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A Definitive Guide to Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing for Enterprises

A Definitive Guide to Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing for Enterprises

Digital marketing is already making the buzz these days. The reason behind is the proven results.

No doubt, enterprises are reaching the pinnacle of success after employing the right set of digital marketing strategies. Special stress on strategies (just in case you overlooked!).

Just having an enterprise page on Facebook, a profile on LinkedIn and twitter doesn’t work.

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You should have a strategy. You need to allocate resources for each digital channel (email marketing, SEO, SMM, PPC, content marketing and the likes) you want to invest into and look upon to get results.

Randomly posting and updating once or twice in a month will surely not help, and this is the reason that you are not getting enough returns via enterprise digital marketing.

Sounds true?

Now let’s have a look at some of the mind blowing statistics.

  • As many as 50% of the companies are making use of enterprise digital marketing, but sadly, don’t have any plan or strategy to execute that!
  • As many as 83% of the consumers were found reporting that they were not happy with the experience of social media marketing that brands cater.

And guess what, you can simply win the race by staying ahead in competition – making the most out of social media marketing – leveraging the best out of social media channels – strategizing and planning the digital marketing campaigns to provide a better experience to your customers and more!

But Why Having A Digital Marketing Strategy Is As Important As Having Digital Marketing Itself?

  • To have a proper direction

If you are one of those companies which is not yet making use of a proper digital marketing strategy – do you clearly have your goals defined?

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What you want to achieve?

Are you going to focus more on gaining new customers or engaging the existing ones?

A proper strategy is thus necessary to provide clarity on the goals without which it is more likely that you won’t achieve them.

  • Be agile enough to stay ahead

Look at various online brands – Dell, Google, Amazon, eBay – they all are dynamic – have wonderful digital marketing strategies – have their own voice digitally and thus manage to stay ahead. Where do you lie?

Clearly, without a proper strategy, you cannot achieve anything – let it be digital marketing.

Now that you are convinced of having a proper strategy for your business, let’s see how to do it?

Ways to Have a Productive Digital Marketing Strategy

  • Are you personal enough?

Personalisation is a major factor that attracts customers – and this is what the global corporations focus on!

As many as 37 percent of the enterprises consider personalisation as one of their top priorities.

But how do you get more personal with customers?

This is fairly simple!

You can make use of automated tools – like adding the first name to an email that you send to your customer. Or wishing your customer the happy birthday.

Won’t you like such gestures?

  • Are you using the technology the right way?

If you study the digital marketing strategies of global enterprises, it is easy to conclude that they employ technologies in order to manage social media, content, data and audiences well.

Making use of cloud marketing solutions or software that aim to improve customer satisfaction could be a good idea.

Your chosen marketing technology should be fully integrated with your existing system – and should be secure and scalable with perfect customer services.

  • Choose the digital marketing channels wisely

You can choose to have paid media or owned media accounts.

Paid media includes sponsored posts and articles. While owned media helps an organization to manage the customer experience.

This occupies 31 percent of the expenditure and includes having websites, email lists, databases, apps and other stuff.

Why Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Alright, so all set to employ a digital marketing strategy?

Go ahead!

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So what medium are you going to start with?

Amid email marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing – which one do you choose?

Confused?

Allow us to help you and provide you with enough reasons why social media marketing should be in your list!

  • 46% of the web users will look upon social media before they purchase anything.
  • 37% of the twitter users will surely make a purchase from the brand that they follow.
  • And yes, the biggest of all – more than 72% of the users active on internet are also active on social media.

This thus concludes that social media marketing for enterprises is the way to go!

Of course, you simply won’t like to ignore a platform that already has so many active users.

But then again, just social media marketing for enterprises won’t work without any strategy.

And how will it?

As already discussed, you need to employ a proper strategy to make the things work out for you.

Proper strategy involves everything – the correct timings of the post, the engaging content generation, the study of the collected stats and data, the paid ads – everything!

