Monthly Archives: February 2017

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Facebook Ads: Small Business Luxury

The cost of being liked

Being liked in all aspects of life comes at some price. Whether a good behavior, knowledge, trendy clothes or even the most modern gadgets. Its ironical that the most precious things in life are facebook-advertising-sydneyfree whereas the most essentials ones come at a price. As an example, one might remember the days where companies used to quote: ” Let’s put that on Facebook, it’s free!”. Since those early days, Facebook remained at the very top of its game, and no wonder today it is one of the best advertising platforms for small and large businesses alike. Today, Facebook has reached over 1.79 billion monthly active users, in an industry where total digital media spends are at 38% of the total media spends. Digital media has now replaced TV media as the number 1 medium for advertising. Moreover, it enables target specific audience marketing. Brands can pick and choose the customers who receive their message based on interests, geo-location, and demographics. In comparison to other advertising mediums, Facebook remains economical when compared to the results it delivers.

Limited ad space competition

In the past few years, Facebook ads have risen in popularity. Its not a mere coincidence that the number of small businesses who advertise on Facebook has grown larger, narrowing the ad space. This growth has created an imbalance of supply and demand. Reports say that in the first quarter the average ad price has increased by 5% and but this has not turned away advertisers, who continued buying ads. But, with the rise of the ads, that the Cost-per-Clicks have also increased, making the small-budget campaigns under performing.

4 million active Advertisers on Facebook.

Its no surprise that as the social platform grew, the number of brands competing to get a chunk of all that foot-fall, grew as well. This intense growth made easier for bigger companies to spread wider. Bigger brands had bigger budgets and dedicated teams who consistently manage the online Facebook advertisingstrategy and thus able to make the overall ads performance better. However, if you are a small or struggling business the chances of you spending a lot of time and money on managing your Facebook performance are lower. So, is there a solution for improving your performance? At our deepest repentance nowadays you cannot make a Facebook strategy without ads. With Facebook ads, businesses have 8x more engagement than an unpaid organic post. Our studies have shows that Facebook advertising can also help brands achieve upto 192% more conversions, 92% higher ad recall, 31% greater brand awareness, and 35% lower cost per conversion. There is one less battle to win the war.

Alternative strategy boosting

The best way to start is by listening what the platform has to say. Use the information Facebook provides and optimize your targeting. Include or exclude audiences based on their interests, age or locations to make your ad reach exactly the customers you need. As the Facebook ads differ from Facebook Advertisingyour daily posts, you need to make your copy catchy since its important to grab your eye’s attention from among the never-ending scroller. Another solution might be to launch multiple ads. Instead of creating just one, we suggest you create a couple of ads, playing with the visuals and with the text so to know which one performs best. It us also important, just like everything else today, to make your ads mobile responsive. Responsive ads must be your single biggest agenda since Facebook users use the social network from their smartphone app. However, today with this intense competition for the ad space on Facebook, companies start to experiment with many alternative and innovative approaches to growing their audience or engage with it.

Engaging Influencers  

Today, the struggle is to have the trends and creativity work together and become contagious. It is about building relationships and memorable experiences. It is about unique performance and engagement. And probably the best way to make all this happen is by engaging influencers.Social media influencers are the bloggers, Instagrammers and all other people who have a wider community of loyal followers. Using them in your strategy will help you build the desired relationships with your audience. No matter how big the Facebook Influencersinfluencers’ audience is, they can reach the crowd easily and in a way that your brand may not be able to. In example, mid-level influencers, like bloggers or instagrammers with ~ 100,000 followers have higher engagement in comparison to the top ranked influencers or even celebrities. Their audience may be smaller but definitely more loyal, driving around 16 times higher engagement than the “Mega” ones. Also, user reviews has become one of the most important influencers in buying a product, right? Well, with influencers, you’ll have very influential online reviews of your products or services, placed directly to your audience, making them believe that it is not only their right choice but also their only one. And most importantly, our research shows that in this millennial era, 90% of the consumers trust “peer recommendation” and only 33% trust the ads.

In the end, whether you decide to go for the economic Facebook advertising or maybe increase your budgets for the tailored ads or even still widening your budgets further to hire an influencer, this is still the best way to place your brand online. So make the most of the social platforms and shine bright like a diamond!

Online Shopping

Online Shopping: Are You Addicted Yet?

The power of “add to basket” button

Generally when people browse retailers, or web pages that sell certain products or services want to have a buying option. Not having an e-commerce solution it’s a huge mistake. It’s 2017, a period where annoying shoppers by reminding them to visit a physical store is not considered cool, especially when shoppers love the online experience. How much ever sparkle and fun it adds to your pexels-photo-230544Saturday visiting a mall for shopping fares lower than online shopping where experience is concerned, the latter is far better, and doesn’t require leaving the house, office or the place of being at the moment!

