Blog – Prager Microsystems http://www.pragermicrosystems.com Thu, 03 Aug 2017 18:54:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 54739286 5 Ways to Boost Your Mobile Sales http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/marketing/5-ways-boost-your-mobile-sales/ Thu, 03 Aug 2017 18:54:58 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=3259 These days, more and more people are using their smartphones to purchase retail items, and in order to make the most of mobile shoppers, there are five things that you should keep in mind.

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These days, more and more people are using their smartphones to purchase retail items, and in order to make the most of mobile shoppers, there are five things that you should keep in mind:

1) Target the right people

This may seem obvious, but one of the main things you need to do is understand your audience – especially if you’re in an industry that makes most of its money through mobile users. According to marketing charts, 49% of video game, video game console, and video game accessory shopping comes from mobile devices. The same goes for 46% of toys and hobbies, 41% of jewelry and watches, and 36% of event tickets. If you’re part of any of these industries, mobile marketing is incredibly important.

Even if you’re not, however, more people spend their time on a mobile device than on a desktop, so creating a successful mobile website is key to targeting the people who use them.

2)  Adjust your purchasing options

Payvia also suggests including a “small increments” purchasing option in your online shopping cart. Because people feel comfortable purchasing small quantities via their mobile phones, a shopping cart that lets customers buy only one or two items can help you increase your number of conversions.

3) Make your website responsive

Being a digital marketing firm, we know that if you want to appeal to more mobile users, a responsive web design is necessary. When visitors find your website difficult to navigate, they’re likely to abandon your site and head to a competitor’s. When your website is optimized, however, it is easier to view and navigate on any screen, so whether your visitors enter your site via their desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, they will be presented with a better buying experience.

4) Have a mobile payment option

When visitors have the option to easily pay via mobile (such as a “buy it now” button), they’re more likely to follow through with a purchase, so make sure you make a simple mobile payment option available.

5) Integrate carrier billing

Carrier billing not only lets visitors pay instantly, but because you keep a record of their personal information, it makes their buying experience much simpler. Mobile users won’t have to click an array of buttons to fill in their personal information, which can lead to more duplicated conversions.

When your mobile campaign runs smoothly and gives visitors a hassle-free way to purchase your products, it’s easy to increase your mobile sales. If you’re looking for a team of marketing experts who can help you make the most of your online business, our digital marketing firm can help!

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The Latest Web Design Trends in eCommerce http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/web-design/the-latest-web-design-trends-in-ecommerce/ Fri, 28 Jul 2017 17:45:44 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8435 When it comes to web design, ecommerce is usually looked at as the most basic of them all and while that's not untrue, ecommerce web design has developed quite significantly over the years. From things like responsive design to easy-to-use shopping carts, many improvements have been made to make the buying experience easier for the customer.

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When it comes to web design, ecommerce is usually looked at as the most basic of them all and while that’s not untrue, ecommerce web design has developed quite significantly over the years. From things like responsive design to easy-to-use shopping carts, many improvements have been made to make the buying experience easier for the customer.

Here, we share a few of the latest web design trends for ecommerce websites:

Chatbots

When a shopper is confused by something like the check-out process, shipping fees, product information, or something else on your website, they’ll likely abandon their cart and head elsewhere. This is where chatbots come in. By implementing a chatbot on your ecommerce web design, you give your customers a way to quickly and easily interact with you and clear up any questions or confusion they may have. This can push the focus towards a smooth transaction.

Long Scrolling

While long scrolling has emerged as a web design trend in recent years, we’re also seeing it grow on he ecommerce side of things. Creating a web design that features a single, long page can keep your customer’s focus and gives you a way to tell a story or provide background information that they may need before they begin purchasing. And the great thing about long-scrolling pages is that you can have more than one!

Material Design

Material design is nothing new, but it’s still going strong when it comes to ecommerce websites. Many successful companies turn to things like bold colors, responsive animations, shadow impacts, call-to-action icons, and card design, to create a clean, tidy, and easy-to-use web design for their customers. These elements come in especially handy when converting a desktop design to mobile, as it makes for easy navigation.

