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Blog date 29-07-2020
Category : Digital Marketing

How To Get Followers On Instagram Free & Fast ?

Without a doubt, Instagram is a great tool to increase your brand reach. This creative visual app helps you to put across your products and services to people across the globe in a creative way to gain followers. In this blog, we will tell you how to get fast and free followers on Instagram. 

Instagram has steadily grown since its inception and is used by millions all over.

Instagram Statistics:

1. Instagram is a great social media platform and has over 1 billion monthly active users.

2. There are 500 million daily active users on Instagram Stories.

3. The USA has the most number of Instagram users worldwide at 130 million and India ranks second with 100 million Instagram users. 

4. 34% of the global Instagram users are aged between 25-34 years. The age group of 18-24 comes a close second at 30%. 

5. More than 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily. 

6. 60% of people discover new products through Instagram.

Instagram also has the option of creating a separate business account. This is to increase your branding. Optimize your Instagram business account to get more followers. If you are worried about how to get more free followers on Instagram, read these below points carefully. 

25 top tips on how to get more followers on Instagram fast:

Before we start with the tips, remember, if you are on Instagram just to get more followers and be a famous influencer, this is not going to work. Be on Instagram to provide value-content to the users. Are you different from the rest? Is there any unique USP that will help the users? 

But we are not here to demotivate you. Try and test being on Instagram. Sometimes, you start getting traction after 2-3 months of inaction. Let us help you to make a good start and the rest depends on how creative you are and how different you present your product to the users. 

 

1. Profile Optimization

The basic to any social media account getting more followers is the profile optimization. On the Instagram bio, add your website link, contact number and description. For local advertising, be sure to add the location address. Research the brand-related keywords and include 1-2 most important when writing the bio description. 

Adding emojis also attracts new followers. Keep the bio simple and attractive. Let it be your unique identity. Do not copy your competitors.  

 

2. Eye-catching posts

Instagram is all about visually appealing value-providing posts. It is the quality of posts that helps you retain your followers. So, analyze and study before you start creating posts. 

Edit the photo for color coordination and filter before uploading it on Instagram. Remember, no hazy or dull photos or the ones that are not of good quality. 

If you are searching for some good-quality images from the internet, we suggest you to look into these sites-

pexels

unsplash

pixabay

pngtree

freepik

Don’t overcrowd your image with texts. You can always write about what you want in the description or comment section.

 

3. Creativity counts

The people on Instagram love unique and creative posts. Add in the best snaps to pitch your products. Videos and GIF images also add to your creative posts. 

Remember, your posts help you in increasing follower reach. You may seek external third-party tools or resources to get initial traction. But there is no way out other than to be creative if you are to retain your followers. 

 

4. Hire a good graphic designer

If you are not good at photography, hire a professional for it. We are telling you, it will be worth the cost. 

Pay for a series of photoshoots for your product or services. Hire professional graphic designers to create banners and graphics that bring out the USP of your products.

 

5. Follow a Theme

If you want increased followers, try uploading posts with a theme. Many popular themes attract people to your Instagram profile and makes them want to follow you. 

Tile theme- Alternate between photos and quotes or alternate between photos and your work

how to get more followers on Instagram?

Border theme- You can select black, white or any colored border or even frames for all the posts.

Row theme- Here, each row tells a different story. It can be a row of photos and another row of quotes or another row of heading and so on. 

Filter theme- Use the same filter for all the photos

Dark theme- The photos are either dark or the background is dark

Mono theme- Here, you show the same object but in different creative ways. You can also focus on a single-colored post every time.  

Background theme- You can keep a similar background for all the photos. It can be white or some light-colored background.

Puzzle theme- A group of photos come together to form a big picture.

how to get more followers on Instagram?

These are just some of the theme ideas put out here. The fact is, Instagram gives you scope to be creative and this is what attracts audiences. 

 

6. Free Instagram tools

Instagram offers free tools like Layout and Boomerang to give more effect to your photos and videos. Likewise, there are many special filters provided on Stories. 

These tools help you to generate audience engagement. Also, this adds creativity and is preferred than the routine simple posts.

 

7. # hashtags and @ tags

Hashtags and tags are important advertising tools on Instagram. The maximum limit of hashtags is 30 on Instagram. You can use all the 30 or limit yourself to using appropriate 10-15 hashtags.

While selecting hashtags, Instagram itself gives you recommendations about the most used hashtags. Click on the suggested hashtags to see how it is used.

Always prepare a list of hashtags before you post. Do not do it at the last minute or at the time of posting. Devote at least half an hour to search for the best hashtags. 

Some of the popular Instagram hashtag generators for your posts are:

all-hashtag

keywordtool

ritetag

ingramer

Seekmetrics

Remember, a well-thought-out strategy of hashtags means that you have better chances of increased reach. 

 

8. Do not ignore descriptions

You might have all the focus on the image, but descriptions cannot be ignored. If photos get you followers, a good description engages them and makes them your loyal followers. Here are some tips while writing descriptions-

  1. Be careful of spelling and grammar
  2. Use emojis only where it makes sense
  3. Write detailed descriptions
  4. Encourage people to comment 
  5. Tag people related to the topic
  6. Always end with a CTA like comment or tag.

For some categories of services or products, only an image will not help the viewers. Here, a detailed description will help viewers better. 

 

9. Comments and Tags

Comments and tags work both ways, in your post and on other posts.

Write catchy captions on images and descriptions that will compel the audience to comment on your posts. Tag people who might be interested in your posts. They will like or comment on the post thus increasing engagement.  

Likewise, if you comment on other posts, they will follow you back and comment when you post something on your profile.

  

10. Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories connect your followers to the brand better than the posts. Though late, many popular brands have understood its importance now. Instagram Stories appear as circles at the top before the post feed. 

The Instagram Stories stickers include questions, location, time, polls, competitions, mood meter, texts and many more. The Stories sticker list is growing day-by-day. So, use it fully to engage your audience. 

