– By Vikram Kumar, Co Founder and Director of SRV Media and EaseBuzz
In today’s world, for a business to be successful, it has to be present over a large number of digital avenues to connect with a diverse audience. You may say, ‘okay, I already have a website and a Facebook page!’ which is good, but it is not really enough. There are so many other platforms a business needs to focus on, depending upon the type of services or products they offer, and connect with the target audience where they spend the most of their time.
Digital channels such as websites, blogs and social media are a staple for businesses as they act as an extension of one’s branding initiatives. However, there are other valuable options to explore and to reach out one’s audience next door or across the globe. Let us see how you can determine the right digital platforms for your business:
Picking the right audience
To begin with, determine the nature of your product or service and to whom you intend to sell. Because, of course, different audiences “hang out” on different platforms online. If you wish to bring your offerings to their notice through regular posts or advertising campaigns, you need to know where your money is best spent.
For example with social media marketing,
– Professionals can be seen on LinkedIn,
-Teens can be targeted on Instagram and Snapchat,
– Female audiences mostly are present on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Take a look here to identify where your audience hangs out the most.
Utilizing content sharing platforms other than blogs and websites:
Content is central to all digital campaigns and activities. The content you want to share can be in a variety of formats including blogs, infographics, videos and other visual and written formats.
With more than a billion users in the world, YouTube is by far the largest video sharing platform. Posting videos of different forms– how to videos, new product guide, announcements, latest features, etc., could potentially influence new prospective customers and keep your existing clients engaged. What’s more? YouTube is quite cost effective– it not only allows to you promote your business on a large scale but, at a minimal cos. You can take help from a video making agency to create engaging videos.
Similarly, Slideshare on LinkedIn is a free online channel that you can use to your advantage to share your content to the corporate world out there. Note that, Slideshare has 70 million users and around 400,000 presentations are uploaded every month on this platform. Doesn’t that sound like the place to be?
Tapping the power of paid advertising
For some businesses, promoting a brand organically may not be the best option, as it could require a lot of time and effort. In that case, they can support it with paid campaigns. With paid advertising, you can run a very targeted campaign built only for a set demographic, classified on the basis of age, gender, location, interests, occupation, etc., to reach them quickly and efficiently.
You can start with leveraging social media advertising on– Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. AdWords– believe it or not, is ubiquitous today! If you are serious about digital advertising, it is incomplete without Google AdWords. As it not only gets you more traffic and leads but, also the lessons learnt from running a tight pay per click campaign on AdWords would serve you well on other digital advertising platforms too.
For example, a newly established college may start with a website, post on blogs, work on SEO strategies in an effort to rank well, but obviously these strategies may not pay off right away. Especially, with the admission season fast approaching, the college would want to show up everywhere that students are online. In such a scenario, a paid campaign by the college on Facebook can help by displaying the advertisement in the students’ feeds, and propel them to click on it and know more about the college.
Include email marketing in the strategy
Emails have the ability to keep your customers, partners and leads informed. It enables sales through emails, newsletters, latest blogs, and more. With email marketing then allows following up with the targeted audience with personalized messaging, to further drive them down the funnel.
It is possible to find out if someone on the list clicked opened the email, clicked a link, viewed the product, but perhaps did not buy the product. You can program your email marketing tool to automatically follow up with these users by sending out an email with a discount code or a hurry up message to entice them to purchase.
Doing PR right
Not PR in the traditional sense– – newspapers stories, print magazine articles, TV ads, but online PR. This includes media outreach, collaboration with influencers, building relationships with online journalists, press release distribution, and participation in forum discussions, all to gain press hits, citations and increased referral traffic.
Platforms to monitor digital marketing efforts
As you continue to add new platforms to drive your brand’s exposure, do not forget to add analytics and monitoring tools to your arsenal, to measure what is working and what is not.
Even the basic tools like Google Analytics, AdWords, Hotjar, GetResponse, SproutSocial, allow you to manage and track traffic on websites and your social pages. Also, it helps ensure the ROI is sound for any running marketing campaign.