Motion Animation

Motion animation is perhaps the latest and most creative element of ecommerce web design; it uses the power of motion to capture someone’s attention and give them a more complete buying experience. From things like scroll fade-ins to menu transitions to animated charts and more, you can feature certain parts of your website in an eye-catching way. And best of all – the possibilities are virtually endless!

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10 Pieces of Small Business Advice from People Who Started One http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/general/6-pieces-of-small-business-advice-from-the-people-who-started-them/ Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:15:45 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8430 Starting your own small business can be tough - especially if it's your first go at being an entrepreneur. However, our digital marketing company, we've learned that focus, hard work, and time management can get you where you need to go. We found ten pieces of advice from entrepreneurs that can help inspire you to chase your passion.

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Starting your own small business can be tough – especially if it’s your first go at being an entrepreneur. However, our digital marketing company, we’ve learned that focus, hard work, and time management can get you where you need to go. We found ten pieces of advice from entrepreneurs that can help inspire you to chase your passion:

On Following Your Dreams

“Identify what your true motivation is for starting your business or for pursuing your particular path in life. Then study it, dream it, live it, and most importantly, never lose sight of it. And always, always, always pursue with passion, desire, and the most definiteness of purpose.” – Jonah Sandler, founder of Scene75 Entertainment in Dayton, OH

“Do not underestimate the amount of effort, perseverance, and discipline that is required to be successful. I cannot stress that enough. There will be problems and you must be ready mentally, physically, and spiritually to deal with them. If you are starting a business to get rich and work less, then you are on the wrong path. One should be working on enjoying the journey not thinking about the destination. The riches-seekers never reach it.” – Noah Thomas Leask, co-founder of ISHPI in Charleston, SC

On Building Partnerships

“Visit your competition and introduce yourself. Nurture and develop a good relationship with them. Refer customers to them, as well. It’s give-and-take and there really is enough to go around. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help or advice.” – Kay Martinovic, founder of Kay’s Designer Consignment in Ormond Beach, FL

“Be collaborative with your staff, your customers, and your vendors or suppliers. The more you trust the team knowledge and wisdom of those around you, the more quickly you can recognize and adapt to changes, provide better products or services, and the stronger your organization will be. – Ellen Didier, founder of Red Sage Communications in Decatur, AL

On Using Social Media

“Instead of praying an audience (or customers) will find you, get in front of people in your space. Start a blog, podcast or create video content. Take advantage of social media. Attend in-person events. One way to make “putting yourself out there” easier is by making an effort to help others…” – Laurence Bradford, founder of Learn to Code with Me

“We would often say to ourselves ‘If you build it, they will come!’ We built a beautiful place with a delicious menu offering, but they did not come. We had a website and social media accounts, but no real budget or strategy to promote our business. We turned to Facebook, started promoting posts and saw results immediately. We have not stopped promoting posts and creating marketing campaigns on Facebook since then…” – Manuel Bucio, co-founder of Razpachos, Chicago, IL

On Learning from Others

“There are thousands of clues and even direct blueprints to how to make money if you know where to look. Find a successful company that is creating products or services that you are interested in and figure out HOW they are doing it. I use a process called reverse engineering to isolate two important factors: Their traffic and monetization. Where are they getting people to see their products? How are they converting them into buyers? If you can answer these two questions with a systematic approach, you can start to build a business around it immediately.” – Trey Smith, founder of Kayabit Games 

“We’ve had this business-owners group where we get together at somebody’s operation. …We have a potluck, we have a topic, and usually it’s something [the host company] is struggling with. … We have an hour or so discussion about that topic. It’s extremely powerful.I always encourage folks to start something like that in their area.” – Pete Johnson, founder of Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury, VT

On Following Through

“It comes from your mother. And she says when you tell somebody you’re going to do something, do it. That’s it. And it still rings true today … I find in business today people tell you a lot of things and then they don’t follow through with it whether it be employees, vendors, customers or prospects, whomever, it’s very frustrating.” – Jason Cohen, president of ILM in Fredericksburg, VA

