Is your brand on Instagram? What are you doing to bolster your brand there? Are you still figuring out ways in which you can enhance your presence there? Today we will be looking at ways in which Instagram can be used for businesses.
First things first. Instagram’s “Snapchat-like” stories are the latest buzz in the world of social media. We will talk about that first. Instagram Stories refer to a series of videos and images that can be uploaded to a different feed from your regular one. These stories disappear after 24 hours. Meanwhile, the story continues to be shown chronologically once you add content to it. There is scope to edit your content with fun emojis, finger paint and text. The videos and images on this feed cannot really be liked or commented on but you will be able to send a message from the Stories on the slideshow to your user. You can even share parts of the stories on your regular feed.
Now, the question is how exactly a Social Media Management Company can make use of this feature to improve brand awareness? We will explore how.
Instagram Stories are a great avenue for securing engagement online. Any sagacious advertiser would understand that. Firstly, it can be a great way with the help of which you can give your users a sneak-peek of what’s happening behind the scenes. Talk about weaving stories and there’s nothing better than telling them who you’re – beyond your products or services. Tease them with glimpses of the upcoming changes to your website or introduce them to your team via videos. These are a few great ways in which you can build buzz and engage users.
Instagram Stories render a certain degree of exclusivity to your content. Capitalize on this exclusivity to gain more followers on this platform. Use this platform to secure more registrants for webinars or for Facebook video sessions.
Instagram’s Algorithm: What you need to know
The recent algorithm change introduced by the platform has attracted the attention of B2C businesses. Earlier, your posts appeared chronologically on the feed. In the wake of the change, however, only posts that are likely to garner the highest degree of attention or engagement in the form of likes, comments, and shares, appear at the top. Instagram, from now on, will try to gauge the kind of interest a post will be able to generate. Talk about Artificial Intelligence!!
Businesses, as such, are required to revise their social media strategies because they would want to get their most recent posts appear first. If they don’t then there’s hardly any point of sharing them at the first place. There is a need to respond to this change with marked immediacy. Ask your fans to turn on their notification, use relevant hashtags to attract discussions on recent topics and strengthen focus on the creation of shareable and click-worthy content. Make sure you’re picking the right marketing tools to measure the success of your content- shares, clicks, audience growth, and click-throughs.
While feasibility of using offshore/nearshore resources for the delivery of certain activities or business processes has been already established, long term strategic feasibility and appropriateness of various engagement models are still under scrutiny.
The most common approaches nowadays are either working with a third-party outsourcing provider or establishing captive operations in lower cost locations. Engagement models can be differentiated based upon customer organization’s need for management control, costs of operation, risks and other factors.
Third-party outsourcing is classic client-vendor relationship governed by contractual obligations and service level agreements. It is mostly driven by tactical reasons such as short-term cost savings and staffing flexibility. Non-core or non-critical activities are typical candidates for outsourcing.
Traditional third-party outsourcing comes in two main forms:
- Project-based outsourcing is considered to be the most appropriate for development of software with well-defined requirements and deliverables. It is suitable for irregular but on-going or one-off projects. On-site presence may be required to facilitate estimating, specification and relationship management. Typical pricing models are Time and Materials (T&M) and Fixed Price.
- Dedicated development center model caters for software with changing requirements, maintenance and support of large systems, research and development, testing as well as other types of complex ongoing medium- or long-term tasks. In this type of engagement vendor provides necessary facilities and allocates a team that works only on account’s projects and is managed by customer representative. This option is usually preferred when resource requirements are low. The customer is charged fixed monthly fee per full-time employee (FTE).
When considering how to organize the remote delivery of software development services, captive subsidiary option often does not receive full consideration in comparison to outsourcing. While it is generally accepted to outsource certain non-crucial activities, in certain cases this approach is inappropriate for core functions and critical activities. Decision to take work offshore/nearshore doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to outsource it. Use of remote resources for the delivery of functions close to core business while retaining operational control and benefiting from real cost advantages can be achieved by means of setting up captive facility, thus keeping work within the company.
Captive model means that customer organization makes strategic decision to create its presence in the lower cost location and conduct work there as a part of its own operations. The activities are performed remotely, but they are not outsourced to the vendor. Thus the customer is able to retain full control and mitigate respective risks associated with intellectual property and other sensitive business information.
Organizations that want to establish captive centers have similar goals as those deploying traditional enterprise or shared services operations. In the first place captives are supposed to lower cost through labor arbitrage. But recent research shows that buyers are seeking not only cheaper but skilled labor at offshore/nearshore locations. They want to obtain competitive advantage and gains from process improvements. In order to avoid risks of underutilizing captive capacities, organizations must thoroughly assess their long-term operational requirements and predict service needs that may arise in the future.
