3 tips for public sector marketing

If you are trying to market in the public sector, then you will know that it is far more complex and intense than conventional business marketing.

This is because you are not just trying to appeal to the public; you are accountable to them too. This narrows your options when it comes to marketing, forcing you to tread a tricky line between building a distinct brand identity and appealing to a diverse audience. 

However, this is not to say that it is impossible to market in the public sector – far from it. When individuals and organizations master the ability to communicate with their audience in the public sector, they don’t just win the approval of the people they are aiming to serve but steal a huge march on any competitors they might have. 

The best news is that communicating successfully in the public sector is not about spinning PR statements, distancing yourself from your audience, or having to outright avoid the truth. On the contrary, in an age where that is prevalent in the public eye, maintaining your integrity, honesty, and independence is the most powerful approach of all.

Here are three tips for public sector marketing:

Work with a specialist digital marketing agency

The first piece of advice you should consider is that consulting with a specialist is not a cynical move but a constructive step towards a more effective communications strategy.

 

Marketing in the digital age is fastmoving, and it can be difficult to keep up with what works and what doesn’t – even for professional marketers. 

This is especially true in the public sector, where social channels ebb in and out of fashion, and it can be tricky to know where to position yourself or the organization you are representing.

Therefore, don’t be afraid to reach out to a digital marketing agency that specializes in marketing and communications for the public sector.

Keep your message as pure as possible

If there is one approach to take when it comes to all marketing (but especially in the public sector), it is that you shouldn’t be afraid to be yourself.

This is not to say that you should share all your intimate details or try to be more candid than is appropriate, but honesty is and always has been the most persuasive marketing principle. 

It is easy to fall into the trap of creating a specific image far removed from your true character or forcing your organization into a tight PR box that you can’t wriggle out of. 

Unfortunately, your audience has a keen nose for authenticity, and if they sense you are not being entirely honest or speaking your true feelings about a public matter, then they will cease to follow or respect you.

Therefore, keep your message as pure as possible by being yourself, embracing your unique personality (even organizations have a persona of sorts), and avoiding any bandwagons.

Stick to a single place online if possible

It is best to keep your public sector communications strategy as simple as possible. It needs to be easy to manage, and your audience needs to know where they can find you. 

While you might imagine pleasing everyone by being on every social media channel is a good idea, it will only make you look needy and unfocused. 

Instead, focus on a single channel if possible, and focus your attention purely on that. It will increase your follower count and make it easier for you to cultivate a strong line of communication.

Do You Want Your Website to Be More Easily Navigable? Here’s What You Should Do

The average website user will supposedly stay on a site for a mere two seconds before they decide to leave, which can happen for various reasons. One reason why website visitors choose to leave is due to a slow-loading page. If a page doesn’t load in the time expected, your visitors can quickly go away, never to return. But there’s another factor that can influence a visitor’s decision to leave your site: navigability. Having a website that looks like a maze with confusing headers and icons and many images can be detrimental to visitor conversion. Fortunately, if you want your website to be more easily navigable, there are more than a few things you can do. It’s entirely possible to have a better website in terms of navigability, and with a few good changes, you can accomplish this. Here’s what you should do if you want your website to be more easily navigable.

 

  1. Create a hierarchy for your pages

As soon as visitors land on a page, their eye will likely land on a particular area, and this will give them the very first impression of your business or brand. It’s not voluntary – they will be attracted to one specific element naturally. But how does this affect the usability of your site? It’s simple – you have to make it convenient and easy for site visitors to identify what they see.

First off, try not to have too many images. Having myriad images on a homepage can distract visitors and make your page look confusing and overwhelming. Instead, come up with a hierarchy, and this hierarchy should show your users the essential parts or portions of your site. Place the vital elements in such a way that they become focal points. There are other factors besides this when it comes to hierarchy. Think carefully about sizes (the larger the size, the better), colours (bright and bold colours will get more attention), and contrast (different colours can emphasise various elements or draw attention away from other details).  Negative space is another factor that can impact hierarchy on your site pages, and it is equally essential to have negative space as well.

 

  1. Make your navigation more straightforward

Your site’s usability will be affected by how easy it is to navigate through it, and this is something that an expert in website design such as Expre knows very well. Therefore, focus on having simpler navigational features, which will result in a cleaner design and direct the visitors to specific landing pages so they can become conversions.

