Tag Archives: marketing

Write the Right Way: How to Write the Ideal and Creative Business Plan

design tips

Perhaps we have seen some big brands holding big events involving popular actors or singers and on TV too. Do you think it was just spontaneous? No, it wasn’t. Everything in a business is always planned. From marketing, management, finance, events, website building, web development and even web design are all planned. Planning is obviously important when it comes to business because not only will it direct you to the right path in your business, it will also improve your business. However, writing a business plan is not something you could do with your eyes shut. Those events you have seen on TV were carefully and thoroughly planned and all rocket science. Therefore, don’t think that writing a business plan is a mere bagatelle. In order to produce ideal and creative business plan, one has to know how to write the right way. Find out how in this article!

First of all, before we dive into the real deal, what is exactly a business plan? A business plan is a document that describes your business, your products or services, how you earn or will earn money, your staff and their leadership, your finance, your operations model and many more important details for your business success. Why is it important to write a business plan? Writing a business plan is essential because it will be very useful for you when it comes to evaluating ideas, researching, recruiting, and even partnership as well as competitions. When you are running a business, you need to be always creative with ideas, but ideas should also be examined. You have to know what percentage of success those ideas will bring before you agree to include them in your plan by conducting your own research on the market, your business capability, your staff, your investors, your competitors as well as your target audience.

So, how to write a business plan? When writing a business plan, you have to do certain steps before getting ahead with the list:

  • Know your target audience
  • Invest time in research
  • Have a clear goal
  • Keep it short and straight to the point
  • Be consistent with the style, tone and voice

Once you have set your goal, identify your target audience and know what to conduct a research on, you can start making your business outline. Starting your business plan with a structured outline and key details about what you’ll include in each section is the best first step you can take. A business plan outline should include:

  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Market analysis
  • Products and services
  • Marketing plan
  • Logistics and operations plan
  • Financial plan

The key important details that should be included in a business plan are:

  • Business concept. What does your business do?
  • Business goals and vision. What does your business want to achieve?
  • Product description and differentiation. What do you sell, and why is it different?
  • Target market. Who do you sell to?
  • Marketing plan. What will you do to reach your customers?
  • Current financial state. What do you currently earn in revenue?
  • Projected financial state. What do you foresee earning in revenue?
  • The question. How much money do you need?
  • The dream team. Who’s involved in the business?
  • Potentials in the market. How big is your business potential in the market?

When you already set your goal and vision, you write down your ideas and make a plan to test them. If a plan is built through strong and clear research results as well as good prospect towards the business future, you can write the best business plan for your company. If you are still confused about your business plan, do not hesitate to contact us and let our awesome team help you.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Best Uses of Hover Effects in Website

web development tips

There’s this certain trope from classic point-and-click graphic adventure games referred to as pixel hunting. The best way I could explain that trope is by using an example so here goes. Let’s say you’re playing a game in which you’re faced with a locked gate. To unlock this gate, you have to find the key stashed in a drawer with dozens of other keys and the only clue you have is that the key features a similar design to the gate you’re facing. The gist is that only the right key can be picked up but you have no way of knowing this until you’ve clicked on the right key.

It sounds like a terrible joke but a lot of games I played when growing up suffer from this problem. The classic Myst and the Indiana Jones games from LucasArts are some that I can name off the top of my head. Luckily, modern adventure games no longer suffer from this condition as usually, they include what is called a hover effect, in which the mouse pointer changes to indicate that a certain object can be interacted with or picked up, which makes life a whole lot easier. It’s not just in video games, hover effect also bring several things to the table when it comes to web development.

The trend of hover effects in websites

You know how when you’re reading something on Wikipedia you come across a name or a term you’re unfamiliar with that you feel like you have to click on the link only to close it again after reading the first paragraph? You no longer have to do that anymore. In the desktop version of Wikipedia, every time you hover over a link, a small box will pop giving users a general overview of what that particular link is about.

Let’s say that you opened the Wikipedia article on this year’s Oscar for a recap on all of this year’s nominees and while you’ve seen A Star is Born, you don’t exactly remember who Sam Elliott is. Instead of having to click on his name, all you have to do is hover over the link and you’ll be presented with a short information on the man and a photo of him with his trademark mustache and you’ll go, “Oh, I remember that guy!”

This feature from Wikipedia is just one example from how hover effects can be used in the internet. This one is purely functional, saving users from having to open a link if they’re only looking for short information but there are other decorative uses as well. If you’re thinking that hover effects seem too small of a feature to make a meaningful impact on your website, you’re not exactly wrong but as we’ve seen with Ariana Grande’s tattoo fiasco, it’s the little detail that counts. The following is some of the better uses of hover effects I’ve seen so far.

To provide users with additional information

The Wikipedia example is one and Amazon also uses hover effect in their homepage to provide users with a prompt for ‘Quick look’, in which can then click on the label to see more about the products on offer without leaving the page they’re currently in. Again, this application might seem minor but you have to remember that users normally spend their time in Wikipedia and Amazon opening multiple links and products and adding a feature that minimizes the work on the users’ part is no small feat.

To a lesser degree, the entertainment news website Vulture also uses the hover effect to provide users with contextual information where necessary in lieu of links. For example, in this piece detailing how the film Oscar nomination for the film Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book has generated a backlash. In certain parts, some words and phrases in the piece is followed by a number written in superscript, akin to what you see in Wikipedia. Hovering on these words would reveal additional text on the left side of the piece providing contextual information.