It also allows you the Boomerang, Superzoom, Rewind, Type and Hands-Free feature. This is to add some fun to your Instagram marketing.

 

11. Instagram Live

Live streaming helps you to connect with your audiences better.

Just like other Live feeds, Instagram also has live streaming that allows you to interact with your audience in real-time. You can use the live feed to keep the viewers updated through live product launches, unboxing, important announcements and so on. The Instagram live stories are posted for 24 hours just like the story.  

You can hire influencers to help you with Instagram Live. Make enough noise about your live telecast beforehand because it will help you get more audience. Also, the more the comments or queries during the live streaming, the better your chances of connecting with the customers. 

 

12. Instagram IGTV

how to get more followers on Instagram?

Videos can act as a great engagement tool many-a-times and are more effective than photos. 

Instagram TV (IGTV) is another feature that allows users to post longer videos on Instagram. This tool shows up when you want to upload videos on your feed. IGTV is also available as a stand-alone app on the store and helps to watch videos on portrait mode or the long vertical videos.  

Create a video of your profile, products, its benefits, its uses and everything. Do not forget to include your contact address and number. In the end, include a CTA (Call To Action) linking back to a landing page- either the product page or your website homepage. Always get your business and promotional videos done by the finest graphic design agency so that the result is a high-quality professional video that will get more likes and followers.   

All the IGTV videos appear on your post feed. Your followers can also watch all your IGTV video uploads by clicking on the IGTV icon that appears between the grid icon and tagged icon on your profile. 

 

13. Instagram Reels

With the popularity of Tik Tok soaring high, Facebook has already devised a similar video creation tool called Reels on Instagram. Users can upload 15 seconds videos and it has options like speed, special effects and audio similar to Tik Tok. Reels is another feature of Instagram and right now, it is not available as a stand-alone app. 

 

14. Instagram Highlights

Posts on Instagram Stories remain for just 24 hours. If you want to archive your stories and make it visible on your profile for your followers even after 24 hours, it is possible with the Highlights. When posting on Instagram Stories, it gives you an option to add it to Highlights. You can create as many Highlight topics as you want and each topic can contain 100 photos or videos. Instagram Highlights can be utilized to showcase categories of products that you sell or provide a library for new visitors to view shared content. 

In short, Highlights help you to connect, engage and increase your followers on Instagram. 

 

15. Instagram Repost

Reposting snaps by your followers who have tagged your brand is a very good technique to improve your credibility and trust among your followers on Instagram. 

The people out there connect to your services and products through other customer reviews. This, in turn, increases their brand affinity and is a profit for you in the long run.

 

16. Instagram Shopping

The Instagram Shopping feature helps businesses list their products with the price. There is a CTA button ‘View on Website’ to help you take interested viewers to that product page on your website.

how to get more followers on Instagram?

The products on the Shopping list can be tagged on individual posts as shown in the image above. It appears as white spots first and then displays the product name and price later on the post with a clickable link of ‘View Products’ on the left bottom of the post.

 

17. Instagram Threads

Instagram Threads is a standalone messaging app. You can share photos, videos and messages to your close friends. This Instagram Threads is only for the Close Friends list that you have created on Instagram. Using this tool, you can share it with everyone on the list, a sub-list or a person on the close friends’ list. This feature or app can be used to target your select list of followers or influencers. You can also use it to target people based on gender, age, preferences or location.   

 

18. Post  Contests And Offers

Contests and offers through collaboration form an integral part of brand promotion.

The best instance of collaboration is to run a contest and tell the participants to like the collaborator’s page. Also, the condition would be to ask them to tag 3-5 of their friends. Your contest collaborator can run a contest in the same way. By this, their followers will start following your brand too. Thus, you mutually gain each other’s followers. This increases your brand reach on Instagram.

Similarly, posts on offers attract more followers. Use the right hashtag while promoting offers. You will see increased traction on your profile.  


19. Link in Bio

Since Instagram does not allow to add a link in the description, brands use the famous words ‘Link in the bio’ when advertising on Instagram. The link remains there on the bio until another post that requires a different link. 

When you have a paid campaign or a simple post for a product launch, make that product page as your landing page. Change the link in the bio to that product page and not to the home page. 

 

20. Ads on Instagram

Paid promotions can be direct through Instagram or indirectly through influencer marketing. 

The direct paid promotions on Instagram is through photo ads, video ads, carousel ads or stories ads.

In fact, brands now actively use paid promotions to reach a wider audience. Also, paid ad helps at faster brand targeting.  

You can target location, demographics, interests, behaviors, custom audiences, lookalike audiences or even choose automated targeting through Instagram paid promotions.

Instagram ads are costlier than Twitter or Facebook. But Instagram gives you more leads depending on your target audience.

Users can now turn their existing popular post into an ad using the ‘Promote’ button.

Brands can also use retargeting campaigns to reach audiences. It turns out to be more cheap and effective than the regular new campaigns. 

If you are confused about running ads on Instagram, you can hire the services of a social media marketing agency to help you.

 

21. Schedule posts

You get increased followers on Instagram if you post consistently. The best tactic would be to schedule your posts for the week so that you get content clarity and a proper plan to post. 

Here is the list of tools that will help you to schedule your posts on Instagram-

Facebook creator studio

Social report

Sprout social

combin 

hootsuite

buffer

Later

There are other good Instagram post schedulers like tailwind, jarvee, sendible, and sked social. The plus point of post scheduling is that you can focus on the increase in post reach instead of thinking about what to post everyday.  

 

22. Instagram Insights analysis

Instagram post Insights help you to measure the post reach. For business accounts, the bar chart image just below the Archive in your account profile page is the Insights button. The Insights page will have details based on content, activity and audience.

Content- This gives a general overview of the posts & stories for the week. It tells about the view count for each post and story.

Activity- This tells the Discovery, Reach, Impressions, Interactions and Profile Visits for the current week and compares it with the previous week’s results. 

