Benefits of business blogging ( Inforgraphics )

Many companies have put off blogging thinking its a waste of time and efforts.

As much as 81% believe business blogging is a critical business process according to Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing Report.

Survey that involved 3,500 marketing professionals, revealed that blogging is one of the most important lead sources for their business and is highlighted as having the most substantial impact in terms of ROI performance.

Bellow top proven benefits of blogging.

Top-8-Proven-Benefits-of-Business-Blogging

http://ow.ly/JSsCZ

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Magic of Law of Attraction

Your ability to become intuitive will skyrocket if you attract what you want in life, especially what you dream of.

Everyone has unique dreams that differ from one another, but whatever that dream may be, it’s completely possible. Spread your wings. Search for your purpose and freedom in this life. Most importantly, be as real as they come. Demonstrate to others that life isn’t all that tough if we come to understand how lucky we are to be alive in this beautiful world, where miracles take place every day. All it takes is grasping on to our fullest potential to do what we love, holding it closely and never letting it go. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something.

You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period. – Will Smith, “Pursuit of Happiness”

Here are 30 ways to help you attract what you truly dream of in life:

1. Be positive. Walk around with the most positive attitude possible, so positive people don’t know what to think. When you speak, do it with good intentions. Attract positive thoughts no matter what you’re going through. The more positivity you have in your life, the less negativity exists.

2. Be grateful; appreciate everything. There’s nothing in this world we shouldn’t be grateful for. Be grateful for your family. Be grateful for your friends. Be grateful for a home. Be grateful for food to eat. Be grateful for adventure. Some people aren’t fortunate enough to have any of these things. Some of us start with absolutely nothing. Don’t take anything for granted.

3. Believe in your own dreams. Attract what you dream of because once your dreams come true, life turns into an endless miracle. Anything and everything you need or want is out there. Just believe you, without question, have what it takes.

4. Follow your intuition. You are the only one who has control over what goes on in your mind. If something feels so right, it’s probably something you should do. If you have urges, listen to them carefully. In a sense, be willing to let your intuition guide you.

5. Follow your heart with courage. The law of attraction has everything to do with following your heart. Even if following your heart leads to heartache, meet heartache with courage. Courage gives you strength. Don’t let the influence of others bring you down. Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed and don’t forget to support them during their journeys, as well.

6. Listen to your gut instinct. We’ve always been told our gut instinct is usually right. Whether it’s right or wrong, our gut can usually sense something is a little wobbly. Pay attention to this feeling and be mindful of it. There are very greedy people in this world, which is why it’s important to always be on our toes.

7. Give to others and help others. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. We’ve all heard this statement, haven’t we? Attract to yourself the way you want to be treated by equally treating others with kindness. It creates a world filled with virtuous karma.

8. Travel to be inspired on a whole new level. Traveling is hands-down one of my top and most important priorities in life. Every time I travel, I am immensely exposed to a whole different part of the world I previously knew nothing about. When we see new places, we gain new perspectives and new perspectives are always a wonderful addition to the way we live our lives.

9. Make time to do what YOU enjoy. The law of attraction suggests we attract what we want. Do you want more time to do what you enjoy most? If so, make that time because there’s plenty of it. Don’t make excuses. Time is just an idea with numbers and a clock ticking.

10. No buts. No what ifs. No can’ts. No won’ts. Nothing is “too hard” to accomplish.

11. Be real with everyone. Let’s be real: Nobody likes fake personalities. If you can’t be real, it will be extremely difficult to attract real. To be real is to be honest; to be real is to be kind, and to be real is to admit to your failures.

12. Practice what you preach; don’t be a hypocrite. Show others that if you can do something, anyone can. If you want to practice putting good into the world, then you must preach about putting good into the world.

13. Realize your imagination is very powerful. Imagine your dreams coming true. The law of attraction is all about imagining what you want and turning it into a reality. If you’re always thinking about your dreams or imagining them, you will work that much harder for them.

14. Be passionate about what interests you. Be enthusiastic to learn about what you’ve always been interested in. If you’re truly passionate about something, you will take the time to learn about it.

15. Conquer your failures. If you fail, rinse, wash, repeat. Always attract success and happiness. 16. Realize worry, stress and fear don’t matter. None of us like to worry, to be stressed out or to be terribly afraid of something. If we focus on eliminating worry, stress and fear, our lives will begin to grow happier. Embrace the unknown with wide-open arms and a heart waiting to be filled with adventure.

