integrate the service with Slack. Upgraded plans allow users to track additional mentions (up to 5,000 for non-enterprise clients) and provide users with detailed analytics, insights, reports and more.

    Image result for hootsuite


    2. Hootsuite


    • Professional ($29/month)
    • Team ($129/month)
    • Business ($599/month)
    • Enterprise (Contact for pricing)

    Hootsuite is one of the more notable names on the list due to its sheer popularity. Hootsuite allows you to conveniently manage all of your social media channels in one simple, easy-to-use interface. In addition to monitoring and analytics, the platform also provides you with the ability to schedule, automate and promote your posts via advertising.

    Upgraded plans offer the ability to add additional users and integrate additional social media profiles (up to 35 for the business plan). They also provide you access to everything from custom analytics to exportable reports, social media certifications, increased ad spend limits and 1-on-1 onboarding.

    Image result for brandwatch analyticsSource

    3. Brandwatch Analytics


    • Pro ($800/month)
    • Enterprise M (Contact for pricing)
    • Enterprise Q (Contact for pricing)

    Brandwatch Analytics is another massively popular tool used by thousands of brands which provides companies with access to live and historical data from social media. Users can search the web for various information such as reviews, comments, articles or conversations. They can then use various rules to segment the data they find into categories that are relevant to business. This data can then be analyzed so users can leverage the insights to influence decision making. The platform also allows you to interact in real-time with your audience thanks to their nifty email alerts. While the price tag is quite hefty, their vast array of features and AI-driven tools make it well worth the while.

    Image result for agorapulse


    4. Agorapulse


    • Medium ($89/month)
    • Large ($179/month)
    • X-Large ($269/month)
    • Enterprise ($459/month)

    Agorapulse is another extremely popular tool that can be used to help monitor your social media presence.  While it is primarily regarded as a social media management tool, it offers a variety of features for social listening as well. For instance, their Facebook Page Barometer tool gives you a snapshot of how well fans are engaging on your Facebook page. They also have a Twitter Report card tool that’s great for conducting competitor research.

    Their listening feature collects public mentions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. On Twitter, the platform additionally collects unofficial mentions, so even brand mentions used without hashtags or the “@” symbol can be collected and analyzed. They furthermore allow you to assign members of your team to various conversations.

    Upgrades allow for the integration of as many as 60 social media profiles and 20 different users. Users additionally gain access to a myriad of publishing, social CRM and reporting features and tools.


    Image result for awario screenshot


    5. Awario


    • Starter ($29/month)
    • Pro ($89/month)
    • Enterprise ($299/month)

    Awario is another social media monitoring tool which provides real-time social insights, non-stop monitoring and powerful analytics for businesses. Their keyword tracking feature can notably search and track keywords in any language at any location all across the web. They also have a nifty little social selling feature that businesses can use to help with lead generation. This tool finds posts which ask for recommendations of products similar to yours and also those in which individuals complain about your competitors and then boils them all down in one convenient feed of sales opportunities.

    The platform also prioritizes important conversations based on the number of individuals involved in the discussion, offers the ability to conduct boolean searches, provides white-label reports and helps keep your workspace organized with handy folders. Upgrades offer additional topics that can be monitored, additional mentions and stored mentions as well as the ability to add multiple users and more.


    Image result for ifttt


    6. IFTTT


    • FREE ($0/month)

    IFTT, which stands for “If this, then that”, is an extremely popular free tool that is used to create chains of basic conditional statements, also known as applets. However, did you know that this tool can also be used for social media monitoring? The key to this lies in its versatility and ability to integrate numerous platforms and services. Users can create a “trigger” action that sends an email every time their brand name or competitor’s brand name is mentioned on a social media platform. This tool is highly customizable and most importantly — completely free. As a result, the possibilities are practically endless.


    Related image


    7. Boardreader


    • Free ($0/month)

    It’s easy to forget that social media doesn’t just encompass the major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. It’s important to remember that forums and messaging boards are also vitally important segments in this space that need your attention. This is where Boardreader can help. The tool is extremely straightforward and simple to use and mirrors that of your average search engine. All you do is type in a keyword that you’re interested in monitoring (i.e. your brand name), and the platform will auto-populate all of the instances where this word has been mentioned within the last two years. Users can browse through search results to conduct research or engage with conversations as well. The platform additionally creates charts in various formats so users can see trends and compare terms against one another.


    8. VisioneerIT


    • Contact for pricing

    VisioneerIT’s social media management tool provides businesses with a way to manage multiple social media profiles all in one convenient location. Users can use their Social Marketing tool to generate leads, schedule posts, monitor social media and communicate with their followers in real-time. The tool integrates with Facebook, Instagram Google My Business, Twitter and LinkedIn. Engaging with your followers on platforms such as Twitter is as simple as the click of a button. Furthermore, it’s mobile-friendly. You can use it on any device at any time meaning that you never miss out on a valuable moment to engage with your audience again.


    Image result for google alerts


    9. Google Alerts


    • Free ($0/month)

    Google Alerts is a “content change detection and notification service” that is offered by none other than Google itself. The platform is extremely straightforward and easy to use. All you have to do is type in a keyword that you’re interested in monitoring and Google will send you an email alert for it based on your preferences. Users can customize how often they receive the emails, the sources from which mentions are being pulled, the language, region as well as how many results to include. The service will send an email whenever it identifies a new result that matches the selected search term. It’s a simple, efficient and free way to manage and research everything from your brand’s presence to your competitor’s presence and various trends all over the web.


    Image result for buzzsumo


    10. Buzzsumo


    • Pro ($99/month)
    • Plus ($179/month)
    • Large ($299/month)
    • Enterprise ($499+/month)

    Buzzsumo is another wildly popular heavy hitter on the list that is used by a multitude of companies of all sizes. Users can enter a keyword or topic such as “content marketing” and gain access to numerous search results paired with engagement data about each. Queries can also be customized and filtered based on date (i.e. Past 24hrs, Past 2 years), country, language, domain, content type and even word count and publisher size and type (i.e. Only B2B publishers). Their Content Analyzer can help you analyze your domain and the domains of your competitors for insights. They also have a Facebook Analyzer tool, a Question Analyzer tool, a Trending Now feature, a Topic Explorer and a Backlinks tool that can help you identify who is linking to your competitors, as well as backlink opportunities for your own site.

