Listen to any “expert,” regarding TV, and you’ll hear the same thing. “TV is dead,” they proclaim, “the way forward is new media.” And, it’s easy to see why businesses believe this to be the truth, the growth of search engines and social media being the main indicator.
However, television is by no means dead and gone, as evidenced by the $32bn in affiliate revenue they receive yearly. The truth is there are pros and cons, all of them with the ability to affect your SME.
To make sure you’re on the right side of history, it’s essential to understand the specifics. Here are the main ones for your information.
New And Old Media Mix
Yes, the likes of Amazon Prime and Netflix are making it tougher for traditional media outlets to have it all their own way. But, to say these upstarts are killing TV is a myth, and the reason is simple: partnerships. Thanks to the rise of the internet and smart TVs, online sites are now available in the form of apps on a TV screen. New and old media aren’t at war; they’re in a partnership. As a result, the viewing figures are still high and TV marketing is as effective as a result. You have to figure out which platform is the most effective.
TV Companies Have History On Their Side
History means a lot when you factor in the size and stature of a company. The opening paragraph mentioned affiliate fees, and they are the perfect example as to why history is important. New platforms charge less for numerous reasons, one being destroyer pricing tactics and fewer overheads. However, TV companies with a historic reputation can charge more thanks to the perception of their brand. ESPN’s sub per month, for example, is eight times higher than some of its competitors. This evergreen source of funding only secures their dominance and makes them an effective tool for businesses.
From a business’s point of view, is an accident in the workplace is a big deal as employees can take employers to court and win. The problem with television, however, is the fact that they normalize dangerous behavior. According to this slip and fall attorney, there are lots of programs on TV that trivialize accidents and don’t show the aftermath. For companies, it’s problematic as it might influence your health and safety practices in a bad way. Get them wrong and you can be out of business in a flash.
TV Is Compartmentalized
Switch on the boob tube and you’ll see different channels for different things, from sports to movies and nature documentaries. Savvy businesses can take advantage of this by using the right channel to market to their audience. With the proper analytics, you can figure out the types of programs your base is likely to watch and put the advert in front of them for consumption. With the rise of Big Data, it isn’t tough to find out anything, especially TV preferences.
Television affects businesses in different ways – will you make sure it’s positive?
If you are having a hard time converting customers, then this could be down to a trust issue. Here are a few reasons why that may be the case.
You Aren’t Leaving a Good First Impression
First impressions can last up to 6 months. You need to think of your website as being the face of your company, and you also need to make sure that it is constructed as such. If your site is taking a long time to load or if it is not functioning properly, then this could be pushing your visitors away. It only takes around 7 seconds for your customers to develop an impression of your site, and if 3 of those seconds are spent loading, this drastically reduces the amount of time you have to impress them. If you are concerned about your customers leaving your site due to poor functionality, then you need to try and spend some time working on your website design. Choose fonts, images, colour schemes and more to create a logical flow of information. You also need to make sure that your site isn’t too busy, as this could increase the time that it takes to load up.
More and more people are now shopping online. This is great, but this also means that your online security needs to be on-point. You need to be offering products that are high in quality and you also need to make sure that you are offering a secure payment option too. If you don’t then your customers may not feel comfortable entering their details on your site and you may even find that you have a high cart abandonment rate too. If you want to get around this, offer payment methods that are widely recognised by all of your customers. You also need to offer payment options that are recognised across the world. This can include credit/debit card payments, PayPal and even Google Wallet too. Window shoppers will often take a very close look at your SSL certificate too. If you don’t have one, this is a sign that your site cannot be trusted at all.
People Aren’t Talking About You
People who shop online will almost always look up your site online before they buy from you. If you cannot be found online, or on any trustworthy review sites then this could be really impacting your sales. You need to have a lot of testimonials present and you also need to make sure that your customers feel confident in you. Studies show that 88% of people trust reviews that are written by other consumers, so encourage the customers that you do have right now to talk about you. You also need to make sure that they are rewarded for doing so as well. This will really boost your sales and it will also help with your overall conversion rate.