The most common approaches to setting up captive operations are the following:
- Creating captive center from scratch (do-it-yourself captive) can be successful when customer organization has necessary resources, local expertise and market knowledge. Decision to set up own captive center may evolve organically through growth. Organization can either perform extensive due diligence on its own or buy existing company with operations in the chosen location.
- Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) approach means partnering with third-party vendor to establish and stabilize center. Vendor is responsible for initial setup, staffing and operations of the captive center during the predefined period of time. At the end of the contract period the ownership is transferred to the customer. Thus organization takes over the turnkey captive center tailored to its specific needs. BOT option best suits organizations that do not have local expertise or extensive resources available. In this type of engagement only logistics associated with setup of the captive center is outsourced. Build-Operate-Transfer optimally combines control element of the pure captive model with flexibility of outsourcing. Essentially it provides maximum control at minimal risk.
Main benefits of having own captive center:
- Ongoing realization of real cost savings
- Full operational control and monitoring
- Full ownership after the transfer
- Minimization of intellectual property and data security risks
- Retained knowledge of industry, specific business processes and techniques
- Improved communications by continual reinforcement and experience
- Easy replication of parent organization’s processes
- Captive center can be commercialized at some point in the future
Both outsourcing and captive operations have similar driving forces (cost reductions and competitive pressures in the first place) and particular advantages, but main factors for choosing one or another vary.
Both approaches will deliver benefits in terms of improved focus, optimization of processes, reduction of operational costs, faster time-to-market etc. But companies must thoroughly evaluate each option to identify one that represents the best fit for their specific requirements, business culture and strategic goals.
The approach selected will depend on whether the primary driver is short-term cost savings or whether the company has long-term vision for offshoring/nearshoring and wishes to retain control over processes and intellectual property.
Establishing nearshore captive center in Ukraine through BOT model
If software development is a core competency of your company and you have long term specialized resource requirements, it makes sense to build your own capability in order to support the full software life-cycle, secure intellectual property and build up specific know-how. Nowadays this process is not as difficult as it used to be. The key to success is finding a trusted partner that already operates in the environment of country. By doing this you will benefit from:
- Clearly defined setup methodology and timeline
- Planned step-by-step implementation
- Responsibility for all logistics associated with establishing a captive center
- Practical knowledge of establishing IT business and dealing with related legal and contractual issues
- Deep comprehension of cost and effort components associated with setting up and running a software development center in offshore/nearshore country
- Hands-on experience in software engineering, generally recognized methodologies, processes and quality assurance that can be adapted to captive center
- Established HR practices, experience in recruiting qualified IT staff
- Attention to addressing security and business continuity issues
- Consulting and support throughout the setup process
- High level of business commitment and responsiveness
- Flexible client-specific approach
How do you currently handle quality control in your business? If you offer products to clients, you must have some system in place to make sure every product delivered to every client is of high quality. If this is neglected, you will lose your customers and gain a reputation for producing products that do not live up to their hype. This is bad for business and one low quality product could stick with your business in a negative light for many years to come. This is why you may consider working with a quality management system designed by a professional ISO consultant.
There are four main benefits to moving beyond your own system to a quality management system that can be ISO certified:
1. Longevity and growth for your business.
When you work with an ISO consultant to improve the quality of your products, you ensure that your business will be around for a long time to come. When your products become more valuable and are consistent over time, you start to gain the trust of the consumer. Your excellent quality is talked about in communities and word of mouth spreads. You become one of the most trust brands in your market because you care enough to work with a quality management system that keeps your products at the top of the market.
2. Increased prestige and enhanced reputation.
Along with increased quality comes prestige and a positive reputation in your industry. As your customers note your exceptional and consistent quality, so will your competitors. So will others who may be looking for someone in your industry to do business with. A lot of great things can happen for your reputation as you start to implement a quality management system.
3. Greater opportunity to sell in markets around the world.
There are untapped markets that you cannot get into today without being ISO certified. The only way to get ISO certified is to work with an ISO consultant who knows all about quality control and the standards for certification. They can help you implement a quality management system that passes for certification and that you can afford to continue implementing in the future. In order to remain a competitor in these worldwide markets, you will need to be very consistent with implementing and documenting your system as it pertains to quality.
4. Peace of mind that you are delivering what you promised your customers.
Finally, you have your own peace of mind that you are doing the right thing for your customers and the market when you implement an efficient quality management system. Whether you are interested in ISO certification right now or just might be open to it in the future, you will feel good knowing that the products you sell are of high quality.
