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Digital marketing is changing in 2019

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We have created the world to reflect what we want for our species’ own progression. In this modern world, it goes without saying that technological advancement and digitalisation run the show. We have built up advancements in digitalisation and tech time and again, and the result is the world that surrounds us today. Every industry, every facet of modern life has been changed in some way or another, on the back of this global digitalisation. Even (and especially) the world of business. Take the way that businesses advertise and market these days, for example. The traditional marketing strategies that used to work are no longer solely efficient, if at all.

Businesses have realised the need for a swift change in their advertising and marketing approaches. Digital marketing is the pioneering force in business exposure and brand loyalty now. While everyone knows that digital marketing is the reigning advertising and marketing prospect these days, getting a handle on it is another matter entirely. Sometimes, the professional assistance of a digital marketing agency is one of the best things you can do for your business. But if the budget does not allow to bring in a team or a qualified professional, then there are three digital marketing strategies that are changing the game in 2019. These are the digital marketing concepts that people should be focusing on the most this year, and even going into next year as well.

Social media

It might come as a surprise to some, but social media is one of the strongest digital marketing concepts currently making waves across industries the world over this year. Last year was social media marketing’s big debut as a leading marketing strategy, but this year it is swiftly becoming the central digital marketing component of many businesses (if not all of them). Consumers spend most of their time browsing social media and websites online, and for this reason using social media as a key digital marketing strategy is a stroke of genius for businesses the world over, across varying industries.

Personalisation

Personalised marketing is rising meteorically in terms of relative popularity in business marketing. Put simply, personalised digital marketing is designed to target individuals’ personal interests and hobbies. As a result, the marketing efforts are angled towards items that the individual in question has looked at previously, or similar items. In placing their interests directly in front of them via paid personalised ads on their devices, businesses keep the products they know the customer is responding to in the forefront of that customer’s mind as they spend time online. 

Live videos

Last year, we saw social media start to make impact, and this year that is being taken to a whole new level not only in itself, but through live videos. Consumers love to feel valued and heard by the brands that they give their business to, and live video is an extremely effective way for businesses to establish this type of connection with their consumers. Consumers feel like they are a part of a behind-the-scenes movement, which they love. Additionally, businesses can get a real-time indication of how well live video works for their brand, as the tally of consumers watching, liking, and commenting is constantly updating as the live video streams.

New Trends In Social Media Marketing

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Keeping your business on the cutting edge of social media relevance requires constant effort.  Not only do the algorithms that govern organic reach change over time, but also so do the strategies which are often driven by changes in the platforms themselves. You could stay at the forefront by hiring a social media agency to do all the heavy lifting for you, but you should still try to stay current on what is happening in social media if only to make sure your campaigns are keeping up with the competition. We are going to take a quick tour of some of the trends in social media marketing that you need to be paying attention to.

Social Selling

We all know that the end goal of social media marketing is to generate sales for your business and the way that this was traditionally done was to simply use social media marketing to generate the interest and then plug the leads it creates into a traditional sales funnel. The difference with social selling is that rather using traditional methods like email and telephone calls to nurture the prospect into a client, the social selling sales funnel uses the same social media channels that generated the initial interest as the primary method of contacting the prospect and building the relationship. These could be commenting on a post, tweeting to them or sending a message.

Create Platform-Specific Content

All platforms vary in their audience and understanding which platforms your target audience is using is very important. Of equal importance is also understanding the unique features of that platform and how you can use those features to make your message really stand out. For example if your audience is on Instagram, learning how to use Instagram Stories can make you stand out from those that are just posting pictures and videos. Spend some time exploring all the features of the platform where your audience lives and think about new and creative ways you can use those features to deliver your message. Once you have mastered the features of the platform and developed strategies that are effective they can be used over and over again to generate value for your business.