Audience- This section tells about our profile growth, top locations of visitors (cities & countries), gender, age group and the days and hours when our profile is visited the most.  

Instagram, naturally, provides insights on your paid promotions. Analyze which post performed well. Observe the days and timings when the posts attract maximum attention. A careful analysis of the insights will help you in your post creation and uploading. An SEO expert will also guide you with the insights and analysis to get a better brand reach.    

 

23. Posts & Stories frequency

A great way to keep gaining followers is to be consistent in posts. There is no golden rule or a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the number of posts or stories per day. Because, if your posts have no value-driven content, your followers are not going to like it even if you keep posting 4-5 per day. 

Some of the categories may have value-content and create 4-5 posts in a day. Some categories may not get content to create even a single post in a day. So, we would advise that 2-3 posts in a week will also do provided they offer value to your followers. You can try to post Stories on other days.   

 

24. Time allotment & sharing

Being consistent and active on Instagram helps you to get fast and free followers on Instagram. Follow other related-profiles. Comment on their posts. Allot at least 20-30 minutes of a day to this task. This will help you to build a strong Instagram profile.

Interaction on various social media is the best way to grow on Instagram. As soon as you post on Instagram, share its link on other social media accounts or share it with your friends and groups. Remember, the higher the engagement within the first hour of posting, the higher the chances of your post getting more impressions. So try to gather as many comments and likes in the first few hours of posting. 

 

25. Hire digital marketing services

A good digital marketing agency will help you refine your profile and make it look neat and clean. 

They have tried and tested techniques to gain real followers for your profile on Instagram. You can hire their social media marketing services so that you can remain tension-free of what to post and when to post on Instagram. A good digital marketing service provider will bring the much-needed traction and consistency on your Instagram profile which you may not be able to achieve.

 

Conclusion                                                         

We have listed all the 25 super important tips to gain followers on Instagram free and fast. If you follow these tips consistently, you will start getting results in a few months.  

If you are still having difficulty in increasing the follower count on Instagram, we can help you.

 

 

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Blog date 23-07-2020
Category : Mobile Application

Features & Benefits Of e-Learning Apps- Easy Read

Education has long moved from the four-walled classroom to the virtual classroom concept. It is the world of online learning now and there are hundreds of popular online learning platforms that offer courses better than what is being taught in physical classrooms.

Education apps or online learning apps have numerous benefits and are subscribed by millions of students across the world. What are the benefits of edtech apps? What are the features of an e-learning app if you are to design one? Let us have a look at it here.  

What is education app?

An education app is an integrated set of interactive tools and resources to support and improvise education delivery and management. This e-learning platform can be used by students, teachers, colleges, individuals or institutions to teach or learn. The e-learning platform may be mobile-based, web-based or both.

An e-learning platform combines content management system (CMS), learning management system (LMS), student information management system (SIMS) and other strategies to combine and form an edtech/e-learning/online learning app.   

Google Classroom, Moodle, Zoom Education, Kahoot, Photomath, Haiku Learning, etc are collaborative educational platforms that can be used to improve your education delivery and management. They do not provide any course or learning material. They offer tools and resources to help improve your learning or teaching methods.  

On the other hand, Coursera, Byju’s, Udemy, edX, Alison, Unacademy, etc are online learning platforms that offer massive open online courses some free, some paid.

What is the best learning app?

Many popular online e-learning apps like Byju’s, Unacademy, Coursera and others offer varied courses. The best learning app would be based on your interests and the topics that you need to learn. Many edtech apps have unique learning courses with superior course material that is easy to understand and learn.

If you want an e-learning app like Unacademy, Byju’s or Coursera, you can get it designed from an expert software development company. Certain features will make your edtech app the best, let us see what those are and the e-learning app benefits.

e-Learning App Features

1. Online signup/admission

The first point of contact between the student and the LMS (learning management system) is the signup and the subsequent course admission. The sign up can be through a mobile number, email or Google or other social media accounts.

After the course selection and the fee payment, the students are directed into their profile dashboard where they can manage their profiles and access the course materials, join chat forums, contact teachers and so on.

The un-enrolling from the course, after completion, would be an email with a certificate attachment.  

 

2. Payment gateway

Online payment facilitates students to pay using a comfortable payment gateway.

Education apps have to provide different methods of online payment asking for only essential information. Secure payment gateways help consumers feel safe and it also increases the credibility of the education app.

 

3. Course creation & development

With the course creation feature, you will be able to streamline your education process.

You have to segregate the course based on various parameters. A good-designed course creation module will take the time, difficulty level, age, budget, certification, skills and other parameters into consideration while designing the course.

With this feature, you can easily upload videos and add study materials to the courses.

And yes, the most important e-learning app feature would be the upgrading of the course from free to paid or certified if the user wants to by accepting the fees.  

 

4. Interactive Content

The educational app for schools follows a pre-defined syllabus. But the catch is in making it more interactive and interesting. This can be done with the help of videos, charts, eBooks and images.

An educational app for toddlers will have more video and audio content when compared to a learning app for highschool students.

It is up to you to decide the content and how it has to be presented to make your educational app more interactive. Videos with the teacher explaining the topic give a virtual classroom feel to the students.

 

5. Search & Navigation

Search is one of the most important features of an education app for children. The search has to be based on the subject or by course name. You can provide filters based on price, course duration, and certification. Also, students can search for courses that are free and paid.

 

6. Live teacher sessions

The crux of any learning app for students is the live tutorials with interactive sessions. The live tutorials are usually done through third-party apps like Skype or Zoom. But when you have a customized learning app for children, you can include the live classroom feature with chat sessions so that the students benefit from it.

 

7. Mock Practice Test

Mock tests help students assess themselves about a particular subject or topic. Some of the best educational apps for students have mock tests at the end of each chapter to help students prepare well for the tests as well as help them in assessment before they reach the next chapter. Practice tests also prepare the students to take on the actual subject exams.