“One of the things we were told is pretty simple — do the best you can, and do it when you say you’re going to. In my business, it makes a big difference. (Social responsibility) is incredibly lacking in business today, we don’t wear it on our sleeve, it makes us feel good. It makes us get up in the morning. My role is to be a good role model, a much better steward for the community.” – Matt Qualey, founder of Qualey Granite & Stone in Bangor, ME

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Tips to Make Your Digital Marketing Solutions More Effective http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/paid-search/tips-to-making-your-online-marketing-efforts-more-effective/ Fri, 14 Jul 2017 14:00:49 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=996 Crafting an effective online marketing campaign can be a very complex process, but choosing the right moves for your business means you'll increase your sales, customer base, and your bottom line. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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On Choosing What’s Right for Your Business

Crafting an effective online marketing campaign can be a very complex process, but choosing the right moves for your business means you’ll increase your sales, customer base, and your bottom line. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Determine Your Audience

The first thing you want to consider when putting together your digital marketing campaign is identifying the type of customer you are trying to reach. To find out who your perfect prospect is, identify the average household income of your customers and then compare that with the price of your products or services.

It’s also important to distinguish what type of work your customers do including where they work (at home or at a business) and what type of educational level they have. This will help you create content for your digital marketing campaign in a tone that your customers can relate to. For example, if your products or services are more expensive and you’re targeting a more educated, executive level customer, you’ll want your content to have a formal tone.

Weigh Your Options

Weighing out all of your marketing options is also a very important part of the digital marketing campaign design process. It’s necessary to consider what type of tactics are available to you and whether or not those tactics will actually help you reach your goals. For instance, marketing your business through sponsored ads on other business’ websites isn’t such a good idea because the probability of your ideal customers actually visiting those websites is low.

Thinking about what types of online marketing methods you could use to reach your ideal customer is also very important. Paid search, local directory listings, email marketing, and social media marketing are only going to be effective if they will grab your ideal customers’ attention. Talk to our digital marketing experts and we can help you choose the best tactics that will work for your business and your budget.

Enable Analytics and Evaluate

In order to make sure your digital marketing efforts are actually working, you’ll want to install some analytical programs that read your results. Make sure that you launch any type of tracking information that will give you an accurate idea of your gross sales revenue, your return on investment for each tactic, and the marketing cost per sale of each product/service. Keeping a close watch on your analytics information and you’ll be up-to-date on what’s going on at all times.

After you set up your analytics programs, make sure you evaluate their success on a regular basis. This can help you tweak your efforts and discover what’s working and what’s not.

For the best digital marketing campaign possible, give our experts a call today.

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8 Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rates http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/email-marketing/how-to-create-effective-email-subject-lines/ Fri, 07 Jul 2017 20:10:18 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8423 While email marketing is an older marketing technique, it's still successful for a wide array of businesses, and no matter what the email, the subject line plays a huge part in whether or not someone will open that email. Here, our digital marketing firm explains eight ways to increase your email open rates.

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Make the Most of Your Blasts

While email marketing is an older marketing technique, it’s still successful for a wide array of businesses, and no matter what the email, the subject line plays a huge part in whether or not someone will open that email. Here, our digital marketing firm explains eight ways to increase your email open rates:

Keep It Short

No one wants to read a paragraph to understand what your email is about, so keep your subject lines short and sweet. Just a few words (totaling around 50 characters or less) is enough to capture your recipient’s attention.

Personalize

Personalization is always a great motivator, so if you can, try to include it in your subject lines. Try using a name, location, or something familiar to your recipient. You can also improve open rates with good timing, such as sending out an email near a person’s birthday and wishing them a happy birthday in the subject.

Don’t Lie

While it may be tempting to stretch the truth in order to encourage more people to open your emails, that’s never a good idea. Even if you improve your open rates, you’ll lose more loyal customers and have a higher unsubscribe rate than you want. Don’t lie about what’s in your email or make promises you can’t keep.

Time It Up

Sending out emails with successful subject lines can be even more successful if you send them out at the right time. Based on what your email is about, do some testing to find out when your recipients are most likely to open it. Try sending a handful in the morning, afternoon, and evening and adjust accordingly.

