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5 Ways To Drive Customers With Smart Instagram Marketing

5 Ways To Drive Customers With Smart Instagram Marketing

Today, Instagram is what the billboard was back in the 1950s-1970s. Or the old black and white TV. Except they’re a lot cooler and more fun to look at. Unless we’re talking about one of those cool digital billboards, which are definitely the way of the future, my friends.

Instagram is no longer something just used for sharing your wanna-be foodie pictures and inspirational quotes that nobody wants to read (we’ve all been there, folks).

Sure, it’s still a personal sharing space in a lot of respects, but the platform has grown to include so much more than that! It’s a fact: Businesses promote products. Influencers promote their brand and other products they love. People still post wanna-be foodie pictures.

So, why should you be using Instagram as your marketing bomb? Well get off your Instagram feed and read on!

1. You can access key influencers.

All of a sudden, a couple of years ago, a new career path opened. It’s a magical position called a digital influencer. These “top dogs” have the dream job of any Millennial or Gen Z kid out there. Check this example:

Career Counsellor: “So, Anna, what are your plans after graduation? I have some great material on finding the perfect employer.”

Anna: “Well, I actually plan on becoming a digital influencer. I have around 5k IG followers right now, but I’m betting I can increase that to 10k by graduation day. Then I’ll be able to get sponsorships for posts, maybe start up a blog and bring revenue in that way, and eventually expand to YouTube and musical.ly.”

Career Counsellor: “I don’t think I have material on that…”

This is the world we’re living in now. It’s also the world you’re missing out on if you’re not engaging Instagram influencers as part of your overall marketing strategy.

They are the kings and queens of this world. Bow down to them. Do it.

Then ask them kindly to work on a campaign for your product or service. Some investment may be needed, but these influencers have a target audience. (Business is business, remember?)

Just make sure your prospects and potential customers are in the correct demographics you want to be reaching out to!

A simple post by an influencer can drive an incredible number of customers to your door.

2. You can share your story with the world.

You know that your company is special. It’s special for you and it’s special for the people who help to run it. But does the world know it’s special? Does it know just how much work you’ve put in to make it incredible?

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Using Instagram to share your story is the perfect way to get people to actually care about your brand. And any good marketer knows that when someone cares about the brand, they’re going to be returning customers. (Hopefully for a lifetime.)

And isn’t it more fun anyways?

Would you rather be pleading with customers to buy into your brand or share what’s special about your company and having them come to you? IG lets you do that and if you’re not using it, you’re definitely missing out. It’s story time!

3. You can build a real (OK, almost real) community.

You know the old saying “It takes a village to raise a child”? Well, that totally relates to the world of Instagram marketing.

Building an engaging community through here can transfer into real profits for your company (and more importantly, for you). It’s one of the best parts of using this platform as your marketing bomb. Here’s why:

Almost EVERYONE is on IG. So, you’ll get the chance to give your company a bit of personality. Some pizzazz. A chance to prove how you’re different from the competition. Someone comments on your last picture with an emoji and you can send your favorite emoji (read: sunglasses emoji) right on back. Someone sends you a direct message and you can respond directly with a link to your product. Win win.

There are plenty of marketing avenues out there, but if you’re not using savvy Instagram marketing for your business, you’re going to be missing out on so many potential customers and the chance to help them. The way of the world is digital and it’s not different for growing your business.

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This is all a part of engaging with and growing your digital community and, in turn, turning them into loyal customers. (Remember: happy customers = happy wallet.)

4. You should keep an eye on those pesky competitors.

The Instagram world is full of people and companies pressing for the attention of potential customers or trying to build an audience around what they’re offering. And just like the outside world, these accounts can either be of competitors or potential allies.

Using it as a marketing tool gives you the shot at either A) networking with these potential allies and sharing advice/tips and B) keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing.

Turning on IG notifications will keep you from being left behind by other companies, and the ones who offer similar products you do. Plus, you have the ability to spy on them and see what they’re doing. Hopefully, you’ll get an idea or two of how to change your strategy. Borrowing some ideas from competitors is never a bad idea. (Ever.)

(Just don’t copy and paste content, or say that work is yours when it clearly isn’t. Steal ideas, not execution. In direct mail advertising, many copywriters attach a dollar bill to the top of a sales letter. This idea is not new, as it goes back to Robert Collier, a copywriting and marketing genius. Be ethical about what you steal.)

5. You can offer cool contests to your followers.

The marketing platform isn’t just for selling your products up front to your customers (even if that is your end goal). Add a little fun into the mix by offering contests in some of your posts! People gobble up this stuff like chickens do to… well… chicken feed.

Tons of companies and influencers do giveaways to engage with their audience. A good tip to get even more people looking at your page is to have your followers tag two or three of their friends in the comments section to enter the contest.

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(And we all know how effective peer pressure is!)

There are tons of successful ways to make creative, and monetarily beneficial, contests. If you do them right, you’ll have tons of new engagements in an instant!

Conclusion

Like I said in the beginning, IG is the new mode of marketing that your business should and must be using if you want to be successful with a profitable business. With around 500 million users around the world, Instagram is the place to be in the digital marketing world.

And if you’re not using it, you’re missing out on tons of potential customers. What are you waiting for? Get to work!

Featured photo credit: via pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Published on November 9, 2018

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

So, are you ready? Here we begin.

6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

1. Spreadsheets and Databases

Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Access
  • Statistics
  • Data Analytics
  • Adobe Campaign
  • Quickbooks
  • XML Database management system
  • Filemaker Pro
  • MATLAB
  • Hive
  • FORTRAN
  • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
  • SAS

2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Google Analytics
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Email Marketing
  • Web Page Design
  • WordPress
  • Digital Media
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Campaign Management Software

3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • AutoCAD
  • CorelDRAW
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Maya
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Operating Digital Cameras

4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

  • HTML
  • C/C++
  • Java
  • Python
  • XML
  • UI/UX
  • LINUX
  • CISC and RISC architecture
  • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
  • Memory Management
  • PCB Layout
  • SQL

5. IT Troubleshooting

Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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  • Backup management
  • Diagnostics
  • End User support
  • Client-Server management
  • Installation and configuration
  • Issue tracking system (ITS)
  • System administration
  • Tech support

6. Enterprise Systems

Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

2. Rule the Social Media World

a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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4. Live and Breathe Creativity

a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

b. Canva Design School

From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

  • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
  • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
  • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
  • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
  • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
  • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
  • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

2. Work on Your Efficiency

Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

3. Look for Shortcuts

Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

4. Apply for an Internship

Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

The Bottom Line

Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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