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Attaining Business Goals with the Help of Social Media Marketing

Social media is a staple in the digital platform. It’s used for communication, expression, and creating or sharing information. Its very nature calls for it to be leveraged by brands as a marketing tool. But in spite of this seemingly obvious fact, some entrepreneurs still hesitate to invest in social media campaigns. They argue that return on investment (ROI) is harder to measure in the digital scene. They have no way of knowing whether social media marketing pays off or not.

While there’s some truth to that claim, the perks of social media far overshadow the downsides. Social media is a medium that paves the way for a culture of openness and transparency between brands and customers. It’s a great place to produce and share content such as images and infographics. You can engage your audience, drive website traffic, and find new prospects here—and you can do all this while building a loyal community in the process. It’s a win-win situation.

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Defining Social Media Success

Social media success varies per company. The way you view your progress will depend on the goals you set. What does your brand consider important? Are you after sales and market share? Sales leads and conversion rates? Brand awareness and customer loyalty? Decide on what you want from the outset, so you can clearly define your progress. From your set goals, you can tailor a strategy that works for your business.

Implementing a Social Media Strategy

Implementing a Social Media Strategy

For your social media marketing campaign to be successful, you should lay out a carefully developed plan. Avoid posting random content, hoping that some of them will resonate with your audience. Outline clearly what you should do and how you’ll do it. This way, you can make sense of your every move, plus your audience can enjoy relevant and valuable content.

When planning a marketing strategy, keep your brand image in mind. What’s your business’s social voice and style? What personality do you want to project? Your social media campaign should be a reflection of your brand’s existing image in the public eye. You should also take note of the status of your business in certain aspects. Analyze your existing business efforts, and pinpoint which areas you need to improve.

Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can choose which social media platforms to use. Does Pinterest fit your message best? Is YouTube your social media? Of course, you can only find the ideal platform if you know your business and your target demographic well.

Once you understand your brand personality, acknowledge your business standing, and know your social media platform, it’s time to keep tabs on the new trends you can leverage. You need to be constantly up-to-date in order to reach your audience and relate with them. The other things you need to be concerned about are your budget and team. Your campaign should match your financial capacity, and your team should be able to carry out your marketing plans.

Leveraging Cross Social Media Channel Promotion

Leveraging Cross-Channel Promotion

One social media strategy you can employ is cross-channel promotion, or the use of various marketing channels to achieve desired results. It’s an integrated campaign in which you can reach different audiences at varying times and through a number of touchpoints. Cross-channel promotion is an effective way of reminding your audience about your brand. You’re likely to get more engagement through this strategy since you’re operating across multiple channels.

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Tracking Your Social Media Progress

Many are still under the impression that social media is not an effective marketing tool since it’s unquantifiable, but they’re mistaken for the large part. You can actually measure the different types of interactions you have with your audience. There are certain tools and apps built for this purpose.

Before you can track your social media progress, you should identify the different metrics that will come in handy in measuring your campaign’s ROI. This way, you can successfully benchmark your progress against your starting point. Some of the metrics you can use are the following:

  • Likes and shares.

    This is a fast and foolproof way to gauge how a post is doing and how much engagement you’re getting out of it. 

  • Number of followers.

    This is also another quick and easy way to look at how effective your marketing strategy is. Just take note of your follower/following ratio, especially on Twitter. It’s better if you have more followers than the other way around. If this isn’t feasible, at least strike a balance between the two.

  • Rate of audience growth.

    Pay close attention to the number of followers you gain and the rate you’re gaining them. Slow audience acquisition is a sign that something’s amiss.

    Rate of Audience Growth

  • Social mentions.

    Listen to what’s being said about you. This will help you maintain a good brand image and strike great customer relationships.

  • Clicks per post.

    You should know how many unique clicks your links receive. This will help determine how much traffic you attract, and what kinds of links appeal to your target demographic. 

  • Audience activity.

    Not all customers are equal. Some engage with you more than others. Keep interacting with active fans to avoid losing them.

  • Organic and paid results.

    Organic traffic refers to your solid social community, or the customers you gain through free advertising. Paid traffic is the opposite of that. Use the data you gather from these two to determine your next business move.

  • Lead generation.

    Social media can provide you with new business prospects. Research on different techniques and methods you can use to attract leads. 

Hopefully, all this information helped you understand the importance of social media to business. Commit to creating and implementing a marketing campaign that will drive results and will send your brand to the top.

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Tips for Enticing Printout Content

Every presenter has been requested the same thing at one point or another: being asked if they have—or if members of the audience can have—printouts of their PowerPoint presentations. This is not a bad thing, per se, especially if you have a great deck with a superb design and an enlightening message that people will want to go back and review everything they learned from your talk.

However, the issue is that slides were designed to be seen through a projector… unless you had the foresight to create your deck specifically for printing. Well then, good for you.

Going from digital to printout isn’t as easy as it looks. Specifically now, in the modern age, there are humongous monitors and projectors that display every pixel perfectly despite their sizes. Ah, the wonders of technology. But transitioning from the old to the new isn’t seamless, and paper sizes can’t compare to digital visual outlets.

To do that, you first need to do a bit of tinkering and adjusting to get your desired quality on paper. Here are a few pointers to consider first.