How to Play Your Cards Well With Right Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media marketing strategy is a summary of all the stuff that you intend to do – the current status of our social media accounts and where you want to see them in next six months and the tools you would be making use to reach those goals.

Keep your social media strategy to the point, achievable and realistic.

Let’s see how to do that.

  • Are you clear with your business goals?

Every single strategy you employ caters to the success of your goal.

You can’t just blindly move ahead without knowing your goals. Further, without proper goals you won’t have any way to gauge your success levels.

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Your goals could vary depending on your plans, but there are a few goals that all companies should have in their strategy – increasing awareness of your brand, reducing costs, retaining customers and so on.

  • Did you set marketing objectives?

You need to see your way through to the end.

Set yourself objectives of marketing that you’ll accomplish, in order to stay successful. Goals are nothing without a proper objective.

Let’s say, one of your goals was to generate leads. So how many leads you expect to generate to call it a success? Make sure that your objectives are time bound, realistic and achievable.

  • Who are your targeted audiences?

There are a lot of people on social media who would not serve the purpose of making your business a success.

Hence, be very prudent when it comes to identifying the customers who will be useful to you.

You should have sufficient info about age, occupation, interests, demography, interest, habits about your customers.

  • Are you close enough to your competitors?

Just working on your business would not be completely fruitful.

You need to know of your rival businesses as well, so that you make new strategies to outrun them in the race.

How many posts are they doing per day? Are they running any contests? And so on.

  • What all channels and tactics are going to cater to?

You can create profiles in all social media networks and keep posting stuff. But, that is no way going to help you.

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Research on which channel is best for your business and work specifically on it, with tactics that assure success.

  • Is the content engaging enough?

The content you choose to put up in the social media plays an imperative role as well.

Be selective and cautious about content you put up as that will have an impact on your customers.

Users won’t bother to give 2 seconds to the boring content, and soon it will be lost in the news feed. Definitely not what you want!

  • How much do you have in your pocket?

Make budget plans that will fit your business investments. Of course, if your monthly budget is of $100 and you are planning to achieve the targets of $500, you are sure to create a mess.

You could choose to do all of this on your own or choose to do better by selecting a social media marketing agency to do it.

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By hiring an agency, you not only save a lot of time which you can utilize for other things that would improvise the quality of the business you are promoting.

But, choosing a marketing agency also guarantees you of the tools and technologies, data and stats, strategies and plans that they will be using to ensure that you reach the top.

This definitely is difficult to achieve otherwise.

So, when do you plan to include digital initiatives in your marketing strategy or are you doing it already? Do you have any questions or points to add here? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!

Why You Should Hire an Agency to do Content and Social Media Marketing

Why You Should Hire an Agency to do Content and Social Media Marketing

Today, most businesses realize the vitality of social media marketing and content marketing. But, many of them are still unaware of the wonders it can do.

So, if you fall under the same radar, then you are not alone.

It hardly costs you anything to present yourself on the social media. But, it is of no use if you just waste your time without employing proper strategies.

And, here come the social media marketing and/or content marketing agencies.

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But, how can they help?

And, why they should be able meet your requirements?

All these we answer in this article to simplify your decision. Take a look.

 1) Comes with Rich Experience

Well… creating an account on social media is easy, but building a presence is not.

You can ask your friends to connect to you to get a couple of Likes or Followers on your social channels.

But, that is not going to hike your business figures. That may get you started, but it is not an effective way for long-term sustainability and growth.

After all, how many friends have you got? And, are they your target audience? Can you limit your business to just 100-200 people?

So, you need someone who can guide you right from getting started.

A social media agency can help you here. They have a rich set of experience with advanced knowledge under their belt.

For example, you might learn how to do Facebook advertising by reading some online blogs.

But, do you know you can target audience better by using Facebook custom audience feature? And, what kind of Facebook messages can get your page most likes?

Being present on social media may get you queries from existing and potential customers. And, a couple of them could be customer complaints as well.

