Oxford English Dictionary adds Ransomware, EULA and 1000 other new words


The Oxford English Dictionary added over 1,100 new entries in its January 2018 update. Wordsmiths the world over now have the official go-ahead to use ransomware, EULA, and mansplain, which should make life easier for misogynistic IT security experts. Tech terms like e-address (who says that?) and esc (not to be confused with ESC, even though they’re the same thing) made the list, but for once it wasn’t all about OMGs and LOLs. The clear star of the January update is the word “ransomware,” which after being on a lot of computers in 2017 deserves a spot in the “definitive…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web https://thenextweb.com/distract/2018/01/31/the-oxford-english-dictionary-has-ransomware-and-over-1000-other-new-words/

5 Facebook Advertising Tips to Help You Maximize Your Budget in 2018

If you want to be successful on Facebook in 2018, you’ll need more than just incredible content.

In fact, Facebook marketing success is as much about distribution as it is content. Especially as organic reach in Facebook’s News Feed continues to decline for many Pages.

So how do you get your Facebook content in front of more people? And not just any people, the right people — your target audience.

In 2018, many businesses are turning to Facebook ads as a way to boost the performance of their content. In our State of Social 2018 report we found that:

  • 94% of businesses have invested in advertising on Facebook; and
  • 67% of businesses intend to increase their social media advertising budget in 2018.

Added to our findings, Forrester believes that the total US digital marketing spend will be near $120 billion by 2021, meaning investment is still on an upward curve.

So when it comes to creating the perfect Facebook Ads for your business, what factors should you consider?

Here are five Facebook advertising tips to help you get the most bang for your buck in 2018…

1. Think about who you’re targeting

With Facebook advertising, it’s not so much about reaching the most people as it is reaching the right people.

Sure, big numbers look awesome on your reports, but you need to reach people who are open to discovering your content, curious about your business and receptive to your message. And that’s probably fewer people than you think.

When it comes to targeting and reaching your audience with a super-relevant message, you need to understand:

  • What platforms your audiences use?
  • What types of language they use and how do they communicate?
  • What types of content they engage with most often?

More often than not, you can find the answers to these questions through data and research.

One of the best places to look to learn more about your audience is Facebook’s Audience Insights.

Audience Insights gives you the opportunity to learn more about a specific audience. For example, by checking out Buffer’s insights I was able to learn:

1. People in our audience also tend to like other ‘software companies’ like Moz, Mailchimp, and WordPress. As well as ‘internet companies’ like Hootsuite, ClickFunnels, and Salesforce. With this data, we begin “watching” these Pages to keep an eye on what’s working for them.

2. 35% of our audience work in management. This could help us to think about the language we use in out Facebook adverts as well as the story we tell.

3. People in our audience are more likely to click on an advert than the average Facebook user.

This only scratches the surface of what you can learn about your audience from Facebook’s Audience Insights.

To check the Audience Insights for your own Page head to: https://www.facebook.com/ads/audience-insights/ and choose the “People connected to your Page” option:

And then you can drill down your data even further using the options on the left-hand panel:

You can use these newfound learnings about your audience to create even more targeted ads and craft messages that you know will connect with your prospective customers.

For example, at Buffer, when we wanted to boost our podcast downloads, we created an audience of people we knew would be interested in our ads before spending a dollar. As Brian explains on his blog, we:

  1. Created a custom audience of people who had visited our blog or Buffer.com
  2. Added an additional layer of targeting to only deliver ads to people using iPhone, iPad, and other iOS devices
  3. Promoted our most popular podcast episodes as we knew this content would appeal to our audience

This approach resulted in 3,870 clicks to our podcast episodes for a spend of $922.

2. Tell a great story

Stories are an integral part of human communication. And storytelling — whether in-person, through the written word, or social media — plays an important role in building connections with others.

When you’re planning on creating Facebook Ads, stories are essential to capture the interest of your target customers.

Take Refinery 29, an independent fashion and lifestyle website, for example. The brand generated two different Facebook ad campaigns, both aimed at bringing in new subscribers to their website.

The first campaign featured some eye-catching creative and a clear call-to-action to subscribe. Whereas the second ad set guided the viewer through a simple narrative including an introduction to the brand, an article from the brand, and then a call-to-action to subscribe. Ads for both campaigns were served in News Feed to lookalike audiences.

Here’s a glimpse at how the ads looked:

Campaign #1 (creative + call-to-action):

Campaign #2 (with narrative):

The results were fascinating:

  • Among those who were exposed to the sequenced, narrative-focused ads compared with those who were exposed to the non-sequenced ads, there was an 87% increase in people visiting the landing page
  • There was a 56% increase in subscription rates among people who were exposed to the sequenced ads compared with those who were exposed to the non-sequenced ads

When you’re planning your Facebook campaigns, think about how you can create a narrative and tell stories within your ads in order to build a stronger connection with your target audience.

For more on how you can use storytelling techniques in your social media posts and ads, check out this guide.

3. Monitor performance and adjust in real-time

Social media has changed the world of advertising a great deal.

Back 10-15 years ago, if you ran an advert on TV, radio or even online, you didn’t really have any idea how it was being received in real time.

Now, social media enables you to monitor your ad performance from the moment you set the campaign live.

It might be tempting to set your ad campaigns live and then come back to check performance once each campaign is completed. But by doing this, you’re missing out on massive opportunities to enhance the performance of each of your ads.

Monitoring your Facebook Ads campaigns in real-time enables you to know whether or not your ads are resonating with people and allows you to make adjustments as you go along. For example:

  • If your clicks are lower than expected, it could be worth optimizing your call-to-action.
  • If your engagement is low, you could create a new ad set with updated creative.
  • If your reach is too low, try updating your audience targeting parameters.

You can view the performance data for your ads in Facebook Ads Manager:

By clicking on a particular campaign you can also view the performance of each individual ad within that campaign:

And to tweak a particular ad, click on “edit” link underneath the ad title and window will slide in enabling you to make changes:


You can make the following edits to your ads without creating an entirely new campaign:

  • Change your audience
  • Change your budget & schedule
  • Change your optimization & delivery choices
  • Change your placements
  • Change your ad creative

Chances are you won’t create the perfect ad first time around. It takes a lot of experimentation and learning to nail down ads that will deliver results for your business.

Ideally, you want to create several ad sets and ads before you start your campaign and then eliminate under-performing ads as your campaign progresses.

It can take a couple of days before you have enough campaign data to start measuring ad performance. Julian Shapiro recommends waiting until you have at least 2,000 reach per ad (number of people who’ve seen your ad) before comparing the performance of your various ads.

Once you’ve identified the ads that are performing well, then you can continue to iterate on those to get drive more value from your ad spend.

For example, in the below image you can see we:

  1. Started out with three ad variants
  2. Stopped running the under-performing ads
  3. Created an additional variation of the best-performing ad

4. Track the right metrics for your business

Before you start thinking about launching any Facebook Ads campaign, I would encourage you to think clearly about how you will measure the performance of your ads.

For example, are metrics like brand awareness and email subscribers your #1 focus, or maybe you’re focused fully on driving leads.

In our State of Social 2018 report, we found that most marketers (42 percent) measure the success of their ads by how much engagement they receive, with leads (17 percent) and sales (15 percent) being the second and third most common measures of ROI:

Having a clear measurement of success in mind before you kick off any advertising campaign will help you to understand the performance of your ads and make any needed adjustments to ensure you’re delivering maximum value for your business.