Choose the Right List

If you constantly send your emails to one long list of people, you may want to consider segmenting that list. While some people may benefit from a certain email, others may not and it may encourage them to unsubscribe. Split your list up based on commonalities and your emails will seem much more helpful to your recipients.

Inspire Action

Email subject lines should inspire your recipients to open your email, so treating them like call-to-actions is always a good idea. Using verbs and creating an urgency can help make your emails more appealing and increase your open rates.

Ask a Question

By asking a question in your email subject line, you’ll promote a need to know the answer and therefore, promote more people to open your email. If you do ask a question, make sure you provide an answer to satisfy your recipients.

Don’t Be Dramatic

If you’ve ever seen an email subject line that’s written in all capital letters, a random mix of lowercase and capitals, or one that has way too many exclamation marks, you probably didn’t open it – and there’s a reason for that. Dramatic subject lines don’t convert as well as ones that are written normally.

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On Using Google for Research http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/general/using-the-internet-for-research/ Fri, 30 Jun 2017 20:50:51 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=2283 The Internet has changed the way we do a lot of things - especially research. With facts and figures documented on the world wide web, it's rare to see someone digging for information at the library or cracking open an encyclopedia. But when it comes to browsing the Internet, how reliable is the information we find?

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How Trustworthy Is the Information You Find?

The internet has changed the way we do a lot of things – especially research. With facts and figures documented on the world wide web, it’s rare to see someone digging for information at the library or cracking open an encyclopedia. But when it comes to browsing the internet, how reliable is the information we find?

In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, College Board, and the National Writing Project, only 28% of adults believe that “all or almost all” of the information found using search engines is trustworthy.

The same survey showed that over 90% of students associate research with “Googling it,” which may explain why only 5% of middle and high school teachers believe “all or almost all” search engine information is trustworthy. While Google is a great tool for finding information (it saves time and gives you a wide range of resources), it’s easy to say it’s not always reliable.

Tangible Sources

Research may have taken longer before the popularity boom of search engines, but our internet marketing firm can argue that tangible sources made it easier to find trustworthy information. When you opened an encyclopedia, you knew that all of its facts and figures were accurate, and when you read a book or an article from a library, you could be confident it was professionally reviewed before it was published. On the internet, however, a resource is often a documented opinion and can often include false or made-up statistics. That’s why it’s important to know your source.

Tips

As a rule of thumb, websites ending in .gov are usually reliable, since they can only be created by a government body. Websites ending in .edu are also reliable – they can only be created by educational institutions. When it comes to general .com and .org websites, however, their reliability is based on your judgement.

So what’s your go-to resource for research?

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The Half-Truths Behind SEO Practices http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/search-engine-optimization/8411/ Fri, 09 Jun 2017 19:15:41 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8411 Search engine optimization is an important part of your business and at Prager, we know the world of SEO can get a little complicated. From Google rankings to social media to content strategies, there are many things that factor into your SEO success - and it's important to know which practices are misleading and which aren't.

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What’s Misleading and What Isn’t?

Search engine optimization is an important part of your business and at Prager, we know the world of SEO can get a little complicated. From Google rankings to social media to content strategies, there are many things that factor into your SEO success – and it’s important to know which practices are misleading and which aren’t.

We recently came across a Forbes article by Jayson DeMers that explains some of the half-truths behind good and bad SEO practices. We thought we’d share:

“Have you ever heard that Google will blacklist you if you stuff too many keywords into your homepage? How about the idea that the more times a piece of content is shared, the higher it will rank in search engines?

These are only misleading half-truths, but many entrepreneurs and search engine optimizers believe them. For the record, keyword stuffing won’t automatically lead to you being blacklisted by Google, and it’s debatable where the line between “keyword stuffing” and “keyword optimizing” even lies.

And social shares may play a role in ranking potential, (correlation studies suggest that they do, though we all know that correlation doesn’t equal causation) but Google has repeatedly denied that they do. Furthermore, there is also strong correlation that content with more social shares also has more inbound links, and inbound links are known to be one of the top two strongest ranking signals; this has been corroborated by Google itself. So, making a claim that “more shares equals higher rankings” is only half-true, and it’s misleading.

