4 Best Ways to Boost Your Instagram Followers and Growth Using Organic SEO

When you search for some information on Google, you get results on the first page and these are not there just by any chance. Marketers use the best SEO tactics to give you appropriate results on the search engine results pages (SERPs). The good news is that you can optimize your business website as well as your Instagram page. 

With organic SEO, people can find your content on Instagram if they are searching for some information on Google. 

According to an article published on Blog.hootsuite.com, there are several ways to get Instagram followers. Implementing a considerate IG strategy, knowing your audience, building a consistent brand image, ensuring aesthetics, using relevant Instagram hashtags, and creating an outstanding bio are a few ways to attract more followers easily. Read on to learn more. 

1. Improve your Instagram name and username 

Did you know that your IG name is searchable on this photo-sharing platform as well? Every word used in your name serves as an essential keyword (KW). Your IG name appears in bold letters in the bio section. People, who write web designer, design, and web design in the name, appear in the search results. 

Always use the essential and relevant keywords (KWs) pertinent to your brand or business in your IG name. You need to write copy that your followers or targeted audience will search to find your business. 

The same rule holds when it comes to your Instagram username. If you have the KWs logo and logo design, they will show up in the search results. Your user name will appear as @designer.

Always include your industry, skills, specialty, and geographic location in the username. Focus on what visitors would type on IG if they would like to find your account. 

Even if you cannot or do not like to change the username, you are free to do so. If you would like to improve branding around your name, that is cool. Your IG username could be your business name too. 

2. Use Alt Text for Instagram images 

Write Alt Text for all your Instagram images to bring your visuals to life outside this social media app. Alt Text is a great SEO tactic for websites and Instagram as well. When you use Alt Text, your IG photos will gain traction outside social media as well as show up in the SERPs. Let us explain this point with the help of a suitable example. For instance, if a visitor is looking for a Christmas tree image, and you published a similar photo with Alt text, the result will show up on Google. 

Alt Text helps the IG algorithm work for your benefit and not against your SEO interests. When you use Alt Text, visually impaired people can understand your images. Use Alt Text to stay ahead of your competitors. Your goal is to garner likes or at least buy 50 likes Instagram, so optimize your images for more online visibility. 

3. Tag the important accounts on your IG images 

Take some time out to look for key IG profiles in your niche industry and tag these people on your pictures. It is a way to get noticed on their profiles. Did you know that you can tag at least 20 accounts on an image? Then, do not overdo it, tag people on your posts that you feel they would like. You can even tag accounts that you would like to be featured. You aim to drive traffic to your IG page. Therefore, try simple things and avoid spamming. 

You need to find some time to research accounts that specialize in featuring individuals in particular industries. For instance, you will find IG pages that focus on women fashion enthusiasts. 

All you need to do is enter the KWs in the search bar to look for accounts. Take your time to find the right accounts instead of rushing into the process. 

Do not lose hope if these accounts refuse to feature you directly. It may take some time for people before they start noticing you. They may also save your posts and decide to re-share shortly. Therefore, keep tagging without feeling frustrated. 

4. Interact with IG users outside your feed

Try to spend a couple of minutes liking, sharing, and commenting on others’ posts as well for a change. In other words, interact and engage with users outside your Instagram feed. When it comes to social media success, interactions will improve your visibility to a considerable extent. The content displayed in your IG feed is based on what content or posts you interacted with the most on this photo-sharing social media app. If you would like to garner more likes and grow your IG account, interaction is the word. 

Conclusion 

Now that you have these tips handy, implement them in your social media strategy to increase your followers, and ensure growth using organic SEO. It will take some time but will generate results.

7 Popular Word Press Themes That Will Improve Your SE Rankings!

There are a lot of things that search engines look at when ranking your website. For the uninitiated, SEO, short for search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing a website by following the standards set by search engines. The more optimized a website is, the higher up it will show up in search results and hence, successfully attract more web traffic. 

Some of the things that search engines look at when ranking a website are; quality of content, keyword density, on-site speed, loading time, receptive web design, and the overall theme of the website. A website aiming to earn the top spot must pay attention to all these aspects. 

One important thing to remember here is that stellar performance in one category cannot make up for a bad performance in some other category. Each aspect requires work and attention. When it comes to website themes, there are literally thousands of them out there and you can even avail quite a few of them for free. 

Choosing a WordPress theme for your website is not such an easy task though, you must first consider whether it’s suitable for your website or not and that requires thorough planning and strategizing. So, to help our readers find amazing WordPress themes, we’ve decided to name some of our favorites. Read on to learn how each one is extraordinary in its own right.

Astra

Astra is one of those WordPress themes that try to do it all and, the extraordinary thing about it is that it does succeed in almost all aspects. What makes this theme attractive to beginners and especially those people who want to avoid all sorts of coding is that Astra offers quite a few built-in templates. From online shopping website to magazine site, the templates cover quite a lot of niches. 

Another cool thing about Astra is that it allows users to use the WordPress theme editor to edit their Astra theme. This allows the users to see a live preview of the changes that they make.

Ultra

When it comes to theme customization, very few WordPress themes offer the kind of freedom that Ultra offers. This theme offers load of pre-built SEO-friendly layouts. All the user needs to do is go through the list and choose the one that they like. Selecting and installing a template is as simple as just clicking on it. 

Once a template has been installed, the users can proceed to replace all the dummy content with their own site content. From blog posts to sidebars, Ultra offers the freedom to easily modify the look and feel of every element through a simple point and click interface. Users can also install add-ons for Ultra to further increase their site customization options.

