Simple Methods to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

There are several ways to improve your Social Media Engagement. Approach is very critical as it'll determine the picture and response you potray to the public.
If your fans interact with you on social media then you need to look into ways and means of engaging them and interacting with the accordingly.
If you seek to spark more engagement then look into these hints and apply them.
While it’s relatively easy to get people to like and share posts, it takes creativity to drive comments and dialog.


Identify your Target Audience

Finding the right customers for your business is crucial to its success. When you concentrate on the people who are most in need of or interested in your product or service, there is mutual benefit: You allocate your resources to the right efforts, and your customers spend their money on what they actually need. It is important to identify your target audience, so that you can maximize the effectiveness of your marketing. This post will go over the definition of a target audience, and provide some guidelines for identifying and understanding yours.

What is a Target Audience?
A target audience is a specific group of consumers that will be the most receptive to your products, services, and promotions. The specificity of the group is based on factors like age, location, income, and more. For example, if you are a physical therapist, your target audience might be athletes who are recovering from injury; senior citizens looking to maintain mobility; or middle-aged men and women with back pain.

Niche Market vs Target Audience
Niches are smaller and more specific groups within a target audience. While every business should have a target audience, not every business needs to have a niche market. Some businesses find their niche market by actively seeking one out; others stumble upon it naturally. Some niche markets are so lucrative that they become a business’s target audience. Others simply continue to be the group in which a business specializes while at the same time serving their larger target audience.

Why is a Target Audience Important
It is important to have a target audience because the language, channels, and information you use to communicate with and appeal to one demographic may not be as effective with another. Also, you are better off thoroughly meeting all of the needs of one specific group than meeting only some of the needs of a lot of different groups. Having a target audience gives you direction in your marketing, facilitates more consistency in your messaging, and allows you to deepen your connection with your customers.

How to Define Your Target Audience
Defining your target audience allows you to efficiently market to the people you know you can impact. Here are three steps to take that will help you define your target audience.

Identify Problems and Needs
The first step in defining your target audience is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Identify what problems and needs they have for which your business is the solution. Think specific needs. Do they need fast service or 24 hour customer support? Do they have kids and need special accommodations? What daily activities do they perform that you can make easier for them?

Profile Your Current Customers
To define your target audience, take a look at your current customers. What do they have in common? Repeat and loyal customers can give you great insight into the types of people you should target. Look at broad and narrow similarities. If your customer base is really diverse, you might need to give your business some more time for patterns to develop. Or, you can segment your customer base into a few different types of customers and do some experimentation to see if you can gather any information.

Observe Your Competition
Another way to define your target audience is to observe your competitors. Scroll through their business website, social media feeds, and identify their best selling products or services. Get a feel for who they are targeting, and see if that demographic fits your business. If it does, you may be able to learn a thing or two about your target audience. If it doesn’t, you can learn how to further distinguish your business from theirs.

Understanding your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience is not the same as understanding it. After all, being an expert in your field doesn’t exactly equate to being an expert on your target audience. It is important to learn as much as possible about your target audience—their lifestyle, habits, preferences, needs, dislikes, favorites, and more—and to constantly be updating that information so that you can provide superior service. Here are two ways to better understand your target audience.

Immerse Yourself
The best way to understand your target audience is to immerse yourself in it. Host and attend events where you can converse and interact with them. Use social media to engage with your customers and followers, familiarize with their jargon, and understand what’s important to them. You can learn a lot about your target audience members not just in how they interact with your business, but also in how they interact with each other and with other businesses.

Look at the Data
Consumers don’t always know what they like. In fact, we may think we have one preference, only to find that our actions are in line with a different preference. This is why you should use Google Analytics or other analytics platforms for your website and marketing activities. Data will identify behavior patterns of your customers and business website visitors. You can see which pages they frequent or which channels they’re coming in. This provides you with a solid understanding of your target audience, that you can preferences, that you can leverage for marketing success.

