Category Archives: Marketing

Marketing Automation Strategy

How to Develop a Successful Marketing Automation Strategy?

Marketing your products is one of the most important parts of your business. To market a product or a business, the marketing team must have excellent project management skills. The ability to manage a project lets you understand the importance and scope of the project.

Nowadays most organizations focus on automation strategies to boost their sales. In this technological era, it is vital to make your mark on the internet and you probably know why.

Automating your entire marketing strategy is a hefty task. But with the right tools and proper implementation, it is possible to achieve higher results with ease.

Read this blog to know further about developing a successful marketing automation strategy.

What is Marketing automation?

First, we have to understand what marketing automation is. Marketing automation is the use of software and internet service to automate your marketing process.

Most marketing and sales departments utilize this tool to up their ROI and maximize efficiency. Using a successful automation strategy lets employees handle other issues in the available time.

Marketing automation handles the sending of messages across various platforms automatically as scheduled. A successful marketing automation tool doesn’t need much human intervention.

What does marketing automation do?

Using a marketing automation tool allows you to:

  1. Boost the efficiency of your work:

When compared to manual work, automation increases efficiency.

  1. Automate repetitive tasks:

Automation of daily tasks means that you no longer have to send emails individually. You no longer have to spend time posting on social media. The automation tool does everything for you.

  1. Start a new process at any time:

If it was manual work, it would have required a lot of complicated tasks and decisions. But using software lets you alter your strategy at any time without much work. On the plus side, it requires much less time to set up a new marketing campaign.

  1. Simplify time-consuming tasks:

The automation tool identifies and designs the right content for your audience. This doesn’t need any human intervention.

  1. Optimize your website:

The tool lets you test your website to find the components that produce the best results.

  1. Manage your social media:

Believe it or not, even a social media post requires timely execution. The tool uses the best combination of keywords and hashtags for promotion.

  1. Send text messages:

The software sends automated messages based on customer behavior. For example, timely messages by accessing the customer’s geographical proximity to a retail store.

The marketing automation software does all these works. Communication in project management is one of the most important aspects. An automation tool is also helpful in creating a powerful communication channel with your customer.

Developing a marketing automation strategy

A powerful and thoughtful strategy results in the best marketing automation results. Statistics show that for 64% of professionals with great project management skills, creating a successful strategy is the top priority.

So let us take a look at how to develop a successful and powerful marketing automation strategy.

  1. Planning a buyer’s journey

Before making a buy, a potential customer goes through various stages of the buyer’s journey. We must make efficient plans to use automation at various stages of the sales funnel.

Before making use of automation at a certain stage in the sales funnel, ask yourself these questions:

    1. How marketing automation tools can help you educate and interest new leads?
    2. How marketing automation tools can help your potential customers in decision-making?
    3. How marketing automation tools can help you engage, maintain, and improve the loyalty of your existing customers?

Finding the answer to these questions will help in finding where you can effectively use automation.

Planning the buyer’s journey also includes the use of automated messages and emails. The automation tool sends these messages when the customer takes specific actions.

For example, when a customer signs up for a demo on your website, you can trigger the customer by sending an automated email. This email may contain promotional offers that move the customer up towards purchasing the product.

  1. Chalk out your goals

After you complete structuring your buyer’s journey you must start to plan your goals. For this purpose, you must use a project management skill called ‘SMART’. That means you need to set up specific tasks to achieve your goal within the time limitations.

SMART expands as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Following the SMART strategy helps realize your goal by optimizing the actions involved. Using marketing automation software lets you change your strategy according to the results at any point. This is impossible in a manual marketing strategy since it will involve complex, time-consuming tasks.