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Check Your Printer

Check Your Printer

As with any competition, you can expect that manufacturers follow different formats with their products. If there’s one constant as far as printers are concerned, it’s that they don’t typically reach the paper’s edge. Printouts will always have margins. However, this is not a printer limitation; it’s rather the software—the printer driver—that causes this.

To remedy this, you can manually adjust it, and this is where the tinkering comes in. You can set custom margins on your printouts and potentially include an additional slide or two. There are different customizations you can do from this screen and in the next, which is…

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Print Preview

Print Preview

Print Preview is your friend. Let it guide, help, and aid you. If you’re not sure about the whole format of your printout, you should check it out before you waste ink.

There, you can set and customize different options for your final product: how many slides per page, the spaces in between each slide, the margins (see previous subheading), etc. There are also other settings for whether you want to print on both sides of the paper, the printing sequence (Collated), and whether black and white or grayscale (see next subheading).

This window is basically your last chance to fix how you want your handouts to come out, so appropriating everything according to your preference will make your task easier.

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Check Your Design

Check Your Design

Less on the printer, more on your slides now.

The rules are basically the same when creating slides. You’ve got your design basics: colors, background, typography, etc. You’ve also got your image: powerful and meaningful. Lastly, your text as the meat of your talk. Then you’re out to print it.

The question is: “Do your slides look the same on screen and on paper?”

If you are printing your PowerPoint file out, you always have to consider how your slides will look on your handouts—plus the limitations on your printer, vis-à-vis ink levels—and prepare for it. If you’ve got too many images, either beef up your ink supply or delete some. Another option is to print in grayscale or black and white (which, as you would imagine, comes with another set of adjustments).

The bottom line here is that you should tailor your deck to be readable on both mediums. If you need to reduce elements, then do so.

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Convert powerpoint into .pdf file

Don’t Print Your Slides

Don’t worry. It’s not what it means; rather, it’s a small technicality that involves converting your PowerPoint file into a type that is considered more universal: PDF

One reason why PDF files are more commonly used is the general ease with printing using Acrobat or Adobe (or other software that can read this file type). There may be more or less the same options, but Acrobat is more in depth than PowerPoint, so it’ll usually take care of problems before your printouts even reach the printer. With such ease, you’re more likely choosing this same route yourself.

Another issue solved is transferring to another computer, for, say, printing purposes since you don’t have a printer. You don’t assume that your PowerPoint settings are the same as everyone’s (unless you’re not customizing your software). Therefore, you’re more likely to meet different formatting altogether when opening your file on a computer that doesn’t adhere to the same settings. This goes especially when you use many customized backgrounds, images, and fonts.

Converting to PDF makes your task—and life—easier by making the file more printable and readable on any computer.

There are multiple considerations to make when shifting from digital to print. With the almost complete independence of technology from traditional media, there’s still the wide gap between the two. Of course, with sufficient study and preparation, the divide is not as big as it seems.

Take the following options to heart. Soon, you’ll be asked to have printouts of your presentation. Take it easy and plan ahead. You’ll do yourself some good that way.

 

Resources:

Temple, Cooper. “Adjusting Paper Margins in PowerPoint.” Chron. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com/adjusting-paper-margins-powerpoint-29281.html

Terberg, Julie. “Gain Control over PowerPoint Handouts by Exploring the Print Options.” Training Magazine. November 1, 2002. ip-50-63-221-144.ip.secureserver.net/article/gain-control-over-powerpoint-handouts-exploring-print-options

Wood, James T. “Why Does PowerPoint Print Out the Wrong Margins?” Chron. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com/powerpoint-print-out-wrong-margins-26575.html

Woods, Paul. “Create PowerPoint Slides Designed Specifically for A4 or Letter Printing.” The New Paperclip. May 26, 2010. www.thenewpaperclip.com/2010/05/26/create-powerpoint-slides-designed-specifically-for-a4-or-letter-printing/#

“How to Create PDF Handouts in PowerPoint 2010.” Cometdocs. November 7, 2011. blog.cometdocs.com/how-to-create-pdf-handouts-in-powerpoint-2010

“Printing PowerPoint: Slide Size v. Printer Page Size.” PPTools. June 7, 2011. www.pptfaq.com/FAQ00774_Printing_PowerPoint-_Slide_size_v-_Printer_Page_size.htm

“Saving Paper and Increasing Readability of PowerPoint Handouts.” Pittsburgh Technical College. n.d. www.ptcollege.edu/uploads/HS-teachers/Saving-Paper-and-Increasing-Readability-of-PowerPoint-Handouts.pdf

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6 Ways to Effectively Communicate Ideas at Work

That brilliant idea you have which can affect positive change in the workplace is largely useless until you communicate it to someone who can bring it to life. However, pitching an idea to a colleague is easier said than done. It’s not easy to explain a concept to someone who has a different background. You’ll need to bridge a knowledge chasm that separates you from your intended recipient. You also have to watch your manner of speaking since you can’t afford to insult your recipient with the faintest hint of condescension. In the same way, you can’t be too naïve to assume that the other person is on the same page as you.

Presenting an idea to a coworker, whether it be a superior or an equal, is always a risk. There’s a possibility of your proposal getting turned down, or worse, ignored. This is why you need to be fully prepared before making your business pitch. Make sure you possess not only flair and poise but also valuable content—a worthwhile idea that can sell itself. Keep in mind what Dorothy Tannahill Moran from Next Chapter New Life, said: “There is a difference between a great idea and an idea that will truly advance the cause of business.”