17. Recognize everything happens for a reason. Attract your ability to succeed, no matter what happens. Life is very mysterious, in a beautiful way.

18. Be honest; lies are worthless. If you attract the truth by always telling the truth, you will never have anything to hide. If you’re ashamed of something, admit to it. Never throw anyone under the bus, and more importantly, don’t ever blame someone else for your wrong doings. Right your wrongs and own your mistakes.

19. Live as if every day is a miracle. Live like your dreams are coming true every single day. Live as if there won’t be a tomorrow. Miracles will begin to unfold all around you. There are two ways you can live: as if nothing is a miracle or as if everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein

20. Be open-minded. In order to attract what you want, you have to possess an open mind. Having an open mind gives you the ability to obtain multiple perspectives.

21. Don’t let school get in the way of your education. One of my favorite teachers used to say this all the time. In other words, school isn’t the only place you receive education; you also learn it from living life.

22. Learn from EVERYONE. Not only do we learn from our experiences, it’s also important to realize we can learn something from everyone. We all have something to learn or teach one another. This is pure evidence for why we are ALL capable of anything.

23. See the best in people. If we see the best in others, they will most likely see the best in us, hence the law of attraction. Start out by giving someone the benefit of the doubt. If he or she ends up disappointing you, cross that bridge when you get to it.

24. Believe in abundance and freedom. Along with freedom comes abundance. By achieving freedom, I don’t mean having all the money in the world to do whatever you please. Set yourself free and help others to be set free by simply appreciating life and the abundance it brings.

25. Focus on your needs vs. wants. Attract what you need and your wants will begin to prosper. If we don’t dial in on our needs first, we won’t be able to understand the importance of them. Our needs are needs. The wants will come along when they’re meant to.

26. Don’t get caught up in the idea that money buys happiness. Money buys material things. Money can’t buy passion or love. Money can’t buy ambition or success. Money can’t buy dreams or purpose or meaning to life. If all I had was a penny left in my pocket and someone needed it, I would give it up in a heartbeat.

27. Remember, there’s always room to improve. Nobody is perfect in this world. You may not be born as a prodigy or born with the talent you wish you could have, but if you practice, you learn. Why not gain the knowledge about everything that interests you and then improve on what matters most?

28. Don’t give up. Ever. Never. Period.

29. Try to be patient. But, if you genuinely want something, don’t wait for it – teach yourself to be impatient. I always dream about achieving my goals in the fast lane, but sometimes, it doesn’t work out that way. We just have to sometimes put our best foot forward and trust the process.

30. Inspire others; motivate them. Aspire to inspire. With your ambition and enthusiasm, motivate others. Show others that life is all about the adventure and the journey. Through our imagination is how our dreams spiral out of control and into control. Once they’re in control, seize each and every day as if it were your last. Captivate what you dream of and don’t ever settle for less.

Social Media and Technology have changed the way we do business

We can Skype our colleagues on different continents, use Twitter to track for global trends, manage our multiple email accounts from our smartphones, coordinate with fellow professionals on LinkedIn, share photos and stories from last night on SnapChat and WhatsApp, launch a brand on Instagram, create a community on Facebook, stream our favourite global podcasts, get breaking updates from our news apps, order a taxi to the office with Uber and monitor our daily calorie usage with our FitBit. And we can do all of these things without even getting out of bed.

Digital and social media isn’t just changing the way we do business; it’s changing what businesses we’re in to begin with. Every single one of those digital capabilities has a ballooning administrative sector wrapped around it, creating jobs, stimulating economies and driving consumption.

In practical terms, it means that forward-thinking organizations understand the value in shifting from traditional engagement to progressive models, by having open channels of communication, genuine transparency and meaningful global connections.

Ivy league degrees and fancy MBAs are not what make an entrepreneur. Grit, perseverance and a superhuman ability to have faith in yourself does

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths. Beautiful people don’t just happen.

In my earlier post  “Why Prestigious company doesn’t care about college degrees”, I talked about why prestigious companies does not care about college degrees. Companies value the skills and experience that candidates get in college, but a degree doesn’t tell them much about talent or grit.