Divi

In the world of sales and marketing related websites, Divi is considered a masterpiece. No other theme offers the kind of range and templates that Divi does when it comes to things like ecommerce and online marketing. 

Our favorite thing about Divi is that it comes with the Divi Builder tool integrated into it. If you know anything about building web pages without having to write any code, you’d know just how amazing and popular Divi Builder is. With this tool, users have the complete freedom to edit any Divi layout or, make their own page layout from scratch.

Corporate

This is a theme that was built with SEO as its main priority. This is why it is really common to see SEO experts and agencies go with Corporate as their first choice because they know it guarantees fast results. 

Focusing mainly on business sites, Corporate comes with features like built-in landing page designs and easy edit tools. The theme comes with an easy to use control panel so that even the beginners can use it without any trouble. Moreover, the theme also offers features like page templates, CSS animations and one-click demo installations.

SEO Crawler

This is another entry on this list that has SEO as its main priority. For SEO Crawler, everything comes after SEO-friendliness. Following the latest trends and standards introduced by search engines is what SEO Crawler is focused on the most. 

SEO Crawler comes with three full-fledged website demos that can be installed in just a few clicks. Once the user settles on a theme, they can use the GoodLayers page builder to customize the layout according to their preferences. 

OceanWP

OceanWP is one of those WordPress themes that can be customized to suit almost any kind of business. From marketing and sales to news and entertainment, OceanWP can do it all. The theme offers paid as well as free site demos and users can install the one they like in just a few clicks.

Apart from SEO, OceanWP is also focused on providing a great user experience and, this is why it’s so popular among SEO experts and website developers. Another cool feature offered by this website is that it’s translation ready, meaning users can easily setup a multilingual version of their website with this theme.

Hestia Pro

In the world of WordPress themes, Hestia Pro is a classic that keeps on adding new stuff. Hestia Pro offers quite a lot of built-in templates that the users can choose from. From one-page temples to multi-page temples, there are a lot options to select from.

The theme fully supports WooCommerce which makes it really easy to install and use on an ecommerce website. The theme also has a responsive web design which means it can adapt to the screen size. This ensures your website looks great on all kinds of devices.

Conclusion

The ocean of WordPress themes is quite vast and it can get really confusing for beginners to find a suitable theme for their website. Well, now you know which themes are the best in the market right now and now you’re much better equipped to make an informed decision.


About the author: Shoaib has been working as a blogger and writer for nearly a decade now. He began his writing career back when he was just a student, helping blogs and small businesses generate and post content on their websites at that time. Over the past few years, Shoaib has worked with a wide range of clients and experienced writing in all sorts of styles and trends.

Understanding Database Design in General and 3-Layer Architecture

If you are new to enterprise database management, then you have to first learn the fundamentals of database design by covering the:

  • Requirement analysis
  • Requirement specification
  • Semantic or conceptual DB design
  • Design of logical schema
  • Physical schema design
  • DB optimization, and finally
  • Database administration

Requirement analysis and specification

At this phase of database design, you may be doing a detailed analysis with an objective to understand the exact enterprise database needs. A requirement document must be prepared first, which should cover the types of data to handle, storage needs, and different data items related to each other. Segmenting it will make things easier to handle for you in the long run. 

Once the requirement analysis is done, you can further define the elements in more detail by specifying different attributes. Once it is completed, you can further make a specification document. For information gathering at this stage, you can analyze the objectives, requirements of various users, visit the site, and check the Joint Applications Design and Joint Requirements Analysis.

Conceptual database design

During this stage, you may further model the requirement analysis with another higher-level abstraction. This should cover all the entities, relationships, and attributes. This conceptual design will act as the base of a permanent description of your final DBMS requirements. This schema needs to contain all the entities in data relationships and information about data constraints.

Logical schema design

After identifying all the conceptual design needs and the data relations and dependencies, the data need to be arranged in a logical model by mapping the DBMS tables. You may perform a normalization for defining the relations in the respective normal forms. For this, you may have to map the regular, weak, associative, binary, ternary, unary, supertype, subtype entities, etc., with their relationships. For those who are confused about choosing the best database schema for your enterprise DB, it is ideal for supporting reliable consultants like RemoteDBA.com. Let us further discuss the three-layer database architecture in detail 

3-layer Design model

In the case of 3-tier database architecture, the database functions are executed at three different layers. We may have a detailed look into the three-tier architecture further.

Tier 1 of the Presentation layer

The first layer of the three-tier architecture is the presentation layer, which is also considered the front-end of this system. Usually, this front-end layer consists of a user interface. This is a flexible layer, a graphical interface that the users can access through a web browser or application. It can display the information needed for the end-users. This tier is built with any of the web development languages like HTML, CSS, JS, and other programming languages. This layer can also effectively communicate with the underlying layers through API calls.

Tier 2 of Application layer

The immediate next layer is known as the applications layer, which consists of the business logic. Which means, this layer defines the functional objective of the application. Enterprises can include their core competencies to be actualized through this layer. This layer will help derive the functional objectives of a business. Tier 2 is coded in any functional programming languages for application development like PHP, Java, .NET, Python, C#, or CPP, etc.

Tier 3 of the Data layer

The data layer is the final layer in a 3-tier architecture, which is the system’s actual functional database. This primarily functions as the storage system of the enterprise application and the access layer. The standard entities of tier 3 are standard relational or non-relational databases. These are mostly MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Cassandra, MS SQL Server, Maria DB,MongoDB, etc.Enterprise data stored in this layer can be accessed using API calls through the application layer.

Three-tier architecture deployment model

In a three-tier database application architecture, one may follow the deployment modality as discussed below.

