AusTech

Business and Technology Articles Contributed by UWA Students

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Convergence of Law and Technology

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There is a convergence of law and technology in contemporary society. Search engines and algorithms are facilitating legal research, e-discovery tools are sifting through millions of pages to identify relevant documents and software is aiding document comparisons. Lawyers are shifting their focus from mere paper pushing to meaningful practice of law and undertaking work that is truly valued by the clients. Examples of law-technology convergence are the following:

Machine Learning

Research has traditionally been a tedious task for lawyers and searching through tomes of client history, reports and testimony records was akin to hunting for a needle in a haystack. Machine learning, which makes use of algorithms to analyze data and detect patterns, is enabling lawyers to find information quickly, thus saving hours of time and freeing them for higher-level tasks.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are transforming the practice of law. Thanks to the 3-D simulated environment created by VR, judges, attorneys and jurors can participate in a trial from afar and listen to the witnesses as if they were physically present in the courtroom. The legal industry is also making use of VR technology to re-create accident and crime scenes.

Social Media

Many legal professionals, such as car accident lawyers, are making their presence felt on the wider social media, beyond the ambit of conventional professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn. A new wave of legal podcasts is popping up as lawyers are utilizing the time saved by automation and machine learning to take up such fulfilling projects. Facebook and Twitter are being extensively used to bond with fellow legal professionals and enter into professional relationships with the clientele.

Robot Lawyers

Robot lawyers are legal AI applications performing varied legal and paralegal tasks. Some legal AI solutions are for the benefit of clients, while others are meant to aid attorneys. For example, DoNotPay is a free legal counsel chatbot invented by British entrepreneur Joshua Browder. This AI-enabled bot determines whether people have a genuine case for not paying their parking tickets and has reportedly resolved 375,000 parking ticket grievances within a short span of two years – a testimony to its huge potential for saving governmental time and money involved in handling traffic disputes.

Online Legal Services

Online legal service providers are displacing brick-and-mortar legal offices at a fast clip. They are offering a wide array of services online at affordable prices, rendering everything from patents and visas to estate planning simple and affordable.

Mobility

Law schools are incorporating technology into their curriculum as part of a larger inter-disciplinary approach to the practice of law. By means of coursework, internships and conferences focused on legal technology, law schools are training the future lawyers to deliver legal services in an effective and efficient manner.

Technology, in effect, is not eliminating legal jobs, but re-allocating resources towards analytical and strategic aspects of the legal practice. As technology becomes an inevitable and all-encompassing tool in the competitive world of modern law firm, attorneys need to embrace it or risk being left behind.

Blockchain digitally transforming modern world from ground up

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We live in a world that is saturated in our increasingly dependent obsession with digitalisation and technological advancement. We truly live in a world of our own design, and it is a design that continues to take shape and evolve over time. The modern world has been paved into existence with countless feats of technological progression and exhilarating movement in motion, and now we stand on the edge of an age that is run primarily (if not entirely) by digital competency. It makes perfect sense how we got here, and why we want to continue down this pathway we have paved for ourselves. It is a well-known fact that digitalisation makes things more convenient and efficient, but it also makes them much faster in comparison to the manual approaches that we have become so familiar with over the years. One of the most innovative feats of technological empowerment in recent history is also one of the most provocative. Blockchain is a concept that has received its fair share of controversy, even ridicule, over time.

The whole point of blockchain is to create secure and private virtual pathways for transference and processes. Additionally, it also makes things work faster, too. The very nature of blockchain ensures that it is protected against modification. This is made possible because blockchains are essentially a growing list of records (i.e. blocks that form a chain), bound together by cryptography. Each singular record (block) contains a cryptographic hash of the record before it, in addition to accompanying data and a time stamp. It sounds like simple technology, but it has taken years to craft and then fine-tune, working out the kinks in the armour along the way. Now, finally, blockchain has become a mainstream form of secure functioning in more ways than one. While initially designed to be a holding for cryptocurrency, it has since been realised that blockchain can be – and now is – used to keep any information added to the virtual networks secure and private against the odds.

