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  • Create a customer experience to lead in digital transformation

    You’ve likely heard the term digital transformation. Perhaps you hear it along with the phrase digital disruption. We often call the first to succeed with a big transformation in an industry, the disruptor. It may come from a small startup or from an idea developed at a large firm. Either way, each industry today is constantly disrupted and transformed thanks to our digital, globally connected world.

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    So what does that mean for you? How can you possibly keep up with or get ahead of the constant flux in your industry? How do you create your digital transformation game plan?

    Start by understanding the emotions of your customers.

    The business, Hostelworld, creates an experience for its customers through an app. Of the customers, about 50% of them use the app, which not only allows them to book a hostel but also provides them with offers nearby, special invitations and group tours during their trip.

    T-Mobile made a lot of changes to provide a better customer experience as well. Nick Drake, senior vice president of digital, shared the company’s story at Adobe Summit 2017: “When you ask customers what they want,” he said, “and you give it to them, they love it.”

    Can your business become a “customer-centric, experience-first digital company” by understanding the emotions of your customers? Part of T-Mobile’s transformation included partnering with Adobe Marketing Cloud to make a number of changes: redesigning its site, personalizing the online experience, and optimizing content in real time. Was it worth the investment? The company reported a 485% increase in conversion overall.

    You are the expert on your customers. And they are the experts on what they want. So ask them! And give it to them! What steps could you take? Focus on setting goals that provide the experiences your customers are asking for. Partner with technology that can help deliver that experience.

    Don’t let the constant flux of digital business create fear or set a mandate for you to change. You can lead the way by creating experiences for your customers that help them feel excited about your business and products and respond by purchasing and partnering. What can you do today to build an emotional connection to your brand?


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  • UX still critical for attracting engaged users

    83536604_MUser experience is the name of the game. It’s the big thing for web-friendly endeavors and is often the difference between success and failure.

    So what is it?

    User experience, or UX, is kind of self-explanatory. Simply put, it gets to the relationship that people share with the products and platforms they interact with. In your case, that probably includes online design, whether that plays out in app development or in standard digital sales and commerce.

    As in the physical world, the experience clients find when interacting with you on the web is a defining trait for building your brand. You only have one chance to make a first impression — would you let your brick-and-mortar storefront pile up with junk, confusing signage and a hodgepodge of poorly organized products? We’d guess not! The same mindset applies to building UX for your digital footprint.

    So what makes for great UX design? Even for digital natives who grew up on the Internet, getting around on the web is not always as intuitive as picking our way through a physical shop. Thus, UX often centers on ease of access, whether the given design makes things more convenient for the user. Features like site menus and search functions are examples of things that fall under the UX umbrella. If you regularly use mobile apps, odds are you’ve encountered programs navigated through gestures such as tapping or swiping. That too is an example of UX design.

    When done correctly, these designs are so easy to handle that they fade into the background, allowing users to focus their attention on content, whether that be product listings, blog posts or whatever else they might browsing. For a business leader, that’s exactly what you want. After all, every second a potential customer spends getting frustrated trying to navigate your site is a second they’re not using to consider your wares.


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  • Why no one is interacting with your Facebook page

    71692299_MSo, let’s say you have a decent chunk of followers on Facebook, but your posts continue to experience little to no engagement. If you’re wondering why you have hundreds or thousands of followers but only get a couple likes and maybe one comment on each post you publish, then here are three possible reasons for low engagement figures:

    Your Facebook Page and Posts Are Boring

    Sorry to be so harsh right off the bat, but this is a problem that’s fixable. Many Facebook users don’t think twice when liking a page that seems interesting (based on an ad they saw) or that their friends recommended to them. Since many users have hundreds, if not thousands of friends whose posts are already clogging their feeds, the last thing you need is a boring or irrelevant post that will get lost in the masses.

    Worse yet: what if you create a brilliant ad that entices followers to flock to your page …. only to discover a relatively empty page with a dull or low-quality cover photo, minimal information about your brand, few recent posts, and few images? The old adage of “don’t judge a book by its cover” rings true for Facebook advertising as well: you don’t want your ads to be more exciting than your page itself. Otherwise, people may unfollow your page or abandon your page altogether in hopes of finding another brand with more valuable information to offer.

    You’re Limiting Your Advertising Strategy

    A common problem many companies and organizations run into is deciding on an ideal campaign strategy. For new and experienced marketers alike, the option to grow your follower base seems like the best option because who doesn’t want more followers? However, this singular strategy can be pretty limiting when it comes to long-lasting results. It’s easy to click “like” on a sponsored post — it takes someone significantly more effort to scroll through the brand’s page, comment on posts, and share content with their own friends.

    Rather than limiting yourself to paid advertising campaigns that solely emphasize racking up followers, consider adding campaigns that seek to increase engagement among your existing base. In other words, you can create a group of ads that invites followers to respond to thought-provoking questions, share their own experiences, or even tantalizes them with a contest open exclusively to followers of your page.

    You’re Not Engaging with Them

    Why should people comment on your page, like your photos, and share your posts if you don’t give them any incentives to do so? One of the biggest reasons why you might rack up a huge but silent following on Facebook is because you and your marketing team aren’t actively reaching out to those followers once they’ve liked your page.

    Sure, you may put out great content, but that’s not sufficient enough to engage your audience. Unless you’re asking them personally relevant questions, requesting specific feedback about your products/services, and giving them other incentives to like or comment on your posts/page, you won’t be able to increase your follower engagement levels. It certainly requires more time and effort to respond, but the long-term benefits of personalizing your customers’ experiences with your brand on social media will be worth it.