The first layer or the presentation layer is deployed at the end-user machine. It can be a laptop, desktop, or even a smartphone. The users can access their web browser or desktop application to activate it. This layer can also be integrated with a mobile application from which the user can get the user interface and get connected to the other layers over the internet. Usually, the interface layer is operated over a web application through a web server.

The subsequent layer or application layer, which lies beneath the presentation layer, is usually hosted on one more application servers. These are also hosted on the cloud or some dedicated workstations based on the complexity and processing power needed for the application. 

In the next layer, which is the third layer of the 3-tier architecture, which the data layer comprises single or multiple databases, which can be either relational or non-relational DBs. There may also be data sources of big data, data lakes, or database management systems hosted on on-premise or cloud.

Choice of the underlying database

Choice of an enterprise database is now an important choice, which needs to be made based on your business objectives. Conventionally, this was SQL-based relational DBs, but now with the need for big data management and enabling machine learning capabilities, databases need to have a higher storage capacity.

Considering this need, you may also consider deploying NoSQL databases, which offers higher scalability to accommodate a huge data volume. Going a step ahead, the modern-day database also needs to support analytical applications as businesses largely depend on data-based decision making lately.  When you start as a small organization, literally any database may work for you, and this may limit many from thinking much serious about it. 

However, as the organization grows, the volume of data may grow to a larger extent, and you may find it out that you are in trouble with the wrong choice made. When your data grows exponentially, the challenges related to your technology infrastructure also matter a lot. So, it is important to make the right scalable choices at the first point itself while choosing database technologies to have a smooth journey as you go forward.


Author’s Bio: Walter Moore is a writer and notable management and digital marketing expert. He is an experienced digital marketer who has helped e-commerce businesses in all niches gain with his effective marketing strategies and guidance

5 Effective Tips to Market Your First WordPress Product Successfully

There are many things involved in marketing your first WordPress product successfully. Before the product launch, you tend to focus most of your time and attention on creating the product, making sure that it is perfect, and trying to add it to the necessary stores where people can buy them. This means that there’s a risk that your customers don’t find the product or hear about it at all because you failed in marketing it. 

When it comes to marketing a product, there are different things that you have to note to ensure that your new product doesn’t get lost in a crowded marketplace. So, what do you do to put your product out to the world? 

These are some useful tips that you can try out: 

  1. Know your target market 

There’s no way you can market your product effectively without knowing your audience or your marketing target. The goal of marketing is to reach out to a specific group of people that your product is relevant to and make customers out of them. 

You need to know the market (who you’re creating the product for). These are the ones that you will be targeting. Different products have their different buyers, and these buyers have their demographics that they fall into. The first thing you have to do is know what group your audience falls into.  Are they male or female or both? What age range? What’s their level of education? Job? Income? Etc. These questions help you narrow down your audience, so you know who to target. 

  1. Use launch discount 

Setting a launch discount a short while before and after launching the product can help you boost your product sales. With this discount in place, potential customers see an opportunity to save some money while trying out a new product. For them, the lesser they pay, the lower the risk, and if the product is good, they get more value for the amount they paid. So, this drives them to purchase the product. 

Another reason why discounts work, according to twiftnews, is because it creates a sense of urgency in potential customers. They know the discount can’t last forever, so they are quick to make the purchase. 

You can create the discount easily by setting up a specific coupon for your product and sharing it through other media with your customers. 

  1. Analyze your competition 

It’s unlikely that your first product is the first of its kind in the market. This means that you have competition in the market already. Depending on how you choose to see it, having a competition doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can use it to your advantage, and you do this by studying your competitors. When you analyze your competition, you get insight into their marketing strategy, you see their sales channels, and you discover what your customers want from you. 

There are certain things that you need to look at to get all the necessary information that you need about your competitors; these are:

  • Competitor website
  • Pricing 
  • Marketplace listing
  • Social media pages
  • News coverage
  • Product reviews

All of these determine how you go about your product. For instance, you can vary your price depending on the competitor’s price concerning the quality and the feature of the product you’re offering. 

One thing to note about having competitors in the market for your product is that it means you have a market for the product already. All you need to do is reach out to this market and convince them to buy your product. 

  1. Seek product promotions and reviews from affiliates

With affiliate marketing, you can have bloggers writing about and promoting your product to their audience and reviewers also reviewing the product positively. These are extra means by which you reach out to your target market.

Give each of your affiliates a referral link so that everyone that reads their promotions and reviews and is convinced to buy the product can buy through their link, and they get a commission from each sale that comes through them. Giving out mouth-watering commissions incentivizes the affiliates to work harder. While you’ll have to cut out of your profit for the affiliates, you’ll be getting a lot of your product in the consumers’ hands, and many of them will come back and buy again if the product is good. 

  1. Plan for long-term success

As much as you want to get into the market quickly and make sales, more of your thinking should be sustaining your product’s viability and relevance in the market for a long period. For instance, giving affiliate marketers a high commission to get your product in the market brings short-term pain for long-term gain. The marketing channels you work with for long term success are email marketing, website, social media campaigns, marketplace listing, etc. 

Conclusion 
When it comes to selling your WordPress product for the first time, it might appear challenging, but it becomes easier by taking the right steps outlined in this article. 


Written by Donna James

Top best pieces of advice for writers from Steven King

Born on 21 September 1947, Steven King is one of the most prolific writers the world has ever known. He has written a colossal 54 novels with more than 350 million copies sold out. Many of his works were adapted into movies, comic books, television shows, miniseries, video games, etc., over the years. So, there is no surprise about people seeking out his writing advice as well. 