Consider blockchain and its initial links to cryptocurrency, for instance. It is a known fact that bitcoin price has risen and dropped over time, but no matter the rises and falls, the one constant is that blockchain has allowed for a secure holding of the cryptocurrency. This is a priceless facet because it allows for active parties in the virtual landscape to be reassured that their private business remains secure. The same can be said for healthcare. Private patient information can be sent across the blockchain networks at incredible speeds, and thanks to the encryption on the records, they remain private – even if somehow the high defences against hacking and the like are breached. The sense of security that blockchain provides is something that allows parties to feel confident in their virtual activities.

In this way, it is not at all difficult to understand how such a feat of digitalisation and technology has become so popular in such a relatively short time – even if it has become so with its fair share of controversy and cautious speculation. There has never been a better time to get into blockchain than right now. This is a rising industry that is proving itself to be valuable over and over for the way that it works. There is power in having this type of defence so constantly and openly available. That power exists because of the realisation that in the online stratosphere, it is rare – even unheard of – beyond comprehension for security to be such a tightly-bound, impenetrable force. Blockchain offers what many have tried to create for years, and it does so in a way that allows all active users to be secure in their knowledge that their precious and private information is being stored and transferred in an undeniably secure way, all the way from point A to point B.

We live in a world of our own design, and that design is catered almost exclusively by digitalisation and technological prowess, among other innovators as well. It is not uncommon knowledge that the whole point, the unyielding aim of technology, is to make things easier, more efficient, and faster. There are many wonderful and life-changing feats of technological innovation that have achieved this very feat, some of them having done so under a cloud of uncertainty. Blockchain is one of them. A concept that many have deemed risky and even dangerous, blockchain has persevered in spite of the surrounding controversy, going on to become a promising pillar for the digital age we are delving deeper and further into. The modern world is one that has been backed almost exclusively and wholeheartedly by digitalisation and technologies, and this has resulted in the reliance on things continuing to excel at increasingly rapid speeds – including everyday industries like finance and healthcare.

Navigate The Evergreen Real Estate Industry

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Real estate can be an exciting industry – one which demands that buyers stay updated on current trends. This can be particularly vital to investors looking for a robust and revenue-generating real estate entry. More often than not, understanding the market fundamentals will help the buyer sketch out opportunities and weak points. If a buyer is able to identify and lock in on a smart real estate buy when the market heating up, it’s largely because of their ability to seize the opportunity.

Here’s what potential buyers can do.

1. Knock-down rebuild

One of the bigger benefits that come with knock-down rebuild is the opportunity for the buyer to stay within the same neighborhood. They can tap into bargain buys where an older property can be picked up at the land’s price and knocked down to rebuild. If homeowners really like their current neighborhood, the local community and amenities, a knock-down rebuild can be a great option.

2. Scout for concessions

Concessions can signal a strong market high. Albeit seeing rental growth and high occupancy, concessions through free rent can boost sales. Better yet, the buyer or tenant stands to benefit if the free ride is due to an oversupply in the market – this enables more room for the investor to pursue savings.

3. Stabilizing interest rates

Over recent years, the real estate sector has been shying away from capturing a remarkable momentum. Last year, market data highlighted buyers exiting the market as their current mortgages were pitched to be lower than what the buyers would be able to snag on newer loans. By the start of 2019, this soon slipped to the background and rates began to stabilize, helping drive a better market.

4. Do you find ample spam crowding the market?

If a potential buyer, after studying the market, does not close in on any spam properties – it could signal that the real estate is riding a good wave. Spams are red flags to notify someone that a dire real estate scenario is likely.

5. How can you gauge if the market is downsizing or on an upward climb?

The best bet is to pay attention to the brokers – what are they angling more towards? Are they quoting different market bets to buyers and sellers? If you want to gain a good perspective, pretend to be a seller if you’re looking to buy and vice versa. Try to bid prices, and talk to experts within the industry. This can help you understand how flexible the prices are and if it’s the right time to make a purchase or sale.