Our State of Social 2018 report also uncovered that companies that invest in social media ads are more than twice as likely to say social media marketing is “very effective” for their business:

So if you feel that social media isn’t delivering the desired results for your business, it could be worth experimenting with Facebook Ads to see if paid social media marketing can help you get the results you’re after.

5. Think long-term

The important thing with Facebook (or any kind of advertising or marketing) is to have a long-term strategy behind your actions.

Let’s say you create an ad set targeting engagement. Awesome! But what’s the long-term plan here? How will you turn this initial engagement into something more tangible for your business?

For example, if you’re running a health and fitness business that sells online exercise programs, you might run a video ad showcasing a simple home workout. This ad would be aimed at engagement and getting as many people to view, like and share your video as possible.

But instead of being the first and final piece of the jigsaw, this could act as a starting point to get new prospects into your funnel.

Using the Facebook pixel, you could then create a custom audience for people that have watched more than 10 percent of the video. Then, you could run an ad towards those people for a class schedule that’s hosted on your website or a trial of your exercise program. So even engagement campaigns can fit into your long-term strategy.

Here’s a simplified look at that campaign might look:

  • Ad Set 1: A video ad showing a simple home workout for people in our audience who are interested in fitness
  • Ad Set 2: A carousel ad looking to drive clicks to our website and increase brand awareness amongst people who watched 10 percent of the video in Ad Set 1
  • Ad Set 3: A conversion focused ad aiming to get people who clicked the link in the previous ad to become customers of our fitness company

You should also consider your customer lifetime value (LTV) before jumping into ads. LTV is the amount of revenue you generate from your average customer in their lifespan with your company.

If you’re selling subscriptions to an online tool at $30 per month and your average customer stays for 12 months your LTV would be $360.

A general rule is that you should aim to acquire customers for no more than one-third of your LTV. So with an LTV of $360, you might want to set your customer acquisition budget at $120 per new customer.

Over to you

Facebook advertising has proven incredibly valuable to thousands of businesses across the globe and I hope these quick tips will help you to make the most of your advertising budget in 2018.

Has your business invested in Facebook advertising yet? I’d love to hear your experiences and any Facebook advertising tips you might have.

Huge thanks to Buffer’s resident Facebook Ads whizz, Brian Peters, for his edits and suggestions for this piece. 

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-advertising-tips

5 Ways To Flaunt Your Films With A WordPress Site For Filmmakers

For filmmakers everywhere, spreading awareness about your movie is one of the most important parts of your work. Unfortunately, make independent filmmakers looking to make it to the major leagues of Hollywood fail to realize that websites are key to conveying a film’s idea.

An effective, secure WordPress website helps you set the tone for your creation and reach your market(s). Think of your film site as an extension of your creative product. It needs to represent and inform, and you should be just as proud of the film’s website as you are with the film itself. Here are five ways to flaunt your films with a WordPress site:

 

1) Use A Film-Inspired WordPress Theme

If you don’t have a design background, no worries. One of the best things about WordPress is that there are thousands of theme templates to choose from. With the right theme, you can create a stellar first impression for your movie. To steer you in the right direction, try looking into WordPress film themes. These themes are custom built for your use case and carry several design and features that make it simple to show your film in the best light.

The responsive Visual theme is a great example of themes designed specifically for movies. The landing page features a full-screen trailer, and when visitors scroll down, they’ll see movie-like credit font with information about the production. A slider menu bar leaves space for information about the cast and crew, a gallery, news, and purchase opportunities.

 

2) Remember Important Features

Think of your trailer as the business plan of film. It should be front and center, not buried among other pages. Otherwise, your visitor may have to click through to view it and you could easily lose them in the process. Additionally, when it comes to film, there are several other features you need to consider, such as a press kit.

According to film festival Raindance, this is the most important element of the filmmaking process. The press kit gives your film marketable value, and is used to send to journalists and acquisitions executives. Of course, as a filmmaker, you’ll be sending a lot of these out yourself, but you should be sure to include it in your WordPress website, too. You’ll also want to list any awards or nominations you’ve received.

 

3) Design On Brand

Your website should be on brand with your film. Even pre-made movie themes are customizable enough to change the aesthetics of the design. One theme has plenty of branding potential, and can easily be altered to create dozens of different visions. For example, if it’s a horror film, the design should be dark and brooding. Take a look at existing video websites to help you understand what others are doing to achieve film branding on their sites. For example, James Franco’s “The Disaster Moviehas a great website with interactive elements and does a phenomenal job with telling a story.

 

4) Add Reviews & Screening Times

Your website should be informative and engaging. Any piece of information your visitor might want––whether they’re a potential viewer or industry insider––should be readily available. Take advantage of WordPress plugins like Theatre to help display showtimes and locations. This is particularly important for independent filmmakers who might have limited showtimes and ticket availability. Check out the “Upcoming Screenings” portion of this film site to see how other filmmakers are listing their screenings. You’ll also want to show reviews for your films, especially if the movie has been garnering a positive reaction from viewers.

 

5) Monetize Your WordPress Site

Lastly, there are different ways to monetize your WordPress site for films, and these are areas you should consider. Filmmakers already have it tough enough trying to produce art that sells, so when an opportunity comes along to monetize work, you should certainly look into it.

 

Of course, one of the easiest ways to do this is to ask for donations. Setting up a donation button is extremely simple, and doesn’t hurt to incorporate. This will allow visitors to help support the film, whether they’re a family member or friend, or simply a film enthusiast looking to contribute to a cause. If you do plan to accept donations, be sure to tell your story and explain what you intend to do with your donation funds.

 

You can also sell relatable products on your site. This includes film memorabilia, DVDs, or digital downloads. A quick search on Etsy of the indie film “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” shows different products surrounding the film theme. You can do the same for your film and generate additional revenue.

 

 

Read More at 5 Ways To Flaunt Your Films With A WordPress Site For Filmmakers

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/5-ways-to-flaunt-your-films-with-a-wordpress-site-for-filmmakers/

2018 Social Media Trends Report: 10 Key Insights Into the Present and Future of Social Media

Social media is changing at a rapid pace.

For example, the content format Stories was introduced on several major social media platforms slightly more than a year ago. Now, it’s one of the most popular content individuals are posting. More than 300 million people are sharing stories on Instagram and WhatsApp separately every day, and 70 million people were posting daily to Messenger Day just six months after its launch1.

Due to its popularity, many businesses are now posting stories regularly, too.

To succeed on social media, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and understand the latest social media trends. Together with our State of Social 2018 report, we put together a comprehensive social media trends report. In this report, you’ll learn about the top major trends to help you succeed on social media in 2018.

2018 Social Media Trends Report: 10 Major Trends to Know in 2018

Top 10 social media trends to know for 2018

This report is inspired by the annual Internet Trends report by Mary Meeker, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Being one of the most anticipated reports every year, the Internet Trends report shares valuable insights and statistics about the technology industry. While our report is nowhere as comprehensive as the Internet Trends report, we hope to shed some light on the social media landscape.