    Their monitoring tool allows you to track mentions, the impact of your content and your competition’s content, as well as who is linking to you. Users gain access to real-time alerts, numerous filtering options to cut through the noise, exportable reports and more.


    Practically everyone is obsessed with the idea of establishing a presence and being heard on social media platforms. However, the true key to success lies in your ability to listen to social media. Social media monitoring is an effective way to drive engagement, spread awareness, scope out your competition, understand industry trends and get more in-tune with your customer base. Use this article as a nifty guide when it comes to choosing the best social media monitoring tool for your business. In virtually no time at all you’ll be able to start leveraging the insights gained to get you on the path to better engagement, a wider reach and a new level of competitiveness for 2019.

    Have you used any of the social media monitoring tools on our list? Have any recommendations for our readers that aren’t included? Let us know in the comments below!

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    The Importance of Storytelling in Social Media

    Being an effective storyteller in the business industry is a vital trait, whether you’re coming in from a marketer or business owner perspective.  Why? Storytelling is an age-old art form; one of the earliest methods of communication known to mankind.

    As a result, we as humans have developed a “soft spot” of sorts when it comes to storytelling, which is why it’s such an effective tool for marketing purposes.

    For those of you mostly unfamiliar with Gary Vaynerchuk, he’s an entrepreneur whose business success has thrust him into the spotlight as not just a businessman, but an author, public speaker and internet personality.

    Vaynerchuk founded Vayner Media Group, a social media focused digital agency after used his knowledge as a wine critic to grow his family’s wine business form $3 million to $60 million.

    On his popular vlog, Vaynerchuck discussed the importance of “reverse engineering” your life in order to obtain success:

    “We all need to reverse engineer what’s actually happening in our world to win. My whole career has been predicated on…understanding what I think is going to happen in the next 24-36 months and then figuring out how to work backwards from there to map out the path to capitalize on it.”

    Vaynerchuck credits storytelling as the key tool for marketing success in the social media driven business scape, and in all of his public speeches, vlogs and marketing endeavors, his penchant for this talent is more than palpable.

    However, storytelling isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of approach. As Vaynerchuk points out, you can’t be a business storytelling in 2018 like it’s 2007 and you can’t garishly repurpose content for every platform of your choosing under the misconception that you’re being effective.

    Context and content are key to effective storytelling – and fully understanding this ideal is what separates the players from the winners.


    1.The Significance of Storytelling

    The art of storytelling dates back to the beginning of communications. From cavernous drawings of wars and kings to medieval minstrels, to your most cherished childhood bedtime memories – storytelling is embedded in our culture; engraved in our hearts.

    As a result, there are numerous psychological implications to using storytelling as a marketing tactic. Kinesis Inc. has an awesome article on the science behind storytelling. Now, I’m a bit of a numbers and science nerd and I can easily get pretty obsessive with scientific and psychological theories.

    The article explains four storytelling “superpowers” that are as follows:

    • Emotion – Did you know your brain reacts completely differently to facts than stories? Almost twice as many neural centers are activated when your brain receives information in the form of a story versus data.
    • Action – The aforementioned emotions that are evoked have a substantial impact on our behaviors. Neuroeconomist Paul Zak’s series of experiments connected storytelling to generosity by finding oxytocin levels directly impact an individual’s desire to give.
    • Value – Stories literally have the ability to change our perceived values, according to a literary and anthropological study by the name of the Significant Objects Project.
    • Memory – Storytelling has such a palpable connection with memory that there is literally a method of memorization known as “The Story Method”, which is used “in everything from Alzheimer patients to college students studying for tests”.

    Needless to say, storytelling has a pretty big impact on us historically, culturally and psychologically. We’ve been telling stories since the dawn of time – it’s just the methods and tools that have constantly evolved.

    In this ADHD generation, everyone’s short on time and marketers and business owners alike have to learn to tell stories in “micro moments”.

    Vaynerchuk perfunctorily points out that, “Whether you like it or not, we live in a world where there’s obnoxious amounts of information getting thrown at us and unlimited amounts of outlets to consume that information which is entirely accessible on our own time. We live in a completely on-demand culture and as consumers and marketers, we need to recognize that.”

    Entrepreneurs have to learn to wear many hats and juggle competing priorities masterfully. This is especially true for small businesses, who have the added pressure of not just figuring out how to become their own marketing agency, but also how to apply these traditional concepts effectively in the digital landscape.

    In the world of digital marketing you’re trading in the stock of attention and your one, single goal is to evoke an emotion.

    “90% of digital execution is garbage” says Vaynerchuk. Don’t be that company.


    2. 5 Fundamentals of Effective Social Media Storytelling

    There are three main channels that every marketer is familiar with when it comes to promoting businesses. They are:

    1. Traditional (TV, radio, newspaper)
    2. Digital (banner ads, email, search engine)
    3. Social (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc.)

    Traditional channels such as the newspaper, radio and television have been around forever as the set “tried and true” methods.

    However, with the inception of the internet came the once almighty king that was digital marketing, but with consumers spending roughly 10% of their day on smartphones, even digital marketers are realizing their 1% budget allotments for social media need some serious reconsidering.

    As a result, this trend towards social media marketing has effectively rendered traditional digital marketing techniques far less effective than they once were prior to social media’s glory days.

    In short – social media is (pardon my grammatical faux pas) — where the party’s at.

    So how can you harness the power of storytelling to drive engagement and conversions on your social media? We’ve got five killer suggestions for that:

    1. Understand context. We live in an on-demand, “breaking news” society where everything is done on our time. Information is consumed in hyperspeed and average attention spans are dwindling to 8 seconds according to pretty much everyone and officially less than that of a goldfish. Video reigns king but images are still much more effective than any form of text.
    2. Understand the strategies that work

    Remember the days when Google didn’t admit that Adwords click-through rate was down 15% in the last year? I mean seriously, the numbers are literally depressing.

    Vaynerchuk originally built his business with email marketing by developing and cultivating a 400,000 person email list. However, the entrepreneur and marketing guru woefully admits that “marketers ruin everything” and when it comes to email marketing, the mantra is no different.

    If you’re anything like the rest of us – your email inbox is chock full of so much marketing mail that you literally don’t have time or mental capacity to get it under control.