Identifying your target audience is an essential part of marketing your business. With this knowledge you can connect with the right people, and enhance the quality of those engagements. Start defining and understanding your target audience so that you can make the most of your precious time—and theirs.


Creativity by Manipulation

With the numerous photo editing software available on the market, you just can’t help but play around with those stock photos. It’s amazing how people can come up with such amazingly creative photo manipulations.
It is a crazy fusion of photography and digital art. You can only imagine what tricks these designers have up their sleeves to come up with such unique and creative ideas.

Check ot the below samples:

 Manipilation esherism

Manipulation baseball pearManipulation be yourselfManipulation blackleashManipulation desperationManipulation elixirManipulation last day of droughtManipulation lil camera crewManipulation mnemosyne houseManipulation no vacancyManipulation separationManipulation tipp kick battle

How you manipulate a photo or an idea can impact the impression you portray.


Responsive Site Design - Improve Performance and User Experience

Performance is the best way to improve the user experience. Many things shape the experience of users. However, nothing is more likely to drive users away than a poorly performing website.
We like to think of ourselves as guardians of the user experience. Why then, when we talk to clients, do we tend to neglect the non-visual elements that have a profound effect on the experience. Clients love beautiful pictures, and as designers, we do nothing to dissuade them.

In many ways, developers have a greater impact on the user’s experience than we do as designers.
In fact, in many ways, developers have a greater impact on the experience than we do. Look at the role of performance in the user experience. Still, we do not tend to talk about that with clients. We know they will not be interested and we are not willing to put the hard work in to convince them to care. However, we should.

After all a poor website:

  • damages findability
  • increases the time to complete a task
  • reduces user satisfaction
  • endangers accessibility
  • undermines understanding of your products and services.

Improve your Website

Chances are that your website is the most effective sales and marketing tool at your disposal.

A “good” website (one that converts at an impressive rate), will mean more sales and greater brand recognition. If your site has a high bounce rate, where users leave your page after viewing only one page, not only is this costing you sales, but your competition is likely benefiting from it.

Website design is a critical element of any digital marketing strategy. Factors such as landing pages with the proper conversion funnels, a homepage with good messaging, and strong calls-to-action throughout your site is a must. When driving traffic to your website from other platforms, whether social media channels or search engines, you want to make sure that your bringing users to a site that is going to be optimized for a great user-experience, and one that encourages a conversion.

CRO for instance is a “must” for your brand. What is CRO?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of making improvements to your website in order to increase the rate at which site visitors take a desired action, such as completing a purchase or filling out a contact form. Conversion optimization can include anything from changing the color of a button, to changing the message on a landing page, to redesigning the hierarchy of a homepage to better match the way a user approaches information-gathering.

Conversion optimization is individualized to every brand. What works and what doesn’t will, for the most part, be specific to each website. However, there are a few tried and true methods for improving conversions that have the potential to be effective for all brands. Let’s take a look at some of these elements, and some brands that truly exemplify these factors:

1. Responsive design

Implementing a responsive design, where the content of your website adapts to fit the device on which it’s viewed, is one of the most powerful changes you can make to your site to improve conversion rate. We all know how ubiquitous mobile phones have become; we’re more and more inseparable from our devices, and our time spent on mobile is growing too.

2. Clear value proposition

When a user comes to your site without knowing too much about your brand, your goal is to convince them quickly that you have the solution to whatever their problem is. It’s common for brands to feel the urge to list all the ways they’re unique and wonderful right there on the homepage. They end up cluttering up the homepage with competing value propositions or information that isn’t really critical for a user to have in the beginning phases of browsing. The problem is that when there are too many things to focus on the user will end up not being able to focus on any of them. Your company’s real value and message will be lost.

The better approach is to write a clear, focused value proposition and feature it front and center on your homepage or landing page. Make this message the hero of the page. If you pair it with a clutter-free design and an arresting image, you’ll stand a better chance of capturing the user’s attention and encouraging him to take the next step.