  1. Optimize your results

A marketing automation strategy is capable of many things a manual marketing strategy lacks. One such is the alteration of your strategy mid-way to improve results. The automation software provides customer statistics to help you in the process. Creating dynamic content i.e., providing custom content for all your customers is a proven tactic to optimize your results. The following are the ways to optimize your campaigns:

a). Access the performance of marketing automation tools:

Monitoring your automation technique at regular intervals helps you achieve better results. You can improve your strategy implementation by checking your automation tool.

b). Ignoring unwanted stats:

Analyze the real metrics that grow your business. Always place importance on the statistics related to conversion rates, the number of leads, and acquisition costs. Never optimize your strategy only based on the likes and comments you receive on social media.

c). Collecting customer feedbacks:

Feedbacks serve as one of the important methods of communication between you and the customer. So always be sure to read those reviews.

This helps you identify the expectations and also what the customer actually thinks of the product. A marketing automation tool lets you collect and organize this feedback to provide useful insights.

  1. Nurturing your leads

Careful development of your leads(potential customers) is one of the primary goals of your automation software.  Create a lead nurturing program that suits each of your customers. The way you automate the lead nurturing program defines your success. Extensive evaluation of the leads lets you create a more successful lead nurturing program.

These four main steps will let you develop a successful marketing automation strategy.


The success of a project doesn’t depend only on efficient project management skills. It also highly depends on its marketing strategy. Almost all businesses use automated marketing strategies to increase ROI without spending a lot of resources.

PeppyBiz is an organization that provides excellent business solutions to all kinds of businesses. Our Marketing automation software is one of the best in the market capable of applying dozens of filters to find the customers you desire. Sending personalized messages to millions has never been this easy. Schedule a demo today to know more about what we can do for you.

Guest Blogger: Sara Williams


Biz Cards Can Catch Attention

6 Creative Business Cards Sure To Catch Attention

Having a creative business card can help you make an awesome impression with our potential clients and partners. That said, there are hundreds of design ideas out there, so choosing the best one may take a significant amount of time.

Below, we’ll go over the importance of having a business card and list 6 examples of creative business cards that are sure to catch people’s attention.

Do I need a business card?

The Importance of Having a Business Card

There is no doubt that modern society is driven by technology and innovation. Although you may think that all entrepreneurs rely on digital means to exchange information, business cards remain one of the fastest and easiest ways to build a network and create brand awareness.

Instead of having to interact with a person enough to extract their contact information or spark their interest, you simply hand them a card that has all the information they need to know.

Moreover, you can even include ways to find information, like listing a social media page or having a QR code. Just remember to avoid overloading your card and always opt for a creative design that will make a lasting impression.

There are dozens of creative business card ideas you can choose from, but you need to find one that resonates with your audience and reflects your brand if possible.

skip the business cards?

Here are 6 creative ideas for your next business card.

Translucid Plastic

Translucid materials have a number of different applications. Having a translucid business card can help create a memorable impression while maintaining a sleek and elegant look. And, you can combine this effect with colorful letters, textures, and other elements to give it more personality.

Unusual Shapes and Sizes

Most people choose a standard rectangular size and shape, but you can always take a creative approach and opt for something different. Remember, regardless of the size and shape you choose, your card should not be bulky or cause any form of inconvenience for the recipient.

Cards that Look Like Something Else

Depending on the industry you’re in, you may be able to get away with a business card that looks like something else. For instance, if you are a recognized radio DJ, you could choose a business card that looks like an old school cassette.

Cotton and Alternative Materials

Traditionally, plastic and paper are the most popular business card materials. Today, you can choose from an endless list that includes cotton and elements sourced from recycled goods, wood veneer, plastics, bamboo, etc. Aside from creating different effects on the card itself, you should also try to highlight the fact that they are made from an uncommon material.

Texture Coordination

Adding texture to your business card with some of the latest digital technology can create amazing effects like silver and gold foil and 3D varnish, but combining different textures to make a particular effect can help you stand out from your competitors. You can use this combination of textures to liven up your card and focus on the elements that matter the most, such as your contact information or business logo.

Holographic Letter and Logos

Not all companies can get away with a holographic business card, but technology firms and innovative businesses can use this effect to make a statement. Design, fashion, and other creative firms can also take advantage of this style and combine it with colorful elements or different textures that give it a unique look.