Social Listening

Advances is analytic tools and AI are making it possible for social marketers to start delivering mass personalisation to their audience. This all starts with mastering the art of social listening. Any top salesperson will tell you that if you listen to your prospect they will tell you exactly how to sell them. With social listening you use the prospects interaction with various social media to build up a profile that will tell you what sort of marketing approach they will be most likely to respond to. Not just in terms of platform, ut also in what content is most likely to connect with them on an emotional level. This may seem very technologically daunting to master but many of the social marketing tool sets are starting to incorporate these kinds of analytics.

5 must-have cooking appliances for the chef at any level

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Whether you are a novice cook about to embark on the fulfilling journey of cooking for others, or if you are the head chef in a contemporary café, technology has made life all the more convenient for all of us in the kitchen. From the invention of fire – which inadvertently created the first chef – to the oven and stovetop, technology has given humanity a wide range of inventions that allow us to be more efficient at what we do. Here are the top five appliances that saves times or increases productivity in the kitchen.

Slow cookers

Also known as Crock Pots, this appliance is a life-saver for busy individuals. Using moist heat on a low temperature to cook food, you can just dump your ingredients into it and come back four to ten hours later and serve a steaming hot meal. Often described as a hands-off cooking tool, you can make almost anything – from roast beef to stews to fancy baby-back-ribs.

Herb grinders

Spice up your annual dishes by adding unique herbs. Instead of using a mortar and pestle, this tool makes grinding up herbs much easier and requires less time. Note that the best grinders are made from wood, metal and acrylic – and it comes in varying two, three and four-part models. Add some dill and tarragon onto your mashed potatoes, red and black pepper to the green beans or some cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves and anise as the final firework to any pumpkin dish.

Fridge Camera

This appliance will remove the need for grocery lists – it will send pictures of the inside of your fridge directly to your smartphone so you could essentially go to the supermarket whenever convenient rather than planning ahead. This method will help prevent buying the same things over and over again, and you never have to worry about running low on a particular ingredient.

Wireless Thermometer

If you are picky about how your meat is cooked, this technology is perfect for you. Digital thermometers help you determine when your steak, pork tenderloin or turkey is ready for dinner. The traditional method is to insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat and check the temperature in several places to ensure that the meat is equally cooked. The wireless option can let you monitor from up to 160 feet away, and it will send a notification to your smartphone when the meat reaches the desired temperature. Therefore, you are free to chop up some vegetables for the side salad while allowing the gadget to keep an eye on your roast for you.

Digital Scale

Skip all the stress and potential messiness you will get by measuring your ingredients out manually and step it up digitally. A digital scale will provide more accurate measurements, as measuring cups and spoons differ from brand to brand. Using one scale will ensure quality control and it can also mean less bowls which means less washing. What a win-win situation.

The three pillars of strong websites in 2019

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We live in a digital age where we are positively immersed and surrounded by technological advancements and digitalisation. Everything has gone digital, in some form or another – especially the way we do business. Websites are the new stores. In short, a website is the modern, digitised equivalent of a storefront window. Thanks to the introduction of the worldwide web, traditional means of business are no longer solely viable. Not only that, but they are increasingly taking the back seat as websites and apps move in to take primary pride of place in the economy the world over. Having a strong website is like having a winning storefront window. This is how consumers first see the business. This is how companies brand themselves in their respective industries. And this is how competitors weigh up the competition.

When it comes to designing a website, there is something to be said about being open to creative miscalculation and growth. It does not matter where in the world the website is being created from. Website design Coffs Harbour can look entirely different aesthetically to a website created in Indonesia or Europe, but there are three key foundations that all websites today must have to be considered strong websites. This is especially true as the virtual landscape of the worldwide web continues to expand exponentially with every passing day, making it a more competitive stratosphere.

Bringing in the bots

We have begun to see the introduction of chatbots and automated emailing systems in recent years, but these concepts are now fundamental necessities of any website, and will remain so going forward. Now that investments and exploration of automated systems and machine learning are gaining traction, we will see the chatbot systems become smarter and more capable, and automated systems become stronger and faster. Having automation and machine learning concepts as part of a website is a marker of a strong website that is ready to ride the waves of tech advancement as they continue to grow.

