Matt Wood

Last Minute Gift Guide For Couples

10 Types of Couples, One Holiday Gift

Which Couple Are You?

For the Foodies


The gastronomically inclined duo, the couple who knows how to pair every item on the menu with ease. This couple can be found at the opening of that hip new restaurant downtown or raving about their favorite ethnic fusion food truck.

An intimate couples dinner would be a great gift for these two, and for the more competitive types, an iron chef style class would be a blast.

For the Crafters


These quirky partners always have the best knick-knacks at home. You’ve probably seen one of their homemade scarfs or block print work at a white elephant party. Often seen on Etsy, Pinterest, or at some event with lots of wide-brim hats and beards.

A macrame or succulent terrarium workshop would delight their crafty tastes without a doubt. 

For the Crunchy

You know them by their Instagram filled with sky-high selfies, and pristine waterfront scenery. This couple is always seeking a new adventure, escaping the concrete jungles for greener activities. A rock climbing or wilderness survival class will surely be a hit with them

For the Drinkers

Pour it up, pour it up, because you know these two like to throw down. Their favorite words are “Open Bar”, and it’s never been easier to find a gift for these two.

A group mixology class would quench their thirst for sure, as they learn to make some classy drinks with a similarly-minded group.

For THe



At the many gatherings they’ve hosted, you’ve probably heard about their favorite room accessory. You know, the one that really “gives character” to the room. This couple is all about the aesthetics and has quite the eye for design.

So why not give them a fresh conversation point? Give the gift of a glass-blowing class, where they’ll be able to create the centerpiece of their dreams.

For THe



A little rough around the edges, but sweethearts nonetheless, this couple is your go-to consult for your home DIY projects. They are the makers and builders of the neighborhood, and certainly not afraid of a little elbow grease.

This season, thank them for all the tools you borrowed with the gift of a hands-on workshop. Woodworking or metalworking would be a great start, and they’ll be geeking out over power tools in no time.

For the Zen

Ommmmmmm… This couple is your spiritual rock, the ones you call when you need some perspective and peace-of-mind. They’ve been there for you through many a breakdown, so give them some sacred time of their own with a yoga or meditation class (maybe even acroyoga!).

For the


Health Nuts

You probably just finished skimming the latest nutrition article or email they’ve sent through their many social media outlets. Found at your nearest Whole Foods or supporting their local Farmers’ Market, this couple is your go-to for plant-based questions, or recommendations for the new açai spot.

A vegan cooking class would tantalize their gluten-free, sustainably sourced, certified organic taste buds.

For the


Leather Lovers

We are shooting two birds with one stone for this gift. For both the rugged bikers and the hip PBR-drinking enthusiasts, we are certain that a leather-working class would be a delight to both couples. Just make sure they’re not vegan first!

For the Greenthumbs

These two have a wonderful assortment of plants and herbs around the house. Found in their favorite breakfast nook, perusing the isles of home depot, or commenting on the season’s new buds, this couple knows their horticulture.

A ceramic class would be the perfect gift for these two, providing a new clay home for their next earthly project.


How to Capitalize on Last Minute E-Commerce Holiday Shoppers

How to Capitalize on Last Minute E-Commerce Holiday Shoppers

The big Q4: the quarter that can make or break many e-commerce businesses. For a savvy business, the end of the year can be a big boon putting you squarely in the black.

While many aspire to check off their holiday gift lists by the arbitrary December first cut-off, the reality is that a large portion of us will shop online a week or a few days before the holiday. The great thing about these shoppers is that they are a captured audience since they don't have time to wait for a sale. As a result, they have to move now to have their gifts delivered on time.

The following tips will help you maximize this special season:

Curate Gift Ideas

A last-minute shopper is a shopper with little time. They do not want to wade through thousands of products. The quandary of choice can overwhelm and they are on your page for a mission, to bring joy to the gift receiver, and preferably to make it appear as if they put a good deal of thought into the gift.

Make it easy for them to convert. Create sections based on relationship to the gift giver — Gifts for your Mom, Gifts for your Boss, Gifts for your Girlfriend — or by interest — Gifts for the Spa Lover, Boozy Gifts, Gifts Under $25. Online shoppers love a seamless process and it’s easier for them to find an alternative to your product than if they were physically at a brick and mortar store, so make their experience painless and quick.