You’re Far too Mysterious
There is a high chance that your visitors are curious about the features of your product, and that they also want to learn about your services too. They might also want to know more about your shipping rates, and conditions. If they cannot find the information that they need then there is a high chance that they won’t buy from you. If you want to stop this from happening then you need to have complete transparency. You also need to make sure that you have a solid FAQ, and that you don’t leave your visitors hanging. It’s also worth investing in UX research software as this will give you the chance to find out exactly what your customers are looking for.
You’re Hard to Get Hold of
There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to connect with a business. If you are keeping your contact information hidden, or if you have a form and no email address then this can give your customers a bad impression. If you don’t want to appear unfriendly then you have to make sure that all of your contact information is accessible. You also need to take note that some customers would much prefer to contact you by email, or even phone over chat. If you want to make sure that your customers are getting the service that they need then make sure
that you are offering various contact options simultaneously.
You’re not on Social Media
We live in an internet world. If you have an inactive social media account then this can send the wrong message about your business. Customers may believe that you are no longer in business or that you are not interested in connecting with them. Either way, this will have a detrimental impact on your business and you may find that it costs you loyalty too. If you want to get around this, you need to keep your channels active. If you do not have time to do that, it may be worth you hiring a social media manager. When you do this, you can count on them to help you with the posts that you want to go live, and they can also help you to track your results too, so there are plenty of benefits. You also need to make sure that you are responding to any comments and questions that your followers are leaving. If you don’t then your customers may feel as though you don’t care about what they have to say or even that you are not concerned with their opinion. Again, this can impact your business, so take the time to respond to every single person who posts on your page and also make sure that you are putting in the work to maintain those good client relationships.
By following the above tips, you can be sure to boost the amount of trust that your customers
have in your site, and you can also boost your sales too. If you are still struggling to get your customers to trust in your business, then it may be worth analysing your competition to see how your service offerings differ.
Running a business comes with a lot of different challenges, and it’s usually the owners who have to sort it out. No matter how hard you work, the time you throw into learning about business, or how many people you have surrounding you, there will always be jobs which slip through the net. Internet and network security are some of the most common lapses found in modern companies. To help you out with this side of your company, this post will be exploring some of the different work which can be done to protect your network from threats on the outside.
Training & Rules
Humans are one of the easiest access points for a piece of malware, with computers rarely causing errors which can result in this. This means that the right training could be all it takes for you to start the process of securing your business. You team should be trained in areas like web browsing, email management, and downloads, giving them a good idea of where threats they have to avoid might come from. Alongside training, though, you should also make some ground rules. Passwords, for example, should be changed every month or so, as this will make it impossible for a brute force attack to gain access.
Most business have a computer for each of their team members, nowadays. Some will have more, and some will have less, but they all need to make sure that these machines are secure. Companies like Microsoft have made it easier than ever before to keep large groups of computers up to date. By using smart deployment methods, you can have all of your machines updated every night, ensuring that none of them are at risk. Your antivirus software should be one of the first things you think about keeping up to date like this.
The Networking Hardware
This is where this area will start to get a little complicated for a lot of business owners, as it’s time to start thinking about the hardware you have in place to protect you. If you use the internet, you will at least have a basic router, and these machines often come with firewalls and other protection tools built in. Having dedicated components for these sorts of jobs is usually more secure, but isn’t something which every company can afford.
Alongside the typical networking hardware you find in a business, it can also make sense to look for tools which offer more dedicated protection. Secure browsing servers have gained a lot of popularity over the last few years, with countless companies taking on this sort of resource. By stopping threats before they reach your network, hardware like this can prove to save huge amounts of time and money, especially if the attack you’re facing is a particularly nasty virus.
Taking It Online
Over the last few years, cloud services have taken the world of business by storm. Offering the chance to store all of your work on the web, along with providing access to crucial software, these sorts of tools can be perfect for a small business. By using this sort of service, you will take the security work out of your hands, giving it to a business with far more expertise than you have. Examples like Office 365 have proven to make small businesses far more secure, making them worth looking at when you’re trying to improve security.
