Where To Spend Money In Your Business

One of the most important jobs for a business owner to do is to determine exactly where any money is to be spent. Saving money where possible is important, but sometimes it is even more important to spend, as long as you are spending in the right place on the right things. This is why any business owner needs a good financial plan in place before you even start – knowing how much you are going to need in terms of financing will allow you to be much more successful and not stall partway through your first few months. Here are some useful tips on where to spend your money in order to get the most out of whatever budget you may have. 

Your Marketing

Without marketing you will essentially have no business, so of course you will need to spend money on getting this right – your marketing is what puts your products, services, and entire business in front of those who are most likely to buy from you, so clearly if you don’t put enough money into your marketing efforts, not enough people are going to know you exist.

It is possible to market your business with very little money, and using social media is one way to do this. However, the bigger your marketing budget is, the better the results will be, and you will begin to see a return on your investment more quickly too.

Your Security

If you were attacked by a cybercriminal and your customers’ data was stolen or lost entirely, how would you continue your business? If your network was infected with a virus and you were unable to retrieve important information, would you be able to carry on? What about your reputation? If you were open to a cyberattack, would you lose everything you had worked so hard to achieve?

A security breach like this in your business could be the end of everything, and it would certainly make customers think twice before providing you with any more information about themselves. Therefore, investing in good cybersecurity is an excellent plan. Because not everyone is an expert in this field, your first task should be to discuss your security options with professional IT companies in Birmingham so that you can discover just what it is you are going to need. You’ll also know that the software is being installed correctly and can be maintained properly.

Your Website

A business that doesn’t have a website will always be looked at with suspicion – potential customers might not think you are going to be around for a long time, and they will wonder why, in this day and age when it is so easy to set up a website, you don’t have one. Trust will be an issue, and you need trust to ensure you make sales.

Websites don’t have to cost a lot of money, and you can design yours by yourself if you prefer. Whatever way you go about it, and whatever you have to spend on it, creating and maintaining a website is crucial if you want to succeed. Your website is like a store window, offering an insight into who you are and what you do – it might even be a source of income if you have an online store too. So, getting your website looking right is essential.

How Can Digital Animation Transform Your Business?

In today’s increasingly innovative and evolving society, it has never been more crucial for businesses to embrace new trends and utilize the latest technologies to transform their brand from ordinary to extraordinary.

Digital animation is the perfect example of how businesses can boost their brand image and improve their customer experience with the implementation of just one highly effective and state of the art technology.

Interested to know how else digital animation can be used to revolutionize your business?

From improving upon your existing business operations, to enhancing your digital marketing strategy, to improving your user experience, keep reading to discover how digital animation can, and will, transform your brand in 2020 and beyond.

To improve your business operations

At the core of every business is how it operates, with the choices that you make as a company having the ability to either save or cost you money. Digital animations are a great idea for brands who are looking for an affordable way to make a big impact on their business.

When you choose an animation and design studio such as wearefrantic.com to create digital animations for your business, you can rest assured that the process will be quick, easy and relatively low cost in comparison to shooting a live video.

Plus, digital animations have the added benefit of not becoming dated as quickly as other types of videos so they will be relevant for longer.

To boost your brand image

Digital animations can be incredibly innovative and exciting, meaning that your brand will also appear more cutting-edge if you choose this type of design for your business.

CG animations, motion videos and virtual reality can all help to improve your branding and show that you are up to date with the latest technologies.

To enhance your digital marketing strategy

Video content is becoming increasingly popular with 87% of marketers using video as a marketing tool, so as a brand you need to ensure that you are posting consistent, relevant and most importantly, original content.

Digital animation can be used to create stimulating social videos that will engage and interact with your target audience. Plus, social videos that use digital animation are much more shareable meaning that they can dramatically increase brand awareness.

To launch new products or services

Branded digital animation films are a great way to effectively launch a new product or service, offering a unique way to attract existing and new customers to your website.

You can also take advantage of animated product videos to showcase the specific features of your new product, utilizing CG modelling to enhance user experience and to create a buzz ahead of your product launch.  

To boost conversion rates

As well as having the ability to engage with potential customers, digital animations are also able to inspire them to make purchases. In fact, statistics reveal that having an animated video on your landing page can increase your conversion rate by a massive 86%.

Plus, digital animation can successfully market any type of product or service, meaning that all businesses can take advantage of this highly effective and engaging way of interacting with users.