Here’s a quick overview of the ten major social media trends happening right now:

  1. There are now almost 2.5 billion social media users
  2. Social media is going mobile
  3. Social messaging overtook social media
  4. Social messaging will greatly benefit businesses
  5. Chatbots are becoming the norm
  6. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social customer service
  7. Organic reach and referral traffic are plummeting
  8. Video is still the most popular content type
  9. User-generated content can help drive reach and engagement
  10. Businesses are pouring more money into social ads

We will dive into these ten major social media trends below. If you prefer to read a slide deck, here’s the full slide deck:

This report wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing studies, research, and data available. We’re very grateful to the companies and organizations that have collected and analyzed the data. You can find out more about their findings by clicking on the tiny blue squares throughout the report, such as this2.

Section separator

1. There are now almost 2.5 billion social media users

Social media is one of the best ways to reach your target audience because of its sheer size and the amount of data available.

According to Statista, there are 2.46 billion social media users in 2017, and this number is ever growing. It is predicted that there will be more than three billion social media users in 2021 — just three years from now3.

With social media, you can reach a massive amount of potential customers for free — through organic posts — or for a fee — through social media advertising. With ads targeting, you can reach very specific groups of audience based on their demographics, interests, past behavior, and more. There hasn’t been such a great opportunity to reach and engage your target audience before social media became popular. With this reason alone, I believe you can no longer ignore social media as part of running your business.

Here are the current user base of the six major social media platforms4:

  • Facebook: 2.07 billion monthly active users
  • Instagram: 800 million monthly active users
  • Twitter: 330 million monthly active users
  • LinkedIn: 500 million members
  • Pinterest: 200 million monthly active users
  • Snapchat: 178 million daily active users

You can see the growth of the respective social media platforms in the following few slides:

2. Social media is going mobile

We are becoming glued to our smartphones.

Facebook studied the behavior of 100 people while they were watching TV at home. 94 of them had their smartphone in their hands while watching TV. And one of the top reasons they look away from the TV is to use their smartphone.5

More and more people are also using social media on their smartphone. In fact, the majority of social media users are using the apps via their smartphone:

  • Facebook: 94 percent of its monthly active users6
  • Instagram: Because it’s a mobile-first app, I think it’s safe to assume most of its users use the app on mobile
  • Twitter: 82 percent of its monthly active users7
  • LinkedIn: 60 percent of its unique visitors access LinkedIn via a mobile device8
  • Pinterest: 80 percent of its traffic comes from mobile devices9
  • Snapchat: Snapchat only has a mobile app and no web application yet.

On top of these statistics, comScore’s 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report found that 78 percent of social media time is spent on mobile devices.

This trend increases the importance of creating mobile-friendly or mobile-first content. A few things you could do include creating images with the recommended size that will be displayed fully on mobile or creating square or vertical videos, which will take up more real estate on the phone screen than landscape videos when viewed vertically.

3. Social messaging overtook social media

Since the rise of social media in the last decade, the rise of social messaging is the next transformational shift that’s happening.

In fact, social messaging has already surpassed social media usage. According to Business Insider, there are more people using the top four social messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) than the top four social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn)10. Facebook Messenger alone has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users11, and Instagram is officially testing a standalone messaging app, Direct12.

The growth in social messaging is not showing signs of slowing down. Despite having three years of double-digit growth, the number of mobile messaging users is still growing at a significant rate13.

If social media has been a great opportunity for businesses, then social messaging cannot be ignored. And it is already showing tremendous benefits for businesses.

4. Social messaging will greatly benefit businesses

People used to communicate with businesses via the phone, then emails, and then social media. Now, it’s social messaging.

Facebook studied the messaging behavior of 12,500 people across 14 markets to understand consumers’ growing preference for messaging businesses. They found that messaging is helping businesses connect with their customers more than ever. Consumers use messaging to ask businesses questions, make appointments and purchases, and provide feedback.

Here are some other findings14:

  • Fifty-six percent would rather message than call a business for customer service
  • Sixty-one percent likes receiving personalized messages from businesses
  • More than fifty percent prefers shopping with a business they can message

Facebook is also increasingly helping businesses reach their customers via messaging apps. In 2017, they introduced Click-to-Messenger ads, Click-to-WhatsApp ads, and a new Facebook objective, Messages.

Consumers’ preferred way of communicating with businesses has always been shifting. Now, they are shifting towards social messaging. Is your business ready to receive your customers’ messages?

5. Chatbots are becoming the norm

The rising tide of social messaging also lifted the chatbot boat.

As Facebook Messenger grew, the number of bots in Messenger also grew — from 33,000 to more than 100,000 in just a year15. There are also chatbots in WeChat, Slack, Viber, iMessage, and many other platforms.

A survey by Oracle found that 80 percent of senior marketing and sales executives around the world are already using chatbots for their business or plans to use them by 202016. It’s easy to understand why. Chatbots can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as marketing, payments, customer service, and more. They will allow businesses to automate and scale many manual processes and enjoy massive cost-savings. Juniper Research estimated that chatbots will help businesses save up to $8 billion every year by 202217.

According to Business Insider, chatbot adoption is also taking off on the consumer front. More than half of Americans between the age of 18 and 55 have used chatbots before18. And consumers seem to be enjoying their interactions with chatbots, too. A survey of 5,000 people by LivePerson found that 38 percent felt positive about their chatbot experiences while only 11 percent felt negative19.

If you want to start thinking about using chatbot for your business, Facebook Messenger might be a great place to stay. Here are some ideas on how your business can use Facebook Messenger bots.

6. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social customer service

Customer service used to be private conversations between a customer and a customer service representative. Social media has changed that entirely.

The public nature of social media platforms is giving these conversations more exposure. A survey of more than 1,000 people by Sprout Social found that 46 percent of the respondents have “called out” or complained about a business on social media20. Furthermore, with the ability to re-share a social media post, such complaints could be amplified and “go viral”.

Ignoring such social media posts can have dire repercussions for your business. Sprout Social discovered that, when shunned on social media, 30 percent of their respondents will go to a competitor and 26 percent will less likely use the company’s product or service. Such consequences help keep businesses accountable, and that’s why social media is now the top channel for customer service21.

On the other hand, responding to these social media posts can have several positive effects for businesses22:

  • 70 percent are more likely to use your product or service
  • 75 percent are likely to share the good experience on their own social media profile
  • 73 percent will share the positive interaction with their friends

At Buffer, we use Buffer Reply to listen to, engage, and help our customers on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

7. Organic reach and referral traffic are plummeting

In 2014, the organic reach on Facebook has fallen to six percent from 12 percent just the year before23. The organic reach on Facebook is likely even low now as Facebook introduced changes to its algorithm to prioritize posts from family and friends rather than Pages. Both Instagram and Twitter also have an algorithmic timeline, which affects organic reach. When we first wrote about this last year, many of our readers mentioned that they have also been experiencing such a fall.

Referral traffic from social media has also been falling as a result of lower organic reach. When fewer people see your social media posts, even fewer will click on your links and visit your website. According to Parse.ly, which monitors the referral traffic to more than 2,500 online media sites, referral traffic from Facebook — the top social referral source for many sites — has been almost halved in the past year24.

Facebook referral traffic trend 2017

This is in line with why we think organic social media is for engagement and brand building, not referral traffic or revenue. Social media is becoming an engagement channel.

While studies have shown that the average engagement on Facebook has fallen25, we were lucky to be able to increase our Facebook engagement by 50 percent year-on-year with some of these tactics.

8. Video is still the most popular content type

For the last two years, we (and many others) have been saying that video is the most popular content type. 2018 will be no different.