Know the Recipient's Hot Buttons

Know the Recipient’s Hot Buttons

People have different ways of processing information. Some learn best with visuals while others prefer one-on-one talks. Others are still more comfortable with written exchanges. Conduct a research that will allow you to learn what’s best for your audience. You should possess a heightened sense of contextual awareness if you are to thoroughly understand your recipients. Be astute in sensing their moods, values, and attitudes. Develop a contingency plan that will allow you to align your objectives with theirs. After all, the pitch is not for you but for the company as a whole. 

Direct and Concise Pitch

Make Your Pitch Direct and Concise

Trim the fat from your pitch and go straight to the point. Don’t bore your recipient with unnecessary details. Instead, stick to what your idea will do for them and the organization. “Managers want solutions to the problems that are keeping them awake at night,” said Leigh Steere from Managing People Better. He couldn’t have said a truer statement. When delivering your pitch, make sure to keep the buzz words out. Cut to the chase before your recipient tunes out from your smooth talking. Remember, substance should always come before form.  

Gain the Recipient's Trust and Confidence

Gain the Recipient’s Trust and Confidence

People don’t usually open up to those they don’t trust, so you should try to gain your audience’s confidence before asking them to accept your idea. You can gain your recipient’s trust by displaying a level of authenticity and transparency. Be relatable when delivering your pitch by telling stories, using examples, and applying humor in appropriate situations. Speak to your recipient’s emotions, and let your message take deep root with them. Engage in a meaningful conversation by encouraging a dialogue. Surely, you can learn from them as much as they can learn from you. 

Assert Yourself and Speak With Tenacity

Assert Yourself and Speak with Tenacity

When speaking with superiors and senior colleagues, you should talk and act like they do. Treating them like peers will encourage them to do the same to you. Respect their authority and position, but don’t be deferential and submissive. Show them that you’re thinking in the same level as they are. This will give them the impression that you can stand by your idea and defend it when the need arises.

Prepare and Practice Diligently

Prepare and Practice Diligently

No matter how great your idea is, if you don’t practice how to deliver it, your pitch will likely prove unsuccessful. To maximize your chances, have someone to practice your pitch on. This person should have a total lack of knowledge regarding your idea. He or she should also be willing to provide you with honest feedback. You can practice your pitch on more than one person to take more perspectives. Presenting your pitch to a test audience will help you pinpoint the aspects of your presentation that need improvement. If the test audience understands and approves of your idea and the manner by which you present it, you’ll know that you’re starting off on the right foot. 

Find the Right Time to Make Your Pitch

Find the Right Time to Make Your Pitch

Let’s say you’re ready with your pitch. You have a cutting-edge idea and an innovative way of presenting it. The only concern that remains now is, when is the right time to deliver your pitch? There isn’t one answer to this question since every circumstance is different. You’re on your own to assess whether your recipient is ready to participate in your presentation. Perhaps Tannahill Moran’s words can help you. She said, “If the house is on fire, a new idea tossed into the mix may not go over well unless the idea helps the immediate crisis. You want to present an idea when the ability to focus and plan exists.”

The Aftermath: How to Brace Yourself for Responses

The Aftermath: How to Brace Yourself for Responses

Prepare yourself for the many kinds of responses you may receive. There’s a high possibility that your recipient will pepper you with questions to test your thinking. Think two steps ahead and formulate a response to every possible concern. When you’re faced with antagonism, keep an open mind. A dissenting opinion can help you improve on your idea. If, however, your pitch is ignored, follow up until you get an answer—just do so in a non-imposing way. After all, your audience don’t owe you their participation. It’s up to you to get them engaged.

You might only have one shot at presenting your newfangled idea. Make sure you put your best foot forward and deliver a pitch that is worthy of your recipient’s time.

 

Resources:

Baxter, Susan. “Learning Styles: Three Ways to Process Information.” Top Ten Reviews. n.d. www.toptenreviews.com/software/articles/learning-styles-three-ways-to-process-information

Boitnott, John. “How to Pitch Your Brilliant Idea Without Making the People You Need Feel Stupid.” Entrepreneur. October 10, 2014. www.entrepreneur.com/article/238176

Bonilla, Christina. “Want to Be Taken Seriously? Communicate Like a Boss.” Smart Like How. October 13, 2015. www.smartlikehow.com/blog-native/2015/10/12/l0d6fzogavxj6p72p0yucsuzvdpd9w

Cohan, Peter. “5 Ways to Communicate More Clearly.” Inc. December 4, 2012. www.inc.com/peter-cohan/five-ways-to-improve-your-communication-success.html

Edinger, Scott. “If You Want to Communicate Better, Read This.” Forbes. March 20, 2013. www.forbes.com/sites/scottedinger/2013/03/20/if-you-want-to-communicate-better-read-this/#59a3132b2281

Groth, Aimee & Lockhart, Jhaneel. “7 Smart Ways to Come Up with More Ideas at Work.” Business Insider. January 21, 2012. www.businessinsider.com/7-smart-ways-to-come-up-with-more-ideas-at-work-2012-1

Herrity, Joseph P. “Communicating Ideas Effectively.” Preferred Visions. n.d. preferredvisions.com/publications/thought-provokers/communicating-ideas-effectively

Madden, Kaitlin. “Have a Great Idea? How to Tell Your Boss.” CNN. March 16, 2011. edition.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/03/16/cb.tell.boss.good.idea

Myatt, Mike. “10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders.” Forbes. April 4, 2012. www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/04/04/10-communication-secrets-of-great-leaders/#1b42d2021e06

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10 Gimmicks to Start Your Presentation Strong

Your first few minutes onstage is an opportunity to capture your audience’s attention. If you want your listeners to be all ears when you start talking, prove from the outset that your presentation is worth their time. Your opening remarks will set the tone of your talk, so you should make them as gripping as possible.

