Build Your Brand With A Marketing Strategy

The majority of small-time online businesses do not bother with branding, thinking that the latter is only for large companies or those with a big marketing budget. However, applying the habits of a big business to your own small website by developing a brand marketing strategy can help your sales to climb, and help you to make a bigger profit this year than in any other year. By designing and applying a brand to your own company, no matter whether you are selling products or offering a service, you can encourage potential clients into your website, and persuade them to stay long enough to make a purchase. Brand building can also help you to develop long-term relationships with your clients, a significant step when you want to make a living from a business website.

The first steps towards promotional branding of your product involves developing an action plan and setting aside a reasonable budget. This often means creating a brand marketing strategy, beginning with working out what your customers want from your brand, and moving towards an appropriate brand for your website, complete with a ‘brand promise’, a set of ideals and values which visitors to your site will associate with your brand. In most cases, it is a good idea to employ an expert to create this brand for you, as they are more likely to be able to spot gaps in the market which your products can fill, and will also ensure that the brand matches your website’s themes.

One of the most important early stages in your brand building strategy will involve the creation of an image. Many small businesses start with a picture. This can be a photograph of yourself, or perhaps of a pile of books, or maybe even a hand-drawn image by a friend or relation. This picture should represent exactly what you want the clients to think about you, and represent the products or services that you are offering. For example, if you work from home and offer IT services, you may want to consider a brand marketing strategy image that involves a photograph of yourself sitting at your computer, perhaps with books or computer DVDs on a shelf behind you. This image will help to represent you at your work, and your client will not have to look at the text to understand that you are offering a from-home internet based service.

Short and simple messages like this form the basis of any great brand marketing strategy. You should not need a lot of text or content to get your brand’s message across to the client, and if you are finding it hard to create a brand that does this easily, then you may want to consider talking to an expert and asking them for advice or tips about how to create the brand perfectly. Once you understand how to get your message to the client without having to write them an essay, you should find that your brand evolves naturally to suit your own needs and what you want to offer to potential customers.

There are so many different ways to extend your brand marketing strategy once you have developed the design and color scheme of the brand that you can sometimes be spoiled for choice. You might want to look into promoting your website through audio and video messages, and there are plenty of places on the web that provide free hosting sites for these brand messages. With this method, you can get attention for your website from people who like to use video hosting services or listen to audio broadcasts.

You should also concentrate upon the basics of any brand marketing strategy, including regular creation of different content for your website. Content for your site is essential, and you will have to make sure that you regularly write new texts in order to be interesting to visitors of your website. Once you have rewritten content for the site itself, you can also work at spreading that content to other areas, including writing essays for article directories, with a link back to your site.

Any modern brand marketing strategy should also try and make an impact through social media networks. These allow a brand greater access to the general public, and can also bring in new clients through connections to your social media pages.