Buzzsumo’s research on 880 million Facebook posts in 2017 found that video posts have the highest average engagement and twice the level of engagement of other post types on average26. We have seen great results with our Facebook videos, too. Our Facebook video views increased by more than 900 percent year-on-year to 2.3 million in 2017 (with the help of a little Facebook promotion).

Buffer Facebook video views 2017

There are also many pieces of anecdotal evidence of the increasing popularity and importance of video. For example, Facebook and Instagram have been introducing many new video features over the recent years such as live videos and Stories. LinkedIn has also recently introduced native LinkedIn videos.

Marketers are also planning to spend more on video advertising in 2018. According to a survey by Animoto, more than 50 percent of marketers surveyed had planned to increase their spend on video ads on Facebook (63 percent), YouTube (60 percent), Twitter (52 percent), and Instagram (50 percent)27.

2018 will again be the year of video for social media. Here are some social video marketing tips for you.

9. User-generated content can help drive reach and engagement

With organic reach on social media falling, businesses are looking around for alternative ways to reach their audiences. One of which is user-generated content.

Many major brands such as BMW, Netflix, and Starbucks are reposting user-generated content as part of their content strategy, especially on Instagram28.

If you were to take a look at some statistics about user-generated content, it’ll be easy to understand why.

  • User-generated content featuring a brand drove seven times higher engagement than brand-generated Facebook posts29
  • Forty-five percent of the respondents of 4,500-people survey look at user-generated images for inspiration at least once a day30
  • Respondents of the same survey trust images from other consumers seven times more than ads31
  • Fifty-six percent of the respondents are more likely to buy a product after seeing a positive customer-generated post of it32

Instead of producing their own content all the time, businesses are tapping into the power of their audience (and influencers) and reposting user-generated content, which generates more engagement and trust. By reposting their customers’ social media posts, they are also encouraging more customers to post about their brands on social media, thereby increasing their brand reach.

If you are interested in getting started with such a content strategy in 2018, here’s our guide to running a user-generated content campaign.

10. Businesses are pouring more money into social ads

To combat falling organic reach and boost their social media marketing, businesses are also turning to social media advertising.

There are over six million Facebook advertisers and two million Instagram advertisers33. Instagram added the second million advertisers in just six months.

Social media ad spending has also been on the rise, growing more than 20 percent annually. eMarketer estimates that this high growth rate would continue until at least 2018 while Advertising agency Zenith Optimedia predicts that social media ad spending will overtake newspaper ad spending by 202034.

The high growth in the number of social media advertisers and social media ad spending is a great indication of the effectiveness (or necessity) of social media ads for businesses.

If you are just considering social media advertising and not sure which social media platform to start with, Facebook is the platform that produces the best ROI according to social media marketers around the world35. Here’s our Facebook advertising guide to help you get started.

Section separator

What other social media trends have you spotted?

As the major social media platforms continue to grow and introduce new features, the social media landscape will only get more exciting. We hope by sharing these ten current social media trends, you can stay ahead of the curve and succeed on social media.

  1. There are now almost 2.5 billion social media users
  2. Social media is going mobile
  3. Social messaging overtook social media
  4. Social messaging will greatly benefit businesses
  5. Chatbots are becoming the norm
  6. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social customer service
  7. Organic reach and referral traffic are plummeting
  8. Video is still the most popular content type
  9. User-generated content can help drive reach and engagement
  10. Businesses are pouring more money into social ads

Have you spotted any other social media trends that I’ve missed? It’ll be great to know about them!

The awesome featured image was taken from Unsplash.

.footnoteContent a{ font-size: 1.3rem !important;}

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-trends-2018

Are You a Freelance Web Designer? Improve Productivity with These 3 Techniques

Productivity, or the lack of it, seems to be a major issue for many freelancers. Simply working harder may be one way to increase productivity. But it has its limitations and some definite drawbacks.

Working smarter makes more sense. However, only when one knows what “smarter” really involves.

If you’ve already tried several approaches, without a lot of success, not to worry. We’ve compiled this productivity guide to help you along. It’s a compilation of three easy-to-follow techniques, and you can start right away!

Productivity Technique #1: Use Be Theme’s pre-built websites to finish a client’s job in 4 hours

There’s no better way to start than with Be Theme. This is a premium, multipurpose WordPress theme. It features a gallery of more than 300 pre-built websites, the largest selection of its kind on the market.

With Be, you can forget about any need for wireframing. Also, there’s no need for coding. And, you won’t be wasting valuable time searching for a suitable theme to get your next project started. You’ll be able to find a theme that offers the perfect solution to your website needs in minutes. Once you’ve located it, you can install it with a single click.

When it comes down to actually building your website, Be Theme is exactly what you need. Be’s collection of powerful core features and tools will do all the heavy lifting.

At the same time, Be will give you all the design elements and options you’ll ever need. You can, in fact, pleasantly surprise a client. How? By creating an attractive, high-performance, one-of-a-kind website in as little as 4 hours.

That is not it! Once you’ve selected your pre-built website, you can, if you wish, give a client a quick preview of what he/she can expect. Some clients expect this, any client will love it.

Here’s what several Be Theme users have to say:

Here are 10 Be Theme pre-built designs you can use to create a full website in a few short hours

You could pick almost any Be Theme pre-built website, and get a good indication of the head start its design layout, content structure, and embedded functionality will give your web design project. Even better, check these 10 out:

Be Salmon

  • Building a food-oriented website? Using large images like these to entice users is a must. This pre-built website also offers an interactive menu and a customer testimonials section.

BeDetailings2

  • To score with visitors, a website for a business of this type needs to have a bold, professional look, and feature examples such as before and after images, and pricing, to help sell the services rendered.

BeMeeting

  • This pre-built website features a standard menu for meetings and events and a clean design that makes navigation easier. A bonus: a countdown clock for a major happening.

BeManicure

  • A soft, luxurious design like the one featured in this pre-built website is a must for the health and beauty niche. Setting up an eShop? An eShop is already integrated.

BeDenim

  • Bold imagery & color combinations speak to the audience this pre-built website targets. It also features an integrated eShop, and the intuitive icons make navigation as easy as can be.

BeHipHop

  • A hip design is the best design when it comes to attracting the young crowd. This pre-built website design is anything but sedate, with the integrated video and audio player adding to the good vibes.

BeCafe2

  • Give your restaurant-owning client a pleasant surprise in the form of an award-winning website highlighted by these large images inside the online menu. Top it off with a gallery of images showing off the establishment.

BeDrawing

  • An impressive gallery highlights this pre-built website destined for a creative, or creative agency. The overall design is simple and straightforward, and an integrated presentation video caps it all off.

BeTraining

  • The standard intuitive menu for eLearning platforms and the large thumbnails combine to help the user find his/her way. This design can easily be customized to perfectly fit any type of training or coursework structure.

BeClinic2

  • The sharp, simple design, clean structure, and well-organized content make navigation easy in this pre-built website for a clinic. Note how the professional look is perfect for a niche of this type.

Productivity Technique #2: Be more flexible instead of forcing yourself into a strict schedule

Being focused firmly on the task at hand should not be daunting. It doesn’t mean following a nose-to-the-grindstone approach to your work.

You want to work to a schedule, and you want to have a set of tasks or objectives in place. However, a disciplined approach that’s overly strict can be counterproductive. It can even have a stultifying effect on your work ethic.

