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The Importance of Using All Three (PR, Social Media, and Traditional Marketing) to Grow Your Business

These days, marketing has become more focused on the digital aspect. It means that the majority of promotions, advertisements, and campaigns are now made and distributed online. 

Most of the time, marketers assume that the best path to take is online marketing and social media can produce the finest results. 

Well, this is somewhat understandable since a big chunk of today’s population can be found online all the time. But, traditional marketing and PR or public relations still got a solid leverage as far as the world of marketing is concerned. After all, not everyone uses the internet at all times. 

Yes, people are still glued to their TV screens. They still read newspapers and listen to the radio. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that there are products that create better results when marketed offline in the same way other products create better results when marketed online. The secret here is to make sure that you use a combination of PR, social media, and traditional marketing to generate the highest quality of results from your marketing efforts. 

PR Tactics for Better Business Growth 

The most popular public relations strategy is a media release. However, there are some other similarly effective methods you can use to let your target audience become familiar with your stories. A media pitch is a type of targeted media angle or story idea you pitch to a certain journalist in a TV show, or publication you know can specifically relate to their viewers or readers. 

Case studies, on the other hand, can serve as a great platform to influence business success and share its story to the media via your customers. If you want to build your credibility and profile, speaking engagements are the best way to go. These are cost-effective ways to reach out to a larger and more influential audience to position you or the spokesperson as an industry expert. 

Harness the Power of Social Media 

There are now hundreds of social media platforms you can find online, but the main ones you should consider include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn. To facilitate business growth, you have to plan how you will position your business story on every channel. 

Take note that not all of these channels will be suitable for every audience or every story. If your competitor has been using Twitter, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit. You have to think carefully and consider your messages, stories, available time, and audiences to keep them updated. 

Stay Relevant Through Traditional Marketing 

The main goal of traditional marketing is to promote your brand or business to your target audience and promote your services, products, or features. But, at the end of the day, a marketer’s goal should be to attract more people and convert as many of them as possible. From this perspective, focusing solely on social media will never give you the best results. Instead, this will just cover a part of your audience. 

Traditional marketing, such as in the form of ads, will help you deliver your message to your offline audiences. This is why it is a must for every marketer to pay attention to this channel to attract a bigger crowd of customers. 

Make sure you leverage the power of these three tools to see a substantial business growth in no time. 

What is Structured Data and How It Affects Your Website?

Humans don’t have any trouble in understanding images and texts that happen to be the primary components of a webpage. But for robots like search engine crawlers, it can be a serious challenge for them to properly interpret such elements. In the hopes of helping search engines, leading sites use descriptive information that ambiguously tells them what a specific content is all about. 

Robots, however, can never interpret any kind of description just like that. The information should be organized and formalized for it to make sense. This is where structured data becomes necessary. 

What is Structured Data?

Structured data generally pertains to any organized data. In a website context, structured data refers to extra information in a “formal” language that has been agreed upon that allows search engines to have a better understanding of a page’s content. 

This concept is not really a new one. For the longest time, search engines are using data not seen by humans to extract additional meaning regarding a visible content. The perfect example of this is XML Sitemaps. This isn’t rendered on a webpage itself, which means that it isn’t directly seen by the human eyes. However, search engines read the XML files to gather more information regarding the URL structure of a domain and learn more about every individual URL. 

Today’s biggest search engines rely on and use structured data more and more to better understand every content they spider and index. As a result, it allows them to improve all the results they display for particular search queries and help people better in finding whatever it is they are looking for. 

Why Should Your Website Use Structured Data?

Why does your website need structured data? Take note that structured data is what tells the search engines the exact things that are found on every page you’ve got, allowing them to identify crucial pieces of information that they need. Of course, this is still worth putting and useful on your site as it is. However, people are more after what a search engine does with the structured data. 

There are some who believe that this structured data can help with their ranking or have an effect on where content shows up on search engine results pages. But, there isn’t any actual evidence that this is really true. What it does instead is that it gives search engines the chance to get a complete understanding of your website for them to more accurately recommend content once a person types in related search queries. On the most basic level, structured data serves as a tool to assist with SEO and help search engines for them to more accurately provide relevant content.  

The moment search engines determine the exact thing that is found on your web page. It allows them to do some really neat things with the data. There are instances when they will show the content of being rich results in search engine results pages. These rich results refer to enhanced search results showing your content in a completely different way which depends on the content being used. The rich results go into further detail compared to traditional search results and often contain images as well as other forms of visual content. 

Importance of Online Forums

Online forums have definitely come a very long way for the past few years. Even to this day, they remain to be hugely popular. In fact, statistics reveal that around 15% of online users still comment on or read discussion forums.