Mobile-ready design

Having a website is one thing, but having a website that connects to consumers in the strongest ways is another thing entirely. Consider the modern consumer. People are busier than ever, and they spend a lot of their time on the run between work, personal activities, and daily/weekly tasks. So, the only device they usually have on their person always is their smartphone. While desktop-centred website design was smart ten years ago, it is now crucial that websites work with mobile-ready design before anything else. This is the way that consumers are – and will continue to be – looking at businesses the most. Having a website’s design be mobile-ready first and foremost is the best way to reach the most people. If consumers go to a website and it is difficult to navigate on their phone screens, they are more likely to abandon it, regardless of how intrigued they were by the concept in the first place.

Minimalism is more

There is nothing more frustrating that clicking into a site and being bombarded with bright colours, an abundance of information, and no sure-fire signs of how to navigate the website. While it is important to have burst of colour, video and photo imaging when necessary, and information about the business and its services, minimalism is always more. Clean website design with smart overlays is the only way to go. Consumers will rejoice in being able to navigate the website easily, and it will leave a good impression – the perfect cocktail for consumer trust and loyalty.

The Evolution of Blogging

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Blogging has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a personal diary just around the turn of the century. Blogs are a part of mainstream culture today, providing news, forging relationships and building business brands — all at the same time.

Blogging has a recent origin. A college student named Justin Hall created a simple personal site, which contained interesting links and a couple of photos, in the year 1994. The subsequent years witnessed the emergence of blogging platforms, which made it easier for people to create blogs and leave comments on others’ posts. The launch of Technorati, the first blog search engine, in the year 2003 fuelled the growth of blogs further. The arrival of a free and open-source blogging platform called WordPress in 2003 was the real game-changer on the nascent blogging scene. WordPress dramatically expanded the appeal and spread of blogging by facilitating the creation of blogs and even websites without the need to possess prior technical knowledge. Video blogs came into existence a year later in 2004. And the rest is history.

Building a blog for yourself involves some basics. A good command over the language is a given as linguistic errors can seriously dent the credibility of a blogger in the eyes of the readers. Blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogger are free and easy to use, but knowledge of web designing would go a long way in rendering a blog attractive and interesting. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital skill-set for bloggers as the ranking on Google and other search engines are based on the keywords used in the content. Meta-descriptions and one-sentence summary of the blog articles would also go a long way in boosting search engine ranking and attracting a greater number of readers.

Blog posts are considered as the purest form of online content. The written word is the simplest content that can be read, indexed and ranked by Google. Advances in facial recognition are rendering images and videos more search engine-friendly with each passing day, but there is still a long way to go from the speed and ease of comprehending the written word. Blogging does not offer provisions for content filtering, unlike other content platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and video. Blogs are a critical source of content for social media channels. A single blog post can fuel an endless stream of FB posts, tweets and LinkedIn updates. From the business point of view, a blog presents an ideal platform to tell the story of a brand, connect with the customers and stay ahead of the competition.

Blogs have only been around for 20+ years, but it seems like a lifetime. Some of the early blogging platforms have gone extinct and others such as WordPress have morphed into a thriving content management system. Moving beyond their humble beginnings as glorified online journals, blogs have become a means of self-expression, pursuing the passion for writing, sharing views and conducting business. And the possibilities are truly amazing and endless.

Going solo: Considerations prior to starting your own agency

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After getting your education in a field related to marketing, advertising, or public relations, you may consider the possibility of starting your own agency. Being an agency owner comes with several perks; you’ll get to control who’s on your team, you can pick and choose who your clients are, and you’ll enjoy the potential of practically unlimited income.

That said, starting an agency can be difficult, so you’ll need to think a few things through before you pursue this route.