As a writer, he had a very unique and impressive ability to make his readers feel all the different emotions they could on the spectrum. From joy, love, terror, rage, sorrow, disappointment, name it. When someone of his nature and stature says a word about writing, even the ‘best’ authors sit up and listen. 

As a writer, you would also love to be able to make your readers smile, laugh, or shed tears from reading your book. You want to make sure that you grip their attention such that nothing else matters to them. This is an art that Steven King mastered on his own. The more reason why his advice is gold nuggets that you can’t ignore. 

While King is a very talented writer, he got to where he is today by shedding tears, blood, and sweat, but he is generous enough to write a book for writers ‘On Writing.’ This is a must-read book for all writers, whether established or aspiring. He never shies away from rendering any help in the best way that he can. He’s had different appearances and interviews over the years, too, where he gives tips upon tips for writers. 

You have probably gotten one rejection letter or the other as a writer. Well, Steve had a truckload of those as well. In his words, by the time he was 14, the nail in his wall couldn’t hold the weight of the rejection letters he put on it. He had to replace it with a spike and continued his writing regardless. 

As a writer, you should pay attention to some of the advice from Steven King’s best essays and interviews. 

Write Sober
Getting drunk or high so you can write well is a bad trait for a writer. It only gets you addicted to the act, and that can mess you up in many ways. You write best when you are sober and calm and won’t have to add unnecessary details to the writing under alcohol or drugs’ influence. 

Avoid Distraction
When you write, you should stay away from all kinds of distractions. When you are ready to write and are in the mode, distractions are the last thing you need. You will only get stuck in a link loop, when in fact, you should be writing. 

Listen to Critics
The worst kind of advice that a writer can get is to ignore the critics or not pay attention to them. Whether you like it or not, critics have very good advice that can help you get better at writing and can guide you when you are writing that paragraph or pitch. It would help if you listened to them because they are pointing out something that is broken to you, and you need to fix that up. You don’t need to get defensive about it. You can break a bad writing habit by listening to your critics. 

Take 3 Months to Write the First Draft
It would be best not to spend excessive time writing the first draft of your story. Be it a short story or a long novel. The highest amount of time you should spend on your first draft is three months. It would help if you had all the basics of what you are writing from there. 

Stay Away From Adverbs While Writing
If you are a big fan of Steven King, you should already know that he doesn’t use adverbs. He has said this severally as well in many of his quotes. He thinks they are inappropriate. According to him, the adverb isn’t the friend of a writer. For instance, the sentence, “He ran away very quickly,” is not in any way bad, but as a writer, ask yourself if it was really necessary to add “very quickly” in the sentence. 

Don’t Forget Why You Write.
Why are you writing? There are many reasons you can take up writing, but it’s only with the right reasons that you can simplify the whole process and make it easy for you. Everyone has a reason why they write. 

Writing should not be about fame or money or making friends, getting laid, etc. It is about enriching other people’s lives with your words and ability, and also enriching your life. It’s about being happy and making people happy. 

Don’t Get Obsessed With Genres.
Too many writers pay too much attention to writing within a particular genre. You can and should do more. Many times, genres are restrictive, and there is no need to be stuck writing in one way when you can be dynamic in your writing.


About the author: Susanna Balashova is a creative magician in a world of (mostly) boring Marketing. She turns dreary work things to be exciting and effective with her essay writer service, and likes creating her world within some fanfic sketches. Reach out to her on Twitter or Linkedin.

How to Dropship: 8 Actionable Tips for Starting a Successful Dropshipping Business

Starting your own dropshipping business can be an excellent first step if you want to get into entrepreneurship. 

You can sell products to customers, set up your prices, and then market your brand. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to pay for inventory until it is sold to the customer. 

If you’re able to put in the work that comes with a successful dropshipping business, then you’ll be able to build a brand successfully. 

Understanding Dropshipping

Dropshippers act as middlemen between manufacturers and customers.

What happens is that you promote the products and receive orders from customers. And then you’ll forward it to your supplier, who will then take care packaging and shipping. The profit margin you add on manufacturing cost will be your revenue.

This also explains why you need to strike a partnership with the best fulfillment companies you can find.

The supplier or manufacturer is the one who will create products that people want and need. But that’s just half the battle. You still have to make sales. 

You can use your marketing and customer service skills to build brand awareness and customer loyalty. 

Now, in this post, we’ll walk you over some actionable tips on how you can successfully start a dropshipping business: 

Know What You’re Going to Sell

You can’t just pick a random niche and expect to get thousands of sales. 

Most niches tend to be oversaturated already and are often sold by more significant, larger stores. Now, if this is the case, it’s relatively hard to compete with other brands. 

Before you can sell anything, you need to choose the products that you wanted to sell. You don’t have to deal with everything that the particular vendor produces. All you need to do is choose products that fit your niche, which you believe will bring in significant profit margins. 

Conduct a Competitor Analysis

Keep in mind that you’ll be competing with other dropshipping businesses in the market, as well as big brands like Walmart and Amazon.

This is one of the most common mistakes a lot of dropshippers make. They would instead purchase a product that provides little to no competition. However, that’s a clear sign that the product isn’t in high demand. 

Ideally, it would help if you looked out for products that have competition in the market.

Why? It’s because it’s a clear sign that the product is currently high in demand, making your business model more sustainable in the long run. 

Choose the Right Supplier

Your dropshipping business’s success relies on the quality of products provided by your supplier. If your supplier gives you low-quality products or couldn’t deliver goods promptly, it can quickly ruin your business’ reputation and credibility.

That’s why you must take your time to find the right supplier. You can research suppliers and look at certain factors like shipping times, return-handling, cost, inventory management, and more.