You may think that you can answer them on your own. While, yes, you can but a single casual reply to a complaint can damage your business.

Add the bad word of mouth on top of that.

You know it takes years to build a business and minutes to shut it down. So, can you afford such casualties?

But, a social media agency knows how to respond to such queries.

Also, an experienced social media agency can help you with many tips and strategies. This will ensure you would not have to go for the trial and error phase.

Knowing things does not help, until you know how to use this knowledge to your benefit.

That is where content marketing or social media marketing agencies can be of great help.

2) Saves Time

You can set up your profile on several social networks. But, do you have time for activities like curation, posting, and replying to queries?

Let us say, you populated the social media channels by posting content from other sources that you find interesting. But, how can you ensure those are actually interesting?

You may not have various content sources the way social media agencies have.

And, you need to dedicate time to gain knowledge about the content sources. But, can you afford to spend time on such mundane tasks?

A social media agency can help you here as well.

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It can save you a lot of time that you could use in enhancing your business.

So, while you focus on growing your business, your social media agency focuses on your brand image through social media. Thus, parallel growth processes happen.

This way you can increase your growth with the same amount of time and investment involved.

3) Access to Necessary Tools 

How can you find potential leads on Twitter?

You might find it by following your target audience and skimming through tweets. But, what if you have a larger set of audience?

Especially if you are targeting a wide range of consumers. Do you think that job would be that easy?

But, a social media agency can do it quickly using the social media monitoring tool.

In fact, they use various tools to get the right leads.

With the help of tools, the agency can understand what your target audience is talking about.

Once you catch the pulse of target users, it is easy to convert those leads into prospects.

All this gets done within a couple of minutes using the tools. A good social media agency will know when to use which tool.

Also, do you know you can drive traffic to your website by sharing  content?

Well… a tool called Snip.ly can help drive traffic to your page.

Tools such as BuzzSumo can help you find the current trending of the type of content your readers want.

But, you may not know about such tools until you stay on top of every happening in the social media industry.

And this is where an agency becomes the savior.

4) Cost Effectiveness

Yes, giving a considerable amount to a marketing agency might seem like a burning a hole in the pocket.

But, wait a minute.

Have you calculated the expenses for employing an in-house marketing resource?

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Allow us to do that for you. Let us start with the recruitment.

To reach a well-deserving employee, you would need to advertise. You will pay the local newspapers. And, the recruitment agency would take around 20 percent of your employee’s first salary.

And, if you managed to skip this expenditure by using job portals, his or her salary will be the biggest expenditure. Correct?

Wait. What about income tax, national insurance or any other taxes that might be applicable in your state?

Further, you need to provide your employees with the employers’ liability insurance.

This might cost somewhere between 5 -10 million pounds. And, if you fail to do this, you might even get to enjoy a penalty of 2500 pounds a day.

Add to this the other stuff like sickness, maternity, and flexible working. Now, add training, infrastructure, and other related costs.

Do you still think in-house hiring is a better idea?

But, with agencies, you do not have to make such hefty investments.

You can sign up a fixed fee contract that could be payable monthly, quarterly, or yearly. And, the amount will always be less than the total expenditure made on your in-house resource.

Imagine what all you can do with the saved money!

5) Get to see from a Third Person’s Perspective

A third person perspective is necessary while evaluating strategies, content, and results. To widen the reach, it is important that you keep yourself in the shoes of your audiences.

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A marketing group that resides outside the company provides healthy insights of the customer’s point of view. It is always good to have an extra pair of eyes. Isn’t it?

Traits to Look for While Choosing the Right Social Media Agency

1) Precious pitching

The ideas that your agency pitches are crucial for your business. So, ensure that the agency staff is innovative enough to offer viable ideas.

2) Customized solutions

Check if the agency is capable of offering customized solutions that cater to your needs.

3) Knowledge matters

The agency you choose must have enough knowledge, and that comes only with experience. Choose an experienced agency that can meet your requirements.