Business cards are still an effective way to connect with new prospects and generate leads within your professional network. Make sure you take the time to clearly define both your brand and target market so you can create a design that will make a lasting impression with your clients and potential customers.

 Author’s Bio

Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for Colourtech.

3 Things to Know About Loyalty Programs

Photo by Charles Koh on Unsplash

3 Things You Need to Know About Implementing a Loyalty Rewards Program

What’s the smartest way to earn solid returns on your company’s marketing investments? In order to build recurring, long-term income from sales more and more companies are implementing customer loyalty programs.

It’s a fact that retaining customers costs far less than acquiring new ones, and people who already know your brand are more apt to purchase from you again.

Statistics show that established customers spend more per purchase, are happier with what they buy, and are a prime source of positive word-of-mouth advertising.

Loyal Customers Should be Rewarded

It makes sense to devote marketing muscle, and dollars, to existing customers. Every company does what it can to bring in new business, but because existing customers spend more and stay longer, there’s even more reason to market to them.

Loyalty programs aimed directly at your existing customer base are the ideal way to make these “golden” customers happy and keep them coming back.

What are the key benefits of loyalty programs like these and how can marketing professionals get in the game quickly?

  • First, you don’t have to start from scratch. You can learn from companies that have been playing this approach for decades, and playing it very well.
  • Second, you should look into using mobile apps to maximize the effectiveness of whatever type of loyalty program you choose to employ.

1. Loyalty Program Keep Customers Happy and You In Business

If we start to list all the benefits of loyalty programs, we could fill a whole textbook easily, so let’s boil it down to the benefits that all businesses experience.

When you develop your loyalty program, focus on the following benefits it will bring you:

It’s all about returning customers, not getting new ones

A good loyalty program will be specifically tailored to the needs of frequent customers, while one-time shoppers won’t benefit much from it.

If you want your marketing dollars to go where they’re most needed, that means they’ll be spent on the customers who always return. Those one-time buyers or shoppers who only show up for major clearance sales will not, and should not, be your primary loyalty program users.

You’ll get more feedback on what’s good and what needs improving 

Loyal customers tend to be much more vocal than a one-shot or infrequent buyers. That means you have more opportunities to engage them in writing, over the phone, and through text.

An engaged customer is ready and willing to hear about new products, special sales, seasonal bargains and other “inside” promotions designed for the loyal buyer.

You’ll be able to increase the value of shopping carts

Marketing to loyal buyers offers endless opportunities for companies to ramp up their average shopping cart amounts. You can offer discounts on related products and accessories, or suggest exclusive bundles.

After a certain amount of time has passed since their last purchase, consider rewarding the loyal buyer with a low-cost extended warranty or similar add-on.

You will be able to use the data you gather to predict trends and surges in demand:

The data you collect with various digital tools on loyal buyers can tell you all sorts of things about how to structure your other marketing efforts.

You can use comprehensive customer data to determine what items are best-sellers, which ones have seasonal cycles, and what new products might be profitable.

2. Loyalty programs help increase customer retention rates

Reams of data and marketing studies have shown that customer loyalty programs help keep the most frequent spenders in your camp.

In fact, such programs deliver revenue increases to the tune of 5 to 10 percent. Loyal customers spend 5 to 20 percent more and buy 5 to 20 percent more frequently than so-called “casual,” or one-time customers.

How an App can help you Keep Customers

Business owners should never neglect the potential effectiveness of mobile apps as part of the loyalty program scenario.

Consider that upwards of 90 percent of the time that people spend on their devices takes place within particular apps. On top of that, app development has become streamlined and widely accessible too.

Mobile apps do two things very effectively: they super-charge rewards programs and augment the current relationship you have with your customers.

Starbucks was one of the first big companies to use a mobile app as the central point of its customer loyalty program.