    Vaynerchuk offered hilarious allegorical insight during a 99U talk  about how he views social media content as a proverbial “gateway drug” of sorts.  “You give somebody a little nickle bag and then later you can sell them a ton of coke”, he joked to the laughing audience.

    Vaynerchuk argues that it’s all about developing that original, authentic connection with a compelling story on social media in order to cultivate and engage your audience and then build upon your influence.


    3. Respect the nuances of the platforms

    Every social media platform has it’s own specific formats and types of content that are most widely used and make no mistake, they are not interchangeable. Content must fit the nuances of the platform it is being used on and a post on Pinterest is going to perform completely differently on Facebook or Instagram.

    On Tumblr, animated gifs are the content of preference where Instagram loves Instagram stories and images as a platform catered to creatives and women with a penchant the visual aesthetic.

    One way you can mitigate this discrepancy and stand out in a crowd no matter the platform? “Quality storytelling always wins — always” because the supply and demand of attention is just out of control. “Attention is the only asset that we need to be paying attention to”.

    4. Act Human and bring value

    Resist the urge to simply use social networks as merely just a form of distribution in your marketing pipeline and use storytelling to foster organic connections with your audience.

    “Document. Don’t create.”

    Vaynerchuk insists that by adopting this philosophy, entrepreneurs and business owners are able to overcome the fears of putting themselves out there in the open. He suggests you describe your journey, your vision, your thoughts, ideas, wins, losses, anxieties and ambitions and really strive for an emotional connection with your audience.

    Resist the urge to be a brand. Be human.

    5. Experiment

    We added this last fundamental because just like Vaynerchuk, we feel that experimentation is a vital component for success with your social media marketing endeavors. Experiment with stories, angles, perspectives, thoughts, topics and figure out which formula works best with effectively striking a chord with your audience. After all, it’s all about them in the end.



    So, there’s pretty much no denying that today’s world runs on a delicately balanced blend of social media and Starbucks coffee. If you’re going to be a successful business in this rapidly evolving, technologically advanced society, then you’re going to have to get hip with social media marketing.

    But it’s not just about the numbers, the ROI, the attention the followers and how it all impacts your bottom line.

    Unless you’re a digital marketer…or a business owner… then that’s literally all it’s about.

    But your audience isn’t you and they can smell a social media marketing pipeline a mile away. So the ONLY way you can guarantee success is by literally throwing the traditional notions of marketing out of the window.

    Seriously…find your nearest window and just chuck it.

    It’s about the organic connections. It’s about socially conscious brands. It’s about charity, empowering and uplifting the community with “quick brew” conversations in an ADHD nation.

    Crafting an engaging story is an art form and those that do it best are the ones that win. So remember  these five fundamental concepts to effective storytelling in social media:

    1. Understand context
    2. Understand the strategies that work
    3. Respect the nuances of the platforms
    4. Act human and bring value
    5. Experiment

    Stop wasting your time and money on posts and Facebook ad campaigns that don’t convert. Connect first. Then the influence, leads and conversions will come.

    What are your thoughts and opinions on this piece? Do you agree or disagree? We’d love to hear what you have to say!

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    The 3 Step Social Media Guide to Further Your Strategic Goals


    In the beginning of the 20th century, the majority of businesses found success through traditional forms of communication such as word of mouth, face-to-face and print marketing. Fast forward to the 1950s and television quickly became the primary method to influence public opinion.

    This change made marketing departments and advertising firms absolutely essential to businesses who wanted to remain competitive in the media.

    Then came the internet – and with it, the rise of social media platforms which have grown to such extents that they have become equally as indispensable to organizations looking to make an impact and gain/maintain their foothold on the industry.

    United Global Group put it best when they discussed the significance of social media on business longevity:

    “If an organisation wants to be an active part of their customer ‘s community, to listen to their wants and needs, and to provide an industry leading perspective, then they need the use of social media”

    Point blank.

    Every successful business contractor understands the important role that social media plays in their strategic goals. Successful organizations carefully devise and craft a winning plan to take advantage of the wealth of opportunity that these social platforms afford – and you can too.

    This article isn’t here to delve into in-depth, advanced strategies and tactics that can be used to further your social media agenda.

    This article is here to cut through the jungle of often confusing and convoluted information that is so often presented in social media guides and give you the bare bones of a winning structure/strategy – in just three steps.

    So, if you’re interested in getting a holistic understanding of the necessary steps that need to be taken to master social media for your busines, then this article is for you.


    1. Plan it out

    As of the most recent Global NGO Online Technology Report, 95% of NGOs agree that social media is effective for online brand awareness. When it comes to the first stage in an NGO’s social media strategy, establishing a written strategy and presence amongst the sea of competitors is the focus.

    While currently just 32% of NGOs worldwide have  a documented social media strategy, the majority of organizations that find success through their social media pursuits credit it to their well-defined strategy.


    2. Management

    In order for efforts to count, social media management needs to be established so that the day-to-day social activities can be overseen. Trends on social media change rapidly and if you’re tactics aren’t up to speed, they’re simply going to be ineffective.

    Communications staff are the predominant choice when it comes to social media management with 30% of global NGOs assigning the responsibility to someone in such department.

    The same technology report found that  11% of NGOs have a full-time or part-time social media manager currently on board. 20% of these organizations assign the responsibility to “program, administrative and other staff”, while 18% rely on volunteers, 15% depend on an executive staff person for the assignment and 6% assign the duties to a fundraising staff member.


    3. Integration

    Integration of social media in your email campaigns, online giving campaigns, and on your organization’s website and blog is also a necessity for increasing social following and effectiveness.

    The traffic that is gained on these channels can also be harnessed and re-directed to your social pages via prominently featured social network icons and share buttons.

    Along with these integrations it’s absolutely essential to make use of a sharing service for important content featured on your website. Content such as blog articles, infographics, podcasts, and case studies are all examples of items that can serve as promotional in nature and should have easily accessible share links next to them.

    Applications such as AddThis offer free basic and paid premium services to facilitate social shares and give organizations “deeper targeting capabilities to increase conversions”. Other popular options include ShareThis and AddtoAny.


