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Updated: 6 days 7 hours ago

7 Reasons to Invest in Content Marketing in the Real Estate Industry

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 11:35

As the Internet has evolved, its road to dominance has been littered by many businesses that were caught flatfooted. When is the last time you called your stockbroker?

Do you even know what a stockbroker did? Did a travel agent book your last flight? And, how many malls did you visit this holiday season as you were finding that perfect gift? If you think that the real estate industry is immune to the long reach of the web, then start looking for another career because if you don’t have a great digital marketing plan, you’ll be left on the side of the road also.

I Gotta Call My Broker

In the old days—maybe 20 years ago (!)—most people bought stocks by calling their stockbroker on the phone. Stockbrokers had access to all of the real-time stock price quotes on their computer screens, but you didn’t. Just before the great digital transformation of the equity industry, you could buy this thing,

called a Quotron, that sort of gave you the same access to stock quotes that your stockbroker would have but for a very steep–at the time—price of $250 per month. The Internet quickly displaced this now-antiquated tool, and stockbrokers basically disappeared along with it.

I Need a Plane Ticket

Travel agents used to have the keys to the airline reservation systems, and at one time, airlines paid commissions of $25 per flight to travel agents that booked the flights. Travel agents had a computer that displayed the various flights available on a green-lettered black matrix-like display, and individuals had no access to the system. Again, the Internet quickly cut out the middleman, and while some specialty travel agents are still around, the industry has been decimated.

Meaning of That History Lesson

The real estate industry has also been affected by the Internet, as the MLS used to be the private playground of real estate pros. Now, there are ways for individuals to access MLS listings.

The six percent commission was also sacrosanct for years, but legit competitors have appeared, and national platforms like Redfin are continuing to attempt to lessen the clout of real estate brokers and agents. 

Therefore, you need to get with the program or risk extinction. Yes, you need a website, yes it has be properly formatted, but to really make it work you need to invest in content–and marketing that content– for the following reasons:

Brand Definition

Your brand is who you are, what you do and why you do it better. In order to make that clear to potential clients and visitors to your site, you need examples of your knowledge. The easiest way to accomplish this is to have relevant content on your site like testimonials—of course–and articles about common real estate topics among them:

Ranking

When someone searches for real estate agents on a search engine like Google, certain factors determine which sites will appear first. As you know Google utilizes ever-changing algorithms to rank sites, and one of the most important factors is fresh quality content. A good social media marketer will affirm that content is one of the most important ranking building blocks.

Trust

Simply, good quality articles will show that you are trustworthy. A site with four-year-old blogs about outdated subjects will not do anything for your ranking and you’ll probably find your site buried on page 10.

Expertise

If you’re online looking for a quality plumber, you want to be assured that the person you are going to let inside your house is an expert and can solve your problem. If you have a tub drain that continuously clogs and you find a site where the plumber explains in detail why this could happen and what can be done to repair and eventually prevent reoccurrence, you will be much more likely to contact that person for your repair.

When a potential home seller arrives at your site, he or she should find articles about everything they want to know form pricing to staging and financing to closing. If it looks like you know what you are talking about, you can be perceived as a real estate expert, and that will drive clients to your door.

Current

A nice site with quality content will tell your prospective clients that you understand technology and that you are on the cutting edge of your profession’s use of that technology. This is especially important if you are considering marketing to millennials. 

On top of that, if you’re renting apartments, producing rent report content like this one can help you showcase local research and data to attract visitors.

Differentiation

A broker is a broker, right? Well, not to you maybe, but in the eyes of a potential client, is the company name on the for-sale sign in front of your home really important? The real estate business has become a commodity business—meaning that many people sell the same product, and that product is not generally perceived as different no matter who is selling it.

Quality content on your site change this perception and set you apart from the rest.

Carving Out Your Space

There may be 10 cupcake shops in your city, but one has lines around the block because they have figured out a way to make their business stand out. As a real estate professional, you need to do the same, and through the use of good quality content, you can let potential client know exactly what your niche is—whether it is single family homes, duplexes, difficult-to-finance deals or commercial property sales.

Bonus Tip 

The easiest way to get great content for you site is to write it yourself—provided you have the talent and skill to be a blog author. You’ll also need to dedicate time to produce the articles. If you don’t have the skill or time, there are many places to buy content—just make sure the writing is worthy of your site’s quality.

Categories: World News

Best VR Apps In 2020

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 11:35

Virtual Reality (VR) is a rather new, unexplored yet rapidly growing industry. While it’s mainly associated with games, that’s not all VR is about.

There are some really interesting VR apps that provide the user with an experience they cannot find on any other platform. Whether you have just bought an expensive VR headset or are just stepping into it by using your smartphone, there are numerous VR apps all suited for different tastes and people.

Let’s put on our VR headsets and dive right in! (Careful not to break anything in your living room)

Best VR Apps in 2020 Google Expeditions

Remember when Google Earth came out? Everyone was so eager to view their own homes, places they know and places they wanted to visit. Google expeditions carry this to the next level by allowing people to visit famous tourist attractions right from their living room. You can visit famous attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, or museums such as the Natural History Museum in London. The best part is you can tour around these locations in a full VR experience. You won’t need an expensive VR headset for Expeditions, just put your smartphone inside your Google Cardboard and dive into it. 

Allumette

While it debuted in 2016, Allumette still holds its relevance as the first VR short movie masterpiece. It’s a full VR Movie experience where you get to explore the story unfolding around you.The story takes place in a beautiful city floating among clouds filled with stop motion characters. You experience the story by walking around, peaking inside houses and following the main character. There’s no speaking in the movie, but there doesn’t have to be any. Allumette with every single one of its aspects is truly a masterpiece that anyone who is curious about VR should watch at least once.

Youtube/Netflix

Really? Youtube? You’d be surprised if we told you that Youtube is one of the leading VR platforms. There’s so much content to consume on Youtube that it was worth mentioning among the best VR apps you should check out. Same goes for Netflix as well. Just like Youtube, Netflix has been pumping out massive volumes of VR content without charging its users an extra penny. Experiencing your favorite TV shows by getting immersed in VR sounds and turns out great.

Beat Saber

You’ve either heard of or played games like Guitar Hero, Tap Tap Legends. While they were immensely popular for their time, Beat Saber is what those games thrived to be. If you like music, light sabers and/or VR, (you probably like at least one) you have to try out Beat Saber. It’s not as popular as it’s predecessors, but that’s on VR really, not on the game. You simply wield two light sabers in a 3d tunnel where blocks come flying towards you. They are synced with the music that is playing and to fully play the song, you have to slice through these blocks at the right moment. Think of Guitar Hero, but instead of hitting the buttons on your guitar at the right time, you slice and dice with your cool light sabers. Now that’s what we’d call fun.

NYT VR

Probably one of our favorite apps in this list. New York Times has been actively working on its own VR content. As far as we have checked it, they have done an incredible job. Instead of experiencing news and articles by watching 2d videos or reading articles, you get the chance to dive right into them and experience them in a way that was unimaginable just a couple years ago.One of the greatest aspects of NYT VR is that it updates daily with new videos. Usually these videos are quite short. On average, you get to watch videos that are only a couple minutes long. But there are tons of them and all of them are done perfectly. 

Quill

While not for everybody, Quill was the VR app that we got excited the most about. Quill is a VR illustration and animation app that helps designers and artists create stunning and living illustrations and stories. The creation part is done entirely in VR. So rather than designing your piece through an interface, you’re inside your illustration. Now that is as immersive as something can ever get. While Quill can be used through the entirety of your project, it’s also a great tool for concept design, pre-visualization and storyboarding. In simpler words, Quill is the wet dream of any visual artist.

Incell VR

Probably one of the most popular VR apps out there, Incell is an educational VR game that on paper helps you understand the human body by making you race through human cells. We say ‘on paper’ because it’s more of a racing game than an educational game. The game is playable in Google Cardboard or has a non-VR version which isn’t interesting at all. The game gives you different missions such as escaping from a virus, vaccinating a cell and it does it with some great humor that, for an educational game, it never gets boring. Incell is both a great game and a perfect entry point into VR games considering it’s quite easy to play. Above all else, it’s free. 

Within

Within is an entire universe of VR that is waiting to be tapped into. It’s a platform where you can find VR experiences and stories from diverse settings. You can watch animated short movies, delve into peculiar adventures or watch documentaries created strictly for VR. Within provides a solid platform of VR content collected from VR content creators from all across the globe.  

Aircar VR

Aircar is an interesting one. It’s classified as a VR game. But, it’s not actually a game, it’s more like a demo. Don’t let that discourage you. It’s truly a magical experience. Aircar is not a fully completed because it has no objectives, progress or story. Other than that, its quality surpasses many other VR games.Aircar allows you to pilot a flying car in a Bladerunner inspired city and explore it. The environment, the ambiance of the game is truly unique and immersive. Nothing beats piloting through a cyberpunk inspired city at night while it’s raining. Best part is that it’s for free. So, there’s nothing stopping you from trying it out.

Kingspray Graffiti 

As you might have noticed by now, we love interesting and immersive VR apps over wave-based shooters which is the prevalent genre in VR. Kingspray is one of the VR games that stood out for us. Simply put, it’s a graffiti simulator. But it’s also much, much more than that. The environments, the controls, and the amount of detail truly are breathtaking. Getting started with the game is quite easy as it’s extremely intuitive. Especially the amount of effort put into making spraying as close to reality as possible has paid off. Kingspray Graffiti is an excellent way to get immersed and lose track of time. 

Fulldive VR

While not necessarily a VR app, Fulldive is a great platform for anyone who wants to delve deeper into VR.  Fulldive VR is a VR app and video platform designed specifically for mobile VR. There are tons of apps and videos to pick from. So, if you use your smartphone as your VR device Fulldive will probably be on your phone. 

All in all, it is obvious that VR is an exciting field. Although many consider it to be in its infancy, the road ahead seems quite exciting. All of the VR apps we suggested above are quite unique and provide truly immersive experiences. So, what are you waiting for, go ahead and get immersed! 

Categories: World News

How can I send mass emails as part of a bulk operation?

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 11:22

I have a view where the webform submissions of the site authenticated users are shown. In that view I have some bulk operations (created by me) that change the value of a field in these submissions (e.g. status). My question is how a mass email can be send to the users that made an application when the admin change the status in selected submissions?