To inform users of additional actions

This is somewhat similar to the Amazon example above, where users are given the prompt for ‘Quick look’ but more comprehensive. For example, in Netflix, whenever you hover over a film or a television series, a trailer for that particular film will play in the background while possible actions are showed on screen. The thumbs up and down icon allows user to like or dislike that content, the plus icon allows user to add that content into their queue while clicking on the arrow will reveal even more information about that content.

YouTube also does this on a much smaller scale. Hovering over a video would reveal the clock icon, which when clicked will add that video to the user’s queue. The news aggregator service Flipboard is more in line with Netflix’s approach where hovering over a story allows the user to add that story to their magazine, like that story or share that story with their contacts. In this case, hover effects simply add convenience to the user, allowing them to perform actions instantaneously without having to jump through unnecessary hoops.

To show off your creativity

Take for example, the website A Story about Trusts. Set up by the historical banking institution J.P. Morgan & Chase as a way of familiarizing new users with their investment trusts, the website cleverly and creatively uses the hover effect for users to manipulate certain elements on the screen while still delivering information on their services and investment in general in an attractive way. I’m not personally a fan of private financial institutions but even I have to admit that this was pretty brilliant.

When using hover effect as a creative outlet, the possibilities are endless. The typeface design company Font Smith went way above and beyond the call and duty when they launched the typeface FS Untitled, named so because it’s too flexible to pigeonholed to a single name. There’s quite literally nothing I could use to describe what they did so jump in and play around to see the kind of thing you could do with hover effects if you’re willing to go that far.

The Follow-Up to Content Creation: 4 Content Promotion Tips You Should Try

SEO tips

There are two folders in my Evernote account with one labeled ‘Fiction’ and the other ‘Non-fiction’. As you can probably infer, the ‘Fiction’ folder is dedicated to my attempts at writing short stories while ‘Non-fiction’ is for when I have something to say on things around the world or just in my life. As of now, there are 58 entries in the ‘Non-fiction’ folder while there are only 10 in the ‘Fiction’ folder. I am laughably atrocious when it comes to writing fiction.

Considering I’ve been using Evernote to keep track of my writing for about 8 months now, I think it’s fair to say I’ve been quite productive since I only get to write for myself when I have a free weekend. Except for the fact that at least half of those entries are nowhere near finished. Following through on things has always been a weakness of mine and this has also been a problem for SEO services, where the business of content creation isn’t accompanied by an appropriate content promotion strategy.

Recognizing greatness

You know it’s funny but I never really had problems in finding something to write about, every time I saw something interesting or read about something that caught my eye, I always make it a point to write it on Evernote with a plan to expand on it in the future. It’s why under an entry labeled ‘A Lack of Identity’, there are only a collection of random thoughts on Elizabeth Warren’s DNA tests and on the Subtle Asian Traits group without a coherent unifying theme.

For me, it’s very easy to feel inspired but sustaining that level of inspiration to write 2,000 of understandable and naturally flowing collection of words tend to be beyond my reach most of the time. And even when I do manage to pour my thoughts into a piece of writing, the fact that I’m going to have to compete with millions of other, better writers can be a bit of a downer. The simple truth is that there are just so many contents, not just articles and/or blog posts, floating around the internet that ensuring you could get just one reader felt like an impossibility.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Or alternatively, the 21st century version; If I ran into Nicole Kidman at the Australian Open but no one took a photo of it an uploaded it to Instagram, did it really happen? Quality content is great and all but quality is useless if no one’s there to recognize it and that’s where content promotion comes in. The idea is simple, spread the word and make sure your content gets the highest number of audience possible and here are 4 ways you could use to achieve this.

Effectively use your mailing list

Despite being twice as old as yours truly, e-mail remains an effective form of communication, especially for the purpose of content promotion. E-mail is where I received most of my reading materials, it’s where I receive information on events happening around the city and it’s also where I receive information regarding sales or other promotions from brands I care about. Long story short, e-mail is important.

The truth is, the internet is not at the point of obesity; there’s simply too much stuff floating around. My queue on Netflix is so loaded that I literally cannot add more things to the queue. I have a subscription to Marvel Unlimited with the intention of catching up to current comics but I’m still reading comics published in 2007. The beauty of an e-mail newsletter is that things are delivered straight to your audience’s inbox, saving you from having to compete with other things available online.

Share them on social media but always time your posts

About 79% of Australia’s population use social media so it makes perfect sense that you use social media as a content promotion platform. What can sometimes be lost in the discussion is the question on when should you post on social media? Depending on which part of the demographic you’re trying to court and various other factors, the answer to that question is going to be different so do your research if you want your social media posts to reach the most audience.

Use hashtags intelligently and in moderation

Hashtags is an effective way of inserting yourself into the conversation in social media. This can be especially important if one of your contents is created specifically to tap into the zeitgeist, in response to whatever it is that’s currently trending. By incorporating hashtags into your social media posts, you can increase the likeliness of your content being discovered by people who are unfamiliar with your brand but are interested in your industry, which might help you gain new customers.

Extend your reach with the help of influencers

I personally dislike the term influencers, I prefer the more old-fashioned term thought leaders, but there’s simply no denying the effect they have on the public. Influencers are well, influential, because unlike the typical celebrities, they usually have an idea what they’re talking about. For small businesses, even a simple word from these people could hold enough sway to turn their fortunes upside down.

There are various ways you could use influencers for the purpose of marketing. The easiest way is to get them to mention your brand, either by directly paying them or in some sort of cross promotion in a quid pro quo exchange. One other way is to get them to review your product and/or services objectively. The latter is more risky but if you have the utmost confidence on what you’re selling, I’m not going to stop you.