So, how come forums managed to maintain their fame up to this age when Facebook and social media platform are already the trends? 

Below are some of the primary reasons why online forums remain important and why it is a must that you use them as well. 

Content 

It is probably the top benefit of online forums. An online discussion or forum feature is a must-have in every website as it automatically creates fresh content. As you know, search engines like contents, and having an online forum where people participate, contribute, and add new replies and posts generate adequate content in boosting your website. 

It may take time before you achieve this specific level, not to mention that you also need several great members. However, if you manage to acquire an excellent user group that always post things, this will help your website and improve its rankings. 

Visitor Retention 

This is a discussion area or online forum on your site where potential customers, clients, and new online visitors are given a good reason to come back to your website, particularly if you have the advice or help they need on a particular subject. Site owners want their visitors to keep coming back to their site, so adding a forum is one of the best ways to encourage people to return and check out your site on a regular basis. 

Increased Sales

Online forums and discussions play a crucial role if your customers happen to be at the initial stage of the cycle of customer buyer or what you call the dream or pre-purchase stage. Authentic and genuine customer photos, comments, and videos can help them with their research and even dream about the experiences and products you offer the moment they arrive at your website for the first time. 

Market Research 

When you are in direct contact with potential customers and existing customers alike, you have the opportunity to stay informed of their needs, questions, general interests, and wants. This will make them great tools for research. Online forums and discussions will also give you better insight into their vocabulary to help you ensure that you use the right language on your content and messages familiar and easy to understand to them. 

Interact with Prospects and Customers

An online forum is often an informal place yet you can still use this to share announcements regarding your business, address queries about your services and products, and talk about the benefits and features of choosing your business in general. After all, these pieces of information in your forum are what people find the most interesting. 

Community Building

Finally, online forums are the best way to offer your community a great way to connect and stay in touch with each other. This is a wonderful tool to form meaningful relationships in overlapping industries, nurture some sense of belonging, and swap ideas. 

5 Steps to Radical Profitable Goals

5 Steps to RADICAL Goals and Greater Success

Finding it too easy to hit your goals? Maybe you have goals that simply don’t challenge you – and in this case, are they really goals at all?

When it comes to making goals that help you in the long run, it’s important to ensure that they are progressive. By this, we mean that they are stepping stones to greater success. 

If you would like to embrace more progressive goals, take a look at this 5-Step process to ensure that your goal planning will result in the success you deserve.

Step 1. Think About What Matters Most

Before you jump into any huge goal setting strategies, it’s important to think about what matters most – to you, and no one else. 

Many people start off by looking at their goals from a monetary perspective, only to find that when they get the raise they’ve been working for, it brings them no more success or happiness. 

What’s most important to you? Structure your goals around this desire.

Step 2. Think Long-Term, Plan Short-Term

Thinking long term will allow you to see the big picture, but to a certain extent, you can never completely plan for a long-term situation or goal. 

For this reason, it can be very effective to plan short-term goals that are centered around your long-term thinking. Each short-term goal, achieved one by one, brings you closer to what you want in the long term.

In this way, you’ve set yourself up for a complete and useful strategy for success. 

Step 3. Use Key Results

No goal setting is complete without key results. Key results are steppingstones to your goals.

For example; if you have a goal of saving five thousand dollars – what are the actual key results? What are the moves you take? What do you do in order for this to happen?

Having a goal is great, but what are the steps needed to reach this goal? Each goal you have should contain key results. In this way, you can better fulfil your progressions towards a goal. 

Step 4. Think 10x Bigger

Many people are so focused on the small details.

For example, you hear investment bankers talking about percentages – finding 1% better here, 5% better here – and it might work for them, but the average person may not see actual, measurable benefits from this. 

Instead, think ten times bigger!

Each time you write down a goal, think to yourself, “Is this the best I can do?”

Step 5. Think Ahead

Making a progressive goal will always require you to think ahead.

Understandably, sometimes you cannot think about all the outcomes of a particular situation, but you can still plan for some events that can change or unfortunate possibilities that don’t benefit you. 

Thinking ahead will allow you to account for specific situations that are not beneficial, and in this way, will help you to make more actionable goals. You can plan for likely obstacles and determine solutions ahead of time in the event the obstacles materialize.

Suddenly, such an obstacle isn’t an obstacle at all, but simply a Plan B pathway to your goal!

Let the Process Work for You

If you’ve been feeling stuck or downhearted by your lack of progress, follow these five steps to make more progressive goals that get you back onto a path toward the success you seek!