Marketing Trends are Changing in 2019

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Marketing has always been a field focused on proactive outreach and consistent innovation, and this year is no different. Digital marketing approaches have already approached ubiquity in the past few years – it’s almost impossible to find a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer without an online presence – but even that online landscape is continuously changing, usually requiring retailers to adapt and improve their strategies. Here are 3 of the most significant developments that should be considered.

1. Data is Supreme

It should come as no surprise that data is still the most important resource in a modern marketer’s toolkit, and methods of collecting and parsing data are more widespread and sophisticated than ever. Modern customers, especially younger customers, are increasingly disaffected in terms of brand relationships and don’t respond as well as older generations to traditional mass marketing. Social media engagement and an ever-increasing affinity for personalization and individually-tailored techniques are how customers are more typically engaging with brands lately. In order to effectively attract and serve potential customers through this model, brands and retailers must make extensive use of all available data to ensure a satisfying and unique experience for as many customers as possible, in order to achieve maximum engagement and return on investment.

2. Automation is Indispensable

Data is important, but you need to know what to do with it – and how – in order to utilize it to its fullest potential. Human brains are excellent at parsing and decoding data, but for large and growing brands and retailers, the potential amount of data is absolutely massive, and there’s almost no way that even a dedicated team of people can make sufficient sense of all the information pouring in. That’s why today’s marketing gurus generally agree that sophisticated implementation of automation techniques is key to success when using data. Automation can also be useful for analyzing engagement and evaluating the success of marketing strategies. For example, let’s say your business is scented candles – you can find customers who’ve bought similar products recently, but there are a lot of different kinds of fragrance products, high-end and low-end, and there may be other factors such as branding or gift purchases. It may be necessary to parse the available purchase history of individual customers, and even continue to measure engagement and effectiveness post-outreach. This would be an absolute headache without automation tools, and through their use, human employees are freed up to work on creating more high-quality content.

3. Data is Become More Expensive and Less Accessible

The supremacy of companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook has had almost a monopolizing effect on the availability of the afrementioned data. As social media platforms grow and are increasingly utilized for organic brand outreach, they are able to charge more and more for the opportunity for retailers and brands to use their platforms in order to reach customers. Especially given that these companies control search engines and online storefronts – and make their fortunes increasingly in the collection of data – gaining access to that valuable data is becoming increasingly difficult. There is no easy solution to this development, other than more focused marketing spending and potentially more direct customer outreach, but businesses are going to have to find ways to adapt in order to succeed in the face of these recent changes in the modern landscape.

The Basics of Fashion Marketing

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Fashion marketing refers to the marketing of fashion-related products and services. Primarily, the marketing teams’ focus on advertising clothing, makeup, shoes, bags, and much more. Both online and offline media techniques are used for fashion marketing. The most significant aspects of fashion marketing are identifying the target market at whom the clothing is aimed and then finding the right place to attract target customers – it achieves the objective clients, it is anything but a simple occupation using all necessary means. A vital element of this concept of marketing focuses on defining the target markets. A marketer will decide where the product should be sold so that the company could get maximum profit out of it. Displaying of the products also plays a vital role and it shows the creativity of the marketers.

It is a pluspoint for a marketer of the fashion industry to know about the changing trends of fashion. A marketer should be well versed in both marketing and business. This way, they will be able to design related advertisement, market them, and lure the people into buying more.

Importance of Fashion Marketing

Fashion marketing holds the same significance as that of fashion designing. To make a design worth competing in the fashion industry, a marketer would play a critical role. Without proper marketing, a worthy design will not get its rightful place in the market. Fashion marketing helps sellers connect with potential buyers. With more sales, a designer’s success is guaranteed.

With fashion markets, the idea is more than just selling clothes. It is about the aim and the idea the designer is trying to present with his or her design. Fashion marketers help designers in becoming a brand that may get recognition of buyers. It needs to be understood that design alone is not sufficient to take over the market.

Social Media and Marketing

With the advancement of the Internet, it is now possible to market design in any part of the globe. Big brands today have international significance due to the traits of social media marketing. In fact, the companies that succeed today have a highly dense social media presence and are able to overcome marketing and business challenges right from the comfort of their offices via computer screens.