Looking for expert advice?
Perhaps you have been into the digital marketing campaign thing for a while now, but are you sure you are fully utilizing the right digital platforms to drive your business forward? It is critical to understand which platforms are better suited for your business, brand, product, or service. To answer this, you need to begin with evaluating your marketing goals, audience, and budge,. Then use the right platform for the right job.
How To Set Your Financial Goals For 2019
The year 2019 is upon us and is moving forward like a house on fire. With so many things happening and the world constantly moving forward, there are a lot of things to look at, especially when it comes to your financial services. As a startup, here’s how you can set your financial goals for 2019:
1. Review your goals
A lot can happen over the span of a year. Priorities can change, mindsets can change and your ideas about where you think your startup should be can change. You may have overshot your budget last year and you may not have properly planned for the year ahead. Take a look at all the things which happened in the past year and review the goals you set for yourself. It is vital to note that in order to stay fully prepared for 2019, you should have financial plans which are in sync with what your goals are going to be!
2. Take stock of the previous investments
When you are working on what to expect from the financial year from 2019, it is important to look at the kind of investments you made in the past. Make a note of the funding you received in the past and where you used the money. If you know you have enough funds to make do for the essentials, don’t go overboard with the frills. Cut back wherever necessary and with the the goal of securing your future investments, make a clear choice about what you want and need for your startup. This not only helps in figuring out your plans, it also helps in giving you a clear direction regarding where you need to go.
3. Manage your debts the right way
One of the best ways to get over your financial crunches is by learning how to manage your debts. It is daunting to look at your debts and see how much you owe people. Take stock of what your outstandings are and then start crossing each debt off one step at a time. The more money you owe, the scarier it is to look at how to grow and as you climb up the ladder, this is never a good idea.
4. Prioritize and get rid of the unnecessary
One of the primary ways to keep a track of your financial status is by looking at what is priority and what isn’t. If you’re paying for three coffee machines when you can actually make do with just one, get rid of the extra. If you need only 5 people in a particular team and have at least ten, then take a look at if you can work better with fewer people on your team. While it may be hard to make these cut throat and to the point decisions, the long term goals are satisfying and worth it at the end of the day.
5. Stick to your plans
Despite working on your goals, it isn’t easy to stick to your goals all the time. No matter what, hold yourself accountable for when things don’t go according to your plan. Stay true to what you want and what you need, so at the end of the day, you know you have done all that you could. Sticking to your plans is important, especially when it comes to achieving success later in life. When it comes to your startup, sticking to your plan needs to be taken care of without the shadow of doubt.
6. Have goals for the expansion of your business
The start of every financial year looks at how to secure cash for the growth of your startup. While some look at growth on a small scale level, others want to expand with leaps and bounds. Take into account which category you fall under and when you decide that, the financial aspects also fall into place. It is imperative to have goals and decide the kind of sacrifices which need to be made when it comes to turning your dreams to reality. Though the sacrifices may seem a bit much now, the end result is always going to be worth it!
When it comes to financial stability, you need to make sure you have all your eggs in order. What are some of the ways you stay financially stable? Comment and let us know!
Life Lessons From Barbara Corcoran
Barbara Corcoran, a part of the investors’ panel on the show Shark Tank (amongst other things,) has lived an interesting life. By the time she turned 23, Barbara had held over 20 odd jobs and was still struggling to make ends meet. However, everything started to change in 1973, when she founded her real estate company which instantly turned into a massive success! By 2001, she sold the company for a whopping $ 66 million to NRT Incorporated and since then, there is no stopping her. Here are some really inspiring life lessons to learn from Barbara Corcoran:
1. Accept fear
Every failure and every fear has an upside if you are in the game for the long run. The first ever talk show Barbara was a part of, she got so nervous, she lost her voice! For many people, this would be a dealbreaker when it came to being a media personality. However, Barbara realised this was just going to stop her growth and not help her push past her fears. By pushing through, she made sure she didn’t let the fear of public speaking overrule her decisions and after just a few years, she gave over 40 speeches in a span of 2 months. In fact, she also gave one of the most inspiring TEDx speeches!