Determine how users take their journey through your site. How long does it take them to get from your site’s homepage to your checkout page? Assess the number of clicks they have to make. Many online shoppers can abandon a shopping cart not because of the price of a product – but because of navigation! But even if you aren’t focused on selling, simpler navigation should still be your priority. For instance, if you have a blog, how long does it take visitors to get to your blog? Is it easy for users to search for a post? These are all related to your site’s navigation. With more straightforward navigation, visitors are more likely to stay – and convert.

What Your Business Can Do to Further Embrace the Digital Age

If you’re running a business, chances are that you’re already well aware of several ways in which being digital could or has already helped you. In fact, many of these online or digital elements are things that you would automatically choose over their manual counterparts, but there are still several ways in which going even further might provide you with benefits.

Trying to untangle your business from the internet is difficult. It’s where most potential customers would look to find information about you, and, as a result, it makes sense for you to have a voice on that platform so that you can talk back to them and have some measure of control over your image. So, looking for further ways to engage with the digital age could garner you further advantages.

Reinvent Your Image


You might have thought long ago about jumping on the digital bandwagon, and so you might already have a website which you were then happy to simply leave as your base of online operations. However, times change, and you must keep up with them. Customers can spot an older website, and it’s not usually something that they usually react well to. So, taking this opportunity to overhaul your website and bring in a whole new look and interface will allow you to convey your newly updated information with clarity and show that you aren’t content to be left behind.

While taking the time to upgrade your website, you might also decide that now is the moment to branch out even further. Developing an app for your business can mean that your customers can have a greater ease of access to your services in their daily lives thanks to their smartphones. Doing all of this by yourself can be difficult, even with your own team to work with. Instead, you might prefer to enlist the help of professionals such as those found at smartboost.ai, as you can then confidently begin to develop your ideal product in collaboration with those who can help you realize this idea.

See the Advantages of Working from Home


Offering your employees, the opportunity to work flexibly is something that many businesses have been faced with due to the circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. However, while some may simply view it as a means of coping with that unique scenario, others see that it has advantages and utility beyond that – leading them to incorporate it into their regular situation.

This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate the option of working from the office completely, but for your staff, knowing that they can work from a more comfortable and easier environment might help them feel happier about their roles. It might also mean that they feel you have their best interests at heart, leading them to respond better to you as an employer.

Digital technology can help you achieve this as well, thanks to cloud technology leading to easy collaboration and widespread access to digital devices and the internet, allowing any environment to become an office.

How to Start an Entrepreneurial Venture Successfully

Starting an entrepreneurial venture is very rarely a simple and easy undertaking, especially for first-time business owners. Beyond all the hats you’ll need to wear on your journey, you’ll also have to constantly find ways to gain the edge over your competitors and maintain consistently high operational productivity and sufficient sales to sustain the company and earn you a profit. For this reason, few startups manage to meet their goals. While there’s no such thing as a trick or formula that will guarantee your success, there are practices that will enable you to give your business better odds than you otherwise would have. And we’ll cover some tips and strategies that will help you flourish and grow in your chosen industry in this article.

 

Don’t take the planning stages for granted

It’s a mistake to treat a business plan as a mere formality. Just because changes can and will happen throughout your time as an entrepreneur, it doesn’t mean that you should take the planning stages for granted. After all, apart from helping you create an outline that will map out your way to success, it also presents an opportunity to find potential problem areas and avoid or prepare for them before they become apparent. And as a result, save yourself from a lot of trouble.

 

Remain economical with your expenditure

As a startup, the most significant challenge you’ll likely face is making a profit. While expenditure is an unavoidable reality, you must remain as economical as possible. Your operational costs will determine your earnings, after all. Fortunately, keeping costs down isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You can start by exploring options for everything you require, be it equipment, materials, software, or services. For example, if you need cloud computing solutions, a little research will lead you to cost-effective platforms like Amazon Web Services. It offers a host of essential services and a network of partners like Hyperglance whose solutions can assist you with the platform. It’s also cost-effective.

 

Keep yourself surrounded with good people

Running a new business isn’t easy. If you don’t have the right individuals around you, it will be harder for you. A strategic partner and experienced mentors can be beneficial during your initial phase of growth. But, at the same time, a reliable team can get you far and allow you to achieve things you wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. So make sure that you establish an exhaustive hiring process to ensure that you weed out the wrong people and reel in the right ones.

 

Stay on top of current trends

Whether it’s new technology to create more efficient workflows or effective marketing strategies that can elevate the brand’s visibility, you must always make it a point to stay on top of all current trends. In this way, you’ll help your startup keep pace with your competition, if not edge them out.

