Month: September 2017

3 Ways to Use Photos to Improve Your Online Presence

You don’t have to know or be a photographer to have a great web presence, but it certainly helps. Images have become the currency of social media and many forms of online news and communication. Images distill thoughts into a form that can be consumed in an instant, much faster than the thousand words or so it would take to get across the same information. While writing is still important, it’s increasingly images that get people to pay attention to the written word. If you still aren’t sure how to use images to increase your online presence, here are three of the very best methods.

1) Use Professional Quality Images.

If you don’t so much as own a camera, you can still use amazing images if you have the right source. There are countless ways to buy great images at affordable rates, with so much variety available that you can find pictures tailored to your exact needs and specifications. If you go the stock photo route, it pays to do your homework. By digging into places that present uncommon and affordable results, you will be able to avail yourself of images that don’t look commonplace or unnatural for your purpose.

2) Use Original Images Sometimes.

Content creation is the name of the game online, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Platforms like Instagram are full of images created by people of interest, which can be incredibly successful even if they aren’t of the highest quality. If you have a customer or fan base, you may be surprised how many people have an appetite for images of you or your brand. All you need is a phone to make creative, candid, original images that your fans won’t be able to find anywhere else. This creates a sense of intimacy and activity that some brands are surprisingly without.

3) Invest in Images That Dazzle.

If you don’t want to go the stock photo route and you aren’t the type to throw up images on social media platforms willy nilly, you might be the type of internet personality who invests in dazzling images and video. These images are a production. Whether they are taken in a studio, in nature, or under the sea, images that amaze with their quality, subject matter, and unusual perspective help brands take a step beyond conventional branding. Drones, underwater robots, adventures photographers, and innovative video techniques – all of these are strong ways to create pictures that impress people for their originality.

4) Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget About GIFs!

GIFs, or “graphics interchange format”, is like a self-contained looping video that shows a short period of content or action, often measured in just a few seconds. GIFs and memes are two of the most popular ways to communicate information, ideas, and jokes anywhere on the internet. You’ve likely seen them or used them before. They’re a great way to distill an important bit of video from your business, a humorous concept, or a thought-provoking message that pertains to your brand. Once you get hooked on making GIFs, you’ll use them all the time.

There are many strategies that will produce an effective imaging strategy for your career, business, or brand. The most important thing is to do it, whichever one you choose! For people who have not always used the internet, the image-first nature of today’s web may seem unfamiliar. Even so, it’s here to stay and anyone who wants to make a place for themselves online, or to expand their current reach, needs to use images that are compelling, brand enhancing, and on the cutting edge of convention, taste, and trend.

Original post: 3 Ways to Use Photos to Improve Your Online Presence

Language Barriers in the Online World

How much do they really limit your reach?
Though worldwide internet access is increasing, it may not be as effective in connecting the world as we might think. English, as by far the most common lingua franca, or “bridge language”, is one of only 10 languages that the World Bank estimates comprise about eighty percent of all online content, English making up nearly two-thirds of that. So, is English-only content enough for the reach you’re looking for?

How many people actually understand English?
At an estimate, 21% of the worldwide population, both online and offline, understand English, this equates to about 26% of the online population – although half of all online content is in English. Basically, if you’re content is exclusively English, 76 percent of your potential reach is, ultimately, beyond your reach due to a language barrier.

The Aim of Your Content
Whether or not you should expand your language base is relative to the aim of your online content. If you run a local business, and your target market is primarily English speaking, it may not be worth the time and effort to translate your website. However, if you run an online company that sells overseas, a large proportion of your target market may not speak English. In this case, considering a translate option for your site may expand your market and increase international sales.

How do I translate my content?
Many web browsers, like Google Chrome, have a translate function built into the browser; however, these translators tend to translate word for word, which can be quite inaccurate as the grammar and syntax of different languages can be significantly different.

