1
What Are the Advantages of Drupal 8’s Accessibility Feature
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Why Drupal Stands out from the Other Available Content Management Systems?
3
What are the Biggest Hurdles for Agencies & Small Businesses?
4
5 Apps You Need Right Away to Manage Your Remote Team!
5
Check Out: The Top 7 Games Made Using Unity 3D So Far!
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7 Important Tips for Leading a Remote Team
7
12 Marketing Events Agencies Should Attend in 2017
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Why Do Small Businesses and Agencies Fail at Social Media Marketing?
9
How To Run A Cost Effective Project
10
How To Drive Revenue In 2017 With Intelligent Marketing

What Are the Advantages of Drupal 8’s Accessibility Feature

Drupal is a Content Management System. This web-based SaaS allows multiple users with various levels of access to manage all types of content. If you are a user, you will be able to create, edit, publish and archive web pages, articles, press releases and blogs. You can also add and edit events in an event calendar, as well as add or edit  inventory. The purpose of a content management system is to provide the ability to systematically organise and manage a company’s web content in one place. Drupal is one such system which is large and open-sourced. One of its most important features is that it is highly accessible to users. The latest version i.e., Drupal 8, has been rendered even more accessible and user friendly than the last version.

Drupal 8 has been in the works for a while, and it’s coming has long been anticipated. This version has many awesome features such as being responsive to mobile devices, built into its core themes. Configuration management, edit-in-place functions, Views and WYSIWYG interfaces have been directly integrated into the core drupal module.

Accessibility, more importantly, “web accessibility,” is defined as the removal of barriers that have been preventing interaction with or access to websites for some of the population – such as people with disabilities. A well designed, edited and developed website provides equal access to all users. An average individual may not immediately realize how important the accessibility feature of a website is, but there are literally millions of potential users out there who have to use assistive technology to gain access when surfing the internet. Being inclusive is a lofty aspiration on the part of the Drupal community. The enhancement in Drupal’s latest version to support these assistive technologies is a giant leap forward in the path to a healthy and progressive inclusivity.

Here are the advantages of Drupal 8’s accessibility features.

  • Increased Semantic Elements

They have provided more HTML5 semantic elements in this version. Together with other complementary tools, like WAI-ARIA, they have greatly enhanced the system’s web accessibility. This is a remarkable sign that Drupal has truly evolved.

  • Upgrade in Accessibility

While accessibility was definitely an issue that was addressed in the previous version i.e., in Drupal 7, some of the necessary technology for this end were not quite ready until Drupal 8 came into being. Much more of the core HTML has now had HTML5 and WAI-ARIA features incorporated.

  • Alt Text Images

Images with the “alt” attribute are often used for search engine optimization, but they can and should be used to enhance accessibility features. A visually impaired user, for example, will be able to know what an image is all about with the help of alt text. The advent of Drupal 8 will ensure that websites upload text descriptions for uploaded images.

  • Underlined Hyperlinks

Links will be underlined by default with Bartik, and not just indicated by a color change. This may seem like a minor change that does not disturb basic HTML design or functionality but is significant and considerate to those who are visually challenged.

  • Use of Buttons

Where there are ‘calls to action’ by websites, you will find that very often, these are in the form of anchor texts rather than buttons. Introducing the use of buttons over links is a logical step, even from a semantic standpoint. Drupal 8 has called for this measure. While WAI-ARIA can be useful in identifying the purpose of some elements, this new standard can make do with HTML without becoming heavily dependent on WAI-ARIA.

  • Errors in Inline Forms

Errors made while filling up forms will now become easier to identify the user. This is done using the additional feature as an experimental module of the optional core.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of the advantages of Drupal’s accessibility features in Drupal 8. It does, however, cover the bases with regards to how much more accessible, user-friendly and inclusive in outreach that Drupal has achieved, in its most recent version. Drupal 8 is now much closer to the ideal, which is to render the web accessible to all.

Why Drupal Stands out from the Other Available Content Management Systems?

