Can Apps Can Help With Your Branding Strategy?
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I’d say that’s an affirmative my lovely.
Your brand has gone mobile, whether you’ve taken it there or not. Or at least your clients have. So if you haven’t yet, you should probably get on it.
Your clients are reading your emails, searching for your products, and viewing your website right from their phones. You need to engage on this level, and when you’re not, it only reflects poorly on your brand
Mobile optimization of your website is mandatory, and now apps are just as critical, especially as part of a successful branding campaign. (Note to self… I could probably use some work in this area too.)
Local Search: Are You There?
In this day and age, consumers engage with apps to read reviews, find local services, and let their friends know where they are. Crikey, my iPhone is practically glued to my hand.
I use it for damn near everything.
Now if only it’d cook me dinner and clean my house, we’d be golden. But I digress.
To ensure that your brand gets an adequate amount of attention in local searches, you need to keep your listings detailed and up to date in apps like Foursquare, Yellow Pages, and Allmenus. (And believe me when I say that’s likely only the tip of the iceberg in the handy apps department people are using to find you.)
According to Google Think Insights, 55 percent of conversions happen within an hour after a mobile search.
So, if a customer searches for a product or a store on their phone, more than half of them will visit said store, call it, or make a purchase within an hour. If you can’t be found on a local search, you will miss these interactions.
Speaking from personal experience, I wouldn’t be surprised if this percentage is actually higher. I will almost always only visit a local venue I can first Google and find out more about.
If keeping up with each platform individually is too time consuming (I feel ya), services like Single Platform can handle the deets for you. For a fee of $79 per month, the service allows you to update multiple platforms in a single listing. Groovy.
Engagement: Are You Talking?
Whether your peeps are watching TV at home, sitting in their cubicles, or hanging with their kids at the park, many of your customers are likely fiddling with their iPhones or other mobile devices. (See? I’m not alone! Hand, meet glue.)
They are checking their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram apps.
Are you there? And, are you talking?
Your brand needs to be engaged on the platforms where your clients are spending their time. Yes, I know it’s not always easy to keep up with.
I’m the first to admit I’m not always on the ball either. But you should strive to do it anyway, even if you only schedule social time once a week or something.
Figure out an outreach plan that works with your schedule and temperament and then try to stick with it.
Believe it or not, your intriguing posts,...
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This is a guest post courtesy of Teddy Hunt. I probably could should be monetizing BGB a wee bit more than I currently am, but hey… to each their own right?
I use BGB primarily as a platform to showcase my writing skills and connect with my potential clients as well as build a relationship with my readers.
I also do a bit of affiliate marketing here and there when I come across a product I like, and run a few ads, although they aren’t my biggest focus areas.
How about you?
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below if you have other ideas on earning money with your blog.
Many new bloggers start out with dreams of creating a successful site that allows them to make a great living just writing about the things they love.
While every blogger starting out has the opportunity to achieve these goals, only bloggers who utilize multiple income streams will be likely to actually become a full-time blogger.
Here are a few of the most popular ways bloggers can make money with their blogs.
This is the most traditional and basic way bloggers can make money on their blog. The idea is that your site has lots of niche traffic, and companies want to gain exposure to that traffic.
For example, your mobile tech related blog attracts 10,000 visitors per month, and T-mobile wants to expose their 2013 new cell phones to your visitors.
They may buy up some display ads on your site, pop-ups, pop-unders, sidebar ads, or any other creative type of ad that will display their products.
You will most likely want to sell these ads through a network, such as Adsense, unless you have some techie skills.
It just makes it easier on you, and you don’t have to worry about payment issues. Also, even if you have a lull and don’t have companies specifically buying ads from you, Adsense will supply your site with ads that generate revenue for you on a per-click basis.
Affiliate programs are similar to selling ads, but the revenues are tied to driving traffic (and hopefully sales) to a site like Amazon.com and others.
These campaigns offer lots of options, and once you set them up, you are basically done.
Just sit back and wait for your visitors to go buy stuff that you have linked with your affiliate code, and the money will magically appear in your account. (OK perhaps not magically, but relatively painlessly.)
Usually your income is either tied to a percentage of the sale (a small percentage) or an action such as a click-through or email sign-up.
You can also partner with other like-minded bloggers and cross promote similar or complimentary products as an affiliate as well.
Basically you are letting other people do the heavy lifting when it comes to product creation, fulfillment of orders, customer service, etc… you are simply helping spread the word and taking a small commission on any sale you generate.
