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Can Hosting a Webinar Expand Your Audience?

Today’s business climate makes it more challenging to gain business leads. Competition is tight, so brands should up their game to survive. If you want to stay at the top, you should learn how to keep liabilities at the minimum and make the most of your assets.

Phone marketing was the norm before, but today, digital marketing is king. Businesses leverage online resources like social media, blogs, visual content, and what is probably the least known of all marketing channels: webinars. The rise of digital marketing has paved the way for businesses to do more without spending more. Make sure you use this advantage comprehensively.

Webinar Tips: Primary Goals and Purposes

Webinar 101: Primary Goals and Purposes

A webinar is a live meeting that takes place over the web. Obviously, it’s a portmanteau that blends the words “web” and “seminar.” According to webinar expert Marta Eichstaedt, when webinars are used as marketing tools, they typically last between thirty minutes to a full hour. This length already takes into account the spontaneous interaction between the host and the audience.

There are many reasons why marketers include webinars in their business efforts. The following are the three most important.

  • To educate customers. According to ClickMeeting, 85% of webinars are designed to educate existing and potential clients. If there’s one thing webinars should do, it’s to offer a novel perspective. They ought to satiate people’s desire to learn new things. Webinars are also a tool for businesses to solidify their credibility and establish themselves as experts in the field.
  • To promote brand awareness. The more successful your webinar is, the more people will learn about it. The louder the noise it makes, the more people will check it out. Hosting a webinar can expand your audience reach every time you bring something fresh and interesting to the table.
  • To generate new business leads. The same infographic by ClickMeeting claimed that 77% of webinars are designed to attract new leads. With a successful webinar, you can reach more business prospects and cultivate them through the sales process.

Webinar Tips: The Benefits of Hosting a Webinar

The Benefits of Hosting a Webinar

The perks of hosting a webinar abound—that’s why businesses can’t get enough of it. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy from using this marketing tool to your advantage:

    • Save on costs. No matter how big your company is, you still need to use your resources wisely. Webinars are a good investment because they don’t cost much. All you need is a stable internet connection to hold one and a few active online platforms to promote it.
    • Maximize time. Unlike in physical events like seminars or conferences, you don’t need months or weeks to prepare for a webinar. A few days of preparation would suffice. You can also save time from traveling since you can conduct a webinar from the comforts of your home or office. 
    • Repurpose content. Webinars are versatile tools for marketing. You can turn them into webcasts once the event is over. You can also repurpose webinar content into a blog post or website copy. If you’re able to record your sessions, you can keep them in your knowledgebase for future reference.
    • Eliminate physical barriers. One of the conveniences of hosting a webinar is that anyone can participate in it, regardless of location or time zone. Speakers are also free to interact with participants through real-time polls and chat boxes.
    • Get feedback. You can immediately gauge the success of your webinar by sending out a survey to the participants. The feedback can clue you in as to the strengths and weaknesses of your event.

Webinar Tips: Preparing for a Webinar | Signup Form

Preparing for a Webinar

Before hosting a webinar, you need to find out first if there’s a demand for it. Conduct a survey in your audience circle, and find out if enough people are interested to join your session. Once you’re sure that the audience likes this format, proceed to the preparation phase.

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Craft the content. Kick off by briefly introducing yourself, the other speakers or panelists, and the companies involved. Tell the audience about the topic you’re going to tackle, and give them a preview of what’s going to happen. You should be able to grab their attention during the first few minutes. In the body of your content, present a maximum of three ideas that you can expound on. Finally, finish off with a memorable statement, a call to action, and a courtesy message for the participants.
  • Set the time and duration. Find out what works best for your attendees. If you have foreign prospects, make sure that you find a common time that’s convenient for them and for the local participants.
  • Determine the panelists. Invite someone who can communicate the message best. You can collaborate with other brands to add greater value to your webinar. Have someone who is familiar with your content and who can help keep your presentation flowing smoothly. 
  • Prepare your tools. Obviously, you need technology to set up your event. Find a platform that can host your webinar, and make sure that your Internet connection is reliable enough to stream it. It’s also important to get a good phone headset, ideally a cordless one, so that you can stand up and move while talking. 
  • Create a landing page. Make sure it has sufficient details about the webinar to make the prospects excited about signing up. Include a registration form that requests information from your attendees. The most important fields are the name and e-mail address. You can also ask for the company they’re affiliated with. Any more than these three can make your prospects less likely to sign up.

The Takeaway

Once you’ve hosted your own webinar, you’ll understand why it’s considered by many businesses as an effective customer acquisition channel. Explore the wonders of this tool and discover how it can propel your business to success.