If you have a good CMS or content management system, it should be able to not only create and manage the content of the website but also manage the related tasks such as formatting, editing as well as organizing from a centralized interface. As there are many good CMS platforms available out there, you may get confused as to which one to choose. Well, Drupal can be regarded as one of the best content management systems. Nothing seems impossible with Drupal. You can choose to run a blog or a blogging community or even share photos, upload files and a lot more. Here are some reasons why Drupal stands above the rest:

  • Great SEO Tools

You probably know the power of SEO as it is the reason behind the number of visitors that your website gets. Drupal can be regarded as the king of SEO in this case. In order to make your website SEO-friendly, you not only need to optimize the content but also the meta tags and keywords. Drupal enables you to do all these with ease. You have complete control over everything and it’s totally free of cost. In the field of CRM, Drupal far exceeds expectations when used in combination with other SEO tools such as Google Analytics.

  • Huge Community

This CMS is incomparable with a well connected and organized a large community of programmers and developers. Drupal has been long in the game and its longevity is proof that it works, but that can be said about other CMS platforms as well. So you may ask, “Where is the difference between all the other available CMS platforms and Drupal?” It is in the way that the members of the Drupal community work together. The developers and programmers are devoted and passionate about Drupal,  helping each other and contributing on a continual basis to the well-being of the community.

  • Module Developer Practices

Everything is the module in Drupal CMS and you can get all these modules totally free of cost. They have neither widgets or plugins or components. If you check their website, you will see that all the modules are listed there in a categorized manner. There is no personal website that is used to sell a module. If you need or want to have a module custom built, you can have t it done by someone. The developers and programmers of Drupal use their expertise so that they can build these modules together as a team or a community. They don’t see each other as competitors but help each other so that they can give you the best modules/product.

  • The Drupal API

A hybrid of an extremely progressive Framework and a standard content management system, Drupal has an extraordinary API. Of course, they don’t claim to be Zend, Cake or CodeIgnitor, but Drupal offers you an attractive granularity of workflow control. Also, with Drupal, you get more time to add or tweak if required.

  • Versatile Theming System

The theming system of Drupal is extremely versatile and makes it perfect for users who are new, who are slightly experienced and who are professional. In other words, they have everything for everyone. They offer a number of free themes that you can make use of if you are a new user. These themes not only look beautiful but also professional. You can even customize your theme according to your choice and you can do all these things with extreme ease.

  • Content Types

With the Content Construction Kit (CCK) of Drupal, you can construct any type of content you want. The flexibility that this kit offers is something that no other content management system can offer. It offers thirty types of content and each of them is different from each other. To make it more understandable for you, here is an example. If you want to have real estate listings,  you can input things such as the number of bathrooms or bedrooms into fields that are already there in the modules.

  • Smooth User Management Including E-commerce

Drupal allows you to control everything from member profiles and registration to role assignments. You even have the power to restrict or allow the communication between members. When it comes to e-commerce, Drupal offers the very popular Ubercart. With this, you can do a number of things that you thought you could only dream of from calculating taxes and creating and controlling inventory, to handling fees and accepting payments from any of the available payment gateways – and there is no limit.

In conclusion, you can see that if you are planning to build a website that will have the possibility of huge growth, then Drupal is right for you. Drupal is definitely the best content management system available in the industry.

What are the Biggest Hurdles for Agencies & Small Businesses?

If you own a small business, you may feel that the problems that your business is facing are unique. But this is not exactly true. The biggest hurdles that your business is facing are similar in essence to those your competition. There are several challenges that are acting as major roadblocks to the ascent of agencies and small businesses. Some of them are discussed below:

  1. Marketing

One of the biggest obstacles to the success of relatively small concerns is marketing. To get the word out about your business is important for its success. With the help of technology, you can now test and bring a product to market easily, but it is quite difficult to cut through the noise on social media as well as other marketing channels and differentiate your brand and business.

  1. Hiring new employees

A hurdle that several small concerns must overcome is while recruiting a workforce. They find it particularly difficult to handle problems related to the hefty costs associated with getting a workforce on board. Sometimes the total cost of the process of bringing them on board  – bonuses, training, equipment, benefits, taxes etc. – can range anywhere between 1.5 and three times the salary assigned to that particular designation. That is a really notable amount of investment for companies that are usually already hard pressed for money, to begin with.

  1. Relationship with customers

According to experts, the key to keeping your small business blooming with success is proper communication and the relationship that you have with your customers. Not all businesses see the face of success. Small businesses that achieve success and continue to survive are the ones where the owners, as well as the employees, have a great relationship with their customers. Know what your customers want and ask them how you can do better or what can be added. For agencies and small businesses, relationships are of paramount importance. In this digital age, it has become important to develop a bond with customers.

