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15 Strategies to Maximize Productivity while Working from Home

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15 Strategies to Maximize Productivity while Working from Home

Gone are the days when “working from home” meant a day of binge-watching TV with your laptop propped on your belly. Today’s remote workspace demands more – more focus, more motivation, and certainly more coffee. How do you stay sharp and focused when working remotely?

How do you make sure that every minute is well-spent and each task is approached with laser focus?

Introducing 15 handpicked strategies to make the most out of your work-from-home setup whether you still work during office hours or enjoy flexible work hours.

Dive in and uncover actionable insights, honed from the experiences of remote work pros, to transform your workspace into a productive engine. By the end, you’ll realize that being busy doesn’t always mean being productive.  Let’s redefine what it means to be productive, right from the comfort of our homes!

Let’s get right to it.

1. Revamp Your Workspace To Improve Work-From-Home Productivity

Revamping your workspace starts with setting up a dedicated space to improve your focus time and efficiency. Your functional office space doesn’t have to be a room if you’re limited in space, it can be a distraction-free corner.

Invest in ergonomic furniture like an adjustable chair and desk to make sure you’re comfortable and that it supports your posture during long hours of work. Make sure you have enough light coming in. Also, keep your workspace clutter-free to promote mental clarity so you can tackle tasks better.

Add a touch of personalization to your space so you can be motivated and inspired for productivity. Surround yourself with a few well-chosen and meaningful items that spark joy and creativity, like photographs, artwork, or plants. But be careful not to overcrowd your space or else it’ll look cluttered and distract you instead.

2. Optimize Your Physical Environment

If you want to feel good and get stuff done, it’s all about having the right workspace setup.

Opt for natural lighting whenever possible because it reduces eye strain and improves mood and alertness. Position your desk near a window or use daylight-mimicking bulbs to create an uplifting and energizing atmosphere.

You also need to maintain a comfortable room temperature because extreme temperatures can make you lose focus and cause a drop in productivity. Too hot and you can get easily disturbed, too cold and you’ll end up sleepy. Adjust your thermostat or use a fan or heater to create an ideal temperature range that suits your preferences.

As what I suggested earlier, add plants or other calming elements to your workspace to create a soothing ambiance. Plants are more than just pretty faces – they clear the air and keep things zen.

3. Set Clear Goals & Track Progress

Setting clear goals and tracking progress helps you stay motivated and gauge productivity. Think of your work like a road trip. You’ve got pit stops (short-term goals) and the final destination (long-term objectives). Keep checking that map to make sure you’re on course.

Break larger projects into smaller and manageable tasks to make them less overwhelming and so you can tackle them more effectively. The best part about this method? It’s like having little “you’re nailing it” moments that keep your spirits high throughout.

Utilize goal-setting frameworks like SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to make sure your objectives are well-defined and practical. It helps you stay focused on what’s important.

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Finally, don’t forget to celebrate milestones and achievements along the way. Recognize your hard work and progress to boost your morale and keep you pushing forward.

4. Develop A Consistent Routine

Developing a consistent routine sets you up for long-term productivity. Start by setting fixed start and end times for your workday. This will create a clear distinction between work and personal time so you stay committed to your tasks and prevent overworking or underworking.

Next, plan your day around your most productive hours, capitalizing on your natural energy levels to tackle demanding and challenging tasks when you’re at your peak. Align your work with your rhythm to optimize your efficiency and output.

Try out the Pareto principle aka the 80-20 rule. In this case, 20% of your effort will account for 80% of your finished tasks. Identify where you should focus your effort first so you can do much of your daily tasks early.  

Don’t forget to incorporate regular breaks into your routine for mental and physical well-being. Stepping away from your desk for a 5-minute break can help refresh your mind, reduce stress, and boost your overall productivity.

Share it with your remote team too so they can also develop good employee work habits with you to increase overall team productivity.

5. Master Time Management & Organization

Mastering time management and organization starts by setting clear goals and making a daily to-do list so you can efficiently manage your workload and monitor your progress. Utilize remote work productivity tools like task managers or time trackers to help you stay organized and focused on your priorities.

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Consider implementing time-blocking or the Pomodoro technique to structure your day into manageable segments. With hour blocks, you allocate specific time slots for each task, while with the Pomodoro technique, you break work into intervals, typically 25 minutes, separated by short breaks. These methods encourage focused work sessions and prevent burnout.

Here are 3 other time management techniques if you want to explore more options.