Kalpana Saroj, can be seen as the original slumdog millionaire, has similar views – Ivy league degrees and fancy MBAs are not what make an entrepreneur. Grit, perseverance and a superhuman ability to have faith in yourself does.

Born in poverty and subjected to inhuman abuse, she overcame impossible odds to become one of the most sought after entrepreneurs in India. Today she is heading $112 million empire and growing rapidly. Will love to share her story and belief in her own words :

Early life

I was born in Vidarbha. My father was a constable and we used to live in the police quarters assigned to us. I had three sisters and two brothers. I was a bright student and loved school. In the quarters where we stayed, I and the other children would play with abandon. It is the adults who posed the problem. They expressed displeasure if I ever came over, scolded their children for playing with me and forbade them from visiting my home or accept any food I offered.

This attitude, though hurtful, was unsurprising. It is the behavior of the faculty at school that shocked me. They tried to make me sit apart from other students, constantly prevented me from participating in extracurricular activities and undermined any dreams I had for myself. It didn’t matter anyway as I was pulled out of school in class seven and married off.

Child Marriage

My father was not a very educated man, but courtesy his job in the law enforcement, he was emancipated in his views and wanted me to complete my education. But in the Dalit community where I grew up, child marriage was the norm. My father’s refusal was drowned out by the clamour and clangour of the extended family- people who placed little to no worth in the life of a little girl. My father was powerless against their united front. I was powerless.

Married Life

The kind of society where I grew up, it was a given that life post marriage would not be a bed of roses. I was mentally prepared for all the slavery that was expected of me. But even I couldn’t have foreseen the hell that was to come next.

Image source

I was a scrawny kid of twelve, responsible for all the cooking, cleaning, laundry etc. for a household of about ten people. But that wasn’t enough. They were a sadistic lot and I was the easiest scapegoat around. They would look for the slightest excuse- too much salt in food, house not scrubbed clean enough and so on- to hit me, brutally kicking, punching and thrashing. They starved me and heaped emotional and physical abuses on me. When my father came to see me six months later, he was horrified. He said he saw a walking corpse, not his daughter.

Walk of shame

In my community, and most poverty stricken societies across the nation, girls are burdens to be cast off at marriage, never to be thought of again. When my father brought me back home, not a single eyebrow was raised at what I had been made to go through. What caused the hysterics was the ‘shame’ I was bringing upon my family, community and society at large by daring to return home a married girl.

I was determined not to be a burden on my father. I applied at a local women’s constable recruitment camp, nursing school and even the military. But either my age or lack of education got me rejected. Forlorn, I picked up some tailoring skills and started sewing blouses at rupees ten apiece.

But the levels of hate and taunts kept rising. My father gently suggested I go back to school, but I could not fathom putting up with the humiliation and vitriol coming my way every time I tried to leave home. People kept whispering that only if I killed myself would the dishonour that I had wrought upon my family be expunged. So I obliged.

A second chance

Living is hard, but dying is easy. These were my last thoughts as I downed a bottle of poison. My aunt caught me in the act and rushed me to the local hospital. I was in a critical condition and doctors informed my parents that if I didn’t regain consciousness within twenty four hours then all hope was lost.

Kalpana Saroj

I don’t know how it is I didn’t die, given the quantity of poison I had had. But when I opened my eyes in the hospital room I was not the same person anymore. Gone was the naïve helpless girl the world had deemed too worthless to exist. I felt strong, recharged and empowered. I had been given a second chance at life and wasn’t going to waste it on self-pity for one more second.

A new life

I convinced my parents to let me move to Mumbai, where I stayed with an uncle and committed to my tailoring gig full time. A little while later, due to bureaucratic shuffles, my father lost his job. I was the eldest daughter and only earning member of the family. I put down my savings as deposit and rented a small room at forty rupees a month. My siblings and parents joined me here. The space was cramped and money was tight, but we were together and that’s what mattered.

The tragedy that made me an entrepreneur

As I mentioned, money was scarce. Amidst this, my youngest sister fell ill. We could not afford her treatment. We scrounged everywhere, but to no avail. She kept crying, “Didi save me. I don’t want to die.” But I could not help her. Her words are seared in my memory. That’s when I realized that life without money is useless and I was going to earn lots of it. I started working sixteen hours a day, a habit I still maintain.