If you want your content to be accessible to a specific target market or people group, or just more widely accessible, it may be worth your while to hire someone to translate pages or articles for you – even if you only translate into one or two of the world’s most popular languages. There are web based companies that offer translation services as well as freelance translators

Cost of translating a web page
Most translation services will charge anything from 10 cents to 30 cents per word, depending on the complexity of the language. Others have hourly rates or charge per page or per website. As a general rule, freelance translators will be cheaper, though the translation quality may not always be as good.

What if I can’t get my content translated?
If you find translating content is too much hassle, or not worth the overhead, it’s not always necessary. If much of your prospective market has some English as a second language, make your writing fairly simple – just to get your point across. An alternative is to customize pages so that pages accessed from primarily non-English speaking countries will display more or less the same content, but with more basic language.

Essentially, do some research to see if translating your site, or some of the content, is worth it. If so, it’s a great opportunity to extend your reach in the online world.

Original post: Language Barriers in the Online World

7 Ways To Use Video On Your Blog To Get More Engagement

You’ve probably used or are using video to make your posts more effective, but has it ever occurred to you that there are several other innovative ways you can use video to amplify your blog’s impact? Yes, they do exist, but it’s a little unfortunate that the majority of us haven’t learnt these tricks.

Don’t fret though, because we dug them up and, today, we present them to you just so that you may have a better opportunity to make your blog posts more inventive, engaging, and successful.

1. Add Text Content

Simply embedding the video without providing a context won’t draw in enough viewership. In fact, this might turn away a part of your audience as they might not be convinced enough to watch the video. It’s, thus, a great idea to introduce the video with beautiful and captivating sentences, and if possible, add a few short paragraphs that lead into it. Applying this to your explainer, how-to, or testimonials video is a sure way to convince your prospective audience to watch it. If you do it well enough, they will watch through to the end.

2. Interact With The Audience

Part of your video content should have a section where you encourage your audience to leave their comments or other feedback. In fact, make it your mission to always fit a question for your audience. Such feedback gives you a chance to interact with your audience and squeeze out lessons you can use to make your content better. Also, such discussions could be helpful to other viewers and, in other cases, it presents an opportunity for you to respond to your audience’s concerns.

3. Customize Your Video

Viewer experience largely depends on how well you customize your video. It’s really a huge mistake to embed a video on your blog post and fail to fit it within the post’s boundaries or give it aesthetic additions and other functionalities that could optimize its function.

Setting a particular start time or allowing/disallowing related videos to show up when the current one is complete are just few of the many aspects you can adjust as you wish.

This might be a challenge for some people, especially those who’ve not embraced the technical aspects of embedding a video, but the least you can do to make your video attractive is to ensure its width doesn’t go beyond the blog post’s column.

4. Make The Post And Video Mobile-Friendly

Smartphones are more popular today than ever, and nowadays, more people use their phones to access blogs and other platforms. It’s reported that the majority of this users spend well over 50% of their time on their cellphones, mostly accessing websites and viewing videos. So, since the majority of them will access your blog from a mobile device, customize your blog and video such that they will be friendly to these users as well. This way, you will engage a larger audience.

5. Embed It Close To The Top

There’s a section of your audience that will only care about your post once their eyes land on a video embedded in it. This means that keeping it way below is sure to work to your disadvantage in most cases. But note that this will largely depend on the type of content in your blog.

6. Make It Short

Many studies today agree that a lot of people often lose their attention after hitting the one-minute mark. So, it’s only best that all the videos you embed on your post are short. Videos that have had the most impact today are those that run for 30-45 seconds.

Some viewers will even be discouraged to check out the video if they realize that it’s long. However, in the case where you have to create a video that is longer than one minute, ensure the introduction is incredibly captivating and the accompanying content so fascinating that your audience will sit through to the end.

7. Quality Matters

No matter how impeccable your video content is, your readers aren’t going to watch even a second of it if its quality is wanting. For instance, if the video’s highest resolution is 240p, many will be discouraged to watch it. It’s, therefore, advised that you aim for the higher resolutions.