So why are these, and other SEO misconceptions, so rampant, both within the industry and outside it?

The Plight of Half-Truths

First, there’s the tendency for “half-truths,” rather than outright myths, to circulate. There are, of course, outright myths and misconceptions, but most of these are relegated to people outside the industry. For example, if you’ve never tried SEO and you haven’t learned much about it, I imagine it’s easy to continue buying into the old stereotype that SEO is a cheap gimmick designed to game the system.

Half-truths permeate the SEO industry because we aren’t working with hard, direct information (in most cases). Google and other search engines keep their algorithms as proprietary secrets, giving us clues about what they consider when ranking results, but not spelling it out for us. Accordingly, when someone presents an idea that sounds plausible, it’s readily accepted as truth.

Take the social media shares claim as an example; earning more shares on your content does increase the likelihood that it’ll earn inbound links (since your content will be visible to more people), but it’s probably not the social shares themselves doing the work.

Is it a good idea to try to get more shares on your content? Of course it is, but it’s probably an even better idea to try to attract more inbound links to that content if your goal is to get it to rank higher in search engines, and getting more social shares on that content is just one of many ways to get more links for it.

Thus, it’s a half-truth that’s easy to accept, based on the contextual clues and instinctive knowledge we have about how search works.

The Pace of the Industry

Misinformation also arises because the SEO industry naturally moves so quickly. Though Google has transitioned from releasing big packets of game-changing updates to its algorithm to adopting a gradual, continual release schedule, the emergence and distribution of new technologies and search trends makes it hard for search optimizers to keep up.

This has a few effects on the spread of misinformation. First, it’s easy for previously valid information to become obsolete. For example, it was once a good idea to make sure the anchor text for your links had exact-match text to the keywords you’re trying to optimize for.

Second, in a desperate bid to be the first person to cover a new update or new search story, people often report on incomplete information. It’s actually a good thing that we circulate information in bits and pieces—that’s what helps us put together the big picture—but if you form an assumption too early, you might end up misunderstanding what’s really going on.

Finally, the pace and nature of the industry means people blog and converse very quickly. If a piece of bad information leaks, it will only take a day or two to circulate throughout the entire community. Fortunately, that also means the community is quick to course-correct itself, but in the short-term, it leaves more people exposed to that bad information.

How to Protect Yourself

If you’re new to the industry, or if you’re a seasoned expert who spends lots of time perusing for new information, there are a handful of measures you can take to prevent the spread and absorption of misinformation:

  • Check your sources. First, make sure to check your sources. If a person at a networking event mentions an SEO tip, for example, consider whether they’ve had any extensive experience in the SEO industry. Someone with a career in SEO is more likely to give you accurate information than a novice. Online, get your news and information from individuals and organizations you trust. There’s no shortage of self-proclaimed industry experts in the SEO world, but not all of them have the same amount of expertise and reputation.
  • Look for hard evidence. Anecdotal evidence may point you in a good general direction; if someone reports that they saw an overall ranking boost after engaging in a specific tactic, that’s not necessarily bad or wrong. However, it’s much better to rely on hard evidence, which is available across multiple companies and applications. Look for statistical analysis, real data points, and most importantly, replicability. Just because it works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for the rest.
  • Cross-reference. If you see a piece of information from one source, even if it’s trustworthy, see if you can find the same information from another source. This is why it’s a good idea to have an extended, rotating list of news authorities in the SEO industry. If one organization reports that there’s a new update that does X, Y, and Z, see if another organization has independent data to confirm that it’s the case.
  • Challenge your assumptions. Finally—and this is good advice for all search optimizers—never let your assumptions go unchecked. Things in the SEO industry change often, and misinformation is common. Make it a point to challenge your beliefs, and try to disprove your own hypotheses. This takes longer, and takes more effort, but it will get you closer to the real truth.

SEO misinformation isn’t going away anytime soon, but the better you equip yourself against it, the more you can resist its effects on your campaign.”