Sell your Content
Lots of writers just want to make money...
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With more than 28 million businesses licensed in the United States, according to the latest U.S. Census data, how do you get your company noticed? How do you help your brand stand out?
Or more importantly, once noticed, how do you get your people to remember you?
That would definitely get you noticed and remembered by at least one person I’m sure. But I wouldn’t recommend it as very efficient or easy to scale.
Enter the logo. Dum, da da dum.
That tiny little graphic of creative flava you will wind up appending to virtually every piece of marketing collateral you will ever create for your biz. (It’s like the squirrel-y gray hair that keeps popping up no matter how many times you color… OK, maybe not quite that.)
In short, a logo is your company’s equivalent of a name tag smack in the middle of a large convention.
To say “Hello, My Name Is Bob!” so people will recognize you far and wide, no matter where you go.
That said, it takes time and a wee bit of creative restraint to design a logo that leaves a lasting impression. You can show off that restraint while getting busy with some of the tips below in making your biz memorable.
And please remember, I said restraint people. Restraint!
Logo and Brand
If your company name is the text way by which people recognize you— your logo is the graphic way by which people recognize you.
Through the use of colors and fonts, often in a very simple fashion, your logo becomes a sort of mental “shortcut” to bringing your business to mind, notes the Small Business Chronicle.
Your logo should invoke not just a memory of your company, but ideally a memory of a positive experience with your company and service or product. Remember, everything is about the experience.
A little demonstration my lovelies…
Here are four company names. Picture their logos:
When you picture each logo, what are you thinking and feeling? What experience have you had with these companies? Good, bad, indifferent?
OK, OK, I know it can sometimes be hard to visualize something in your mind’s eye. Let me help a reader out. hehe
How about now? Thinking something? Feeling something? Anything a’tall?
The simple act of viewing a logo that’s part of a company brand can elicit many feelings, which is key to retaining customer connection.
Less Is More
Now let’s try another homework assignment. Take a gander at the logos for the above companies again.
OK, OK, I’ll tell you, stop twisting my arm! Sheesh.
The short answer is simplicity my friend. They are all quite simple actually.
::whips out handy dandy notebook::
And… according to Entrepreneur, 95 percent of the...
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This is a guest post courtesy of Akshay. (Who by the way has the coolest name on the planet.)
If you have any questions, please feel free to drop them in the comments below.
How does a devoted family man turn into a cold-blooded, sadistic sociopath?
The transformation of Walter White into drug kingpin Heisenberg enthralled millions of viewers because no other show has so brilliantly captured such a radical shift in character.
As a result, Forbes calls Breaking Bad “the best show ever.”
Walter began as a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher and eventually created an 8-figure Methamphetamine empire.
Now I am guessing you have no desire to sell Crystal Meth. Nonetheless, there are valuable takeaways from Walter’s rise to the top of his industry that we can all learn from to build our business.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could build a world-renowned multimillion-dollar brand in your niche, just as Walter did?
Here are 7 lessons from Breaking Bad that will help you do just that:
Build Your Empire One Step at a Time
Walter White did not become Heisenberg overnight.
Likewise, building a brand takes time. Success is not instantaneous, it is the compound effect of simple actions over time.
Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul took 14 months before it hit the bestseller list. That wasn’t an accident either.
He wrote down 5 actions to take every day that would move him closer to his goal and more importantly, he acted on those 5 things. Today, the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand has generated over $2 billion in revenue.
As soon as you finish reading this article, write down 5 actions you will take every single day in service of building your brand. Keep working these 5 actions and in time you too will build your empire.
Kill Plan B
Love him or hate him, but you have to respect Walter White’s commitment to his empire.
Sure, he engaged in some morally questionable behavior to say the least, but he played the game full out and did not quit, no matter what came in the way.
In your business, become unstoppable, in a socially and morally acceptable way of course.
Don’t start a business and give yourself a way out. Commit to it and give it your all.
When you create a plan B for your dreams, you weaken the energy and drive toward plan A.
This is not to say you should quit your job and start your business today. When I first started my business, I still had a full time job. I quit when the time was right for me, and you should do the same.
But I always knew that despite the road bumps, I would find a way to make this business succeed.
Decide on what plan A is, embrace the obstacles that come in your way as you work toward manifesting that plan and keep taking action.
Create Outstanding Content
Walter’s famous Blue Sky was 99.1% pure.
The best Crystal Meth in the business.