Sound quality, transitions, and other related aspects also have to be considered. Keep in mind that uploading top quality videos might take you ages if your internet is average or poor. Therefore, before you start to edit it, that’s something else you’ll have to put into consideration.

Wrap Up

In summary, embedding a video on your blog post is good but doing the entire process creatively and expertly is what makes all the difference. The seven ways we’ve mentioned are tested and proven and, if applied well, they will get you the engagement level and viewership you’ve always wished for. So, pay extra attention to each and, if possible, seek expert help where it’s necessary.

VideoRemix is a video software company that allows users to create, edit, personalize, and publish production-quality video campaigns to engage their audience. Clients can feature these dynamic videos on websites, landing pages, video-sharing sites, and Facebook.

Original post: 7 Ways To Use Video On Your Blog To Get More Engagement

4 Ways to Promote Your Business with Video

Did you know that almost 80% off all Internet traffic is made of video? And did you know that every day over five billion videos are watched it on YouTube? Video is huge, and if you’re not using it to promote your business you are missing out on a big opportunity. Below you will find four ways that you can use to promote your business with video content.

1. Create marketing videos

YouTube has over one billion active users many of them are searching for general information, tutorials, how-to videos and so on. If you create a marketing videos targeting specific keywords related to your business you could attract those users. The cool thing is that you don’t even need to know how to record video. You can leverage libraries like VideoBlocks to download ready to go motion graphics and then simply customize eat to your business.

2. Convert your existing content into video

If you don’t know what kind of videos that you can create, you can simply transform your existing content into videos. For example, you can convert your blog posts into videos. Second, if you have a marketing material like e-books or reports you can also convert them into videos.

3. Create a YouTube channel

As long as you plan to create a more than a couple of videos, and you should, then creating your own YouTube channel is a must. By promoting your YouTube channel on your website and on social networks you should be able to increase their popularity off your videos. Here is a post with 18 tips you can use to promote your YouTube channel.

4. Use explainer videos on key pages

Research confirms that video can increased conversion rates significantly. This means that you should have at least one video on your sales pages, newsletter sign-up pages, and so on. There are many online tools that can help you to create an explainer video for your product or service, and those will help your potential customers to better evaluate and understand your offering.

Original post: 4 Ways to Promote Your Business with Video

Your Small Business Needs a Blog and Here is Why

Small businesses can gain a lot from taking advantage of technology and by using a website builder. One of the easiest and most important ways to utilize this is to start a blog. A blog is a tool that allows you to reach people and engage with them. There is no other method for marketing and engagement that is as effective as blogging. When you create a blog, it allows you to essentially speak to your target audience. This makes you more real and relatable to them, allowing for a deeper human aspect with your business.

Offer Promotional Material

When you are blogging, you want to ensure that the content is varied and valuable. You can make some blogs centered around promotional materials, such as coupons or special sales that are coming up. You can also create content about new products and services that you are launching. It is estimated that marketers who blog get about 67 percent more leads compared to those who do not blog.

Search Engine Optimization

People need to be able to find your business website to see what you have to offer. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the biggest factors in getting your website better search engine placement. While you want to utilize it on all pages, it is easier to take advantage of this method with your content. You start by doing keyword research to see what people are searching for. For example, if you sell a productivity application for mobile devices, you want to see which keywords people use to find information on these apps.

Once you know the top two to three keywords, you build valuable and accurate content around them to drive traffic to your website. Just remember that while the keywords are important, the most critical aspect of your content is quality.

Market Research

You have to know what your audience wants and your blog is an excellent way to assess this. Your website builder can implement different tools to aid you in tracking activity so that you can analyze what is attracting visitors and what is not. The backend of your website has analytics to show you information, such as where your traffic is coming from, where and how it is being shared, and the content types that are the most popular. Use this information to help direct your blogging strategy.

Enhance Credibility

Businesses must be credible in order to succeed. A blog is an opportunity for you to create a presence for your brand within your specific niche. When you blogand provide valuable information to your customers, you make your brand more trustworthy. Remember that success begins with providing something of value to your target audience.

