Digital Marketing Tips For Design Agencies

The design industry is one which is incredibly competitive. Digital marketing is essential no matter what industry you work in, but particularly when you operate in a highly competitive one. Digital marketing can help a brand to stand out from the crowd, increase awareness and establish the company as an authoritative source in the industry. So, what are the best marketing techniques and strategies to implement for a design agency? There are a few highly effective methods to use which can work wonders whether you are a new agency, a small company or a much larger business looking to conquer the industry.

Blogging

In order to attract clients to your agency, it is essential that you can position yourself as an expert in the field. The best way to do this is with a regular blog where you share relevant, helpful and engaging content which could include:

  • Case studies
  • How to guides
  • Interviews
  • Industry news

You need to make sure that this content is engaging, so it is smart to use a variety of media with each post.

Social Media

Social media is also a great tool for showing your expertise, and you can share your blog posts here. You should also use social media to keep people updated with news from your agency, to directly communicate with your target audience and acquire new followers. You can do this by:

  • Encouraging people to like and share posts.
  • Connecting with existing and previous customers.
  • Running promotions.
  • Sharing industry news.

Online Portfolio

Potential clients will also want to see what projects you have worked on to see if you would be a good fit, so an online portfolio is a must. You should also show your process and the impressive tools, technology and software that you use. This means that you need to invest in the latest and best tech – you can find a low-cost professional PCB design tool which will help you to improve your design process and impress any visitors.

SEO

As with most industries, people use search engines to find an experienced design agency. Ultimately you will need to appear as close to the top of search engine results lists as possible which can be achieved with SEO. Use an experienced digital marketing agency for the best results.

Client Referrals

Word-of-mouth marketing remains one of the most effective ways to increase awareness and acquire new customers. You can encourage your existing clients to recommend your services to their network by incentivizing them to do so with deals and discounts. This should mean that you both retain and acquire new customers who could have a significant impact on the success of your brand. You should also use customer testimonials on your company website as social proof.

Design is a highly competitive industry which means that high-quality marketing is essential. Try a few of the above marketing strategies, and you should soon start to see results and increase your authority in this competitive field.

How to Make Your Retail Store More Efficient

Efficiency is one of the best words in business. It means you have mastered the art of the supply chain and are wasting the least amount of materials and products as possible. When your company is efficient, you have less to sell at a discount, can provide excellent service and stock for your stockists, and of course, recoup as much money as possible. Improving the efficiency within your supply chain, however, is not quite so straightforward. Supplier to supplier, or business to business, can become quite convoluted. You might personally only work with one supplier and one stockist, but do you know who supplies that company?

Knowing who you work with and improving the efficiency along the entire chain is how you will save on costs and reduce risk all at the same time. At the same time, implementing the right tools can help increase your sales and reduce the processing time at the core of your operations.

It isn’t easy to work as a middleman in the supply chain, but with these tips, you can make the entire process easier and more efficient.

Carefully Vet Your Suppliers

Transparency is the name of the game, and it is only when you know where every aspect of your product has come from and where it was made can you mitigate risk from the source. In some cases, the risk involved could be in a faulty product that has not passed all safety tests. In others, it could be a risk to the lives of workers along the supply chain, as was the case with the Rana Plaza Disaster in 2013, where suppliers illegally built warehouses to such an unsustainable level they collapsed in less than 90 seconds.

In short, know who your suppliers’ suppliers are, and vet them to ensure the safety of the product and those working there. Customers and businesses alike are becoming more demanding when it comes to where their products came from, and doing this can help you discover inefficiencies in the supply chain that can be easily rectified.

Improve Collaboration with Your Supplier and Buyer

A great way to reduce processing times and improve B2B operations is to operate an easy to use portal where your customers can self-serve information online. The Omnia product suite from www.weaveability.com offers a range of digital transformation solutions that provide a truly personalised customer experience. In this digital age, both businesses and consumers expect to easily purchase from and communicate with suppliers online. With the power of Omnia, you can customise the experience for every type of customer without any additional integration or hardware. You can also enable real-time communication thanks to instant access with your master data.

Use Data Management in Your Favor

Another great way to improve the efficiency of your company is to use your own numbers in your favor. One of the biggest wastes for any supplier or retailer is buying too much stock that then goes wasted. This stock will either be held up in storage, or it will need to be sold on at a loss. By using your data to find the sweet spot of supply vs. demand, you will be able to provide enough product to your customers without overdoing it.