So, if you are looking to stand out from the competition in 2020, you should definitely consider looking into digital animation for your next TV commercial, brand film, explainer video or social media content.

What have you got to lose?

How To Make Business Meetings More Engaging

Lots of people think that meetings are a waste of time, but this isn’t always the case. Sure, many meetings take too long, and often, nothing is accomplished, but it is possible to make your meetings more productive and useful.

All you need to do is make a few small tweaks, and you will notice that both you and your employees get more out of every single meeting.

Here are four ways you can make business meetings more engaging.

Ask Employees What They Want Meetings To Look Like

One of the best ways to improve meetings for everyone is by asking your employees what they want meetings to look like. After all, the main goal for most meetings is for employees to learn and collaborate, so it is essential to have a meeting format that the employees enjoy.

So take the time to speak to employees and see if they have any suggestions for future meetings. For instance, some employees may think that the meetings are too long, so you could only host 30-minute meetings going forward (just make sure to bullet point everything beforehand so you don’t miss anything). This will also show employees that you value them and listen to them, which means they are more likely to feel motivated and productive.

Do you want to do this? If so, consider using a free survey website to create a survey that can be sent to all employees. There are lots of free sites to choose from, including Google forms, which is ideal for employees who use Gmail.

Consider Meeting In New Spaces

Break up the normal routine by meeting employees in new spaces, such as a coffee shop. This will make the meeting more exciting, and it helps to stop your employees from feeling like they are stuck in a rut. You could even host meetings outside, as research has found that people are more productive and creative when they are near nature – just make sure to choose a day when the weather is warm and mild!

Use Visuals To Make The Meeting More Interesting

Do you find that your employees struggle to stay focused during meetings? If so, consider gaining help from Interactive Solutions, who can provide audio visuals to keep employees on track. This is a great way to make meetings more engaging, and research has also found that photos and videos help people to retain information better. So if you plan on discussing something complex or difficult, it could be useful to embrace some audio visuals.

Show Appreciation To Employees

Finally, you should always take the time to thank employees for their work. A recent study found that over 80% of employees are motivated by appreciation from their bosses, so it is a very easy way to boost employee morale.

If you decide to do this, consider showing appreciation at the beginning of the meeting. This means that the meeting starts on a positive note, so everyone is more likely to engage with each other successfully.

Succeeding at SEO: A Guide

SEO can be a daunting but necessary part of any business that wants to succeed in the digital arena. SEO can reap the most return on investment from any marketing initiative a business undertakes, largely due to the fact that it can be inexpensive to implement and can result in relevant traffic for years to come. Unlike pay per click, your business won’t incur a fee every time a customer clicks on your Google search result.

What are Your Customers Searching For?

This is the first building block towards creating a successful SEO campaign and will establish the all-important keywords that you will need to use. There are a whole host of tools available to help you establish what your customers are searching for and what’s trending — including Google Trends and Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

The great thing about Google AdWords is that it costs you nothing and will provide you with details on volume for certain keywords (i.e. how often that keyword is searched) as well as the competition for that word (how many other people or businesses are trying to rank for that word).

Have a Look at the Competition

Have a look at where your main competitors are ranking and who is ranking highest for the keywords that you have identified. Understanding how your competition is performing can provide you with some valuable insights and help you put a strategy together to outperform their web presence.

Optimize Your Pages for Search Engines

You need to create a website that is well structured and provides a positive user experience for your customers. Your website should be easy to navigate, and the content well laid out and simple to consume. The more relevant information you have on your website that relates to the keyword you are trying to rank for, the more likely you are to appear in searches for that term.

Also, make sure you adhere to Googles advice on URLs: ‘A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organizing your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers).’

Make Sure Your Website is Accessible to Both Bots and Humans

There are some basic steps that you can take to satisfy both the bots and humans that visit your site. Making sure your site loads quickly is essential, as is ensuring that your site is mobile friendly. Sitemaps are used by search engines to find your content and index new pages on your website faster.

Build Backlinks

There is clear evidence that backlinks are one of the most important factors when ranking on Google’s algorithm. This is a labor intensive process that will require significant resources unless you decide to outsource to an agency. Building backlinks should be done slowly and considerately using reputable sites and relevant content.

Avoid shoehorning keywords and links into articles and make sure that your content is of value. Guest blogging is one way of achieving this kind of link building and contrary to popular belief, Google does not discourage this practice as long as the articles are helpful and knowledgeable.