    4. Make your Presence Known

    During this time period, a social profile is established on a targeted platform (or platforms) and an organization should focus on various ad-hoc tasks such as following industry-relevant groups and other “like” organizations.

    This is done to help establish your online awareness, network and gain insight into industry competitors and their strategies. United Global Group characterizes this as a “dis-jointed, and highly entropic state of potential meaning”.

    Presence should be consistent across all platforms, which should be chosen based on the social preferences of donors and supporters.
    Facebook is overwhelmingly the most important social platform for businesses and is considered an absolute must.

    Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are close runner-ups depending on your target demographic.

    In order to advance to the next stage of a social media presence, an organization must begin to actively engage with their audience in a more meaningful and targeted manner. Ad-hoc actions such as passive likes will no longer suffice and should be replaced with more engaged tactics such as re-posts, comments and conversations.




    Did you know that 80% of NGOs agree that social media is effective for recruiting volunteers and 78% agree that social media is effective for recruiting event attendees?

    Additionally, 71% of NGOs concur that social media is effective for online fundraising and donors are increasingly citing social media as a vital “communication tool that inspires them the most to give”.

    Industry leading contracting and research organizations such as Lockheed Martin, Deloitte and Northrop Grumman all utilize social media on a daily basis to cater to existing and potential customers such as DOD agencies, vendors, sub-contractors and potential hires.
    Primary Tactics

    During this stage it’s important to remain alive and active in front of potential clients, partners and talent. Organizations should focus on building their credibility and consistent organic connections with their audience.

    It’s important to note that passive likes and shares are no longer sufficient in this stage of social media presence. Organizations must strive to not just participate but actively listen to their audiences.
    In order to carry this out effectively, ideally a handful of social media admins should be delegated to handle various tasks associated with engagement.
    These include actions such as reposts, commentary and conversations, as well as gaining valuable data and insights from such interactions.


    In order to graduate from this particular stage of social media presence, further efforts must be made and larger teams must be brought on in order to handle content development, manage and build a greater range of relationships, and promote the organization’s capabilities via engagement.

    These efforts all work together to effectively establish an organization as a viable industry leader – which brings us to the final stage – contribution.



    6. Contribute

    If you’re an NGO looking to make an impact globally, then starting with social media is an excellent way to further your agenda. In fact, according to the same Global NGO Technology Report, a whopping 88% of NGOs agree that social media is indeed effective for creating social change.

    However, in order to make an impact both digitally and globally, your organization needs to contribute value in order to establish itself as an authoritative voice in it’s industry.

    The contribution stage is one that requires the entire organization to work together as a whole to develop valuable, targeted content that can satiate the needs of both your industry and consumers.

    The key takeaway in this stage is – engagement. Engage your audience by offering valuable insights, information and opportunities – anything from case studies, podcasts and webinar Q&As to fundraising events and projects.



    At this stage, your NGO should be consistently creating written content such as articles or news stories and ideally posting at least 2-3 times a week. Content should be dynamic and include both visual and live content as well if organizations are looking to keep up and remain competitive with these rising trends in the coming year.

    Examples of visual content include inspirational messages/quotes, memes, call-to-action graphics, infographs, videos (which can be cross-promoted on both the website and a platform such as YouTube) and more.

    Furthermore, if your organization isn’t making use of native advertising opportunities, you’re going to be left behind. The truth of the matter is that 34% of NGOs currently pay for advertising on social media platforms, and they do this because it works.

    Your end-goal as an organization at this final stage is to establish yourself as a trustworthy, credible leading voice and to generate high-quality leads by actively engaging in dialogue and showing the community that you care.




    Social media has completely revolutionized the ways in which businesses market themselves to their consumers, potential hires, clientele and other businesses.

    According to the 2017 Global NGO Online Technology Report, a whopping 92% of NGOs have a Facebook page with 72% being active on Twitter and 39% participating on Instagram.

    These three platforms continue to remain three of the top social media platforms used amongst NGOs but by no means are anywhere near the end-all-be-all.

    In fact, with the increasing trend in visual and live content, Youtube is steadily growing in popularity with 55% of NGOs being active on the platform. LinkedIn also remains a go-to social platform for businesses and professionals around the world with 51% of NGOs having a presence on the networking site.

    Other platforms such as Medium and Quora are also steadily increasing in popularity as organizations are finding them ideal for authentically connecting with their consumer base by providing them with useful information.

    Regardless of which platform(s) your organization decides to move with, the fundamental idea remains the same: Establish a consistent presence and offer organic connections and value to your audience.

    This proven mantra will put you on the path to long-term sustainability and success with your social media endeavors.


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    7 NGO Leadership Qualities That Drive Business Success


    In a recent Fast Company article, research showed  42% of individuals stating that they personally believed the growth plans of their organizations were negatively impacted due to a lack of access to quality leadership.

    So, we all know that strong leadership is the driving force behind a company’s success, but what exactly is strong leadership? Well, the truth of the matter is that there are innumerable traits that make quality leaders

    And they don’t all have to be present within someone for them to rise to the top. It just has to be the right mixture of the right ingredients.

    The roles of leaders encompass so  much more than just ensuring compliance and managing expectations and growth. In the case of leadership, the ability to leave a positive imprint on society and make a change is of utmost importance and as a result, these leaders need a specific set of skills and traits in order to get things done.

    Leaders are inherently role models. They’re goal-oriented, they’re decisive, they build others around them up and they embrace change and contrast. Leaders must be multi-dimensional and their effectiveness depends on certain traits that are proven to engender success. In this article, we’re going to bring you our list of 7 leadership qualities that do just that.


    1. Passionate  and Ambition

    Passion is an absolutely indispensable trait when it comes to leadership. Leaders should be passion about their causes, the organization and it’s espoused and enacted beliefs. In fact, it is passion that drives ambition. When you’re passionate about a project, about a cause, about an organization, it motivates you to be a part of it and to make  a difference.

    Many of us have seen the flip-side of this scenario and the results a decrease in self-efficacy of teams, employee motivation and organizational cohesion. Employees can’t effectively carry out and achieve goals that they don’t care about.

    Many times passionate leadership is needed to drive determination, motivation and achievement.  When employees feel emotionally connected to their organization, they are more committed, engaged and effective and this is a recipe for success and long-term sustainability.