3 Ways to Expand Your Brands Reach

No matter how appealing your business’s brand may be, it will be of no use whatsoever to you if it doesn’t reach your target audience. You should treat the task of expanding this reach with the seriousness it deserves by devoting as much of your time and as many of resources as you can to it.

To see what you need to do when you set about to expand your brand’s reach, make sure to read on.

Shoot for the stars

If you want your brand to reach far and wide, there’s no time for you to be thinking small; you have to shoot for the stars. More to the point, you have to communicate your brand’s mention on the web’s most significant publications. By doing so, even if you are ultimately unable to have your brand mentioned on the world wide web’s most prominent and authoritative sites, it will still be better off with regards to where it falls in the ranking pages.

In order to reach the sites that are deemed social influencers thanks to the following and pull that they have, first and foremost, you have to align yourself with a company capable of performing an effective SEO technical audit for you. A company that is an expert in this field, such as Click Intelligence, will be able to sort through all of the different factors that are potentially holding your brand back from communicating with social influencers. First of all, they will check all of your website’s elements, from its coding to its content, against their own audit checklist to ensure that nothing about your site is hampering your brand’s potential growth.

Become a content authority

To truly expand your brand’s reach, you need to have the reputation of being a content authority. This is because content is king in the digital work of today. 

To become an authority in this sense, whether it’s written, photographic, infographic, or video content that you opt for, you need to ensure that everything you upload is informative down to the T. This means no mistakes! Nobody is going to believe in your brand or ultimately trust in your business’s capabilities enough to bring you their custom if you cannot provide accurate information on the subjects that you are supposed to be an expert in.

A practical and proven way to become a content authority is to guest blog. If you can becomeprolific in this sense, you will find more and more opportunity to slip your brand into the content that you create. As a result, your brand will be right under the nose of your target audience, which is right where you need it to be.

Use Facebook to promote yourself

Thanks to the fact that it helps businesses reach a highly specific and responsive audience, Facebook is fast becoming one of the Internet’s leading paid search channels. If your brand is going to be seen anywhere in its bid to expand, it should be on this social media platform.

In order to expand your brand’s reach, as stated, there’s no time for thinking small. To create a big brand, everything you do must be BIG.

The Best Practices To Follow To Operate Safely Online

You may go through your entire life without every facing security problems online, but you also never know when something can go terribly wrong. Being a victim of a cybersecurity attack will involve a lengthy process and a lot of trouble in order to get everything back on track.

In order to prevent the situation from being unsalvageable and potentially affecting your business’ reputation and standing, then the preventative measures mentioned below should be considered. Collectively these can see you operate safely online while taking the best possible measures to prevent a cyberattack impacting your company. 

Anti-virus software programs

Your very first step should be to download anti-virus software security programs on your laptop. This will defend your computer against malware, and you will be very thankful that you have it should something ever occur. 

Install a firewall

firewall is another security measure that you can take when operating online. This maintains the security of your private network and will block any unauthorized access from getting in. 

Long and complicated passwords

Coming up with a long and complicated password for everything that you do online is an easy way you can help prevent a hacker from accessing your data with ease. Whether it’s a password for your banking information, your email, or anything else for that matter, this will act as another barrier for protection.

Secure your wireless network 

Is your Wi-Fi router secure? If it isn’t, this is something that you need to do sooner rather than later. Try to use WPA2 to secure it, rather than WEP. Passwords that you encrypt with WPA2 are more difficult to hack. 

Cloud security 

Fearing a security breach shouldn’t stop you from using the cloud to your advantage. Acloud is a great tool for you to store your information in one succinct place that is online, and is accessible to multiple users, be that fellow employees, other companies or clients. 

You can read more about the security issues that you could face and the solutions to deal with them through www.mcafee.com. A company that is an expert in providingthese types of services should always be your go-to solution to ensure that any security software program is properly installed and working on your computer.  

Safe surfing and shopping 

Do you know what to do in order to surf the web safely? What about the steps you need to take in order to complete safe online shopping? When you are purchasing something online, you should make sure that the site you are giving your credit card information to is encrypted, and thus has a secure sockets layer. You will notice this if the URL has a lock next to it. 

Moreover, make sure to use familiar websites and as always, don’t overshare what you don’t need to. 

These practices will limit the chances of something happening to you. With these easy solutions, why wouldn’t you do what you can to protect yourself?