 

Business Success: Tips For The Perfect Website

It is no secret that an online presence is crucial for any business today, which is why every single business, big and small, needs a well-designed website. Studies have highlighted the fact that when it comes to business success, 94% of buyers search for a business online before doing anything else, which is why having an online presence is crucial.

Of course, an online presence isn’t just about a website; it’s also about digital marketing and social media. However, a well-designed, easy-to-use website is a crucial first step for success. While there’s a common misconception that building a website is an easy task and anyone can do it, when it comes to building a website for your business, there’s a lot that needs to be taken into account.

To help make the process of designing your business website a little easier, here are some useful tips and ideas to take note of when you’re looking at building your business’s online presence.

Work with a professional web designer

First and foremost, when it comes to website design, it’s vital that you hire a specialist web design company. You can choose a local company, but the nature of digital means you can work with a company based almost anywhere if you like what they do. To help you pick the right company for your needs, providers will list the services they provide as standard, such as those offered by website design Lichfield, for instance, as well as what else you might be able to ask for on top. While a lot of people might be tempted to build their business’s website themselves using basic platforms or out-of-the-box options, unless you have a background in web design, it’s not a great idea. It’s far better to work with an experienced company that can create a website that not only looks great but also runs seamlessly, is free of glitches, and does exactly what you need it to do.

Ensure your site is responsive

Did you know that more than 62% of shoppers use their smartphones to browse the internet and make purchases? This means that if you want to give your chances of success a boost, it’s essential that you ensure your site is responsive and works just as seamlessly on smartphones and tablets as it does when being accessed via a computer. The site should also be easy to use and navigate, regardless of the device it’s being used on.

Make it easy to find

You won’t be getting any new customers if they can’t find your website. To make sure your site is discoverable, you should choose a domain name that is as closely related to your business name as possible. You should also ensure that your business is listed on Google Maps. Finally, it is imperative that you understand what keywords customers might use to find your business so you can optimize your site for search engines.  

Add a blog

If you want to boost where your website ranks in search engines, adding a blog to your site can be a great step to take. You will also find that adding a blog to your site will drive traffic, and these readers may then be converted into sales. Having a blog also gives customers an insight into your personality and the passions that drive you, which is great for building customer loyalty.

10 Software Tips For Small Businesses

As a small business, it is important to know how you can be using software to your advantage as this can help your company to streamline, improve your output and help you compete with the biggest companies in your industry. Software can be used in many different ways in a business setting, and what you use will depend on your particular industry. However, it is helpful to know a few handy tips which will hopefully help your small business to compete at a much higher level and satisfy your target customers. With this in mind, here are a few software tips for small businesses.

1. Stay Current

One of the most important tips is to stay current on the latest software news. There are always new types and versions of software being released, and it is crucial to be aware of what these are so that you can make improvements to your business. There are many ways to stay current on the latest software for businesses, including:

  • Reading business and computing blogs
  • Reading magazines
  • Listening to business podcasts
  • Joining online communities
  • Following relevant organizations on social media
  • Speaking to people with strong IT knowledge

2. Automate Repetitive Tasks

Businesses in all industries have repetitive tasks to carry out, and these can be frustrating, time-consuming, and often lead to human error. Instead, look into software and apps which can automate these tasks for you, as this will help to streamline, eliminate errors, and allow you and your team to focus on other areas of the business.

3. Look For Open Source Software

As a small business, you will always want to find ways to keep your costs down, and software and licensing can be a significant cost. Instead of opting for the household name brands, look to see if there is software that you could use instead. Often, you will find free open source software, which is as good and possibly even better than the bigger brands.

4. Only Use What You Need

Software can help a business to succeed in many ways, but you should not overcomplicate the operation with software that you do not need. Instead, think about each task in your daily operation and determine whether the software can be used and if it is worth implementing.

5. Make Cybersecurity A Priority

Cybercrime is a huge problem for businesses in all industries and has the potential to destroy a smaller company. This is why you need to make cybersecurity a priority and invest in high-quality cybersecurity software, which will protect your business against the latest threats and allow you to operate with confidence each day.

6. Use Software To Elevate Project Management

Project management is one area where you should be using the best software and tools to elevate your projects. This should include a Gantt chart maker, which can enable you to make high-quality charts that can be used to assess the timeline of your tasks and get a clear overview of the project. This should lead to greater success with all of your projects and drive further growth.

