Microsoft OneDrive recognized as a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms

Today, we are happy to announce that Gartner has recognized Microsoft as a leader in the new CCP (Content Collaboration Platforms) Magic Quadrant Report for 2017. In addition to being positioned as leader, Microsoft was placed highest for Ability to Execute.

The post Microsoft OneDrive recognized as a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms appeared first on Office Blogs.



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7 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Marketing Strategy

Facebook Marketing Tips

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) advertising can be overwhelming, especially if you are working on your first campaign. Before you jump in and get started, use these Facebook marketing tips to help you make the most of your time, effort, and budget.

Facebook Marketing Tips

Start with a Clear Goal

Before you can create any kind of successful Facebook advertising campaign, you must define your goals and the metrics you’ll need to measure to determine how successful the campaign is. This will set the stage for the methods you’ll use to optimize the campaign, so skipping this step will be costly to your ROI.

Common Facebook advertising goals include:

  • Generating sales: Your approach will vary depending on whether you’re in the B2C or B2B sector. When in the B2C, your best bet is to use page post ads to promote in the news feed, where you can use larger images to promote your products and services. When in the B2B sector, you should use both page post ads and right-hand column ads to focus on acquiring more leads you can nurture through the sales funnel to convert to sales. Your goal is to send more traffic to your website or landing page, and you should target based on interests, age range, and gender (if appropriate.)
  • Building more brand awareness: Use page like ads to get more likes for your page. You should aim for likes only from highly targeted people, so it means using targeting competitors, similar interests, and custom audiences to get newsletter subscribers to like your Facebook page. Exclude people who are already fans of your page to avoid wasting ad spend.
  • Getting more engagement on your posts: Use link ads, photo ads, and video ads to get more engagement for your posts. Your ad creatives should be extremely visual with stellar photos. If you’ve built a relevant audience, start by advertising to them. If not, target people who fit your ideal customer persona based on interests, age, gender, and purchasing behaviors.
  • Getting installs of your mobile app: Use the mobile app ads for install ad type. Once your app is published in the app store, you should implement Facebook event tracking. Use app screenshots in your creative, and target based on the audience you believe to be most interested.
  • Increasing app usage and profit: Use mobile app engagement ads. These people have already installed your app, so be specific as possible and use the ad to direct users exactly where you want them to go. Use custom audience targeting. Use event tracking in your app so you can see what each user is doing and use that to target them precisely.

Keep Desktop and Mobile Ads Separate

Facebook gives you the option to run various ad types in different locations. You can run on mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, right column, and Instagram. It’s a good idea to keep your desktop and mobile ad campaigns completely separate, even if you’re aiming to achieve the same goal.

Keeping them separate allows you to optimize your ads, bids, and conversions based on device. Your ads and calls to action are likely to perform differently on desktop than they would on mobile, so your ad setup needs to fact that in. If you’re using the Power Editor to design and build your ads, then you can choose the device targeting on the ad set menu.

Test Different Images

Images will draw attention to your ads, but no two images will perform the same way. That’s why you should test the same ad copy with different images, to see which ones your audience responds to better. Then, stop running ad campaigns that use the images with the lower click through rates and conversions, so you can maximize your ROI.

Use Lookalike Audiences

A Facebook Lookalike Audience is a list of users who have similar characteristics to your website custom audience. You can use it to find other people who are already like your customers, or to find people like the ones who are already like your page.

If you want to create a lookalike audience, login to the Facebook ads manager and click audiences. From there, click “Create audience” and choose “Lookalike audience” from the dropdown menu.

Then, choose the source of your look alike audience, such as the people who already like your page, or the people who’ve visited the thank you page on your website. Choose your target company, and select your audience size. The smaller audience size you choose, the more targeted it will be.

Use the Remarketing Pixel

Any potential customers who’ve visited your website from any traffic source, but didn’t convert, are likely comparing prices and providers. They’re in the research phase and are trying to get the best possible deal. So, by the time they’re ready to actually make a purchase, chances are high they’ve forgotten about you.

The Facebook remarketing pixel allows you to target people who’ve visited your website in the past on Facebook with ads. This is an excellent way to make the most of traffic that originally came to you from AdWords. All you have to do to setup a remarketing pixel is login to your Facebook advertising manager, click on Audiences, then click “Custom Audience and Website Traffic.” From there, you’ll be able to start the process of creating a remarketing pixel.

You’ll need to install the code in the footer of your website. It may take a day or so to start pulling in data, but you can then go back to your website traffic menu and choose “people who visit specific web pages.” From there, you’ll be able to create lists of people who are visiting a certain page on your website, and target them or exclude them from your campaigns.