Post the Last Day for Guaranteed Delivery

Research shows that deadlines motivate people. Whether it's a presentation due tomorrow or a shipping deadline for Christmas, it's hardwired into our psychology to beat the clock. The bonus for consumers is it gives them peace of mind knowing they will have their gifts on time.

If you work in a saturated market, consider using shipping as an incentive with shipping promotions. Offering free shipping or free upgrades, for instance, an upgrade to express shipping for the price of standard shipping could seal the deal for shoppers comparing various e-commerce stores.

Show Real Customers Using Your Products

Love it or hate it, unutilized social media presents a missed opportunity. When a shopper cannot physically hold an item to feel the texture, it's harder for them to connect emotionally. Launch a hashtag campaign or simply offer a coupon to get previous shoppers excited about your product and use that content to populate your product page.  

Smart online shoppers are not dazzled by your studio photography — they want to know how a product will function in real life.

Simplify Your Website Design

Based on the same principle of curating gift ideas for shoppers, simplify your website design to make the entire process easier for consumers. Keep in mind that 66% of consumers are likely to stop spending money with a company as a result of a bad user experience.

Ensure your homepage makes it simple to locate products. If you have a product listing with multiple departments, have each department easily accessible from the homepage.

The three most important informational aspects for a product page are a picture of the product, the price and the dimensions. Feel free to add real customer photos, identifying text or additional information, but make sure the big three are easily visible.

A simple banner to add festiveness to your site is enough. Holiday music, an elf mouse cursor or a pop-up video are generally in the overkill territory. Not only are they distracting, but they will also take your page longer to load. A slow loading page is enough to lose a conversion.

Offer Gift Cards

The stigma is that gift cards are impersonal, but there will always be acquaintances, coworkers or that one family member that shoppers need to find a gift for, and they’ll want to go the safe route.

The wonderful consequence of gift cards is you have a guaranteed return customer who could not spend the entire gift card, in which case you make a profit without giving away inventory, or their total will be greater than the gift card amount, and your sales will increase. Both outcomes will benefit your bottom line.

Email Campaign

Remind customers you are here. For any given interest there are hundreds, even thousands of e-commerce sites to compete with and the majority of them are running email campaigns. Do not rely on brand loyalty to lull a previous shopper back. The holidays are hectic, a simple ad displaying your holiday gift ideas or a small promotional coupon will instantly drive traffic to your site. Just be careful with quantity, since sending promotional emails too often can put you on a customer’s spam list.

Businesses can cater to last-minute E-commerce holiday shoppers with effectiveness from the tips above, helping appeal to the last-minute mentality while promoting the holiday season in a way everyone can appreciate.

Nathan Sykes is a business and technology writer and founder of Finding an Outlet. When he’s not overthinking how IoT and big data will impact our lives, he can be found enjoying sushi and beer in Pittsburgh.

How to Boost Creativity in the Workplace

We are all aware that creativity is something that needs nurturing and certain conditions to develop. Many companies have recognized it as a form of the idea development process which is more abstract than tangible. This means that certain conditions need to be met so employees can work in an environment which will accommodate all the necessary means for their unobstructed creative effort.

The best known example is Google, with its modern and supportive approach to the creative process of its employees. But nowadays, more and more businesses adopt these principles. Encouraging creativity is actually easier than you may believe, although it does take some effort. To help, we’ve gathered some of the important aspects you can adopt in your workplace and boost the creativity of employees.  


One of the most important aspects of creativity is brainstorming. In order to help your employees with this, organize regular meetings and talk about ideas. Also, encourage the team leaders to have brainstorming meetings and to help the employees develop their ideas into valuable solutions and projects. This way you will encourage people to think more out of the box and freely voice their creativity.

Bear in mind that some employees may have a problem with expressing themselves publicly. So placing a suggestion box and having open doors for one-on-one brainstorming meetings is a nice way to help those shy individuals express themselves.

Team building

Team building has become a completely normal thing in companies. Besides being a great way to create a more friendly atmosphere and better relations between the employees, it’s also a great way to facilitate the idea making process. If people are working in a familiar environment, they will most likely be more creative and stand up for the company’s ideals.

You don’t have to take your employees on extravagant business trips. Friday night karaoke or other forms of joint fun can be more appropriate for people to get to know each other and exchange ideas. You can even organize for teams to go away to a retreat or some secluded place to brainstorm and work on ideas.