UX Power tool: Page Analysis – detect clicks on each HTML elements

One of the most used feature in Hitsteps is heatmaps. Heatmaps provide an extensive insight into pages usability and design. However they hide informations too. A LOT of informations.

Following screenshots are from a classic Hitsteps heatmap when page is scrolled down. You can see some clicks around the screen.

It is a good start but there are a lot more to see from behind the scene data that generated this heatmap. Here comes the Page Analysis.

We have built Page Analysis to be dynamic, extensible and interactive. Page analysis provide data for heatmaps. but a lot of data that are not possible to view within heatmaps, are now provided via Page Analysis feature.

Looking at screenshot below, you can see how page analysis identify each HTML DOM Elements, bind to the element and show number of clicks that happened on that element. Furthermore, Page Analysis provide you with live and interactive view of your website. It allows you to click on your menus and buttons, and see clicks on sub menus and popups where you would not be able to see on a generic static heatmap.

This deep level of aggregated page elements analysis is a power tool for any UX designer who are trying to improve usability of a dynamic website. Perhaps video below can put this feature in better perspective:

This feature come pre-activated in all free trial and Pro accounts. You do not need to enable page analysis to record clicks on a specific page. It record all pages by default.

If you do not have your Hitsteps free trial account, you can create one now. no credit card required.

5 Easy Personal Branding Techniques for Beginners

Image reference: https://www.pexels.com/photo/turned-on-gray-laptop-computer-1449081/

Like it or not, we live in a world where the cleverest marketing strategy attracts the best customers whether your product/service is the best or not. Popular brands are powerful, and, in the end, they get to take the bigger slice of pie.  

Similarly, in the world of business, a well-developed personal brand matters more than the level of quality one is able to deliver. The personal brand defines your work experience, your capacity to solve problems in your field of work and talks about how you communicate with customers. 

While it sounds a bit far-fetched, there are studies that show people who managed to put together great personal brands tend to get the best projects and earn more than the average Joe. And this doesn’t happen because they are smarter or more knowledgeable. It happens because they understood the power of branding and learned how to apply it in their professional life.  

Still, the concept of personal branding is a work in progress. As a result, it’s difficult to find high-quality and actionable advice that fits your particular situation. This is why we put together a guide with some of the most efficient personal branding techniques that are easy to understand and apply.

#1: Surround Yourself with the Right People

There is a quote usually attributed to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, that says “you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”. 

While the quote is highly debatable, there are some truths to it. Basically, what the author is trying to convey, is that we are influenced by the people with which we get in contact on a daily basis. However, we are also influenced by the people we follow on social media, by the books we read, and videos we watch.

So, take the quote and transform it according to your needs. If you have the possibility, get in touch with specialists in your field and establish a connection. They can be your co-workers, your managers, or even people you met at a conference. You don’t have to be friends with them or even spend every single day talking; you just need a way to communicate your thoughts and get feedback.

Furthermore, make sure your social media feed is loaded with publications and posts from authority content creators in your field. People love getting messages, shares, and comments on their posts, so it will be easier to find a connection.

The idea is that you absorb the information and type of behavior you see every day. So, to become a highly regarded professional with a strong personal brand, you should surround yourself with people who are already established as such. 

#2: Continuously Improve Your Skills

The fuel that drives a strong brand is represented by your willingness to improve yourself. Just like a product or service grows by implementing customer feedback (positive and negative), you also need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

Furthermore, a professional who is open to the idea of improvement sends a strong message to their clients or employers. It shows you are ready to grow without someone pushing you from behind.

The good news is that you have a plethora of resources and materials at your disposal. For instance, if you want to improve your business management skills, you can take a leadership and management course online or you can buy the book that’s most recommended by specialists in the area. The same goes for every new skill you want to master.

In the end, in an ever-changing business environment, it’s important to upgrade your knowledge and set of skills.

#3: Find Your Uniqueness

Your uniqueness is your very own advantage in building a strong personal brand! It’s the element that attracts the right type of customers and the force that gets you where you want to be. 

So, if you’re not sure what makes your brand unique, have a look at your activity. Read the feedback you received from clients or analyze behavior reports received for annual evaluations at work. 

You don’t need something that’s Earth-shattering and paradigm-changing! You only need to identify that element that makes people remark you as a professional. It can be anything from “high-quality work at a fast pace” to “unlimited access to high-end resources”.