 

8. Skills and certification

The skills and certification feature helps edtech app to gain credibility and trust. Many of the students join certified courses so that they gain an added advantage. Skills and certification tracking feature can be used by the edtech apps to suggest courses for the students based on their skills and prior certifications.

 

9. Gamification

If you are wondering what the relationship between studies and games is, think over it again. With gaming apps getting the highest downloads, it makes sense that you include game-inspired studies in your e-learning app.

Games not only help the students understand the topic better but also increases user engagement and bring in more students to your course.

Tests at the end of each topic can take the form of quizzes or games to help students revise the subject better.    

 

10. Artificial intelligence

If you are thinking about the role of AI in edtech apps, imagine a video wherein a teacher is performing a chemistry experiment in a realistic scenario. It makes the students feel that they are standing inside the lab with the teacher performing the chemistry experiment in front of them. This is how AI is beneficial in e-learning.

Artificial intelligence that includes AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) is going to take online teaching to the next level in the days to come.

 

11. Live chats and forums

Forums help students to collaborate with other students and teachers to discuss assignments, courses and gather relevant information. Also, it helps teachers to know what challenges students face in a particular course. It also provides a powerful insight to better the available courses.

 

12. Support section

The Help/Support section that includes FAQs, live chat, contact number and email helps to provide easy solutions to user queries. The users can find answers to common issues through the FAQ section. For other queries, they can select the live chat, phone or email.  

 

13. Social engagement

To help the app succeed, integrate social media sharing tools on the app. The students will share links of interesting videos and images from the educational app on their social media accounts thus helping to get new users and increase the brand reach. Also, education apps can use social media tools to alert users of new course launches or offers.   

 

14. Push notifications

The push notification keeps the students updated about the latest information uploaded on the app. You can also send push notifications as a reminder or any other new updates.

 

15. Student information management system (SIMS)

The student information management system will have recorded student activities like attendance, tests taken, scores, queries, student information, fees paid and many others. Some of its functions are marked by the student and the remaining is updated by the e-learning app.

SIMS helps you in generating grade reports, real-time information tracking and keeping your system updated with the latest information.   

 

16. User-friendly dashboard

A part of the SIMS, any learning mobile app will have a simple yet interactive dashboard with easy login facility. The user can easily manage their profile through this. This section will also have user preferences to save their favorite videos and content. The students can track their course progress and check their scores and test results.  

 

17. Powerful database

All the information like study material in the form of videos, PDF, content is all stored in the database. The database is updated constantly and students must have quick access to it.

A good educational app for children will have a supportive and powerful database that will not hang when students access information from it.

Also, a cloud-based edtech software system has enhanced accessibility that makes data sharing easy and fast.  

 

18. Seamless integration

App integration to various third-party plugins should be smooth and seamless. The payment gateway integration, course flow, sign in, social media platform integration- all these have to be fast and secure with full data protection compliance. Also, whether it is the education app for Android or the edtech app for iPhone, it has to be responsive and mobile-friendly.  

 

19. Blogs & Reviews

Add blogs in your e-learning app on various topics and different aspects of online education to increase engagement. You can also add blogs written by students so that it helps to get more followers. A guest blog from a reputed educator helps in lending credibility to your app. 

Ratings and reviews for various courses and your edtech app helps others to decide which course they have to enroll and what its benefits are.  

 

e-Learning App Advantages

There are several benefits of an e-learning app. Even though the initial development costs might be high, the results will continue for a lifetime.

  1. The e-learning app is scalable and efficient.  Any course updates can be made by just uploading content to the server. Also, the content can be uploaded by the admin anytime from anywhere.   
  2. With an eLearning module, you can attract global students to your app. Students can log in at any time, from any place and learn at their own pace.
  3. Also, LMS (learning management system) provides users the capability to login from different devices. The LMS design functionality should be such that it can be accessed through mobiles even without being connected to the internet at all times.
  4. Given that the e-learning apps can be accessed from anywhere, students can fit them in their existing schedules. Also, the costs associated with classroom-based training is eliminated.  
  5. Using interactive videos with animation and special effects to explain more effectively and help children keep interested in subjects
  6. Live student-teacher doubt-solving sessions wherein tutors can use a whiteboard to help students understand the concept better.
  7. The content can be refreshed any number of times for the student until they get a grasp of the subject. Also, it allows for replays of live sessions for student learning.
  8. Customized learning schedule as per the student’s need.  
  9. Assignments allotted and solved at the end of each topic or chapter.
  10. Practice and revision sessions to help in kids subject assessment
  11. Quizzes and leader board to build up student engagement
  12. Customized tests based on student performance
  13. Individual feedback after monitoring the student progress
  14. Students report card in graphical form to help them and their parents and teachers to analyze it and improve on it.
  15. Separate parent app that contains details about their ward’s performance including graphical report card and scores with automated summaries of performance.
  16. Supporting multi-language preferences

 

Conclusion

Online learning platform development has to be a well-thought-out strategy. If you have ideas for good e-learning courses, consult the best software development firm to help you in designing an edtech app module that will not only be unique and responsive but also be counted as the best educational app for students.  

 

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Blog date 17-07-2020
Category : Products

Do You Know These 10 Amazing Bulk SMS Marketing Benefits?

It is the mobile world. With the growing preference of businesses to connect with consumers in easy interactive ways, the mobile has found a place as a cost-effective means of online marketing. Text messaging or SMS is growing more powerful and is relevant to marketers and retailers.

Texting is indeed a small-scale and strategic method of marketing and is the must-have ingredient in the tools of affordable marketing strategies.

Let us see how mobile marketing or bulk SMS services have become the interaction point between consumers and brands.

10 bulk SMS marketing advantages-

1. Best engagement

SMS is a short message service and this is precisely the reason why it has a higher engagement rate than emails or calls. The messages are short and concise. Since people tend to check their mobile often, it goes without saying that text messages are read sooner or later.