Remember to review and adjust your schedule regularly so you can identify areas for improvement and adapt your approach.

6. Minimize Distractions & Interruptions

To stay focused, start identifying common distractions in your remote work environment and devise strategies to reduce or eliminate them. Like what was mentioned at the outset, add some personalization items in your space but don’t overcrowd it. Create a quiet space to help you concentrate better. You can consider using noise-canceling headphones or establishing a designated workspace away from household noise.

Limit social media and personal phone use during work hours because these can quickly consume valuable time and energy. You can use app usage reports or set a timer on how long you should spend on these. Establish boundaries for yourself like scheduling specific times for checking personal messages or using website blockers to prevent access to distracting sites.

Lastly, communicate your work schedule to family members or roommates so they understand your need for focus and quiet during work hours especially if you have weekly meetings to be in.

7. Set Boundaries Between Work & Personal Life

Setting boundaries between work and personal life helps with a healthy work-life balance and sustaining productivity. Establish clear limits to prevent burnout and recharge so you can maintain a sense of balance in your life.

At the end of the workday, log off from work devices and applications to create a physical and mental separation between your personal and professional life. If you’re using chat apps for your business, make sure to use automated responses to tell users you’ll be back during regular office hours if they need a human customer care provider. This disconnection signals to your brain that it’s time to unwind and switch gears.

8. Establish “No Meeting” Zones

These uninterrupted blocks of time allow you to dive deep into tasks that require focus and concentration. Here’s where you do 20% of the work that gets you 80% of the results you want for the day.

Setting aside dedicated time for deep work time will help you make significant progress on complex projects and tasks without the constant disruptions of meetings, calls, or virtual check-ins.

Communicate your “no meeting” and “collaboration hours” to your co-workers and make it a regular practice to ensure that you consistently allocate time for your most demanding work. This approach will help you stay on track with your goals and enhance your overall efficiency in a flexible work environment without needing unnecessary additional time.

9. Utilize Focus Techniques

Experiment with different focus techniques to discover the one that best suits your work style. The Pomodoro technique and time-blocking mentioned earlier will also help encourage focused work sessions and help you stay committed to completing tasks within a specific time frame.

Limit multitasking and concentrate on one task at a time. Juggling multiple tasks can cause a decrease in productivity level and increase the chances of errors – errors you have to rework and spend more time on. When you focus on a single task, you complete it more efficiently and effectively.

Set short-term deadlines for tasks to help you stay focused and motivated to finish on time. For example: If you’re on the sales team, part of your daily task could be researching popular products to resell to maximize current trends. This will involve finding the right suppliers and calculating the revenue potential. Your short-term deadlines could be finishing research on one platform or one kind of product.

This promotes a sense of urgency and ensures you make steady progress toward your long-term productivity goals.

10. Leverage Technology & Tools

Use software and applications designed to support remote work to streamline your workflow and keep you organized and focused on the most important matters.

You can use project management tools like Trello or Asana to help you effectively plan and track tasks so you and your remote employees stay on top of your priorities. These platforms provide a visual overview of your projects and help facilitate seamless collaboration among team members.

Automate repetitive tasks with tools like Zapier to save you time and reduce errors. It allows you to focus on higher-value tasks and boost your overall efficiency. Lastly, prioritize security with VPNs and anti-malware software to protect your data and maintain a safe online work environment.

Expert Advice:

Explore industry-specific automation tools too like product repricers for dropshipping businesses, a cold outreach software for lead generation, or a yard management system for logistics firms.

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11. Prioritize Effective Communication

Virtual meetings keep teams connected and aligned on goals and tasks. Schedule regular sessions to discuss updates, share ideas, and maintain a sense of camaraderie among your team members.

It doesn’t always have to be a video conference. Reserve your time in meetings to discuss direct reports or pressing concerns a simple message can’t handle. Leverage instant messaging and collaboration tools like Slack, Skype, or Microsoft Teams to streamline communication and make teamwork more efficient. This lets you share information, ask questions, and collaborate on projects in real-time.

You also need to be responsive to emails and messages. Reply promptly, at least within 12 hours to keep things running smoothly. If you’re a key player in your department, make sure you’re not the bottleneck that prevents them from moving forward with their tasks.

12. Practice Self-Care & Stress Management

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By taking care of your physical and mental health, you’ll be better equipped to tackle challenges, perform at your best, and minimize stress levels. Add regular exercise into your morning for a healthy routine that boosts your energy levels, improves focus, and reduces stress. Physical activity not only contributes to your overall health but also enhances your mood and cognitive function.