With the contract your employees have to sign and the rules you have in your office, it should be easy to avoid having data leaked on purpose by these people. In reality, though, it’s hard to know who you can trust, and it’s always worth keeping on your toes with this sort of issue. Your employees should never have the opportunity to take data out of the company, and it’s becoming increasingly common for companies to ban devices like phones from the office floor to avoid this sort of issue.
External threats aren’t always obvious when they first attack your company. Viruses will often lie in wait until the opportune moment to strike, and this can make them extremely hard to deal with. To get around this, performing monthly clean ups is always a good idea. This can be handled as an automated process, making it take up barely any of your time. Of course, though, you’ll still need to make sure that people are using the machines correctly afterwards.
With all of this in mind, you should stand a far better chance of keeping your company’s network secure. A lot of people struggle with this sort of work, finding it hard to know whether or not they should get help.
People have been debating online privacy for a very long time. This field is broad and complicated, with loads of rules which restrict the way that data can be managed, but most people don’t really understand the mark they leave online. To give you an idea of what the web knows about you, this post will be exploring some of the different areas and tools which are responsible for holding your information, along with providing you with some tips to keep yourself safe.
Online adverts are one of the most shocking examples of personal data being used to help a business. When ads change to things you’ve looked at recently, it can be easy to assume that private information is being accessed, but all of this work happens locally. Rather than businesses being given access to your search history, an advertising platform is given hints towards the searches you’ve made, and will build the adverts they show you around this. This is one of the least intrusive forms of personal data access on the web, making it a shame that so many people are worried about it.
On the other side of the coin, most people are perfectly happy to use tools like social media to post about their lives, assuming that these sites are safe. Unfortunately, though, as history has shown time and time again, companies like Facebook have a very loose grasp on your personal data, and it can easily be leaked. You don’t need it to be leaked if you’re posting it publicly, though, as people can access content like this without even having a Facebook account. This sort of concern can be overcome by being careful on social media.
The Deep Web
If you’ve spent a lot of time on the internet, you’ve probably heard about the deep web or dark web. While these names sound scary, they cover sites which aren’t addressable using DNS, and can’t be picked up by normal search engines. There are loads of perfectly reputable deep web sites, and even more which are doing absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, though, there are also plenty of databases which are filled with passwords and other personal details.
There are websites which let you scan the deep web for instances of your personal details. You won’t be able to have these details deleted, but you will be able to change passwords, bank accounts, and anything else which might be compromised. When data is found like this, it is usually for sale, and this means that it could only be a matter of time until someone uses the details they have saved for you to do something bad with them.
It’s easy to find yourself sharing information with companies online, with ecommerce transactions demanding this sort of data. While you should be able to trust large businesses, though, it’s always worth being careful, as data leaks can impact companies of any size, and the big players are often targeted the most. When you make an order on a website which unlikely to use in the future, it makes sense to delete the details they have saved for you. This will limit the chances that you will be involved with a leak, while also making it easier to keep track of who knows what about you.
Tying It All Together
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, personal data privacy has long been the subject of public debate. People don’t like their information being spread around the web, but this fragmented approach can have some serious benefits. If you’re applying for a job, for example, your prospective employees could use a service like Checkr.com to get an idea of your background. This would make the process of getting the job much faster, while also giving the employer a true insight into your strengths as an employee.
Personal data is something which people are always going to struggle with. As one problem is solved, more pop up, with the advances in technology keeping lawmakers on the edge, and public awareness growing far beyond what it used to be. This is good for normal people, as it means that their data is kept at the forefront of discussion. Unfortunately, though, it also means that things are going to change, and people all over the world are going to have to choose exactly how they want their data to be used. If you don’t want your information to be spread around the web, you should avoid putting it there in the first place.