Don’t waste your introduction on platitudes and pleasantries. There are better ways to form first impressions and establish a connection with the audience.

1. Kick off with a dramatic pause.

Silence makes people apprehensive. That’s why it’s a powerful tool to start a presentation. Before you deliver your speech, take a moment to pause and amble around the stage while keeping a confident stance. Even the audience members who are busy with their gadgets won’t be able to resist the dramatic pull of the moment you’ve created. A whole minute or two of silence will draw all eyes on you.

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2. Appeal to the audience’s imagination.

Take your audience to a different space and time. Introduce a “what if” scenario that they can delve into and explore. The power of imagination will reel them in and make them a willing audience to your presentation.

For better effects, use props and visual aids such as videos or an informational design Try a gimmick that has never been done before. Take one of Bill Gates’s TED Talks, for example. While introducing his talk about malaria, he released a scourge of mosquitoes from a jar. The mosquitoes were, of course, malaria-free, but Gates didn’t tell the audience that until after a minute or so.

Appeal to the Audience's Imagination

3. Drop a series of rhetorical questions.

If you want your audience to participate in your presentation, ask rhetorical questions that stimulate the mind. They may not engage with you physically, but they’ll be with you mentally, pondering over your questions and framing their own answers.

4. Relay your message through storytelling.

The human brain is hardwired to love stories. If you have an interesting narrative to tell, share it. You’ll establish a stronger connection with your audience if you do so. The vulnerability is a powerful tool if you use it to communicate a message.

5. Turn heads with a contrarian statement.

One of the easiest ways to grab an audience’s attention is by contradicting a universally accepted concept. Whether your listeners agree with you or not, they’ll be at the edge of their seats to hear what you have to say, no matter how unconventional it may be. Just make sure that the statement you make offends nobody.

Turn Heads With a Contrarian Statement

6. Underline a shared pain point.

If there’s a common problem you share with the audience, express it. You can win their sympathy and make yourself relatable by doing so. Your presentation will be more relevant if you can address something that the audience is concerned about.

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For example, everyone can relate to the frustration of creating website passwords. There seems to be no end to the list of requirements needed: the number of characters, the types of characters, the capitalization of letters, the inclusion of numbers, and so on. Discussing a topic like this captures your audience’s interest because you’re shedding light to a common issue they think is unique to them. You’re uniting the audience and bringing them to a common ground where your sentiments and theirs are one.

7. Promise something irresistible.

What do great presentations have in common? They all leave something for the audience. It doesn’t matter if it’s an idea, a tangible object, a lingering feeling, or a solution to a pressing issue. As long as it’s something that the audience finds useful, it can increase the value of your presentation.

8. Use multimedia to catch attention.

Words can make an impact, but videos and graphics often send a clearer message when used properly. If you’re unsure about how multimedia can complement your talk, use a multimedia presentation PowerPoint service that will do all the work for you. That way, your slides will not only look professional but also engaging.

Use Multimedia to Catch Attention9. Break the ice with a joke.

Popular opinion will claim that jokes are a good way to kickstart a presentation, but professional speakers should know better. Strictly speaking, it’s your sense of humor that elicits smiles and chuckles from the audience. It’s the humor, not the joke, that lightens up the atmosphere. So the more you can make the audience crack up and feel at ease without forcing a joke, the better.

10. Add a twist to an old saying.

Quotations are a common way to start a speech, but you can make yours stronger by tweaking it a bit. A cliché will sound fresher if you add your own take to it. For example, you can say, “To err is human, and to forgive is simply an acknowledgement of the error.”

Of course, this will only work in a casual and laid-back presentation. If you’re opting for a more serious delivery, you can use proverbs or references to historical events instead.

Coming up with an exciting presentation grabber is a task that takes time, effort, and talent. If you do it right, it pays off in the end.

Creating an Effective Financial Presentation

At some point in your career, you’ll have to give at least one complex and data-heavy presentation. It’s inevitable for entrepreneurs to venture into the financial side of business and deliver fiscal reports such as those involving business charts that reflect the company’s performance against goals and financial analyses.

But the thing is, financial data can be boring. They may appeal to analytical brains, but what about the rest? In order to hold your audience’s attention, you need to make your financial presentation interesting. Don’t just conduct a data dump. Explain where the figures come from and how they affect your audience. Provide examples as to how those numbers can be relevant in their lives.
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In other words, harness the power of financial storytelling. Present a narrative-driven angle that will give your presentation a new light. Show the numbers but let the story behind them shine through.

Mastering the Art of Financial Storytelling

Financial presentations don’t have to be dull. Here are some tips to successfully deliver an intellectually-stimulating yet engaging presentation.