  1. Relationship with the government

To make local government work for you, take the idea of relationships to the next level and use those skills. According to experienced businessmen, small businesses which reach out and become a staple in the community are the ones that get the most support from the local government. You can be present at community events or join the chamber of commerce so that the local governments support you. If you make an investment in your local community, it will affect your business positively. Also, to build valuable customer relationships, you can volunteer to work on events or serve on local boards.

  1. Cash flow management

A variety of problems related to cash flow is the cause of a headache for many companies. And for agencies and small businesses, the main problems are to do with unexpected outgoings of cash, clients deferring payments and expenses that seemingly need to have been paid for yesterday. However, these problems do not come without solutions. While product demand is far more difficult to control in-house, cash flow related problems can be resolved. In order to improve on your invoicing and budgeting, there are a number of newly designed solutions that are available. All you have to do is to find a suitable one.

  1. Increasing profits

Agencies and small businesses that have five to ten employees face problem such as increasing profits. There can be many reasons behind this, but the main reason that it highlights is the inability to remain a low-cost leader against the competition. To stay ahead of your competitors, what you can do is to innovate and optimize constantly.

  1. Not becoming dependent on major clients

Client dependence is a huge issue for several organizations, mostly those with under ten employees. In case the organization has to depend on say just one or two clients for the major chunk of the money they make, then that is a sign of hitting the danger zone. The balance of power is disturbed unfavorably for the firm if this were the case. It would be hard for them to survive – to just remain operational with minimal profits. Reaching this stage is not at all recommended. If you want to your firm to grow, you must necessarily diversify your clientele.

You might, in all probability, as the owner of a small concern, have to face hurdles that CEOs of large companies may not face. However, to look at the brighter side, being small business owner does have a number of benefits. Being small in size, you are much better equipped to respond to volatile circumstances, as well as more flexibility. Pay more attention to the strong points of owning a small business and make more effort to emphasize and use them in advantageous ways for you to overcome challenges. The first step would be to overcome them.

5 Apps You Need Right Away to Manage Your Remote Team!

The trend of hiring remote teams is something that more and more companies and nonprofits are recognizing and welcoming with open arms. For years, there have been myths surrounding the subject of hiring remote teams for work. A few of the common myths were: Remote workers aren’t as highly skilled, remote workers are not as dedicated to the company as regular workers are, or that it is difficult to find reliable remote teams. With these myths being proven to be inaccurate and/or misleading, having a remote team is no longer taboo. With the growing acceptance of remote working, it is a party for freelancers. Freelancers, retired professionals, qualified housewives, students, and people who may find it difficult to be physically present at the office are now able to find jobs in the market without facing any sort of obstacles.

However, that is not to say that the system of remote hiring is without its problems. Apart from the fact that there can be times that remote workers find it difficult to coordinate their tasks and schedule with the rest of the office, there is the risk of remote workers becoming psychologically isolated, or distanced, from the rest of the office. However, there is a way to avoid that. There is certain office coordination and employee tracking software available, which can serve to maintain a basic minimum communicative connection between the employer and the employee, as well as between the various people of a team. A few of these apps are mentioned below in no particular order of prominence and effectiveness:

Skype: This is really the first thing to come off the top of anyone’s head. Skype is one of the finest real-time messaging and video-chat service in existence. iIt also is the most popular VoIP software in use at the moment. It’s not really surprising that it’s the most professionally-accepted means of inter-employee or inter-group (team) communication in today’s era.

Skitch: This one is not available anymore, but older versions of it can still be found and downloaded online.  Its specialty is that it allows you to capture screenshots very quick. You can edit the screenshots in this app before sending them, which helps to communicate the exact plan or order in fine detail and with the most precise directions.

Dropbox: This is one of the most popular mediums of cloud storage. Here, you can keep records of all work done by every single employee for a specific time period.  All folders and files on the company network can be saved here under the appropriate heads. In this way, an employer/team head is able to keep track of all the work done within stipulated deadlines. It also is helpful as an unbiased evaluation of the performance of employees; whether office-goers or remote.  A huge advantage of Dropbox is that all you have to do is install dropbox into all the systems and then share it with all the computer systems you want to. Dropbox has the provision of restoring any deleted file or folder within thirty days of deletion.