    2. An insatiable drive for personal growth

    One of my favorite businessmen is a guy by the name of Robert Kiyosaki. He’s a New York Time’s Best Seller and the founder of the Rich Dad Company, a private financial education company. In his book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” he discusses the importance of investing in yourself and self-development.

    The idea is that every step of the process counts and leaders who take the time each day to invest in themselves in some way, shape or form — whether it be related to health and wellness, their industry or educationally — have the highest propensity towards success.

    An insatiable drive for personal growth also facilitates accomplishment every step of the way and it’s these tiny victories which build self-efficacy — the building block for achievement.


    3. Exceptional, open and honest communication

    Did you know that according to Business 2 Community, a whopping 60% of employees don’t understand their organization’s goals? Employees who haven’t been properly communicated to about holistic goals and achievements risk becoming directionless, stagnant and complacent. Needless to say, this isn’t a recipe for success.

    Furthermore, the same study found that 77% of employees feel that their workplace performances would be positively impacted with more feedback from leadership. In fact, according to the same data giving feedback was shown to increase engagement by 60%.

    A leader must be an exceptional communicator — and the first quality that exceptional communicators possess is the knowledge that communication is a two way street. It’s not enough to be authoritative, dictatorial or task-oriented. These are one-way forms of communication processes and leave employees questioning their value and place in an organization.

    Your teams can’t achieve goals they don’t understand and they can’t improve upon their processes and performances without your feedback and input.

    Effective communicators build up their teams, they are open, they are honest and this transparency and regard for others fosters achievement by fostering self-efficacy and thus driving workplace cohesion and success.

    Lastly, a recent study by the Pew Resaerch Center, 84% of individuals claimed that they  felt honesty was an absolutely essential quality for a leader to possess.


    4. Charisma

    Charisma is defined as a “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others”. Charisma is just one of those traits that can make all of the difference in the business industry. Think of the greats like Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, J.D. Rockefeller, JFK, Sir Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi.

    All of these individuals had a natural ability to inspire others; their magnetic pulls were undeniable.

    Charisma ignites passion. It facilitates action. Did you know that 87% of employees aren’t passionately engaged in their work? That’s almost 9 out of 10 individuals. That’s insane! As a leader, your job is to motivate the masses, to be a rabble rouser, to summon the ranks and take action.

    A recent Broderick & Company survey said that 42% of successful leaders in professional firms are described as “influencers” and 34% were noted as being both “inspirational and passionate”.

    Charisma is a power to behold — it’s gravitational pull is undeniable. Perhaps that’s why they call it “force” of personality


    5. Grit

    A recent Inc.com article defined grit as “the perseverance and passion for long-term goals”. In fact, according to research by Angela Duckworth with the University of Pennsylvania, grit is a “greater predictor of success than IQ or leadership potential”.

    That’s a pretty big deal.

    A resilient mindset that is able to embrace contrast is unbeatable. The ability to truck through obstacles, to get hit and keep on going just innately  breeds success.  It’s the individuals that view the small victories as important steps along the way and embrace drawbacks who are proven to have the highest levels of  which self-efficacy — the building block to personal achievement. It’s a never-ending cycle, really.

    A famous quote by Robert Kiyosaki is “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desires, the size of your dreams and how you handle disappointment along the way.”

    Organizations need leaders who can be decisive and strong-minded in high-pressure situations. When the stakes are high and the chips are down, leadership is the beacon of guiding light. They inspire, they motivate, they get the job done and they help others do the same because they have grit and it’s just ingrained in their DNA.


    6. Proactive

    The saying goes that “If you fail to plan you plan to fail”. This couldn’t be more truthful.  Leaders who want to make a lasting impact on their organization should strive for proactive, rather than reactive leadership.

    Being proactive means thinking on your feet, being decisive, calculated and taking life into your own hands. Individuals who are proactive score high in levels of self-efficacy, as well as strategic and long-term thinking. They have sound judgment, initiative and they take responsibility for their lives and circumstances by being active creators of such circumstances.

    They are risk managers. They plan, prepare and deliver. It’s not hard to understand why proactive leadership is fundamentally important to the success of any organization.


    7. People-Centered

    This is an important one. Being a good leader, especially when it comes to leadership means being people-centered. People-centered individuals tend to be compassionate and have higher levels of empathy and understanding and perception.

    This is because people-centered individuals genuinely care about and want to help and understand others — qualities which have immeasurable impacts on employee performance and workplace cohesion.

    In fact, the Pew Research Center cited compassion as a trait that is absolutely essential for leadership and Aussie based McCrindle Research found that the majority of individuals surveyed agree that  people-centered leaders have “the most influence and impact”.

    To put it point blankly — your team won’t be motivated if they don’t feel appreciated.

    Supportive and generous leadership mindsets are key to achieving success at all levels of all kinds. By bringing people together, by building individuals up and listening to and addressing their concerns, we positively impact our relationships with them. Employees who see that you’ve put in the time and energy to emotionally invest in them reciprocate and leaders as such breed loyalty.



    There are innumerable traits that can work together to create a successful leader and  the seven qualities touched upon in this article are proven to have a direct and positive impact upon the success of an individual in a leadership position. It’s not just enough to manage expectations, teams and grow your business. Leaders must make an impact. Their purpose isn’t just profits and returns, it’s much larger than that; they’re in place to catalyze change, to foster advancement through social praxis and it takes  very multidimensional and highly capable individuals to achieve this.

    But when they do — the results are progression and a better society for us all. They are true agents of change — what better job could be had?

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    7 Top Business Trends for 2018

    Did you know that 51% of the world population will attain smartphones by 2018? We are advancing at a rapid phase. The same is why not staying on top of trending strategies for business growth can easily set your business back and drastically affect your bottom line.

    According to statistics, online advertising will become the largest medium for marketers by 2018 as it will escalate global spending to 13%!

    So if you’re looking to stay on top of the trends, take a look at this seven top business trends for 2018 to stay one step ahead of your competitors in the coming new year.


    1. Influencer marketing with social media

    Did you know that 92% people believe an advertisement or information when endorsed by influencers? With more people now than ever tweeting, chatting and sharing their lives online, influencer marketing has become one of the most affordable marketing strategy to grow your business in 2018.