Your blogging can help to increase your company’s value to the public by not only supplying them with products or services, but also with important information that is related. In fact, approximately 60 percent of consumers have a more positive outlook on companies that provide high-quality and valuable custom content.

Network More Efficiently

Networking with fellow businesses, professionals, and your customers is important to grow your company. When you blog, you get to meet people and engage with those that can be beneficial for your business. Make sure to read comments, answer questions, and work to develop relationships through your blog. Over time, the relationships that you do make could further your credibility and enhance your bottom line. Just ensure that your interactions are genuine.

With this information, the next step is getting your small business blog up and running. You do not need a complicated setup or anything fancy. In fact, keeping it simple will be the most beneficial. Just make sure that the content is sharable and that it is true and honest.

Original post: Your Small Business Needs a Blog and Here is Why

5 Web Marketing Strategies for Startups Interested in Efficiency

So you’re a new business owner and you’re cash strapped. You’ve sown everything you have into your venture and worked hard to get things off the ground. Now you want to see some growth, and you recognize that the web offers a treasure trove of potential sales that you haven’t really tapped into. You’re on the right track, as the Internet offers startups the chance to compete with bigger, more established competitors. There are some risk to web marketing for up and comers, though. You can spend time and money on a marketing venture that just doesn’t bring returns.

Here are five strategies to help you invest those web marketing dollars efficiently in hopes of seeing sizable returns.
1. Believe in remarketing
Depending upon what you’re selling, remarketing might be the best way to get the most out of your marketing dollars. Remarketing is placing your ads strategically where they’re seen by people who are purchasing complementary items or services. For instance, if you’re an upstart private jet brokerage that’s looking for long-term clients, you might remarket to those people who have visited luxury car buying websites. You’ll know that these people have money and the willingness to spend extravagantly. This way, you won’t have to worry about your ad dollars being invested on people who have no ability to purchase your services.
2. Be careful with pay-per-click advertising
You may want to limit your pay-per-click advertising until you have a better grasp of who you’re targeting and how to target them. Budget control is key for startups in the competitive entrepreneurial world. Pay-per-click advertising seems to make sense because it provides the certainty that your ad dollars will lead to engagement.

Problematically, though, you may not have strong conversion rates in the beginning, especially if your website isn’t as functional as it might be later. Make sure you limit your exposure to pay-per-click marketing until you’re absolutely certain of your website’s ability to process requests quickly and without incident.
3. Piggyback your web marketing and offline marketing efforts
Let’s say you’re a startup that’s splitting marketing dollars between the Internet and offline ventures. You might spend a few hundred dollars sponsoring a hole in a celebrity charity golf tournament, or you may invest in a sponsorship agreement with a small-time professional athlete. It’s possible to have all of your momentum moving together in the right direction. Make sure that your web content highlights the ways in which your company is getting out into the community. Web marketing that highlights your offline marketing in an organic way can build credibility for your brand and make your offline marketing more effective at the same time. It’s critical to have these two forces working in the same direction if possible.
4. Avoid web marketing companies that lack familiarity with your field
If you’re going to pay money to a web marketing company, they better deliver results. Given the constraints of the web marketing budget for most startups, going with a major web marketing firm can be a risk. To mitigate this risk, you’ll want to choose a marketing arm that has familiarity with your field. Some agencies market restaurants well. Others are better for purely online businesses. Find a marketing agency that has a demonstrated record of success in dealing with companies like yours. This way, you’ll be able to see measurable results sooner and get your cash flow up.
5. Become an authority in your field
There are many ways today that you can become an authority on your own business ventures. You might write articles for publication through LinkedIn. You may share useful advice to consumers and prospective clients through your Facebook page and Twitter feed. If you work to become an expert in your field, you’ll build relationships with other important and meaningful people. From this, you may benefit from free marketing, as individuals will share, comment, and otherwise engage with your content.