Reward new ideas

It may be a little bit old-school, but rewarding your employees for a job well done is still effective. Being creative in the workplace is risky and, unfortunately, the downside of it is failure. That shouldn’t be something discouraging for your employees. It is normal for new and innovative things to fail in the beginning, but that is only a part of the learning process and adapting changes to make it work.

As a company you should prepare for possible failures and make sure that your employees understand that not all ideas will be a success. This will eliminate fear for your employees to be forward and motivated to think freely about new solutions and directions. Every instance of successful creativity should be rewarded with a bonus, promotion or some other form which will serve as an encouraging method for others to think creatively.   

Organize the workplace

Companies pay a lot of attention to design and décor these days, thus recognising the importance of visual surroundings to their employees. Colors can have a huge impact on one’s mind, as many studies have shown. Light blue will support creative thinking, while red creates anxiety and negativity. Placing images which limit the thinking process like statistics and charts can lead to a closed up creative environment.

On the other hand, using some inspiring pictures like nature and animals can promote a more positive atmosphere and release the pressure of the thought process. Instead of keeping unnecessary things like folder cabinets and pieces of furniture, you can place them in an affordable storage or somewhere else where they won’t clutter the workplace. More open office space where employees can interact will create a friendly atmosphere and a more relaxed setting.

Create a break room

Creativity is a process of thinking and as such it requires special conditions. Some people need peace and quiet, while others like to do something completely different in order to organize their thoughts. Today, practically all the companies which work on idea development have some sort of the break room so their employees can relax and take the stress off their shoulders. Usually, these break rooms have video games and table football, but some even go as far as to create a real playland in their buildings.

Board games, chess, twister, bowling alleys, and even courts for indoor volleyball, tennis or squash are used as forms of relaxation and creativity boosters. But even the smallest things like puzzle can be helpful to the creative process just as much as basketball court would be. Your employees need to clear their heads and have a break so they can eliminate the tension and refresh their minds.


The company is as good as its employees. Today, the market promotes new ideas and creativity is the main resource to be on top of the competition. So don’t spare any means to help your employees be creative and freely suggest their ideas. Maybe there is a new Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk among them who will help you change the world and launch your company with their creativity to new heights.    


Written by Helen Bradford

What Every Digital Marketer Should Know About Mobile Payment

The internet is vast and full of possibilities and one of those possibilities is online marketing for different businesses. Online marketing is a form of internet marketing that greatly affects the world of businesses with its versatility in promoting products. It can make a certain product popular in an instant.

On the other note, there is also a rise of mobile technology which enables online marketing to grow further and provide accessible product information to its target market. One feature of this technology is the mobile payment methods using smartphones. It’s faster, more convenient, and often linked to valuable rewards and discounts. Being that said, mobile payment is a versatile and safer method that every online marketer should be fully familiar with to take every advantage it has to offer for the business. And this article will be of great help to you.

What is Mobile Payment?

Mobile payment is an easy way to pay for performing it through a mobile device. These new applications use a type of wireless communication called Near Field Communication (NFC) rather than the magnet strip or chip on your credit card. This method provides a safer and more convenient alternative as compared to other payment methods available as this could be done anywhere, anytime. And this is predicted to continue to grow in the future.

What is a Mobile Wallet?

The mobile wallet is a mobile technology that stores payment card information on a mobile device, much like a real wallet would do. The mobile wallet can hold rewards cards, medical records, credit and debit cards, and personal items. So instead of using your physical credit or debit card to make purchases, you can pay via your mobile device. Add the fact that upon using a mobile wallet, you can be safe from stealing because your manual wallet can be stolen or lost. But the mobile wallet is a virtual concept so nobody can steal it or you can’t lose it.


Contactless Payments


Near Field Communication is the technology that allows two devices (such as your phone and a payment terminal) to communicate to each other when they’re close together. The process itself is very secure because your phone and the payment terminal are the only ones which are communicating. It is locked on your phone, unlike having multiple credit cards that might get lost. Examples of NFC payment apps are Apple pay, Android pay, which are included in certain mobile devices.

Apple Pay

Apple pay is the payment system available for iPhones. It uses NFC to only work for transactions and payments. Due to Apple’s security policy, it’s one of the safest forms of mobile payments out there. iPhones are famous throughout the world and companies adapt to trends set by Apple themselves since joining the Apple Pay system will increase the possibility of boosting their market and sales.