The best thing about text messages is that since they are short, people just need one glance to know what the message is all about. If the text resonates with their interests, they click on the link given in the SMS or act on it.    

 

2. Cost-effective

When compared to other forms of marketing, sending SMS is an inexpensive available option. Also, it is a known fact by now that mobile messages have an opening rate of 98%. The market is not saturated yet and it is best if businesses take benefit from it.

Undoubtedly, SMS bulk marketing is a sustainable option and gives a high return on investment. You can send a message to many customers in a few cents.  

 

3. Instant message delivery

Mobile messages get delivered fast. You have the result within an instant when you send messages to thousands of people. Even if you schedule a campaign in the last hour, be assured that you can get it across to customers within minutes with the bulk SMS services. 

 

4. Easy opt-in/opt-out

The consumers have the advantage of easy opt-in or opt-out services. You should target customers who are interested in your products or services so that they will opt to remain in. This way, you build credibility. Even though SMS bulk marketing is cheap, avoid spamming consumers with unwanted messages or texting to people who are not interested in your business.

 

5. Direct to the consumer

The SMS is directly delivered to the consumer message box rather than a spam folder as in an email. One of the SMS marketing benefits is that there is no spam-filter available for the messages to be filtered and redirected to a spam folder. The consumer has to read the message before deleting it.   

 

6. Easy message creation

Creating messages that are of a specified length (160 characters for 1 SMS) for a cellular network is easy. You can also send images, but bulk SMS benefits text messages. With such a short text length, the message has to be precise and to-the-point. People enjoy reading text messages rather than lengthy emails or cold calls. Write your text message in such a way that people can easily understand the crux of your campaign. Simple writing makes the message easy to read and comprehend.    

 

7. Customize campaigns

With bulk SMS services, you can target your whole database, groups or subgroups. For instance, you can target consumers based on gender, demographics or age group and send separate text messages to them. Personalizing text messages allows you to have targeted campaigns and better the results. Consumers are more likely to click relevant ads than general ones.  

 

8. Promotional marketing

First-buy coupons, discount coupons on the next-purchase, offers- there are quite a few reasons you can offer coupon codes or a link to the coupon through SMS. As per a survey, by 2021, around 150 million users will have redeemed online coupons in the US. Currently, there are more than 1 billion mobile coupon users around the globe.

Consumers prefer to access rewards and discount information from a link in their SMS rather than going to the app and clicking on it.

 

9. Scheduling campaigns

The bulk SMS benefits include scheduling a time for your campaigns. You decide the day and hour when the messages will be sent and that is it.

 

10. Tracking campaign metrics

Many of the bulk SMS service platforms offer you tracking services that let you manage your SMS campaign. The tracking metrics give you information about the text messages delivered and the click-through rates apart from other valuable information that you get when you submit surveys or attachments. Monitoring these responses allows businesses to improve their campaigns.

Businesses can easily find out which SMS campaign works best for them- new arrivals, discounts, coupon codes, early-bird offers, contest alerts. The campaign tracking will help them to select the best, optimize and repeat.  

 

Conclusion

Bulk SMS marketing advantages make it the ideal tool to reach out to customers easily and cost-effectively. Have you ever tried SMS marketing as a part of your marketing strategy? If not, it is time that you start on it and see for yourself the amazing bulk SMS marketing benefits. Search for a good bulk SMS service provider while you start designing your SMS marketing campaign right away. 

 

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Blog date 16-07-2020
Category : Digital Marketing

Local Small Businesses- How good is your online marketing technique?

“Make In India”

“Vocal For Local”

“Support Small Business”

“Atmanirbhar”

“Self-reliant”

“Boycott Chinese Goods”

 

The names are many, but the intention is the same- boosting small local businesses.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spelt disaster for businesses all over the world. Job cuts, migration from cities to villages, halted infrastructure, decreased spending- all these are taking a toll on the economic growth and the road to recovery is not in sight.

Many countries already burdened with a collapsing health system are coming up with stimulus packages to recover the economy. One of the strongest and motivating solutions has been the step towards supporting local businesses.  

A spin-off of the famous ‘Swadeshi movement’, ‘vocal for local’ is gaining momentum not only in India but also throughout the world, albeit in different ways. In America, President Donald Trump had coined the term “America First” to endorse populist nationalism in international trade and globalization.

Shift to local small businesses:

It comes as no surprise that the government has told the e-commerce companies to display “country of origin” for all goods sold online in India so that buyers can make an informed decision. Given that the impetus is on local, it is a golden opportunity for local businesses to cash in on the increasing nationalist fervor and rise to the occasion.

Online marketing strategy for small businesses:

A simple and cost-effective way for local businesses to increase their reach is through online marketing. It is no wonder that many social media platforms have already taken the plunge in promoting local small online businesses. Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter- have taken various measures to help businesses sell their goods online.

Online marketing techniques:

Let us see how local businesses can promote their services online.

1. Social media platform

Social media platforms are a cost-effective and easy way to do business. Given the increase in social media viewing, you should engage your customers on it and try means to gain new followers.

But, be sure to have an appropriate social media strategy so that you build brand consistency and loyalty to have a good and lasting online presence. From your social media profile optimization to paid campaigns- you have the best techniques to help your business grow. A good social media manager will help you with social media optimization techniques. 

>> Join online communities and forums that are in plenty on these social media platforms. This not only helps you to grow your network but gives you loads of ideas and information.

>> Contribute through suggestions on industry-specific forums so that you add value to your business.   

>> Leverage the power of social media influencers and bloggers on Instagram and YouTube. Start with the local influencers first for getting a taste of the local market before you plunge to wider markets.  

>> Create posts in the form of images and videos as a resource for marketing your business online.

>> Run contests and offer gifts to gain new followers and raise brand awareness.

>> Make full use of hashtags, location, tagging and trending topics to drive instant traffic. 

>> Go live on social media or conduct webinars with content that provides value to the viewers. 