#4: Find your True Voice

Unless you’re a Steve Jobs type of person, it can be extremely difficult to find your voice from the very beginning. But that’s normal; we are not all geniuses and we don’t have to be.

So, when you first start, your personal brand will be a mixture of elements you learn from the people you admire and follow (see point #1). But, as you learn and grow, your voice has to change. You need to be on a quest for authenticity so, in the end, you’ll get to identify your uniqueness. 

The voice of your brand must represent your true aspirations and opinions in life. Also, make sure to stay true to your brand, even when the times aren’t as favorable. This shows integrity, a quality that’s highly valued in today’s business environment.

#5: Create a Toolkit for your Brand

The main purpose of a strong personal brand is visibility. You invest time, money, and energy in a wide range of activities to make sure the right clients or employers take notice. However, some tools are more effective than others when it comes to creating the right type of visibility.

To this aspect, we created a short list with the tools that are bound to produce the most positive impact:

Your Website 

In today’s day and age, if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, make sure your site or page (it can also be a LinkedIn profile) is up to date and running. Also, include information about things such as:
• Professional achievements
• Projects you are passionate about
• Awards and nominations
• Affiliations with interesting people and projects
• Certifications & Academic degrees
• Publications and participation to conferences

Social Media Presence

Yes, a web page and a social media profile are two different things. And you need both to increase your visibility!

We recommend selecting the channel that is most likely to get your post in front of possible customers (LinkedIn, a blogging platform, or another professional network). It’s important to stay active and develop an authentic style that speaks about your level of professionalism and dedication.

Speaking Engagements

Should you ever have the opportunity to participate as a guest speaker at a conference, make sure to RSVP yes! This type of events gather all sorts of people from your field of interest and are an amazing opportunity to increase brand visibility.

An Emailing List

While most commercial brands would kill for a well-developed emailing list, many personal brands seem to ignore the opportunity of building one. Studies show that email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to increase brand visibility, and this applies to personal brands as well.

Sure, you have to be delicate with the process and avoid becoming a nuisance, but it helps to stay on your clients’ mind. This way, when they need the services you offer, you’ll be the first to call.

Written Materials

A book, articles in an authority publication (online or offline), a PDF you send with newsletters, any type of written materials can improve brand visibility. Even more, if you are a published author in your field of activity, it strengthens your position in the eyes of customers.

Wrap Up

In the end, it’s important to get involved and be present in your field of interest. It may take some time, but every step you take is a brick for your professional future. A strong personal brand can’t be built overnight and it has its own challenges, but with the right tools and inspiration, you will succeed

Oli Kang

Oli is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at Courses.com.au

https://www.courses.com.au
https://www.linkedin.com/company/courses-com-au
https://www.facebook.com/courses.com.au

Happy New Year 2019

We are excited to step into 2019, which will be an exciting year for all of our customers. Hitsteps is working toward integration with a session replay recording service Reactflow which is currently under development and we at Hitsteps are monitoring the development and providing help wherever necessary.

Additionally we are working toward integration with iOS Numeric app which allows you to view your dashboard statistics on your mobile phone and Apple Watch.

Hitsteps growth did not stop in 2018 and there is no sign of slow downs! we are looking forward to 2019 and upcoming partnerships and integrations.

Wish you a happy new year from everyone at Hitsteps

How to Thoroughly Audit Your Internet Presence

The internet has become the center of our modern world. It’s where we get all of our information, and it’s where most of us communicate with one another. As a result, it’s imperative that your business have a strong online presence. This means maintaining profiles on all relevant social media platforms, as well as employing a strong SEO and content marketing strategy.

But while it’s important to develop a strong internet presence, it’s equally as important to monitor and maintain it. And part of this process involves performing an audit of your online presence to make sure you’re saying everything you want to say about your brand, make sure there’s nothing out there misrepresenting you, and also to check to see if it’s time to update your marketing strategy.

However, this is another case where the why is much easier to understand than the how. You may recognize the need to audit your online presence, but you might not be sure of exactly how to do it, so here are three things every online audit should include.

Check for Negativity

The first thing you’ll want to do when auditing your online presence is to check to make sure no one is saying anything bad about you. Start by simply performing a Google search of your company name. Check the first page of results, but also dig into some of the stuff that comes up on the other pages. You never know if there is a blogger out there who has an ax to grind, and it’s better to identify these issues before they become more serious than they need to be.