7. Manage Accounting With Software

Every business owner knows that you need to keep completely accurate financial records for tax reasons and so that you can make intelligent business decisions. This is a complex area of the business, but outsourcing to an accountant can be expensive for small companies. This is why, instead, you need to find high-quality accounting software that can streamline this area and allow you to focus on other areas of the operation.

8. Provide Clear Staff Training

Having the latest and best software in place is great, but it is not much good if your team do not know how to use the software. This is why you need to provide clear staff training so that those that need to know how to use different programs feel confident and are able to work efficiently each day. It can take some time to learn about new software, but it is worth taking the time; otherwise, the entire business could be slowed down.

9. Keep Software Up To Date

Every piece of software that you own should be kept up to date at all times, and you can turn on notifications so that you know when an update is available. This is because updates often include important patches for security holes, and – as mentioned – cybercrime is a huge problem. This could also fix bugs and give you access to the latest features.

10. Familiarize Yourself With Software Licensing

You need to educate yourself on software licensing so that you know the best type of license for each piece of software and so that you are not violating the contract of agreement with the publisher or spending unnecessary money.

Small businesses need to know how best to use software so that they can streamline and compete with the more prominent brands in their industry, and these tips should allow you to do this.

How to Get More Loyal Customers to Your Shopify Store?

It is a popular belief that people shopping online tend to toggle from one website to another in search of a better offer. While it is true that the majority of the first-time customers in eCommerce make the purchase based on offer or promotion; however, in due course, shoppers tend to develop a deep sense of loyalty towards a particular eCommerce website if they have had a positive experience in the first few purchases.

Why do you need repeat customers?

There are various types of customers in business. These include customers who have made a purchase at least once and returning customers who’re purchasing from your website for the second time. The most crucial, the ones which every business wants to see a customer tuning into are repeat customers. They are the ones who have made a purchase for more than two times, and it is the returning and repeat customers that help sustain a business. According to the report, “The ROI from Marketing to Existing Online Customers” by Adobe, 40% of the total revenue of an eCommerce business comes from returning or repeat customers who ironically comprise only 8% of the total visitors, in the United States. The number remains pretty similar in other countries also.

Cost of acquisition

Even though the probability of an existing customer making another purchase is 60 – 70% and the for that of a prospect is just 5 – 20% in addition to the fact that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, majority of the business focus more on acquisition than retention. Why do you think is it so? Here is why:

  • There cannot be repeat customers without turning the prospect into a customer in the first place.
  • As per the data above, there is only a 5-20 % probability of a prospect making the first purchase. So, it needs more effort to influence them.
  • Focusing more on new resources does not mean ignoring existing customers. In reality, existing customers are targeted very aggressively to make them return frequently. The confusion is due to the quantity. Compared to the number of existing customers, the number of prospects is astronomical. Hence, more resources. 

Power of loyal customers 

Customer loyalty is an outcome of consistently meeting customer expectations while delivering quality and on-time services. Having a customer base that keeps coming back to you for more in very integral to the success of your business. getting Loyal customers not only helps a business grow but also increases credibility while setting high benchmarks for revenue.

Here are a couple of points that highlight the importance of loyal customers.

1.  Existing customers spend more

Having developed a sense of confidence with the online retailer, a customer turns to the eCommerce site frequently to avail of the service they have grown accustomed to. Longer the relationship with the customer, larger the transaction the customer makes. According to studies, an average repeat customer purchasing apparel spent 67% more in the month 31 -36 compared to the first 6 months. Another interesting find is that the shopper’s fifth purchase was 40% larger than that of the first one and the tenth purchase was a whopping 80% larger than the first one.

The study went to prove that the repeat customer purchases frequently, which is great news in itself. However, the main take away is the fact that they make a larger transaction, which is great news for the online retailer where each transaction costs more or less the same. Large transaction means more profitability for the retailer.

2.  Repeat customers refer

More than any marketing channel, it is the word of mouth that is the most powerful and effective channel. It can make or break a business. In eCommerce, it is not only the product that matters; the service associated with the purchase also plays a crucial role in shaping the success of an eCommerce business. Studies have shown that the lifetime value for new referral customers is 16% more as compared to non-referrals.

3. Repeat customers cost less

As mentioned earlier, it cost five times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. It is natural to require more persuasion to convince someone for the first time. After a few transactions, there is a sense of mutual confidence between the customer and the retailer. The customer, based on the product quality received and the service rendered in the previous transaction has grown accustomed and hence it requires less persuasion. Compared to the prospect, the existing customer is much lesser in number. Even if the maximum effort is rendered toward the existing customer, due to the difference in number, it will always cost less to maintain an existing customer.