Conclusion

Succeeding as a startup business is no small feat. In reality, it’s a colossal endeavor. However, by following these practices, not only will you steer clear of potentially catastrophic problems, but you’ll also give your business more chances to grow.

3 Tools To Help Your Business Succeed

Every business needs help. No matter whether you’ve never run a business before or you have launched and sold dozens in the past, trying to do it all alone is a slow, exhausting, and ultimately unfulfilling thing to do. By the time you see any form of success, you’ll more than likely be tired out and not want to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ll even potentially be bored of the business, just as it’s starting to do something exciting.

This is why it’s better to use the various tools that exist to help you move things along more quickly and more successfully. If you can do this, you’ll be happier to stick with the business and enjoy its success, building it up to bigger and better things as you go. Read on to find out more about what some of the best tools are and why they help so much.

A Business Website

You might not consider a business website to be a tool, but it certainly is. It’s a tool that will allow you to sell more, either because it is an online store, or because it allows potential customers or clients to learn more about your business and what you do, as well as the services you provide. Without a good website, you might lose out on sales that your competitors get instead, just because their website – not necessarily their business – is better than yours.

Spend time getting your website right before you launch it. It should be professional looking, it should be easy to use, it should contain all the most up to date and relevant information about your business, and it should be mobile friendly. A good, memorable domain name is also crucial. Prepare this in advance and your website is a tool that will boost your business dramatically.

Outsource Partners

Again, perhaps this is not something you would list under the ‘tool’ category, but having great outsource partners you can rely on is crucial when you’re running a business and you want it to succeed.

No one can do everything by themselves, and it’s far better to engage a reliable managed IT company or someone to help with your finances than it is to attempt to do everything and have to rush or not do the best job you can. Even though you’ll need to pay a professional, the end result will be much more impressive and much more likely to bring you profit. You can then focus on the rest of your business, doing whatever it is you do best.

Employee Collaboration Software

These days, many businesses are working on a remote basis, meaning that rather than having one central office that all the employees attend each day, they instead all work from home. Using employee collaboration software will ensure that this way of working is as productive as possible for the company as a whole and the employees individually.

Focus on these three aspects and you’ll have the right elements in place to succeed.

Why Code Security Matters

Human beings rely increasingly upon code. Code underpins our online bank transactions, the websites we surf and the apps we use to access all sorts of services. When creating these codes, developers need to pay close attention to security. The problem is, security compromises are always evolving: developers need to be willing to constantly update their codebase in order to stay ahead of nefarious actors. It can be rather taxing, but here is why it needs doing:

If Code Secrets Are Exposed, Hackers Can Wreak Havoc

In coding terms, secrets can refer to any authentication code, token or password that is used in communication. Secrets are used by applications to communicate with other applications in order to authenticate their identity. Without secrets, modern applications would be unable to safely communicate with each other.

The issue with this system is that if discovered, secrets can be exploited by hackers. Over half of all security breaches are achieved by hackers finding secrets exposed in code. Hackers that figure out how an application is authenticating communications can work out all sorts of ways to exploit a business. There is a growing security industry centered around detecting and encrypting exposed secrets, with companies like Spectral leading the way.

Security Is No Longer the Responsibility of the End-User

Back when stand-alone desktop applications were king it was generally accepted that security was the responsibility of the end user. This is no longer the case. Because almost all applications are connected to constantly updating and communicating central hubs, any security breach can completely compromise huge swathes of devices – and even the app developer themselves.

For this reason, security has to be coded into an app and constantly updated. Any security failure compromises every single user of an application, so users have to be reassured that developers are staying one step ahead of hackers. Trust in, say, a banking app will be extremely low if updates are not constantly made and developers are not able to reassure users and stakeholders that their personal information is secure.

Code Injection Compromises Security

One reason that security needs to be airtight at a codebase level is that hackers are known to be adept at attacking software at the most fundamental level by injecting malicious code. Code injection is a term used to describe a whole range of malicious hacking tactics defined by their use of inserted codes that alter the way an application works.

Code injection hacks don’t have to successfully alter an application to work. Some only need to get applications to react to injected code – which in turn make them more vulnerable.

The most famous code injection bug was known as Shellshock. Shellshock allowed hackers to execute commands within target systems with impunity. It has been compared to the Heartbleed vulnerability in terms of severity. Millions of unpatched systems were vulnerable to the Shellshock exploitation during its heyday in 2014.