If you do find something, there are a few things you could do, such as:

  • Nothing: If there is something out there that is obviously false, or that stands no chance of becoming more mainstream, then it might be best to just leave things as they are, especially if you had to wait until page nine on Google to find something negative. Sometimes drawing attention to these things can be worse.
  • Reach out to whoever posted the negative content: Sometimes a quick email responding to whatever claims this person is making, and also asking them to take down their post, can be enough to bury whatever negativity is out there.
  • Use SEO to bury it: If whatever negative thing is written about you is too big to bury and you can’t get people to take it down, then you may need to get more aggressive. You can hire a reputation management company to help you bury these bad search results further down in Google, for we all know how often people look past the first page of search results.

You’ll also want to spend some time combing through review sites. If your business is on Yelp or Trip Advisor, make sure there aren’t any really negative comments out there. And if you find something, address it. You may not be able to win back a customer with a bad attitude, but you will provide some context to the comment that may soften its significance when future users stumble upon it.

Confirm Consistency

Your online presence is really important for promoting your brand, and one of the most important things when it comes to branding of any kind is consistency. This is because you never know when someone will come into contact with your brand, but you want to make sure that they receive the right message whenever they do.

As a result, a big part of your audit should be making sure that all your messaging is consistent. Take a look at each piece of content on all different channels and ask yourself what these things are saying about your company. But before doing this, make sure you’re clear about what it is you want to say. Then, compare this with what’s out there, and anything that’s off message should be deleted or changed to more accurately reflect the brand message you’re trying to convey.

Study the Numbers

Another thing you should do while auditing your online presence is to figure out what kind of return you’re getting from these efforts. But before doing this, figure out what it is you want to get from each channel. For example, are you looking to convert people into customers? Or do you want people to sign up for your newsletter? Or are you just looking for engagement?

This matters because it will help you identify where your efforts are paying off and where they are not. For example, if you’re spending money on Facebook ads hoping to drive sales, but this isn’t happening, then it’s time to rethink your strategy, or maybe even to drop Facebook advertising from your mix.

Overall, when it comes to digital marketing, quality is always more important than quantity. It may seem smart to be involved on all platforms, but doing so also exposes you to risk; there will always be irrational people. As a result, you need to be sure that this risk is worth it, and an audit of your internet presence will help you figure out if this is the case.

Evaluate Frequently

It’s important to stop and do a full audit at least once if not two or three times a year. But this shouldn’t be the only time you stop to look at your internet presence. Evaluation should be built into your approach, as this will help you identify more quickly when something isn’t working, allowing you to adapt and keep moving without having to deal with unnecessary setbacks.

About the Author: Kevin’s current focus is running Broadband Search, as well as being the owner and founder of several other business. His business ventures have helped make Kevin an expert in digital marketing, and he likes to share his expertise with other business owners whenever he can.

Tracking online visitors update from Hitsteps

This update involve all of our customers. According to this update, you will see different number of active online visitors (probably lower) and higher number of idle visitors.

Hitsteps tracking engine developed back in 2013. In that time, Hitsteps web analytics competitors such as Clicky, Woopra, W3Counter or HiStats were detecting live online users using rough analysis.

Some such as W3Counter were just looking at last 10 minutes unique visitor page views and using it as live user counter. It served the purpose at that time and Hitsteps utilised this method.

As time goes by, we added a ping method to our analytics which ping your visitors every few seconds to ensure visitor remain online. We were then shifted from old method to a hybrid method of calculating between Active and Idle online visitors.

As of today, Hitsteps is using a completely revamped method to calculate online visitors. Hitsteps now look at your visitors activity, tab focus and other information to determine if visitor is online, idle or offline.

Now, if your visitor do not interact with your website (scrolling, moving mouse, clicking, …) or focus out from your website (opening another page in another tab, clicking on another window or minimising browser window), we will immediately mark this visitor as Idle.

Likewise, If browser window get focus, mouse movement or scroll, we will mark this visitor as Active online.

We believe this change is necessary in order to show accurate online active and online idle visitors. however it will cause our numbers to differ from previous version of Hitsteps Analytics and perhaps all other web analytics out there who are using old methods to detect online visitors.

Crypto Black Friday

Hitsteps is participating with CoinGate for Black Friday Promotion. You can purchase your licenses from November 30 to December 2 by choosing CoinGate as payment processor and enrol to be selected a Winner. Cost of license must be more than $50 which we recommend you to purchase licenses as yearly to be able have more chance to be selected as a winner.