It’s allowed the coffee giant to collect massive amounts of useful customer data and calibrate its marketing efforts to the smallest detail. They left nothing to chance. 

3. How you Reward Customers Plays a Big Role

There are hundreds of ways to fine-tune a loyalty program. Here are the top choices among marketers who are familiar with the playing field:

Keep your Rewards Versatile:

All customers appreciate choices, and that rule applies to rewards as well. Most companies with successful loyalty programs offer between 5 and 20 different rewards and cycle part of the offer regularly.

Make rewards neither easy nor difficult to obtain.

There’s no sense in offering a reward that’s too hard to acquire or takes months to earn. Most customers won’t think much of such a loyalty program. They will also place no value in rewards that are too easy to obtain. Make your rewards reasonably challenging to earn and people will appreciate them more.

Build a “loyalty ladder” based on a number of purchases or amount spent.

Try to reward “more loyalty” with better and better items or rewards. It only makes sense to differentiate between someone who spends $100 and $1,000. That’s why all super successful loyalty programs have reward ladders.

Loyalty Pays Off For Everyone

Loyal customers keep you in business. Nurture the relationship you have built with them by going above and beyond to keep them happy. Each of their purchases should remind them that you appreciate them returning to you over and over again.

Let them know about new deals and sales via your own app. In a marketplace where consumers are already connected to mobile apps they like, it makes perfect sense to make a brand-related app the centerpiece of any loyalty program.

Author bio: Ashley Wilson is a freelance writer interested in business, marketing, and tech topics. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.

6 Tools That Will Bring a Digital Transformation to Your Small Business

Photo by Maria Agudo López on Unsplash

When you started your small business, writing out your daily to-do list and using a simple spreadsheet for most tasks was probably fairly simple and expedient. As your business grew, however, and you added staff, it wasn’t enough anymore to do what was easiest for you. Now you had staff, contractors, vendors, clients and suppliers to think about. Customers are also living in a digital world and expect the ease and convenience of digital tools.

There is no doubt of the need for even the smallest of businesses to embrace digital tools, but making the switch is not quite so simple. Just using digital tools is not enough, you need to make sure you have the right tools for your business. Here are 6 digital tools that can help make your business’ digital transformation a smooth one.

1. Trello

Trello is a visual project management app that can help keep your entire team on the same page and allow you to see at a glance where different projects stand. With Trello, you can create lists and quickly move items from list to list. Trello allows you to quickly see where bottlenecks are happing and move tasks to get things moving again.

2. Slack

Slack is a robust team communication and collaboration app that allows you to quickly search for keywords or phrases, create different channels for different projects, teams or conversations. Individuals can be notified of important information on a different channel they may need to be aware of without being bogged down by a lot of details they don’t need. No matter how small or large your team, Slack can keep everyone in the loop.

3. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most robust programs you will find to handle all of your email marketing needs. From newsletters to campaigns, Mailchimp allows you to sort and filter lists to tweak, hone and fine tune your campaigns or set it up once and forget it. Mailchimp is one of the very best tools for busy small business owners.

4. SocialPilot

Social media may be one of the best things to ever happen to small businesses. Even the smallest of businesses can run effective social media marketing campaigns and use their social media accounts to create connection and build a loyal following. But keeping up on social media can be a challenge. Hootsuite is one of the most well-known social media management apps but it can also be prohibitively expensive. SocialPilot can do almost everything Hootsuite can do at a much more pocket friendly cost.

5. Office 365

Not all the best tools are new tools. Some of the best tools you may have been using for years, but don’t fully understand their full capacity. Most people are familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, but Office has expanded to include an entire suite of business tools including OneDrive, Exchange and Microsoft Teams. With low monthly subscription Prices, today’s Office may have all the tools you need at a price you can afford.