Things to Consider Before Starting an Agency

Consider these questions before you decide to be an agency owner:

  1. Do you have the experience? Having a marketing background is essential to be a successful marketing agency owner. Ideally, you’ll have a long history of working in different roles in the industry, as well as leadership and/or entrepreneurship experience. Merely having a degree in marketing, public relations, or business management may not be enough. If you don’t have this experience on your own, you may be able to get it secondhand by working with a partner—but this isn’t always ideal, either. Plus, you’ll need to find a partner with experience who’s willing to share the reins with you.
  2. How will you accomplish the work? You’ll provide some kind of core product or service in your marketing agency and you can’t do all the work yourself, so how will you accomplish that work? You could make full-time hires, but this puts a heavy financial strain on your business from the get-go. You could rely on independent contractors, but they may not be as reliable as your full-time employees. Outsourcing to a white-label service provider is often an efficient choice, but there are also some risks you’ll need to plan to compensate for.
  3. Who is your target audience? Successful marketing agencies tend to focus on one or a handful of specific target demographics. If you try to be a generic, all-consuming marketing agency, you won’t have enough to differentiate yourself from your competitors, and your marketing will be all over the place. Will you target big companies or small firms? New startups or legacy businesses? One industry or several?
  4. What’s your unique value proposition? You’ll also need to have a unique value proposition (UVP)—a distinguishing feature that compels people to buy from you, instead of one of your competitors. There are several ways to market your agency as different and/or better than your competitors; for example, you could specialize in providing one type of service, or you could plan to offer lower prices and more flexible terms than a typical agency. You have significant wiggle room here, but you need to find something that both sets you apart from your competitors and seems attractive to your target demographics.
  5. What’s your end goal? Entrepreneurs often get caught up in dreaming about the many possibilities of business ownership without having a firm goal at the end of their path, but it’s much better to know your end goal in advance. Are you in this to make as much money as possible? Are you trying to retire early? Do you want a business that you can pass onto your children?
  6. How will you grow? No matter what your end goals are, you’ll probably want to grow your agency eventually. Attracting new clients can be problematic, especially for an inexperienced agency owner, so it’s good to have an idea for your growth trajectory long before you enter the game. Will you invest heavily in marketing and advertising? Will you use a referral program? Will you try to merge with or acquire other agencies?
  7. Do you have a backup plan? Finally, you need to be prepared for the reality that the majority of new agencies (and new businesses in general) end up failing. If your agency can’t support its own weight, or if you find agency ownership isn’t right for you, do you have a backup plan? If so, what is it?

Building Your Experience

If you’re feeling intimidated at the idea of starting an agency now, but you still like the idea of owning one in the future, your best path forward is to gain experience in areas that will help you be a successful agency owner in the coming years. See if you can work at an existing agency in multiple different roles, so you can see how an agency functions from the inside (and from multiple different perspectives). It’s also important to develop your leadership experience in a managerial role, or as a team leader.

There’s always time to start an agency, so don’t rush into it if you’re inexperienced. In the meantime, work on developing your skills so you continue making steady progress toward your ultimate goal.

Advances in Sleep Technology

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In 2019, when people lay their head down on their pillow and get comfortable on their mattress, they shut their electronics off or turn them on silent so that they don’t have disruptions during their sleep. However, the three products below are the newest and most technological sound electronics for sleep.

  1. Sleep Coach

The Sleep Coach, invented by Eight mattress cofounder Alexandra Zatarain, is an AI that provides users with insights into their sleep practices. It is backed by 2.5 million nights of data. The Sleep coach works in conjunction with the Eight smart mattress, which allows for sleep tracking, a smart alarm, temperature controls for the different sides of the mattress, and integration with Amazon’s Alexa smart home. The AI works by taking gender, age, and location into consideration when making recommendations for that users sleep improvements.

  1. The ZEEQ Pillow

It is important to get the best mattress for you and your loved ones, but a pillow even plays an important role in ensuring that we get sound sleep. The ZEEQ Pillow, which can connect to smartphones, apps, and the Amazon Alexa features 8 wireless speakers, motors, a gyroscope that tracks movement, and audio wave technology. Created and sold by REM-Fit, the $299 pillow is said to help with snoring and other minor sleep issues.