Try these out instead:

  • When you hit a difficult spot, take a breather. This could be taking a walk around the block, taking a walk in the park with your dog, or having a cup of coffee with a friend. Doing so will work wonders for your brain; which will probably continue to work the problem.
  • Make a to-do list – a general one. To-do lists are important. Yet, if they get too lengthy and detailed you’ll often find yourself trying to do too much at once. List a task or two that could easily be carried over to, or finished, the next day if necessary.

If you insist on working to a tight, detailed schedule, you might as well be commuting to and from an office.

Productivity Technique #3: Calculate how much productivity costs you every day

You could keep track of the time you save as you work to become more efficient. Or, you could track your daily output to measure your productivity gains. However, there’s a much easier, and more effective way to motivate yourself.

Whether you charge by the hour, or by the task, you should be able to estimate what your average hourly earnings are. Now, start keeping track of hours you are wasting each day.

Note: Taking a break, walking your dog, etc., doesn’t count. In fact, you should follow the recommended practice of taking a 5 to 10-minute break every 50 minutes or so. And, you don’t want to include those breaks either.

Add up the wasted hours and multiply them by your hourly pay, and you’ll see how much that wasted time is costing you. Write it down on a sticky note, to keep in front of you. That note will prove to be an excellent motivator and productivity enhancer.

Conclusion

Putting these 3 simple techniques into practice will definitely help you a lot. They can work wonders to increase your productivity as a freelance web designer. and you don’t have to turn your lifestyle inside out to follow them.

  • Use Be Theme to put together a website in 4 hours. Be Theme provides an efficient, effective way to create websites and saves you a ton of time in the process
  • Work to a more flexible schedule. Don’t force yourself into a strict schedule as a challenge. You’ve nothing to prove.
  • Calculate how much procrastination is costing you. Once you know the answer, you’ll do something about it!

These simple, straightforward methods can be used by anyone to make the most out of their time.

Read More at Are You a Freelance Web Designer? Improve Productivity with These 3 Techniques

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/are-you-a-freelance-web-designer-improve-productivity-with-these-3-techniques/

Your Annual Social Media Conferences Guide: 20+ Top Conferences to Attend in 2018

Social media conferences are one of the best ways to learn from top practitioners in the field, connect with fellow social media marketers, and be inspired to do more great things on social media.

But how do you know which one to attend?

We hope to make things easier for you with this go-to guide for social media conferences in 2018. This guide includes more than 20 top and biggest social media conferences throughout the year and their key details, such as date, location, and ticket price.

20+ Social Media Conferences to Attend in 2018 (Spreadsheet Included!)

20+ social media conferences to attend in 2018

Here’s a table of the top social media conferences, arranged chronologically, for the rest of 2018, including the dates, locations, and ticket prices. (If you prefer to view the full spreadsheet, check it out here.)

Feel free to use these links to jump to the summary of the respective conference:

  1. Social Media Online Summit (Jan 27 – Feb 4, online)
  2. The DigiComm Summit (Feb 22-23. Huntington Beach)
  3. Traffic & Conversion Summit (Feb 26-28, San Diego)
  4. Social Media Week conferences (Feb 26 – Mar 2, Multiple locations)
  5. Digital Marketing Innovation Summit (Feb 27-28, New York)
  6. Social Media Marketing World (Feb 28 – Mar 2, San Diego)
  7. Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing and Corporate Communications (Mar 14-16, Orlando)
  8. Digital Marketing World Forum Expo Global (Apr 16-17, London)
  9. Social Media Strategies Summit (Apr 24-26, Chicago)
  10. Social Media Camp (May 2-3, Victoria, BC)
  11. Content Marketing Conference (May 2-4, Boston)
  12. The Social Shake-Up (May 7-9, Atlanta)
  13. Engage (May 16-18, Prague)
  14. Brand Marketing Summit (May 30-31, San Francisco)
  15. Social Media Summit (May, Dublin)
  16. Social Day (May 30 – Jun 1, London)
  17. VidCon (Jun 20-23, Anaheim)
  18. INBOUND (Sep 4-7, Boston)
  19. Content Marketing World (Sep 4-7, Cleveland)
  20. CMX Summit (Oct 1-3, Portland)
  21. Spredfast’s Smart Social Summit (Nov 5-7, Austin)
  22. Social Fresh Conference (Dec 5-7, Winter Park, Florida)

1. Social Media Online Summit

January 27 – February 4, online

Social Media Online Summit

(As this video couldn’t be embedded, I’ve linked the image above to the video.)

Date: January 27 – February 4, 2018

Location: Online

Price: Free

Social Media Online Summit 2018 is a free online conference bringing together more than 40 social media experts, influencers, and entrepreneurs to share their strategies for growing a business. The conference is broken into eight main sections: General social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

P.S. Our very talented digital marketing strategist, Brian Peters, will be sharing about social media trends in 2018 at this conference.

⬆ Back to top

2. The DigiComm Summit

February 22-23, Huntington Beach

The DigiComm Summit

Date: February 22-23, 2018

Location: Huntington Beach, California

Price: $2,090 to $2,190

The DigiComm Summit is a two-day conference by the PR News Group. You’ll hear real-world, tactical case studies on how to use social media for storytelling, communications, and PR by senior executives from companies like BuzzFeed, Disney, and The Onion.

⬆ Back to top

3. Traffic & Conversion Summit

February 26-28, San Diego

Date: February 26-28, 2018

Location: San Diego, California

Price: $1,995

Traffic & Conversion Summit will help you grow your business by teaching you how to get more, yes, traffic and conversions. While this conference isn’t just about social media, there are many social media sessions such as Selling Physical Products? Steal These 3 Proven Facebook Ad Campaigns31 Facebook Funnel Sequences You Can Build Right Now, and 5 Ways to Use Facebook Messenger Marketing to Grow Your Business.

⬆ Back to top

4. Social Media Week conferences

February 26 – March 2, multiple locations

Date: February 26 – March 2, 2018

Location: Austin, Bristol, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Lagos (and more)

Price: Varies depending on the location

Social Media Week and its partners organize more than 20 Social Media Week conferences all around the world throughout the year. The ones that are happening next in February and March are in Austin, Bristol, Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Lagos. Their flagship conference will be happening in April in New York. Check out the rest of the conference here. There might be one near you!

⬆ Back to top

5. Digital Marketing Innovation Summit

February 27-28, New York

Digital Marketing Innovation Summit

(As this video couldn’t be embedded, I’ve linked the image above to the video.)

Date: February 27-28, 2018

Location: New York

Price: $600 to $2,495

Digital Marketing Innovation Summit brings together senior digital and social marketers to share how to build a meaningful digital marketing strategy. A few of the key discussion points for the conference are social media, personalization, tracking & attribution, and audience engagement.

⬆ Back to top

6. Social Media Marketing World

February 28 – March 2, San Diego

Date: February 28 – March 2, 2018

Location: San Diego, California

Price: $297 to $1,597 (Virtual tickets are $697 each.)

Social Media Marketing World is one of the most anticipated social media conferences by one of the most knowledgeable teams in the social media space, Social Media Examiner. This year, up to 5,000 social media marketing professionals will hear from top names such as Guy Kawasaki, Mari Smith, and Jay Baer during the 120+ sessions. Check out some of the testimonials from the conference last year.

⬆ Back to top

7. Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing, and Corporate Communications

March 14-16, Orlando

(This is a video they made for their 2016 conference.)