1. Pattern your presentation after the GPS approach

Organize your facts and figures by planning your presentation. Create a structure so your message will be clear from start to finish. One method you can apply to achieve this is the GPS approach.

First of all, identify who your audience is. What’s the extent of their knowledge and the level of their expertise? Once you know this, you have the starting point. You can then proceed to identifying the goal of the presentation. What would you want the audience to think, feel, understand, or do when you step out of the limelight? What end point are you trying to achieve? This is the destination.

From there, it’s just a matter of choosing the best route. How do you go from Point A to Point B? Outline your main idea first, then follow it up with the supporting ideas. You can create a script to help you with internalizing the flow of the presentation.

Master the Art of Financial Storytelling: GPS

2. Establish credibility from the outset

Since you’ll be presenting critical figures, it’s important to appear trustworthy. Cultivating credibility and cementing a good reputation will make it more likely for your audience to believe in what you’ll say. If necessary, use supporting materials to validate your claims.

3. Outline your goals to build anticipation

If you inform your audience about the goals of your presentation, they’ll be more prepared to process any chunk of data you give them. It helps them to follow along since they already know what to expect and what material you’ll cover. It allows them to focus on the goal and take part in your presentation. 

4. Follow the three-part story structure

When communicating the story behind your data, it’s good to divide your narrative into three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the ending.

Start your presentation by describing things as they are. This is key to creating a bond with your audience. If you tell them something that they already know or can agree with, you ignite a small fire of recognition in them. Naturally, that will make them more interested in your talk.

After establishing the facts, you can show them how things could change. Establish a gap between what is and what could be. Make sure your claims hook and intrigue them enough.

Finally, when concluding your financial presentation, don’t forget to include a call to action. Introduce what presentation expert Nancy Duarte calls the “new bliss,” a state where your audience’s world can be a lot better if they adopt your ideas and follow your suggestions.

Follow the Three-Part Story Structure: Employ visuals instead of spreadsheets

5. Employ visuals instead of spreadsheets

Don’t limit yourself to Excel. Embrace the perks of technology so you can create a financial presentation that drives home with your audience. Present numbers, graphs, and tables using PowerPoint.

However, if you really want to take your presentation to the next level, you can ask a presentation design specialist to do the job for you. Let an expert turn your numeric data into graphics and visual images that are equally credible-looking and interesting. Your audience will be able to better make sense of your presentation this way.

6. Use simple and effective design elements

To make your slides more visually appealing without going over the top, use a sans serif font instead of a fancy one. Also, choose a template that isn’t too loud. Observe a good balance of colors to avoid design clutter. If you can, use a color contrast calculator to make sure that the colors in your presentation match. 

7. Reiterate your claims repeatedly

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, you need to be exposed to a piece of information three to five times for you to absorb it and act on it. Also, you need to hear it from different sources for your brain to validate the information. Repeat your message throughout the presentation, but say it in different ways.

Keep Calm and Speak Like a Pro

With the proper tools and the right techniques, you can be more confident in delivering a good financial presentation. All you need is some storytelling and a few basic design skills. If you prepare well, you can get your message across without losing your audience in the process.

 

Resources:

Duarte, Nancy. “Structure Your Presentation Like a Story.” Harvard Business Review. October 31, 2012. hbr.org/2012/10/structure-your-presentation-li

Jeavons, Sheri. “Financial Presentations That Won’t Put Your Audience to Sleep.” Sales Gravy. n.d. www.salesgravy.com/sales-articles/presentation-skills/financial-presentations-that-wont-put-your-audience-to-sleep.html

Mogilner, Geoffrey. “Perfecting the Art of Financial Storytelling.” Edelman. February 2, 2015. www.edelman.com/post/perfecting-art-financial-storytelling

Piontek, Katelyn. “7 Ways to Make a Financial Presentation Interesting.” Turbine HQ. September 9, 2014. turbinehq.com/2014/make-a-financial-presentation-interesting

Riggins, Nash. “15 Ways to Create Effective PowerPoint Presentations.” Small Business Trends. July 5, 2016. smallbiztrends.com/2016/07/effective-powerpoint-presentations.html

Sullivan, Sarah. “Financial Presentations That Really Stand Out.” Talisman. October 10, 2016. www.talismansolutions.co.uk/blog/stand-out-financial-presentations

Theriault, Michel. “9 Tips for More Powerful Business Presentations.” Forbes. November 4, 2013. www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2013/11/04/9-tips-for-more-powerful-business-presentations/#55621b7043a0

“Creating Effective Financial PowerPoint Presentations.” 24Point0. January 16, 2014. www.24point0.com/financial-statement-presentation

“Don’t Start by Copying Previous Slides.” Think Outside the Slide. June 24, 2014. www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/issue-314-june-24-2014

“Edelman Trust Barometer.” Edelman. 2009. www.edelman.com/assets/uploads/2014/01/2009-Trust-Barometer-Executive-Summary.pdf

“Five Tips to Make PowerPoint Business Presentations More Effective.” Think Outside the Slide. n.d. www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/five-tips-to-make-powerpoint-business-presentations-more-effective

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Attracting More Visitors for Business

New customers can come from two sources; you as a brand or satisfied consumers.

Do you think you have full control over your business? Unbelievably, customers also have a great influence over your business. Remember that a great brand has a good reputation. What makes a product or service attractive is the high standard of customer service equal to its superb quality.