Resources:

Howes, Lewis. “8 Ways to Boost Your Business with Webinars.” Lewis Howes. n.d. lewishowes.com/webinars/webinar-marketing-tips-and-resources

Jozwiak, Agnes. “World Wide Webinars: New Infographic.” ClickMeeting. March 23, 2012. blog.clickmeeting.com/world-wide-webinars-new-infographic

MacDonald, Steven. “How to Successfully Host a Webinar and Build Your Audience.” E-Marketeer. August 19, 2014. www.emarketeer.com/blog/successfully-host-webinar-build-audience

Moreau, Elise. “What Is a Webinar?” Lifewire. April 6, 2016. www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-webinar-3486257

Russer, Michael. “Expand Your Reach with Webinars.” Realtor Mag. July 2009. realtormag.realtor.org/technology/mr-internet/article/2009/07/expand-your-reach-webinars

Slyman, Natalie. “How to Hold an Effective Webinar an Generate Leads for Your Business.” Influence & Co. December 6, 2016. blog.influenceandco.com/how-to-hold-an-effective-webinar-and-generate-leads-for-your-business

Wasielewski, Jarek. “How Webinars Expand Reach to Your Target Audience in Online Marketing.” ClickMeeting. September 12, 2014. blog.clickmeeting.com/webinars-expand-reach-target-audience-online-marketing

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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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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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Making Your Presentation Stand Out with Powerful Design

Once you’re onstage, the stars are you and your presentation. Of course, your training got you there in the first place: charisma, clear and loud voice, likable aura—public speaking skills polished over and over again until they’re perfect, almost like second nature, and suited to your needs—and appropriate for every crowd imaginable.

But what about your presentation? Is it tailored to your audience? There’s a risk you don’t want to take when, despite how good you are as a speaker, your presentation is not as appealing: you don’t get your message across as effectively as you want, vis-à-vis death by PowerPoint.

Since humans are visual creatures, our brains process imagistic information faster and more efficiently than text. This is a benchmark you should take advantage of when creating visually appealing and enticing slides, a tip awesome presentation designers always live by. Check this infographic for tips on how to charm your audiences, arrest their attention, and, most importantly, get your message across.

Visuals play an important role when arresting attention. In a world of eight-second attention spans and faster everything—connectivity, accessibility, and even loading times—people would rather spend more of their time on different, more valuable things.

Come to think of it, it’s a cyclical cause and effect: everything is faster, so people expect things to be even faster, ergo the short attention spans. Kind of a messed-up Pygmalion effect, only for things instead of persons.

With that happening, there’s now two steps to do: get their attention and retain it. Good, proper, and creative use of visuals can already do the first, and they can certainly take care of the second, especially when your topic goes from “something that makes them curious” to “something that genuinely piques their interest and makes them ask questions.”

There’s a beauty that certain senses can solely appreciate. Music to the ears. Caress on the skin. For the eyes, it’s appealing design. Beauty. Make something that both you and your audience will appreciate. In turn, they will appreciate you.

Resources:

Golden, Felicia. “The Power of Visual Content: Images vs. Text.” eyeQ. February 11, 2015. www.eyeqinsights.com/power-visual-content-images-vs-text

McSpadden, Kevin. “You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span than a Goldfish.” Time. May 14, 2015. www.time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish

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Presentation Lessons You Can Learn from Your Thanksgiving Dinner

With fall ending (fine, let’s cave: Winter is coming), it’s high time again for turkey season. Thanksgiving. In one Thursday night, families dine together for a feast. For a holiday that had its roots on the popular belief that the first-year survivors who came to the New World aboard the Mayflower dined with the Wampanoag tribe after a great harvest, it has since become more than just that and more about the appreciation and giving thanks for basically every good aspect in our lives.

While not forgetting the memorable parades, awesome sales, great sportscasts, and the coming holiday season, people look forward to Thanksgiving dinners the most.

The soggy yet scrumptious croutons floating on the soup. Two bowls of glorious mashed potatoes—one smooth and one with chunks—side by side a gravy boat filled to the brim. Fruits of a myriad colors on one corner and freshly baked loaves of bread on the other. The smell that wafts across the room from that first slice of turkey.

Looking at a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner table, you can draw the similarities between the feast in front of you and a great PowerPoint presentation in front of your audience.

You don’t? Well, awesome presentation design agencies certainly do. Here’s an infographic showing you the anatomy of an excellent visual aid with food that only comes on the last Thursday of November.

Presentation Inspired by Thanksgiving Dinners_Gifographic

Now’s the time to be appreciative of the many stuff you can be grateful for: a great family, an awesome career, a solid support group, and even the material things. There’s no greater sense of being alive than being thankful to be alive. (But, come on, it doesn’t mean it just has to be during this time of the year. Show it all year round!)