4. Loyal customers buy other products

 There is a reason why people prefer to shop in a mall or a multi-brand store. Apart from the convenience of getting everything under one roof, it is the sense of familiarity that attracts a customer to a particular store. An existing customer of grocery would most likely prefer to buy toiletries from the same retailer. The latest eCommerce marketing trends prove the same thing. The loyal customer provides an opportunity for cross-selling, which is essential for business expansion.

Ways to bring about customer loyalty on Shopify

So, you have a product you’d like to market. You have set up a Shopify store including all the nitty-gritty of running an eCommerce business using the tools provided by Shopify. You think it is all set ready to fly. Wait! What follows is the most crucial part of the business; getting people to shop in your Shopify store. It starts with getting people to visit your site.

In order to increase the traffic on your site, you can adopt any of the online marketing channels such as email marketing and social media marketing. Once you start selling, remember the points considered above, it is the repeat customer that sustains a business in the long-term. From this point onward, it is equally important to focus on customer retention, building a relationship with the existing customer, nurturing their loyalty towards your business. The service from Shopify has provisions and tools to help you retain your existing customer.

Some of the ways in which it can be done are:

1.  Referral programs

It works on two levels; firstly, it is a great way to increase sales. No other marketing channel comes close to the word-of-mouth (or referral) marketing when it comes to effectiveness. Secondly, by rewarding the customer for their referral, it helps nurture loyalty and increase retention of an existing customer. However, this is applicable only if the service rendered to the customer is of exceptional quality. A satisfied customer will always refer. But an attractive referral program without quality service may not work.

2.  Special day wishes

Loyalty comes from the customer relationship, so it is vital to make your customers feel special and appreciated every now and then. The dashboard for every Shopify store comes equipped with a system to automatically send out wishes on the occasion that are special for the customer.

3.  Coupon Codes

In addition to a referral program, coupon codes are an extremely effective tool to persuade a customer to return frequently.

4. Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool to inspire brand loyalty. Connect with the customer by sharing relevant and quality content. Try making the best use of the Shopify app store to multiply your brand’s social media presence.

5. Personalized Communication

Communication could be SMS, an email newsletter or social media communication. The tone and language of the communication need to resonate with the customer; otherwise, it will be lost in transit. There are apps available in the Shopify app store that can help you personalize your communication with your customers.

Few apps to help your business gain, loyal customers

  1. Referral Candy is an app to manage the referral program. Currently rated 4.9 stars at the Shopify app store, it is extremely easy to operate; there’s no need for developer or coding skills.
  2. Conjured Referrals is another highly rated referral app with a 4.9-star rating. Unlike other apps, it does not charge commission or transaction fees on the referred revenue.
  3. Rise: Gift Cards & Loyalty is a Store Credit & Loyalty Program. The gift card is usable across multiple stores (Online, Shopify POS). The app is rated 4.9 stars.
  4. Outfy – Social Media Promotion helps retailers promote products on as many as 12 social media networks. It is currently rated 4.8 stars.
  5. Social Media Icons is another app to boost social media presence. It is currently rated 4.6 stars. It has a free service but also comes with three paid packages.
  6. Post Studio – Social Auto Post is the highest rated app (5 stars) to engage with customers via social media. It works effortlessly on Facebook, Twitter, and Bit.ly. It provides free service along with a paid version.
  7. Instagram Feed for Stories can showcase Instagram Stories & run Instagram Shout out on Store. It automatically pulls the brand’s most recent Instagram stories feed and shows up on the website like stories that show up on Instagram Mobile App, and is a free app.
  8. Spin-a-Sale adds an interesting twist to the subscriber pop-up, making it interactive, fun and irresistible for visitors. It is a wonderful app to increase visitor engagement and customer loyalty. The app is currently rated 4.9 stars.
  9. MailMunch – Email Popup ensures timely popups to present the customers with tempting offers and coupons just at the right time. Currently rated 4.7 stars. It also has a free service but also comes with two paid packages.
  10. Flashy – Marketing Automation is an all-in-one marketing automation platform for eCommerce. It allows email marketing, SMS marketing, and marketing automation with customers and visitors based on purchase history and website activity. It is currently rated 5 stars. 