And just because you found one does not mean you have to stick to them. You can look for suppliers of similar products if your primary source cannot handle the volume of your orders. 

By choosing numerous dropshipping suppliers, you’ll have more products to choose from on your end. Also, if one supplier has already sold out the best selling product, you can still source that from another supplier. 

Pick Your Sales Channel

As dropshipping continues to increase in popularity, many channels offer e-commerce website services. 

That’s why picking the right sales channel for your dropshipping store is essential. Most of these channels come with pre-made store templates tailored to fit your store’s niche. Thus, it helps ease up the process of actually running a dropshipping store. 

Make sure that the channels you chose have the right integrations, as well as the plug-ins that are needed. 

Create Your Brand

Creating a strong brand allows you to build the reputation of your dropshipping store. It would also guarantee to return customers on your end as long as it is being done correctly. 

Branding usually comprises your design layout, logos, store name, and the overall feel of whatever niche products or items are on sale. 

That’s why it’s vital to create an effective brand that will have a lasting impact on your customers. 

Optimize Your Website

For you to succeed in dropshipping, first and foremost, you need to bring traffic to your site. Once a user lands on your site, ideally, you should convince them to make a purchase. 

Here are some ways how you can optimize your site:

  • Optimize for SEO: Ensure that your site is SEO-optimized to enhance your search engine rankings.
  • Create Valuable Content for Your Site: Creating informative blog posts brings more traffic to your site. It’s also a great channel to promote your products. 
  • Add a FAQ Page: Placing a FAQ page decreases your customers’ concerns and speeds up the buying process. 
  • Automating the Workflow: Pick an e-commerce platform that allows you to integrate social media tools and email marketing services. That way, you can easily automate processes. 
  • Add Trust Badges: Adding these make online shoppers feel more secure in purchasing from you.
  • Add Exit-Intent Pop-ups: Using these on your site helps reduce shopping cart abandonment and grow your email list.
  • Offering Numerous Payment Options: By providing several payment options on your site, you’re sure that you won’t miss out on any sales. 

Your site should be there, offering an enjoyable user experience. This allows you to boost your sales and grow your company over time. 

Create a Customer Acquisition Plan

Now that you have a great product and website, all you need are customers willing to purchase. 

There many ways you can draw in prospects. One effective way is to start a Facebook Ad Campaign

Doing so lets you generate more revenues and sales, allowing you to scale over time quickly. Facebook is also a great platform wherein you can directly place your offer in front of your target audience. Doing so allows you to compete with large brands and retailers in the market. 

Provide Outstanding Customer Service

Offering outstanding customer service is key to any growing business. 

The thing is, your customers aren’t just paying for the item. They’re also paying for convenience and ease of purchasing your products.

That enjoyable experience will quickly turn shoppers into repeat buyers, making it sustainable in the long run. So, ensure that you’re always providing top-notch customer service to your customers. 

You can add a contact form or your contact information so that customers can quickly get in touch with you. You can also add a chatbot so that it can assist your customers 24/7. 

By applying these tips, eventually, you can work on building an online empire of your own. So turn that hobby website into a successful dropshipping business!


Author bio: Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment, an eCommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of eCommerce. He has years of experience in eCommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others

Effective Ways to Add Personalization to Your Marketing Efforts

a person typing
Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

Nowadays, customers expect brands to be able to deliver personalized messages and better communication through all available channels.

However, personalization no longer consists of only addressing customers by their names. It has evolved so much that customers expect a unique experience from a brand both on mobile and web.

This, of course, is not an easy feat. But don’t worry, as there are quite a few ways that you can use personalization to improve communication with your customers.

What should you personalize?

There is more than one point in the customer journey that offers potential for personalization:

  • Communication channels
  • Devices
  • Time of day when a customer engages with a company

On top of that, you can also personalize videos, website pages, email, and mobile app content, discount offers, sale alerts, product, and service recommendations, receipts, shipping notifications, and so on.

But how exactly can you deliver a great personalized experience to your customers even when you know exactly who your customers are?

Let’s find out.

1. The importance of data
Before anything else, it is important to emphasize that a brand needs to rely on data. Brands that use personalization need to collect as much data as possible to create buyer personas for better content and targeted ads.

Marketers at your company need to create accurate buyer personas that represent the exact center of their target audience. The data you gather should tell you more about your customers’ habits, behaviors, and what they want from brands that are similar to yours.

Once you figure this out, you will be able to create more engaging content that your customers will find interesting. Additionally, this also means that you will be able to create offers that are relevant to your target audience with personalization.

To get the data, develop a list of attributes you want to collect and don’t ask too many questions. Instead, only stick to questions that lead to the essential information you need.

2. Segment the audience
Once you have gathered enough data, you should segment your audience based on a wide array of factors.

These factors include age, gender, income, location, interests, and pain points. However, you should also include factors such as shopping habits (frequency and purchases).

So, take a look at the current demographics and firmographics of existing customers to understand their needs and challenges.

It is necessary to build these out and have a clear roadmap of how the company can meet the needs of each persona. Then, feed this information directly into the content generation process.

As a marketer, you need to know the personas in order to refine the custom messaging. This messaging needs to be catered to the defined personas by addressing their needs and ultimately helping them enter the next stage of the funnel.

3. Map out the content

a man writing
Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

Your content has to be mapped out to the specific interests and needs of each persona. Fail to do so and your content will not be viewed or shared. This also means that it will not create any brand ambassadors.

As a marketer, one has to identify what content is interesting to different personas. These interests should then be mapped out using a diagram.

In the content library diagram, map your content interests to your buyer’s lifecycle. Think of what content would be of greatest interest to your buyers and what would be most useful in nurturing them down the conversion funnel at each interaction.