6. Zipbooks

Quickbooks has, of course, become one of the biggest names in accounting software, but that doesn’t always make them the best. In fact, many small businesses do not need all the features that Quickbooks has to offer or the price tag that comes with it. Zipbooks is a free accounting program that gives you all the tools and analytics you need to take your business to the next level and it’s made just for small businesses. Not only will Zipbooks help you keep your books, but it will also automatically send invitations to clients to leave reviews and provide smart insights about your most loyal and profitable customers.

One of the challenges of digital transformation is creating a smooth streamlined system from all the many tools that are available. In many cases, there are multiple apps and programs you can use that will accomplish the same thing. The important thing is to find the right one for you. If you use Office 365, you might find it more convenient to use Yammer than Slack, but you may prefer MailChimp over Outlook. You will, of course have to choose between a number of paid and free programs, but ultimately the goal is to find the best solutions for you. In some cases, it might be better to pay a bit more for one program that can accomplish 3 or 4 tasks than to use three different programs to accomplish those same tasks.

BIO: Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about the latest apps and gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows. You can reach him @bmorepeters

Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019

Tags :

Category : Marketing

Technology evolves every year. From new and improved features, cutting edge gadgets, and further refinements to algorithms, the domino effect is that the marketing landscape is constantly changing over time. What has worked one or two years ago may not work today. So the name of the game for brands and marketers is adaptability. The upcoming trends present more opportunities in terms of audience growth and visibility, but the fact of the matter is also that the market is getting saturated. Because of this, staying ahead of the crowd can easily be the difference between taking the lead or falling behind in profits in 2019. Take a look at some of the trends thought leaders in digital marketing have predicted for this year.

Mobile Optimization is a Top Priority

Google announced last year that it would be rolling out mobile-first indexing, an algorithm update that would prioritize the mobile versions of websites in determining search rankings. And with the surge in mobile users online over the past few years and projections that anticipate even higher numbers this year, this was a wise move. Digital marketers would do well to make mobile marketing development their focal point in 2019. This means much more than just having a mobile version of websites. Page load speeds for mobile sites and advertising content that’s optimized for vertical views are crucial areas that need attention.

Video Marketing

The increasing shift of internet users towards mobile has contributed to the rise of video marketing and vice versa. The impact of video is such that even Google made changes in its search algorithm to include video snippets in search results.

Natural Language Processing and Voice Search

Combined with the increased presence of mobile online users and smart devices that use AI, voice search through Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant has seen huge growth. For brands and digital marketers, this means that creating content with the use of long-tail keywords in ways that closely mimic natural speech and user intent is crucial to gaining and maintaining marketing success online. For a more in-depth look at what is about to come, here’s an infographic on digital trends set to take the stage in 2019, originally published on Check it out and get informed about everything you need to know on the subject.

Best wishes, Josh Wardini.

Josh Wardini, Community Manager

About me Location Incapable Internet Enthusiast | Re-Designer of the World Around | Bodybuilder trapped in a Computer Geek’s Body. 

Link Building Best Practices for 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Link Building in 2018

Though mobile might be king, people still rely heavily on search engines. Whether they type out their search, or they ask their voice assistant, people search for things all the time. Perhaps they want an answer to a question, check what times a place is open, or simply search for a service or company that they need at the moment. Google will give them results, and chances are they will be happy enough with the first, second, or third result.

J.R. Atkins helps with link building

If you are not in these top three, or worse, not on the first page at all, then you might as well not exist in the eyes of Google. The ranking is not entirely out of your control, either. You can take several meaningful steps to rank better in the eyes of Google, allowing you to gain more traffic from the search engine. One such step you will need to take is link building.

1.    What is Link Building?

Link building refers to guest posting. It means you either write content for another site or have an agency write that content for you. These articles, videos, and even infographics need to be unique, engaging and optimized for SEO. The more diverse your backlink profile, the stronger it will be. The only characteristic you need to look out for is the trust factor. Sites that have been blacklisted for using spam techniques by Google are not a good fit. Small bloggers to big-time news agencies, however, are.

2.    What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the steps you can take both on your own site and off-site (with link building) that will work towards improving your site’s ranking on search engines like Google.