    What is influencer marketing (IM)

    Today, bloggers and active social media members with a high following are believed as genuine and accurate by online communities.IM is a clever way of convincing your customers to buy your products using industry experts to vouch for your company and brand.

    By striking a mutually beneficial deal, you can reach and convert the target audience by using an influencer in your marketing strategy. Scientists believe brands will to create AI Influencers akin to mascots to digitally represent their mission and emerge as key influencer by 2018.

     Success Stories of Businesses That Have Used Influencer Marketing

    General Motors

    GM used influencers such as Guy Kawasaki, Jason Falls, Joseph Jaffe, Robert Scoble and Dom Sagolla to boost the impressions of Chevy Volt.  General Motors also created an exclusive website for the creamy-layer of their customer base to target car troubleshooting.

    Redwood Creek Wine

    Blaze the Trail was a mission created by Redwood Creek Wine to voice sustainable lifestyle intertwined with nature. They offer simplified ways of DIY winemaking to FAQ from prominent winemakers to emerge as a unanimous and authoritative voice as a winemaker.

    How to Use Influencer Marketing for Your Business

     Setting Goals

    To tap into the social media and create a hype, your influencer campaign must focus on information more than conversions.

    • Create an estimate of the budget.
    • Write an action plan for your goals.
    • Identify Relevant Influencers
    • Conduct an in-depth research on key influencers in your niche.
    • Go to Google, Facebook or other social media platforms.
    • Type your niche in quotes along with the keyword “blogger” or “influencer” such as, “SEO Blogger” or “Hair Styling Influencer”.

    Assess the Influencer Hotspots

    In order to reach the target audience as well as the influencer, you must determine where the majority of the audience hangs out such as popular blogs, forums or websites in both your industry and the influencer industry.

    •  Define the total number of influencers you want to use.
    • Connect informally via social media with the influencer.

    Test the Success or Failure

    It is important to review the success or failure of your goals every few months to assess the impact of your campaign.

    • Eliminate the influencers who do not add value to your brand.
    • Revamp the contract of influencers who helped to make online impressions.


    2. Beacon technology in marketing

    An advanced technology that lets the customer and vendor know each other’s location, beacon technology when used tactically can make huge impacts for locking your target audience.

    What is Beacon Technology?

    Akin to a lighthouse, beacon is a tiny radio transmitter often with Bluetooth. It sends out a signal which can be seen or picked up by others in the same vicinity. Beacon does not track the customer but helps to connect with the broadcasted signal.

    Referred to as proximity technology, small businesses can use the broadcast signal to target the specific needs of customers or their shopping experience or to find items offline.

    Success Stories of Businesses That Have Used Beacons


    The retail store installed the biggest beacon of the era at its stores in San Francisco and New York with up to 4000 devices throughout the department. With the assistance of Shopkick, Macy’s tracks the movements of customers within the store to recommend personalized products.


    The music festival app introduced beacon help as early as 2014.  Today, if you own an American Express Card and are at Coachella, you can win prizes depending on your location at the festival. Moreover, you can also navigate around the festival with accuracy and planning, using a beacon app.

    How to Use Beacon Technology for Boosting Your Marketing Impact

     Enhanced Mobile Shopping Experience

    As mobile shoppers will expand up to 30% of global retail by 2018, it is natural for your customers to verify your business and products online before walking into the store.

    •  Send out deals and promotional offers depending on where the customer is.
    • Alert the customer with offers based on their past shopping history.

    Connect Directly

    Beacon helps you connect with the customer directly as statistics show 84% people use smartphones during shopping. From personalized welcome messages to punctual discounts, a beacon can target your customers with promotional ads too.

    • Ask to link the social media accounts of your customers while they are in the store.
    • Actively seek feedback from customers.


    3. Blockchain

    As blockchain nullifies the middlemen often seen in centralized transactions such as notaries and brokers, 2018 will see many companies decentralizing their transactional modules.

    What is Blockchain

    Expected to revamp the business architecture with dimension data in 2018, Blockchain works by decentralizing transactions. It does so by recording the cryptocurrency transactions in a chronological order. Perhaps the most prominent digital currency using blockchain is known as Bitcoin.

    Success Stories of Businesses That Have Used Blockchain


    A smart renting company lets users into blockchain technology using escrow and smart funding. Paid via blockchain contracts, Slock lets the customer and seller approve transactions via their smartphones using a Smart Lock.


    Employed to reduce overhead costs in international transactions, MasterCard provided transparent ledgers of the transaction to the parties involved in the transactions. Having over 35 patents for the new technology, MasterCard uses cryptocurrency Ethereum for global contracts.

    How to Use Blockchain to Grow Your Business

     Track Items

    As a blockchain is infamous for storing accurate information for every transaction, citing a problem is effortless and quick. Tracking supply has helped vendors such as Walmart to track food movements within 2.2 seconds while it took 7 days sans the blockchain technology.

    Smart Contract

    Also referred to as Escrow protection, smart contract lets both parties in a contract carry out transactions automatically minus downtime that disrupts the ongoing contract. The unbendable rules of blockchain override financial regulations.

    Cost Saver

    From reducing the total time to cite an error to completing cross-border transactions without a hassle, blockchain can also open you to the advanced cryptocurrency. Bitwage is such a company that uses Bitcoin to roll salaries to employees.


    4. Automation

    The most awaited business evolution in 2018 will be automation of business processes.

    What is Automation

    Also referred to as business Automation, BPA or business process automation is a technique of creating an automatic series of actions to run a business. For marketing, automation eases customer data integration to advertising and lead generation while business automation speeds up tasks by bringing down capital costs.

     Success Stories of Businesses that Have Used Automation


    The first retail robot of the nation now works as a shopping assistant at Orchard Supply Hardware in San Jose. Lowes’ robots are called oshbots that help customers and managers locate items in the store.


    One of the most popular websites right now, Buzzfeed has a diverse variety of automated emails according to the user’s choice such as Health, Beauty, Animals, and Entertainment and so on.

    How to Use Automation for Your Business

    Combine and Track Data

    As automation processes can be used to track leads in addition to generating them, it will help your business grow. When specific software for BPA are used, it helps to filter the research and grow the business quicker than while using manual processes.