 

2. Local online listing

Listing your business on Google My Business is a great way to rank yourself on top of the local search results. 

>> Optimize your GMB profile and work on getting good customer reviews. This will work wonders for your business. 

>> There are other online directories like Yellow Pages, IndiaMart, Sulekha, JustDial, HelloIndia and so on that will help you rank higher. 

>> Many offer a free listing and charge for upgraded services. Pick some of the best online listings and pay for the annual subscription. Check if you are getting increased traction. If yes, you can continue to opt for their paid services.  

Many digital marketing experts will help you with profile optimization for online listings. 

 

3. E-Commerce website

Get your e-commerce website and mobile app built so that you can redirect viewers from your social media posts to your home page or products page. A website helps in building credibility and lets people make purchasing decisions easier and faster. 

Even if you have many social media followers, a working e-commerce website is a must.

>> With the website, you have full control on what your customers can see and for how long it has to be visible.

>> Also, with an e-commerce store, customers can just search the product what they like instead of going through the posts on social media. 

>> Many online companies allow you to set up a basic website. But we would recommend you to get it done from an expert e-commerce web development company because you would want your website design to be neat, user-friendly and easily attract customers. 

>> The other benefit of having an e-commerce website is that you can write blog posts that inform visitors about your products and services. Also, it improves your chances of ranking higher in the SERP. 

  

4. Digital marketing   

Digital marketing is a vast field and you can select strategies that fit your budget and improve the audience reach.    

>> A website pays dividends when you do a thorough SEO analysis. We would recommend that you perform keyword research through an SEO expert to stay on top of the search results. 

>> The keywords can be put to use in the website content and blogs to improve the chances of search engine rankings. 

>> Create backlinks to your website. This can be done by commenting on other relevant website blog posts or by writing guest blogs on other websites. Backlinks can also be created through many do-follow links on high ranking websites.  

>> Check the website speed and use as many on-page and off-page optimization techniques to rank your website better. 

>> The other forms of digital marketing are through paid Google PPC ads, social media campaigns, influencer marketing, Email & mobile advertising. 

>> The pay-per-click (PPC) ads are the most cost-effective when it comes to online advertising given you design your campaign properly. Take the help of a digital marketing expert to design campaigns and run it for better-targeted reach and leads.

 

5. Email & SMS marketing 

Though SMS marketing can be considered as mobile marketing more than online marketing, yet we will combine it here in the same category. SMS and email marketing are the cheapest forms of marketing. 

>> Promote any new product launch by sending personalized emails to customers. A well- written email is one sure way to help customers keep updated about your business products/services. 

>> SMS marketing is the cheapest and most effective marketing strategy when you need to offer any coupon code, discount or launch any new product or service. Contact any best SMS marketing service provider to send bulk SMS to your customers. 

 

6. Free products/services

The best way for people to know about your product/service is to offer them something for free either in the form of products, consultation or basic package. 

>> Social media is a great platform to run contests that will increase brand awareness and help you gain new followers. 

>> You can also take the help of social media influencers by providing them freebies so that they promote your brand.     

 

Conclusion

Now is the right time for small businesses to follow online marketing techniques. They have to step forward and invest their time and effort into it. If your business belongs to the SME category, have you taken the plunge into digital marketing? You can contact a good digital marketing expert and start with the basic plan in the beginning. You can also opt for the profile optimization package so that you get an increased reach. 

Start before it is too late. It is now or never.  

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Blog date 09-07-2020
Category : Digital Marketing

Google My Business Profile Optimization Techniques-2

Google My Business profile optimization techniques are simple. You just need to allot less than an hour to complete it and make sure that you share posts on it just the way you do on your other social media accounts. By doing this, be sure that you are on the right track to rank higher in your local listings.

If you are talking about local SEO, registering your business on Google My Business is a must. After successful registration, Google My Business profile optimization is wherein you put your local SEO efforts to use.

Without much ado, let us leap into Google My Business profile optimization techniques.

After successful verification, Google My Business takes you to your dashboard. It is here that you define your business and get more people to visit it. And, of course, our Google My Business profile optimization techniques start here.

What are Google My Business profile optimization techniques?

On the left side of your dashboard are the features of Google My Business like

· Posts

· Info

· Insights

· Reviews

· Messaging

· Photos

· Products

· Services

· Website

· Users

You have the option to even create ads or add/manage locations. Let us see what relevance each one holds for local search optimization.

 

Info

Here you fill in all the basic and necessary details of your business. This is the first and foremost thing that is visible to the customers. You have to fill in/edit details like-

1. The name of your business

2. Its category and sub-category

3.  Address

4.  Service areas

5.  Timings of service

6.  Special hours if any

7.  Contact details

8.  Website address

9.  Attributes (like special highlights, wheelchair accessible entrance, amenities, offerings, accepted payment modes, planning)

10. Description (750 characters in total, of which only the first 250 characters appear in the viewer’s page succeeded by ‘Read More’ link)

11. Opening date

12. Photos             

Fill in all the details as it helps customers to know more accurately about your business. Apply and save the changes you have made.

Use your business-related keywords and search phrases in the description. The description can include a brief introduction to your business or any other important message that you want to convey.

You can also customize working hours for holidays or special events.

Note:

1. Anyone can suggest an edit to your business listing. So, you must fill in the right details rather than someone suggesting it for you. 

2. Sometimes, it takes time (2-3 days) for Google to make the changes visible on the local listing.   

 

Photos

Business listings with photos receive 35% more clicks and 42% more requests for driving directions to the business location.

The photos help the customers in locating your business. It also gives them an idea about your store, your team and the products or services. In the photo section, you have can upload photos regarding the-

1. Interior of your office or business location (upload the photos of interiors so that the customers know beforehand how your business looks. It is very useful for restaurants, coffee shops, library, clinics, studios, classes, service centers and so on.)