Here is my custom code for the status update (I sent a test email to my self):

namespace Drupal\webformbulk\Plugin\Action; use Drupal\Core\Action\ActionBase; use Drupal\Core\Session\AccountInterface; /** * Push term in front. * * @Action( * id = "cancel_submission", * label = @Translation("Cancel submissions"), * type = "webform_submission" * ) */ class CancelSubmission extends ActionBase { /** * {@inheritdoc} */ public function execute($entity = NULL) { /** @var \Drupal\webform\WebformSubmissionInterface $entity */ // Modify submission values $entity->setElementData('status', 'canceled')->save(); //call the email method $mailManager = \Drupal::service('plugin.manager.mail'); $langcode = 'el'; $email = 'test@hotmai.com'; $message ='Your application has been marked as canceled'; // Send the email. $params = array( 'subject' => '[Aplication Status] - Application marked as canceled', 'body' => check_markup( t($message), 'plain_text' ), ); $mailManager->mail('mailsend', 'completed', $email, $langcode, $params); //drupal_set_message($entity->id()); } /** * {@inheritdoc} */ public function access($object, AccountInterface $account = NULL, $return_as_object = FALSE) { /** @var \Drupal\webform\WebformSubmissionInterface $object */ $result = $object->locked->access('edit', $account, TRUE) ->andIf($object->access('update', $account, TRUE)); return $return_as_object ? $result : $result->isAllowed(); } }

I thought to use the Rules modules but unfortunately I can't find how I can use it, plus I have some doubt about sending a mass email from Rules. Would be reasonable to some other module as views send or the mailchimp module? Is there an API I can use?

Categories: World News

csv file imports only the last row when imported in drupal 8 webform

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 11:22

I have a csv file which contains the entries from drupal 7 webform. I uploaded the csv file in drupal 8 webform. It imports the data, but only the last entry is shown in the drupal 8 webform's results.

This is the csv file: columns A-D : IP Add, UUID, Phone Number, Email. (dummy entries).

When importing the mapping from the csv file, it shows me the below options:

I select the matching columns on the destination(submission) and then click import. After importing this is what drupal displays:

Only the last row from the csv file is updated in the webform.

Categories: World News

How can I get the currently submitted form state in a block on the same page?

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 11:22

How can I retrieve the currently submitted and validated form state?

Please assume the following scenario.

A page has a form on it created using the form API. The data in the submitted form is transient. In other words it is not saved or stored in any way.

The form is created by a module I do not control and therefore I should not alter the codebase.

On the same page as the form is a block (mine) which displays data based on the form submission.

I want to get access to the validated data from the anonymous user submitted form from within the block plugin code.

The form does all the necessary validation of the user submitted data. I do not want to replicate this validation so I need to get access to the validated form_state so I can extracted the submitted values.

I cannot see a way to retrieve the form_state object from the current request.

How can this be done?

Categories: World News

Create Business Cards as Unique as You with Print Peppermint Sponsored

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 11:15

Business cards are a staple for every freelancer and agency. We hand them out to prospective clients and pass them around like candy at design conferences. They are a small, yet tangible, representation of who we are.

If we want to make an impact, then, it stands to reason that our business cards should be memorable. That can be accomplished with top-notch design combined with unique, high-quality materials. In other words: Cards should not only look good but provide the right kind of tactile feedback as well.

For business cards that do it all, check out Print Peppermint. They are an online printer offering a variety of incredible finishes and premium papers. In addition, they provide you with the flexibility to design your own card or use their expert in-house design team.

Let’s take a look at the features that make Print Peppermint the ultimate source for your business card needs.

High-End Features & Attention to Detail

Your business is special, so why settle for the same old business cards? With Print Peppermint, you’ll gain access to the tools and materials that will help you stand out from the rest.

Thick and Premium Papers

It all starts with the paper, and Print Peppermint provides a number of great options. Choose from 100% Cotton, Soft-Touch, Triplex Layered, Clear-Frosted Plastic, Onyx Black Suede, Recycled Kraft and more. Whatever look and feel you’re aiming for, there’s a paper to make it happen.

Special Finishes

The right finish can turn an ordinary business card into something truly unique. Print Peppermint offers luxurious finishes such as foil stamping, die-cutting, embossing, letterpress, edge painting and more. Depending on your choice, the full CMYK color spectrum is at your disposal.

Create Your Own Card Design

Using Print Peppermint’s free business card maker, you can start with a blank canvas and create your own design. And you can do it all from the comfort of your web browser.

Or, Hire a Graphic Designer

Want your business cards to have a fully-professional look? Put Print Peppermint’s design team on the job. They can help bring your ideas to life. And you’re not limited to business cards alone. Hire their pros to design logos, t-shirts, stickers and a whole lot more.

Quality Assurance

Print Peppermint cares about each and every order. That’s why they take the time to hand proof every single one. Big orders, small orders – they’re all treated with great attention to detail. And, you can rest assured that your order will be done right, backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.

An Online Printer You Can Trust

Over the past 7+ years, Print Peppermint has gained experience through completing thousands of projects. They have worked with 10,000+ companies of all sizes and earned a reputation as a refreshingly creative and reliable print shop.

In that time, they’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with some pretty big names. Companies such as Google, Vice, Wendy’s, Geico and Grammarly have placed their trust in Print Peppermint – so can you.

The team also likes to share knowledge through their design blog. In it, you’ll find product guides, inspiration, along with business tips and assorted off-the-wall topics. It’s a great place to learn and get ideas for your next project.

And, if you’re unsure of the right paper, finish or design – they’ll be glad to help. Just start an online chat, call or send an email. The same goes for getting a quote on a custom project.

Large orders are welcome, with awesome group discounts for businesses and organizations with multiple employees.

Looking for something beyond business cards? Print Peppermint also offers a wide selection of marketing materials. Get your banners, buttons, stickers, magnets, greeting cards and more – all from one trusted source.

Get a Better Business Card

If you’re in the market for a completely stunning, one-of-a-kind business card, head on over to Print Peppermint. Their meticulous approach separates them from the competition – and their business cards will do the same for your business.

The post Create Business Cards as Unique as You with Print Peppermint <span >Sponsored</span> appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Categories: World News

20+ Best Fonts for T-Shirts (With Unique Design &amp; Style)

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 11:04

Do you have a great quote or a one-liner that would look great on a t-shirt? Then download a unique font from our handpicked collection and make your own t-shirt design.

Custom-made t-shirts are quite popular these days. In fact, many designers are now making a living by selling their own unique t-shirts online using platforms like Shopify. All it takes is a great font and a clever quote to make a top-selling t-shirt.

The font plays a key role in such t-shirt designs. It needs to look trendy and resonate with the audience to truly grab their attention. You need a font with a unique design to achieve that goal.

We found a few of those unique fonts you can use to craft killer t-shirt designs. These fonts are perfect for making all types of t-shirts from hipster hoodies to casual t-shirts, tank tops, and much more. Have a look.

Stay High – Stylish Urban T-Shirt Font

Stay High is a creative and one of the most unique fonts on our list. It’s perfect for designing a big and attractive title for T-shirts that attract attention. The font comes with a handwritten-style lettering design. Along with 200 glyphs and multilingual support.

Sunrise Waves – Unique T-Shirt Font

The first thought that’ll come to your mind when you see this font is a warm summer breeze. Sunrise Waves is the perfect font you can use to design a stylish summer-themed T-shirt design or even a unique shirt design.

Author Type – Handmade Brush Font

Author Type is a handmade font with a clean and casual design. The unique style of letters of this font makes it stand out from the crowd and so will your T-shirt designs. The font includes both uppercase and lowercase letters as well as swashes for styling.

Chillvornia – Vintage Condensed Font

Featuring a classic vintage-style letter design, this font will allow you to craft trendy T-shirt designs for various niches and purposes. The font comes in 2 different styles that can also be combined to create more original quotes and titles.

Pine Forest – Handcrafted T-Shirt Font

Pine Forest is a handcrafted font that comes with a rough textured design. This font is ideal for making badges and titles for T-shirts. It has a very creative lettering design that will add a personalized look to your designs as well.

Vigrand – Free Stylish T-Shirt Font

Vigrand is a stylish font that features a modern and trendy design. The font comes in 6 different styles ranging from regular to aged, rough, and more. All the typefaces are free to use with your personal projects.

Signation – Free Classic T-Shirt Font

Signation is an elegant handmade script font that comes with a classic vintage design. This font is perfect for designing badges for T-shirts. It’s free to download and use with personal projects.

Stanley – Creative Script & Sans Font Duo

Stanley is a bundle of two unique fonts that include a script font and a regular sans-serif font. These two fonts pair well together when creating stylish quotes, titles, and badges. You can use this font pack to craft amazing T-shirt designs of your own.

RailBrush – Trendy T-Shirt Font

This handwritten font has a very unique character design. The creative and fun lettering also makes this font a great choice for making quirky T-shirt designs. It’s optimized to work well in various font sizes as well.

VibeGiver – Casual T-Shirt Font

The character design of this font is pretty much all over the place. And that’s what makes it better. This font comes with a unique style of big and bulky letter design with an original look and feel. It’s perfect for all kinds of casual T-shirt designs.

Witness History – Modern & Dramatic Font

If you’re looking for a creative and modern font with an artistic look, this font is perfect for you. It features an attractive letter design featuring sharp edges that gives it a horror-themed look and feel.

The Brown – Retro T-Shirt Font

The Brown is a stylish T-shirt font that comes with a mixed retro-vintage design. This font can be used to design vintage-style badges for various kinds of T-shirts. It includes all-caps letters along with stylistic sets and ligatures.

Harlend – Free Script T-Shirt Font

Harlend is a free script font you can use to create modern and stylish T-shirt designs. The font will make your T-shirt quotes and badges stand out from the crowd. You can use it for free with personal projects.

Pink Blue – Free Creative T-Shirt Font

Another creative and free font that’s most suitable for T-shirt designs. This font comes with a unique hand-drawn letter design. And it’s ideal for designing casual and fun T-shirts. This font is also free to use with personal projects.

Umar – Creative Brush Script Font

Umar is a beautiful brush script font that has a very creative letter design. The smooth flowing and stylish look of the letters makes it a great choice for designing professional and casual T-shirt designs.

Hunter – Fun Bold T-Shirt Font

Hunter is a display font with a bold and quirky letter design. The font features both uppercase and lowercase letters. As well as symbols and ligatures. This font is perfect for everything from designing kid’s T-shirts to T-shirts for fun events.

Nabila – Playful T-Shirt Typeface

Nabila is a unique T-shirt font that comes with trendy design. It also comes loaded with 350 glyphs and 155 alternate characters. Which you can use to add a unique and personal touch to your own designs.

Mentari – Modern Script Font

If you’re a fan of modern and trendy hipster-style T-shirt designs, this font will come in handy. Mentari is a script font that features a stylish lettering design. It’s perfect for designing titles and quotes for urban and hipster T-shirts.

Burtons – Classic Serif & Script Font Duo

Burtons is an elegant font that features a classic vintage look and feel unlike any other. It’s ideal for designing badges and titles for various types of T-shirts. The font also comes with a script pairing font as well.

Faun – Unique Decorative Font

Faun is a very unique font that features a truly one of a kind design. It has a set of letter featuring a set of decorative letters. This font will surely make your T-shirt designs stand out from the crowd. It also includes a simple sans-serif font for pairing.