Getting started

I went through various government schemes and applied for a loan (Mahatma Jyotibhai Phule scheme). With that small seed fund, I started a small furniture business where I sold cheap versions of high end furniture from Ulasnagar. I did not give up my tailoring gig either. Our circumstances gradually began to improve.

Being awarded the Padma Shree: Image source

I learnt everything about being an entrepreneur from the ground up through this business- sourcing raw materials, the art of negotiating, identifying market trends and, above all, holding my own among a sea of crooks trying to take advantage of me.

I also started a small NGO where we aggregated and distributed knowledge about the various government loans and schemes available to people like me. I did not want a single child, boy or girl, go through what had happened to me. I wanted to let them know that they could do wonderful things with their life if only they cared to find out how.

Seizing opportunities

It took me two years to pay off my initial loan. Meanwhile I was on the lookout for other business opportunities and an interesting offer came my way. The proprietor of a litigation locked land need cash urgently. He offered to sell me his property for a pittance because the land was practically worthless to him. I ‘begged, borrowed and stole’ the funds to buy it and then threw myself into the ensuing legal torture that unfolded.

The next two years I was in and out of the courts, trying to get my property cleared up. After that was successful I wanted to get the land developed, but had no resources for the same. So I took on a partner who agreed to invest if his share was sixty five per cent of the profit. Soon a building came up on that land. With my thriving furniture and real estate business, I felt life had come a full circle. But the best was yet to come.

The strange case of Kamani Tubes

Ramjibhai Kamani was a disciple of both Nehru and Gandhi, a pioneering entrepreneur in a newly independent India. After independence he came to Kurla and opened three companies- Kamani Tubes, Kamani Engineering and Kamani Metal. His ideas were firmly rooted in worker rights and their welfare. He had big visions for the country’s economic progress and wanted to be a key player in the nation’s development.

All went well for him. But in 1987, not long after his death, dispute broke out among his sons. The Union at the time went to court to demand that the ownership be transferred to the workers since the owners were acting against the best interests of the company. At that time such changes were sweeping across countries like France, Germany and Japan. In India Kamani became the first company where the Supreme Court passed the ownership from the legal heirs to the Workers Union. But if there are going to be three thousand owners, who is going to do the actual work?

Soon tussles and the inevitable ego clashes broke out. The union leaders had no vested interest in the company, they were just out to make a quick buck. Since this was the first time the rights of the workers had been, supposedly, upheld people assumed that Kamani industries was at the forefront of a revolution.

Banks poured in with loans, extensions and credits. The government provided them with various funds and benefits. They had huge capital and no expertise with which to utilise it. From 1987 to 1997 the company kept limping along. Shutting it down was not an option. Since the servants were the masters, who was supposed to do the shutting down? Once the investors realized what was actually going on, they came down heavily. The Electricity and water supply was cut. Once IDBI surveyed the situation and realized that the workers had become defaulters, the court mandated that a new promoter be brought in.

140 litigation cases had been filed against the company. A debt of 116 crores had been incurred. Two unions were battling it out for supremacy. Of the three Kamani firms, two had already gone into liquidation. The third seemed set to go down the same way. That is when the workers came to me, entreating me to save their company and, thus, their livelihood. My flourishing NGO and my business acumen had earned me a decent reputation among certain circles. My knowledge was nil, but the thought of 566 starving families gave me pause. I have nothing to lose, I thought.

Battle

In my first order of business I formed a core team of ten, each an expert in their respective fields. Then we hired some consultants and created a proposal on how to go about fixing the damage. When I took my proposal to the board (which comprised of several IDBI and bank representatives), they said they would give me the go ahead if I agreed to sit on the board and took charge of all liabilities. I agreed. They appointed me president. This was in 2000.

From 2000 to 2006, we were just running in and out of courts. I realized that penalty taxes and interest were the main contributing factors of the 116 crore amount. I approached the then finance minister and pleaded with him to forgive the penalty and interest. “If the company goes into liquidation, then no one will benefit,” I told him. “This way at least the lenders can get their money back.”

He held extensive talk with the banks. I feel proud to report what happened next. Not only were the penalty and interest amounts forgiven, they deducted 25 per cent from the principle amount as well. Now that the debt had been reduced to less than half the original sum, life got much easier.

In 2006 I was appointed chairman of the company. The court transferred ownership of Kamani tubes to me. We were told to pay off the bank loans within seven years. We did it within one. We were instructed to clear the workers back wages within three years. We did it within three months. We gave out five crores and ninety lakhs, instead of the requisite five crores only.