Improvements in code security have ultimately rendered Shellshock impotent, but hackers are undoubtedly working on similar code injections.

Starting a Business: 4 Things to Consider

Starting your own business can be a very exciting time, and there are many different elements to consider. From IT support to marketing ideas, you may often be starting out with a small team and a small budget. Fortunately, there are many ways to utilize the technology and products available to you to their full potential. If you are thinking about starting your own business, here are just four things to consider.

IT Consultancy and Support

Using a company that provides IT consultancy and other types of technical support has many benefits, no matter the size of your business. They can provide you with expert advice and recommendations, helping you save time and money, and can assist you in achieving your goals. They will work with you to develop and implement new systems or update your existing ones. This can boost your efficiency and productivity and give you more time to focus on other elements of your new business. Technology is constantly changing and adapting, so it is important to make sure you are using the correct products and software for your goals and that you are staying up to date with any new changes. IT problems are also very costly, so consulting the experts can help reduce any IT-related malfunctions, saving you time and money.

Social Media

Social media platforms are incredibly useful tools for a business to use. They are cost-effective and can reach large audiences, making them great marketing tools. Many users of social media follow businesses, so it is a great way to connect with new and existing customers, promote products and services and keep people up to date with any developments. It is worth investing in good camera equipment or using a professional photographer to create visual content that shows off your products and will catch the eye of social media users.

Environmental Impact

Being eco-conscious is a huge concern for many people, and there are plenty of ways you can apply this to your business. Basic changes you can make include recycling properly, using energy-saving bulbs, reusing packaging, and encouraging others to do the same. Using products from ethical or local suppliers is also a great idea, as it can also help to boost your profile in the local area and grow your contacts. Choosing renewable energy sources and suppliers where possible will also help reduce your business’s impact on the planet.

Website Design

Having a good website is essential in making sure your business reaches a large number of online users. SEO relies on solid website design, content, keywords, and many other website elements to boost organic traffic to your site by featuring it higher up in SERP lists. Links on your website should always work, as this helps crawlers gather the data they need to push your website to that first page of search engine results. Furthermore, linking your social media sites to your website, and vice versa, can also help increase traffic, and therefore sales.

What to Look Out for When Designing the Perfect Website

From the front page to navigation and everything between, designing the perfect website can be a tumultuous affair without sufficient preparation. Considering the scope of the process, the details that require consideration, and the practicality aspect, simply knowing where to begin might offer up a challenge in itself.

One of the most important points to bear in mind is that the perfect website is not universal, as what works for one particular industry, product or service, may be far from ideal for another.

Here are some aspects to look out for when choosing the design that best suits your individual needs.

CMS

Your content management system is the hub of creation and maintenance, making choosing the right one an essential first step. Thankfully, it is not too difficult to change your CMS should the need arise, but it can be a largely time-consuming process and set you back a number of paces, so it is worth taking the time to research.

WordPress is still among the top contenders, which may suggest its endurance is a testament to its high-quality functionality and compatibility.

Furthermore, fantastic website management options are available through companies such as Pronto Marketing, which can provide a wide range of services such as maintenance and support using expert knowledge of WordPress.

Aesthetic

Creating a beautiful website is a must for businesses wishing to announce their presence and stand out from the competitors. A successful design choice is heavily reliant on the individual’s subjective taste, which is the very nature of the aesthetic in many regards.

There are fundamentals to look out for, however, such as functionality, accessibility, and clarity. For example, excessive use of images on a page, a clashing color scheme, or a wide range of font choices may detract from the important information you want to convey or become unpleasant to concentrate on.

Conversely, a lack of information and content may present a lack of authenticity or professionalism. While white space is a useful tool in the designer’s arsenal, its overuse can lead to a lack of innovation and creativity. 

It might be worth taking some time to think about what your favorite websites all have in common, how easy they are to use, and why you enjoy them in particular.

Who is Your Target Audience?

An immensely important question in many regards, keeping your target demographic in mind when designing your website can be vital to your success in both the short and long-term.

This may impact your design choices in many ways, including the tone of voice in which you write your copy, the images you might use, the placement of your product, and practically every aspect of your brand development process.

In finding your voice in relation to your target audience, you can start to create content on your site that fully engages with your customer and takes their demands as a consumer into account.

Like most endeavors worth pursuing, putting the time into market research and current trends can help you achieve the best possible results.