Also, it would be wise to use an account-based marketing platform to deploy content. A good platform of this kind provides a single view of the customer and it also allows you to publish personalized content to the customers across various owned and paid marketing channels.

4. Pay special attention to emails
Email marketing still provides a decent ROI that should not be ignored. Email marketing stats prove this better than anything else.

Basic email personalization includes tactics such as using a subscriber’s name in the subject line. On the other hand, more advanced strategies can include changing the content of the email based on a subscriber’s location, gender, or other things you know about them.

These three elements make up a basic personalized email:

  1. Relevance
  2. Timeliness
  3. Authenticity

You need to kick things up a notch with email personalization and offer relevant content. In addition, personalized emails need to be sent at the right times and they should come from real people’s addresses, not from businesses. 

Basic email personalization tactics are not too difficult to implement: The ‘From’ field shows who sent the message. As it was mentioned, your emails need to be written by real people and the recipients should receive them from real people. Use a real person’s name in the ‘From’ field and use a face instead of a logo. Also, personalize the ‘From’ name of your emails so that different subscribers see different names.

  • Next, modify the subject line. Create a personalized subject line for each of your recipients. Some marketers use platforms that allow this through personalization tags.
  • Finally, think about creating unique content according to each recipient’s preferences. Personalize the content of your email campaigns and make them more relevant to your subscribers. That way, you’ll increase the chance they’ll click through.

5. All content should be personalized

a girl typing on a laptop
Image by Welcome to all and thank you for your visit ! ツ from Pixabay

All content that you publish through your marketing channels should be personalized as much as possible. This unique content should cater to your audience’s needs. 

And this is not only true for B2C businesses. As a matter of fact, B2B marketers can also make great use of content personalization to get benefits like increased email engagement, better trust, and loyalty.

Thanks to numerous personalization methods, you can make emails more engaging for your business clients. This begins with some obvious tactics like inserting the contact name in your email greeting as well as using their company name in the emails you send them.

In addition to that, you can also use dynamic content to further personalize your emails. Each prospect could potentially receive a different email with content that is based upon their demographics, preferences, and previous history with your company.

On the other hand, customers trust people rather than brand names, so don’t reach out to potential customers with generic messages.

Your prospects are used to website experiences and content that is created to reflect their organizations’ needs. When you provide your audience with content that is up to date and relevant, you show that you actually care about meeting their needs.

Bonus tip – Personalize cold emails
Sending generic emails is not acceptable. Not even when you start cold emailing.

This cold email guide will help you take personalization to the highest level just like what you would do with the rest of your marketing methods.

It’s important to have a few things in mind:

  1. Cold emails start with your buyer persona. A buyer persona should accurately describe the right person, their role within the company, the right verticals, and the company size.
  2. Create your list of leads. The initial list may be overwhelming, but you can add different criteria to shorten it and make it more specific.
  3. Generate personalized messages with special emphasis on the subject line, greeting and intro, transitions, and CTAs.
  4. Don’t be afraid of following up. But do it in a personal way too.

Conclusion
Personalization is definitely something that customers expect from all brands. No one wants to receive generic messages that clearly point to the fact that a business is using cheap software or doesn’t invest effort into sending out promotional material or offers.

You should do your best to deliver a more personalized experience to your customers where they can have personalized offers and content that is of high interest to them. That is one of the most effective ways to keep them engaged and make them purchase from you again and again.

An article by Viktor Zdraveski

How to Reduce the Fear of Public Speaking

Almost everyone suffers from nerves, fears, or anxieties in certain social situations throughout life. This might happen before a big interview, for example, or when preparing to meet a new person for the very first time. 

It’s especially common when it comes to public speaking, and even the most outgoing, confident, experienced public speakers can still get a little nervous before giving a presentation, stepping onto a stage in front of a crowd of people, or even making a video that will be seen by a lot of people.

The fear of public speaking is a very real phenomenon that a lot of people can experience. It even has its own official term, ‘glossophobia‘, and it can be linked to wider fears and social anxieties, or simply occur on its own.

It might cause you to freeze up altogether and feel unable to deliver your speech, or suddenly start shaking and becoming forgetful, as well as making it difficult to sleep or focus before a big event. Fortunately, there are ways you can deal with this fear, and here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Know That You’re Not Alone
A good first step towards overcoming your fear of public speaking is realizing that you’re most certainly not alone. Statistics show that over 70% of the population suffers from this fear, and there are very few people who can confidently step up onto a stage or deliver a public speech without any worries whatsoever. Don’t feel like you’re the only one out there with this problem, and know that most of the people in your audience will have sympathy for your situation.

Practice Over and Over
Before giving your speech or presentation, make sure to practice it over and over again beforehand. You can do this alone, or with a friend or colleague to help you get used to standing up and speaking in front of others. The more you practice your speech, the more easily you’ll be able to remember it when the time comes, reducing the risk of awkward pauses or other issues.

Make it Interesting
Delivering an interesting, dynamic speech that an audience will actually enjoy will also help you get over your fear and have more of an enjoyable time while speaking too. If you find yourself having to deliver a dull speech that sends your audience to sleep, you’ll feel a lot more nervous and worried. Ask friends or colleagues for assignment help if you need it and rewrite your speech to make it as good as it can be.

Consider a Class or Coaching 
There are actually several classes and coaches you can find to help you become a better public speakers. These speaking pros can help you improve your delivery, feel more confident, overcome your fears of rejection, eliminate bad public speaking habits that could be holding you back, and much more, and many people have totally transformed from shy, timid individuals to confident public speakers after taking a few classes.