Branding

Today’s marketing realm will never be complete without branding. Every single day, hundreds of potential competitors pop up, and the only choice left for you is to accept that branding isn’t something you can take for granted. 

While there are differences in how you brand yourself according to the specific industry you belong to, the pillars remain the same all the time. 

If you don’t meet the following tenets of branding, expect that success will be out of your reach. 

Simplicity

Most startups try to become everything. They want to address all sorts of problems that come their way. Unfortunately, it can end up diluting the brand, and as a result, they don’t solve anything at all. Don’t try to become a jack of all trades but a master of none. Instead, make it your goal to meet the specific needs of one extreme niche then do a great job on that. Sooner or later, your reach will widen and little by little, and you can target the concerns of more audience along the way. 

Original Expression

Branding narrative always includes a statement. This is something many businesses discuss but never really do in the end. You can do something that will clarify what your business is all about. It can be in the form of a simple redesigning of your logo or releasing a series of new videos. 

Don’t try to be different just for the sake of it and instead, try to deliver a compelling message in the best way possible. 

Disruption

When you speak of marketing disruption, this is a concept involving a business that does something to break free from the norm. This can encourage the entire industry to alter its operation. It can be as simple as opting for a complicated niche, then releasing something to simplify things. It is a sound approach in branding since it will put you at the cutting edge of breakthrough innovation. 

You shouldn’t just improve what already exists, but it is more about making the whole business category better. 

Give Meaning

It is important for your brand to have some kind of meaning attached to it. It is something you should question regularly. Ask yourself the reason why you do something as well as the point you like to put across. This must not be something people cannot even identify with. 

Deliver a Big Idea

All entrepreneurs have big ideas. The only problem is that they tend to jeopardize those big ideas the moment they realize that it is impractical to focus on that at the moment. As a result, they don’t return on that idea, making them similar to everyone else. Your big ideas should serve as the driving force of your business. It may always take many years to achieve, but that big idea of yours is also your brand. Don’t deviate away from it. 

Many brands rose to popularity without any obvious reason. It is hard to explain why certain brands become famous while others don’t. But, as long as you follow these tenets, you can be sure that you will be on your way to a brand that resonates to the general public. 

The Power of Routines

Falling into a routine may seem like just something that makes your life simpler and easier. After all, wouldn’t it be great to do things like you are on autopilot? But the truth is that there is more to routines than just simplifying everything for you. 

A routine is a simple method that ensures that you can do the same things at the same time in exactly the same way each and every day. A routine lets you decide in advance when you will do things, arrive at a decision once, and spend your effort and time executing instead of pondering on what to do next. 

The routine concept implies doing one thing again and again. For most people, it may sound as if it will rob them of the chance to be spontaneous. 

But, what they don’t realize is that a consistent routine is extremely important. By following a routine, you will soon learn that you have more energy and time to practice spontaneity. Being consistent delivers you all the things you need in your life with some other exciting extras. 

How powerful are routines? Take a look at the top benefits of a solid routine. 

Routines Let You Check Off More Things on Your To-do List

How many times have you woken up with a mountain of things to do and you feel like you don’t accomplish anything at all? It may be common if you are trying to juggle several tasks and responsibilities all at once. Having a solid routine can block out chunks of the day for certain tasks. You can reduce the risks of procrastination by setting up a specific time for getting something done. Soon, you can make it into your habit to get things done. 

Routines are Great for Your Mental Health 

Stress and anxiety levels can reach greater heights if things are chaotic and disorganized. A solid day to day routine will eradicate the guesswork, and as a result, it also gets rid of all stress. This will make you feel more relaxed and at peace. 

Routines Help You Break Free from Bad Habits 

The main idea behind routines is to help you form good habits that will eventually ditch your old bad habits. This might sound farfetched, but it all comes down to identifying the things that matter most and preparing a schedule revolving around them. Sticking with good routine can form new habits that make your old ones nothing but things of the distant past. 

Routines Make You Feel More Relaxed

Routine lets you get more things done within a set timeframe. This creates more opportunities to allot more spare time to do things you want and just relax with no worries. 

Routines Allow You to Choose What Happens with Your Day 

Life happens and without a routine, you might end up wasting your time.  By sticking to a schedule, you are in better control of your day. You can do what you want and achieve your goals. 

Now is the perfect time to create a routine and harness its full power and potential. 

Using Checklists to Save Yourself Time

Checklists are the perfect tools you can use to better organize and manage your assignments. These also allow you to easily identify and determine tasks of the highest importance. A checklist is designed to ensure completeness and consistency and reduce errors as you carry out a particular duty. 