Unleash the Power of Data to Grow Your Business

An effective growth strategy can enable you to expand your business, increase your market share and accumulate more wealth. However, successfully growing any business can be challenging. In a competitive marketplace, you’ll need to ensure you have a fool-proof growth strategy that will deliver an impressive return on your investment.

Fortunately, data gives you the opportunity to grow your business using accurate, verifiable insights and information. To learn more, take a look at how you can unleash the power of data to grow your business:

1. Acquire More Customers

Customer acquisition is an excellent way to grow your business and the right data will enable you to understand the market more effectively. With quantifiable and qualitative market research, for example, you can learn everything you need to know about your target audience. From this, you’ll have the knowledge required to implement successful marketing campaigns and prompt engagement before turning prospects into sales.

In addition to this, data can give you immediate access to members of your target audience. With data from Lead Lists, for example, you can use specific criteria to create a database of targeted prospects. This allows you to fast-track your marketing and engage directly with the people who are most likely to convert, thus increasing your customer acquisition rate.

2. Set Realistic Goals

When you’re expanding a business venture, it’s vital to set realistic and achievable goals. Going from a start-up straight to an enterprise level business might be an admirable objective, for example, but it’s going to be virtually impossible to achieve. By using the data your company generates, you can set SMART goals to fuel your expansion plans. When you set targets that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based, you give yourself the opportunity to achieve goals that will deliver genuine value and successfully grow your business.

3. Increase Personalisation

Personalisation has been a top trend over the past 12 months, and it’s not going anywhere. In fact, personalisation is likely to become even more important as new tech increases the accuracy and relevance of tailored content. Publishing personalised online content can drastically increase conversions and boost your customer retention rate, which makes it a great way to expand your business. However, to determine what is relevant to a user, you’ll need to analyse data and put the insights to good use.

When you can identify a user’s location, their previous purchase history and track the way they navigate your website, for example, you can use this data to identify the needs of this particular user. In response, you can release personalised content that will entice them to act, thus increasing sales and optimising their lifetime value.

Using Data to Achieve Commercial Success

As Big Data becomes more accessible and useable, all businesses can benefit from making data-driven decisions. By collating and analysing data in the right way, you can ensure that your growth strategies are destined to succeed and get your plans for expansion underway.

Great Reasons to Outsource Your IT Services

Keeping up with the vast array of IT complexities can prove to be a struggle for many businesses, especially for smaller operations that may feel the monetary burden of hiring full-time employees to consistently monitor the situation.

Thankfully, there are some fantastic IT solutions that can help your business to succeed and thrive among the competition.

In the digital realm of today’s business climate, a streamlined IT division can be an integral, essential part of an efficient business. Here are some great reasons why outsourcing your IT services could be the best way to move forward.

Saving Money

The aforementioned monetary concerns that a small business owner can often find themselves dwelling over is no small issue. Keeping a keen eye on finances can be an important part of the establishment process, so managing to save money wherever possible can be greatly rewarding in the long-term.

Outsourcing your IT solutions to a team of reliable experts can ensure that you save a huge amount of money on staffing costs, which, as many first-time hirers will know, can be the making or breaking of a company’s positive growth.

By saving on an entire IT department, you can direct your funds elsewhere, perhaps giving your company a chance to develop in other vital areas such as marketing and product manufacturing.

Furthermore, for the more established businesses looking to cut costs but save on quality, this could be the route to explore.

Safety and Security

If the threat of cyber-crime continues to rise throughout the next few years, an insufficiently protected network could cause major damage to your business in a multitude of forms. From digital assets such as documents and images to any sensitive data you might have accumulated over time, an insecure network can leave valuables open to malicious attacks.

Online security is vital, yet it can be difficult to keep up to date with on a regular basis, especially if you are constantly busy with the daily hardships of running a business. Outsourcing this aspect to reliable managers can ensure that your network stays secure and monitored, hopefully allowing you peace of mind in the digital era.

A Clear and Effective Strategy

IT experts can also be consulted on business propositions in regards to the digital side of the operation, helping you to create an effective strategy that can help realize your vision in the virtual world, alongside the material.

This makes it a great option for those of you with a clear goal who do not yet possess the means of making that milestone a reachable reality.

Saving Time

Time is perhaps one of the most valuable luxuries for a business owner, as having to maintain and grow a business in modern society can undoubtedly take a great deal of commitment.

Sometimes, finding a few spare hours to check out the digital imprint of the company can be impossible, and when there is so much to consider, having a reliable IT management solution to fall back on could save you that extra time you need.