Unless selling goods for old people, most retailers consider their customers as digital and contemporary. They like to have their options open and not waste too much time. They want to be able to quickly and easily look for what they want, find it and buy it. Online shopping not only is faster, better and much, much easier for them, it quickly becomes their only shopping option.

E-commerce will become a ‘traditional’ business, says Alibaba’s Chairman and former CEO, Jack Ma “We anticipate the birth of a re-imagined retail industry driven by the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain.”

It’s in your phone, so you shop on the go
The “everywhere convenience” can easily create the first online shopping addiction. Shop wherever you are, whether in the office, at home, while waiting in the car for the lights to turn green, Online shoppingwhile lying on the beach or before going to bed at night. The Online shopping platforms are open 24×7. And for no-timers, this might be on the top of the why-shop-online list.

Addiction grows bigger knowing that a shopper, in online shopping model, has the power to compare prices from different sellers just in a matter of clicks. The freedom of choosing the best and most affordable product online, while saving time and energy is a blast!

It’s you and you only

Let’s say you are a tech freak or you really, really want to be the first to get the hands on some new or discounted item. Well, new arrivals or big discounts pull crowds in stores. This possibility makes online shopping a paradise if you hate crowds. Plus, nowadays online sales tend to have more significant discounts than offline ones. Take Black Friday and Cyber Monday for instance. So, no spending your precious time, no waiting in lines and no driving (so no traffic jams). It will only take a simple browsing and just a few clicks, whilst wearing your favorite pajamas. Maybe this crowd avoidance is the most obvious benefit to get you hooked on online shopping. Well, if not…

There’s everything online!

Were you thinking about green sunglasses? Bam! OEMFD40You found them online. You would even find better red ones. When shopping online, there are much more products and many more options. A thousand styles, color combinations and price ranges. Are you shopping for the whole family? No problem, it’s done in few tabs only. Instead of wandering around multiple stores you can choose from the variety of online products. You can easily shop at multiple stores at the same time. And even more important, online stores never close up! Payment is always available via your credit card, or yet more, there is pay-on-delivery option to pamper you even further.

No more Out-of-stock freak outs

How many times have you gone to the mall to buy some new clothes and your number or color was out of stock? Almost always in offline sales, all good products are gone in no time. But not online! If out of stock, you can still order it and receive it as soon as it becomes available again. Email subscription to your favorite online stores makes things even easier. You get notified of new arrivals, sales or products coming back in stock again. In short, there is a slight or no chance at all that you miss buying your favorite products online.

The addiction has grown bigger, right?

You have developed an everyday habit of revisiting several retailers to see if they have promotions, sales or new arrivals. There is always an opened tab of an online store or you have a full shopping cart in your browser, waiting for the “buy now” click. Your mailman has your cell phone number. And he’s calling on the weekly basis. You get carried away and shop from work. Almost all the websites you online shoppingvisit have ads and banners from your online stores. Your inbox is full of promotional emails, codes and discount newsletters. Discount or sale emails give you heebie-jeebies. You’ve learned your way and shop only from free shipping and free return stores. You’ve started receiving packages you forgot to order or something you ordered twice since you forgot to order it the first time. You get a bit depressed every time an item you want is “sold out” or hasn’t arrived on time and you “needed just that”. When your friends invite you to the mall, you quickly respond with “I can order that online.” You have more than one shopping mobile apps. And finally, you are stressed out every time an item that arrives is not as you’ve expected.

Well, face it; you might be addicted to online shopping. Congratulations.

 

Marija Stardelova                                                                                                                                              Marketing Specialist and Blogger, Orange Interactive Technology

Travel planning

Sites and apps a traveler should use, like, NOW!

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Moving past January, it is time to start planning your next big travel. So many places, so little time, right. Well, let’s help you take the hassle out of your next travel with a few tech solutions. Choosing an app or a good travel website can be time-consuming, and we hope to be of help by providing you some of the best free travel apps and most useful travel related websites for 2017. Let’s make the where-to-go and where-to-stay a bit easier and maybe even flawless! From finding interesting and rarely explored routes, to finding the cheapest flights and accommodation, to helping you experience the cities like a local, these apps and websites we’ve chosen for you will ease out the planning and make your travel more enjoyable.

Flights, Planning and Travel routes

Planning can be a nightmare, but at the same time it’s challenging and fun; getting to know all those places, routes and flight combinations. Here are a few websites/apps to give you some ideas, insights and to ease your travel planning and costs.