J.R. Atkins helps with SEO

3.    How Do You Stay on Top of SEO?

With new updates to the algorithm every other week practically, it is important that you invest in ongoing SEO services. If you don’t, your good ranking can fall behind because of some change to the algorithm that you haven’t kept up with.

4.    What is the Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat?

The reason why your ranking will fluctuate is that Google changes what it looks for to help its rankings. Before, it used to be the number of backlinks. Now it is the quality. Google will also look at factors like site speed and security as well, so it is important to stay within their guidelines and be the shining example of the perfect site.

J.R. Atkins offers white hat SEO

5.    How Do You Link Build?

Link building, before you get too excited, is actually quite difficult. It is time-consuming and will require the use of several expensive applications in order to manage. If you do not have the resources to take this on, then it is much better to rely on professional link building services. That way you can benefit from experience and ongoing monitoring to ensure that your link building efforts stay within Google’s guidelines.

Link building will never go away, but it has become more difficult as time goes by. Quality articles, quality publishers, and an emphasis on manual outreach are all goals to live by. If you don’t have the tools or resources to do this yourself, hiring an agency to do them for you is your best bet.

Take the Lead with Latest Web Design Trends

Take the Lead with These Latest Web Design Trends

In today’s increasingly internet oriented market, a company’s website is one of their greatest assets. As such, it is well worth the effort and expense to get your web design up to scratch in order to see your sales and conversion rate climbing. The folks at DesignAdvisor have created an enlightening infographic which outlines 15 of the latest web design trends in 2018.

If you’re not entirely convinced of the major importance of web design, let’s take a look at some of the numbers. Statistics show that 75% of users make a judgment (either positive or negative) about a company’s credibility based on the appearance of their website and 94% of users will simply bounce away from a website if they don’t find the design attractive or inviting enough.

This infographic will help you pinpoint some areas which may need beefing up on your website. For example: How easy is it to navigate your webpage? Is your layout eye-catching? Are you providing engaging content? What is your website’s loading speed? Surveys have revealed that most users expect a page to load within two seconds, and even a one-second increase can cause a drop in sales of up to 27%.

You might be hesitant to invest vast amounts of time and money into your website, especially in the initial stages of your business’s development. However, according to research, for every $1 invested in improving user experience, you can expect up to a $100 in returns. It just might end up being the best investment you make.

The abundance of interesting facts complimented by colorful illustrations sprinkled throughout the infographic makes it easy to follow. Another prominent feature is the case study cameos which speak for themselves by highlighting how various well-known businesses benefited by improving specific aspects of their websites. See what insight you can gain from it and take the lead with some of these latest web design trends.


Best wishes, Josh Wardini.


4 Habits of Online Shoppers All Businesses Should Know

Think about how easy life would be if you could understand and accurately predict the exact thought process of your customer base. E-commerce, in its most basic guise, is a system of supply and demand. Understand this demand, and you’re perfectly positioned to give your customers what they want.

J.R. Atkins teaches about e commerceSadly, it’s impossible to do this. After all, we aren’t mind readers! But don’t fret – while knowing exactly what people are thinking isn’t plausible, there are ways to monitor trends. With the help of online e-commerce platforms, you can work out where potential profits are won and lost. Today, let’s take a look at four habits of online shoppers and learn how to exploit them to boost funds.

  1. Smartphone purchase

With the world constantly evolving, mobile platforms are becoming an increasingly important aspect of any user journey. Shockingly though, this is where most e-commerce businesses are losing ground.

A recent study from Invespcro would highlight this, with their results showing consumer satisfaction was at its lowest when it came to the ability to purchase through a smartphone. Wise online store owners would do well to optimize this aspect of their business, in order to boost user retention and provide a fluid, smooth journey.

  1. Social shopping

Social shopping plays a huge part in the way items are advertised in the 21st century. If you’re selling a product which the customer can tangibly hold in their hand (rather than a service), promoting it on a social media account will help garner attention.