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Common Mistakes in the Writing World http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/content-strategy/writing-mistakes-that-you-just-cant-shake/ Thu, 04 May 2017 15:09:40 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=2070 For some, writing and grammar come naturally and piecing sentences together isn't something you have to think twice about. For others, however, it's a struggle to remember and abide by the rules in the writing world. Below is a list of writing mistakes that tend to be the most popular (and often most confusing) for writers and those trying to be writers.

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Yes, You’ve Probably Made Some of These

For some, writing and grammar come naturally and piecing sentences together isn’t something you have to think twice about. For others, however, it’s a struggle to remember and abide by the rules in the writing world. Below is a list of writing mistakes that tend to be the most popular (and often most confusing) for writers and those trying to be writers:

Who vs. Whom

This distinction is hard when we rarely hear people say “whom” in everyday conversation, but the rule here is “who” is a subjective, which means if you’re referring to the subject in a sentence, you use “who.”

For example: Who is baking the birthday cake?
Here, you’re trying to find the person (the subject) baking the cake.

“Whom,” on the other hand, is an objective, which means if you’re referring to someone other than the subject, you use “whom.”

For example: Whom is Dan baking the birthday cake for?
Here, Dan (the subject) is baking the cake and you’re trying to find the person (the object) receiving it.

Quotation Punctuation

Many people are confused as to whether punctuation should go on the inside or outside of quotation marks. The rule here is that commas and periods always go inside quotation marks. Question marks, however, rely on the subject matter. If the sentence itself is a question, you put the question mark outside of the quotations.

For example: Does Lily like “Of Mice and Men”?

If the sentence is a statement and the content in quotation marks is a question, you put the question mark inside the quotation marks.

For example: He heard Lily ask, “What should I read today?”

Then vs. Than

Even though there’s a very simple rule when it comes to these words, writers still have a hard time remembering the difference. The rule here is you use “than” in a comparison. Any other time, you use “then.”

For example: “I’d rather have chocolate than vanilla” means you’d prefer chocolate instead of vanilla (a comparison). “I’d rather have chocolate then vanilla” means you’d prefer having chocolate first and vanilla second (not a comparison).

Fewer vs. Less

There’s a very simple rule for these words as well. The rule here is if you can count the items, use “fewer.” If you’re talking about something that doesn’t have a numeric value, use “less.”

For example: “Tim has fewer employees than Sarah” vs. “Tim is less successful than Sarah.” Here, you can count the number of apples but you can’t count the number of success.

Adjective Hyphens

Compound words are often used as an adjective to describe something. The common rule here is that if the adjective you’re using comes before the subject, use hyphens.

For example: The well-known comedian died last night.

If the adjective comes after your subject, don’t use hyphens.

For example: The comedian who died last night was well known.

Singular/Plural Verbs

If you have both a singular and plural word in your sentence, it can be tricky to know which verb to use. The rule here is if the subject is singular, the verb should be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb should be plural. You may have to take an extra few seconds to figure out which word is really your subject:

For example: “The box of apples was left on her roof.” Here, the box (which is singular) is the subject, so you use “was” and not “were.”

For example: “The staff members don’t like the new coffee.” Here, the members (which is plural) are the subject, so you use “don’t” instead of “doesn’t.”

The Semicolon

Many writers avoid semicolons for fear of using them wrong. The rule here is fairly simple: you use a semicolon to separate two related independent clauses (sentences that can stand on their own). Keep in mind: if there is a conjunction in the middle of two sentences, it can be replaced with a semicolon.

For example: “Tina made fettuccine Alfredo for dinner and the sauce was delicious” can also be “Tina made fettuccine Alfredo for dinner; the sauce was delicious.”

Have another question about writing techniques? Give our digital marketing experts a call. We’d be happy to help!

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The Importance of Social Media in Today’s Marketing World http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/social-media/the-importance-of-social-media-in-todays-marketing-world/ Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:30:59 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8397 Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you've heard about some of the most recent incidents that have been taking social media by storm. From United Airlines' passenger removal to Pepsi's demonstration-centered advertisement, the actions taken by today's brands are subject to immediate praise or criticism via social media.