One of the best ways to make use of this is to exclude anyone who has visited your thank you page, since they have already converted. You’re not wasting time or money advertising to them.

Target Your Email List

Facebook lets you create a custom audience based on your email list. Create a .CSV or .TXT file with a single email address per row. Remove any other data your email marketing platform includes in your exported file.

Click “Audiences” and click “Create Audience.” Then choose “Custom Audience” and “Customer List”. From there, you’ll be able to upload your list.

You can also upload a list of phone numbers and target those people on Facebook ads, but it only works if their phone number is listed in their account. You can create a lookalike audience based off of these targeted lists, too.

Schedule Your Ads

On Facebook, you can segment your ads by days and hours, if you have a lifetime budget, rather than a daily budget option. This issue is why many businesses aren’t using this feature. If you use this approach, you’ll need to think of the total budget of your ad set. If you don’t have a successful performance pattern over time, then don’t use this setting. It’s not a good option for the first run of an ad for testing purposes.

If you have an ad you know works, you can set up the days and times you want it o run in the budget and schedule section of your ad set.

Use Carousel Ads

If your audience seems to respond well to a series of product images, you can combine those images into a single ad with the carousel ad. This is a newer ad type that allows you to show more than one image at once within a single ad. Ecommerce brands can use dynamic product ads that allow them to cross-sell complementary products, or even retarget customers who click through to their websites, but don’t make a purchase.

Ecommerce brands can also improve their Facebook marketing strategy using multi-product ads. This allows you to show multiple products in a single ad, giving customers more to choose from.  You can also use these ads to show different benefits of a single product. An Adobe study showed these ads are more cost efficient per acquisition, saving you up to 35 percent in cost per click because of higher engagement. And, they can boost your click through rate as much as 50 percent to 300 percent.

Advertise on Instagram, Too

Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can create the same ads on Instagram that you can run on Facebook. You can choose to run your campaigns solely on Facebook, or duplicate them on Instagram. If you know your audience can be found there too, then it’s a good way to build more traction.

The key with Facebook is to segment, and run multiple ads on a small scale to see what works before spending more money. Always be testing, and paying attention to your conversions.

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "7 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Marketing Strategy" was first published on Small Business Trends



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7 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Marketing Strategy

Facebook Marketing Tips

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) advertising can be overwhelming, especially if you are working on your first campaign. Before you jump in and get started, use these Facebook marketing tips to help you make the most of your time, effort, and budget.

Facebook Marketing Tips

Start with a Clear Goal

Before you can create any kind of successful Facebook advertising campaign, you must define your goals and the metrics you’ll need to measure to determine how successful the campaign is. This will set the stage for the methods you’ll use to optimize the campaign, so skipping this step will be costly to your ROI.

Common Facebook advertising goals include:

  • Generating sales: Your approach will vary depending on whether you’re in the B2C or B2B sector. When in the B2C, your best bet is to use page post ads to promote in the news feed, where you can use larger images to promote your products and services. When in the B2B sector, you should use both page post ads and right-hand column ads to focus on acquiring more leads you can nurture through the sales funnel to convert to sales. Your goal is to send more traffic to your website or landing page, and you should target based on interests, age range, and gender (if appropriate.)
  • Building more brand awareness: Use page like ads to get more likes for your page. You should aim for likes only from highly targeted people, so it means using targeting competitors, similar interests, and custom audiences to get newsletter subscribers to like your Facebook page. Exclude people who are already fans of your page to avoid wasting ad spend.
  • Getting more engagement on your posts: Use link ads, photo ads, and video ads to get more engagement for your posts. Your ad creatives should be extremely visual with stellar photos. If you’ve built a relevant audience, start by advertising to them. If not, target people who fit your ideal customer persona based on interests, age, gender, and purchasing behaviors.
  • Getting installs of your mobile app: Use the mobile app ads for install ad type. Once your app is published in the app store, you should implement Facebook event tracking. Use app screenshots in your creative, and target based on the audience you believe to be most interested.
  • Increasing app usage and profit: Use mobile app engagement ads. These people have already installed your app, so be specific as possible and use the ad to direct users exactly where you want them to go. Use custom audience targeting. Use event tracking in your app so you can see what each user is doing and use that to target them precisely.

Keep Desktop and Mobile Ads Separate

Facebook gives you the option to run various ad types in different locations. You can run on mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, right column, and Instagram. It’s a good idea to keep your desktop and mobile ad campaigns completely separate, even if you’re aiming to achieve the same goal.

Keeping them separate allows you to optimize your ads, bids, and conversions based on device. Your ads and calls to action are likely to perform differently on desktop than they would on mobile, so your ad setup needs to fact that in. If you’re using the Power Editor to design and build your ads, then you can choose the device targeting on the ad set menu.