Marketing Land provides a detailed guide on how to get the most out of Pinterest in this regard. This is a platform which is particularly suited to showing off your stock. Dedicate real care and attention towards making listings look as good as possible.

  1. One-click payment

Along the same lines as mobile optimization, consumers are looking for the easiest possible experience when it comes to the checkout process. This is epitomized by the one-click-and-done method which industry leaders like Amazon and eBay have introduced.

In order to implement this, you’ll need to create a system which allows users to have a dedicated account set up on your site. This won’t be too hard and can be achieved with the use of aforementioned platforms dedicated to managing your store.

  1. Brand ambassadors

People are more likely to trust a face than a name they don’t recognize If you’re a smaller enterprise, it’s worth keeping this in mind. While a name itself is enough to appeal when it comes to larger companies, you may need to think outside of the box if you’re a start-up.

Having a friendly, relatable human face at the forefront of your brand is a great way of doing this. Consumers find it easier to trust that which they can see. If they feel a “real person” is on the other end, they’re more likely to hand over their cash.

Have these online habits given you food for thought? Be sure to keep them in mind when running your business. They should make a huge difference.

Guest Blog by Kristine Collins

Upping Your Instagram Game with Hootsuite

Use Hootsuite to Schedule and Manage Your Social Media Including Instagram

J.R. Atkins uses Hootsuite

Hootsuite has expanded its dashboard to make it easier for you to schedule and monitor your social media efforts on Instagram. Previously, Hootsuite provided you the ability to tend to your Facebook and Twitter platforms with ease, now you can do the same with Instagram. With an ever-increasing number of businesses and professionals taking to Instagram, this is a welcome addition from Hootsuite. 

There are a number of tactics you will want to consider utilizing to make the most of your Instagram account. Thanks to Hootsuite now being a resource for you, you can utilize this tactics and strategies with greater ease.

Don’t Post All Photos Immediately

 Many, if not most, Instagram users are in the habit of posting photos directly after taking them. This can result in images being uploaded to Instagram at points in time at which you will not garner the optimal impact for them. If you are using Instagram for business, you necessarily want to put up your photos at times in which they will have the biggest impact. 

Thanks to Hootsuite, you can take a photo and schedule it to go up on Instagram at a future point in time. You can accomplish this at one time and directly after taking the image. You do not need to carve out time, later on, to go back and post your image.

J.R> Atkins and Hootsuite

Take Advantage of Iconosquare

 In addition to using Hootsuite to up your Instagram game, take advantage of Iconosquare as well. These two apps, when used together, can go far in assisting you to make the most out of your Instagram account.

 Iconosquare is designed to analyze your Instagram engagement over time. With this data, you can ascertain what points in time during the course of any given day you can anticipate the highest level of engagement. Armed with this information, you can schedule your Instagram posts using Hootsuite at those optimal junctures in time.

 Use the Front Facing Camera for Selfies

 Like many people, including business owner and professionals, selfies tend to make up a considerable percentage of imaged uploaded to Instagram. More often than not, these images are taken using the rear-facing camera on a smartphone.

 The reality is that the rear-facing camera, the one on the back of your phone, has a notable higher resolution. You should start using that camera to take your Instagram selfies. Yes, you will need to practice to master using this camera. In the end, you will find that your Instagram selfies will be of a significantly higher quality.

 Use the Over App

 Another app you can use in conjunction with Hootsuite when it comes to your Instagram images is Over. With Over, you can easily add text to your images. The combination of photos and text oftentimes makes Instagram images more appealing, more compelling to your followers. As with other apps, you can take an image, add text, and conveniently schedule its uploading to Instagram for a future time. 

Lighting Problems? Convert to Black and White

 If you’re struggling to balance out the lighting on an image intended for Instagram, and are beginning to think your efforts are proving futile, convert the photo to black and white. This simple tactic eliminates issues you may be having in regard to a full-color derivation of an image. In addition, black and white photos can prove to be stunning on Instagram. 