Many startups make the mistake of thinking that all of their web content must try to convert sales. This isn’t true. In reality, some of your content should be designed to build your credibility so your company can fully engage with long-term clients and with other leaders in your industry.
Web marketing is far from easy, and it’s not an exact science. If you’re going to come out ahead as a startup company, you’ll need to have a smart, measured approach. Do everything you can to maximize the momentum of your marketing dollars, be careful how much you invest in pay-per-click services, work to be an industry authority, and don’t be afraid to remarket to people who seem like an excellent target demographic for you.

By utilizing these strategies, you’ll put yourself ahead other new business owners looking to exploit the power of the Internet.

Original post: 5 Web Marketing Strategies for Startups Interested in Efficiency

Top 20 Tools To Boost Team’s Productivity

Pulling together a collaborative and productive team with all the right skills to grow your business could be the hard part. This challenge happens far more often than you would think.
But the good news is that you can overcome your team’s productivity issues with the right tools.

There is a sea of tools out there for every facet of team productivity. In this article, we will narrow down the choice and take a look at the top tools that every member of your team can use to boost their effectiveness.

From your business analyst to your account executive, here are the top 20 tools for maximizing the productivity of all your team members.

Communication Tools

1. Chanty

Chanty is an AI-powered business messenger and a single notification center focused on refining business processes for small and medium teams. It helps businesses become more productive by featuring instant messages with an unlimited searchable history, plenty of storage space, robust file sharing and uniting notifications from multiple software services in a single place.

Pricing: Free (the product is at beta stage).

2. Slack

Slack is a well-known team communication tool from Silicon Valley. This feature-rich messaging
app operates in private and public channels and also has voice and video calling. In addition to advanced chatting features, Slack has many shortcuts, hacks and integrations with third-party platforms that help to increase team productivity.

Pricing: Free basics, Standard plan: $6.67 per user per month, Plus plan: $15 per user per month.

3. Fleep

Fleep is a team messenger attempting to link up project collaboration and team communication. Here you can schedule lightweight tasks chatting with team members and invited business partners. A bonus is that Fleep features an unlimited message history as well as unlimited integrations in its free package.

Pricing: Free; Premium plan starts from €5 per user per month (advanced file-sharing and premium support).

4. Microsoft Teams

If you decide to build a communication hub around already used Office 365, the simplest choice is Microsoft Teams — a chat that combines conversations and teamwork tools with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, and much more.

Pricing: Starting at $5 per user per month.

5. HipChat

HipChat is a conservative-looking instant messenger with fast one-to-one and group video calls and handy screen sharing feature. It should be mentioned that HipChat offers self-hosting which makes IT departments happy.
Pricing: Free; Plus plan starts from $2 per user per month.

Video Conferencing Tools

6. Zoom

To be honest, Zoom is pretty cool with its HD video conferencing, screen sharing from desktop or mobile and recording features. Following this, Zoom allows you to create the collaborative whiteboard and send group texts, images and audio files during meetings.

Pricing: Free; Pro plan starts from $14.99 per month per host (the person who schedules, starts and controls the settings in a meeting).

7. GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is a popular choice due to its HD-quality video, screen sharing, personalized meeting URLs, a whiteboard feature, and the ability to connect to meetings via desktop or mobile. Additional bonus: options to translate control settings — perfect for global teams.

Pricing: from $19 per month.

8. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is both fun and easy to use and looks great. You can choose which groups of people you want to invite to your Google Hangouts session, making it easy to start a video conference in seconds.

Pricing: Free, Business Plan starts at €4 per user per month.

9. Skype for Business

And then, of course, there is the old faithful Skype which has been around forever. It is a proven solution for instant messaging, voice, and video calls. Skype for Business has all the primary features of the other tools here except toll-free numbers, which GoToMeeting has.

Pricing: Starting from $2 per user per month.


Similar to Skype, lets you create online meeting rooms for video calls. It is a great tool for teams that already use a chat, but also need a tool for online video calls. Top features include:

-Claiming your own personal video room,
-Setting a custom background image of the room,
-Locking the room for private conversations,
-Sending messages and links in text chat during meetings,
-Sharing your screen.