Taking an example of Google would help in understanding it easily. Google AdWords presents promotions relating to never-ending ventures made by the client. In the event that an individual looks for items identifying with design on the web, Google presents promotions relating to those themes to draw in that person. Fashion businesses that take up promotions with Google AdWords would get introduction each time an individual scans for something identified with their items.

Everyone is aware of the importance of Facebook and Twitter when it comes to social media marketing. With most, if not all major clothing brands having their business pages on Facebook, there is a huge virtual mall for buyers. People are able to see their favourite brands’ products like dresses, women’s leather jackets, tops, promotions, and accessories online. They are also able to see nearby locations of their favourite brand outlets via social media. Social media websites have made dreams come true.

Points to Consider When Choosing a Fashion Marketer

Being a starter in the fashion industry requires extensive planning. It is why it is essential to choose the right people to work with. While choosing a marketer it should be kept in mind that experience counts. A marketer should be able to grab the designer’s aim and idea and present it to the buyers. He/ she must know what tricks and traits could lead the designer to succeed in becoming a brand. Moreover, the work of a marketer does not finish with the launch first batch of the design. Success of a fashion designer is the success of the marketer as well.

4 Steps to Building Your Own Company Website

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Starting a successful company always means having a stellar website. There are a lot of little details that go into building a great site, but you will want to make sure it all looks amazing before launch. The best way to get your site up and running is to follow these steps:

Buy a Domain Name for Your Site

The very first step is finding a domain that goes along with your company. This seems like an easy step, but deciding on the perfect domain feels nervewracking. Make a list of the available domain names that you are considering. Often the most popular domains are pretty expensive to purchase. Website domains with alternatives to “.com” are becoming increasingly popular. Depending on your comapny, consider using “.ai” or something else unique.

Download a Template that Matches Your Branding

Web design is incredibly hard. You have a few options in this area. There are some websites that have made web design a lot easier, but you still want your website to look unique and unlike anyony else’s. You can head to Envato Elements to download unique templates that make your website look amazing, but also customizable.

Sites like WordPress, Squarespace and Wix give you options to designing with their templates, but it is a little bit more complicated. Look at all your options before launching—you never know what you like until you try new things.

Get a VPN Running on Your Working Desktop

Security and safety are important especially for new companies. You will want to find a VPN that works for your desktop work computer. This is just a good safety precaution in case someone tries to hack you. Head to a site that has a Hoxx VPN Review and other VPN reviews so that you can find one that works for you. You are better safe than sorry in the safety category.

Use Digital Marketing Tricks to Promote Your Site

Now that you have your site designed, domained and secured, you are ready to start promoting it. Start with on-page SEO. If you don’t have experience, you might be better off contracting an expert to do an SEO audit and update. This isn’t a one-time thing you will need to do. SEO is always shifting and needs updating. You might be better off learning how to update for SEO strategy yourself in the early stages.

Running social media ads to targeted audiences is another way to get people to go to your website. Start with Facebook ads and Instagram ads, then start branching out into sites like YouTube and LinkedIn. Social media advertising is the perfect way to get people to be aware of your business and the new site.

Once you have taken all these steps, sit back and wait for the results to start happening. Of course, websites take upkeep and hard work. Getting the basics done in the beginning is the hard part, but worth it to have a site you are proud of.

Social Media, Opportunities and Constraints: A Wake up Call to the New Generation of Users

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The need to communicate and socialize is a strictly human one and has always defined human culture at a fundamental level. With the introduction of social media into modern life, the rate, speed and extent of such communications and interactions have increased dramatically, adding a cyber-element of cohesion and at times, confusion, into real human life. The cyber space also became a huge marketplace for individuals and businesses, offering possibilities to find or post job openings, create online marketplaces and sell goods, start Facebook or Linkedin business pages promoting companies, products and services or simply buy and sell Instagram accounts as well as followers. As a result, the developments observed in social media have begun to have almost a direct impact on real human life, turning social media use into an addiction for those who wish to stay on top of their game and profit.