By incorporating Hootsuite together with these tips and tactics, you will put yourself in the position to get the most out of your Instagram account. In addition to getting more out of your Instagram account, you will optimize its usefulness and effectiveness in an efficient and time conserving way thanks to Hootsuite. 

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for, where you can get personal checks and business checks.

2018 Retail Trends You Will Likely See

Retail Trends Likely to Dominate the Scene in 2018

Trends and predictions are part and parcel with the start of a new calendar year. One area in which trends are analyzed at the beginning of the year involves the retail market segment. There are a number of retail trends that are likely to dominate the scene in 2018.

Grocery eCommerce will Blast Off

A major 2018 retail trend will center 2018 Retail trends on grocery eCommerce. A primary reason a focus in 2018 will be on grocery eCommerce is associated with Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and Walmart’s decision to up its game when it comes to online grocery marketing.

Prior to the latter part of 2017, U.S. citizens lagged behind their international counterparts when it came to grocery eCommerce. All of that is expected to change in 2018 due to a significant uptick in the number of U.S. consumers who will embrace grocery eCommerce.

“Traditional” Retailers and the Realization that They Must Change

Forbes, the widely read business J.R. Atkins on retail trendsmagazine, traditionally makes predictions pertaining to retail trends at the start of a new year. In 2018, the magazine focused on one major trend to pay attention to in the retail market segment in 2018. Specifically, the “big trend” to watch for in 2018 is that a multitude of retailers, from different market segments, will finally concede that they must embrace change.

Embracing change does primarily involve so-called traditional retailers, including those stores that have been in business for more extended periods of time. These enterprises have long held firm to the principle that retailers determine what a customer should desire to purchase. These enterprises also believed that retailers held the keys as to how customers shop.

In reality, that has not been the case for quite some time. In fact, in the digital age, customers truly to define the shopping experience on all levels. 2018 is marked to be the year in which retailers reluctant to accept this reality will finally do so.

With a notable number of traditional retailers closing their doors forever, many others muttered the mantra that 2017 was a year to survive. Those that made it into 2018 are expected to be seen realizing that they must change and embracing that process.

Integration of Crypto Currencies

2017 say the cryptocurrency world 2018 Retail Trendsgarner attention from the media and large swaths of the public. By the last quarter of 2017, a growing number of retailers were also starting to take notice of cryptocurrency.

Thus far, cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, has been regarded as an asset class rather than a type of currency or form of payment. A trend among some retailers in 2018 will the integration of cryptocurrency into their sales systems. As part of this effort, some retailers will take the step of holding onto whatever cryptocurrency or currencies they elect to accept from consumers. This will eliminate the fees associated with conversion to U.S. dollars following a cryptocurrency purchase.

Tech-enhanced Store Staff and Elimination of Checkout Counters

Another significant trend to keep a 2018 tech retail trendslookout for in 2018 is the further tech enhancement of store associates. Accompanying this trend will be an increasing elimination of checkout counters in stores.

The one benefit that brick and mortar stores have over online retailers is face-to-face human interaction. Increasing the tech availabilities of retail staff, and eliminating the checkout counter, is thought to be a sure way to enhance the overall human interaction between patrons and staff at retailers in the brick and mortar world.

The Rise of the Robot

2018 will not be the year in which 2018 Retail trendsrobots start to populate retailers floor space in the brick and mortar world in large numbers. There actually will be an uptick in the visibility of robots and automation in brick and mortar stores, but the real trend in robotics will be behind the scenes in retail fulfillment centers.

Major online retailers, with Amazon leading the way, will incorporate robots into the work of more of their fulfillment centers in 2018. In 2017, Amazon had robots in action in about 20 percent of their fulfillment centers. That number will increase, and noticeably so, in 2018. Similarly, other retailers will utilize robots more broadly in their fulfillment operations during 2018.

Guest Blogger: Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.