The creators of ZEEQ decided that a pillow would be more capable of providing users with sleep data so that their cell phones aren’t too close to them during their sleep, where it can be disruptive or distracting. ZEEQ uses a 3D motion sensor to track activity throughout the night, including how hard someone is snoring, how much a person is moving, and the amount of rest gotten each night. The app, which is available on both Google Play and the Apple App stores, also includes a music sleep time to help users fall asleep- which the pillow turns off once a user has fallen asleep. The anti-snore control feature alerts a user when they are snoring so that they person can switch positions to help open up their airways. And, although users may not want to leave their cozy bed with their advanced pillow, the pillow also features a built-in alarm that uses gentle vibrations to wake users without disturbing their partners.

3. iOS 12’s nighttime mode and usage monitor

Coming in September to iOS devices, iOS 12 will feature some technological developments that may help users sleep better. The newest tools, which were introduced at the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference, include a monitor that shows users how much time they are spending on certain applications on their device, including how often they are on their phone and what applications send the most notifications by day, week, or month. Users can then set a limit for themselves, which cuts users off from using all of their iOS devices when that limit has been reached. The Do Not Disturb mode for iPhones now includes a nighttime feature so that messages, calls, and alerts will not disturb users during the night. When users awake, they will tap their phone and all of those notifications that they missed overnight will appear.

Enhancing online security against ransomware

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When it comes to advocating for and protecting our data security and online activity, it is safe to say that we have had more than a little trouble keeping our online activity and subsequent data safe from prying eyes and criminal minds. The single biggest issue comes on the back of the realisation that no matter how hard we work to protect ourselves online, there is likely always going to be a threat that will try – and even potentially succeed – to steal our information via vicious cyberattacks. There are of course avenues we can access to remove ransomware, spyware and other malware from our devices, but ultimately the best prevention is consistent and conscious action.

The average person now has three devices that they interact with weekly, if not daily. The first, of course, is the mobile phone. Second is a laptop or desktop computer set up. And third is a tablet or a Kindle. We are more invested in technological progression and digital advancement than we would perhaps like to admit. When we consider the fact that we are more invested in our digital devices than we are in the world around us (generally speaking, of course), then we can begin to discern where we have gone wrong and how to right the ship. There is a very real mentality that all digital devices will be hacked, so why bother protecting them? And this is where the danger comes in.

Here is the thing. Sure, you can never be 100% certain that your devices are absolutely safe from cyber attacks. They never will be. The risk will always be there. But, you can safeguard and aim to prevent your devices from being attacked by actively and consistently engaging with multiple forms of online security systems and privacy settings. Malware like ransomware and viruses (to name a few key players) is still one of the key focuses of a cyberattack, and the reality is that there is no sure-fire way to protect a device always. But actively engaging with online security measures like password systems, two-factor authentication, secret questions, and cyber security programs (to name a few) is the best way to prevent your devices from coming under malicious attack.

When one considers the fact that there is an ongoing issue with cybersecurity – and there has been since the dawn of technological advancements’ innovations – they can also ascertain that there is no feasible way to ensure that devices can be protected without fail. It is the inherent understanding and drive to do what we want to protect our data and information online that is most important. Ignorance might be bliss for a while…until you find out that your data has been stolen in a vicious ransomware attack, and there is little to nothing you can do to find the perpetrator/s.

In a world that is inherently connected via technological advancement, the need to be conscious and aware of our level of security online has never been higher – and it will only evolve more as the world moves towards complete digitalisation in the coming years.

The key to developing an app for the first time

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The world that we live in today is so fundamentally focused on strengthening technological and digital progression, that it is difficult to imagine it any other way. Technology has fundamentally changed the world as we know it, and there is no going back now. We have created the world to be so comfortable, even reliant, on technological influence, that stripping it back to the way it was before now would be virtually impossible without creating a negative domino effect. Everything from education and healthcare, to entertainment and business, has been fundamentally changed, shifted out of focus and then realigned with the way the world is moving.