    Email Marketing

    You can use MailChimp, Aweber or Mad Mimi to send thousands of emails at once to your subscribers. As the same can be scheduled to fit with a routine sans micromanagement, automated email services are a must-have for any e-commerce today.


    5. Video

    With up to 96% B2B marketers using videos to promote and boost reach and engagement, 2018 is expected to bring video ads to search engines too.

    What is Video Marketing?

    Using video or motion picture content to create promotional ads about your product is called video marketing. From answering questions to creating trailers for events and even 3600-view of the products, there are many ways to use video marketing to grow your customers exponentially.

    Success Stories of Businesses That Have Effectively Used Video Marketing

    Benefit Cosmetics

    All you need to begin live video to engage quick viewers is the social media platform Facebook and a good webcam. With live streaming via Facebook Benefit Cosmetics added over 25000 views to their shows!


    By providing onboarding videos to proactively use the services, a prominent graphic design service named Canva used tutorial videos. Until then, users shied away from using the design platform, which changed drastically after introducing the video content.

    How to Use Video Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business

    Customer Questions

    Most people find it easy watch a video for speedy comprehension than reading or listening to audio. You can create videos after asking questions on your official business forum with customers or conducting polls to find trending questions.

    Demonstration of Products

    Short videos can be created to provide a demo of your product and how it works in reality. It can show the functionality of the product, benefits and how it should be used for optimum performance.


    The current trend in video marketing involves featuring your best fans to give a video testimonial as 51% marketers vouch for video as the best tool for ROI. With 65% visual learners, video testimonials boost the emotional engagement with the content.


    6. Mobile Optimization

    Statistics show that 69% engagement of users with online media occurs via mobile phones. With statistics expected to peak by 2018, it is wise to begin optimizing your website for mobiles right away.

    What is Mobile Optimization?

    Modifying the design, content, font and resolution of your webpage to adapt to mobile screens is known as mobile optimization. You can also use mobile optimization with high-end tools such as WordPress to automatically alter the website content to match with the user’s device.

    Success Stories of Businesses that Have Used Mobile Optimization 


    A travel website, Skyscanner optimized their website to mobile and furthermore to the world of apps to receive a huge response from the customers. It grew 12 times more users than the usual rate with 10 times better loyalty and engagement.


    A Latin American home delivery services for commodities to cash, Rappi engaged 50% more users 2.8 times better results after optimizing the service for mobile users.

    How to Optimize your Business for Mobile Technology 2018

    Responsive Web Design (RWD)

    Using an appealing font style and size that is easily readable on multiple smartphones is the best cue for an RWD. Your loading speed to landing page strategies, many factors come together to create an RWD.

     Using Mobile SEO Strategies

    With half the traffic online accounting to mobile users it is easier to convert your traffic with mobile optimization. Moreover, Google favors websites with mobile optimization if your page is SEO rich and uniquely valuable.

    Tools to Automatically Adapt Webpage for Mobiles

    You can also use CRM tools that can automatically modify your page to fit the width and specs of the mobile viewed from. You can also use sales funnel techniques to other professional services to improve the engagement and conversion rate of your content.


    7.  Augmented Reality

    With Apple and Google set to bring ARKit and ARCore, Augmented Reality will be the biggest trend of 2018, thanks to the mushroom growth of mobile users in the past decade.

    What is Augmented Reality (AR)

    Distinct from Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality refers to the enhancement of one’s physical world while AR displaces the reality with a simulation.

    Success Stories of Business that used AR


    The official IKEA AR app offers the experience of digitally trying-out furniture for your home using the internet and a smartphone.

    Pokemon Go

    As Pokemon Go received $600 million in mobile AR technology, there are no limits to how you can implement the same for a business today.

    How to use Augmented Reality in Your Business

    Interactive Branding

    For employees and customers, AR can bring varied goodies. While employees from remote destinations can be trained using AR, customer feedback and engagement spikes with AR apps. It is expected that in the future, users can repair things via a smartphone by pointing the camera at it.

    Better Demonstration

    You can use the technology to offer your customers to do a trial run of your product with AR. For example, if you own a jewelry shop, create an AR app for customers to try the jewelry before purchase.

    In a Nutshell

    With critics discussing digital revolution to augmented reality and robot assistants, 2018 is expected to change the face of advertising as we know it. Statistics predict 47% businesses will develop official apps for their business by the end of 2018!

    Are you ready for the challenging trends of business growth for 2018?

































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    Black Friday Marketing/Advertising


    With buying percentages expected to increase up to 47% when compared with last year’s BFCM sales, you need to gear up advertising methods for Black Friday in 2017 right away!

    So whether you’re an offline or online business, we have gathered the most effective strategies for Black Friday Market Advertising that can rock your sales. In short, we will help you employ the smartest marketing tips so that you can also get a mug full of Black Friday Gold!

    7 Pro Tips for Black Friday Advertising

    Online deals are expected to reach $3.52 Million for Black Friday — but all these products won’t sell themselves.

    With the biggest shopping event just days away, you may have missed out on excellent advertising opportunities already. Rest assured, we have the blended the best digital and physical tricks to make a blast with BFCM advertising this year.

    1. How to Start early on Black Friday

    Don’t wait until the eleventh hour to prepare for Black Friday. For both Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM), fishing early will land you the best customers. Starting your campaigns in September or even the second week of November is ideal.

    •          Create a plan that Works

    The motive is to ensure that you do not face unexpected disasters and the customers do not see your deals surprisingly, when BFCM finally dawns.

    •          Take an Accurate stock of your inventory

    Most Black Friday shoppers prepare their shopping list early. If your store is a brick and mortar retail space, start by updating your stock inventory RIGHT NOW!

    •          Create a Content or Ad calendar

    Based on the total items to sell and discounts you offer, create an ad calendar listing your product launches, blog posts and other campaigns for Black Friday. Don’t forget to create the best promotional offers during BFCM week!

    •         Contingency plans

    Many things can go wrong during BFCM. So, begin risk assessment plans such as hiring temporary staff and creating backup plans early. Create a customized BFCM orientation for your staff and affiliated companies too.

    ·         Exclusive Landing Page since Thanksgiving

    Next step is to update your website with an exclusive landing page. Add Promo Codes, lead pop ups and countdown timers on the BFCM Landing page since the Thanksgiving weekend.