Instagram’s explosion into the world of social media began in 2010 with the platform’s launch and intensified when Facebook’s acquired the company in 2012 with new personnel, capital and technologies made available for the company’s growth. The latest addition to Instagram’s power in social media is Instagram Checkout, an add-on that will enable users to shop products directly on Instagram without having to visit external sites. Currently 20 beauty and fashion brands are enlisted within the system’s directory with more companies to come, “ranging from Zara and H&M on the more affordable end, to Balmain and Dior on the higher end.” Currently, Instagram users spend approximately 53 minutes a day on the platform, giving influencers extreme power over their attention spans, while Instagram has already begun technological investments to offer the best services for the companies to be listed on its marketplace. The idea is to create an efficient global marketplace and charge member companies a certain selling fee to finance Instagram’s associated operations and earn the company extra income. Estimates show that a company advertisement on Instagram stream will bring as much as $2 billion a year so it is expected that companies will literally be lining up to be featured in the marketplace, regardless of the amount of the service fee.

Naturally, social media requires regulation and legal control just like any other business sector which prompted the Australian parliament to pass a new legislation to “criminalize Internet platforms for failing to remove violent videos and audio” following the recent terrorist attack carried out on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand by an Australian gunman. The new legislation puts significant pressure on social media executives as well as content and hosting providers with possible punishments of jail time up to three years for individuals and 10% annual revenue fines for companies, in the case that they fail to remove violent content from their platforms uppon legal request. The mentioned terrorist’s live footage of the terror attacks in New Zealand remained available on Facebook close to an hour from the beginning of the live broadcast, spreading around social media rapidly and generating 1.5 million copies over the next 24 hours, all of which were deleted or blocked by Facebook within 24 hours. The Australian politicians are concerned about the lack of responsible involvement on part of online content streaming sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and believe that such a legal obligation will motivate these companies to be more precise and careful about such incidents and help law enforcement with possible interventions.

Russia is one of the strictest countries with respect to expression of political opinions and the Kremlin has a rather shady record of dealing with dissidents, making it no wonder that the Russian government is more than ready to take the necessary measures to limit political expression in the cyber domain as well. A recently approved law is a great example of such an inclination with “stipulates fines of up to 100,000 roubles (£1,155) for ‘indecent’ online posts that demonstrate a ‘blatant disrespect for society, the country, Russia’s official state symbols, the constitution, or the authorities’.” The definition and scope of ‘blatant disrespect’ is rather ambiguous and opponents of the law fear that online comments can be manipulated or their meanings can be misinterpreted purposefully to justify persecutions while the proponents of it are praising the courage of the Putin administration to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable criticism. Heavy speculation rotates within Kremlin circles that Vladimir Putin is an extremely sensitive person to perceived insults, reminding the public of how he directly targeted a parody TV show called ‘Kukly’ (Puppets) airing on NTV because in one episode he was depicted as an evil gnome, cursing at other characters. As a result, the TV station was taken over by the Russian state and all the Putin related remarks were removed from future broadcasts.

The Automobiles Industry and Change: Used, New and Electric

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Modern day business operates on its own unique premises and dynamics but it is almost never debated that automobiles is one of the most important business fields in today’s global economy. Cars not only help people and cargo get around but are also a great source of income as their commerce is common virtually in every part of the world, creating hundreds of billions dollars’ worth of revenue for numerous parties involved. Whether it be selling cars through dealerships, running a cash for cars operation, supplying the market with cheaper spare parts or operating a repair and maintenance shop, the players in the game are always bombarded with new products and alternatives. Such fast-paced market dynamics make it a necessity for such players to be on track with novelties and developments at all times, consequently turning information into gold for all the parties operating within the market.