Samble – Free Casual T-Shirt Font

Featuring a playful lettering design, this free font lets you use it with both personal and commercial projects. The font includes uppercase and lowercase letters. And it’s perfect for designing fun and casual T-shirt designs.

Retroholic – Free Retro T-Shirt Font
Categories: World News

What is Augmented Reality and How is it Going to Affect Digital Marketing

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 14:30

Augmented reality (AR) has been having a wider impact across all areas of the web.

Social media has been the one to experience the impact the most. Social media is one of the most preferred marketing channels these days. Customers’ lives are influenced by social media sites up to a great extent.

Marketers are finding numerous ways to change and evolve to meet their customer expectations. With advancements in technology, consumer needs and expectations change, and it is important that marketers are ready to face the changing consumer desires.

AR has already become one of the latest tools that are being applied to marketing and sales, in a very short span of time. With this, all customers need to do is tap into their mobile device, where they will enjoy the customized experience that their brands have in store for them.

Before we find out how Augmented reality can be applied to marketing, it is important to understand what AR is.

People often confuse AR with VR, which is entirely different from the former. However, both might exhibit similar features; VR comprises designing a new environment, representing or imitating the real and fictional environments. It is more like time travel – where you can either travel back in time or travel ahead of time – into the future, which is unpredictable – and unfurl a whole lot of surprises.

But with AR, you get to view the real world virtually, which is projected using computer-infused augmentations. This projection is intended at providing users with a seamless experience. Remember the experience offered by the IKEA app, allowing shoppers to view IKEA products in an amazing graphics environment.

Well, the difference here is that with VR, the users get to see an environment generated by the computer, while with AR, a real-world focus is available – where elements are introduced to enhance the user experience.

Here are different ways in which AR can be implemented in your marketing strategies: 1. Customer is the king

The customer was, is, and will always be the king. Do you know what the modern-day customer yearns for? It is to try products before they make a purchase decision. Samples of mobile devices, test drives, and even trial rooms for putting on dresses, etc. have been introduced as one of the sales strategies these days. Shopping or sales experiences that are inclined toward the augmentative plane is the trend these days.

Let us deeply examine some interesting examples. How simple it would be if you could try on makeup and even dresses, without having to be present in the shop physically. With AR, the shopper can now try on a number of products, before they finally decide which one meets their expectations and needs.

The advancements in the field of technology have been such that, investors, experts, stakeholders, businesses, and AR developers are coming up with new applications of AR. A number of social media platforms are marketing using AR technology, for example, Facebook’s and Apple’s AR applications. A number of industries have been experimenting with AR technology. Reputed brands, including L’Oreal, have already started implementing sales strategies that let customers try on make-up items.

Also, the dressing room is another area where businesses are implementing AR. Initially, customers used to carry dozens of clothing to try in the dressing rooms, with the staff barging in to rearrange rejected items, the task used to be daunting. But with AR, a virtual fitting room is the answer to all the dressing room woes.

2. Social media

Social media is already a platform to sell and buy. With the application of AR, shopping becomes an amazing experience altogether. Just like shopping via websites, people are not required to be physically present in a store. All they have to do is visit the virtual store, try on the items, and then place an order online.

3. Participating in events

What a delight it would be to attend a live event from your home, dressed in your favourite pyjamas. A number of brands and businesses are implementing this technology to reach out to their people. All you have to do is download the respective AR app and start connecting.

4. Videos

This is in continuation of the event participation that we discussed earlier. Using interactive AR videos, businesses can now reach out to their audiences. These videos could be demo videos (guiding customers through a step-by-step process on how the product works) or in some cases, where a service is being sold, it would help people understand the kind of experience the service will shower them with.

5. AR could influence targeting patterns

Most of the SEOs are working with many tools on ensuring their keywords rank high on the search engines. But going forward, we might have to put up with scenarios where the bid for each keyword would be higher. This means a careful planning strategy would be required for keyword selection and bidding. As AR enters the scene, searches, that were more keyword- and demographic-centered, will now focus more on images. So search engines would have to work in that direction.

6. Change in website designs

These days, we say websites that are capable of taking the user on a tour of their content. We have websites in 2D, 3D, but we do not know what the future driven by technologies, such as AR and VR, will hold. There would need to be a paradigm shift from the way content is presented now to how it needs to be presented in AR and VR. The experience would be the key to the consumer’s heart.

Such kind of upcoming changes will make the marketer’s job even more challenging.

Conclusion

It is high time that marketers along with developers also embrace AR and introduce it into their strategies to help take their sales targets to the next level.

Categories: World News

10 of the Best Gutenberg Plugins for Designing Websites

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 14:30

Now that the early concerns surrounding Gutenberg have subsided it is clear that the new editor for WordPress is actually an excellent resource for web designers. Especially if you are not the most confident coder.

Gutenberg and its block plugins are an intuitive way to build your website and ensure it looks as good as your carefully laid out plans promised to be.

Before we go through some of the best Gutenberg plugins, here are some advantages of using the block editor:

  • Intuitive and flexible. Gutenberg consists of blocks which are easy to manoeuvre around the page as you create your layouts. It is also simple to add different types of content such as headings, images and calls to action which are available as Gutenberg blocks.
  • Great for non-coders. Gutenberg’s blocks approach and integrated plugins mean it is straightforward for beginners to design and implement their website. In fact, you can add complex features without any HTML or CSS.
  • Designers with coding experience will benefit too. Coders will love how much time they will save designing their pages using Gutenberg. The variety of blocks available and the ease of implementing them allows programmers to build websites quickly and concentrate on the more demanding tasks.
  • An excellent alternative to page builders. Rather than rely on third-party page builders which can bloat your website, WordPress’ new core editor is more streamlined and is guaranteed to work seamlessly. In addition, 
  • Reusable blocks. If you have created any customizations in a block that you like they can be reused quickly by either copying the blocks or the code.
  • Integrated with lots of great plugins. Gutenberg can call on a number of excellent plugins to enhance your website.

And on the subject of great Gutenberg plugins let’s check out 10 of the best and how they will help you design your websites:

10 of the Best Gutenberg Blocks Plugins for 2020 1. Toolset

Toolset’s new blocks plugin allows you for the first time to add dynamic content to your website without using coding. 

For example, imagine you run a travel website and have designed a template for your trips. When you click on a trip to Rome you will want to see different information to the post about New York – even if it has the same template. This is possible thanks to Toolset and its dynamic content.

Toolset offers the following blocks with dynamic capabilities:

  • Heading
  • Single field
  • Image
  • View
  • Button
  • Content template
  • Form
  • Map
  • Audio
  • Conditional
  • Container
  • Countdown
  • Fields and Text
  • Progress indicator
  • Repeating field/gallery
  • Social share
  • Star rating
  • Video

Toolset also has a couple of unique blocks. Use the Container Block to style groups of blocks together including the padding, font and background. In addition, the Conditional Block allows you to display or hide blocks based on conditions. For example, on a cooking website, you might want a block to appear telling users that a recipe takes less than 30 minutes to cook.

2. Ultimate Addons

One of the most important considerations for a web designer is their ability to design content quickly. That’s why Ultimate Addons is a great option.

With Ultimate Addons’ array of 20+ blocks you can add important elements quickly without the need to create them for scratch. For example, in just a couple of clicks, you can add and design a call to action, blockquotes, testimonials and much more.

Here is the full list of blocks:

  • Table Of Contents
  • Advanced Columns
  • Advanced Heading
  • Blockquote
  • Call To Action
  • Contact Form 7 Styler
  • Content Timeline
  • Google Map
  • Gravity Form Styler
  • Icon List
  • Info Box
  • Marketing Button
  • Multi Buttons
  • Post Layouts
  • Post Timeline
  • Price List
  • Sections
  • Social Share
  • Team
  • Testimonials

Ultimate Addons also provides more than 20 free starter sites which you can use for inspiration to see what you can achieve using its blocks.

3. Atomic Blocks

Similar to Ultimate Addons, Atomic Blocks is a great option for adding important features quickly. However, Atomic Blocks also provides pre-designed page sections which will further speed up the website building process.

Its Section and Layout block provides a number of pre-designed sections which you can arrange to create uniqute page layouts for testimonials, contact pages, landing pages and much more.

And if you really need to save time Atomic Blocks provides entire page layouts for your website.

Additional blocks include:

  • Section & Layout Block
  • Advanced Columns Block
  • Newsletter Block
  • Pricing Block
  • Post Grid Block
  • Container Block
  • Testimonial Block
  • Inline Notice Block
  • Accordion Block
  • Share Icons Block
  • Call-To-Action Block
  • Customizable Button Block
  • Spacer & Divider Block
  • Author Profile Block
  • Drop Cap Block

Atomic Blocks offers demos for each of its blocks and even provides its own integrated theme.

4. Kadence Blocks

Kadence Blocks is an excellent choice if you want to create content that is usually only possible through third-party page builders. 

For example, the Row Layout block is a great resource not only for adding columns to your designs but also for editing how the columns appear for different screen sizes. Furthermore, the same block can be used for padding, backgrounds, vertical-alignment and all other types of styling.

Another small but important feature Kadence Blocks offers is the ability to change the default max-width for pages and posts on a page by page setting. This is important because Gutenberg only offers a 650px max-width for the content editor which is not ideal if you’re creating content for pages that don’t have a sidebar.

Kadence Blocks provides 13 blocks:
  • Row Layout
  • Advanced Gallery
  • Form
  • Advanced Heading
  • Advanced Button
  • Tabs
  • Accordion
  • Testimonials
  • Icon
  • Spacer / Divider
  • Info Box
  • Icon List
5. Advanced Gutenberg

While Gutenberg is an excellent editor it is still young enough to be missing some crucial features. Advanced Gutenberg’s set of blocks aims to fill in some of those design gaps.

Indeed, one key necessity is control over what editors can and can’t edit. With Advanced Gutenberg you can create profiles and individually activate or disable some of the user tools for each profile. 

Other important features include the ability to instantly add login and register forms, contact forms and even a block to display your latest WooCommerce products.

Here is the full list of blocks:

  • Column manager with pre-defined layouts
  • Latest post slider and latest post slider
  • Latest WooCommerce product slider and latest product slider
  • Advanced Button block
  • Contact form block
  • Advanced List block
  • Map block
  • Advanced Table block
  • Accordion block
  • Tabs block
  • Testimonial block
  • Contact Form block
  • Email Opt-In block
  • WordPress login block
  • WordPress register block
  • Counter block
  • Advanced Image block
  • Advanced Image block
  • Advanced Video block
  • Social links block
  • Activate lightbox effect in Gutenberg image galleries
  • Display image information as lightbox caption in galleries
  • Gutenberg post summary based on content headers
6. CoBlocks

CoBlocks styles itself as the last page builder you will ever need and it offers an alternate page builder experience to the third-party plugins you usually rely on with the old WordPress editor.

CoBlocks replicates a page builder approach by offering features including a Typography Control Panel to set custom fonts, line heights, weights and transformations. Another example is the Row block which provides a responsive grid system so you can choose how many columns you like, the type of layout, your margins configuration and many other edits.