2. Always stay positive
In most situations, optimism is the key to success. According to Barbara, it is important to be optimistic in the midst of all adversity. One of the key principles Barbara follows in life is to meditate and stay centered, a rule which helped her get through a lot of tough times as well! The glass is always half full, whether or not you realise that fact.
3. Take a leap of faith
You always have to take a leap of faith when you think things aren’t going your way. Barbara believes, people work the best when they’re under pressure. If you want to find out the best thing about yourself, then work on what makes things tick for you. Don’t stand around waiting for the right time because if you hold on for too long, then you might just lose out the best thing which could happen to your life!
4. It’s all about perception
“The big mouth shall inherit the earth,” says Barbara. What does she mean by that? Simply that if you want your business to succeed, make it look bigger and better than what it really is. According to Barbara, when it comes to succeeding, self promotion is important to climb the mountain. Act like you have the authority to say the right things and when you send press releases of any kind, make sure what you say is truly original.
5. Build firewalls between personal and private life
One of the major reasons people don’t succeed in staying at the top of their game is because they don’t know how to distinguish their home and personal lives. One of the reasons Barbara is so successful in life is because she compartmentalises every aspect of her life. Barbara believes, the one way to make it big in the real world is through following the rule of progress, not perfection!
6. Fake it till you are it
Just like perception is everything, giving people a different view about you till you make it to the top is also an extremely important part of the growing up process. The more you go through the journey of growth, the more you realise that you are faking that which you really want and crave. According to Barbara, one of the reasons people fake perfection is because they are insecure and no matter where you are in life, insecurity never goes away. Another benefit of faking it till you make it is that you grow to become a better person by accepting the insecurities in life.
Barbara Corcoran would not be where she is if she hadn’t accepted all the negative aspects of life. If you think you have learnt other things from her, comment and let us know!
How To Manage A Side Hustle While Working Full Time
According to a recent study, 25 % to 50 % of the millenials have a side hustle while working a full time job. While your day job may be the one you really need to have, your passion to do something better than what you are doing right now drives you toward doing a side hustle. Balancing your career along with the side hustle can be a tricky task, especially when you don’t have the time to breathe. If you have the fire to achieve something beyond what you are doing, then this is how you could sort out the balance between your day job and side hustle.
1. Create a schedule
Often times, finishing all your tasks during your scheduled work day in itself can be quite a taxing process. If you add your side hustle to the mix, the situation can get all the more complicated. To help make your life easier, start your day by creating a schedule. Be it with a pen or paper or by using Google Calendar, working on your side hustle gets extremely easy when you know what to do through the day.
2. Make the most of the Pomodoro technique
The idea of the Pomodoro technique is, you allocate 25 minutes to every task and between each task, take a break of five minutes. By doing this, not only can you focus on the tasks at hand, but refresh your mind when you feel too overburdened. The Pomodoro technique helps in prioritizing the different tasks at hand and in streamlining your work process.
3. Keep a checklist always in sight!
Checklists are fun. Write down the things you have to do in a day and at the end of every day, start crossing out what you have finished and what is left. This helps in giving clarity of thought on what you have done through the day and the things you have to do for the next day. To help streamline the process, start carrying around slips of paper and have reminders on your phone to keep yourself updated about what is still to be done.
4. Don’t forget yourself
While you may try to stay sane, maintain your work life, manage to have a functional social life and stick to your side hustle at the same time, it is important to remember you have to take care of yourself first. Set limits for yourself in the number of things you can do in a day and the moment you think it becomes too much, take a step back. There’s no point in doing multiple things at the same time if you can’t take care of yourself, right?
Following your passion is important and when you are doing more than one thing at a time in life, maintaining the balance gets tricky. If you think we missed out on any other ways to maintain a side hustle and work on your regular job at the same time, comment and let us know!
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