3. Simplified forms

Nothing is a tedious as filling out a form. This is equally true online as it is in the real world. People hate filling out paperwork, and forms on websites are essentially a form of paperwork. Your website needs to work hard to make sure forms are as simple and easy to complete as possible. Here are a few guidelines for designing forms that convert:

• As much as possible, limit the amount of fields of required information. Don’t lengthen your form needlessly by asking users to provide information that isn’t essential to transacting business with them.

• Use predictive text when it makes sense to do so. Often addresses or locations can be predicted and then auto-filled, limiting the burden on the user to continue typing.

• Provide clear error messages when users fill in fields improperly. Offer visual cues to indicate that an error has been made, and let the user know what they need to do in order to fix the error.

• Align forms vertically in single column layouts so that users can move easily from one field to the next, down the page rather than across.

4. Effective calls-to-action

The call-to-action is one of the most important steps in the path to conversion on your website. It helps guide a user from one step to the next, encouraging and reassuring them that they are on the right track.

Confusing CTAs are bad news for conversion rates. They risk alienating users who are suddenly unsure of what to expect at the next step, or who become convinced that whatever they’re going to find on the other side of that CTA is not what they’re seeking. Generic CTAs can also harm conversions. CTAs like “learn more” and “continue” are simple, but often don’t entice users as much as alternative language could. If it’s possible to be more specific, it’s a good idea to test CTAs that get at the point more directly.

The worst CTAs of all are the ones that users can’t locate because they’re too small or the button color doesn’t pop against the dominant colors of the website. Make sure your CTAs are clearly visible -- users should have no trouble locating them quickly and without searching.

5. Site speed

While not technically a design element, site speed is another factor that has an enormous impact on conversion rate, so it’s worth mentioning here. Users list site speed as the second most important website performance attribute, following ease of navigation:

Users on both desktop and mobile have very low patience for sites that don’t load quickly. You can be confident that they won’t wait around for a slow site to load -- they’ll simply abandon before it ever comes to that. Making your website experience more enjoyable by improving site speed is one of the best ways to guarantee an improvement in your conversion rate.

Improving conversion rates for your brand

Focusing on improving your website’s conversion rate is one of the best investments you can make in your brand’s online success. Small changes can make a huge difference in the way users behave on your site, so it’s important not to neglect the details.


Is it Creativity or Innovation

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding creativity and innovation. “Creative types,” in particular, claim that creativity and innovation can’t be measured.

Performance, however, demands measurement so you can identify what success looks like. In a world that changes every two seconds, it’s imperative that companies figure out the difference between creativity and innovation.

You better believe they’re different.

Creativity vs. Innovation

The main difference between creativity and innovation is the focus. Creativity is about unleashing the potential of the mind to conceive new ideas. Those concepts could manifest themselves in any number of ways, but most often, they become something we can see, hear, smell, touch, or taste. However, creative ideas can also be thought experiments within one person’s mind.

Creativity is subjective, making it hard to measure, as our creative friends assert.

Innovation, on the other hand, is completely measurable. Innovation is about introducing change into relatively stable systems. It’s also concerned with the work required to make an idea viable. By identifying an unrecognized and unmet need, an organization can use innovation to apply its creative resources to design an appropriate solution and reap a return on its investment.

Organizations often chase creativity, but what they really need to pursue is innovation. Theodore Levitt puts it best: “What is often lacking is not creativity in the idea-creating sense but innovation in the action-producing sense, i.e. putting ideas to work.”

Managing Innovation

Because creativity and innovation are often confused, it’s long been assumed that you cannot force innovation within an organization. It’s either there, or it isn’t. The introduction of a common language for innovation — design thinking — enables organizations to better measure milestones in their innovative efforts.

In order to employ design thinking, it’s necessary to understand it as a system of overlapping spaces, rather than a set of process steps to move through. Those spaces are: inspiration, during which the problem that motivates solution-finding is identified; ideation, the process of generating and developing ideas; and implementation, the activities that enable a creative idea to move from the drawing board to the marketplace. Any design thinking-based project may loop back to an earlier space more than once as a team explores, develops, and implements its idea.