There will always be busy days when you have lots of things and tasks to do but with very little time available at your disposal to get things done. This is when you need a tool to help you organize your overwhelming tasks and manage all your responsibilities. Checklists are used to perform routine checks and make sure that you don’t miss out anything. 

What are Checklists? 

Checklists are formats made to accomplish repetitive activities, collect data in a systematic and orderly manner, and control compliance with a requirements list. Checklists are used for making standardized checks of things and tasks to ensure that no important point is missed or overlooked. 

Uses and Purposes of Checklists 

Checklists can come in handy and useful for different tasks, including the following:

    • Conducting inspections that require a record of the inspected points

 

    • Conducting activities where it is a must to ensure that there are no forgotten steps or that tasks are all done in proper order 

 

    • Examine or verify articles

 

    • Analysis and verification of operations 

 

    • Analyze or examine the position of defects and check the reason behind these defects 

 

  • Collect data required for future analysis 

Top Reasons to Use Checklists 

Every time you do a task that involves several steps, it is all too easy to forget one or even several of them. The use of checklists will ensure that nothing will be forgotten. A checklist is one indispensable tool if you are doing something repeatedly, and you wish to do this right each and every time. 

A checklist can help save you time since there is no need for you to use time just to remember the steps. This will then allow you to dedicate and focus all of your time on the completion of the task at hand. A checklist will also let you delegate tasks effectively and confidently. The use of a checklist is a great way to make your life simpler and more productive.  

How to Prepare an Effective Checklist 

  1. Every item in your checklist should be brief and clear. This will make things easier for you and the people who will use the checklist. 
  2. Organize all items by group or category. It lets you navigate between different sections with ease and look for items you need to work on right away. 
  3. The checklist should be easy to use and understand. Come up with simple steps that will remind the user in a more straightforward way of the steps they should follow. 
  4. Continue to refine the checklist. Constant improvements will further improve the effectiveness of your checklist. 

A checklist helps you maintain good practices and consistency in a very convenient and easy way. This can also help you save time, energy and resources in the process.  

How to Manage Digital Clutter

Clutter can have the worst effect on productivity. 

Many people find it hard to work and concentrate in a messy and cluttered space. Getting rid of physical clutter to make your workspace cozier and more work-conducive allows you to get things done.

However, there is one form of clutter that most people tend to overlook. This is none other than digital clutter. 

Today, almost all aspects of a person’s day to day life is digital. You store tons of information on your smartphones, computers, and online. This makes it too easy for your digital space to become disorganized and overwhelmed. Just like cleaning your desk on a regular basis, cleaning out and managing your digital clutter is also important for you to be more productive. 

Check out the following tips to help you out:

Desktop

Free up some mental space by freeing up your computer’s desktop space. 

  1. Get rid of duplicate files, delete downloads, and empty the recycle or trash bin.
  2. Go through the bookmarks you’ve got on the browser. The general rule of thumb here is that if it is easy for you to get to a particular site by just typing in its name, there is no need to bookmark it. Instead, reserve this feature for specific or unique pages such as the web portal of your dentist. 
  3. Create 5 to 6 top-level folders in your computer’s Documents folder. You can label these are Receipts, Financial, Household, Health, Kids, and Travel, for example. Add sublevels as needed, but you shouldn’t go over 2 or 3 deep. Move the corresponding files from the desktop to these newly made folders. 

E-mail

It is now high time for you to get over that fear of deleting an email that you might need in the near future. You can only move on if you deal with this right away. 

  1. Grab this chance to opt-out of those subscriptions no longer of importance to you. 
  2. If you feel like you need something down the road such as receipts or emails related to your tax transactions, you can save this on a computer folder instead of an email folder. Delete that email right away after you do so. 

Apps 

Many people today often have 5 to 10 apps, yet there are also those who have 50 up to 100 apps on their device. You can improve the speed of your device by deleting those apps you don’t even use. This will also make it simpler and faster for you to access the ones you need and use. 

  1. Clear apps outside your home screen because of the fact that they aren’t there means they are not important. You can always reinstall if you suddenly miss them after some time. 
  2. Store your games and social media apps in the folder named “Time Wasters.” This blunt title will remind you to be extra mindful with every tap and swipe. 

Videos and Photos 

Photos worthy of keeping must be memory triggers for a behavior or event. 

  1. Begin with your oldest videos. Videos eat up lots of space, and if they are older, you will have a less emotional attachment to them. 
  2. Move those keepers to a computer or on the cloud. Place these in one folder that is backed up on a regular basis.

Why You Should be Brain Dumping Daily

What is the secret for increased productivity and creativity?  Well, brain dumping might be the answer to this. 