While we were paying off debts and clearing liability, it was imperative to focus on restarting manufacturing and getting the firm back on its feet. We started by replacing all the machinery which either had been stolen or fallen to disrepair. The union had also sold the land in Kurla, on which the factory operated, long before I came on board. In 2009 I shifted the factory to Wada, where I had bought a plot of seven acres.

Future

Ramji Bhai Kamani had started Kamani industries with a vision for what the newly minted nation of India would look like and the radical role companies like his would play in the nation’s growth. I share those dreams and will take this company forward in the way he envisioned it- on principles of justice, fair play and equality.

yourstory_Kalpana_Saroj_InsideArticle

I am in the process of acquiring the other two branches of the Kamani firm that had gone into liquidation- soon I will have reunited the empire that once was.

Advice

Hard work is not overrated. It is fail proof. What you want- whatever it is- you shall get if you apply yourself wholeheartedly and work towards it with a single minded vision.

http://yourstory.com/2015/02/kalpana-saroj/

Get your Apps discovered … avoid being zombie app

Apps have been around for much longer than most of us realize.

The first apps made their appearance in the 1990’s via PDAs like the Psion and the Palm Pilot. Apps as we know them today made their debut in 2008 with the launch of Apple’s App Store shortly followed by the launch of the Android Market by Google.

The flip side to this boomtown story is that of the 1.2 million apps currently hosted on the App Store, nearly 80% are ‘zombie apps with barely measurable downloads. The story is not too different for the nearly 1.4 million apps that Google Play hosts.

The biggest problem most apps face is one of discovery.

The answer is mobile app marketing.

1. A Great Product is a Great Start

Bounce off your app idea with friends and family to see what they think of it. If you have an existing business for which you’re building the app, get inputs from your existing users on what they’d like to have in an app.

The most fundamental requirement for any smash-hit app is simple. Your app has got to have swag.

By swag, I don’t mean all style and no substance. I mean, build an app that users will vie with each other to download. You could fulfill a need that currently exists. You could add unique functionality to an existing app type and create something totally new. You could build a game that makes Candy Crush pale in comparison. After all, according to Macquarie Research, games accounted for an estimated 75% of income on the App Store in 2014.

Work on the UI of your app to make it flow as intuitively as possible. Adhere to usability best practices while designing your app layouts. From beautiful transitions to minimal user inputs, spend enough time perfecting the user experience before you launch. Test your app with real users to identify flaws and fine-tune problem areas.

2. Fully Optimize Your App

By optimizing your app to search inside app stores, you are offering it the visibility it needs to be discovered and hopefully downloaded. Approach app optimization the way you would optimize a web page. There are very clear ‘in-app’ elements that help boost your app’s visibility.

  • Begin with your app name: A name that contains keywords related to your app’s core function is a good bet for being picked up by app store search engines. Think Evernote, Snapchat or RunKeeper and you now know a big reason for their success.
  • Get a professional writer to write a description of your app that excites the user: Ensure your description includes important keywords that will help your app be discovered easily.
  • List your app in the right category before you proceed: A wrongly categorized app not only slips through the cracks of in-app search services, it also becomes hard to find when users filter by app category.
  • A picture speaks a thousand words: Pick out the most beautiful screenshots of your app for the app stores you’re present on. Add a video walk through for a 1-2 punch.
  • More than anything you can say about your app, a potential user will believe the words of existing users: Don’t forget to include reviews of your app in your app listing – one good review is worth more than ten average ads. Keep the virtuous cycle going by soliciting reviews from new users once they have used the app for at least a week.
  • Size matters when it comes to app downloads: Keep the size of your app at a minimum to encourage users to download even more. This becomes even more important with an iOS app, thanks to the fact that the size of an iPhone’s memory cannot be expanded unlike Android and other platforms.

Still not convinced that app optimization is worth your time? Take a look at this piece of research from Forrester.

5 Steps to Ace Mobile Apps Marketing | Search Engine Journal

Discovering an app via the app store remains the most popular way in which users find and download apps.