Android Pay

Android Pay was announced in 2015 and is one of the best mobile payments systems available due to the Android platform. It works by using NFC as well in order to create contactless payments by using credit/debit card information stored in the account. A randomly generated 16-digit number is sent, rather than your credit card and personal info. That means if that terminal, or the store that you used, is hacked, your personal financial info should be safe. Android Pay is supported in US, UK Canada and some handful of countries, and will continue to add support in the future. Retailers include McDonald's, KFC, Macy’s and other convenient services.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay is the counterpart of Apple Pay and Android Pay and works using the same way as the previous mobile payment systems mentioned above by using NFC. Samsung Pay works mostly for Galaxy S devices. It works with almost all point-of-sale systems. Using this is very simple – from the lock screen, swipe up from the small Samsung Pay bar just above the home button. Select the card you want to use, then place your finger on the home button to verify your fingerprint. Hold the back of the phone against the payment terminal.


How Mobile Payments Can Boost Your Business


People often underestimate mobile payments as insignificant and a mere technological evolution, but the mobile payment system is far from insignificant. It is actually the future of future payments for it is portable and adaptable. And using this trend equates to different gained advantages of mobile technology that can boost your business. Here are some of those:

Improve Productivity

Improving payment methods boosts eagerness for consumers to buy your product and it improves your business productivity. An example of which is Starbucks and their mobile order-and-pay app, which became a hit in the US. It also helps to process payments faster, and more convenient and lessens time consumed in lines for orders. It can also be used for determining promos and discounts.

Generate New Business

The ability to include mobile payments into existing operations can create synergies that generate new sales and streams of revenue for the business adapting it. An example of this is Kenya’s leading mobile network operator Safaricom which launched a mobile payment system called M-Pesa. Today, more than two-thirds of Kenyans use M-Pesa to make or receive payments.

Increase Stickiness of Core Business

Including mobile payments in a company or business portfolio makes sense, even when offered for free, payment system adds a touch of availability for the customers, therefore making them feel convenient due to the available choices of payment methods. Strong networks effects that increase customer retention are established because they might think that switching to another company is much most costly.


Benefits of Mobile Business on Your Business


Mobile business is not just a technological innovation. From a simple website design to mobile application, it is also a potential new way for people to make transactions. Jumping into this trend will maximize your profits with its benefits like promotion, and advertisement of products that you would provide for the online consumer, and throughout the growing industry. More benefits are available like:

Helps You Keep Your Information Safe

Mobile Wallets keep your information safe by using special applications that provide more convenient ways to pay. Brands like Starbucks and CVS are examples of those, they save information like favorite products, so ease of use and promos can be established, therefore boosting customer experience and sales.


People are carrying less and less cash, for safety and for fewer worries or bulk in their wallets, they have their phones ready for payment and always available in their pockets, this combination provides portable and convenience for the customer, by just tapping on the phone in order to pay, with no hassles like going into an ATM.

Fast Transactions

With the rise of mobile payment, it is now the fastest way to pay a transaction and takes just about seconds, compared to EMV cards, which sometimes might fail. With this, mobile payments will be adopted thoroughly by companies and businesses for a better experience, and faster transactions mean more allowance of time for more customers in line.


Mobile payments feature dynamic encryption making them extremely secure, while at the same time easily accessible whenever you need it, requiring just your thumbprint or any other forms of security methods to process transactions.

How to Use Email Marketing to Encourage Word-of-Mouth Referrals

For centuries, businesses have depended on word-of-mouth marketing to attract new customers. With the advent of digital channels such as social networks, not much has changed.

Conventional marketing methods such as print and broadcast advertising, together with pay-per-click advertising can spread awareness of your brand. Still, regardless of how well you pitch your products and services, traditional advertising often fails to build trust.

For the most part, trust comes with experience. For this reason, shoppers have an intense interest in the experiences that other people have had with your brand. Even when a testimonial or product review comes from a complete stranger, it can have more influence than any branded messaging.

So, if you want people to believe that your brand is fantastic, you need to let other people tell that story. To make this happen, consider using email. The following tips will help you effectively use email to build word-of-mouth marketing campaigns.


Adding a hashtag to your email messages is a subtle way to spark conversations. As a matter of fact, by clicking the hashtag, recipients can instantly transition from email to social media. Also, by connecting with a hashtag, you will have a chance to monitor what people are saying about your message and brand.