Deep Breaths 
Focusing on your breathing both before and during a speech can also help you get your fear under control and deliver your speech more effectively too. There are various relaxing breathing techniques you can try out in the build up to the speech, and when you’re actually delivering it, try to keep your breaths calm and deep to reduce your stress levels and prevent you from speaking too quickly or getting worked up.

Focus on the Content, not the Crowd
It can be quite a challenge, but try to focus purely and simply on the content of your speech, rather than the crowd or audience around you. Too often, people fall into the trap of focusing purely on themselves and the people listening, rather than keeping their concentration on the actual content of the speech, which really should be the main focus. Remind yourself that the audience is there to hear your words, not to judge your behavior.

Conclusion
The fear of public speaking is one of the worst to deal with. Some people have actual nightmares about getting up on stage and being asked to speak in front of a grand crowd, while others can miss out on major career opportunities, purely because they were too frightened to deliver a presentation.

However, with the key tips and techniques listed above, it is possible to overcome this fear, once and for all, and when you finally beat it, you can start to lead a much happier and more fulfilling life, making the most of new opportunities and pushing yourself up the career path too.


Author Bio: Susanna Balashova is a creative magician in a world of (mostly) boring marketing. She can make even the most dreary of topics seem interesting and exciting, using her skills to craft educational articles and fantastic fan fics, as well as helping out with a term paper writing service too. Find her on Twitter or Linkedin.

How to Boost your Conversion Rates With Video

Do you know that the average conversion rate a business can achieve with video is as high as 4.8%? This is in comparison to the 2.9% conversion rate they might achieve without videos. Another interesting stat to note is that a page with videos on its landing page is 53% more likely to show up on a search engine’s result page. Even email marketing with video incorporations has as much as 96% clickthrough rate compared to others. 

It is no surprise then that many businesses are incorporating videos into their marketing to boost conversion. 

However, it isn’t as easy as just adding videos into your marketing. You have to know how to use them to your advantage. 

With this article, you will learn the different ways you can incorporate videos on your website and your overall marketing to boost your conversion rate. 

1) Use short and entertaining videos to capture your audience
Viewers lose interest in such a short time that you have to grab it within the first few seconds as a business. This might mean nothing to you, but if your business is creating long videos, it might be time to cut it short. 

Video length matters, don’t let anyone tell you differently. The shorter the video, the better. 

While we implore you to make your videos short, you still need to put in as much information as you think is useful to your audience into your short video. 

You should also ensure your message is clear and concise, and entertaining to keep your audience’s attention long enough to convert them. 

One pro tip is to put your most important information at the beginning of your video. This way, if people leave after a while, they won’t miss out on the information. 

Writing a video copy will help you create a quality video. Consider hiring professional writers from writing service reviews websites like Best Writers Online to help you get started. 

2) Add your marketing videos to your product pages
Another way to use videos to increase your conversion rate is to add promotional videos on your product page. 

We have seen many websites making use of this technique. But there are still several websites still making use of some redundant CTA and stationary pictures. Some don’t know how many opportunities your product website could offer to showcase your product’s best features. 

All that said find what works best for your business. Carry out an A/B test on your product page to see if you get a higher conversion with static pictures or different video formats, e.g., animated gifs. Chances are the later will give you higher conversion.

3) Record webinars and video demonstrations
Another way to increase your video conversion rate is to create webinars for your prospective customers. 

The beauty of webinars is that they work across the whole consumers’ journey. So, you can create webinars discussing your product, demonstrating how your product works, etc. 

Webinars have such high conversion rates that even 73% of marketers swear by webinars for generating quality leads. 

Other interesting facts about the benefits of using webinars in your video marketing are;

  • They can provide a ton of information to your audience. With this information, your audience can decide if your product is right for them. 
  • The information gotten from webinars can also help your business identify who the interested customers are and the customers who are just a smokescreen. 
  • With the information you get from your webinar, you can guide your customers through their journey and to the point of purchase. 
  • Your sales team can use the leads and engagement data collected from the webinars to create customized outreach plans for prospective clients. 

A quick tip for using webinars in your video marketing is to make sure you record it and reuse the material when needed. 

4) Send personalized videos to client prospects. 
You can also boost your conversion rate by creating and sending personalized videos to your prospective clients. You can send it to them via email or social media, depending on what platforms your prospects frequent the most.

By sending personalized video marketing content to your prospective audience, you;

  • Humanize your brand, creating a human sales experience for your prospects. 
  • Give off the impression that you don’t just care about making sales, but you care about your target’s wellbeing. 
  • Create an avenue for your prospects to reach out to you to discuss your product/service offerings. 

Crafting a personalized video to your client(no matter how short) shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you aren’t great at drafting copy, hire professional writers from paper writing service reviews websites like Online Writers Rating.

5) Automate video marketing with video viewership data
Finally, to increase your video conversion rates, you can use your video viewership data to work with your marketing automation. 

Here is how this works. Your video viewership data will give you some useful insight on;

  • The number of people who watched your videos. 
  • The average length of your video viewers watched. 
  • The viewers who watched 75%, 100%, and even 20% of your video. 

All this data in your video conversion rate you can then put to use in your marketing automation by;

  • Nudging users who haven’t finished watching your videos to resume watching. 
  • Sending a specific market segment based on video segmentation (segmenting based on people who have watched your video fully, halfway, and just the first few seconds.)

To get this video data, you should try using video platforms that help you integrate your data into your marketing automation system. 

In conclusion
We have shared just a few ways to boost your video conversion rates. There is so much more out there for you to explore. However, use the information here to start on your journey towards video conversion.