With the Yuletide season looming, it won’t be long after new year comes—new beginnings, resolutions, targets, goals, etc. Another year of successes and failures. Another year of expectations and efforts.

Before those come, take a breath. You wouldn’t want to be exhausted when the year ends a month from now, don’t you?

Resources:

Faught, Steven. “Anatomy of a Good Presentation.” wePresent. September 23, 2014. blog.wepresentwifi.com/anatomy-good-presentation

“HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING.” History.com. n.d. www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving

Choosing the Right Template for Your Presentation Type

Your PowerPoint is your presentation visual aid. That’s why it should reflect your character as an organization or individual, from the deck’s content all the way down to the design. However, some presenters tend to overlook this aspect of PowerPoint and craft a deck that doesn’t match the message they want to convey.

If you want slides that will win your audience over, it’s best to have customized PowerPoint templates created specifically for your brand. However, if you’re pressed for time and budget, using templates with premade layouts can still do the trick, but that doesn’t mean choosing a generic design, though.

Choose the right PowerPoint template for your pitch by keeping three things in mind:

Make It Memorable 

Compared to less strict occasions, presenting in a formal setup may call for a particular design. You’ll want to draw attention to your deck without being too loud or overly embellished. Experiment with various color schemes that will fit the essence of your pitch.

A combination of warm colors can attract your viewers’ gaze. On the other hand, cool colors will put them at ease. Although using these colors can evoke certain emotions in the viewer, the best way to get the audience to associate your brand with your deck is to use your company colors in your slides.

Select a template that already has your brand’s colors in it. If you can’t find one that exactly fits, you can change template colors without affecting the overall layout. PowerPoint provides an option under the Design tab that lets you do just that.

how to change color template in powerpoint

 

For Office 2013 users, simply click Colors under Variants group. A dropdown of various color combinations will appear. Change the template’s hues by clicking on the color scheme you want.

how to change powerpoint color scheme

Engage the Audience

The success of your pitch lies in your audience’s response. Choose a template that resonates with your prospects to generate positive reactions. For example, most people want a deck with prominent visuals instead of blocks of text. In that case, you’ll be inputting more pictures and visual representations of data. Refrain from using templates that have elements such as frames and pre-installed illustrations. These graphics can clutter up your slide and distract your audience from your main point.

Leaving room for white space, or the absence of visible objects on your slide, relaxes the eyes and lets it focus on important points on your deck. Opt for cleaner slides you can overlap with big and bold images. If you’re planning to use images throughout your presentation, it’s best to do away with pre-installed graphics.

hot to change Format Background in powerpoint

 

But if you’ve selected a template with illustrations and only want to remove them on a specific slide, take them out by going back to the Design tab.

Under Customize, click Format Background.

Select Hide background graphics to hide any pre-installed elements on the current slide.

 

How to Hide Background Graphics in powerpoint

 

Account for the Venue

Where your presentation is held can affect people’s perception of your pitch. Survey the area before the actual date of your presentation to get a good feel of what type of deck would suit the setting.

Consider things like lighting and the size of the place you’re presenting in. Your goal is to deliver your message in a readable and comprehensible deck. A template that’s already too bright in an open area may lose its visibility to any audience members sitting in the far back.

Conversely, a place where you can dim the lights gives you more leeway on saturating your template. Check that your slide elements are distinguished from their background. After all, contrast factors in greatly when it comes to readability. A slide with well-contrasted objects is visible from afar compared to slides with objects that are hardly distinct from one another. Use dark text on a light background, or vice versa, to highlight the slide object.

In Conclusion: Templates Can Work, If Used Well

A good template is the first step to a great deck design. Bright colors will grab attention, while subtler ones will relax the eyes. Avoid templates with distracting designs that will steal attention away from your key points. Choose a readable template that has high contrast to make your deck more viewer-friendly.

PowerPoint templates aren’t just a matter of playful design. Given the right template, you can interest and attract new clients. Make your pitch memorable with a deck that reflects your brand and fits the occasion.

 

References

Sibley, Amanda. “19 Reasons You Should Include Visual Content in Your Marketing [Data].” Hubspot. August 6, 2012. blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33423/19-Reasons-You-Should-Include-Visual-Content-in-Your-Marketing-Data.aspx#sm.0001frknxr3k3dlkqq22lsqtd9h7a
“PowerPoint 2013: Modifying Themes.” GCFLearnFree.org. www.gcflearnfree.org/powerpoint2013/29

 

Featured Image: “Choice” by zhouxuan12345678 on flickr.com
www.flickr.com/photos/53921113@N02/5453214046

3 Presentation Transitions and What They Mean

The flow of a good PowerPoint should feel like watching a film. A pitch shouldn’t just be slide after slide of information. Including a narrative can make your topic engaging and relatable to the audience. Film creates that narrative by editing frames. This process also applies to presentation transitions in PowerPoint slides.