4) Goodwill

In any industry, having goodwill is important. Do investigate the about the agency’s past records and clients. This will ensure that the agency you are selecting has a good reputation in the industry.

5) Budget

You need to be cautious about how much you are paying the agency. You must cross-check the budget they have fixed.

Now that you know the reasons to choose a social media agency, go ahead and hire one!

 

A Definitive Guide to PHP Frameworks for Development

A Definitive Guide to PHP Frameworks for Development

PHP web development has always been a complex and time consuming task. But not anymore!

This is all thanks to high-end PHP frameworks.

Agile application development is now not only easy, but it is also faster.

These high-end PHP frameworks come to your rescue when time is a big issue and you want to implement those high-end functionalities in your application in the least possible time.

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Image credit: Flickr

This is thus the time that you need to look at popular PHP frameworks.

Without any delay, let us take a look at the top PHP frameworks that would help you develop agile and secure applications.

Laravel

Packed with a lot of interesting features, a tempting engine and other development related stuff, Laravel provides your application with a reliable and tested environment.

Painless routing, a robust library and powerful ORM along with simple authentication are some of the features that make Laravel the first choice for developers.

  • Allows you to easily manage third-party packages with its tool composer.
  • Has an easy to comprehend syntax.
  • Eliminates testing hassles with its built-in unit testing.
  • Allows you to manage client and server routes through Restful routing.
  • Provides you with the flexibility to craft enthusiasts’ small businesses into big enterprise applications all in one go!

Phalcon

Named as one of the fastest PHP frameworks that the industry has ever witnessed, Phalcon provides you with an array of features.

They include asset management, security and translations, which make it one of the most preferred MVC frameworks boosted by PHP.

Consider Phalcon to develop micro application and high-end MVC applications with multi modules.

  • Easy to grasp and learn.
  • More cost effective than other frameworks.
  • Allows you to use selected objects or a whole framework due to its loosely coupled nature.
  • Has a powerful design.
  • Has neat API.
  • Allows you to easily create software through the direct injection feature of Phalcon.

Symfony

Symfony 2 is another PHP framework that you can choose to build websites and web applications. Witnessing 1,000,000 downloads till date; Symfony is currently backed up by an amazing support of 300,000 developers.

  • Allows easy configuration with event dispatcher and dependency injectors.
  • Allows for easy customisation as per your needs.
  • Allows you to deploy a micro framework and there is thus no need to deal with the entire framework.
  • Is highly extensible.
  • Validate roles easily and helps you boost productivity.

Yii

Yii is another high-performance framework. The beauty of this framework lies in its features that allow you to focus on the code while all the messy work can be managed behind the scenes.

Although many tasks in Yii are automated, you might still have to dig through the framework a bit more to know it inside out.

  • Is equipped with a powerful caching system for loading the web applications quickly.
  • Integrates with third-party codes easily. And, guess what, the codes from the Zend and Pear frameworks can also be used in the Yii web application.
  • Is a highly secured framework. It boosts some advanced security measures, such as injection attacks, cross-site scripting and input validation.
  • Has RBAC-based built-in authentication support.
  • Is highly compatible with Ajax and jQuery which allows you to create highly scalable and versatile UIs.
  • Can easily be integrated with both relational and non-relational databases.

Zend

Zend is the preferred PHP framework if you want to build a high performing web application. Packed with secure coding tools, the Zend framework showcases various important features, such as extensibility and modularity.

  • Has highly deployable API-centric applications.
  • Follows an agile design methodology.
  • Has a drag-and-drop editor.
  • Has instant debugging.
  • Includes PHP unit testing tools.

Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing a PHP Framework

  • What do you expect from the framework?

Even though familiarity is an important element when choosing a framework, functionality should also be considered.

This is because a CMS might not be suitable for an eCommerce application. You must thus first relax and analyse your requirements. Only thereafter can you proceed to compare the myriad of options that are available to you.

  • What about the documentation?

Always choose and go for a framework that comes with a lot of documentation and training. You never know when you might need it!