Conclusion

It is a fact that getting a new customer is of utmost importance to build a business and it is clear from the practice of distributing resources, where a major chunk of the resources goes into acquiring a new customer. It is definitely not a wrong move to do so. However, it is also an established fact that loyal customer plays an important part in the profitability of a business in the long run.

The purpose of this guide is to educate the rising entrepreneur on the importance of maintaining a relationship with the customer. Ways in which businesses can attract and persuade the customer to return. The importance of rendering an exceptional service that can help bolster the relationship, which ultimately will lead to a loyal customer. As an entrepreneur, it is highly recommended for the reader to always look out innovative ways to connect with customers. If you take care of the customer, they will take care of you. Remember that Shopify is not only a platform to jumpstart an eCommerce business; it is much more than that. It is a community helping each other; it is an ecosystem in which businesses can thrive.

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Business Development Essential Tips and Ideas

You have decided that the time has come to develop and enhance your business. You have spent years building up your company and creating an amazing brand, and now it is finally time to enhance and improve it. Your first step is to transform your business space and create an even more amazing business environment. However, you’re not sure what it will take to manage this effectively.

You want to make sure that the project goes off without a hitch, and that it is completed within the right period for the quoted cost. While your business is booming and things are going well for you, you do not want to overspend on this development.

The question is, of course, what does it take to ensure that your business development plan goes without a hitch? For everything that you need to know, have a read of the tips and ideas below, and implement them!

Utilize software effectively

When it comes to managing the project, you must take advantage of the software that’s available to you. The fact is that when it comes to this kind of development, there are some fantastic tools and pieces of software available. You may find that using job costing software will help to make monitoring and tracking the cost of the work far easier and less stressful. This kind of software allows you to effectively work out how much a job should cost, helping to ensure that the associated costs remain within the budget.

Be clear on the action plan

It is also essential that when considering your business development plan that you are clear on what will be happening and when. What you want to do is engage the help of a team who are happy to provide you with clarity and insight into the project and it will also keep you informed regarding your deadlines and whether they will be met. If you want to make developing your business as stress free as possible, then you need to put a clear action plan in place, which should help to make managing each aspect of the project a little easier and less stressful.

Ensure goals are met

Set goals for your business’s development process and take steps to ensure that those goals are met. To make achieving these goals easier, it might be a good idea to break them down into smaller, more achievable targets. Say, for instance, by the end of three months you want to see an entire part of your business overhauled, redesigned, and in working order again, then it is important to set interim goals to help ensure that the work remains on track throughout the project. Plus, should an interim goal not be met, you can then change the date that you would like the final goal to be met.

Hopefully, the above tips, ideas, and advice will help to make the process of redeveloping your business a simpler and easier one to manage.

3 Ways to Drive More Online Sales

Whether you operate a mom-and-pop online store or own an industry-leading ecommerce organization, your primary goal should always be to drive more sales via the web. By clinching more deals online, not only will you generate a greater amount of profit, but you will also improve your reputation as a web-based retailer.

Unfortunately, driving more sales online is not a necessarily easy task. There are a host of different variables that can have an impact on your ability to make money via the Internet, which means that you must fully dedicate yourself to this endeavor if you want it to prove fruitful.

Should you decide to take on the all-important challenge of driving more sales online, be sure to put the following pieces of advice into practice.

Improve your shopping experience

Improving your shopping experience is the most crucial task that you will face in your bid to drive more online sales. If you are to draw custom out of each and every visitor that accesses your online store, you need to provide them with an optimized browsing experience, and you need to ensure that they do not encounter any problems during the checkout process.

To guarantee that your online store is up to the task of providing an optimized shopping experience to each and every one of your consumers, you should ask a custom ecommerce website design company to develop your site for you. By enlisting their services, you won’t have to worry about your site looking pretty but lacking substance below the surface. They will stop at nothing to ensure that your website provides an unforgettable shopping experience across all platforms and devices.

Be honest with your customers

If you’re to drive more online sales, you need to foster trust in your business’s brand and reputation. One thing is for sure — you aren’t going to encourage your consumer base to trust you if you always let them down and lie to them. Quite simply, no matter how tempting it may be to do so at the time, you need to stop making promises that you can’t keep. Even if this means risking your short-term profit turnover, you need to be transparent with your customers at all times if you want them to return to you going forward.