If there are ways to improve customer experience, how do you do it? Here are four of them.

Focus on Reputation Management

Focusing on Reputation Management

According to HelpScout, news of bad customer service reach twice the number of people compared to the good news. In addition, it would take 12 positive experiences to resolve a negative experience. Indeed, prevention is better than cure. In business, it’s cheaper and more convenient to troubleshoot now than to pay the consequences later.

More than half of the general public perform research on a business before they make transactions. And many would refuse to engage with a company because of negative news. Buying is largely based on customer experience, and attaining positive feedback from past customers means good business.

Always seek to improve your company’s customer service. Make sure that when a visitor comes in your store, he or she comes out happy. When a customer raises an issue about your brand, don’t wait for a week to resolve it. Have someone focus on managing such issues and make sure he gets the job done.

Lastly, boost those that support your brand. Go the extra mile on the “PR,” because you may need it someday. You’ll never know when you’ll need the extra ammo.

Good Customer Service

Being Known for Good Customer Service

If in most western countries, “The customer is king,” then in Japan it’s “okyakusama wa kamisama desu,” a Japanese proverb that says “The customer is god.” Omotenashi, or the so-called “art of selfless hospitality” is one of the major cornerstones in Japan’s culture of excellence. It is practiced in ancient households and in modern Japanese establishments.

70 percent of buying decisions are based on customer experience. And being popular for treating customers well, just like in Japan, is a sure way to attract customers. The way you manage your business does not only affect customer loyalty but store visits as well.

Observe good hospitality offline and online. Just like the Japanese, anticipate the needs of your customers, be polite and most of all, be patient.

User-Generated Content

Connecting with Customers Through User-Generated Content

Instagram and YouTube are some of the online platforms that provide a huge impact on millennials. Bloggers and vloggers from these platforms may not be marketing professionals, but they have become reliable sources of millennial customers. More than half of Instagram’s 300 million users are millennials and over 60% of all age groups prefer a brand recommended by a YouTuber than a marketer in TV.

Since millennials trust User-Generated Content (UGC) 50% more than any type of media, it could be proven that UGCs are effective marketing strategies.

Social proof is one of the most influential motivator for new buyers. When doubting an item online, a customer typically looks for product reviews. There, he sees a balance of positive and negative feedback. When a user gives a negative review about a purchase, it is assumed that other customers can avoid the same situation. Product reviews have a genuine tone to it that millennial customers seem to trust. Those who write them have that voice, making millennials more eager about purchasing a product.

Employ UGC in your business. Invite customers to review and respond to them. And if you are bold enough about your brand, hire bloggers and vloggers who have a large audience to review your products.

Leverage Social Media Marketing

Leveraging Social Media Marketing

If you are or have a brand, you want to be in the thick of customer conversations whenever they discuss needs and wants. Through hashtags or search-related tools, social media lets you engage with customers who are talking about your brand. Through them, you find more about your prospects as well.

If you want your business to grow, knowing what customers think about your brand—with or without their feedback—is fundamental. Social media connects you with customers and helps you track your relevancy. More people are active in social media today, and almost half of customers who reach out to brands online expect a response within an hour. Social media helps you practice customer service more conveniently.

Social media apps are fast and convenient ways to connect to customers. Practice efficiency and use those advantages to improve your business. With reputation management via social media, you address negative comments and experiences, as well as provide muscle on customers who share and relay positive posts about your brand.

Conclusion

Customers have powerful voices.  Whether you like it or not, their opinions will always matter. What they say can improve the growth of your business.

For the most part, you are responsible for what buyers say about your brand. How you manage your business and take care of your customers should be your priority because that will determine the fate of your business for a long time.

 

Resources:

Donnelly, Kevin. “Marketing to Millennials: 5 Massive Trends that are Leading the Way.” Shopify. February 10, 2016. www.shopify.com/blog/75614533-marketing-to-millennials-5-massive-trends-that-are-leading-the-way

Spivock, Jeffrey. “Omotenashi: The Secret of Japanese Service.” Bookmark. September 29th, 2015. www.spafaxcontentmarketing.com/2015/09/29/omotenashi-secret-japanese-service

Starak, Yaro. “What Is Social Proof and Why Your Business Can Live or Die by It.” Entrepreneurs-Journey. www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/10964/socialproof

“Acumen Report: Constant Content.” Defy Media. www.sandbox.break.com/acumen/Acumen%20Constant%20Content__ExecSum%20Booklet_Final2.pdf

“Millennials.” Goldman Sachs. www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/millennials

“Social Influence: Marketing’s New Frontier.” Crowdtap. http://corp.crowdtap.com/socialinfluence

“The Customer Is God.” EU Business in Japan. www.eubusinessinjapan.eu/culture/customer-god

“The Harris Poll Releases Annual Reputation Rankings for the 100 Most Visible Companies in the U.S.” The Harris Poll. Feb 18, 2016. www.theharrispoll.com/business/Reputation-Rankings-Most-Visible-Companies.html

“10 Key Benefits of Social Media for Business.” Business2Community. www.business2community.com/social-media/10-key-benefits-social-media-business-01461178#CKOKymZJSpxmmzVu.97

“75 Customer Service Facts, Quotes & Statistics.” HelpScout. www.helpscout.net/75-customer-service-facts-quotes-statistics

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This is How Visual Marketing Grows Your Business

No one can question the power of the internet. Since its introduction more than half a century ago, it has helped us accomplish greater things. Take global communication, for example. Social media has made it possible for anyone to communicate with another person anywhere in the world. It’s a phenomenon that took the world by surprise upon its release.