2. Exterior (this helps customers identify the building from the exterior as they approach it) 

3. Products (the customers know and get a better understanding of the available products or services in your business)

4. Logo (this gives a distinct identity to your business)

5. Cover photo (Google does not guarantee you that this will be the first image displayed for your business, but add it to boost your local SEO)

6. Team (Add lively team photos either individual or group so that customers feel connected)

Depending on your business type you even get to upload photos of-

--> Common areas

--> Food & drink

--> Photos at work

--> Rooms

The best standards in photos for Google My Business optimization are-

· JPG or PNG

· 720*720 pixels

· 10KB to 5MB

· As natural as possible (No use of excessive filters.)

You can also upload videos about your business and its offerings. A short video regarding the products and services you offer will help you stay ahead of your competitors. Remember, it is best when you get your video done from a professional. The video guidelines are-

· At least 30 seconds long

· 100 MB file size

· Good resolution of more than 720p

The problem with uploading videos is that it gets mixed with the photos. So, a video will not be placed at the first of the photo list. Nevertheless, product photos help customers in their purchasing decisions.  

This photo section on the dashboard segregates photos uploaded by the owner and the customers. If you find that any of the customer-uploaded images are irrelevant or offensive, then you can remove them.  

 

Reviews

The ratings and reviews hold considerable importance in customer decisions. We all know that better reviews are good for any business. Encourage customers to review you on Google and leave feedback.

But, sometimes, businesses do get lesser ratings and bad reviews. You can always ask for one more chance from an unsatisfied customer. This will imply to the customer that you take the complaints seriously and work to resolve them.  

The review section shows all the ratings and reviews. Reply to these reviews for better local search optimization and customer satisfaction improvement.

Moreover, replying to reviews helps in trust-building and influences other people to leave their reviews.

Google My Business now provides a shareable link for ratings and reviews that can be shared with your customers. This link directly takes them to the rating section to encourage them to leave feedback.

 

Posts

This new feature of Google My Business helps you to connect even more with your customers.

Posting at least 2-3 times a week helps you get more clicks and boosts your Google rankings. Google offers the option to share this post on other social media accounts directly or through a copy link option.

Let us see how we can optimize posts on Google My Business.

Offer- Write posts about the discount offers or limited-time deals on products or services. This allows you to set a start and end date for the promotion offer. You can also add coupon code, link to redeem the offer and terms & conditions.

Event- Just like other social media accounts that allow you to post events, Google My Business also allows you to create a post for the event.

1. Event Title

2. Start & End Date

3. Event Details

4. CTA button like Call Now, Buy, Sign Up, Order Online, Learn More, or Book

What’s New- Whenever your business launches a new product or service, make it known to people using the ‘What’s New’ post. Moreover, adding the Learn More button gives you the option to add a link so that viewers can be taken to your business website.

Product- You can keep posting about your products frequently. This is one way of getting potential customers.

1. Photo or Video

2. Product Name

3. Category (create a new category or add it to the existing ones)

4. Price (either a fixed price or a price range)

5. Product description

6. CTA like Order online, Buy, Learn More and Get Offer

One more advantageous feature is that Google My Business shows you the brief post insight. What can you get from your Google My Business post summary?

--> Views of the post

--> Clicks

Each time you go to the posts section, Google provides a ‘new post views’ analysis and this pertains to the new views that your posts got that week.   

Posts are important when it comes to boosting your rank on Google. Google always sends post reminders to your mailbox. So, take advantage of it and upload posts on GMB at the same frequency as you post it on other social media platforms.

   

Insights

The holy grail of SEO, insights or analytics provides you with all the data regarding how customers reach out to you through Google My Business. It gives you reports on-

1. How the customers searched for your business (through direct, discovery or brand)

2. The search queries used by customers to find your business (keywords typed and the number of users for that keyword)

3. If customers viewed it on the search results or map

4. Action taken by customers (visited website, requested for directions, called you)

5. Photo views

6. Competitor analysis for the photo quantity

Remember, these insights are very important for every business to know from where it gets its customers. It even helps them to tweak information to get more potential customers to either visit their website or business location.

 

Messaging

Now, Google allows you to get messages from your customers directly on your mobile device. For this, you have to install Google My Business app on your cell phone. One installed, you can view messages directly and respond to them on the go.

 

Products

Here, you can add your products and services. You need to first name the product collection and then add the products under the collection. You can create as many product collections as you want and add products under it. Take for instance you own a home décor shop.

1. Dining- Product collection

                Wood Dining table- Product

                Marble-top dining table-Product

2. Living room- Product collection

                Sofa set- Product

                Armchair- Product

You organize the products in this way. You can also break it down further depending on how broad your business is.

Another feature is showcasing your product collection as best sellers or fall/spring/summer/winter collection.

In each product, you write the product name, its photo (compulsory) and other additional details (not mandatory) like the product price and description. It allows for a 1000 character description. Try to add keyword-rich product descriptions. After you have filled in the additional details, you can place buttons like-

1. Order online

2. Buy

3. Learn more

4. Get offer

When you opt for any of these buttons, you will have to provide a link for your button. Take for instance, if you opt for Learn More, provide a link to this particular product page on your website.

 

Services/Menu

It goes without saying that many of the businesses are service-based like online classes, beauty parlors, repair services and many more. Such businesses can take advantage of the Services section in their Google My Business profile. The services can be categorized into primary and subcategories inside it. For the sub-category, you can add the price of the service and a 300 character description. Try to include ranking keywords inside the description.  

The Menu section is for those businesses that are into the food business or even for spa and salon services. You can list the item, its price and description. 

 

Website

For those of the small businesses who do not want to invest in a website or find it costly to get one done, Google My Business has a solution. It offers you to build a minimalistic website for free. It collates all the data that you have provided in your business account and automatically designs a website when you click on ‘Create a Website’. You can

1.  Change themes (the theme is basic with changes allowed in font design and color)

2.  Edit text  

3.  Add photos

4.  Change language (In ‘Settings’)

Once you are satisfied with the basic website, you can hit on the ‘Publish’ button. This website address will show on your local Google search listing. Remember, Google My Business can show only one website listing. So if you already have your own website, then you have to choose which one needs to be listed.  