Slack: This is one of the greatest apps. It has brought about a sea of change to the world of virtual business integration and communication. Although it has not quite displaced Skype completely, it is used simultaneously with Skype in a lot of places. It has all but killed professional emailing, though. A large part of its popularity can be attributed to its excellent in-built group communication system.

Wunderlist: This is mainly a task management tool. It’s simple user interface and easy-to-use controls are the reasons that have made it so popular. Owing to this, it is really easy to track all employee activity and the inbuilt task management tool allows you to prioritize your tasks.

In conclusion, these are the top five applications that help to ease the process of remote team recruitment and remote worker management. Every single company looking to recruit teams that will be working remotely should pay heed and make use of at least one of these apps.

Check Out: The Top 7 Games Made Using Unity 3D So Far!

Unity is considered to be one of the best ways to develop games by game developers all over the world. Not only is it easy to use for the game developers, but players also find the game developed by the unity engine great to play. From graphics to game UI, everything is leading edge when developed using Unity. Unity 3D is the ultimate game development engine that is capable of building high-quality 2D and 3D games.  It leads the industry in multi-platform support. In recent years, many popular games have been developed using the Unity engine. Multiple surveys show that players love to play the games made with Unity and games that are developed using Unity are the most played. Although there are many Unity games that are popular in their own right, here are the 7 most popular games made using the Unity platform.

  • Pokémon GO

Developer: Niantic

Genre: Augmented reality, Location based gaming

Release: July 6, 2016

Pokémon GO needs no introduction as this game took over the world soon after its release. This free to play a game was released for both iOS and Android devices and was the result of a collaboration between Niantic and Nintendo. We know that Nintendo never jokes around when it comes to games. Initially released in selected countries, but its popularity resulted in its release all over the world. This game quickly became the most profitable and most used game of 2016 which says it all. For this game, you have to do what the lead character from the Pokémon series does. You l have to catch Pokémons which are hidden in different parts of your city or locations you travel to using different items like Poké balls, eggs, potions, and berries. You get to create your avatar and then use the map for gameplay.

  • Assassin Creed: Identity

Developer: Ubisoft Blue Byte

Genre: Action role-playing

Release: The game was soft launched in 2014 as a free game in App stores of Australia and New Zealand. This game was then released worldwide for iOS platforms on the 25th of  February, 2016 and the Android version was released on the 18th of May, 2016.

The game’s setting takes place in the Italian Renaissance. The game features locations like Monteriggioni, Roman Colosseum, and Firenze. The Forli chapter of the game was released as a separate DLC on the 18th of May, 2016. Assassin’s Creed: Identity is similar to the original Assassin’s Creed in terms of gameplay. The player can perform parkour with the virtual character. The assassin runs towards the walls, objects, and hills and climbs up if they are climbable. Players can use leap of faith and the iconic Eagle vision that is provided to them during missions. The player can combat, attack, use skills, block the attack or exit the fight. Players can also summon hirelings depending on their class, skill or upgrade. There are several missions that keep the players captivated.

  • Temple Run Trilogy

Developer: Imangi Studios

Genre: Endless Runner

Released: 2011

First, only the Android version of this game was developed using Unity. Unity was then used to develop all the sequels and spin-off versions of the game across all platforms. A set of three games was made for mobile platforms, Android, Windows, and iOS. The theme of the game is running and the player has to run away from multiple things. The story of the game is simple. The player has stolen a treasure from a temple and is chased by a demonic monkey. The player must escape from the monkey. The endless game became an instant hit after its release in 2011. The game was released for different platforms on different dates.

  • Battlestar Galactica Online

Developer: Bigpoint Games & Artplant

Genre: MMO

Release: February 8, 2011 (Beta version)

Battlestar Galactica Online, loosely based on the 2004 television series Battlestar Galactica, is a “massively multiplayer online” game (MMO) that is browser-based. The game surpassed two million registered users within three months of its release.

Battlestar Galactica Online is set in space and the player has the role of a pilot in the Battlestar Galactica universe. It is a fight combat game with many stationary features like platforms and outposts that can be targeted. The player does not win the game – rather, they achieve success through individual victories, leveling up and leader board. When a player is registering himself or herself, they can either choose to be on the Colonial (human) or Cylon side. They are locked in that side after registration.  A player first has to play the standard tutorial version of the game during which the plot is shown. After the tutorial version, the player enters the real battle space.