Date: March 14-16, 2018

Location: Orlando

Price: $1,495 to $1,995 (Live video webcast tickets are $1295)

Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing, and Corporate Communications is exactly as its name suggests. Speakers from companies such as Amazon Web Services, Disney Parks, and Salesforce will be talking about best practices to boost buzz, build brand recognition, and engage employees. (This conference will be held at the Walt Disney World Resort!)

⬆ Back to top

8. Digital Marketing World Forum Expo Global

April 16-17, London

Date: April 16-17, 2018

Location: London

Price: £89 to £999

Digital Marketing World Forum Expo Global (or #DMWF), attended by mostly managers, directors, and VP, seeks to explore the future of digital marketing and social media. There are two conference tracks: 1) Content and social media marketing and 2) Data, disruptive tech, and UX. #DMWF also has conferences in Amsterdam (September) and New York (November).

⬆ Back to top

9. Social Media Strategies Summit

April 24-26, Chicago

Date: April 24-26, 2018

Location: Chicago

Prices: $1,999 to $2,989

Social Media Strategies Summit, which takes place three times a year in San Francisco (February), Chicago (April), and New York (October), is a social media conference for senior-level corporate professionals who are working on social media marketing. The speakers for Social Media Strategies Summit (Chicago) include senior marketers of companies such as McDonald’s, Microsoft, and Kickstarter.

(We are proud to be a media partner for the Social Media Strategies Summit.)

⬆ Back to top

10. Social Media Camp

May 2-3, Victoria, British Columbia

Date: May 2-3, 2018

Location: Victoria, British Columbia

Price: $499

Social Media Camp is the largest social media conference in Canada. In 2018, they will be organizing their ninth Social Media Camp, which will bring together people from different sectors of the economy (small business, large business, government, education, and non-profit). They will go beyond marketing and discuss social media’s impact on politics, security, and safety.

⬆ Back to top

11. Content Marketing Conference

May 2-4, Boston

Date: May 2-4, 2018

Location: Boston

Price: $749 to $1,649

Content Marketing Conference will help you level up on the key areas of content marketing, from planning and creation to optimization and distribution. There’s a day allocated for comedy marketing, where you’ll learn to use humor to drive engagement, loyalty, and marketing performance.

⬆ Back to top

12. The Social Shake-Up

May 7-9, Atlanta

Date: May 7-9, 2018

Location: Atlanta

Price: $1,195 to $2,390

The Social Shake-Up is a three-day social media conference by PR News and Social Media Today to help you discover new ways to integrate social media into your overall business strategy. The speakers come from brands like Twitter, Google, Microsoft, The Coca-Cola Company, and more.

⬆ Back to top

13. Engage

May 16-18, Prague

Date: May 16-18, 2018

Location: Prague

Price: €449 to €1,199

Engage is a social media marketing conference by SocialBakers, a company which provides an AI-powered social media marketing suite. If Prague is a little far for you, Socialbakers is also organizing a social media summit in Bali in March.

⬆ Back to top

14. Brand Marketing Summit

May 30-31, San Francisco

Date: May 30-31, 2018

Location: San Francisco

Price: $1,645 to $3,095

Brand Marketing Summit is the marketing conference to go to if you want to hear from top marketing leaders from some of the biggest companies on how they run social and marketing. For example, you’ll get to hear from amazing people such as Jennifer Sey (CMO at Levi Strauss & Co), Jill Cress (CMO at National Geographic), and Niloy Sanyal (CMO at GE Digital).

⬆ Back to top

15. Social Media Summit

May, Dublin

Date: May (To be confirmed)

Location: Dublin

Price: To be confirmed

Based on its agenda last year, Social Media Summit seems like one not to be missed. There was a variety of speakers, from marketers from big companies like Airbnb, HubSpot, and Intercom to founders of boutiques and marketing agencies. Keep an eye out for more information when the conference is launched!

⬆ Back to top

16. Social Day

May 30 – June 1, London

Date: May 30 – June 1, 2018

Location: London

Price: £312 to £560

Social Day used to be a one-day event, and it has been lengthened to three days this year because past attendees wanted it to be longer. Representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin will be speaking at this year’s Social Day so you might get insights there that you’ll never get elsewhere.

⬆ Back to top

17. VidCon

June 20-23, Anaheim

Date: June 20-23, 2018

Location: Anaheim, California

Price: $125 to $850

VidCon is a conference for people who love and make videos online. It has three tracks for attendees to choose from 1) Community, 2) Creator, and 3) Industry (which seems best for marketers and business owners).

Some of the talks sound really exciting, such as Features and Franchises: How BuzzFeed Takes ‘Viral’ and Creates A BrandHow to Produce TV Quality Programming on an Internet Video Budget, and Hacking the Facebook Algorithm – Inside Facebook’s Secret Promotional Code.

⬆ Back to top

18. INBOUND

September 4-7, Boston

Date: September 4-7, 2018

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Price: $599 to $2,199

INBOUND by HubSpot is probably the biggest marketing conference all year. In 2017, more than 20,000 marketers and salespeople attended INBOUND to learn the top marketing and sales practices and be inspired by keynote speakers such as Michelle Obama, Aziz Ansari, Seth Godin, Brené Brown, and Martha Stewart.

⬆ Back to top

19. Content Marketing World

September 4-7, Cleveland

Date: September 4-7, 2018

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Price: $999 to $2,499

With 225 speakers and more than 4,000 expected attendees, Content Marketing World is likely going to be the largest content marketing conference of the year. Last year, their featured speakers included Linda Boff, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Casey Neistat. Wow!

⬆ Back to top

20. CMX Summit

October 1-3, Portland

Date: October 1-3, 2018

Location: Portland, Oregon

Price: To be announced (Tickets were priced at $749 in 2017.)

As social media becomes more of an engagement channel, it has become ever more important to build your community and engage your fans. CMX Summit will show you practical ways to build your communities for business success.

⬆ Back to top

21. Spredfast’s Smart Social Summit

November 5-7, Austin

Date: November 5-7, 2018

Location: Austin

Price: $1,395

Smart Social Summit is an annual social media conference by Spredfast, a company which provides enterprise social media management software. Last year, their speakers included top executives of companies like GE, charity: water, Facebook, and more. Oh, and former First Lady, Michelle Obama! Spredfast has two more Smart Social events happening this year in New York City (April) and in London (June).

⬆ Back to top

22. Social Fresh Conference

December 5-7, Winter Park, Florida

Date: December 5-7, 2018

Location: Winter Park, Florida

Price: To be announced (Tickets were priced at $747 in 2017.)

Social Fresh Conference just wrapped up their 20th social media conference in 2017 and has announced their presale for 2018. This year’s conference will focus on increasing engagement, growing revenue, and what the future holds for social marketing. They will also be including Industry Training tracks for finance, higher education, hospitality, and nonprofits. Speakers will be announced starting in March.

⬆ Back to top

What’s your favorite social media conference?

These are just some of the most well-known, long-running social media conferences around. And there are likely many less well-known but awesome conferences that I have not included in this blog post. If you know of any, especially those happening in Asia, I would love for you to share them in the comments section below.

Also, if you have been to any of these conferences before, would you be up for sharing your experiences below? It’ll be very helpful to fellow readers who are considering to attend social media conferences this year.

Happy conferencing!

The awesome images in this blog post were from Unsplash and PR News Facebook Page.