The new name of the game in the industry is electric cars after Tesla’s legendary entry into the markets with its revolutionary products that raised the standards and levels of competition in the industry. In the more environmentally aware parts of the world such as Scandinavia, the new trend has already gained substantial heat as in 2018, 58% of all cars sold in Norway were electric vehicles, with Tesla’s widely popular Model 3 “accounting for nearly 30 percent of new passenger vehicle sales.” Out of the 18,375 new passenger cars registered in the country, 10, 372 produce zero emissions, which signifies a 100% growth rate compared to March figures of 2018. Similarly, more than 5,300 Tesla Model 3 sedans were registered in March of 2019 with no other carmaker enjoying more than 10% of total sales. With 3,469 new hybrid cars sold in its market, Norway seems to be heading towards success with its plans to transform its automobiles market to include only environmental friendly vehicles in the near future as the government continues to offer benefits such as exemption from sales, import and road taxes for zero-emissions cars.

As much as the producers in the industry would love to supply all the customers with brand new cars every year, the second hand cars market has always remained as a great alternative for those seeking more bang for their buck and the US market is presumably one of the largest in the world. For an average of 14 million new cars sold in the country, there are 40 million used cars sold every year through 45,000 independent and 18,000 new dealerships. The average price for a used car is $19,741 while dealerships in the state of Michigan offer used cars for an average price of $16,489 and the dealerships in the states of West Virginia and Arkansas offer the youngest used cars with an average age of 3.9 years old. Used cars sold in the state of South Dakota have an average mileage of 80,000 miles due to the large size and dispersed regions in the state, while Alaskan used cars offer the lowest average mileage due to the compact organization of the state. With respect to the brands dominating the market, Ford, Chevy and Honda emerge as the leaders with first spots in twenty-two, ten and seven states accordingly. Ford’s F-150 model has been topping the American automobiles charts for popularity as it has been the most sold car model in American for the last 33 years, with the scenario repeating itself in the used cars market too.

Second hard cars have always been a hot spot of market activity and creative minds have always won in the competition. Craigslist is one of the newer phenomena in the market as it allows buyers and sellers of cars to connect directly, allowing rich content to be published for better communications. Recently, a user made the social media headlines with a brutally honest advertisement for his 1999 Toyota Corolla, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to the site and generating even more Twitter reactions. What the user did was ingenious as the technically inferior aspects of the vehicle were directly mentioned such as no Bluetooth, no sunroof, no fancy wheels, no rear view camera while the standard features such as “a transparent rear window” were highlighted to assure potential buyers that the car “will outlive you” and will also “outlive your children.” The outcome of the seller’s honest attempt is still unknown as Craigslist quickly removed the advertisement from its website but statements such as “let’s face the facts, this car isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but neither are you” most definitely reduced the chances of success for the bold seller.

The Social Media Trends to Watch

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The social media is a phenomenon of the new millennium. Its numbers have crossed more than 3 billion users worldwide, becoming a primary means for businesses, politicians and decision-makers to reach their audiences. And there is a lot more to the social media story than Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, as indicated by the evolving trends in social media.

Rise of Private Groups

Facebook Groups took off in 2018 as a means for brands to connect directly with fans. Facebook Groups allow a company to participate as a Business Page, post Live videos and facilitate social learning. These groups are meant for engaging with a large audience and garnering the necessary feedback.

Emergence of Chatbots

Internet chatbots date back to the days of AOL messenger. Chatbots have evolved considerably since those times and are now being integrated with social media. Businesses are using chatbots to establish social connection with the customers on social media. In an indication of things to come, the new Facebook Messenger platform saw the number of chatbots soaring to more than one lakh in the very first year of its inception.

Stories Everywhere

The social media platforms have metamorphosed into story-telling platform, which is good for brand building. Instagram Stories have received a major boost due to AR filters, Facebook has added Stories to personal accounts, Pages and Groups, while WhatsApp and YouTube have also invested in Story-like features. The evolution from basic features to branded storytelling snippets and integration with shopping features will only jump further.

Thriving Live Video

Live video content is making huge waves and is set to become a crucial part of marketing strategy. Consumers love video content, with estimates suggesting that 2/3rd of the audiences prefer watching live video as opposed to reading social media blogs.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing makes use of micro influencers to drive traffic and sales. Companies hire the services of Instagrammers and Snapchatters to promote their brand and manage their social media profile. Micro influencers are people who have a strong following on social media channels, with numbers typically ranging between 1,000 and 90,000.