  • Kerbal Space Program

Developer: Squad

Genre: Space combat simulation game

Released: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux– April 27, 2015 (worldwide)

                  Play Station 4– July 12, 2016 (North America)

                  Xbox One– July 15, 2016 (worldwide)

This game was first made available publicly as a digital download on June 24, 2011. It was officially released out of beta on April 27, 2015. The game became popular with notable people and agencies in the space industry, including NASA and Elon Musk of Space X, taking interest in the game.

The players direct a nascent space program in the game.  The staff and crew consist of humanoid aliens known as “Kerbals”. The unique feature of the game is a very realistic orbital physics engine which allows the player to make various real-life orbital maneuvers. The maneuvers, like Bi-elliptic transfer orbits and Hohmann transfer orbits, attract the players.

  • Deus Ex: The Fall

Developer: N-Fusion Interactive

Genre: Action role-playing, first person shooter, stealth

Release:  iOS– July 11, 2013 (worldwide)

               Android– January 22, 2014 (worldwide)

               Microsoft Windows– March 18, 2014 (worldwide)

                                                     EU: May 9, 2014 (Retail)

Set in 2027, this game’s plot revolves around the playable main character Ben Saxon who is a former British soldier. He has become an augmented mercenary for a private military company, Belltower Associates.  It’s cyberpunk theme was well received by players.

  • Satellite Reign

Developer: 5 Lives studios

Genre: Tactical role-playing game, real-time tactics

Release: August 28, 2015

Satellite is set in the fictional city which is referred to as “The City”. A corporation named Draconic has risen after releasing a prototype named Resurrection-Tech to achieve this. This prototype is released for immortality, but Draconic soon defies its purpose and gets involved in bribing politicians with immortality and corporate crime to gain full control of the city. The City’s Police Force is controlled by a corporation that leads to civil unrest. This leads to the rise of a rival corporation and launches attacks against Draconic. As a player, you are the one who controls the rival corporation.

These are seven popular games that have been made with Unity 3D platform. There are many other games that have been developed in Unity 3D, beyond the ones we mentioned here, that have left their mark on the gaming community.

7 Important Tips for Leading a Remote Team

Employees are the most crucial part of any business or enterprise. If you have a team with good employees, you will have an edge over your competitors due to increased productivity. Leading your employees through the daily business operations requires you to put in the extra effort. Leading a team of remote employees can have its own set of challenges.

The work environment today grants employees the freedom to work from anywhere in the world due to the presence of the internet and computers. They don’t have to be present at a physical location to work.  There are many benefits to having a virtual team of employees working remotely.

The most crucial advantage is that you can hire talented candidates from across the globe, which contributes to taking productivity to the next level for you. You can bring in innovative ideas by hiring virtual employees and save the cost of maintaining an expensive infrastructure. Although there are many benefits of hiring virtual employees, there is one area that can cause concern – leading a virtual team can be tough. This problem is not insurmountable and can be solved if you follow certain tips. Here are seven tips that will help you to manage and lead a virtual team of employees like a pro.

Hire with Care

When you hire a virtual employee, you have to make sure that you hire the right candidate for the job. You must remember that not everyone can tackle the task of working alone. Although you and other virtual employees may be in contact, there are certain times when individual decision-making might be required. There are people who tend to be inclined to seek help from coworkers or seniors when put in that position. Remote workplaces are generally less social than physical ones and it is difficult to be available to the employee all the time. That is why it is important that you choose candidates who fit all the criteria of the job.  

Set Expectations

When your employee is working via a remote location, it is difficult to keep track of who is doing what amount of work. There is always a fear that keeps you wondering whether your employees are working well or abusing the privilege of work from a remote location. Productivity is the most important factor to consider when hiring regular or virtual employees. To maintain the right levels of productivity you must set expectations that are clearly communicated in a remote workplace model.

You can draw the daily output requirements, the time within which the employee should be available to you and other employees and team goals. This will act as a guideline for employees and will also keep a check on their output. If you have hired the right set of people, setting expectations will give you a thriving team that enjoys the privilege of working from home, but does not misuse it.

Use Technology

Communication and connection are the key to maintaining a successful virtual team. There are many technological tools that help you to connect and communicate with your employees and allow the employees to be in touch with each other.  There are tools that allow you to manage tasks and projects.  You can use tools like calendar, time manager, time zone scheduler, file storage, human resource management, etc to increase productivity.  It’s important to take the initiative to encourage your employees to use these tools as well.