All product lines require high quality today. Whether you are baking donuts and cakes or selling swing sets or baby cribs, you have to make sure the products stamped with your brand name represent your name very well. Your reputation and the future of your business is on the line!
In today’s fast paced digital arena, where technology has played a significant role to bring excellence in each and every work domain. Custom website development is yet another precious contribution of our technological innovations, which has certainly bridged the gap between the products and their consumers. Nowadays, it is not only limited for displaying your products over the web, but it is all about presenting them in an appropriate way.
It is an amalgamation of well-managed content, hassle-free navigation, stunning appearance, and faster processing for your website, which facilitates your customers to establish an instant connection with your organization. As per research, it is found that the conglomerates having sturdy web presence have 50% more chances to acquire new customers for their respective products. Similarly, while searching for any of the products/services, most of the times, we approach to those service providers that appear under the top most searches on the Internet. Web sites developed with cutting-edge business web design methodologies are powered with innumerable useful measures that are useful to elevate your online identity.
Here are some of the benefits of custom web development that can assuredly improvise the web presence of your business:
Global Exposure: It is a well-known fact that the Internet is known as a source of opportunities, and can assuredly benefit you, if used accurately. A well optimized web application expands your customer base, suppliers and distributors to give an edge to your work domain. If you are one of the entrepreneurs, who are looking forward to do more in their business, then targeting global customers will be an affirmative idea. Besides, generating massive revenues, it can also help you add glitter to the goodwill of your products or services.
Reinforce Customer Service: Customer service is one of the most important factors for the success of any business, as it builds trust in your clients. Moreover, it enables you to get valuable feedback of your product from your esteemed customers. So, now you can overtake your competitors on the highway of success by enhancing the services and quality of your products. An efficient web application can serve your customers in a better way, if they are looking for the information about your product or services. Be it sending information requests, product research, comparing price or other queries, now your customers can get details for each and everything as faster as a speeding comet.
Consistency: Consistency is the key factor for attaining success in every business domain. You may shift your work place, change your contact numbers, or even transform the way you work, but your website address remains same at most of the times. Correspondingly, a customized website, developed as per your business requirements can quickly capture the attention of your audiences, and can be molded without even changing its framework. It not only helps you stay connected with your customers, but also portray a professional image of your company in the rest of the world.
Do not limit the prospects of your business, when the whole world may be your potential market. Unleash its hidden potential, and reap unlimited number of benefits by forming a rock-solid web existence in the market.
Attracting business listings to an online business directory is essential to operating a successful directory. The key to attracting business listings is to create a positive online presence. There are a number of methods one can use to spread the word in the online business community about the benefits of listing their business on your directory.
1. Because businesses need to know why it is beneficial to list their business in your directory, you need to let them know the advantages of adding their listing. Write a series of articles and submit them to a number of article directories throughout the internet. Write about why business directories are a great way for a business to gain exposure such as helping a business improve their search engine rankings and creating name and brand recognition.
2. Because online business directories allows one the flexibility of being creative in how they create categories and subcategories, you can target businesses in your local community by creating a category just for them. The subcategories can be divided into the various types of local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, computer services…etc. Send out emails or letters promoting your local business category of your directory. You can also go to each business and talk to them about the benefits of listing their business in your directory. Carry business cards with you to distribute.
3. Create a free e-book that teaches people how to effectively promote their own business. This e-book can be a 50 or 100 page guide on marketing one’s business both online and offline. It should be informative with a many strategies on how a business can reach their targeted customer.
4. On your business directory, offer free stuff that can benefit a business such as free animations, free website templates, HTML checker, keyword check tool, free spyware scan, website submission tools, Meta tag analyzer, and free back grounds. As well, post articles on your site on tips to promoting a business and how one implements various types of marketing strategies.
5. There are many online business discussion forums and business Blogs where one can post comments. It is important that your comments are relevant to the discussion and Blog post, and not just blatant advertising. Make sure your signature includes your directory URL. As well, post your directory URL to many online classified sites.
6. Make your online directory a niche directory. For instance, if your main website is computers, create an online directory that targets the computer industry. This can include categories that focus on the computer industry. You can create it so that it is for businesses that are related to your own business, but not your direct competition. You can then set up an email campaign to target these businesses for listing in your directory. You have to explain why listing in your directory will benefit their business.
Recruiting businesses to your online directory is easy, but takes patience. You have to implement some form of marketing technique every day to spread the word about the benefits of listing with your directory. In no time, you will have a thriving and money making online business directory.