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  • Clever ways to reach Gen Z on social media

    50564336_MWhether you’re in your 20s or your 50s, crafting social media posts and other marketing messages for a Generation Z audience can be pretty complicated. As the first generation born and raised during the height of the Internet’s popularity (whereas many Millennials didn’t start regularly using the Internet until middle or high school), Gen Z is truly a puzzle for many marketers.

    If you want to boost authentic engagement with younger audiences on your brand’s social pages, then you can’t afford to ignore these four innovative ways for connecting with the tweens, teens and young adults of Gen Z:

    Learn the Lingo

    Are you living your best life? Yeet! Are your social captions on fleek? Does your product model look like a snack?

    To help you stay woke (aware, informed), learning the latest meme-ified phrases concocted by Gen Z’s Internet sensations is an absolute must for any brand that wants to stay relevant. Of course, you’ll want to actually talk to Gen Z’ers to know what these words/phrases mean to ensure you use them correctly in any branded communications with your audience. Why? Because nothing is more sus (shady or questionable) to teens and young adults than brands trying too hard to market to them without actually understanding what the lingo means.

    Teen-Fluencers

    If learning the Gen Z lingo is too complicated or just does not make sense, no matter how many times you consult Urban Dictionary, then you could always hire a teenage influencer to speak to your audience in a language they’ll understand. Teen-fluencers, as they’re informally called, are teenagers between the ages of 12-17 who get paid $5 to $20 per post (on average) by brands that want to reach younger demographics without the usual advertising approach (paid ads or contracts with influencers).

    Teen-fluencers aren’t old enough to get “real” jobs yet, so they’re eager to find opportunities to partner with brands and hawk their products to their 1,000 to 6,000+ followers in exchange for per-post payments via PayPal or Venmo.

    Voting on Insta Stories

    Even if you’re regularly posting new content to your brand’s Instagram account, this might not be enough to engage your Gen Z audience. This younger generation represents one of the biggest demographics of short story users on social media (Instagram and SnapChat mostly — Facebook isn’t too popular among Gen Z). This means that you must be posting content to your Insta Story on a near-daily basis to keep followers engaged beyond their overcrowded Instagram feeds.

    But you can’t just post random photos or marketing messages to your Story — one popular way to get Gen Z’ers actively clicking on your content is through voting. All you need to do is post a photo with a question (you get 2 options for answers) and let your followers vote away! It’s a great way to not only get your followers to interact with your brand but also a way to gain valuable insight into their consumer habits, likes/dislikes, and more.

    Meme Creation Contests

    Many brands try — and fail — to cater to Millennials and Gen Z’ers by incorporating viral Internet memes into their social media marketing campaigns. Rather than running the risk of using a meme incorrectly, you can host a user-generated content contest emphasizing memes instead. This allows your audience members to signal what memes are popular among their age demographics and encourage them to interact with your brand on social media by incentivizing them with a contest. It’s a win-win for everyone!


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  • Planning is key to surviving a site redesign

    27713304 - updateDigital first impressions are everything. In fact, with your company’s web presence, you only have a literal split second before people make all sorts of critical judgments about your brand. Researchers claim It takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form a first opinion of your brand once after landing on your website. In addition to that very tiny time frame, it only takes a couple more seconds for that visitor’s eyes to concentrate and reinforce that initial first impression.

    It’s not likely you’ve done timed testing like this with your audience, but it is likely you know how successful those tests would be. Have you determined your site needs a little more attention? Here are three ways to prepare for a redesign.

    1. Establish your goals
    Are you looking for leads? More return visitors? Event sign ups? Newsletter subscribers? Ideally, what would your site be doing for you if it was perfectly optimized? Often times people create a site just to have a space, but they’re not maximizing that effort. Establish clear expectations for your website.

    2. Identify (and embrace) your target market
    Having a deep and clear understanding of who you’re hoping to reach can impact a great deal of your site design and functionality. Knowing who you’d like visiting regularly assists you in mapping out your redesign needs. Research thoroughly and develop a strategy on how to best speak to your ideal client.

    3. Update your social proof
    Research proves that website visitors spend as much time looking at a company’s social links as they do to the company’s logo. Be sure to include links to your company’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, G+, and LinkedIn profiles. Allow your audience to connect with you in a space where they are comfortable. The social proof that is created in these spaces are strong elements to your company’s voice and branding.


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  • Want your Facebook page to flourish? Start here

    48675578 - big thumb up. social network likes, approval, feedback conceptMost businesses know Facebook is constantly tweaking its algorithm. This presents a challenge to those looking to garner exposure and attract a strong audience for their brands. Here are four tips that you might not have heard of to bump up your likes and get your message in front of more people.

    1. Let your personal Facebook friends know about your business page. Now that pages aren’t being seen that much organically, even by people who’ve liked them, this is a great way to introduce people to your business page without advertising. Using the @ symbol, tag your page in the post so that your friends can click right over to it.
    2. Do some offline relationship building. Reach out to other small businesses in your area. Get to know the owners and suggest doing some Facebook cross-promotion. Come up with a virtual event, like a webinar, which you can both contribute to. Advertise it together. After the event, share each other’s posts on your pages periodically.
    3. Leverage your website by adding a Facebook like button or box. This is an especially great way to develop an engaged fan base. If they’re coming from your website, they’re clearly already interested in what you offer. To make the most of these fans, be sure to post engaging content consistently.
    4. Add a Facebook icon, linking to your page, your email signature and your email newsletters. Email is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Think about it: We’re all in and out of email all day long, so it makes sense to maximize that opportunity to reach people. Another way to leverage email is to share a Facebook post headline in the message that links to that post on your page.

    There are lots of ways to grow your Facebook audience. These simple techniques are easy to implement. Yet they are powerful tools to increase your visibility and expand your following.


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