Promote Voice Calling

While text messages and emails are formal and good ways of communication, they are often not easily understood and lack tone. By using voice calling on a regular basis, it will be easier to ensure that the entire team is on the same platform.

Video Meetings

Video meetings will help the entire team to connect with each other. You should encourage video meetings not only with yourself but also among other employees in your absence. As everyone is in remote locations, video calling is a better way to promote a sense of togetherness.

Deeper Bonds

Virtual employees want the privilege of working from remote locations and they often want more warm and friendly bonding than the regular working setup. You must catch up on what is happening in the employee’s life. Try to keep a more relaxed relationship with your employees. This develops a deeper sense of job satisfaction. Virtual employees enjoy a good balance between work and life. You can help them achieve that by adopting policies that encourage work-life balance rather than focusing only on your own profit.

Respect and Flexibility

Your employees might belong to different countries, cultures, and mindsets. Make sure you respect them and have a flexible attitude towards them.

These are some of the tips that will help you lead a team of virtual employees and may even help resolve conflicts or problems before they even arise.

12 Marketing Events Agencies Should Attend in 2017

The year of 2017 has brought forth a host of new promises and hopes. And just like it marks a new beginning for the world and the lives of people who inhabit it, it also heralds a new beginning for the marketing, advertising, and market research industry. For every year, it is essential to note down in a list the various marketing events, such as SEO, digital marketing and tech conferences, from around the world. Below is a list of the various international conferences and events that are an absolute must-visit this year. They are as follows:

HeroConf: This one is by far the only dedicated and paid media conference in the United Kingdom. This place has the greatest quality speakers and the greatest presenters. Here, both speakers and presenters are of the highest quality. Regardless of whether you’re a novice or a veteran, you can glean useful information from it. Date: 24-26th Oct. Venue: London.

BrightonSEO: This is to be held on April 7th and the 15th of September. As the name suggests, it is to take place in Brighton. In this event, talks are offered on a huge variety of subjects by speakers. Every year, speakers are brought in from a variety of fields that fall within the ambit of digital marketing.

Unbounce—the Call to Action: This conference addresses the issue of attracting traffic to a website and converting the leads from the traffic into actual customers. To be held in Vancouver from 25-27th of June.

SMX Munich: Its content quality is extremely good, and it attracts a tremendous volume of visitors. It is mainly focussed on covering a huge range of search topics. This is scheduled in Munich on March 14th-15th.  

SEOkomm: To be held in Salzburg in the month of November, this one is a single-day conference which is singularly focused on SEO. It is among those conferences which offer the most advanced tracks and content in the world. The great networking possibilities are an additional bonus.

SEO-Day: SEO Day is presently the second largest show in Germany. There are three parallel tracks here, such as the “expert day”.  This event is held in Cologne on October 19th, is a must-attend.

Local Strategy: Mobility is the chief feature of the technology employed for handheld or ‘mobile’ devices. As per the information provided by Google, people usually look for commercial businesses which are near them, (which has necessitated the ‘near me’ mechanism for local search). For this reason, it is imperative that local businesses are run with this target in mind. It is with this target that the Local Strategy event was held on January 28th of this year in Bologna.

AdWorld Experience: Held in Bologna just like SEO-Day (but on the 13th-14th April) Adworld Experience is held in the month of April.  Specializing in the field of paid marketing campaigns, the best speakers are brought in by the organizers every year. Every year, planning for the next session is started after one session ends. Workshops which are run on the first day are entirely worth the prices offered.  Afterward, videos of all the sessions are provided to the attendees, which means that the ROI (Return on Investment) would be increased on the educational budgets of agencies.

Web Marketing Festival: This is one of the most vital industry events in Italy and is held in the city of Rimini. To be held on the 23rd and 24th of April, it attracts over 3000 participants every year. There are about ten parallel tracks held here, on each of which over 100 speakers hold speeches. Apart from high-level sessions on the subject of digital marketing, you also get tremendous opportunities to network.

ClinicSEO: This event is mainly organized in Barcelona, Spain on the 27th of October. This event is geared to give you a better understanding of the way that professionals work. This event is completely held in isolation and is part of a broader expo.

SEOnthebeach: This conference has an informal atmosphere. Held in La Manga del mar Menor in Spain, it attracts talented professionals who share the greatest practices, strategies, and knowledge for two days. This event also provides great opportunities for networking. This is to be held on the 23rd and 24th of June.