Your first video doesn’t have to be anything major. It can be a customer testimonial video, a screen recording of how to use your product or service, etc. The sky is your limit when you can be creative. 

Programming Experts’ Guide to Code a WordPress Theme

Introduction
WordPress is a massive platform for users to manage their site and the specialty of WordPress is that it is equipped with some of the most powerful and unique tools that one could use. WordPress is so popular and widely used that almost 30.3% of the total websites on the internet use WordPress and there are more than 10 million websites on the internet. 

WordPress is one of the best Content Management Systems (CMS) because of its flexibility. The user can modify and create code to develop the site however they like and there are also options to create and add third-party plugins. 

Road to becoming an expert developer with WordPress 
It was understood that developing plugins and themes is possible and you can create stunning visuals and develop the website however you like but there are certain things that you should understand before you start working with WordPress.

  • Assess Your Current Knowledge and Note Any Gaps –  It is easy to learn WordPress and the interface is built in such a way that everybody can work on it easily. There are a lot of features in WordPress and to develop the perfect website you have to dive into some of the complex processes and learn the necessary skills. Some components might take up too much time to understand and this is when you can outsource your work and get programming help from professional programming experts. 
  • Ensure You Understand How WordPress’ Key Components Work Together – There are many different components in WordPress and sometimes it gets a little too complicated. It is mandatory for everyone to understand the key components because they play a major role when you are developing and using themes on a website. You should know which components can be edited and which should be never touched. Meddling with all the components can cause a lot of trouble. 
  • Gain a Strong Command of the Customizer and Other WordPress Settings – Every business is different and so are the demands for the website. It is not possible to find the perfect theme which fits your business standard entirely. The themes can be modified, edited and certain parts of it can be picked up and the remaining can be removed. There are various templates, themes, demos, and other prebuilt elements that you can edit, and working with these components helps to create a dynamic and perfect website. It is important to gain a strong command of the customizer as it allows you to work with advanced customization and turn ideas into reality. 
  • Learn About the Technical Underpinnings of WordPress – To become an expert in WordPress you don’t have to work on multiple coding languages. It is important to understand the logic behind the code rather than having a deep understanding of how the code works. Understanding the basics of HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript can help a lot and pave the way to becoming a WordPress expert. 
  • Learn about the Database and Database Maintenance – The special advantage of using WordPress is that the content management system is integrated with the database and the pages are automatically converted to HTML. Understanding the way databases work can help to work with the posts and custom posts. The data relating to the themes and plugins are stored in the database and troubleshooting becomes easy when you have a grip on the data structures. You can also custom fields, Advanced Custom Fields, and Pods custom fields and can easily incorporate custom fields into your Beaver Builder layouts. Maintaining the site also becomes a lot easier and you can make changes efficiently.
  • Become Familiar With WordPress’ Hosting Options – Hosting is one of the most crucial factors which helps to keep the website running and you should have a clear understanding on how the hosting service works and which plan to choose. There are various plans like shared server hosting, private server hosting, etc. You can choose the best service once you know the features of each option and understand the demands of the website. If you know you will experience high traffic then you should go for private hosting with a dedicated server. This will help to keep the data safe and the website running at all times. 
  •  Interact with the WordPress Community and Give Back – WordPress is completely open-sourced and there is a huge community full of experts who develop themes, plugins, extensions, and other third-party tools that can be added to a website. These expectations are free to use and can help other developers a lot. When you accept expectations from the community, it is only fair that you contribute something to society too. You can simply upload the themes or plugins that you created so that other developers can implement the application and this helps others from spending a lot of time on development. 

How to develop WordPress themes

Step 1: Set Up a Local Environment
The first step for creating a WordPress theme is to create a local development environment to manage the working of the code. The local environment is basically a server that you install on your computer, which you can use to develop and manage local WordPress sites. A Local environment can be created in many ways but the best method is to do it using a desktop server. You can go on the internet and search for the free version of the desktop server application. You have to register on the website and then download and install it. Once the application is installed you can configure the local environment according to your requirements.

Step 2: Download and Install Your Starter Theme  
You can download a theme and get started with the Underscores. This process is fairly simple, all you have to do is to open the website and name the theme. There are also advanced options available which give you a chance to give a detailed description by adding an author name and give the theme a description.

There is a Sassify option available which allows users to add Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets (SASS) and with SASS users can add variables, nesting, math operators, and more.

Step 3: Understand How WordPress Works Behind the Scenes
WordPress allows users to add custom themes and plugins and the user should have a basic understanding of how the component works. There are various parts of the code and the user can modify certain parts of the code to fit the needs of the user. There are specific areas of the code which shouldn’t be changed. Understanding components is also important to know details like header.php is used to create a header, while comments.php enables you to display comments etc.  

Step 4: Configure Your Theme
The demands of every website are different and you have to customize the theme to fit the business requirements of your website. Once you have all the required knowledge and the tools at your disposal you can change the functionality of the website entirely. You can add hooks, add styles with CSS, and do much more. 

Step 5: Export the Theme and Upload It to Your Site
Once you complete developing the theme you have to test the efficiency of it. There should be any bugs and the theme should handle data effectively. You can find Theme Unit test data on the internet and this is basically sample data that you can upload to the website to test the efficiency of the theme. Once you are satisfied with the working of the theme you can upload it to the website and the uploading process is fairly simple. 

Conclusion
You have to have a basic understanding of the various concepts that help in the smooth running of a website. Knowing the logic and functioning is the key and with practice, you have a grip on all the functions. You may not master all aspects of WordPress development and the wise decision would be to play by your strengths and get the other components developed from a third-party source. These third-party sources master in various services and getting help from them can be a huge advantage.