Here’s the full list of what CoBlocks calls its page building blocks:

  • Accordion Block
  • Alert Block
  • Author Profile Block
  • Buttons Block
  • Carousel Gallery Block
  • Click to Tweet Block
  • Dynamic Separator Block
  • Features Block
  • Food & Drinks Block
  • Form Block
  • Gif Block
  • GitHub Gist Block
  • Hero Block
  • Highlight Block
  • Icon Block
  • Logos & Badges Block
  • Map Block
  • Masonry Gallery Block
  • Media Card Block
  • Pricing Table Block
  • Resizable Row/Columns Blocks
  • Services Block
  • Shape Divider Block
  • Social Profiles Block
  • Social Sharing Block
  • Stacked Gallery Block
7. Stackable

Stackable is a good option for those looking for precision design tools to display their website in the exact way they want. It is one of the easiest Gutenberg plugins to get into straight away if you are a casual website designer.

That’s because Stackable offers detailed block settings such as a built-in gradient tint for color settings, background options for blocks including single tint, gradient tint for video and controls for block dimensions, spacing and alignment.

Along with this wide range of design settings, Stackable also comes with a premium version with hover, image box effects, three-layer separators and much more.

Here are Stackable’s block options:

  • Container Block
  • Separator Block
  • Posts Block
  • Feature Grid Block
  • Accordion Block
  • Image Box Block
  • Feature Block
  • Icon List Block
  • Call to Action Block
  • Card Block
  • Header Block
  • Count Up Block
  • Video Popup Block
  • Pricing Box Block
  • Testimonial Block
  • Team Members Block
  • Notification Block
  • Number Box Block
  • Expand / Show More Block
  • Button Block
  • Blockquote Block
  • Divider Block
  • Spacer Block
8. Otter Blocks

Otter Blocks is another option for designers looking for pre-built Gutenberg templates that you can import with one click.

Thanks to Otter Blocks, it is easy to build pages for various types of websites such as e-commerce, blogs, business and many others. Otter Blocks comes with a number of blocks including the Section Block which you can use to build your columns and design separate layouts for your pages.

Otter Blocks offers 13 blocks:

  • Section Block
  • Advanced Heading Block
  • Button Group Block
  • Slider Block
  • Google Maps Block
  • Post Grid Block
  • Service Block
  • Pricing Block
  • Testimonial Block
  • About Author Block
  • Font Awesome Block
  • Sharing Icons Block
  • Plugin Card Block
9. Getwid

Similar to a number of the other Gutenberg plugins, Getwid’s blocks will extend the ones provided by Gutenberg and makes it easier to design templates – even providing pre-built options.

However, Getwid stands out by the sheer number of blocks it offers, more than 40, with some unique block extensions. 

For example, the Advanced Spacer Block gives you an adjustable spacer to separate your blocks and adjust it depending on the platform your user is on. Furthermore, the Image Hotspot Block can be used to place animated markers over images to provide a more interactive experience.

Besides these blocks, Getwid offers a host of others. Here are just some of them:

  • Section Block
  • Advanced Heading Block
  • Google Maps Block
  • Icon Block
  • Icon Box Block
  • Image Box Block
  • Social Links Block
  • Banner Block
  • Image Slider Block
  • Media & Text Slider Block
  • Button Group Block
  • Person Block
  • Accordion Block
  • Toggle Block
  • Tabs Block
  • Image Stack Gallery Block
  • Testimonial Block
  • Recent Posts Block
  • Advanced Spacer Block
  • Instagram Block
10. Block Gallery

Block Gallery provides a unique set of blocks tailored towards web designers looking to create websites for people who have content to promote whether it is themselves, artists, writers or anyone else.

If you are looking for an easy way to build galleries then this is the Gutenberg plugin for you. Block Gallery allows you to drop your images in the gallery block, customize the display settings and publish. Not only that, but you can browse the different types of galleries and change the whole design with just one click.

Block Gallery offers three blocks to build your galleries:

  • Carousel
  • Masonry
  • Stacked
Conclusion

As we have seen this year Gutenberg is constantly improving and adding new blocks and features all the time. As we head into 2020 we expect to see Gutenberg become the editor of choice for web designers – especially those with little coding experience.

Even if Gutenberg lacks any design elements, however, then these Gutenberg plugins should fill in the gaps and enhance your web design experience.

Categories: World News

10 Most Essential WordPress Widgets Empowering Your WP Website

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 14:30

It doesn’t matter if you are a newcomer or you are in the path of becoming a Developers for Plugin Development, WordPress widgets are those magical powers that provide with the right spell to everyone for creating a website in WordPress.

“WordPress Widgets comes in the form of a handy tool that tends to make it easy for users to customize a WP based website.”

In general terms, widgets are termed as one of the smallest applications that tend to have restricted functionality which can be established and executed within the web page with the help of the users. Likewise, a WordPress widget is a meagre standalone piece of code that tends to add amazing types of content or functionality to the website.

Thus WordPress tends to come with a handful of built-in widgets that the user can use right away. WordPress themes and plugins have the tendency to add their own widgets as well.

In this article, we are maintaining to distribute some of the most useful and Best WordPress Widget Plugin for your website’s that would not only improve user experience but would also help in growing the business. 

Best WordPress Widget Plugin to Grow your Business 

WordPress Widget Plugin is termed as the independent blocks of content that are added in the widget areas, which tends to be provided by the themes. These are the tools that tend to add a few specific functionalities or maybe the features to a WordPress website. Here are some of the most common and best plugins for widgets that would be suitable for your website. 

1. WP Call Button 

If you have a business website that requires communication with the customer 24*7, then this is the right widget for you. As mobile traffic starts to boom, more and more users find it really convenient to just contact the business for more data and information. WP Call Button is one of the best widgets for WordPress that permits the user to easily add or tap to “call now” button that is there on the WordPress site.

Not only this, but the user has the authority to use and to add a sticky button that would allow them to scroll or maybe use the widget to show the call button in the sidebar.

It tends to operate with any form of landline or mobile phone number, but it is mostly recommended that professional business phone service is opted and make it certain that they never miss a call.

2. Social Count Plus 

Today everything is about numbers. There are some popular websites that tend to show a social follower count in the sidebar. This is because it tends to show credibility to the website, and thus tends to add social proof. 

Social Count widgets are one amongst many tools that tend to be considered as best WordPress widgets that tends to add this feature on the website. It displays social media follower counts on the sidebar. This widget tends to display the number of followers then, and not the number of times the article is shared on the website. 

3. WP Mail SMTP

If you are attending for the totality of the best WordPress transactions email plugins them, WP Mail SMTP is the one for you, and thus it is considered as one of the best widgets for WordPress. This is a free plugin that helps the user to configure and reconfigure the wp_mail() PHP function that tends to utilize proper SMTP provider. In other words, the widget tends to make sure that any mail that is supposed to send out from the provider and the WordPress site is delivered in a recipient’s box as they should. 

WP Mail SMTP tends to fix the email deliverability by the power of re-configuring WordPress to use as a proper SMTP provider while sending the emails. It tends to bring together all the SMTP provider into one plugin so that the user doesn’t have to use for a separate plugin.

Therefore if you choose the best developers for plugin development then they should be aware of the simple task that would take place to operate this widget.

4. Yoast SEO 

A lot of people and WordPress Website Development Company get confused on the type of plugin that they should use for SEO. The answer to this question is always the same – YOAST! 

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular and widely used widgets. It tends to help in creating an automatic update to XML sitemap for websites like Google. The user needs to check out the content’s search snippet so that they are able to see what the people on the web are searching about. This makes and provides the user with a green light on the fact that when their content being optimized.

The user can add meta tags, set canonical URLs (to avoid duplicate content) and integrate Google search controls so that the website owner can witness how indexing is done on the site. Therefore, for adequate WordPress Development the user can choose Yoast SEO and help the website in bringing the traffic.

5. Google Map Widget

One of the easiest ways to add maps to the site’s sidebar is by utilizing Google Map Widgets. This is one of the simplest widgets that tends to allow the user to display a Google map on the widgets. When the user tends to click on the map, a large map opens in a light-box pop-up.

It is regarded as one of the several advantageous WordPress widgets that are there for the business that tends to display the address and the location on the website. If the user wishes to integrate a widget that would present the customers with directions, then this is the tool for you.

6. AdSanity 

Promoting your product with the help of ads has been long adopted from the time people and WordPress Development Company started setting up their business. Therefore, AdSanity is one of the best and widely used widgets. It allows the users to easily display the ads that are anywhere in this website and thus it appears with a widget that tends to display ads in the blog’s sidebar automatically. Thus, considered as best WordPress sidebar widgets Adsanity is the need for the hour. If the user is planning to support the website that is there with the banner ads or affiliated market, then and sanity is the widget for you. It would help the user with maximum ad space, and thus it tends to generate more revenue. 

7. Smush 

Every website owner wants that their website should contain images that are not only graphically high but should be appealing to the eyes as well. Such cases lead to the heavy compulsion of images. Therefore, to make it lightweight, and still be as graphically accurate as you desire – Smush is one of the plugins that is meant for you. This is done to make the performance of your website and loading time according to the way you desire. 

Smush is one of the top WordPress widgets with best image optimization between the pictures by doing it automatically and uploading them on the media library. Not only this, but this widget resize, optimizes and compresses all the images. It does it without actually sacrificing the image quality; this is done to make the website operate at an optimal level and ranking of the search results. 

8. RafflePress

Today, many influencers and website owner tend to attract customers by providing them with giveaways and things in contests. RafflePress is one of the best WordPress giveaways and content plugins. This is the type of widget that tends to create viral giveaways and contests and is set up by many WordPress Web Development company. This is done to get a lot of traffic and customers with subscribers. It allows the site owner to operate a giveaway and thus add a sidebar widget. 

The user also has the authority to construct a standalone landing page for a giveaway and thus promote it across various social profiles. The users should know that RafflePress is the plugin that is not free. If you are seeking for a free version and popular widgets for WordPress, then you should go for RafflePress Lite. 

9. Pretty Links 

If you are one of those that rarely compromise with quality, then this is the right widget for you. There is no mystery to the fact that some of the best WordPress widgets and best sidebar widgets for WordPress for affiliate links are Affiliate Royale, Thirsty Affiliates and of course Pretty Links. Focusing entirely on Pretty Links, this is the widget that tends to alternatively shortens the link and tends to make the links look clean and good. This is done to make it easy for the users to track and locate the website. The better your affiliate links are then more your URL’s would be shared and promoted ahead. It is great for the users and the participants that are into affiliate market youing. This allows them to add, click and locate for social media. Thus, Hire WordPress developers that are able to operate this widget easily. 