Make sure that you choose a hashtag that accurately reflects your brand, so it makes sense to your users. Meanwhile, you want to control your hashtag while also making it easy for users to remember and use.

Hashtags also give you a good way to encourage people to share photos of your products in use. Regardless of where you post these images, your hashtag can tie them all together. Moreover, you can organize contests and other incentives to encourage people to share their experiences.


Include special offers in every marketing email that you send. When you do, you encourage them to share the opportunities and thereby promote your brand. Such referrals can result in a surge of short-term sales and build long-term goodwill for your business.

To accelerate your word-of-mouth results, provide special referral incentives that specifically ask your recipients to act. You may even limit such an effort to your best customers to reward them for their loyalty.

When you ask people to refer customers, treat them courteously and make the process as effortless as possible. In other words, give people the VIP treatment. This includes rewarding referees with discounts and freebies.



Connect with influential people in your industry to expand your audience and build the authority of your brand. You can get started by sending emails to prominent bloggers who might give your brand a mention or recommendation.

Essentially, you want to build an entire network of influencers whose opinions rank almost as highly as those of a friend. To find people who can promote your brand, search pertinent hashtags on sites such as Twitter. You can also find influencers in private Facebook groups.

Sometimes incentives can boost the responsiveness of influencers. So, consider offering them free products or special deals that will help them justify spending time and effort on your brand.


Getting messages opened and read presents a major challenge for many email marketers. Some simple practices can improve the performance of your email campaigns:

  • Wisely choose your email platform and a professional email address. Different providers may have different advantages. For example, Gmail offers high security while Outlook lets you recall messages.

  • Create short, personalized subject lines that both have pizazz and avoid spammy words such as “buy”, “discount” and “order.”

  • Carefully craft your content. Keep it focused on your message and avoid wordiness.

  • At the end, make sure you include a clear call-to-action and a button or link that is easily seen and clicked.

In summary, you can harness the power of email as part of an effective word-of-mouth campaign. By including hashtags and inspiring people to share, you can dramatically increase the number of referrals that you get. In the end, your efforts to include influencers and solid email practices will pay off in the form of steady sales growth.


Author bio: Ashley Wilson is a freelance writer interested in business, marketing, and tech topics. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. Connect with Ashley via Twitter.


Big data and business growth: 7 best-kept secrets

Just a few years ago, most organizations were unsure about how to implement big data analytics into their business models. This is because the cost of analysis was huge and it was a lengthy process. But today, everything has become digitized and data is flooding in from every possible direction.  

Organizations can obtain terabytes and petabytes of data from various sources, like their operations and transactional systems, customer service points, landing pages, mobile and web media platforms etc.

But instead of using all this data to their advantage, companies are overwhelmed by the concept of big data. According to a survey held by big data solutions provider, Talend, only 10% of the respondents implemented big data analysis on a large scale, despite seeing nearly 40% growth in interest in big data within their organization.



But, if you want your business to survive in today's fast-paced technological environment, you need to stay on top of the game. Big data is the key to get valuable insights from customer behavior patterns that will enable you to make timely decisions and help your business grow.

You cannot expect your brand to develop further without knowing customer demands and market trends. This is when big data tools come to your rescue.

Big data analytics can help you examine gigantic amounts of data and uncover the important aspects that will help your business step forward in the right direction. In fact, it is an indispensable source that will help to design new products or services according to the needs of your clientele.

Here are 7 of our best-kept secrets that can improve sales, increase profits and guarantee customer satisfaction in your business. Just base your business model on the following words of Edward Demming, and watch the magic unfold- "In God we trust, everyone else bring data".



1. Increased efficiency

In the last few years, especially after the arrival of the internet, enhanced connectivity has connected almost every individual to a social media platform. The footprint of e-commerce organizations has grown tremendously and now successful companies are using data analysis tools and data management systems to plan their next marketing initiative.

Big data analytics provide you an instant update on how well your organization is performing. Valuable customer insights help you point the strengths and weaknesses of your product and workforce. By implementing this analysis, you can increase your efficiency immediately and motivate your team to perform even better than before.

2- Improved pricing techniques

Pricing your products can be tricky. Price them too low and you will be facing a loss. Price them higher than average, and you will be pushing your customer away. This is why, you should be aware of the ongoing pricing trends in the market.

By using effective D3 data visualization in data analysis tools, you can check out the competitors' prices and also set your minimum. Big data makes it easy for you to understand market sentiments related to your brand as well as other competing brands in your area.