Cut, Fade, and Wipe are three subtle effects that are widely used in editing film and on transitions in PowerPoint.

Slides and Frames

These three can be found under the Transitions tab and are the most versatile ones to use.

fig1-cut-fade-wipe

Treat each slide like a frame in a film to direct the eyes of the audience. The audience will use these transitions as clues to put the presentation together in their minds. A beginning, middle, and end to a presentation can be hinted at using these effects. You can find these under the Subtle category. These transitions can make moving to the next slide less distracting.

The icons are arranged according to the subtlest effect from left to right. The first icon begins with no effect or None. Clicking on this icon does not place any effect on a slide. The rest of the subtle effects use more complicated animations, and can be customized further under Effect Options.

Cut

fig2-cut

The animation immediately cuts to the next slide, similar to how cuts work in film. This allows you to navigate through slides quickly. Unnecessary slide animation can hinder a presentation that’s exceeding the scheduled time. Use a simple transition effect like Cut to reduce lag between slides.

Fade to Black

fig3-fade

This effect causes the whole screen to slowly fade, revealing the next slide. Additionally, Fade to black to the next slide under Effect Options.

 

Transitions>Fade>Effect Options>Through Black

fig4-Through Black

Fade out to black is a film editing technique that’s traditionally used to conclude movies. During a pitch, the transition can give the speaker time to pause and slow down the pace of their speech.

While Cut gives the impression of energy, Fade gracefully transitions to the next slide. A presentation can also end using this transition to signal the audience that they’ve reached the end.

Wipe

fig5-wipe

This effect causes the screen to fade in from any direction. This dynamic, yet subtle transition can direct the eye of the audience. You can access additional animations under the Effect Options icon.

 

Transitions>Wipe>Effect Options>From Right

fig5-wipeoptions

 

 

The unpredictable motion of the slides adds an element of surprise to your presentation. But using too many words with this transition can easily overwhelm the eyes. So minimize this transition to keywords or single phrases.

Storytelling Through Slides

Play around with the Cut, Wipe and Fade transitions. Observe some films which make use of interesting editing techniques. Convey action in your slides and use a combination of the Wipe and Cut transitions. The Fade transition animates slowly, adding intrigue and building up anticipation for the next slide.

Create a presentation that tells a story today.

 

References

Chandler, Gael. Film Editing: Great Cuts Every Filmmaker and Movie Lover Must Know. Studio City, Calif.: Michael Wiese Productions, 2009. 193.

Featured Image: Film” by Leo Hidalgo from flickr.com

Crafting Content: How to Conduct Presentation Research

An effective presentation needs appealing content backed up by facts and plenty of investigation.

But how exactly does a person approach researching slide content?

Hoarding random data is obviously detrimental to your presentation research. You have to learn to filter the information you collect.

Turning on your internal data filter is a tough choice in itself, but here are a few tips on narrowing research to your advantage:

Ask Questions

First, figure out what you want your speech to focus on and narrow down your material. This is different from having a general idea for your presentation. But it’s good to base your questions on this rough draft. Thinking of questions you want your research to answer will define the structure your work will take on.

Start with the basic questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. If affected by mental block, use the audience’s characteristics as a springboard for research. This allows you to engage people during your speech with relevant information.

Asking questions about your intended listeners’ preferences clues you on how to approach your presentation.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

The increasing rate of modern technological advancement and social media connectivity should free you of traditional research methods. You can extract statistics from outlets other than published surveys and journals. According to brand manager Anny Smarty, browsing social media trends through hashtags and online keywords can help gauge the current popularity of a subject.

You can cite these sources if you’re in need of fresh material. The audience will appreciate the effort to put in sources that are relevant to their immediate lives. Looking up content connected to yours also widens your scope.

Online material relevant to the subject makes you sound timely. But at the same time, this could keep you grounded on your topic. If you plan on going off tangent in your speech, related issues are always safe territory to touch on.

Check Your References

Don’t forget to double-check your sources. Look for more references that support your primary research material. Just make sure they all remain directly relevant to your presentation’s overall flow.

Don’t forget to check if they’re just as credible as the initial source.

Otherwise, you’ll lose a bit of your own credibility as well. These secondary sources don’t have to be directly included in your slide deck, or even in your speech. You only need them to assure you that your research is supported by other qualified opinions.

While overloading with too much material is bad, thorough research is necessary for creating quality content.

Research is the backbone of your content. Choosing your sources wisely will determine what kind of output you produce. Always take the time to dig through source materials to produce quality work.

Ask questions, use social media to your advantage, and verify your sources through others’ research. If you need help deciding which data to include and keep outside your visual presentation, you can consult with our PowerPoint experts today!