10.  Login LockDown

If you have come till the end of this article and read about the HTML to WordPress Services, then you would be aware of the fact by now that securing your website has to be the no one priority of all the users out there. Username and Password are one among the security things that are vital for a website, but to carry out some extra precautions the website owner can take the help of Login LockDown. This is a plugin that helps to secure your important data and information. The widget helps to limit the number of logins attempts a user can make while they try to login to the website. The widget provides the user with the utmost three attempts within the time span of 5 minutes. The site will then automatically lock the users out of the website for at least an hour. Not only this but the widget also records the IP address and the timespan of every failed login attempt. Thus, it isn’t wrong if it is stated that it is the best widgets for website. 

In a Nutshell

Before you start to hire WordPress Developers know that WordPress and its various widgets tend to evolve with new updates and features constantly. New versions are released, and developers constantly launch new and updated versions. Widgets allow your blog or website to be more effective and functional. This above list has been provided to our customers and audience to make their work easy, there are many more widgets that would help you with the website, but these widgets are the most widely used widgets. 

We assume that this article has presented you with insights on all the necessary widgets that you need and require. If you have any difficulties related to the above topic, then you can write to us in the comment section below. Our experts and professionals would try to solve them and provide you with aid as quickly as possible.

Categories: World News

How to Use Design to Amplify Your Brand’s Content Marketing

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 14:30

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” And the same is true for good design.

Whether you’re viewing a print advertisement, a website page, or a blog post, the design has a major impact on your perception of the information and the brand. 

Think back to the last time you read a 3,000 word blog post with absolutely no images, no thought put into the layout, and no charts or graphs. Unless the information was incredibly compelling, your experiencing reading the blog post was probably pretty unmemorable. Maybe you even stopped reading and clicked off the page half way through. Being “unmemorable” is something that brands today can’t afford if they want to be competitive and win business. 

And that is exactly what is at the root of this article—why marketers need to make design a priority in their content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), over 90% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers are using content marketing to engage with their audience and generate leads.

Those statistics prove that your prospective customers are facing content overload. To break through the noise, your brand’s marketing assets need to stand out. In fact, you could argue that the design of your content could be the difference between a new customer and a lost sale.

Content + Emotion = Better Sales 

You might be wondering how design even fits into a content marketing strategy. After all, you don’t often use the words “writing” and “design” in the same sentence. Writing itself isn’t inherently visual, it’s about getting the facts onto paper and shaping it into a compelling and informative argument with the intent of generating intrigue.

But here’s the thing—design is linked to emotion, on both a conscious and subconscious level. When you decided to stop reading that boring 3,000 word blog post, it’s because you didn’t feel a connection to the content or the brand. The experience didn’t trigger an emotion that made you want to learn more. 

We also know that emotion has a huge impact on your brand’s ability to sell to customers. And the design of your content marketing assets can change the way people feel when they’re engaging with them. For example, most people would agree that seeing data laid out in an infographic is much more powerful than reading it in paragraph form. 

The design of your content also determines how accessible it is. That’s one of the reasons why videos, webinars, and even podcast hosting are effective lead generation strategies for many companies. You could publish a podcast script as a written Q&A on your blog, but it’s not as accessible as being able to listen to it passively or skip to sections you’re most interested in.

5 Tips for Using Design in Your Content Marketing

A good content marketing strategy starts with—you guessed it—good content. Part of that is using marketing analytics to track the types of content your audience is most interested in. But there’s always room to level up, and integrating good design into your content marketing is one way to do that. Here are some design tips that you can integrate into your content marketing to increase engagement.

1. Use Stock Images Sparingly

Stock photos can be both a blessing and a curse for marketers. On one hand, using stock photos will save you a lot of time and money. But they tend to lack authenticity and are often overused. That can make your content feel generic and uninspiring.

The images you use in your content as just as important as the writing. In fact, content that has images gets 94% more views than content without visuals. If you are going to use stock images, be very selective and use the ones that feel the most real. Better yet, pull out your camera and stage a mini photoshoot in your office for photos that show off your brand’s human side. Another great way to limit your use of stock photos is to use screenshots or create visuals with your data, and paste them throughout the content. 

2. Invest in Infographics

Marketers and consumers alike are drawn to infographics. Using infographics can boost your site traffic by 12%, and over 40% of marketers say that infographics are the most engaging form of visual content. Infographics can feel like a daunting task, especially if you don’t have a designer on staff. But there are dozens of tools that can make infographic design a breeze.

Infographics are a great addition to your content marketing because of their versatility. You can add an infographic to a relevant blog post, cut it down into snippets with the most compelling data, and even post it on social media. Infographics are the most effective way to illustrate data, charts and graphs, and make the information memorable. They are easy to digest, highly shareable, and some even go viral. 

3. Publish More Ebooks

When it comes to content marketing assets, ebooks are one of the most effective forms of content. It allows you to put a high volume of information into an easy-to-read, easy-to-digest format. Unlike traditional blog posts or white papers, ebooks don’t feel like information overload. It’s a great way to implement design into your content and drive your audience to learn more.

According to HubSpot, your brain can process visual information nearly 60,000 times faster than plain text. So in your next ebook, make sure you’re including images, screenshots, charts and graphs to help you readers remember the highlights. A combination of text and graphics can convey your information in a way that evokes emotion and creates a sense of urgency for the reader that will make them more likely to convert.

The Bottom Line

Good design is an important element of any effective content marketing strategy. Using design can amplify your content, attract more prospective customers, and entice readers to take action and learn more. There are dozens of tools, marketing courses, and resources available to help you determine which types of assets to create, and how to infuse design into your strategy. Marketers today need to be using their content to differentiate their brand from others in the industry, and using good design can help create a lasting impression and elevate your brand’s identity.

Categories: World News

How to Do Market Research

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 14:30

Market research can be the holy grail of customer insights, revealing motivations behind purchase decisions, behavioral patterns, likes, and dislikes. Information like this can help you make informed decisions about creating new products or services, entering new markets, and more.

Done right, market research can be extremely valuable. But not planning properly or taking the wrong approach with market research can tank your efforts and flush valuable marketing dollars down the drain. We created this in-depth guide to help you avoid this unfortunate situation. Keep reading to learn how to do market research the right way — in four easy-to-digest chapters. But before the synopsis, let us summarize the basic market research process in 6 steps.

How to conduct market research
  1. Identify the problem. The problem may be a dilemma you’ve faced in the past and want to avoid facing again or it may be the need for a new revenue-generating opportunity.
  2. Establish your budget. Determine how much you’re willing to spend to get the answers you need.
  3. Design the research. Decide on factors such as sample size, questions, and method.
  4. Collect the data. How you collect market research data will depend entirely on the research method you chose.
  5. Analyze and present data. Whatever analysis technique you use, present your findings in a way that clearly and accurately communicates the takeaways.
  6. Take action. Once you’ve obtained the information you were looking for, take appropriate action.
Chapter synopsis
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: What is market research? Start out with a solid foundation by understanding what market research is, what it entails, and why it’s important. Bonus: Get tips on creating a buyer persona.
  • Chapter 3: The market research process. How does the market research process work? Find out in this chapter, which walks through the six-step research process, from identifying the problem to taking action.
  • Chapter 4: Market research methods. What methods can you use to find answers to your burning questions? There are plenty, but we walk through five frequently used methods, when it’s best to employ them, and pitfalls to watch out for.
  • Chapter 5: Market research strategies. When you need to round out your market research efforts or gain some quick insights, these market research strategies are great options.

Remember to bookmark this guide for later reference. Market research can be a complex topic, and as your needs change you may need a refresher on approaches or methods you haven’t used before.

What is market research?

Market research is the process of gathering information about a target audience, typically your customers. The purpose is to understand their wants, needs, and preferences; you can then use that data to benefit your organization in a variety of ways.

Why is market research important? As a critical part of business strategy, market research can inform your decisions on a number of things, including

  • Future product offerings. What types of products or additional features might customers like to see?
  • Current marketing materials. Are they effective, or can they be tailored differently to achieve better results?
  • Service structures. What can you change to improve the customer experience?
  • Business processes. How could you change them to achieve better outcomes for customers?

Gathering insights directly from customers gives you the opportunity to check your assumptions. Even the most talented of employees can’t read customers’ minds, which is why asking customers for their input is essential to understanding them.

Market research consultant Annalisa Tammaro adds that conducting market research lowers your risk of making the wrong business decision, such as introducing a new product your customers won’t like: “The importance of market research lies in getting customer feedback on a specific subject early on to ensure you’re heading down the right path. Your research findings then provide a key reference point for all related decisions.”

Market research comes in two flavors: primary research and secondary research. We cover these research types below, along with an important foundational component of market research — the buyer persona.

Primary market research

In short, primary market research is research you either conduct yourself or hire someone to conduct for you for a specific purpose. What makes this type of research primary is that you or your designee are going straight to the source to gather the information you want. If you’ve ever put together a focus group, conducted an interview, or sent out a survey to your customers, you’ve done primary research.

For example, if you’re thinking about redesigning one of your products, you’ll want input from customers regarding what they like and don’t like about it. This will give you a sense of what aspects can be improved during the redesign to make the product more appealing. Seeking input from these customers through a survey or similar method would be considered primary market research.

Secondary market research

In contrast, secondary market research is the process of compiling research that’s already been conducted and analyzed, so you can use it for your benefit. Unlike primary research, secondary research may not have been performed for the same purpose for which you’re using it.

Examples of secondary research include publicly available studies by government agencies, for-purchase studies by research firms like Nielsen and Gartner, reports by trade associations, and data collected by competitors. “Even web searches for interesting statistics can be considered secondary research,” explains Tammaro.

Consider the previous example of wanting to redesign one of your products. Instead of expending the effort of setting up a research study of your own customers, you may purchase a completed study using participants that align with your typical customer persona. Depending on the purpose of the purchased research, you may not get answers to specific questions, but it could still provide tangential insights that inspire you to create a completely new type of product.

The key to market research: Buyer personas

A buyer persona is a collection of demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, quotes, goals, and other identifying aspects that represent your ideal customer. Buyer personas are a critical part of market research because they provide a basis for tailoring your research questions and qualifying the input you receive from research participants.

Tammaro provides a few tips on building a buyer persona:

  • Identify patterns from available customer data. For example, if you run an e-commerce store, review visitor demographics and their buying behavior to determine commonalities.
  • Segment your customers into smaller groups. Not all customers are alike, especially if you have a broad assortment of products. You may need to create multiple buyer personas based on characteristics like age, income, or personality traits.
  • Use multiple research methods. With a survey, you can easily reach many customers and identify broad customer demographics or concerns. However, other methods like one-on-one interviews can provide a deeper perspective and unearth emotional motivators you can use to build an in-depth buyer persona.

Now that we’ve introduced you to market research as a concept, let’s move into how the market research process works.

The market research process

Conducting market research can provide you with a wealth of knowledge and information about your customers, but only if you take a thoughtful approach. You can’t simply come up with a few questions off the cuff and send them out. Effective planning and execution are essential. Start by outlining a clear market research process like the one laid out below by Holly Brown, CEO of Boston Research Services.