3- Minimize the risk factor

Entrepreneurs are scared of a loss, while planning to expand their business. One wrong decision can make an undesirable impact on the whole company. Big data can help mitigate the risk involved in expanding. With the reliable prediction tools big data has to offer, CFOs and auditors can monitor risk in advance and stay away from common project failure points.

4- Innovative approach

Big data analysis helps organizations identify the needs of their customers and understanding them in a much better way. Equipped with valuable customer insight, you can design a product or a service that is much more efficient and up to the mark.

You can choose to be as innovative as you want and pertain to the customer's point of view while brainstorming. This will help you to grow in the right direction.

5- Satisfied customers

Everyone knows that nothing can help a business grow more than its loyal customer following can. With the help of big data pattern analysis and opportunities, you can make sure that none of your customers return unsatisfied. Identify brand improvement opportunities through customer reviews, discover the pain points within your product, offer personalized shopping - the possibilities for improving customer service through big data analytics are endless.

6- Monitor your brand's reputation

Before planning to grow, it is essential to understand your organization's current standing. Big data analysis can help you by actively monitoring your social media presence. Big data has created a social scale and your company will be scored on excellent customer service, online reputation, corporate social responsibility etc. All these factors help in building a positive online reputation which is extremely important if you plan to expand within the next few years.

7- Effective advertising

Through big data analytics, you can test all your advertising materials for their effectiveness. All landing pages, pop-ups and images should be assessed and tweaked regularly to see if they are making the desired impact on your customers. This approach helps you identify the best sources of advertisement so that you can drive maximum engagement and sales towards your website.

Advertising is expensive and by using big data analysis, you can know which advertising technique resonates best with your customers and get immediate return on your investment.



Without any doubt, the future of business growth depends on how intelligently you are applying the business analysis potential offered by big data. If you provide your enterprise with the understanding, techniques and tools to leverage big data insights effectively then nothing can stop you from succeeding.

So, take out the time to get into the nitty gritty of big data and apply it to all areas of your business operations. You will be surprised to see the instant improvements after using a good data analytic tool.

Which areas of your business are you analyzing through big data? Share your best-kept secrets related to big data analytics that can help other entrepreneurs grow their business.


ABOUT Alycia Gordan

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia



How to Broaden Your Audience

No business can hope to succeed without customers. Sure, you might think that the only thing you need to do is open up shop and wait for customers. Truthfully, it's much more complicated than that. Today's market is saturated with various businesses and they all struggle to attract the right customers. Also, you can't just start promoting your business to random people either, because it would only be a waste of time and resources.

If you want to reach success, you need to identify your target audience. Your target audience is essential for your business because they are the consumers that will show interest in your products or services. Moreover, they are the people you'll most likely convert into customers, and use relationships you've built with them to expand your reach and grow your business. Here are a few ways to broaden your audience.


Identify your audience

When your business is fresh on the market, its influence isn't developed enough to effectively reach everyone. More importantly, no one has the funds to appeal to everyone. It's better to identify a specific niche and focus your efforts there. For instance, you may target consumers that fit the criteria of "everyone who's interested in buying my products or services", but that is a bit too general. Instead, define the market further to identify consumers who are most likely to buy from you.

However, that doesn't mean you're excluding everyone that fits the previous criteria; instead, you're currently focusing your investment where it will generate the biggest ROI. Don't worry, as your ability to generate more income improves, so will your ability to reach a broader audience. Still, you'll need to conduct thorough market research in order to you identify your target audience first and make sure your efforts aren't in vain.


Determine who isn't a part of your audience

In order to identify who isn’t a part of your audience, you must take a closer look at your existing audience. For example, who are your current customers and why did they decide to buy from you? What characteristics and interests do these consumers have in common? That will help you identify people who could also benefit from your products or services but are not a part of your audience for some reason.



Then it's up to you to identify the problem - what is it that drives them away, and what can you do to mend the situation? Here's a good example, Universum, a Stockholm-based company, had difficulties reaching out and engaging with their non-academic audience. With the use of the right social media analytics, the company has managed to identify a problem and adapt their content to pique the audience's interest. Therefore, the problem could simply be in your approach.


Market to audiences, not people

Personalization allows you to target specific individuals with customized offers and lead them to make a purchasing decision. However, too much personalization can show consumers that you've gathered a bit too much information on them. Also, too little personalization, and your offer will feel the same as any other. But in truth, individual personalization isn't always as effective as entrepreneurs tend to believe.