QueDuWeb: Held in Deauville, France, on April 27th and 28th, this event is basically a series of conferences on subjects ranging from SEO Audit, Digital Strategy to Growth Hacking. Speakers from a variety of fields in digital marketing attend this event.

This list represents just twelve of the innumerable digital marketing conferences and events scheduled to be held this year.   

Why Do Small Businesses and Agencies Fail at Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is an integral part of making a site more popular to the target consumer base. There are numerous benefits to placing an advertisement on social media. If you open a fan page of your company on Facebook, for instance, then you can use your personal contacts list to spread the link and gather more followers by means of ‘likes’. The more friends that ‘like’ your page, the more likely your page will be visible around the virtual world. Suppose one person from your Facebook ‘likes’ your page. The people on their friend list would be able to see that the person liked a page and would be curious to check that page out. If the curious person also ‘likes’ your page, the cycle of spreading ‘likes’ goes on and on. If you follow the principles of online PPC techniques,  you can place advertisements on Facebook (and other social networking sites) where a person would be able to view your advertisement if he/she displays a leaning towards the kind of product or service you sell.

Twitter is not far off. The Twitter Analytics feature platform is of huge benefit to business owners. Through it, a business can track the changes in the size of their customer base. In addition to this, they can also see the demographics the followers belong to, and their tastes and preferences.

The question remains: why do small businesses shy away from using social media to their full benefit? The answer is multifaceted:

  • The majority of small companies, especially start-ups, are intimidated by the idea of social media campaigning. To them, a social media campaign is something that requires a lot of time, resources, efforts and energy that cannot be afforded. A lot of these companies are not aware of campaign tracking tools such as Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Omniture, etc. Because these companies want to play it safe, under the notion that social media campaigns only work when a company is well established, they end up depriving themselves of the benefits that online business campaign tracking tools can give them.
  • Many times, a company doesn’t even have a plan for conducting a campaign on social media. They simply enter the space and work randomly, even taking flawed routes (such as bombarding members with spam messages). As a result, their campaigns fail and they end up dismissing the effectiveness of social media campaigning as a whole. Social media marketing requires a plan in order to succeed. Each business needs to target a certain demographic and then develop their campaigns accordingly, instead of simply making a universal appeal. They need to make use of tools, such as market survey tools and holding consumer contests, with special offers to be won as prizes. Yet, all these, for some reason, intimidate smaller companies.
  • There may be companies that feel that the competition is very packed and that the ‘early birds’ have caught all the worms. That is, the bigger or early-arrival companies have already reaped all the benefits from a particular social media strategy and occupied all the niches. While this fear is not totally unjustified, it is also true that sustained and diligent marketing can indeed popularize a company among social media users without even needing to spend much on advertising. For example, if a company sells health products, they can hire people to research health-themed Facebook groups (or other social media communities)  and promote the products of the company. They can participate in discussions on social media groups and share the positive aspects of the products that are being sold by the company. In doing so, you gain popularity within a particular niche.

Thus, it’s mainly a combination of unrecognized potential and a presence of uncertainty regarding social media that prevents small companies from achieving success in social media marketing campaigns. The scenario is slowly changing, but as small and niche businesses become more informed about social media marketing, there’s a promising future ahead.  

How To Run A Cost Effective Project

Behind every good technology implementation, there is a good project manager and a strong project management team. Being a project manager, you need to handle a budget and work with it. But sometimes it becomes extremely difficult to organize all the work within the budget.

If you are among those, who want to know if it is possible to run a cost effective project, then the tips below will definitely help you. Read on-

  • Use Technology Over Travelling:

Isn’t it amazing to travel to different cities in order to attend meetings? It really is, but the problem is that it will burn a big hole in your budget if you continue to travel over sustained periods of time. In today’s world of digitization, you don’t need to waste money by traveling to a different place to meet with someone as video conferencing will connect you with the people you want and need to meet. By attending a meeting through video conferencing, you can save the costs of flights, hotels, and taxis. You can arrange a face to face meeting only for the most important projects. Video conferencing is enough for the initial stages of meetings. Modern technology brings all the amenities at your doorstep. If you don’t implement video conferencing, you may end up wasting a lot of money unnecessarily. In fact, by choosing to use technology over traveling, you can avoid a lot of wasted hours traveling, saving both time and money.