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There’s No Escaping It

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve heard about some of the most recent incidents that have been taking social media by storm. From United Airlines’ passenger removal to Pepsi’s demonstration-centered advertisement, the actions taken by today’s brands are subject to immediate praise or criticism via social media.

With millions of active users on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and many of them constantly capturing or sharing content, it doesn’t take long for something to go viral. And if your company is behind viral content that’s less than ideal, things can get pretty rough That’s why it’s essential to understand the importance of social media and the impact it can have in today’s marketing world.

Creating a Brand

Because much of the world revolves around the internet, social media is an opportunity for you to create a specific brand for your company. With every Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn post you write or share, you can establish more and more of your brand, so posting the right things is important.

Using social media to share your latest ads can be a great way to get your name out there and engage with a large audience (given that your ad doesn’t send the wrong message or spark a controversy, of course). These ads also give you a chance to teach social media users more about who your company is and what it does.

If your company has a unique culture or vibe that you want to associate with your brand, social media platforms are ideal for this. Social users love easily-shareable content and if you put a little twist on yours, it’s sure to reach an array of people. Try creating a short video, an entertaining About page, or an employee photo compilation to capture attention and promote sharing.

Engagement & Responses

It’s not enough to simply be present on social media – you also have to engage with your followers. Responding to likes, comments, retweets, and more will show others that you’re actively trying to create connections with your followers. This applies even if you receive negative feedback. The sooner you address a negative comment or complaint, the more respect you’ll gain from your upset customer. Just remember to be polite and make it a point to try to rectify the situation.

In the end, social media is all about being social, so taking an interest in what your followers are doing and saying is a great way to stay engaged and show users that you’re an active company that cares about engagement. If you do run into a bad situation (like United or Pepsi), don’t lash out immediately in defense. Instead, take the time to understand why your content had a negative impact and put yourself in the public’s shoes – what kind of response would you like to hear from a company that made a mistake?

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A Brief History of Digital Marketing http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/general/a-brief-history-of-internet-marketing/ Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:30:02 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=4224 When the Internet was first introduced, it wasn't meant for advertising - it was a way to exchange emails and information. But it didn't take long for marketers to see why such a tool could help them grow their businesses. Here are some events that kicked it off.

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The Internet Wasn’t Always This Way

When the Internet was first introduced, it wasn’t meant for advertising – it was a way to exchange emails and information. But it didn’t take long for marketers to see why such a tool could help them grow their businesses. Here are some events that kicked it off:

In the Beginning…

After email was invented, it was used mainly by the military and universities, but in 1979, CompuServe (the first major U.S. commercial online service) began offering email and technical support to personal computer users. Throughout the next two decades, email was used to exchange information and transfer data – it wasn’t until the early ’90s that businesses started seeing the marketing benefit in it.

The First Browser

In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee invented the first “web browser” named WorldWideWeb (later renamed Nexus to avoid confusion with the World Wide Web). The idea of a web browser didn’t gain much popularity, however, until 1993 when the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released Mosaic, a graphical web browser that was easier to use and install. After these inventions, the Internet began booming.

B2C E-Commerce

While business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce had been popular since the 1970s, business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce didn’t become popular until 1991, when the National Science Foundation (credited for creating the first “Internet”) lifted its restrictions for commercial use of its Internet. Online shopping grew over the next few years and in 1995, the largest online retailer in the world, Amazon, was introduced.

Search Engines

Even though the first search engine was technically invented in 1990 (and called Archie), it wasn’t until 1994 that the first search engine most like today’s search engines was invented. A company called WebCrawler released a search engine that indexed titles and headers of a web page as well as all of its content. Later that year, a search engine called Lycos was released that added to the features of WebCrawler by ranking results based on relevancy.

After Google was invented in 1996, the company launched its AdWords campaign in 2003, which was the first system that marketers could use to serve ads in response to a user’s desires.

Mobile Marketing

In the late 2000s, Apple popularized the development of mobile apps and third-party software with its “i” operating system. Because of this, consumers were able to choose how they wanted to consume their content and businesses began taking advantage of it by marketing their products and services through mobile efforts – a practice that is still growing today.

Our digital marketing agency services clients nationwide and can help you promote your business through mobile marketing. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.

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