If you have more local business and your website is in English, you can take advantage of Google My Business free website to create it in the local language. Take for instance your business caters more to the local French population. If you already have a website in English, then publish your Google My Business website in French. List it on the Google My Business page. This will help you connect with the local customers. And, if you feel that it is not helping you get more customers, then there is always the option to ‘Unpublish’ (Settings-> Unpublish) your Google My Business website.       

 

Users

If you need to add more people to manage your Google My Business account, it is possible through this section. Basically, you can add users as-

1. Owners- Owners have all the capabilities as the primary owner but remember, there can be only one primary business owner. Owners can add and remove users and manage everything on Google My Business account.

2. Managers- Managers can also do the same as the owners, but cannot add/remove users and remove the listing.

3. Site managers- They can edit some main business information like address, contact number, working hours. In addition, they can manage posts, respond to reviews and download insights.

To add more users, click on ‘Users’. At the top right corner of the opened page, you will find ‘Add User+’. Click on it. Now, you can enter the email address or name of the user you want to add. Next, select the user’s role (owner, manager, site manager). The user will receive an email and when he clicks on the accept button in the email body, he will be added to your Users list. Google My Business also has provisions for canceling the user request or removing any added user. 

 

Conclusion

Taking advantage of Google My Business for online businesses is easy. Once you complete your GMB profile optimization what remains is consistent post & photo uploading and review management. 

Have you optimized your profile on Google My Business? If you want expert help, contact a good digital marketing agency that will help you set up the best profile so that your business comes on the top of the search engine’s rank page.   

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Blog date 09-07-2020
Category : Digital Marketing

Google My Business Profile Optimization Techniques-1

Google My Business is an online directory. To understand its importance, let us take you back to the good old days of the humble telephone.

Remember your telephone directory or the yellow pages that were your utmost means of local search guide. You wanted the services of an AC repair technician; you frantically paced through the telephone directory for one.

Times have changed, but our necessities remain the same. Of course, you have mobile devices to store important numbers.

But, your local search in the telephone directory has been effectively replaced with the Google search.

“Restaurants near me”                

“AC repair near me”

“Playgroup near me”

Google has an answer to anything and everything. So, if your business is to get listed on the Google local search results, registering it in Google My Business is the answer. 

Why register your business on Google My Business?

Here, we present to you some facts about local searches on Google:-

1. 88% of the consumers, who have searched for a local business, take action within the next 24 hours. They either call or follow it up with a business visit. 

2. 46% of Google searches are for local business information.

3. 97% of people rely on searches for local business information.

4. 92% of the people will opt for results on the first page of the results.

5. Local search is 300% more effective than social media searches.

6. 70% of the customers search for the location on the map before visiting the store.

All of these statistics show that local searches are very important.

But the sad fact remains that more than 55% of the local stores never bother to list their services on Google. And even more surprising is that many just register their business on Google with minimum details and leave it as it is.

Folks, know that Google My Business is FREE. Registering your business on Google My Business is easy. Optimizing the profile and leveraging it to your advantage is even easier.

Do not believe it? We will decipher the optimizing techniques step-by-step in the next article so that by the end of it you will have a completed profile in Google My Business. 

So, we are doing a two-part series article. This first article is on the process of registration and verification on Google My Business. The next article will cover Google My Business profile optimization techniques.

Let us get started with the registration and verification processes right away.

How to create your listing on Google My Business?

Let us start with Google My Business registration first. 

 

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS REGISTRATION

Opening a Google account-

The foremost criterion is to have your Google account. Create one, if you are not using Google services. You will have a lot of benefits with your Google account with access to Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos, Contacts and much more.

Opening Google My Business-

Open Google My Business page. You will find a Sign-In button on the top right corner of the page. Click on it and sign in using your Google account.

Process of Google My Business registration-

Now, the official registration of your business with Google starts. You have to enter the following details:

1. Name of your business

2. Business address (Be precise because you will receive a Google My Business verification PIN by post on this address)

3. Business location on Google Maps (If you do not want to enter your business address, you can list your service areas and click “I deliver goods and services to my customers”. You have the option of hiding the address and displaying only the delivery area.)

4. Search and click on the business category (Be cautious while selecting because this will be your business identity for Google to display your listing for the search query result. You can add more specific categories later)  

5. Contact number

6. Website URL (optional). In case you do not have any business website, you have the option of creating a free one here)

 

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS VERIFICATION

The last part of the registration process is verification. Usually, it is by the ‘postcard by mail method’. Here, you have to fill your contact name and cross-check if the address is right. Click on the ‘Mail’ button. You will receive your verification PIN by post on your business address within a week. Do not change any of the entered details until you receive your post. This could delay the process.

Very rarely, you may get the option of verification by phone or email. If you are the lucky one, do not hesitate to click on it because your verification code reaches you instantly.

Once you have the verification code in hand (by post), log in to Google My Business. Click on ‘Verify Now’ button. Enter the five-digit PIN and click on ‘Submit’.

Note: In case of multiple locations, select the location you want to verify and then submit the PIN.

Yes, now you have successfully registered your business on Google My Business.

Congratulations, with the registration and verification you have successfully created your listing on Google My Business. A Google Maps location is either generated or an existing one is synchronized with the Google Search for easy search and access.  

Next, comes the profile optimization part. This will be described in the second article. Remember to read the article on Google My Business profile optimization if you want your business to rank in the Google local search results.

Conclusion

Google My Business is a great way to stay connected with your local customers and boost your local SEO. With social media accounts under the scanner for data privacy issues, it makes sense to stay in touch with the local people through local listings. 

A must for small businesses, Google My Business is free and cost-effective. Have you registered your business in Google My Business? If you want help to register your business on Google, consult an expert to do so. Get the right start and see how you can increase your reach.

 

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