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eDreams.net – is a flight generator, helping you to book your next vacation at lowest prices. Actually, it might be one of the best flight generators out there. How? The fast and really efficient website (and app as well) is getting the best deals and discounts from over 450 airlines showing you the cheapest, shortest and smartest option for flight tickets. You can easily choose flight options, companies and other services like great deals for hotels, cars or combo deals at best prices. The mobile app is fast and free and you can download it for iPhone or Android.

rome2rio – this is one of the best online trip planning platforms out there, helping you discover how to get anywhere by plane, train, bus, car and ferry. The website (and app ) calculates all the possible routes for your desired destination (or an entire trip), giving you options for different transportation combinations together with pricing and approximate time of arrival. Rome2Rio’s travel search engine contains route information from over 4,800 transport operators in over 158 countries. The website even provides accommodation, car hire and suggests things to do in the selected destination. The mobile app is easy-to-use, free and you can download it for iPhone or Android.

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utrip – is a free and easy to use travel-planning platform providing travelers the greatest planning and traveling experience. The platform makes it easy for travelers to create their perfect trip quickly and in a matter of clicks, combining the best of both worlds-artificial intelligence and human experience. Having a vast travel database curated by local area experts the traveler can not only choose their destination but also their interest, budgets and traveling preferences. The powerful AI algorithm on the platform creates millions of potential combinations and possibilities for the travelers’ profile. This may include hotels, sites, activities and restaurants, creating a personalized day-by-day journey with maps. Unfortunately, this AWESOME platform still has limited places inboard. The mobile app is free, and you can download it for iPhone or Android.

Holiday pirates – pirates indeed, this platform offers amazing and unimaginable last minute offers. You can browse through the offered deals or start searching your own. It generates the cheapest accommodation and travel options and gives you last minute deals for the desired places. Its only fault is that the service is not enabled worldwide. You can only choose the deals originating in 11 countries. So, if you search deals from the UK, you’ll have to plan the trip to the UK first. The mobile app is also free and you can download it for iPhone or Android.

Flightstats – as the name says, Flightstats is a global flight tracking platform. It provides flight status, tracker and sends flight alerts. You need to know the airline company and the flight number in order to get tracking. The platform also provides airport overview, shows the departures, arrivals, maps and tracking of airports. It’s a great tool for busy schedules, connection flights or if you have to wait for your friends arrival. Their app is also free of charge and you can download it for iPhone or Android.


Booking and Accommodation

If you decide not to use trip generator and go manually and book everything, after managing your transport, you’ll need to start planning your accommodation. From our experience, we have selected some of the best lodging apps and websites so that you get the most from your trip.

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Airbnb – In an era of aggregators, Airbnb became one of the best platforms for accommodation. Making you feel at home, staying at people’s homes or even with them can be a truly enriching cultural experience. Both the website and the mobile app are well organized, helping you find the perfect accommodation for your trip, based on your budget, preferences, and interests. You can browse through hosts’ feedback and you can also chat with them for any questions. From our experience, Airbnb is a great and quite affordable service for group travelers. Hosts are almost always very polite and helpful and if you’re up to it, they can make your trip local-like. The mobile app is free and you can download it for iPhone and Android.

Booking.com – unlike airbnb where you choose to stay in people’s homes, Booking.com offers you deals for hotels, hostels and rental apartments. The website (and mobile app as well) offers you great-value travel deals and place suggestion. But most importantly it has 1,138,034 properties worldwide. Most bookings are made with credit cards, but some venues do no mandate a credit card at the time of reservation – instead you can pay upon arrival. The Destination inspiration is also a cool option, which helps you find monthly destinations based on your preferences such as accommodation price, weather, and popularity. Unfortunately, hosts are not always responsive, since the emails do not go straight to them but through booking’s service, which might be a setback sometimes. The mobile apps are, however, free and you can download them by scanning their code on the website or on the following links: iPhone and Android.

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Kayak – is another well-organized travel generator, providing you with accommodation options concerning hotels and private rentals. The search is generated among hundreds of hotels at once, providing the best price. You can also choose to compare the Kayak offerings with other services like booking.com, hotels.com, Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline to make sure you receive the cheapest or best option. Moreover, Kayak includes a car rental generator engine, so that you don’t lose time in searching mobility options through separate car rental portals.The Kayak app is also free and can be downloaded for iPhone and Android.

Hotel Tonight – you just got notified you need to travel? No problem, because with the Hotel Tonight travel app you can book at the last moment since the site offers fantastic last-minute deals on great hotels. With downloading the app, which is, of course, free for both iPhone and Android, it’s easy for you to find a hotel at no time, even in the case of missed or canceled flights.


Getting around

Once you’ve booked everything and finally arrived at your destination, it is time to get around, experience the most out of the place you’ll stay in and more importantly not get lost. If you thought we would recommend Google maps now wait till we tell you it’s our second best app for the purpose.