Step 1: Identify the problem

Your market research problem will differ from those of other businesses, and even in your own business, it will likely change over time. The problem may be a dilemma you’ve faced in the past and want to avoid facing again, or it may be the need for a new revenue-generating opportunity.

Here are a few examples of potential business problems you can address through market research:

  • Customers, prospects, and the general public have a negative perception of your brand.
  • You’re confused about exactly what drives customers to purchase your products or services (or, more generally, the types of products and services you provide).
  • You believe there’s more potential profit in your products.
  • You’re unsure about how customers will respond to an upcoming ad campaign.

Once you’ve identified your overarching business problem, Brown recommends coming up with two or three related objectives to explore. Limiting your objectives “helps you avoid respondent fatigue from asking too many questions, but also ensures you don’t develop tunnel vision.”

Step 2: Establish your budget

Market research always has a cost. You must determine how much you’re willing to spend to get the answers you need. The larger and more complex the problem, the more you should budget, even if you’re doing everything in house.

If you’re willing to let a market research firm do the legwork, Brown recommends contacting three firms for quotes. You’ll need to provide your criteria and audience demographics, among other aspects.

Ensure the quotes you receive include the programming of the survey; field work, such as hosting interviews and gathering data; data analysis; and delivery of results. Be prepared for extra fees if you require additional components, such as regression analysis or segmentation, which are more complex statistical methods for analyzing data.

Step 3: Design the research

This step is the “how” of the market research process, when you decide on factors such as

  • Sample size and characteristics. Choosing the right sample size depends on a number of factors. For one, are you reaching out to current customers (which will be limited), a representative sampling of customer look-alikes, or a broad demographic? In addition, your topic can limit the number of available participants. For example, semiconductors are more niche than TVs, meaning there are fewer participants who can answer questions about them.
  • Questions. Whatever method you go with, you’ll need to determine exactly what questions to ask and which answer choices to provide, if any. Recall the objectives you set. “If a question doesn’t help achieve one of your objectives, don’t use it,” cautions Brown.
  • Method. You’ll need to select a mode of delivery for your questions, such as a survey, interview, or focus group. The questions you come up with will help you choose a method. For example, open-ended questions work better in an interview or focus group setting than a survey.
Step 4: Collect the data

How you collect market research data will depend entirely on the research method you chose. For example, if you chose a survey, you can use a robust survey tool to distribute and collect your data for later analysis. If you chose an interview, you may have recordings from participants you’ve transcribed for later review.

Step 5: Analyze and present data

Your market research analysis approach should reflect your chosen method.

Quantitative methods like surveys with closed-ended questions can use techniques such as cluster analysis, which separates objects into specific, exclusive groups that are similar. Qualitative methods like interviews call for techniques, such as analytical induction, where you hypothesize and re-hypothesize the reason for events as you learn about similar events.

Whatever analysis technique you use, present your findings in a way that clearly and accurately communicates the takeaways. This could be in the form of simple statements, tables, graphs, slides, etc.

Step 6: Take action

Once you’ve obtained the information you were looking for, take appropriate action. Your actions will depend on your objectives, but here are a few examples of actions you might take:

  • Direct your marketing toward a new or different type of customer.
  • Highlight a specific benefit or feature of your product in marketing campaigns.
  • Change your product or service’s pricing structure.

In step three, we mentioned selecting an appropriate market research method. In the next chapter, we’ll walk through several widely used methods and when they should be used.

Market research methods

When you’ve identified your problem and established your budget, the next step is to choose the appropriate market research method (sometimes referred to as a market research technique).

Whether you’re gathering quantitative or qualitative data, or a mix of the two, the market research methods below are some of the most frequently ones used to gather key information for decision making.

Focus groups

Market research focus groups are widely used to gather qualitative data. With focus groups, you bring together a small selection of people to ask their opinions or gauge their reactions to a stimulus. The people are typically representative of your customers, and the stimulus is usually one of your products. A moderator leads the session.

Mark McElwain, a market research expert with SRAX, says focus groups are a great way to drill down on a specific topic, such as feelings about a new product. His key recommendation for getting the most out of a focus group: Employ a talented moderator.

According to McElwain, the moderator can make or break your focus group. “Extracting insightful answers from participants takes a certain level of finesse. You have to get people to open up and talk at length, and that takes knowing people and being able to read the room. A great moderator can get insights from people in any focus group, whether it’s one about the Oprah Winfrey Network or Mercedes.”

One thing McElwain says to look out for with focus groups is group think — where one participant’s opinions become so overbearing, they influence the opinions of the rest of the participants. “If a moderator can’t maintain control of the room, one participant can wind up directing the conversation and subsequently skew results.”

Interviews

Unlike focus groups, qualitative interviews offer a more individualized approach to gaining customer insights. And while the moderator (or interviewer) is still important here, your market research interview questions are the most important component of a successful interview.

Pay extra attention to ensure your questions align with your objectives, and that they are open-ended to elicit in-depth responses, whether you’re conducting your interview in person or online.

McElwain says interviews are another useful way to go deep regarding a specific topic, but they are also generally more expensive and less scalable than focus groups. “Like any market research method, the interview has benefits and drawbacks. For example, the interviewee may be more open without the presence of other people, but you’re also only getting a single perspective.”

Surveys

Market research surveys tend to be more quantitative in nature, as most questions are closed-ended, requiring a simple yes or no response, or multiple-choice answer. Surveys are great for reaching a wide audience — think hundreds or thousands of people — because they can be done online and anonymously.

Easy-to-use tools like JotForm help you quickly create, distribute, and collect data for all manner of market research surveys.

Direct observation

Observation market research is qualitative and involves directly observing participants using your product in the “real world” or a representative environment. The purpose is to study customer behaviors that naturally occur in certain contexts surrounding your product to better understand customers.

However, McElwain cautions that observation market research has its issues: “The danger is you only have an experiment group, instead of an additional control group. This makes it impossible to compare results as you would with more scientific observation research.”

Field studies

The market research study (or field study) is a qualitative form of research that encompasses a number of methods requiring in-person interaction. For example, observation, focus groups, and interviews can all be considered field studies in some way. One method that departs from these examples is the in-home usage study.

An in-home usage study is most frequently used to test products. Participants use (and typically keep) your product, documenting their usage over a predetermined time period. For example, you may send participants a new dishwashing soap that they are supposed to use daily. Every day, participants respond to a survey that asks questions about their experience, such as how well the soap performed on tough cleaning jobs.

Now that we’ve covered the methods, let’s get strategic. The next chapter goes into the various strategies you can employ with market research.

Market research strategies

You can perform market research in a number of ways.

While the standard methods of surveying and the like are valuable, there are also unique market research strategies you can employ to gain not only information but different perspectives that can further inform your decision making and even prime your more traditional research methods. 

Below we describe several less-structured strategies you can try out today.

Industry publications

Following industry publications that relate to your product or service helps you keep a finger on the pulse of your market — trends, competitor happenings, new problems customers are facing, and shifts in customer demand. These publications can also help identify the right questions to ask in a survey or interview as well as questions to ask internally to improve business processes for better customer outcomes.

In many cases, you can also partner with industry publications to access or purchase their list of readers; you can then try to engage with those people using traditional research methods like surveys.

Competitive assessments

When you want to gain insight about your competitors, competitive assessments offer solid learning opportunities. “They help you understand how competing brands are viewed from a customer’s point of view,” explains George Kuhn, president of Drive Research.

Competitive assessments often include a range of activities to gain a full picture of the competitive landscape:

  • Research competitors’ websites. Most companies have a collection of white papers, e-books, blogs, brochures, case studies, and other content that showcases their expertise.
  • Enlist mystery shoppers to make calls and send emails. Mystery shoppers pose as customers to observe and measure competitors’ customer experiences.
  • Conduct customer interviews. Going straight to the source is often the best way to be in the know. In person, such as at a mall, you may need to get permission before asking for customer feedback about a shopping experience, but it can be worthwhile to get this kind of input.

Kuhn shares an example of an apartment developer who wanted to minimize the risk associated with building a new complex — i.e., Will people rent if we build here?

His firm performed a competitive assessment, inventorying the market and conducting mystery shopping calls to get an idea of the number of unoccupied units, typical amenities offered, square footage ranges, etc. His team also performed a market analysis to see where the population was shifting, how much customers were willing to pay, and what they were looking for in a rental community.

Internet market research

As a tried and true strategy, internet market research can answer many of your questions — whether they’re about competitors or customers. However, despite the ease of conducting internet research and the plethora of information that’s available, Kuhn says this strategy can be problematic.

“For one, you have to be careful with your search terms. Even changing a single word in a phrase can produce significantly different search results. More importantly, knowing which sources to trust is a big issue. Just because a site ‘answers’ your question doesn’t mean the answer was accurate,” Kuhn says.

Social media market research

With the rise in online socialization, social media market research has quickly become a viable way to gain information about customer sentiment. Kuhn says there are two main angles to using social media: using your own or competitors’ social accounts to mine insights, and using your social account as a primary research tool.

“Your social media account gives you great data points to learn more about the people who follow you,..

Categories: World News

Logo Design Tips for Fitness and Health Businesses

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 14:30

Which are some of the most impact health and fitness brands? Do you know that?

Let us tell you the answer — the ones that not only inspire but empower. Whether you’re already into healthcare business or want to kick-off one by helping people shed those extra kilos for summer, it’s imperative to present your brand through a logo that would influence customers. It can persuade them to join your gym or studio classes.

But before you jump start, let’s take a look at these stats surrounding this industry. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the health & fitness industry is growing by a rate of 3 to 4% per year in the US. At present, about 20% of adults in America own a fitness club membership, and this number is still growing with each passing day.

Now you know the competition is going to be stiff. And if you are unable to grab the attention of your target audience, business survival would be hard.

The human brain can process visual information 60,000 faster than the plain text. So, getting your logo game right is the key to success. When you start considering a fitness logo design for your business, you need to look at the bigger picture instead of focusing on just any design. You want to make sure that your brand logo looks impressive, but it’s also identifiable no matter where you put it on.

The first step in designing a fitness logo, either by logo maker tool or by hiring a professional designer,  is to keep in mind that it will be placed on various platforms. Therefore, the logo should retain its identity no matter what the size or placement is. For example, the logo appearing on your business letterhead can be big and bold, but when it appears on a platform like Instagram, it can be small.

With these ideas in mind, here are a few tips to ponder upon when creating a fitness logo design. 

1. Focus on brand vision 

The first and foremost factor that you should set before starting with the health logo is – to identify your brand vision. A brand without a vision is soulless. Find out what you’re going to pitch to your audience — a particular type of fitness or overall health. Are your products the central focus or your customers? Also, consider what you want to achieve and how you want your customers to recognize your brand. Remember, your healthcare logo is a sale pitch; so you need to figure out what impression you want to leave behind with it.  