First of all, it would cost too much to tailor personalized messages to each individual customer in your audience. Second, you need too much data and time to identify each individual's preferences and dislikes. That's why marketing to audiences is much more effective. The main reason is that once you identify common interests and preferences in your audience, you can leverage that to tailor messages and promotions to everyone in your focus group.




Broadening your audience doesn't mean you have to do it alone, especially if you don't have the right idea or you lack the funds to properly implement one. A good way to extend your reach would be to establish a partnership or simply team up with someone from similar niches and leverage each other's audiences to expand both of them. For instance, let's say you're in the business of selling nail polish, while your partner from a similar niche sells makeup. Both niches have women as their target audience in general, but aren't competitors in any way.

You can collaborate and organize a beauty event which would bring both audiences into a shared event space. That way, you'll be helping each other out by recommending a similar business to your audiences, who share the common interest in beauty products. If you recommend to customers that like your nail polish a business that sells makeup, and vice versa, you're basically expanding each other's consumer base.


Content, content, content

Content is king in the marketing world because it offers something of value to the customers, such as education, entertainment or simply information. A familiar cliché when establishing relationships with customers is:  "You get what you give". Simply put, you must provide value to customers to get engagement and loyalty in return, and content is the best way to achieve that. However, the content you provide must be relevant to your audience to produce the best results.

Let's go back to the Universum example. In order to reach their non-academic audience, the company launched a "Millennial project" that consisted of six-part eBook series accompanied by other content. The research addressed the issue of millennial concerns about career, retirement, work-life balance and so on. By addressing an important issue, Universum managed to get the uncooperative part of their audience aboard. The point being that, by adapting your content to different needs, you’ll be able to reach a broader audience and expand your consumer base.


Broadening your audience doesn’t happen overnight. However, if you nurture and cherish your relationship with your customers, both your business and your audience will grow over time.




About Jolene Rutherford

Jolene Rutheford is a marketing specialist-turned blogger. Interested in media and social media, digital marketing, and psychology. Loves coffee, jazz, dystopian and fantasy movies.

4 Reasons To Use Instagram To Market Your Business

Have you been looking for a fun way to market your business? If you haven’t considered Instagram, then it’s time you did. With half a billion users, 300 million of whom are active every month, the potential locked up in that social media platform is enormous. So why should you use Instagram to create brand awareness and drive traffic to your site? Here are a few reasons!

Stay at the forefront of your audience’s mind – Even though you want to make sure that you offer fascinating and even mind-blowing content, you will be surprised to know that if you publish average content consistently, you will be able to engage your clients and gain followers with ease.  By creating your Instagram business profile and sharing useful information, fun facts and more, you will engage the audience and appear at the top of their news feed.  

  1. Marketing strategy – Before you dive right in, you need to create a content strategy that targets your potential clientele. You want something that will grab their attention and also cater to the various preferences represented by your audience. Not only should you post great pictures, you also need to make sure that you use the right filters to show off your pictures to their best advantage. In addition, make use of the Instagram stories feature that allows you to showcase live videos for twenty-four hours. Be sure to diversify the content as well so that people expect more than the same old stuff day in day out.

  2. Market real-time – Today people are going live on social media all the time and Instagram is not being left behind. You can do some real-time marketing that allows you to reach the audience you are targeting right in the nick of time. You can use a company like Gramista to help you come up with your Instagram marketing plan and action it so that you keep up with all the changes that happen. If you are having a sale, a promotion or some other event, you can post live and encourage your audience to come by. This makes people feel connected to what you are doing and gives it a personal touch.

  3. Have a great time with marketing – Even though marketing your products and services is serious business, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have fun with it!  Instagram makes it easy to post your photos and go live, which will save you lots of time. You don’t have to worry about having perfect pictures, or content that is extraordinary; you just need to make sure that you showcase your pictures to their best advantage and post regularly too. With the videos, you can let loose and have a little more fun as you show your audience what happens behind the scenes as well.  Make marketing fun and you will make more sales.

Make sure that your business profile is high-quality, stay visible, direct traffic to your website and create an unforgettable brand. Be sure to engage your target audience and by so doing, leverage their networks as well.  

Bio: Harris is a leading blog writer and content marketing professional with thousands of real Instagram followers for his postings.