    ·         Email marketing for Notifying your Customers

    According to Custara, 25.1% sales during Black Friday are a result of influential email marketing campaigns. By revamping your subject line, and timing for emails, you can create up to 330% increase in engagement with every email!


    2.  Social Media Promotions for Black Friday

    To start your advertising campaigns, conduct social media listening and find the trending topics on Black Friday.

    ·         Facebook

    The most popular social media platform with over 2 billion active users, Facebook can be used for BFCM by creating sponsored ads or via influencer marketing. The best way to use Facebook for Black Friday is by joining FB Groups with significant following such as Black Friday +Christmas Deals and Black Friday & Christmas Toys to promote your deals.

    ·         Instagram

    With Instagram having released the brand new feature of going live with a friend, you can incorporate the best strategies for influencer marketing here. Use Instagram Stories to promote your best deals and maximize your reach.

    ·         Reddit

    Considered the Guru of social media forums – Reddit is the 8th website with the highest visitors across the globe. Using subreddits such as r/BlackFriday/, you can target the customers with attractive AMAs, contests and deals about your products on BFCM.

    ·         Pinterest

    Boasting over 175 Million users worldwide, Pinterest for Black Friday can turn your products viral. By creating boards to pin your best products and deals, you can assess the involvement of the audience too. Making buyable pins are another excellent way for advertising on Black Friday.

    ·         Twitter

    Adding hashtags to your Twitter promos will be effective on Black Friday as the platform claims up to 330 Million active users! The most popular hashtag to use on Twitter is #Blackfriday.

    ·         Quora

    Having reached 50 Million to 100 Million users within one year, Quora is a question-answer forum to advertise your Black Friday deals. It can be used by promoting the best deals as answers to the most popular questions on BFCM.


    3. Focus on the customer

    Customer service and customer experience are vital to ensure that your customer shops for long and in excess, at your store on Black Friday.

    ·         Segment your Customers 

    If you’re a brick and mortar store, it is best to hit the streets to find people and manually hand out coupons to the public. You can also segment your customers based on their clicks and engagement online by using website tools such as GetResponse.

    ·         Place for Shoppers to relax or sit

    Black Friday rush is daunting and rarely reviewed as smooth. Offer a respite to your customers with a place to sit or refreshments. Moreover, if you want to see added customers buying stock, this is the best way to advertise in return of the facilities you offer during the prime hour!

    ·         Free cookies and In-Store Pickup

    Extending the respite, you can also offer free cookies to entice new customers to your brick and mortar store. Offering free shipping is another excellent way of enticing customers to your webpage. Alternatively, offering in-store pick if you have a retail store as well, cuts the mailing delay for many customers. Moreover, it will boost small purchases from foot traffic too!


    4. Incentives

    Add-on incentives are a great way of luring your customers to your shop or page. As BFCM is a savings extravaganza, incentives are considered mandatory for making a Black Friday fortune.

    ·         Referral Programs, Contests and Giveaways

    Referral programs offer discounts or coupons to customers when customers refer a friend or acquaintance to your store. Dropbox was once such company that increased growth by 3900% with referrals.

    Quiz contests are another way of boosting your reach if you customize the same with holiday themes for portraying a wide variety of products or deals. You can add giveaways or discount coupons to contest winners during BFCM!

    ·         Free Shipping and Special Deals 

    From creating printable gift cards to VIP Discounts, offering in-house deals to your customers can boost excitement and make them purchase right away.  You can also send promo codes to customers via email quoting it as special deals.

    ·         Price matches and hourly flash sales

    Hourly sales with shocking discounts make the big bucks on Black Friday as they are considered as sales motivators. Akin to the lightning deals on Amazon, offer your products at a slashed price for one-hour to see dramatic purchases!


    5. Leverage deal sites

    An ideal place to promote your deals, deal sites are excellent as most black Friday shoppers often scout far and wide for savings.

    ·         How to use Deal Sites on Black Friday

    Make a record of the best deal sites with highest customer reach for your niche. Select relevant deal sites that permit business owners to submit deals.

    ·         Best deal sites to use on BFCM




    6. Upsell and Cross-Sell

    Offering complimentary accessories or products with the target product chosen by the customer can add more purchases to the cart.

    •          Pricing Rule of 25

    When you upsell or cross-sell products, the added product must not be more than 25% of the original product.

    •          Ways to Upsell on Black Friday

    Upselling refers to selling a product of higher price than the opted product by the customer.

    -Smart Upsell

    By using the stored data to reveal the customer purchase and browsing history on your website, you can smartly use upselling during BFCM. Boost Sales report $3,579,000 in bonus purchases that came with upselling.

    -Custom Upsell

    You can customize your upsell strategies for BFCM by motivating the buyer to add an expensive item to the cart. Custom upsell is added by replacing the target item in the cart with the upsell product.

    •       Ways to Cross-Sell on Black Friday

    Cross-selling refers to promoting products of similar value or category as the target product chosen by the customer.

    •         Bundle up to 3 Items

    In cross-selling you can add up to three bonus items with discounts or slashed price rates in addition to the target.

    •           Multiple Offers for the Target Product

    You can add multiple types of complementary products with respect to the target product.


    7. Multi-Channel Selling

    From digital to retail, multi-channel selling maximizes your customer reach by selling the products where your customers.

    ·         Is your Website Capable of Black Friday Rush

    The first step for customizing your website for increased sales and traffic is by optimizing it for your target audience. If your website can’t take the surge in traffic and higher demand during the Black Friday sale, your campaigns will be a failure.

    Test your website using Loadimpact or Blitz to ensure Black Friday Sale will not crash your shopping portal.

    ·         Mobile optimization

    According to research, shoppers spend 51% time using internet on mobiles unlike 42% on desktop. Moreover, with customers reviewing every purchase online prior to buying, mobile optimization is the key to increasing your BFCM sales.


    BFCM predictions state that shoppers will extend Black Friday and Cyber Monday to 2-3 weeks after too. As a bonus, open your shops late to beat the competition and appeal to a vast demographic as most vendors open too early, making the customers suffer.

    Opening late can also save your time, money and energy instead of competing with big sellers around the curb. Combined with our expert tricks and tips to maximize your sales on Black Friday through advertising, you can run the BFCM sales easily this year! So go get ‘em tiger!






















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