Design thinking provides a consistent approach to defining challenges. It helps organizations identify problems before they even begin the brainstorming sessions most associated with creativity. Now, organizations can actually see what they were missing when previous ideas didn’t reach market sustainability.

Using design thinking, organizations can capitalize on creativity by paying attention to the life of the idea after its initial development. To be of value, applied creativity must always lead to innovation — linking a great idea with an actual customer need (or, better yet, the needs of a whole market!). The use of design thinking in this manner also demands the guidance of engaged leadership.

Leaders are critical to the success of any group’s long-term innovation strategy. It’s their job to ensure that innovation is consistently pursued and their employees don’t settle into business as usual. They set the tone for what is, and is not, possible in the business through their attention and action.

Companies to Model

Organizations serious about fostering innovation have to wrestle with two main issues: risk-taking and failure aversion. All innovation involves risk, and all risks include the possibility of failure. Failure should never be seen as a black mark; it is a learning experience. Leaders and their organizations cannot be afraid of failure — or they will never incorporate the innovation they need to truly meet customers’ needs. Design thinking offers a path to risk-taking that’s manageable, repeatable, and driven toward maximizing the effectiveness of the new idea.

Of course, the very term “innovation” connotes something new and different. Still, paying attention to companies that are consistently innovative in their industries is always a good practice. Consider these companies that use the principles of design thinking to achieve their strategic goals:

Proctor & Gamble embraced innovation under former CEO A.G. Lafley. During his tenure, P&G’s value increased by more than $100 billion. In 2000, it had 10 billion-dollar consumer brands; today, it has 22.

Kaiser Permanente is the largest not-for-profit health provider in the USA. Kaiser’s National Facilities Services group has, for over five years, been working on the Total Health Environment, a program applying design thinking to every aspect of Kaiser’s operations, from medical records to color palettes.

The results speak for themselves: improved patient health, satisfaction, soundness of sleep, speed of healing, and cost control.
Square is particularly associated with innovation since its plugin device helps millions of mobile vendors and small business owners. No longer are they confined to cash payments or expensive credit card machines. Square noticed that the economy was quickly becoming paperless and provided customers a way to keep up.

Creativity is important in today’s business world, but it’s really only the beginning. Organizations need to foster creativity. Driving business results by running ideas through an innovation process puts those ideas to work — for companies and their customers. Creativity is the price of admission, but it’s innovation that pays the bills.


Design Principles: Visual Perception And The Principles Of Gestalt

In 1910s Max Wertheimer had a moment of epiphany while looking at railway signal lights. This resulted with the development of Gestalt theory and forming principles of visual perception.
It presumes that before an individual recognizes an object itself, they perceive it as a part of a group (whole).

Key ideas that lay in base of Gestalt are:

The whole is other than the sum of its parts
Emergence is a process of forming a finished complex object with simple lines. When trying to identify an object, we begin with the silhouette. Our minds compare it to object we’re already familiar with to find a match. Afterwards, the identification process moves further to distinguishing parts of the object.
Remember: people identify elements by their primary forms. Simple and easy-to-comprehend objects will be picked up much faster than a complex and multi-figured objects.

This aspect of perception occurs when a perceived object contains more explicit special information that sensory stimuli is based on. Because we try to find a reference to something known, this matching is not always correct.
Reification means that we do not have to give visitors a finished image. Some parts can be left out, but there should be enough visual information given to easily understand what is meant.

Multistability is a tendency of ambiguous perceptual experiences to pop back and forth between two or more alternative interpretations.
When designing you may get a feeling you want to experiment and change the perception of some images. That’s okay as long as you find a way to make these alternative images comprehensible.

Invariance lies in the character of our visual perception. It allows recognizing objects regardless of their rotation, transition, or scale. Since quite often we observe objects from different angles, humans have developed the ability to recognize objects with changed parameters.
Try to imagine being able to recognize someone only by looking straight at their face, but when same person turns side-on – they become unrecognizable.

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