The motto is to convey who you are, what’s your mission, and what you want to deliver. 

2. Embrace concept-based ideas 

If you are planning to use images or icons without giving it a thought, stop it. Whatever element you plan to include should have a concept behind it, or it will end up being poles apart from your brand vision and mission.

Therefore, before using any element, shift your focus to the concepts first. The concept could be anything. It could be fitness equipment that reflects the equipment you use for training, or an icon or a symbol that has a deeper meaning and is relevant to your health and fitness business.

3. Use relevant colors & consider their effects 

Do you know, using the right colors can boost your brand recognition by 80%? Colors have a significant role to play when it comes to logo designing. It can influence your potential customers and also have a substantial impact on how they recognize your brand. Every color has a specific meaning, and it also depicts certain traits. Knowing these traits and meanings can help you understand what will work for your fitness logo design.

Additionally, as a health and fitness business owner, it is essential to know that logos with a maximum of two colors have lower printing costs than logos with multiple color combinations.

For fitness or health care logo, the best colors include:

  • Blue — that depicts dependability and trustworthiness
  • Yellow — that shows optimism and happiness
  • Green — that stands for health and peace
  • Orange — that shows confidence and friendliness
4. Choose the right and legible typefaces for your business

When you choose the font for your healthcare logo, keep these three most important factors in mind —

  • The font should be simple
  • It should be easy to read
  • It should give a clear view of what’s written 

Some typography choices may look aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, but they are not suitable to be used in a fitness logo. You want your audience to read what is written on your logo clearly at a glance. Choosing fonts from Sans Serif font families like Arial, Geneva, Helvetica, Roboto and more is a better option. For a more artistic and attractive font, you can choose from Slab Serif typefaces like Clarendon and Rockwell. However, you need to stay away from script font families like Comic Sans and Brush Script. 

5. Keep your fitness logo design simple yet catchy 

The best logos in the world have simple designs. The simpler the logo design, the easier it’s for people to remember the behind it and recall it. What’s common between the logos of Apple, IBM, HP, Nike, Pepsi, and Amazon? Each of the logos is simple but meaningful. Here, the idea isn’t to show the artistic side, but how creatively you can convey your ideas without being complex.

Don’t forget to incorporate the story (if you have any) into your fitness or gym logo design.

Conclusion 

The right logo design helps you bridge the gap between your business and your target audience. Whether you put it on brand’s signage, letterhead, brochure, social media post, email marketing campaign or fitness app; if your logo is well-designed, it will go a long way. Consider all the points discussed earlier before starting with your logo design.

Don’t forget to share your tips with us if you have any. 

Categories: World News

Best Products on Product Hunt 2019

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 14:30

If you are launching a new product or a service related to tech, there’s a good chance you will be on Product Hunt. It’s a great platform to show your product and get feedback. It’s also great to discover new tools that are being launched.

There are so many new products being launched and sometimes you never hear about the ones that will make your life and job easier. So we’ve rounded up what we liked most out of the products on Product Hunt in 2019.

Without further ado, here are the:

Best products of  Product Hunt in 2019 This Person Does Not Exist Computer-generated people. Refresh to get a new one.

This person does not exist creates random, computer-generated photos of fictional people. It’s an amazing tool, it’s a great example of machine learning, and how far it can go. It’s a crazy thing to think about, also it is kind of scary. 

Shots Turn design into code with Shots

Shots is a collection of design patterns from mobile apps that you can transform into code with a single click. It’s great a testing tool, it can help you turn your idea into reality easily, so you can test, validate and iterate it. 

Checklist Design A collection of the best UX and UI Practices

Checklist Design has a collection of best of UI and UX practices to provide the best experience for your users. With this tool, you won’t miss a single step in your design process, without having any flaws. 

Ink AI Web Content Optimization

If you have a website or a platform that you publish your articles on, you probably know how important SEO is.

With Ink, you can optimize your content for SEO. It’s a free AI Web Content SEO Editor. If you are creating new content, make sure to check out Ink. It’s a great supplementary tool for SEO-friendly content writers and publishers. If you are working on improving your website ranking, tools like Ink might really help.

Leave Me Alone Easily unsubscribe from spam emails

If you have played GTA: Vice City and used the cheat codes, you know what leavemealone does. You lose all the wanted levels and can run freely in the city away from the law. With this tool, you are doing the same to email subscriptions. It enables you to see all the email subscriptions with your email address and to unsubscribe from them with a single click. 

Note: You get 5 credits with the free plan. You can see all the subscriptions you have on your account, but you can unsubscribe from only 5 of them through their interface.

VisualSitemaps Autogenerate visual sitemaps in seconds.

You can automatically create great-looking sitemaps and high-resolution screenshots of any website or app with VisualSitemaps. It makes it fast and easy to run audits for UI, UX, SEO, and marketing research.

Mixkit High-quality stock videos that are completely free.

Mixkit is a high-quality stock and royalty-free videos and animations platform. It’s basically Unsplash for videos. If you want to find out more about stock videos, make sure to check out high-quality stock videos sites.

Growth.Design Case Studies Product tips in a comic book format.

Looking to improve your product? Growth.Design Case Studies provides product tips, breaks down how the best companies design and grow the product users love, in a really fun way.

CSS Scan 2.0 The fastest and easiest way to inspect or copy CSS

A browser extension to inspection. You can visualize the CSS of any element you hover over, and copy the entire rules with a click. Yes, please!

Exploding Topics Find proven topics before they take off.

Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. Exploding Topics let you see the trending topics in various industries. These topics are sourced from millions of data points, including search and online communities.

There are many other products on Product Hunt that are hunted in 2019. These are the ones that we liked the most. What are your favorite products of 2019 that are on Product Hunt?

Categories: World News

How to Protect your VMs &amp; Servers from Ransomware Attacks?

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 14:30

Ransomware is on the rise. This year, we have seen a lot more ransomware attacks than the previous year and these attacks would continue to follow on to the next year.

It is a threat not only for companies but also for government security agencies and even for small personal businesses.

Virtual environments are also at risk of falling victim to an attack. The simplest way to protect virtual machines (VMs) against ransomware is to back them up. This is key in protecting VMs against ransomware and every organization needs to be doing this.

Backing Up Virtual Machines

The first and the most fundamental step in protecting VMs against any ransomware attack is to back up the virtual machines. There are many vendors out there who offer solutions that can back up VMs and servers. These solutions can be in the form of an appliance, backup and disaster recovery appliance, or it can be a cloud-based solution, cloud backup and disaster recovery. Either way, it does the job and is used widely.

Now, choosing a vendor can be a bit tricky as there are so many vendors out there who offer similar solutions, so choosing the one that suits your organization the best can be a bit tricky. Fortunately, vendors share the features to their solutions beforehand which can help to identify which one can be the most beneficial for your organization. 

Dell, Nutanix, Unitrends, StoneFly, etc. all offer backup and disaster recovery solutions for backing up VMs and all sort of data. StoneFly, in particular, offers backup and disaster recovery appliances (DR365, DR365V, DR365Z, DR365U) and also cloud-based disaster recovery solutions (CDR365), which are cost-effective and reliable.

Backup Frequency of Virtual Machines

After deciding to back up your virtual machines, the new question comes into mind how often should you back up your virtual machines and servers? Every individual in every company will have different answers to this depending on the applications and workload that is residing in their virtual machines. 

Now, the question still resides. How often should you back up your virtual machines and servers? To answer this, you need to first determine how much data loss is acceptable for your organization if it suffers failure of any of your virtual machines. This is also known as Recovery Point Objective or RPOs. 

RPOs should be as minimum as possible and a good backup and recovery appliance or a cloud-based backup and recovery solution can offer minimal RPOs.

Another thing that needs to be taken into consideration is Recovery Time Objective or RTO. This is the amount of time it takes for your organization to recover from a failure. 

RPOs and RTOs, both are linked to downtime. If your organization cannot sustain downtime of more than 5 hours, then the RTO should not exceed more than 5 hours. Ideally, it should be as little as possible, in order to ensure smooth operations and achieve business continuity.

RTOs and RPOs are very important considerations that need to be well thought of, prior to implementing backup policies as they are linked to data recoverability. Many organizations do not consider them important when it comes to backing up VMs and servers, and as a result, they fail to achieve the recoverability goal of the organization. 

For example, if your organization has a production application with an RPO of 6 hours and that application is being backed up with a default daily backup job, there is no way you will prevent data loss and you will face a big amount of data loss in the event of a ransomware attack on that virtual machine. 

It is very important to understand the RPOs and RTOs of your organization and schedule VM backup jobs accordingly to ensure that there is no data loss in an event of a ransomware attack.

Vendors like StoneFly offer cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions with RTOs and RPOs as little as less than 15 minutes. 

Ensure Recovery of Virtual Machines: DR Testing

Backing up virtual machines and servers is not enough, you also need to make sure that they can be easily recovered so that at the time when actual recovery is needed, you are able to recover them successfully.

This can be done by regularly testing the DR backup and VM backup. During the testing process, you need to check that are your backup jobs completing? Are there any errors in recoverability? Ensuring that backup jobs are completed successfully in the required time will help make sure that the virtual machines are recovered in a timely fashion. 

Testing recovery of one virtual machine is one thing but testing recovery of a large number of virtual machines can be a tricky task. Processes must be in place to ensure that applications and VMs are all recovered efficiently during a disaster and in the order which makes the most business sense for the organization.

Now, every organization has applications that are of more priority than other applications, and some are even in the same virtual environment. 

For instance, one application is much more important than the rest of the applications. However, the backup job is set to backup data every 6 hours. Now, this can be a problem as this application has critical data and need to be up and running within 2 hours of a disaster. So, in the event of a disaster, the organization would lose a lot of data and money, trying to recover the lost files in the application and backup would be of no use.

It is important to understand that the organization’s RTO and RPO goals are set according to the crucial and high priority applications so that there is no chance of data loss and downtime and the application can be up and running in a minimum amount of time without having to suffer any data loss or downtime. 

Having said this, the recovery of each and every application should be tested and it should be in line with the RTOs so that there are no disruptions in recovery and there is no amount of data loss.

Final Thoughts

The threat of ransomware has increased significantly and just like regular data, VMs and servers are also at risk. The above-explained points can help an organization to protect their VMs and servers from ransomware and disaster recovery testing can help ensure recoverability of applications and data.

Categories: World News

5 Best WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugins (WooCommerce Google Shopping Feed) for Higher Conversion Rates.

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 14:30

Shopping ads are a sure attention grabber when you are browsing online. Every retailer wants its shopping ads to come up on Google, which is one of the most popular spaces online to host your products and services.

The more your Shopping ads are popular, the better sales you achieve. To obtain visibility for your products online, Google Shopping is the best way. Google Shopping is meant for retailers to promote their products online. Getting your eStore products to Google Shopping is made easier with a Google Product Feed plugin. If you own a WooCommerce store, then take a look at the popular WooCommerce Google Product Feed plugins that take your products on Google Shopping.