Test Different Images

Images will draw attention to your ads, but no two images will perform the same way. That’s why you should test the same ad copy with different images, to see which ones your audience responds to better. Then, stop running ad campaigns that use the images with the lower click through rates and conversions, so you can maximize your ROI.

Use Lookalike Audiences

A Facebook Lookalike Audience is a list of users who have similar characteristics to your website custom audience. You can use it to find other people who are already like your customers, or to find people like the ones who are already like your page.

If you want to create a lookalike audience, login to the Facebook ads manager and click audiences. From there, click “Create audience” and choose “Lookalike audience” from the dropdown menu.

Then, choose the source of your look alike audience, such as the people who already like your page, or the people who’ve visited the thank you page on your website. Choose your target company, and select your audience size. The smaller audience size you choose, the more targeted it will be.

Use the Remarketing Pixel

Any potential customers who’ve visited your website from any traffic source, but didn’t convert, are likely comparing prices and providers. They’re in the research phase and are trying to get the best possible deal. So, by the time they’re ready to actually make a purchase, chances are high they’ve forgotten about you.

The Facebook remarketing pixel allows you to target people who’ve visited your website in the past on Facebook with ads. This is an excellent way to make the most of traffic that originally came to you from AdWords. All you have to do to setup a remarketing pixel is login to your Facebook advertising manager, click on Audiences, then click “Custom Audience and Website Traffic.” From there, you’ll be able to start the process of creating a remarketing pixel.

You’ll need to install the code in the footer of your website. It may take a day or so to start pulling in data, but you can then go back to your website traffic menu and choose “people who visit specific web pages.” From there, you’ll be able to create lists of people who are visiting a certain page on your website, and target them or exclude them from your campaigns.

One of the best ways to make use of this is to exclude anyone who has visited your thank you page, since they have already converted. You’re not wasting time or money advertising to them.

Target Your Email List

Facebook lets you create a custom audience based on your email list. Create a .CSV or .TXT file with a single email address per row. Remove any other data your email marketing platform includes in your exported file.

Click “Audiences” and click “Create Audience.” Then choose “Custom Audience” and “Customer List”. From there, you’ll be able to upload your list.

You can also upload a list of phone numbers and target those people on Facebook ads, but it only works if their phone number is listed in their account. You can create a lookalike audience based off of these targeted lists, too.

Schedule Your Ads

On Facebook, you can segment your ads by days and hours, if you have a lifetime budget, rather than a daily budget option. This issue is why many businesses aren’t using this feature. If you use this approach, you’ll need to think of the total budget of your ad set. If you don’t have a successful performance pattern over time, then don’t use this setting. It’s not a good option for the first run of an ad for testing purposes.

If you have an ad you know works, you can set up the days and times you want it o run in the budget and schedule section of your ad set.

Use Carousel Ads

If your audience seems to respond well to a series of product images, you can combine those images into a single ad with the carousel ad. This is a newer ad type that allows you to show more than one image at once within a single ad. Ecommerce brands can use dynamic product ads that allow them to cross-sell complementary products, or even retarget customers who click through to their websites, but don’t make a purchase.

Ecommerce brands can also improve their Facebook marketing strategy using multi-product ads. This allows you to show multiple products in a single ad, giving customers more to choose from.  You can also use these ads to show different benefits of a single product. An Adobe study showed these ads are more cost efficient per acquisition, saving you up to 35 percent in cost per click because of higher engagement. And, they can boost your click through rate as much as 50 percent to 300 percent.

Advertise on Instagram, Too

Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can create the same ads on Instagram that you can run on Facebook. You can choose to run your campaigns solely on Facebook, or duplicate them on Instagram. If you know your audience can be found there too, then it’s a good way to build more traction.

The key with Facebook is to segment, and run multiple ads on a small scale to see what works before spending more money. Always be testing, and paying attention to your conversions.

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "7 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Marketing Strategy" was first published on Small Business Trends



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House Democrats Urge DOT to Reconsider Changes to Infrastructure Grant Program

Thirteen Democratic Members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee urged Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao July 27 to reconsider DOT’s approach to the infrastructure grant program known as INFRA, arguing that recent revisions distort the objectives of the program and rewrite Congressional intent.

The Department of Transportation on June 28 issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity for $1.5 billion in grants under the INFRA program that updated criteria for evaluating infrastructure projects. As part of that criteria, DOT said that it would leverage more non-federal funding and give priority consideration to projects that utilize less federal dollars. For example, a project that proposes a 20 percent federal share would be considered more competitive than an identical application proposing 50 percent federal share.