Five Ways to Improve Learning With Performance Management

The convergence of learning and performance management creates an opportunity to diagnose and prescribe ways to better develop critical talent. By integrating learning and performance, organizations can more easily identify workforce trends in a more predictive manner, target organizational capability gaps, and enhance connections to build alignment with the business needs.Whether the integration of learning and performance is driven by the organization’s learning group or HR, both groups need to know how to take advantage of this convergence. This paper describes five ways that performance management can improve training initiatives:
Producing development plans that work
Improving leadership development programs
Making learning opportunities more visible
Aligning the training department to organizational needs
Making learning and human resources more strategic
Introduction: Integrating learning and performanceWhen it comes to retaining critical talent, managing succession plans, and giving employees the skills they need to succeed, learning management and performance management processes need to converge.Taking the paper out of the paperwork may be reason enough to automate performance management, but Human Resources (HR) can use performance management to maintain a strong workforce and manage talent to drive top-line performance and competitive advantage. With career and succession planning tools organizations can reduce employee turnover and maintain a strong, productive workforce.However, an organization also needs to complement performance management with learning management that enables workers to build competitive skills and helps align employee training and career goals with business goals. The convergence of learning and performance management can significantly help an organization get the most out its workforce by helping to:
Develop employees beyond assessments with immediate, actionable development
Retain critical talent, develop leaders, and reduce turnover
Control succession risk and reduce the cost of turnover
Align employee goals with the organization’s goals to optimize workforce productivity
Link merit-based compensation to employee performance
Automate performance and development activities and reduce administrative hassles
Whether the integration of learning and performance is driven by the organization’s training group or HR, both groups need to know how to take advantage of this convergence, and in particular, how the training group can improve training initiatives with performance management.The following are five ways that training can use performance management to help create a true talent development framework.1. Producing development plans that workMost organizations struggle to adopt development plans managed independently through the Learning Management System (LMS). When performance management is automated and tied into the learning process, organizations and employees alike are more likely to buy into the integrated development plan. The development plans align directly with the organization’s goals and are therefore linked to the company’s overall strategy. Employee engagement in prescribed learning is certain to improve when employees see how this development ties directly to their performance evaluation and merit considerations.2. Improving leadership development programsLeadership development is one of the most popular learning initiatives – and for good reason. Demographic shifts, increasing employee turnover, and increased specialization in the workplace all contribute to significant talent shortages. Performance management, equipped with career and succession planning tools, provide the diagnostics to zero in on the job functions and targeted individuals that need leadership development the most.Performance management tools help the learning group systematically develop an organization’s critical talent. They can complement generic leadership development programs by helping to account for roles, flight risk, and potential.3. Making learning opportunities more visibleIn most organizations, the LMS is just one of countless other applications employees need to use. Engaging employees to log in and look around can be a challenge.However, an unanticipated benefit realized by Learning customers who have integrated performance and learning is a significant increase in the number of individuals who sign up for optional courses.Once mandatory processes are tied directly to salary increases, LMS usage numbers start to increase. As aspiring employees focus on competency gaps and individual development plans, they spend more time developing career plans with unsolicited development opportunities.4. Aligning training more to organizational needsIn many organizations, budgets allocated for learning and development are among the first to be cut during a recession. An effective way for a training group to change this fact is to prove how training programs directly relate to organizational strategy.With integrated performance management, talent development professionals can see precisely which development is needed most. Aggregated review data, showing competency gaps and aligned strategic initiatives, highlight the areas where learning and development groups should focus. It thus becomes easier for the training group to justify the significance of talent development within the organizational strategy. Many companies that have integrated learning and performance have been able to drastically improve their ability to forecast for and anticipate formal development needs.5. Linking training and HR for strategic valueWhen learning and performance functions converge to create a true talent development framework, both functions benefit by becoming more relevant to supporting the organization’s critical strategy.Traditional organizational development activities important to the business, such as managing mandatory compliance and certifications, are improved by automated tracking and reporting. But there are other strategic areas of the business that need strong formal and informal learning. These include many pressing talent management issues: retaining critical talent, managing succession plans, and giving employees the skills they need to succeed.Truly actionable talent development is only feasible when performance management and learning management converge.Conclusion: Applying the benefits of integrated learning and performanceThe convergence of learning and performance management creates an opportunity to diagnose and prescribe ways to better develop critical talent. Strategic integration enables organizations to more easily identify workforce trends in a more predictive manner, target organizational capability gaps, and enhance connections to build alignment with the business needs. The integration enables organizations to put together actionable leadership development programs for key employees, so they’ll be better prepared for promotion.Learning management system (LMS) solutions are part of our industry-leading unified talent development software suite, which helps organizations build a complete platform for developing more competitive employee skills. Training organizations can take advantage of our complete, best-of-breed talent development solution to make their businesses better – by making the employees better.

Video Marketing: 7 Reasons You Should Post Videos to Market Your Business

The number of small businesses using video email marketing is trending upwards. Are you on the bandwagon?? If not, you should jump on it – now.

With the technology and various tools that we have at our disposal, there is no reason for any business owner to not think of posting videos online. Quality videos can do wonders for your business and bottom line.

Here are seven reasons to start adding videos to your marketing toolbox.

1. People Love Videos

It’s only natural that people love watching videos. Humans are visual creatures. Being able to deliver a message through a captivating video is a marketing homerun.

Many people would prefer to watch a well-produced video than to read a bunch of text. You’ve probably noticed many business owners using videos instead of (or in combination with) long form sales letters. The reason is because in many cases, split testing has shown higher conversion rates with video sales letters.

2. They’re Inexpensive to Make

You don’t need a big budget to produce videos; an inexpensive camera works just fine. Of course, you can also pay for a top notch expensive camera and professionally produced video, but that’s your choice. It’s not necessary.

A well done cheaply made video will beat out an expensive but mediocre video every time.

3. It’s Easy To Distribute Online Videos

Your videos can easily be posted to sites like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion and others. They can also easily be shared via social media sites once they’re uploaded.

4. Videos Decrease Bounce Rates

One of the metrics that Google uses to rank webpages is bounce rate – the percentage of users who land on a webpage without viewing other pages. You want to do everything you can to reduce your website’s bounce rate.

You should add your videos to your website as well as the video sharing sites. They can help lower your bounce rate which can result in higher search engine rankings and more sales.

5. Mobile Device Users Prefer Videos

More and more people are using mobile devices to surf the web. Due to the smaller screens on handheld devices, many people prefer to watch videos rather than read a bunch of text.

6. Videos Can Boost Your Brand Credibility

Producing videos is one of the best ways to boost your brand credibility. To take things further, one of the most effective ways to popularize your brand is by producing good videos that generate buzz.

Your credibility can get a huge boost if viewers see that your videos have lots of views and shares on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

One more point: YouTube videos now occupy many top spots at the search engines. Even if your website doesn’t rank well, your videos just might. If your videos and website can both rank well, your business will gain an incredible amount of visibility and all the good stuff that can come with it.

7. Videos Allow You to Give Product or Service Demonstrations

Videos allow you to visually explain and demonstrate your products or services. This way, people can more easily see themselves using whatever it is that you have to offer.
If you’re not sold yet, consider this: viewers are many times more likely to buy whatever it is you’re selling after watching a video.

Video Is Here To Stay

The signs are clear: video marketing is not going anywhere. It will only continue to grow in popularity. The question is will you grow with it or will you be left behind?