The world is changing rapidly. New technologies are changing the way live, new lifestyle choices demand new ways of living and more and more people are moving to the city and leaving the countryside. Plus, with climate change and better awareness of the effects of human activity, many more people are changing their lifestyles to become more environmentally friendly.
So how does this affect city development?
The foundations of any city are vital for overall development. New York, for example, can support so many large skyscrapers because it is built on marble, though you’ll notice that there are no skyscrapers in the midtown or downtown areas as the foundations here aren’t as strong.
Water is one of the major issues for unstable foundations. However, systems can be put in place using technologies such as inflatable packers for grouting to form a strong drainage system. This may lead to more adventurous architecture, especially in cities with a high water table and increased risk of flooding, though whether architects are willing to take on that sort of challenge now is less sure.
One of the main reasons people move to the city is to be more interconnected. They want to get to work easily; they want to find cafes, bars and restaurants to eat at; they want to be entertained. All of this means that city planners must keep their residents in mind as the city grows.
On the most practical level, interconnectedness means that getting from one place to another needs to be made easier, safer and cheaper for residents. The future of roads is already promising exciting developments such as driverless cars and smart roads to make commuting better. For the city, already grown up around small alleys and awkward spaces, incorporating this technology has to be a priority.
When we talk about the future, we have to talk about technology and the development of our cities is no different. Technology already abounds in our cities and it is a natural assumption that it will continue to shape spaces too. The smart city is already here and the question is not when but how technology will shape everything from infrastructure to cafe culture.
Future-proofing is a big deal for city planners right now. We are more aware than ever before that technology is shaping society (just as society is shaping technology) and this has a big impact on the way our cities grow up. We are well aware of the issues with resource management and efficiency within our cities now so planning ahead should give an insight into future solutions. Even if those solutions are to problems we aren’t even close to facing yet.
Planning and imagining the future is always a challenge and we only have to look a generation or two back to see how wrong we can get it. That Star Trek’s crews relied on tapes is adorable in a world reliant on Cloud computing. But just remember, we have a talking computer now so that speculation wasn’t all wrong.
Running a company in the 21st century is all about staying on top of the IT game. You want to be using a network that’s safe from intrusions and constantly updating to stay that way, and you want to be working with something easy and simple to get along with.
So, to make sure your company has the right kind of IT capability to it for both now and the future, here’s just a couple of the first things to know about the digital system in your workplace.
You can’t be your own IT support network as well as the person who uses it the most, day in and day out. You want to be productive and efficient about your use of the technology in your office, and that means you can’t be spending time trying to fix any number of problems it can run into on a daily basis.
Instead, you’re going to want a professional on hand to wade in and save the day, should your computer ever freeze and crash, or if your network seemingly loses all semblance of a connection out of nowhere. You’re going to want peace of mind over the whims and wiles of the technology we rely on on a daily basis, especially when your income depends on it.
You probably don’t have the money or the space to keep an IT expert in house on a regular basis, and thus you’re going to need to rely on some kind of virtual assistant or external help desk to keep things running smoothly. Which means it’s a good thing IT companies offer Outsourced IT options for any business owner who’s in a similar position to yours.
You’re Going to Need to Keep Copies
Even when you’re using a digital system to keep track of the data your company churns out on a daily basis, the storage capacity and server longevity isn’t infallible. It’s made up of a code that was crafted by human hands; mistakes can be made!
Even more so, updates come out for these systems on a semi regular schedule, a.k.a., better, more experienced, and more skilled hands come along and make changes that completely invalidate the way a network works for you. One bit of changed code, or even just one lost bracket, and your data could be corrupted.
And that means you’re going to need to backup your files as often as possible, hopefully at least once a week. If you run an online company with online transactions, you’re going to want to do this more often, maybe even once a day. After all, the best way to keep customer details safe is to be sure you’re working with a system that keeps track of the card details, name, and addresses of anyone who buys from your website.
Your company has a lot to offer the market it serves, but only if you have the right hardware and infrastructure to work off of.