You too want your brand to stand out from the millions of other competing businesses in your industry by creating...
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This is a guest post courtesy of Carrie with handy tips around appropriate insurance for some of the most common home-based business ventures.
The right coverage is important because you really just never know what can happen, know what I mean?
And I speak from experience when I say it’s extremely stressful to find yourself in a position where you weren’t adequately covered for something, and it costs you. Don’t leave yourself unprotected.
There are two key things you should know about home-based businesses and insurance.
Don’t depend on a standard home insurance policy to cover the venture, even though it’s based in your home. And one size doesn’t fit all.
Everything depends on the type of business, its scale, and your comfort level with the risks inherent in your enterprise.
According to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, about 60% of home-based businesses don’t have enough business coverage.
The following are five common home businesses and factors that should be top of mind when you consider purchasing business insurance.
This is one of the most common home businesses, especially for stay-at-home parents. It sounds like an easy gig – you’re already taking care of your own child so adding another (or others) shouldn’t be such a big deal, right?
The liability coverage in your homeowners or renters policy applies only to people who visit your home – not your daycare.
It won’t help if one of the children in your care falls and injures himself or herself and the parents decide to sue. Think you can get past that by having parents sign a waiver releasing you from liability?
The National Network for Child Care says those waivers won’t protect you in court.
That means you’ll at least need extra liability and accident-medical insurance for the daycare. If you pick children up at school or take them anywhere, you could need transportation coverage, too.
OK, most of the problems discussed for daycare comes from having people in your home.
As a freelance writer/editor, you won’t face that problem – especially if you don’t interview people on the premises or meet with clients at your house.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you’re home-free. Home insurance will offer limited protection for your equipment, but the limits aren’t huge.
If you have a home office with desktops, a laptop or two, a tablet, a printer, a voice recorder, and other tech equipment, you’ve probably exceeded the limits, which means you’ll be on your own if they’re stolen or damaged in a fire or another disaster.
You’ll need business contents insurance.
You’ll also need professional liability insurance, sometimes called errors & omissions coverage. One is if a client isn’t satisfied with your work, whether you left something out accidentally or made...
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Ya’ll have heard of Vine right? Vine my darlings, not vino. (Although a little vino at the moment wouldn’t be remiss. But I digress.)
So I’ll admit I’m a slacker in the Vine department and haven’t messed with it yet. But methinks I might jump on the bandwagon, and mayhap you should too. But first let me tell you why.
The growth in the number of mobile devices on the planet is having a direct impact on the growth of video, sound, and image-connected apps. (Whew. Say that 3 times fast.)
Two excellent examples of mobile apps that have taken off in usage this year are Instagram (which I heart) and Vine. Both use short form videos a user creates on their mobile device and then sends out to share with their social networks.
The Video Monetization Report from Freewheel points to the increasing emergence of short form videos growing in dominance among mobile vid viewers.
Businesses and brands have recognized the potential of YouTube for years, but now brands are shifting to using these short form videos for a closer relationship with mobile users.
Vine’s chops at mobile storytelling is kinda getting brands excited.
Major media companies are using Vine, including General Electric/NBC News, plus consumer marketing brands like Urban Outfitters, Red Vines, Taco Bell and others. Long story short? Brands see Vine as a fresh way to market to mobile users and share stories across the web.
But Why Vine?
Vine is the social sharing app owned by Twitter that launched back in January as an iPhone app, then in June on Android devices.
Vine lets users create an embeddable 6-second video loop that, when created well (key word there), can be an effective brand catalyst in those six seconds.
You can see some excellent Vine examples from Lowe’s showing how using certain goods from the Lowe’s store can solve all sorts of common household woes.
Businesses and brands tend to use Vine by shooting clips of creative brand marketing or creative use of brand products. It’s important to use search hashtags too, (like #DunkinReplay) so Vine users can easily find particular clips within categories.
You can add captions to the clips, add locations if desired (or if your brand is promoting a local event) and post the video to one of Vine’s assorted channels, under headings like “Sports,” “Music”, or “News and Politics.”
Businesses can even embed relevant Vines to their own website.
The latest estimates show Vine is now counting a user base of about 40 million. (Holy branding Batman!) Individual users are also shooting Vines and in the process starting to make a name for themselves.
The online room booking site AirBnB even commissioned Vine users to make a 4:30 film completely out of individual Vines. There is definitely a growing sense of stature and meaning emerging from this short video platform.
As clips get shot, they get shared all across social networks...