When the initial wave of excitement over social media dialed down, image-based social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram followed suit. They redefined the customer experience and set a new trend in marketing.

Today, image-based content—or what is known in business as visual marketing—is becoming more of a permanent fix rather than a passing movement. Visual marketing is here to stay. Retailor your campaign to include visual content that’s relevant to your target audience.

Visual Marketing: toy store

The Goldmine that is Visual Marketing

Online marketing is behind the decline of print advertising. Although it will take decades to obliterate textual content, we can now see how online ads are dominating the marketing world. Even in the virtual platform, text doesn’t reign supreme anymore. Visuals are taking a huge share in the market. In fact, professionals estimate that 84% of communications will be visual come 2018.

What exactly is visual marketing and why is it so powerful? Visual marketing is the radical use of design elements to connect with a target audience in a unique and creative way. It includes images, GIFs, slides, infographics, videos, checklists, and other graphics.

Visual content can strengthen your brand image and make your campaign more successful. To use the words of Anita Campbell, CEO and founder of Small Business Trends, “Harnessing the power of images and visuals will make your marketing more powerful and more memorable. Images, when done deftly, can turn concepts and intangible things into something concrete. That helps people envision your brand and your message in their mind’s eye—and remember you when it comes time to buy.”

Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read content by 80%. In the same way, contents with relevant images get 94% more views than those without graphics. It’s clear how visual marketing is changing the business landscape. 

Visual Marketing: Key elements

Key Elements that Drive Visual Marketing Success

Powerful though it is, visual marketing won’t sell itself. You need to learn how to use it to its full potential.

  • Brand Story and Personality

Showcase your brand story through visual marketing. Good visuals coupled with good narratives forge lasting bonds with customers.

  • Creativity and Resourcefulness

Differentiate your brand by doing something unique. Use your creative juice every time you communicate with your audience. Innovation is a good way to weed out competition and let your voice stand out.

  • Depth and Impact

Unless your content makes the audience stop and look, it will be lost in the background. Make sure that your social media posts have depth so that you can develop a compelling case that hooks the audience.

  • Humor and Entertainment

Humor is always a competitive edge. Use it in an impeccable way to enthrall your target audience and make them love your brand more.

  • Relevance and Application

As a marketer, you should know your audience well. It’s your mission to understand what the customers find valuable. Use all the information you have to make your campaign more targeted and personalized.

  • Call to Action

Lacing your visual content with a call to action will increase your chance of getting a better return on investment. Encourage your audience to engage with your brand across all social media platforms. 

Visual Marketing: Teaching

The Goal of Every Marketing Campaign

Brand awareness is just one of the many purposes of visual marketing. Thought leadership is another. Marketing in general is crucial to business, so you must leverage it as much as you can. Below are the five E’s of marketing according to Create, Connect, Convince.

Educate. Convey information about your brand. Your visual content must be as informational as your textual content.

Engage. Encourage your target audience to take part in growing your business. They are the most important resource you can use.

Enhance. Marketing is about promoting your brand, so don’t be afraid to blow your own horn and proclaim the benefits of your business. Just remember to do it in a non-intrusive way.

Entertain. When you’re posting through Facebook and other social media sites, you’re communicating with real people. Add emotion and humor in your content to entertain the audience.

Entice. You want potential customers to talk about your business. You want existing customers to buy your products. You can only do all this if you create a brand that is interesting enough to attract attention.

Visual is, without a doubt, the future of marketing. It will only be a matter of time before every content online is dominated by graphics and visual designs. Don’t wait until everyone else has taken all the spoils. Take your own share now and watch your business grow exponentially.

 

Resources:

Bradley, Sarah. “Visual Marketing: What’s Out There and How It Benefits Business Owners.” Search Engine Journal. April 11, 2014. www.searchenginejournal.com

Ditteaux, Matt. “Visual Marketing Tips for Your Business.” SB Marketing Tools. n.d. www.sbmarketingtools.com

Kaushal, Navneet. “How to Leverage Visual Marketing to Grow Your Blog Traffic.” Business 2 Community. November 16, 2016. www.business2community.com

Kim, Larry. “16-Eye-Popping Statistics You Need to Know About Visual Content Marketing.” Inc. November 23, 2015. www.inc.com

Mawhinney, Jesse. “37 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2016.” Hubspot. January 23, 2016. blog.hubspot.com

Moltz, Barry. “5 Ways to Use Visual Marketing Online to Boost Your Business.” American Express. October 26, 2011. www.americanexpress.com

Moritz, Donna. “The Shift to Visual Social Media.” Socially Sorted. n.d. sociallysorted.com.au

Schawbel, Dan. “Leverage Visual Marketing to Grow Your Business.” Forbes. n.d. www.forbes.com

Vats, Shashvat. “How to Use Visual Marketing to Grow Your Business.” Viral Woot. July 1, 2016. viralwoot.com

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2017 Checklist: What Your Business Needs to Do to Start the Year Wisely

It’s already the third day of 2017. My, how time flies, doesn’t it? With the new year, though, how much have you done? Or, perhaps, a better question would be, “How far are you willing to go this year?”