No matter how much expertise you have in a framework, it always appears to be hazy six months down the line. Under such circumstances, documentation comes to the rescue.

  • Does the framework have an active user base and is it actively being developed?

Writing code that is not perfectly coupled with your chosen framework is time consuming.

At that time, you are left with only two choices: Stay with the framework and continue to do its maintenance all by yourself or simply do the coding again with a new framework.

Neither choice is favourable nor should you thus always take a look at the framework’s community and active user base before you settle on one.

Still puzzled about which one to choose for PHP web development? This table might help!

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So, which framework do you plan to choose for PHP development?

ASP.NET vs PHP for Enterprise Applications

ASP.NET vs PHP for Enterprise Applications

PHP and ASP.NET are definitely not new to the web development industry.

They have both been major contributors to website and enterprise applications for many years now.

Python, Django, Ruby on Rails and a lot of others have challenged their survival.

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But these two languages have always emerged stronger, all thanks to the feature set that they possess and the flexibility that they provide to developers.

PHP development and ASP.NET development have been in a neck and neck competition with each other for the title as the best.

And have thus forced CTOs and enterprise owners to make the difficult decision of which one to choose for their enterprise application?

So let us find out more about these two languages!

ASP.NET and PHP at a Glance

  • ASP

Active Server Page (also known as ASP) is scripting language mainly used on the server side which was developed by Microsoft.

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Image credit: Flickr

It is a more powerful server side language and hosts an array of features, including links to the backend, session, and state management, and handling request and response parameters.

A webpage that has been designed using ASP will include static HTML tags and dynamic validation using JavaScript or VBScript. Dynamic generation of HTML and CSS is also possible with ASP.NET.

How Does ASP.NET Work?

You request an ASP page which is on a server and the corresponding page fetches the information from the database.

This then dynamically generates the HTML code for you to present your requested data and it sends it to you to view in a browser.

  • PHP

PHP is a scripting language. PHP is mostly found embedded with HTML code, or is even served as a standalone program.

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It processes the code using an interpreter in the web server or Common Gateway Interface (CGI). PHP can also be used as a command line scripting in GUI applications. It has the ability to be integrated with various database systems.

 

ASP.NET Development vs PHP Development – Which One to Choose for Enterprise Applications?

ASP.NET and PHP are both versatile languages used in larger web application development and have the ability to scale a lot. Each has its own strengths to support your application.

The choice between the two should be based on your application and its environmental parameters, such as traffic, scaling, and cost.

  • Business Size

The size of your business is an important factor to consider when deciding which language you should go for.

Firstly, PHP was essentially designed as a web language, while ASP.NET was crafted for designing enterprise applications.

Secondly, ASP.NET is easy at scaling and easily gears big projects, while smaller projects work better in PHP. Furthermore, ASP.NET has industrial strength, which provides robustness and power to your application.

  • Time and Pricing

PHP is an open source language and runs on any open source platform which overtakes ASP, since ASP is cost-effective and requires larger resources and more support than PHP.

Time is also another big factor to consider. PHP is easy to deploy and develop. It is easier to install and set up on development machines than ASP.

  • Lightweight

ASP.NET requires huge libraries to be integrated, while PHP is simple to use with basic options.

ASP.NET also only supports Internet Information Server (IIS) servers, while PHP supports various servers.

ASP.NET furthermore uses server space and accessing the data every time from the server makes its performance suffer.

Since PHP uses built-in memory, it is easy to access the data faster and so PHP stands at the top due to its faster execution.

Here is a quick comparison table that will help you better understand the differences between the two.

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Both languages are good in their way. It is up to the business types to choose the one that is best suited for them.

If cost is not a factor and your application is huge, you can go for ASP.NET Development.

If you are a startup or a small-sized business where cost is a huge factor, it would be best to choose an open source language like PHP.

So which one did you choose?

 

Why Host Your Application with Amazon AWS

Why Host Your Application with Amazon AWS

Amazon is not only about the online marketplace anymore and has more to it!

With Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon not only helps you by improving your wardrobe, but also helps you with your cloud application development too!

AWS is by far the best way you could host your application on the cloud.

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Hosting an application using AWS has many advantages.

First of all, it is highly reliable.

Secondly, it has cost effective computing resources on which you could host your application.

It also has various components which make your application hosting process a lot easier and more flexible.

This is perhaps one of the reasons why you need to host your application with AWS.

AWS Components that Make Your Application Hosting Experience worth It

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Commonly known as Amazon EC2, this component offers compute capacity in the cloud which is actually resizable. It also gives you APIs and full management consoles so that you can manage the computer resources.

  • Amazon Simple Storage Service

This component offers a web services interface that is easy to use and that can save and retain any quantity of data from anywhere around the world at any given time. It is easily available, safe and has good durability.

  • Amazon Relational Database Service

Commonly known as Amazon RDS, this component eases the whole setting up process and operation and can scale databases in the cloud that are relational.

It offers a resizable database capacity while simultaneously handling databases of administration works that are time consuming.

  • Amazon Cloud Front

Amazon Cloud Front gives a content delivery system that is globally distributed and of great performance.

Your app could make use of this component to effortlessly share stream content with less latency and a greater data transfer pace.

  • Amazon Simple Queue Services

This component gives a highly secured queuing system with high performance. It gives you a chance to distribute the work among the application processes.

  • Amazon Devpay

Amazon Devpay can be used for services related to account management and online billing that would ease your way through the selling of applications.

It is not only those components that make AWS what it is! AWS is further recommended because it has a lot of advantages.

Advantages of AWS Hosting

  • Very Easy to Operate

AWS was designed while keeping in mind the vision of all application providers, vendors, and ISVs who should be able to quickly and safely host their applications.

Irrespective of the kind of applications being hosted, whether existing ones or SaaS based, you can always use the AWS management console or web services APIs.

These are aptly documented in order to gain access to the application hosting platform of AWS.

  • Highly Flexible

AWS will allow you to choose the operating system, web application platform, programming language, database and various services you require.

Using AWS, you can access a virtual atmosphere that would allow you to load the services and software that the application needs.

This also makes the migration process easier for applications that already exist, while also conserving options for building other solutions.

  • Highly Economical

The only expenditure you will have is the electricity and other resources that you would use. Since there are no contracts that last for a long time and upfront commitments, AWS is highly cost effective.

  • Very Reliable

When you use AWS, you are exposed to the benefits of a secure global computing infrastructure that is very reliable and scalable.

Incidentally, this happens to be the virtual spine of Amazon’s online businesses that rake in billions of dollars.

  • High Performance

You can easily scale your application up or down, depending on the demand. This can be done by using AWS tools, elastic load balancing as well as auto scaling.

Supported by the enormous infrastructure that Amazon has, you can easily avail access to storage and computing resources whenever you require them.

  • Highly Secure

AWS uses an end to and characteristic to safeguard and harden the infrastructure which includes operational, software and physical measures.

Okay, so now you have decided to host your application on AWS. But how are you going to do it?

Since doing it yourself might be a risky and time consuming task, resorting to AWS implementation specialists would be the best solutions.

Why Hire an AWS Implementation Specialist for Cloud Solution Development?

  • They Know It inside out

From elastic block storage to the type of performance that can be expected, an AWS professional knows it all.

Furthermore, you cannot take the risk of backing up your data in the wrong way. Only a professional and well experienced developer knows the art of using the snapshot facility via API call and about other techniques.

It is better that you leave a few tasks to only be done by them.

  • Do You Know about Server Management Skills?

AWS is all about cloud computation and you cannot expect yourself to be a master of all trades.

It takes a considerable amount of time and monitoring the health of the server and various tools are used for that which you might not be aware of.

While AWS is still in its infant stage, the service is definitely giving startups a tailspin!

So, when do you plan to host your application with AWS? Do you have any questions or points to add here?