Business is undeniably one of the most impacted industries. Technological infiltration and further advancement has resulted in businesses having to adjust to a world – and a consumer base – that is more reliant on their electronic devices than ever before. Because consumers are placing so much more attention on these devices, businesses are realising the value in marketing and extending their business models through these devices. The internet gave us websites, and those are still crucial business concepts. These days, however, it is not enough to have a website anymore. Businesses that want to truly stand out must also have an active app. But what are the most important parts of developing an app in the first place?

Know where you want the idea to go

Having the idea is great. But a key concept in app development is knowing where you want the app to go, how to get it there, and why it is so important to not only you, but the world, that the app comes to fruition. Having help is the best way to do this – bouncing ideas and concepts off another help keep things fresh and in perspective. Investing in the professional assistance of a company that specialises in app development (like Appscore, for example) is valuable beyond comprehension. You can go back and forth all day long about strategy, but nothing compares to having a dedicated, trained professional team on board to help carry the weight.

Understand your idea down to the finest details

When it comes to developing any idea, it can be easy to have a concept that is shallow. Any idea can sound exciting if you are passionate about it, but more than that, the idea must have substance – and you must understand it. As with any concept, when you got to pitch or market it to others, you must be willing and able to answer any question that comes at you. No matter how well you think you have prepared, you can always prepare more. Go over even the most miniscule details a hundred times over, and then do it again. You are more likely to gain investors and interest from prospective consumers when you have a strong, key understanding of every aspect of the app’s purpose. You do not have to know every aspect of the app’s development, just its key purpose.

Keep the initial app simple

In the beginning, the app does not have to be complicated or incredibly detailed. You are not expected, nor is it terribly productive, to have an app that has a million features straight off the bat. Simplicity is key. New users want to be able to easily navigate new applications, so keeping them relatively simple in the beginning wins favour among consumers and draws in more business. In short, begin with the most important features, and go from there.

The balancing act of traditional marketing and modern marketing

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It does not matter which kind of business you are in. If you run a photography business that focuses primarily on family portraits, if you work in publishing, or even security, marketing plays an active role in the success of the business you are a part of. The nature of business is that any successful business is so because it offers a solution to a problem, because it caters to a select audience. Advertising and marketing are the portals to bringing awareness to the public – and henceforth the potential client base – about a business and what it offers, what sets it apart from the competition, what makes it worth investing time and money into, from every angle. When it comes down to it, marketing is the heart of any successful business.

The nature of marketing is that it is always shifting, always evolving. As the years move on, new innovations are introduced, and we enter new eras, it stands to reason that marketing changes as well. Traditional marketing efforts still hold their place as pillars of business branding in present-day society, but they are becoming more and more unreliable as sole marketing strategies as time goes on. The fact is that we are living in a digitally-enhanced era, and that digital era is moving more and more in the direction of becoming a digitally-reliant age. Consumers today are more wrapped up in their devices than ever before, and the traditional marketing grabs are no longer as efficient as they once were.

Traditional marketing efforts are still utilised today, but with the way of the world shifting evermore decidedly towards complete digitalisation, there is no telling just how much longer this will last. Traditional marketing tactics like print marketing, door-to-door marketing, and phone marketing can and are still used by businesses in collaboration with their digital counterparts, but modernisation has well and truly hit the marketing landscape, and the result is that the further time moves us on, the more reliant we are becoming on digitalisation. Businesses are taking notice. Even some of the world’s most established businesses and whole industries, who have survived and thrived through generations, are shaking things up.

Modern marketing efforts, like digital marketing, are becoming more and more popular and widespread as time moves us on. The reality of the way the world is moving is something that is always in the back of our minds, especially when it comes to marketing. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can no longer afford to be out of the game when it comes to marketing strategizing, and they are finally catching on to this fact and using it to propel their marketing strategies into modernisation, and in turn, their businesses. The modern consumer demands digital efficiency, and businesses are obliging as quickly as they can. No one wants to be the last to adapt, especially when that adaption is likely to be the thing that will save them from losing their footing in an increasingly competitive worldwide market.

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