Past the fireworks and new year’s feast lies an unknown. The uncertainty of the future. But then again, it’s a brand-new start… isn’t it? Blank slate, anyone?

New beginnings can be looked at in a myriad of ways: positively, negatively, pragmatically, stoically, and so on. If you’re one who holds new years in a high note, then you’re sure to hope for the best in 2017—like the past years as they started. Others can be unconcerned, at worst be apathetic, and just go on with their daily grind. Not saying this is wrong, mind you.

No matter how you look at it, the new year is about to give another set of challenges—other chances to grow, opportunities to take, and lessons to learn. But before that, you have to be prepared for them. Check out the infographic below to know how you and your business can have a fresh start to be wiser.

Business Checklist for 2017

If you hold on to the thought that how you start your year will affect the rest it, then stop. It doesn’t work that way. Just stop. You may start the year in a good mood, but someone or something may ruin parts of it. Or the other way around: 2017 may start in a bad way, but someone or something will turn all of it around. When you begin your day, does it always stay good or bad?

And there’s the lesson there: don’t just wait for your year, or day, to be magically fixed. It’s your effort that will get you through the day or through the year.

You decide your own future. A more familiar version of that is, “Life is what you make it.” This presentation design agency made it because of hard work. You can too. “Decide my own future.” How’s that for a New Year’s resolution?

 

Resources:

Evans, Lisa. “4 Ways to Get into a Positive Mindset for the New Year.” Entrepreneur. December 18, 2013. www.entrepreneur.com/article/230427

Ratliff, Joseph. “The Myth of The New Year’s ‘Blank Slate.’” Medium. December 31, 2013. www.medium.com/challenging-the-status-quo/the-myth-of-the-new-years-blank-slate-11b342611a36#.e7dl0fmf6

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Season of Giving: Making Your Audience Happier with Gifts

Ah, the Yuletide season. Nothing like the cold winter nights, all snuggled up in a blanket and drinking hot chocolate or eggnog—or any hot drink at all. Perhaps alone, if you so choose, or with loved ones. A cozy thought, especially for those looking to make the most out of this time of the year.

And by “make the most out of this time of the year,” let’s define it as “going out and spreading the message of the holidays.” Or, you know, “the season of giving.” This group of PowerPoint presentation professionals would like to think that, aside from the above statement, we consider that every day should be like Christmas—and in turn, every presentation should be just as giving as the last, if not more.

But what are you actually giving to your audience? Do you have to be a secret Santa to do that? Let’s take a step back and have a look from the observer’s perspective with this gifographic.

Making Your Audience Happier with Gifts

There’s no season like Christmas. For many, it’s a time of cheer and splendor, while for some, it’s a time of charity and selflessness.

For each and every one, it’s about merrymaking. Parties with officemates, friends, family, and relatives all make the holidays worthwhile. Get-togethers from distant beloveds and reunions with people you seldom see but often miss. Getting into the spirit of the season with decorations, fetes, and gift-giving truly make it a joyous part of the ending year.

And there’s no feeling better in the world than the merriment spent with those close to you.

It’s not as if your audience shouldn’t be treated as such. They’re an integral part of your task—as small as a group of company executives or as big as a jam-packed auditorium as it may be. Your audience is one of the reasons you’re onstage; they’re there to cheer you and to make sure you’re not doing this in vain.

Don’t take for granted that kind of support. You and your audience are playing your parts. Make the best out of it.

 

Resources:

Dorfman, Jeffrey. “Twenty Quotes And Verses On Giving For Christmas.” Forbes. December 25, 2014. www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2014/12/25/20-quotes-and-verses-on-giving-for-christmas/#54867dde1e17

Mack, Lloyd. “Christmas is the season for giving.” Kenora Daily Miner & News. December 1, 2016. www.kenoradailyminerandnews.com/2016/12/01/christmas-is-the-season-for-giving

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Your Business Checklist: What Should I Be Prioritizing?

Before you started your business, one of the advices you have most likely heard is, “Know your priorities.” Even when growing up, adults would tell you the same thing. Wow, were they right.

Knowing what your priorities are and setting them straight are more or less expected of you. Moreover, on a personal level, this is a testament of your excellence and character.

In many ways, the same standards are applied to a business. You as the founder should know which tenet of your business to grow or improve upon. If you can get opinions and suggestions from other experts, then all the better because you could make an informed decision.

These priorities become your responsibilities—goals toward a greater end. So you should make them work for you, and in turn, you should work hard for them.

Have you identified what you need to work upon and what you need to do first? If you haven’t, this infographic has suggestions on what to prioritize. Check it out below.

What most thriving entrepreneurs forget, or worse ignore, is the caveat. Don’t bite off more than you could chew. There’s nothing more frustrating and time-consuming than having multiple priorities at once, having different sections of your company working towards different goals without utilizing each unit’s strengths and skill. Everything may fall apart piece by piece—or worse, all at the same time.

Exercise patience when it comes to multitasking. Slow and steady win the race. Don’t put yourself in a position of, at the worst, bankruptcy because of too much work.

There are balances when you started your business; more so now that you’re sailing at the helm of your enterprise, keeping your ship afloat. If you don’t want it to sink, be smart. Be cunning. Be confident.

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