You can also implement mindfulness or meditation practices so you can stay grounded and manage stress better. Dedicate time for quiet reflection or deep breathing exercises to cultivate a calmer and more focused mindset so you can approach tasks with greater clarity.

Finally, prioritize at least 8 hours of sleep and a balanced diet with healthy meals to provide your body and mind with the necessary energy and nutrients to function at its best. Proper rest and nutrition will help you stay alert, focused, and productive throughout your workday.

13. Stay Accountable & Self-Motivated

Mastering remote work is all about having go-to strategies that keep your momentum up and goals in sight. You can share your goals and progress with a colleague to have an external source of accountability and motivation. Discuss your objectives and accomplishments to reinforce your commitment to staying focused and having a productive time.

You should also set personal deadlines and stick to them to hold yourself accountable. By imposing time constraints on your tasks, you’ll feel a sense of urgency and be more motivated to complete them promptly. This will also help others realize your expectations for a remote office worker.

You can try using productivity tools like Notion and test out if the “Get Things Done” system works for you. It’s a system where you list all your tasks first thing in the day and categorize them so you’ll know what to focus on and determine priority tasks.

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Don’t forget to reward yourself for reaching milestones or completing tasks to keep your motivation levels high. Treat yourself to a small indulgence or enjoyable activity as a way of acknowledging your hard work and dedication.

14. Cultivate A Growth Mindset

Cultivating a growth mindset will help you embrace challenges, learn from setbacks, and cause an increase in productivity. View obstacles as opportunities for growth to stay motivated and continuously improve your performance.

Embrace feedback and learn from criticism. It can be hard, I know. But it offers valuable insights to help you refine your skills and strategies. Constructive feedback is your roadmap for personal and professional development so you can grow and excel in your remote work.

Focus on progress, not perfection, and recognize that improvement takes time and consistent effort. Value incremental progress, hence the short-term goals, so you’ll foster a more positive and resilient attitude about your work and goals.

Again, reward yourself. Celebrate small victories and incremental improvements because these milestones demonstrate your commitment to growth and learning. Acknowledging your achievements, no matter how small fuels your motivation and reinforces your dedication to continual progress.

15. Embrace Continuous Learning

Stay up to date with industry trends and expand your knowledge so you’ll be more valuable and an effective contributor to your team.

Participate in online courses or webinars to learn more about fresh perspectives, leverage AI-based learning platforms, acquire new skills, and keep up with evolving best practices. These educational opportunities not only benefit your professional development but also help you stay motivated and engaged in your work.

Regularly read industry-related articles to stay informed about the latest advancements, innovations, and thought leadership in your field. This healthy habit will ensure you stay ahead of the curve and can contribute to meaningful discussions and projects.

If you’re in the HR field, learn how you can amp up employee engagement so that your team grows with you. Start with an employee engagement survey and work from the responses you get.

You can also consider networking with professionals in your field to learn and grow. Attend virtual events, join online forums, or connect via social media to share experiences, insights, and advice with like-minded individuals.

Conclusion

Take the proactive approach as you apply these work-from-home productivity strategies. Remember that each one is unique and the most effective strategies will vary from person to person. Experiment with the techniques provided, and continue to evaluate your productivity methods to find what works best for you. Refine your approach over time so you’ll cultivate a remote work lifestyle tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

It will take some patience and effort, but as you continue applying these strategies, you’ll see yourself getting more tasks done in less time.

Keep your eyes peeled for the latest work and business approaches, tech you can leverage, including sales and marketing trends. What better place to find all of these than here at Zumvu? We keep you updated on everything work and business matters, check out our blog now!

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How to Buy Ads on Netflix: Specs & Tactics for Marketers

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How to Buy Ads on Netflix: Specs & Tactics for Marketers

Streaming


By Emily Sullivan

Netflix, the streaming giant known for binge-watching and award-winning originals, sent shockwaves through the industry in 2022 by announcing an ad-supported tier. This move was likely fueled by a desire to reach new audiences, combat rising subscription costs, and potentially even fend off competition from other OTT platforms. These ads could lead to strong growth potential with advertisers eager to tap into Netflix’s massive user base. 

If you’re unfamiliar with how Netflix works, it’s important to know that Netflix is an OTT (Over-the-Top) platform, meaning it delivers streaming content directly over the internet, bypassing traditional cable or satellite providers. It’s one of the most popular OTT platforms globally, but in the ad supported video on demand (AVOD) space, Netflix is a relative newcomer. Understanding this new facet of Netflix is crucial for marketers looking to capitalize on this advertising opportunity.