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Maps.me – is the best choice of maps for your travel. It is the fastest, the most detailed completely offline search mobile app. Maps.me include the maps for the entire world (yes, even the smallest villages and islands) and not only maps – museums, restaurants, shopping malls – everything, literally everything!. The maps never freeze, you operate them smoothly zooming in and out, and with the GPS Positioning and compass, you can locate exactly where you are. The app also suggests features and points of interest. As soon as you download the app, for free for iPhone and Android, you download the maps of the places you’re about to visit, using your Wi-Fi connection and you start exploring completely Offline, saving money on roaming charges.

Google Maps – Everyone is already familiar with Google Maps, and the mobile app is considered one of the best navigation apps out there. It is another solution that also works great especially if you have saved places which are then easier to access with the suggested local transportation options. It works best when online, but you can also download some areas for offline use as well. If you don’t have it, get it here for iPhone and Android.

Uber – If you are not a fan of the public transportation and you don’t like spending time walking, there is another solution, usually cheaper than the local taxi. Again, on the platform of shared-economy apps, Uber is a ride-sharing app currently active in around 77 countries and 527 cities, making it the biggest car-sharing platform. The app enables you to easily request a ride giving you a choice of vehicle rates and fare quotes to choose. Even more convenient, you can connect with the selected driver, track the car’s location, and securely pay using a credit card. It is easier than looking for a taxi when abroad but more expensive than the public transport. Also, you can sign up for a ride, or you can become a driver yourself. The app is free for both iPhone and Android.

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Citymapper – called the Ultimate Transport app is specially designed for confusing cities! The app makes A to B trip planning easier with estimated time of arrival and including all transport types (subway, bus, rail, ferry, bike and car sharing). It is the best way to find and utilize public transportation. Citymapper is a great solution if you are a first-timer in a city and using the public transport. The app displays the arrival and departure schedules of all available transport means and what’s even better, you can add and subscribe to particular train or bus lines, and the app will send notifications when you need to get off.The app is available on the web and also free to download for iPhone and Android as well.


Where to go next

We’ve got you covered with the transport and getting out and about at your destination, now we get to the fun part! Want to try the local specialties, the best cuisine or just need a cup of extra tasty coffee? Or maybe you would like to go to a museum or an art gallery? Here is a selection of apps that will help you find the best places during your stay.

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Stay.com – The best way to experience a city is by taking suggestions from locals. And Stay.com has recommendations from locals neatly organized in custom tailored guides. Every traveler picks the city to travel and browses the previously created guides, exploring the best places to eat, drink, and have fun. It is the app for urban travelers, and its only flaw is that not all cities from the world are yet available, but the list grows daily. Download the iPhone and Android app for free.

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Trip advisor – is the biggest site for travel insights, reviews, and suggestions. It includes hotels, holiday rentals, things to do, restaurants and flights, but most important of all; it includes local picks, customer opinions and user rated experience. It will help you decide where you wanna grab something to eat based on the client reviews. It includes a wide range of guides, whether you want to choose a budget eats or a luxury one or you want to experience the local cuisine, culture and landmarks. Trip advisor is the largest and most popular web platform also serving all mobile platforms, so you can easily download it for free for iPhone, Android, Microsoft.

Google Trips – Well, it’s Google’s relatively new travel tool, helping travelers plan and organize their travels in all-in-one platform. From having all your reservation and confirmation numbers pulled from your Gmail or other inbox, to suggesting you must-visit places, to automatically discovering new sights, and tracking your travel info at all time. Google Trips also stores all the data offline, so you can access them at any time. So you don’t have much to do, the app does almost everything for you. You can download it for free, for iPhone and Android and enjoy your travel.

Guides by Lonely planet – the newest addition to the Lonely planet family, the Guides – is helping the ultimate travelers to get to know the destinations to the core directly from their mobile device. Whether you want to explore the best destinations or you want to know more about your next travel destination, Guides offers you useful tips and advice from on-the-ground experts making the Guides the ultimate travel resource. Get the iPhone and Android apps now for free and start exploring for your next trip!

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All photos via pexels.com

Foursquare – ultimately, but still imminent Foursquare is widely popular and most commonly used application for finding the best places in the area. Working online, you’re able to locate the coolest places the best food, nightlife, and entertainment in your area. And how do you know the places are good? Well from user check-ins and reviews. For years now users have been checking into places, posting photos of their food, drink or favorite places first via Foursquare itself and later via Swarm, making the app the best tool for discovering hidden places. It’s a must, and you better try not to forget using it on your next trip. Explore via your iPhone, Android or Windows for free.


There are of course many other apps and websites you can use for travel assistance, but this is our little selection. We’ve used them, and we’re quite happy with the provided experience. Don’t forget to snap everything from your trip, check in on Facebook and post the photos on Instagram as well, since no travel is ever complete without these two apps, right?

Feel free to tell us how you found our suggestions; if you liked us, we’d send you newer and better apps as they arrive.

 

Marija Stardelova                                                                                                                                   Marketing Specialist and Blogger, Orange Interactive Technology