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-conferences-2018

Top 7 eCommerce Web Design Trends to Watch for in 2018

eCommerce Web Design Trends

What only a few and most daring dreamers could have imagined two decades ago, when the Internet was only grasping at the surface of our daily lives, it now has become a reality. eCommerce accounts for more than $2 trillion in sales today and it is expected to jump up to $4.5 trillion in 2021. Online sales have a huge market share and now that most of the people are always connected to their mobile devices, no marketer or business owner can ignore the eCommerce phenomenon.

Regardless of what you are selling, you need a constant online presence. The best way to do it, however, is through an eCommerce website, that stays open 24/7/365 for its customers.

ecommerce stats article

 

Just because you have set up your own eCommerce website does not mean that you will instantly be successful. Apart from your own marketing and advertising strategies, there are also a few important things to look for when you create an online store or if you want to keep it updated to fit the latest requirements in web design and customer needs.

 

To this end, let’s take a quick look at this year’s upcoming eCommerce Web Design Trends. Whether you are just starting with the online sales industry or, if you are trying to update your eCommerce store to the latest trends, the following advice will most likely help you stay ahead of your competition and keep your customers satisfied.

1. Voice-activated user interfaces/actions

Most of the people already use voice-activated interfaces (VUI) when they talk to Siri, Cortana, Ok Google or Amazon’s Alexa. They are already accustomed to interacting with their devices through vocal commands and we expect this trend to conquer the eCommerce scene. Maybe we won’t see voice-activated online stores just yet but this is a trend to look for during 2018 and the next couple of years.

 

Why? Well, we’ve all seen how customer behavior impacts every industry and how every new technology adapts to it. It is only expected that once these VUIs have become popular during the last few years, to see similar technologies taking over other areas of interest as well. One of these areas, considering the popularity, is the eCommerce industry.

 

ecommerce credit card article

2. Mobile friendly design/Dedicated mobile apps

According to Statista, the smartphone penetration rate in the US only has been growing over the past few years from 20.2% in 2010 to a staggering 68.9% in 2017. Moreover, is expected that 80% of the US population will own such a device in 2022. This means that no eCommerce website owner can allow himself to ignore this channel. If you want to be successful as a seller in 2018, you need to update your eCommerce website to a mobile-friendly version and allow this huge demographic group to easily shop at your online store.

 

phone ecommerce article

 

“As of March 2017, 80% of top Alexa websites were mobile adaptive”, Impactbnd.com said. Therefore, if you have the required budget, you can take a step further and also consider creating your own dedicated mobile app for your store. Your customers will find it easier to shop through an app. At the same time, you can keep them engaged through push notifications and creative content displayed inside the dedicated app.

3. More video content

Video content is trendy in 2018 and it has been as such since the launch of YouTube. Why not use tips & tricks videos in your own eCommerce store? Why not describe your products through professionally shot video clips that can present them better than a few chunks of copy text?

Take for example this product page from BeardBrand. It features a short description of the product that tells the customer everything he needs to know about it. It also features a couple of videos that depict the product in use, very helpful for the customer as well.

 

ecommerce platform design

4. Speed and security

Speed matters. It matters a lot. According to Kissmetrics, “half of the web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with website performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again and around 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online”.

You can perform a speed test with Google’s Page Speed Tool and find out what can you do in order to make your website load faster.

Another thing you should think about is the security of your website and of course, your data. Consider acquiring the services of a virtual private network, especially if your website is on a locally based server located at your office. A VPN may also keep you secure and anonymous when you are researching your competition and you don’t want them to know it. As a business owner, even if your eCommerce is only a small one, you will always have to conduct such researches and you will need to keep things private. If you want to learn more about what a virtual private network it and how you can use it on your server you can read this guide published by The Best VPN.

code for ecommerce

 

5. Sticky navigation panel

A fixed navigation bar, that follows you as you scroll down the page, is not a new thing. It has been around for a while and it will continue to be a central design focus in 2018 as well. Consider updating your website if you don’t have already implemented a similar feature.

Why? People use to navigate through different pages and categories and scroll down to see more products. Keep them engaged and make the navigation easier for them by allowing them to access the navigation menus wherever they are on your website. Also, it will help them to always see the shopping cart button, especially when it shows updates on the products selected for buying. Here’s a good example of a sticky bar from National Trust:

 

ecommerce design

6. Microinteractions

“Microinteractions have the power to encourage users to actually interact. They are a strong instrument that helps to form habit loops”, Nick Babich, Editor-in-chief of UX Planet, writes. “Facebook’s notification about the incoming message is a good example of habit loop: red badge and whitened icon (cue) indicate there’s a new message, which makes the user click the icon (routine) to chat with their friend (reward). After a while, users automatically click on the icon when they see the red badge” he added.

 

How can you integrate Microinteractions into your eCommerce store? Well, you can do it by simply rewarding customers for their actions, whether it’s a simple newsletter signup or a product added to their cart. Also, when users interact with your website, you can use animations to trigger reactions. If different sections of the website animate instantly when the client scrolls over them, you can also define these features as Microinteractions.

 

Here’s a great example of a simple micro interaction designed by Tamino Martinus:

ecommerce cta button

7. Personalization and branding

A successful website design starts with branding elements. It cannot be the other way. The more personalized your eCommerce store is, the more interactive it may feel to your customers. Start with the logo, a good choice in typography and of course, visual elements that are aligned with the core values of your brand.

 

What visuals can you use in 2018? Well, the same visuals that were used before will suffice, if they were already updated with the latest eCommerce web design trends, your customers’ needs and of course, your brand image. You can populate the eCommerce sore with branded visuals in header images, backgrounds, forms, and all the web elements where you interact with your customers or where customers interact with your store. Branding is important because it may help you strengthen your company identity and make it easier for your customers to recognize you and identify your brand.

Conclusion

If you are an eCommerce store owner, or a marketer working for an eCommerce business, you may already know that success depends on many different things. What’s important, besides your marketing campaigns, however, is to stay up to date with the latest eCommerce web design trends in your industry and make sure that technically speaking, you do everything that needs to be done.

 

We’ve covered some of the most important trends in web design here and hopefully, we’ve learned together some things about how to make your online store visually attractive, fast and secure according to the latest market requirements.

 

What other trends or recommendations you would like to add to this list?

 

Read More at Top 7 eCommerce Web Design Trends to Watch for in 2018

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/top-7-ecommerce-web-design-trends-watch-2018/

HQ Trivia officially launches UK version


HQ Trivia, the wildly popular smartphone quiz show game, is officially launching in the UK. A Blighty-specific version of the game quietly launched a couple of weeks ago, but it was unclear whether this was merely an experiment with providing region-specific content, or the company had plans to make a longer-term commitment. Now, we know it’s the latter. The main host of the UK version is Sharon Carpenter, who regularly appears on the main game as a replacement for Scott “Quiz Daddy” Rogowsky. Carpenter is a veteran broadcast journalist, having worked with the likes of BBC World News America and…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web https://thenextweb.com/apps/2018/01/22/hq-trivia-officially-launches-uk-version/

20 Hipster Fonts You Can Download For Free

Hipster is one of the newest words we use in our everyday language. It means a person who knows about latest trends and uses them. In web design, however, hipster design or font means something modern but with a vintage retro vibe.

These definitions may be quite confusing, but what we know for sure is that hipster fonts should be simple, chic, and minimalist. In this collection, we have put together 20 best hipster fonts you can download today for free. All these fonts are suitable for flat or material design which is trendy these days. You can use these fonts for any kind of typography, whether it’s a t-shirt or website header.