Why Google Shopping is important for Retailers? 

You have your eStore up and ready for selling. Now you need to strategize your selling. To do the same, you need to focus on making use of targeted selling using technology. This is where Google Shopping comes into the picture.  Google shopping serves only relevant ads that will propel the on-page promotion of your store. Shopping ads have outperformed all kinds of marketing strategies in convincing a larger crowd.

How does Google Shopping help retailers for Higher Conversion Rates? 

To get your products on Google Shopping, you need a Google Merchant Center account, Google Analytics, and a Google Ads account. With your store products displayed on Google Shopping, it gives you a popularity edge compared to the rest of the competitive ones in the market. The Shopping Ads on Google Shopping contains the image of the product, the URL of the page, the availability of the product and the price. To reach the business goals and to augment their conversion rates, the retailers have been making use of Google Shopping in an optimal way.

To get your products on Google Shopping, you need to create a Google product feed. If you own a WooCommerce store,  then you need to either manually create a Google product feed for the Google Merchant Center or automatically generate it with the help of WooCommerce plugins.

Creating a Google Product Feed 

Google Merchant Center helps retailers to create Google Product feed with the help of predefined templates in it. There are several ways to input the Google product feed into the Google Merchant Center.

Google Sheets can be downloaded and then the data corresponding to your store can be fed into the Google Sheets. Once the data is filled, the sheet can be uploaded to the Google Merchant Center.

Again this is indeed a tedious job to be done and time-consuming. Once you save time in creating feeds and uploading and doing hassle-free management of your feeds, you can invest in growing your business.

WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugins

WooCommerce has several plugins that will help you generate feeds in an error-free manner. As Google product feed is the basis of generating ads for Google Shopping, it is important to keep it intact, data-rich and accurate.

There are several WooCommerce Google Product feed generating plugins, which will assist you to automatically generate feeds for your Google Shopping. Let us take a look at the same :

ELEX WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugin

Automatically helps you generate your Google Product feeds from your WooCommerce store in an effortless manner. The plugin is easy to work with and has very simplified navigation to help the retailer navigate across the google product feed creation method swiftly. The plugin is comparatively low priced but worth the investment. 

Here are some noteworthy features to look for in the plugin :

  • Create multiple feeds quickly.
  • A timely Refresh schedule can be done.
  • Intuitive mapping of Google Attributes and Product Categories.
  • Batch management of generated feed files.
  • Easy Google Taxonomy matching with products. 
YITH Google Product  Feed for WooCommerce

Get all your products automatically on to Google Shopping using the smooth integration with the plugin. The plugin helps to connect with the Google Merchant Center on the go. Other than the ideal functionality of generating product feeds, the plugin has various other features that make it stand out in the crowd.

  • Easily helps to create templates and also generate feeds quickly.
  • Extra fields are available to match the product categories and attributes.
  • You can also set overrides for your products as well as google attributes.
  • It is also translation ready.
  • Supports multiple languages.
  • You can also choose what needs to display on your Google Shopping.
  • Numerous Feeds can be generated.
  • Feeds can be .XML and .TXT files.
Google Product Feed by AdemtiSoftware

The plugin allows real-time feed generation to help your products show up in Google Shopping. The plugin can generate feeds not only for Google but also for Bing as well as provide Google Product Reviews data too. Here are some of the major highlights of the plugin:

  • It helps you map attributes other than the available default ones in WooCommece.
  • Real-time feeds show the latest updates.
  • Easily integrates with common WooCommerce extensions
Product Feed PRO for WooCommerce

The plugin supports multiple channels for product feed like Facebook Remarketing, Vergelijk.nl, Bing Ads, Pricerunner,Billiger.de. Etc. You can easily provide comparison studies for shopping engines, rule-based mapping, and filtering. The plugin supports generating unlimited feeds. Here are some features that make the plugin popular :

  • An unlimited number of products and product feeds.
  • Advanced filters and rules help to set the feeds as per the need.
  • Quick one-on-one category mapping.
  • It also helps to support shipping zones or classes to populate shipping costs.
WPMarketingRobot

The plugin is the premium version of Woocommerce Google Feed Manager and can support multiple channels like Bing, Connexity, PriceGrabber, Amazon, etc. Here are some features to look out for :

  • Simple Interface.
  • Quick and easy editing.
  • Multi-channel support
  • Easy to add innovative product categories.
  • Completely automated product updates to every targeted channel supported.
Conclusion 

The above-listed plugins are the popular ones who can help you generate your Google product feeds for the Google Merchant center accurately. Once you get the google product feeds done, you can simply upload it to the Google Merchant Center. With the help of Google Analytics, you can even find out your target audience and concentrate on the marketing strategies to approach the target audience. Ultimately using Google AdSense and Google Analytics with the data from Google Product Feed, you can target the market and sell your products on Google Shopping.

Categories: World News

The Dos and Don’ts of Logo Design

Wed, 12/25/2019 - 14:30

The vital ingredient to successful branding is a logo. A logo can provide the graphical shorthand that your consumer needs to find you online, in a shopping centre, amongst the direct mail and on a shelf in the grocery store.

Obviously, you can do as some businesses do: you can draw yourself a circle, slap that company name inside in a relatively attractive font – and bam, the job is done. If you want to see what millions of would-be graphic designers are producing just visit crowdsourcing sites and browse.

The logo seems deceptively simple. Just look at Facebook – the name in white font and put on a blue background. One might think that anyone could put that together in Paint on your average laptop in a matter of two minutes, but this belies the sophistication and theory that underlies the Facebook logo. Colour psychology has proven that blue has connotations of trustworthiness in consumer’s minds. It is a colour that signifies future-focused thinking – that blue-sky thinking – that shapes what we will be doing in the next 50 years. The clearly spaced, rounded font was chosen with the suggestion of friendliness and simplicity – code for Facebook as an intuitive platform where you can make connections.

Due to the misconception of logo design being simple, it can be easy to get wrong. Let’s start with the don’ts, before moving onto some practical advice for successful logos. There are some common mistakes that most weak logo designers make.  

Old-fashioned

Think about the old Gum-Tree logo. The tree looked like something from the 1970s – with its over elaborate details, multiple colours, and the use of orange. Over time, and with the advent of some sophisticated input from a marketing expert, the simple single line outline of the tree on a purple background looks strikingly modern. This is kind of important when you are a brand reliant on technology for your success.

Related: Hand Lettering Logo Tutorial

Excessively complex

Starbucks learned quickly that they needed to reduce the complexity of their logo. The level of detail in the woman’s face and the use of the Starbuck name have all been removed to leave a simple green silhouette.  The importance of simplicity cannot be overstated. Think how quickly you recognise a McDonald’s outlet from the golden outlets. The recognition is so instant, and it has the power to make you feel hungry. One letter, one colour – massive impact.  

Even the Bing logo is too complicated.  The shaping of the “g” is hard to interpret and the yellow dot over the letter “I” is a distraction rather than a distinguishing graphical choice. Quick is not good enough. Instant recognition is the name of the logo game.

Too close for comfort

If you are designing your logo, you could inadvertently draw on characteristic signatures that you have seen in other brands. Trends, after all, can be hard to avoid, as we see year after year, but leaning too heavily into what can become a fad is dangerous for the longevity of your logo.  

 If you are a tech company, it is tempting to look at IBM and HP and emulate that simple use of initials and blanket blue.  However, stray too close, using the same font or the same shade with the same composition, and you could be accused of copying. You also lose something of your own unique brand.  How will the audience know you are different?

It may not even be that you are copying; it is just that you are being predictable.  A housing association company using the simple V shape of the roof may communicate the purpose of the business.  However, how many housing associations and builders have you seen using that same roof design?

Now that we have covered how logo design can go wrong, let’s have a look at how companies get it right:

Make simple images work hard

One of the most useful devices is to use a visual double entendre. Put simply, this means creating a straightforward image that communicates two things at once. You give the viewer a chance to interpret your idea by chunking ideas together. Look at the Nike tick: the double meaning – you have made the right choice plus you have succeeded in whatever sporting activity you have chosen to undertake. The symbol is most often referred to as the “swoosh”.  This just so happens to be the sound we think of when someone is running fast. All that positive intent in a straightforward image is genius!

Your audience loves the play of techniques. So, the designer of the Wine Place logo turned a wine glass upside and made it a parasol over a table. The viewer will note the talented mix of ideas in that one simple outline image.

Choose colours wisely

Colour is not a superficial decision. There is a whole branch of psychology that looks at human interaction with different hues. Why do detergents favour greens if not to suggest they are environmentally friendly and natural? Then, think about the four squares of Microsoft: the squares obviously represent the Windows concept. However, the colours chosen are simple, bold primary colours. It appears friendly and suggests that it is fundamentally simple to use.  However, each of the colours represents a part of the brand: green is the Xbox, blue is the Windows operating system, red is used for MS office, and yellow is there to complete the idea of the window and suggest a potential for future developments.

Follow trends while avoiding cliché

For a long time, Boho and Hipster were on-trend. Logo design for millennials and the Y gen where suddenly overwhelmingly influenced by this style. It got old real quick, and it became difficult to discern one brand from another.  Not only does it give the impression that you are ripping off other more successful brands, but that there is nothing unique about your offering.  

Here is an example you will recognise. Coca Cola started a trend where the graphic designer merely thought logo design was a trip to the font menu. How can you hope to be distinctive when every brand at the eye level buy level in the supermarket has the same swirly font? Custom type is fine – if you are confident you can pull off the same trick as the brand who has managed to co-opt Christmas as an event about carbonated drinks rather than religious or even pagan celebrations.

Simple but powerful

The art of the logo designer is to grasp the simple language that communicates instantly and powerfully.  Most of your audience will be travelling past at 70mph.  How are you going to shout your brand at them in that split nanosecond of attention?

Look at Apple. We see it on the packaging, and we think technology. The company doesn’t need even to write the name of the brand on the box. This might seem to make no sense – except when you realise a logo does not stand alone from the whole branding campaign. Also, if the apple were missing the bitten-out chunk, the Apple logo would not work. Why? Well, the bite mark gives it a distinctive silhouette that requires no or little cognitive processing.

Know your logos story

If you know why your logo looks the way it does, then it can live in the whole marketing campaign you are designing. Think about the logo for the Peugeot car. The lion symbol represents strength and the sharpness of the product. It emerges from the history of the brand – as the Peugeot company emerged from an old sawmill that was transformed into a steelmaker and engineer. The angles of the lion were said to represent the teeth of the saw. Such a design represents the heritage of the company and its origins as a family brand built out of entrepreneurial spirit and ambition.

And if you only have a moment

Here is all you need to remember about logos: keep them simple but with a powerful message; access the immense influence of colour psychology; don’t copy, parody or reference other logos; use double meaning and know the story of your design that should reflect the story of the brand.

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