Committee Members, including Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), wrote to Sec. Chao that the Notice reflects the Administration’s desire to push a particular method of project delivery by clearly outlining that projects that use public-private partnerships (P3s) or private funds will get priority over projects using traditional funding.

Lawmakers argued that the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program (now called INFRA) was a hallmark provision of the last highway bill, titled the FAST Act, and reflected a deep, bipartisan commitment by Members to provide dedicated Federal funding for large-scale freight and highway projects.

NATSO has long supported increased infrastructure investments but strongly believes that infrastructure projects should be funded by direct federal spending. Public-private partnerships typically translate into revenue funding schemes such as tolling or commercial rest areas, which are harmful to Interstate exit-based businesses and strongly opposed by NATSO.



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Wisconsin Company Offers Optional Microchips for Employees — Would Your Business?

Would you ask your employees to implant a microchip into their hands? Do you think they’d even agree to it?

One tech company in Wisconsin is taking this step. Three Square Market has offered employees the option of being microchipped, which could allow them to easily enter the office, unlock their devices and even make payments. The microchips are implanted between the thumb and forefinger and are about the size of a grain of rice.

Unlike pet microchips, these don’t include GPS features. So they’re not being used to track anyone. And Three Square Market isn’t the first company to take advantage of this type of technology. Other startups in countries like Sweden have tried out the technology already.

But many still have concerns about privacy and other issues. That’s likely one of the big reasons the company didn’t make the program mandatory. But the company reported that more than half of its 80 employees did agree to using the microchip.

Are the Three Square Market Employee Microchip Benefits Worth the Downsides?

So this technology offers a unique opportunity for small businesses and employees. It could make a lot of things easier throughout the day. But is it worth it?

Image: Three Square Market

This article, "Wisconsin Company Offers Optional Microchips for Employees — Would Your Business?" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Wisconsin Company Offers Optional Microchips for Employees — Would Your Business?

Would you ask your employees to implant a microchip into their hands? Do you think they’d even agree to it?

One tech company in Wisconsin is taking this step. Three Square Market has offered employees the option of being microchipped, which could allow them to easily enter the office, unlock their devices and even make payments. The microchips are implanted between the thumb and forefinger and are about the size of a grain of rice.

Unlike pet microchips, these don’t include GPS features. So they’re not being used to track anyone. And Three Square Market isn’t the first company to take advantage of this type of technology. Other startups in countries like Sweden have tried out the technology already.

But many still have concerns about privacy and other issues. That’s likely one of the big reasons the company didn’t make the program mandatory. But the company reported that more than half of its 80 employees did agree to using the microchip.

Are the Three Square Market Employee Microchip Benefits Worth the Downsides?

So this technology offers a unique opportunity for small businesses and employees. It could make a lot of things easier throughout the day. But is it worth it?

Image: Three Square Market

This article, "Wisconsin Company Offers Optional Microchips for Employees — Would Your Business?" was first published on Small Business Trends



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House Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Reinstate Longstanding Joint Employer Standard

House lawmakers on July 27 introduced bipartisan legislation that would reinstate the longstanding Joint Employer Standard that was revised during President Obama’s second time by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Department of Labor (DOL).

The Save Local Business Act, introduced by Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Bradley Byrne (R-Al.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), would update the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act to clarify that two or more employers must have “actual, direct and immediate” control over employees, (such as hiring, firing, determining pay and supervising employees) to be considered joint employers.

The business community has grappled with tremendous uncertainty about the definition of joint employer since 2015, when the NLRB ruled in a decision known as "Browning Ferris" that by merely exercising indirect control or possessing unexercised potential control over work conditions, one could be a joint employer.

This decision dramatically changed when a company may be held liable for labor violations by other employers they contracted with. Under that ruling, a company deemed a joint employer also would assume bargaining responsibilities if the other employer was unionized, which the International Franchise Association (IFA) has argued could crush the franchisee-franchisor relationship. Previously, a company only established a joint employer relationship when they directly controlled the essential terms and conditions of employment of another company with which they contracted.

Since 2015, businesses have been confused because of the unpredictable joint employer liability yet have faced higher operational and legal costs, decreased business values, less compliance assistance, less growth and fewer opportunities to create jobs.

These issues are of specific concern to the truckstop and travel plaza industry, where the franchisor-franchisee relationships are ubiquitous. Furthermore, NATSO members work with a variety of contract workers such as equipment inspectors and fuel delivery personnel. The nature of this work is such that NATSO members may provide detailed instructions as to how equipment must be inspected to ensure that there are no substance leaks, or when fuel must be delivered to minimize disruptions and potential dangers. An expanded joint employer standard therefore could penalize truckstop owners by viewing these work requirements as indicative of a joint employer relationship.



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