Pricing: Free up to 8 people, Premium coming soon.

Document Collaboration Tools (File Storage and File Sharing)

11. Dropbox

In short, Dropbox is a cloud-based platform that allows users to store and share files. It is scaleable so Dropbox is good for both teams and individuals. Files synchronize seamlessly across all devices. Account owners can grant others access to storage folders as well as single files. Distributed workers can have shared access to digital assets (files, spreadsheets, documents, photos) regardless of their physical location.

Pricing: Free, Business Plans start from $8.25 per user per month.

12. Google Drive

Google Drive is a handy hub for creating, sharing, collaborating, and storing documents and presentations. For distributed workers, pulling together a presentation from three different content creators is simple and fast thanks to user access controls and link sharing.

Pricing: The first 15GB of storage is free; the price for additional storage starts from $1.99 per user per month.

13. Evernote Business

Evernote is the tried-and-true titan in note taking and note sharing. The business plan allows you to take and manage notes and then share them with your team. Its primary and most powerful features are the Notebook Stacks and the tagging system that let you find anything in seconds. It also features a Web Clipper browser extension for capturing ideas while surfing the net, and mobile apps for taking down notes, even voice ones, from wherever you are.

Pricing: Evernote Business is priced at $10 per person per month.

Project Management Tools

14. Wrike

Wrike combines simple design with efficient project management tools. It is a powerful tool for managing and collaborating on projects. You can manage and customize the entire flow of work — from incoming requests, to delegating tasks, reviewing initial drafts, providing feedback and approving revisions. Plus: custom workflows and statuses, Gantt charts, customizable reports, time tracking, board view.
Pricing: Free up to five users; Professional plan with five users: $49/month, ten users: $99 per month, 15 users: $149 per month.

15. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is a part of the Zoho software bundle. Features include task lists with multiple tasks and milestones, document and file management, time tracking and timesheets, team intranet and shared calendar.
Pricing: Express plan (up to 20 projects) $25/month, Premium plan (up to 50 projects) $50/month, Enterprise plan (unlimited projects) $99/month. CRM and other additional features come with an extra price tag.

16. Trello

Trello is a multifunctional kanban-style dashboard for organizing teammates ideas and keeping track of project progress. It is a good project management tool for small teams with simple projects. Trello lets you create multiple task boards, organize task lists by dates or priority, comment and collaborate, attach pictures and files.

Pricing: Free with extra cost of $5 per month for Trello Gold.

17. Basecamp

Basecamp is used by thousands of teams all around the world. Basecamp makes it easy to manage the project clients for quick feedback on small changes and updates. It takes only 10 minutes to set up this easy-to-use tool. It provides the minimal amount of features needed for efficient project management.
Pricing: $29 per month for unlimited users.

18. Asana

One of the most well-known project management tools, Asana allows users to assign tasks to other members, add followers to projects, manage tasks and monitor deadlines. It can be very useful also as a to-do list or calendar for strategic planning.
Pricing: Free plan for up to 15 team members; Paid plan starts from $9.99 per user per month.

Time Tracking Tools

19. Toggl

Toggl is a hassle-free time tracking software that integrates with tens of different project management tools. It is perfect for companies with many different departments. Additional features: offline time tracking and mobile functionalities.

Pricing: $10 per user per month; Paid plans start at $20 per user per month.

20. TimeBoy

TimeBoy helps you manage as many workers, projects and workspaces as you need in order to run your business seamlessly. It enables you to have a complete overview of your team productivity, generate and export reports, and get insights on how the work hours are actually spent. The company also offers in-depth integrations with project management software.

Pricing: Free (the product is at beta stage).

The 20 productivity tools listed above just scratch the surface when it comes to applications that you can use to boost effectiveness among your teammates and throughout your business. Are there any other products that deserve a place here? Leave a comment mentioning the productivity tool you can’t live without.

Original post: Top 20 Tools To Boost Team’s Productivity