  • Make a Virtual Management Team:

If you are from a country where hiring an employee costs you more than you can afford, then it would be wise to hire a more cost-effective global team. If you get experienced employees at a cost-effective rate, why not hire them? You can use any global freelancer site, find qualified people, and offer them a trial run by giving a short piece of work. If s/he does it well, go for the next assignment. In this way, you can build a virtual management team in a budget-friendly way.

  • Time Is Money:

Another rule of thumb for running a cost-effective project is that you need to avoid delays. This is because when you run your project into delays, it will always cost you money from your budget. If the work is not done on time, you might have to pay your team for working overtime. On the contrary, a well-controlled project that runs on time will help you to minimize and hopefully avoid any budget problems.

  • Plan Well:

A well-formed strategy will help you to stick to your budget, therefore you need to plan well and execute your project according to your plan. Try to keep your project on track and remember that there are many chances for your project to get off the track at any time.

  • Project Management:

In terms of project management, you need to keep in mind some points. They are:

  • Make the budget correctly during planning.
  • Use your in-house expert effectively at their appropriate position.
  • Make sure that your human resource department is managed efficiently.
  • Audit your business and your business budget constantly in order to keep a record of your business’s ups and downs.
  • Know how to manage your vendors.

By keeping these points in mind, you can manage your project effectively.

These are the top 5 points that will help you in learning how you can manage your project and run it in a cost-effective way.  You need to implement all of them in order to save a large amount of money. Following these project management tips, you can make money saving ideas that may even open new doors for you in your career.

How To Drive Revenue In 2017 With Intelligent Marketing

Marketing is an arena that has changed over the past few years. Marketers, with time, have changed their tactics to reach the target audience.  After analysing and tracking the results of yester years, marketers have realized that customers must connect with the products on a deeper level.  This is the reason behind the growing needs for a more customized and a more personal approach.  In the past year, marketers included everything from ads to social networking sites to market their products.

However, with all the new ways adopted by the marketer, we often find that ads do not bring the results that are actually expected.  Therefore, experts suggest that you need to incorporate some intelligent strategies as a marketer to make your marketing plan more viable in 2017. This means you have to be as accurate as possible while expanding the horizons within your budget restrictions. Here are a few changes that will help you achieve better returns on your investments this year.

Beyond the Conversion Funnel

If you look at the data of the past few years, you will see that users are becoming intelligent enough to catch on to the gimmicks of marketing.  This is the reason that the conversion funnels, that were the holy grail of marketers before, are no longer able to represent a buyer’s journey online. The conversion funnel has now become an “influence loop.”  As a marketer, you will now have to adapt to the customer behavior and intentions. You will have to outpace the intelligence of the customer to fetch better marketing results. These days people are becoming more and more familiar with technology. They want to find products and brands more organically online, such as through social media. How these people behave in online and offline areas gives you a hint about the intent behind their purchases. You use this information to reach the specific users you would like to reach through things such as customized messaging. These messages are based on specific demographics and behaviors. You will have to maintain constant feedback in order to make these marketing strategies more effective.

Connect Through Creativity

As we discussed, users are becoming more aware of marketing tactics. The result is that they are doing everything possible to avoid online ads. This is the reason you have to be creative in such a way that you hit all the right chords while marketing your product or your efforts will be wasted. Your campaigns have to be much more than just creating awareness about the brand or product. Another thing that you have to keep in mind is that being repetitive is like making a hole in your own boat. Using the same creative idea over and over is an easy way to fail your campaign. Your creative ideas should be made with a purpose. This will help you to connect with the target customers. You can design an effective campaign if you use the user information properly.

Build What Works

As the technology has evolved, marketers have easier access to the user information and that works to their advantage. The user data helps in making strategic decisions and also helps in setting the budget for the marketing campaign.  You should analyze customer data to develop marketing tactics and then test their effectiveness.  You can build an attribution model by tracking every marketing channel to calculate exact return on investment.

Media Mix

The year 2017 is the year of intelligent marketing. This means you will have to focus on full media mix.  You will need to run your ads on different platforms. If you want the users to get the sense of ubiquity, your ad units must work together.

Marketing trends change every year and in the end, it depends on how marketers adapt to the new trends. In 2017, you can create an impact by adopting these intelligent marketing strategies.

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