Show off your customer testimonials

Should a customer ever take the time to provide you with positive feedback, referral, or testimonial, you need to show it off to the world. Post these comments on your home page, and you will showcase the fact that your past customers were satisfied with the service that you provided them. This will then make future potential customers far more likely to trust you going forward.

Driving more sales online is about way more than just turning over more profit. It’s about enhancing your reputation and proving your worth to your consumer base. Of course, the extra income never hurts either!

Take the above advice, and you’ll no doubt find yourself driving more online sales in no time.

How To Use Visual Storytelling Techniques In Your Content

In today’s day and age, every brand needs to create high-quality content as a way of engaging with their target audience and showing their expertise. Creating a constant stream of high-quality content can help to increase your presence and visibility online as well as connect with your audience and provide more than just a product/service, but it is also an area that many companies struggle with. Having to create high-quality content on a regular basis is a challenge, especially when you consider that every competitor is creating content too. This is why you need to utilize visual storytelling techniques in your content which will help your content to shine and engage your target customer.

 What Is Visual Storytelling?

So, what exactly is visual storytelling and why is it of value to businesses? Essentially, this is a story that makes use of visual media, such as photos, videos, drawings and animations. These can bring otherwise bland content to life and make your content much more engaging and hard to ignore, whether this is static web content, blog posts, guest posts, email marketing or any other type of content that your business is creating. With this in mind, here are the top 10 visual storytelling techniques that you should be using in your content:

1. Show Instead Of Tell

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so you will want to use visuals to communicate your message where possible. This should not be combined with lengthy text descriptions, which will be unnecessary and create a cluttered feel to the page, so try to avoid explaining the images where possible and allow the reader to make the connection.

2. Use Movement

Static images can add visual appeal, but it will not be as engaging or eye-catching as any kind of movement. This is why content should always have video, GIFs or an animation, but be sure not to overdo it as this can be distracting and create a chaotic feel on the page which can lead visitors to leave.

3. Keep It Relevant 

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when creating content is using too many visual elements that are not important to the story. This is why you need to make sure that every piece of media serves a purpose as otherwise it will distract and also slow down the loading speed.

4. Use People

It is important to create a human connection in your content to build relationships with the reader and this is made much easier when you use visual media that has people in. As an example, including photos of your team members when creating content for the website will help to create a human connection and allow you to build a personality for the company. Media is always more interesting when it has images of people, so use this to your advantage where possible. 

5. Inverted Pyramid

One of the most important techniques in any kind of content creation is the inverted pyramid. Simply, this is the key information at the top as to captivate the reader from the start – this can also be applied to visual storytelling where you need the best and most informative visuals at the beginning.

6. Light Color Palette 

Using a light, soft color palette with any visual content is an effective way to calm the reader which will be important for keeping them on the page. It may seem obvious but it is remarkably effective as you would find that darker, more intense colors can be distracting and signify negative emotions.

7. Keep It Current 

Modern-day consumers will see an enormous amount of content on a daily basis. One of the best ways to make your content stand out and to connect with the modern audience is to make sure that it is current, such as by using a popular and current meme or by referencing something that is happening in the world right now. People want their content to be modern, fresh and relevant; otherwise, it is likely to be ignored (this is also why you need to create a constant stream of content).

 8. Keep Your Target Customer In Mind

Following this, you also need to make sure that the content and visual storytelling is tailored to your target customer because otherwise it will be ignored, so think about who you are creating the content for and what they would like to see. As an example, a growing business that is opening a new office will be interested in Gerald Eve’s services. The visual content should engage business owners and show them how this company can help them through every stage.

9. Use High-Quality Images

Nothing will put off a reader quicker than low-quality, blurred images. This is why you need to make sure that every type of media on your content is of the highest-quality, even if this means hiring a professional photographer. This can make a huge difference to the entire piece while helping you to maintain a professional reputation.

10. Source User-Generated Content

One of the smartest ways to make your content more engaging and valuable to your target customer is to source user-generated content. Using media that your customers have shared (be sure to get their permission first) helps to build authenticity, helps you to create a connection with your customer base and adds social proof to your content. As an example, you could create a hashtag on Instagram for your customers and encourage them to use this on their photos, which will help you to collect lots of user-generated content and show your audience different perspectives.

Try incorporating these visual storytelling techniques into your business content and you should notice an immediate improvement. Visual storytelling is an excellent way to make your content shine and to engage your target customer, but you must also know how to use it effectively and avoid techniques that will put off the reader.