When you speak of brain dumping, you basically take all those thoughts running around your mind and dumping these into a piece of paper. Having your ideas written on paper is crucial for success. Ideas can lead to more ideas, but failure to write those down will make you lose all of them for good in a snap of a finger. 

In the practice of brain dumping, you have to transfer all of the knowledge and thoughts you have about a certain subject or during a specific timeframe into a notepad or journal. The main purpose here is for you to round up any loose ends, thoughts, and ideas then contain all of these into a single place. 

You can create your brain dump lists on physical paper journals or on a digital application on your smartphone or computer. 

Why should you brain dump daily, anyway? What makes this exercise beneficial? 

Take a look at the following advantages of brain dumping every day:

  1. Brain dumping lets you identify that one place where you can keep all your thoughts. 
  2. How many times have you had an excellent idea, but you failed to remember one critical detail? You can check back and review your brain dump log to find the answer right there waiting for you. 
  3. The ability to look at all of your ideas and thoughts within a certain timeframe from a higher level can give you the chance to make and identify connections that you probably didn’t see before. It is a great tool for product developers, entrepreneurs, and business owners. 
  4. Brain dumping can bring order and organization to the chaotic mess of information overload that is very common these days. This helps you prioritize your tasks, then complete them accordingly. 
  5. Your brain dump log can provide you a history of work and ideas you have that you can tap into and use any time in the near future for new ideas for brainstorming. 
  6. When your brain dumps on a daily basis, you can lower the number of things that can distract you from gaining proper workflow and focus throughout the day.
  7. You can use brain dumping exercise to form physical lists. These physical lists might be easier and simpler to manage compared to mental lists. 
  8. Similar to a computer, brain dumping allows you to clear your brain’s cache, and as a result, it  can improve its processing speed and overall performance. 
  9. You can plan your entire month with the use of your brain dump log and enhance your productivity. 
  10. Based on research studies, it shows that the mere act of physically writing everything down will let you encode and imprint this in your memory and improve your recall. This is what you call the modality effect. 

Practice brain dumping if you usually find yourself lacking focus or on information overload. With brain dump, you can increase your productivity, creativity, and the number of hours you spend in the zone. 

Why Mind Mapping is a Great Brainstorming Tool

Brainstorming is a type of activity meant to come up with new and novel creative ideas to solve a certain problem. This is a relaxed group discussion with the objective of finding a solution by gathering different ideas from its participants. Due to its freethinking environment, brainstorming sessions help encourage out of the box ideas that break free from the usual methods of thinking. The critic and analysis of the recommended ideas are only done once the brainstorming has ended. 

The Brainstorming Process

During a session of brainstorming, each participant is urged to think aloud and think of as many ideas as they can at the same time, even including those ideas that sound crazy or strange. The participants should shout out the ideas the moment these pop in their mind.

Every single idea will be noted without being judged or criticized at all. Judgment and criticism of the ideas will only be allowed after the brainstorming session ends. It gives people the chance to think outside the box and enjoy the freedom of suggesting ideas that might even seem and sound vaguely possible. 

A brainstorming session has the purpose of obtaining as many thoughts, ideas, and concepts as possible that will be analyzed and scrutinized later on. This means that the people involved in the session should build on those ideas that came from other participants. 

Mind Mapping for Brainstorming 

Mind mapping or also called concept mapping has a creative potential of being useful and helpful for a brainstorming session. Through the idea presentation in a non-linear, graphical, and intuitive manner, a mind map encourages the brainstorming approach to generate ideas and create connections. 

The mind mapping approach can encourage you in connecting and enumerating concepts with no need to start with a specific conceptual framework. Every time you prepare a mind map, this gives you a chance to branch out in different directions and form connections in between the different branches. After that, you could further divide these ideas into ideas that are more related to the use of additional lines. 

Use Mind Mapping for Brainstorming to Create Better Results 

When you create a mind map, it allows you to put together different pieces of information in such a way that will reveal revelations with brand new information. The basic problem is placed at the center, and from there you will generate ideas in order to come up with various possible solutions. Lines can be used to connect these ideas with other potential solutions in relation to your idea. 

Since the system of mind mapping tries to tap into the natural way that the brain functions, you will discover that mind mapping can put you in touch with your innate creative potential. This will also allow you to organize and generate ideas at a relatively faster pace. The use of color, images, and symbols can also further help stimulate and encourage imagination and creativity. 

Thanks to mind mapping, brainstorming can become more effective and efficient to help participants achieve their ultimate goal, and that is to solve the specific problem at hand.