Paid Advertisements

Businesses need an active presence on the social media and they know it. They build profiles on multiple platforms and update these on a regular basis. Companies pay for advertisements in order to take their social media strategies to the next level. Facebook alone has more than six million advertisers and Instagram has more than two million monthly paid advertisers.

Social Listening

Social platforms are listening to the conversations taking place on their platforms. If you are discussing something with friends and see a related advertisement on the social media, you can attribute it to the ears of the social platforms.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality takes the real and modifies it. The Pokemon Go gaming app is an example of Augmented Reality. The app accesses the user’s camera and adds fictional elements to the screen. Social media channels are implementing augmented reality on their platforms to provide and enhance the customer experience, with Snapchat’s face filters being a case in point.

To Make Digital Marketing Effective, Go Back to the Basics

International-Telecommunication-Union-BRANDSPURNGAsk a business owner for a list of the things that most often overwhelm her, and she may well place digital marketing at the top. That’s not unusual: Most business owners feel as if there’s too much to learn and do, and too little time to do it.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Five Steps to a Simpler Digital Marketing Strategy

Between content marketing, social media, SEO, PPC advertising, web design, conversion funnels, email, direct messages, and dozens of other marketing functions a business might tackle, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. If you aren’t careful, you could end up missing out on a golden opportunity to reach new customers and expand your brand.

Setting aside all the noise that surrounds digital marketing, the core tenets and responsibilities remain simple and familiar. Contrary to popular belief, you can simplify your efforts.

Below are five practical suggestions.

  • Establish 3 to 5 Core Marketing Objectives

It’s easy to get sidetracked in digital marketing if you’re not clear about what you’re trying to accomplish. But if you don’t let that happen, it can be oh-so-easy to hunker down and focus on the marketing tasks that matter because you know what you’re aiming for.

Before you do anything else, sit down and establish a list of three to five core marketing objectives. These will be the filters through which every marketing decision — big or small — will pass.

  • Clarify Your Brand Voice

The next step is to clarify your brand voice. It’s imperative to have a solid grasp of your brand’s identity and how you expect to convey it to your target audience.

A strong brand voice maintains consistency and makes it easy to facilitate communications that are meaningful and “on brand.” It also makes the challenge of establishing trust with customers much more smooth.

You can use this to shape a style guide that will help you create useful and high-returning content.

  • Streamline SEO

Too many firms overcomplicate SEO by adopting complex strategies and techniques. Although there’s an undeniably technical facet to SEO, the fundamentals are absurdly basic.

Experts suggest following a simple 1-2-3 SEO process: (1) Find the appropriate keywords, (2) Optimize the site for those keywords, and (3) Develop content about those relevant keywords. Each of the steps requires work, but don’t fall for the notion that you have to do ten tasks at once.

  • Use Minimalist Design

Complicated web design with intricate graphics and lots of motion aren’t necessary. If you study some of the leading brands in your space, you’re apt to notice that they rely on minimalist design to get their branding cross … and this should be good news for you.

Minimalist style takes skill, but it doesn’t require a massive investment. You can excise a lot of unnecessary brainstorming from the process and use your creative energy in other areas.

  • Focus on One Social Media Platform

Who says you need a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, Periscope, Foursquare, and every other platform in between? If you’re investing in all these channels, the odds are you aren’t doing a very good job on any of them.

Instead, focus in on just one top social media channel, such as Instagram or YouTube. If you pour all your time and creative energy into this profile, you’ll extract far more value over the long run.

It’s better to have a few hundred loyal, engaged supporters than thousands of shallow, disengaged followers.

Simple is Better

There’s a common assumption that the harder you work for something, the better the results will be. But too often, this becomes little more than a justification for sunk costs.

The truth is that the simplest tasks often yield the highest return on investment — especially in digital marketing. Instead of overwhelming yourself with complex marketing initiatives and challenging strategies that demand substantial amounts of time and financial resources, simplify your approach.

If you do so, you’re more likely to save time, money, and creative energy … all of which could be reallocated toward strategic investments in other areas of the operation. Simple is better. The sooner you recognize this, the quicker you can move forward.

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