1. Besom

besom-hipster-font

2. Airbag Typeface

airbag-font

3. Scratch Typeface

scratch-type

4. Duma

duma-font

5. Aqua

aqua-font

6. High Tide free fonts

high-tide-free-fonts

7. KAIJU | Font

kaiju

8. Yuma Font

yuma

9. Quarz 974 Light

QUARZ-974-Light

10. Porto

porto-font

11. Peace Sans

peace-sans

12. Lemon Bird Typeface

lemon-bird

13. Hensa

hensa-dribbble

14. Tropicalia Brush Typeface

tropicalia-brush-typeface

15. Argon

Argon

16. Bushcraft Font Family

bushcraft-font-family

17. PARABOLA FREE FONT

parabola-free-font

18. Arabella Free Font

anabella-font

19. Rising Star Monoline Script

rising-star-font

20. Liquor Typeface

liquor-font

Read More at 20 Hipster Fonts You Can Download For Free

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/hipster-fonts-free/

How to Sell Your eCommerce Store Quick and Easy

I recently helped a friend sell one of his eCommerce websites in Shopify’s Marketplace. It all went well, for both the seller and the buyer, and after the transaction completed, I thought about all other investors who contemplate on selling their businesses and don’t know how. So, I decided to write a short guide that may be of help to everybody and ease your decision on how and where to sell an eCommerce website.

A few decades ago, in order to start a commerce business, you needed to have not only a business plan but also a location, a place where to set up your store physically. This meant that you had access to a restricted local audience and if you needed to go national or maybe international, you needed to spend more money in renting local stores all over the country, the continent, and the world. Not to mention, that you had to worry about logistics, employees, different legal requirements and so on.

Now, things are relatively simple. You need a minimum budget to buy your products, acquire the services of a hosting company and maybe a website designer to set up your eCommerce website. You can get from local to international in just a few seconds, with minimum investments and efforts.

There may be times, however, when investors of eCommerce websites want to sell their businesses and start new ones. Or, they may want to sell them due to the fact that they have too many businesses to worry about and they want to focus on just a few.

If you are one of them, I am sure you are thinking about selling at the best price, quick and easy. While this may not always be possible, you can make your best and try not to lose money and even make the deal profitable. In order to do so, however, you need to know what are you doing and what selling your eCommerce business means.

First, evaluate your business

What is your eCommerce website worth?

If you are selling a Shopify store and list it on their Exchange market, the online app will automatically generate a listing price based on several factors such as monthly sales and traffic. However, you can adjust that price based on your own estimations and for this part, you need to know how much your business is worth.

One of the best ways to evaluate your business is through the “Seller’s Discretionary Cash Flow,” also known as SDCF. Basically, your selling price would be a multiplier of this factor.

According to the definition posted by valueadder.com, SDCF refers to “the pre-tax earnings of the business before non-cash expenses, one owner’s compensation, interest expense or income, as well as one-time and non-business related income and expense items.” Seller’s discretionary cash flows, they added, “is a common cash flow based measure of business earnings for owner-operator managed businesses.”

How can you determine this SDCF? Well, I always used feinternational.com’s formula as a basic calculus for cash flow. According to them, it should look something like this:

 

Revenue – Cost of sold goods – Operating expenses + Owner compensation

 

The same source writes about some of the other factors that should be taken into account when you assess your business’ worth. In their terms, it is called the “valuation scorecard” and looks something like this:

In conclusion, what makes an eCommerce website valuable?

The answer is “profit.” Every new buyer will expect to have a positive return on investment in a couple of months, a year or more, depending on how big the business is. Therefore, as long as the store is able to generate profits constantly, it is considered to be valuable. The buyer can then invest in expanding the business or keep it at the actual level and keep the margins of profit unchanged.

Then, list your eCommerce store in a marketplace

As I already told you in the intro section of this article, my experience, in this case, is strongly related to Shopify. Therefore, this is the marketplace I will talk about in this chapter.

So, how do you sell a Shopify store on their marketplace?

I guess if you paid attention to what we’ve talked about so far, you already made an accurate assessment of how much your website is worth. This is your personal value, however, which you will have to confront with how the marketplace evaluates it as well.

The first thing to do at this point is to go to the Marketplace and start your listing procedure. All you need is your Shopify store login username and password.

Now, you can access the Exchange app which is also available from your Shopify admin panel. From here, you can finally list the store as being available for sale on the exchange market. Things you need to do here:

 

  1.  Add a title and a description of your listing. The better they are, the more likely it will be for it to be noticed by prospective buyers. Don’t forget to include a brief description of your products along with the title.

 

  1.  Select your industry/niche. What are you selling? What kinds/types of products are in your store? This is also important information that may help buyers select the business they want to buy easier and better.

 

  1.  Now it’s time to also add a detailed description to your store. Talk about your motives to open it, provide information about the products you sell, your shop’s history, sales, evolution through time and so on. Also, it would be best if you can add details about all social media accounts associated with the store as well. The prospective buyers need to see exactly what they are buying and how the store is settled on the market, how can it be marketed and possibilities to further advertise it. The more thorough and truthful you are, the bigger the chances to sell your store are.

 

  1.  After you input all the data required here, the Exchange app will generate a selling price based on your traffic and your general revenue. You can review this price and update it if you consider it too low. Keep in mind however that there should be a balance between their estimated price and your estimated price. If you want to sell, you need to be realistic and don’t overprice your listing.

 

  1.  Next, the system will automatically generate some screenshots of your store. You can review them and upload your own if you are not satisfied with the results. Also, the system will generate your “store performance” data based on revenue and traffic. This information cannot be modified and it is updated on a monthly basis, as traffic and income changes. It’s quite important therefore to keep your store alive during this time until you manage to sell it because if your stats go down, it may affect your marketability.

 

  1.  Finally, you get to review and update your contact information, verify the data is correct, save your work and publish your listing.

Other marketplaces where you can sell your eCommerce website

There are several options for those who do not have Shopify based stores or, for those who want to try other marketplaces for more exposure. Here is a list of some of the most popular websites you can try if you want to sell your business:

 

  1. Flippa. This is one of the oldest places where entrepreneurs sell and buy online businesses. According to their own stats, more than 5,000 new businesses and domains are listed here every day. Every month, more than $5 million of businesses are being sold on Flippa.
  2. Empire Flippers. This is a curated marketplace where every new listing is thoroughly verified before being cleared for integration into their database. Empire Flippers lists websites based on their traffic, earnings and history. The recommended prices are calculated by multiplying the average income of the last 3 to 12 months by a factor of 20 to 40. The platform handles all the communication between seller and buyers. As of January 2018, their total overall sales are $41,185,220.
  3. Freemarket.com is yet another broker that may help you sell your website on their online platform. Here, you can also sell only your domain if you don’t want to sell your entire eCommerce store. What’s great about this service is that the listings are free. There are no fees until you successfully make a sale, at which point they will take only 5% of the selling price.

Conclusion

Nobody thinks about the possibility to sell their business at the beginning, but sometimes, you decide that this option is the best option you can take due to several factors. If you own an eCommerce store, things are easier than with local physical based businesses. All you need is a marketplace, a good description of your store and a correct price.

 

Did you ever buy or sell websites online? Are you considering doing it in the near future? What is your experience with different marketplaces?

 

Read More at How to Sell Your eCommerce Store Quick and Easy

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/sell-ecommerce-store-quick-easy/