3. Maintain an Active Mobile Optimized Site

Close to 40% of users discover an app via the internet or the mobile web. When a user clicks through from a search results page or clicks on an ad on their mobile phone, she needs to be taken to a page where she can learn more about your app. In other words, a functional, mobile optimized site that showcases your app’s best features  is an essential component of getting users to learn about and download your app.

Some quick advice for an app homepage that converts:

  • Just as you SEO any regular website, your app’s homepage on the net needs to be optimized for search engines.
  • A good app home is one that pulls the user in with inviting visuals of the app, captivating descriptions of what it is capable of even demo videos of the app in action.
  • Offer social proof of how good your app is by including reviews by real users on your site.
  • Did your app win any awards or honorable mentions in top publications? Show off your laurels to impress users into downloading your app.
  • Lastly, but most importantly, do not forget to offer a download link to the leading app stores from your website.

4. Promote on Social Media

No marketing plan today is complete without including social media into the mix. Promoting your app is no different.

Before you sink in thousands of dollars into marketing your app, set up a social presence for your app on platforms that are frequented by your target audience. Developed a news reader app? Attack Twitter. Built a productivity app? Capitalize on LinkedIn. Got a female-centric app? Explore Pinterest. Built ANY app? Don’t miss Facebook.

Post content on social media that revolves around your app and links back to your app store page or your app website to maximize downloads. However, your posts can’t be all about downloading your app. Spice up your social media persona with content your target audience will value. Don’t stick to boring old text-based posts. Create interesting info-graphics, post arresting images, or share videos related to your line of business, and you will have users flocking to you for the variety of content on offer.

Use the extensive audience filters available on networks like Facebook to narrow down your target audience to improve your ROI. A Google+ page is a good idea if you have an Android version of your app. Not only does it help your app SEO, it also keeps Google happy.

5. Get Existing Users to Market Your App for You

There’s no better brand advocate than an existing user.

Once you get users to start downloading your app, don’t forget about them. Show some TLC to your existing users, and they’ll return the favor. According to Forrester Research, recommendations from friends and family is the second most important factor that contributes to new app downloads.

There are multiple ways to get your users talking about your app, such as:

  • Offer exciting freebies to users in a way that benefits them without really hurting you. An app upgrade or an extra feature for zero cost is a good idea in return for sharing your app on their social networks.
  • Build social sharing into your app with neat information bytes like “Sam just completed a three mile run using RunKeeper.” Vanity updates like these massage a user’s ego and are very likely to be shared by them on social media, increasing visibility and familiarity for your app.

In Closing

App marketing borrows from online marketing principles in many ways, but also has its own nuances that are unique to it. Compare and contrast them with this summary of the five steps to follow while marketing an app:

  1. Start with a great product
  2. Fully optimize your app
  3. Maintain an active, mobile-optimized site
  4. Promote your app on social media
  5. Get existing users to market your app for you

Flurry’s annual app statistics for 2014. For the first time ever, in the last quarter of 2014, Americans spent more time using their smartphones than watching TV.

http://ow.ly/JSOCq

Pinterest has grown 4,000% in last 6 months, time to use to promote your business

Pinterest has become the social media network to watch after growing over 4,000% in the last 6 months. At an average of 88.3 minutes per visitor it ranks third on engagement behind Facebook and Tumblr and well ahead of LinkedIn (16 minutes) and Google Plus (5.1 minutes).
Best way to promote your business with Pinterest

1. Share Your Products

The most obvious way to use Pinterest for your business is to pin your own products to share with other users. There are a few ways that you can leverage this strategy for the most benefit. Since you can create several boards, it is best to group your pins into product categories for specific customers, such as items for moms, kids, artists, and others. Doing so creates a virtual product catalog of interest to these consumers or for gift ideas for these groups. You can also create a “best of” board, showing off your most popular products.

7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Business

2. Add to Gifts

When you create an entry for your pins, you can add a price tag. When you select this option, you can then add a link, pointing back to your Web site. Items added in this way are automatically included in the “gifts” section on Pinterest, which is a virtual catalog of gift ideas. Be sure to select your best photos for pinning, and include an evocative description.

3. Highlight Services

Not every business sells products. Pinterest is still a useful marketing tool for these businesses. If you provide a service, you can create a kind of visual resume with Pinterest. For example, if you design Web sites, you can pin a screenshot of a home page. If you are a graphic designer, you can pin samples of your work. If you offer other services, such as consulting or writing work, you can use Pinterest to share photos that inspire or that share a message about your work. For example, financial consultants could pin to photos that represent client goals, such as financial independence or financing education. Non-profit groups can share photos of the clients they are helping.

4. Maximize SEO Efforts

When you pin your products, you have an opportunity to maximize your SEO strategy and to drive traffic back to your site. You create quality backlinks whenever you or other users link to your products. When you write descriptions, you can use your targeted keywords, which will attract your target customers and encourage them to visit your site. You can share your pins on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, encouraging more links to your products. All of these efforts will help to drive more traffic to your site and to increase your search-engine ranking.

5. Offer Added Value

Savvy social-networking users can easily identify a profile that is designed primarily to market products and services, and they are likely to avoid these profiles. Offer other users more reasons to visit your profile by offering them added value. Pin to other products and services that will benefit them, but that also complement your own products and services. For example, if you create custom wedding gowns, you can link to other bridal accessories or to beautiful wholesale fabrics. If you are a Web designer, you can link to useful tech gadgets.

6. Offer Exclusive Content

Encourage users to interact with you on Pinterest and to visit your Web site by offering exclusive content. You can hold contests by asking users to re-pin your items for each “entry.” The more items are re-pinned, the more buzz you will build around your products and your site. You can also offer exclusive discounts or other promotions by using a QR code or other tactics.

7. Engage with Users

Pinterest is a social network, so take the time to form relationships with other users and to build a community around your brand. When you see that users have re-pinned your items, comment and thank them. Follow other users, and this will encourage them to follow you in return. Ask for customer feedback by encouraging them to re-pin their favorite products in your catalog. The more you can do to encourage customer interaction, the better relationship you will have with them.

With the number of Pinterest users growing rapidly — as much as 4,000 percent in the last six months — the site is quickly becoming a dominant player in the social-networking field. Finding ways to leverage this site to promote your business is important to your overall marketing strategy.

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Product placement is effective – Marketers manage to influence without paying for it

Modern Family will make you want a MacBook. It’s one big advertisement for Apple.

Apple is not paying for it,still marketers manage to influence. We can treat it just like other from of persuasion that’s trying to get us to want to buy something.

Product placement is effective because it taps into a deep-seated drive to relate to our peer. It’s in our nature to develop emotional connections to celebrities and characters we like, so advertisers have learned to capitalize on this tendency by negotiating seamless ways to tie brands to famous people.

A Modern family loves its product placement 

Tonight, Modern Family takes place entirely on a MacBook Pro. The episode centers on lead mom Claire Dunphy’s laptop screen as she attempts to track down her unruly daughter, Hayley, by pinging with other members of the family through iMessage, FaceTime, and other communication apps.
The show’s creator, hired a motion graphic artist to replicate a Mac’s interface, and the episode’s video chats were filmed on iPhones, iPods, and Macs—all provided by Apple.
 Modern Familyshows just how blurred the line between advertising and entertainment has become. While we don’t want products shoved down our throats when we watch television, we do want to believe in the fictional world we see—and what modern family doesn’t own iPhones? Today’s advertisements are subtler than ever, yet they affect us far more than we’d ever realize.
The extent to which Modern Family actually intends to boost Apple’s appeal with tonight’s episode is certainly debatable. Apple doesn’t pay for television spots, and Levitan has said the inspiration for the show came from a video chat with his daughter, totally unrelated to Apple. But as Mashable writer Christina Warrensays on the latest This Week In Tech podcast: “[Apple] might not have paid per se, but they’re certainly getting—especially when you consider syndication—a humongous amount of advertising out of this. So there’s a quid pro quo happening here at some level. Even if it’s not a direct payment exchange, it’s ridiculous to think there wasn’t any sort of conversation had about this.”
Either way, the trend of integrating products makes Russell and others uneasy. It’s one thing to grab a few extra sales, but she worries product placement in the context of realistic shows has such an influence that it risks distorting people’s actual perception of the world around them. “It’s shaping the way we see reality,” she says. “If a show is too much slanted toward a brand, or even just at the very basic level too commercialized, we have a perception of the world as just one big advertisement.”
That, of course, is an ideal situation for a company like Apple. A brand reaches an advertisement peak when it becomes so ubiquitous that it begins to weave itself into the cultural fabric—when, in Apple’s case, it becomes an almost-essential tool in the way we interact.