Interested in learning more about Netflix and its advertising offerings? You came to the right place. In this post, we’ll cover the foundational elements of Netflix ads including ad types, specs, advertising best practices, and more. 

Why Did Netflix Start Offering Ads?

In November 2022, Netflix introduced an ad-supported tier. This move marked a significant shift, as Netflix was previously known for its commitment to an ad-free experience. The decision likely stemmed from a desire to tap into new revenue streams. With consumers increasingly cost-conscious, an ad-supported tier provided a way to attract budget-minded viewers while still offering a premium ad-free option, similar to established AVOD providers like Hulu and Peacock.

Initially, the launch was off to a slower start, with few people signing up for the ad supported tier and Netflix failing to meet guarantees, but things are quickly turning around and savvy advertisers are taking notice. Netflix boasts a massive user base, with roughly 270 million paid subscribers – a household name with immense reach. In fact, 40% of new Netflix sign-ups are choosing the ad-supported tier, translating to a total of 40 million users. Netflix’s ad platform presents a unique opportunity for marketers looking to reach a large and engaged audience.

“Our goal isn’t just to offer the same products and tools the industry has come to expect — although we’ve made a lot of progress on that front over the last year. It’s to build something bigger and better than what exists today. We want to shape the future of advertising on Netflix and help marketers tap into the amazing fandom generated by our must-watch shows and movies.”

Amy ReinhardPresident, Advertising at Netflix

How to Start Advertising on Netflix

So, you’re interested in capitalizing on Netflix’s massive audience? Here’s a breakdown of the three main ways to buy ads on their platform:

1. Netflix Ads Manager

This platform, powered by Microsoft, allows you to directly purchase ad space on Netflix. However, be prepared to meet their minimum spending requirements, which can be substantial and offer little room for negotiation.

2. Partnering with an Agency

While the minimum spend might be high for direct buys, streaming agencies like Tinuiti can be a valuable asset. They can not only help you navigate the intricacies of Netflix advertising, but also:

  • Consolidate Streaming Data: The streaming landscape is fragmented, with viewers spread across multiple platforms. Agencies can collect data from these various platforms and turn it into a unified, actionable strategy for your advertising campaign.
  • Expertise and Negotiation: Agencies bring a wealth of experience to the table. They can leverage their knowledge of the advertising landscape and potentially negotiate more favorable terms on your behalf.

3. Ad Tech Partners

Companies like Microsoft offer ad tech solutions that provide technical capabilities to streamline your advertising efforts. These partners typically take a more hands-off approach compared to agencies, focusing on the technical aspects of ad delivery and optimization.

The best option depends on your budget, experience level, and campaign goals. If you’re a large brand with a significant budget and an in-house marketing team, going directly through Netflix Ads Manager might be a good fit. However, for most businesses, partnering with an agency or ad tech provider can offer valuable support and expertise.

Ad Types & Specs for Netflix Ads

Now that you understand the different avenues for buying ads on Netflix, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of ad formats and specifications:

Netflix Ad Types

Example of a Netflix Ad Featuring Smartfood and Love is Blind

Currently, Netflix offers two main ad types, pre-roll ads and mid-roll ads. Netflix notes that users can expect to see a few short ads per hour and that they aim to place ads during natural plot breaks for a more seamless experience.   

Let’s take a look at each option… 

  • Pre-roll Ads: These commercials play before a program or movie begins, similar to traditional linear TV advertising.
  • Mid-roll Ads: These ads appear in the middle of a program, typically inserted during natural breaks in the content.

During paused playback, ad breaks are displayed on the progress bar. As an ad break begins, the upper-right corner reveals the number of ads included in that break.

While Netflix advertising is fairly new, the platform has made a few important announcements to look out for in 2024. Netflix plans to introduce a new binge ad format for global advertisers, offering viewers an ad-free fourth episode after watching three consecutive episodes. Additionally, QR code integration in U.S. advertising will launch early in the year. Sponsorship opportunities, including Title, Moment, and Live Sponsorships, are also now available in the U.S. and will expand globally in 2024.

Netflix also offers live opportunities including WWE Raw (launching January 2025), which will air live on Netflix 52 weeks of the year, and the NFL Christmas games which Netflix just secured the rights to. These live events provide advertisers the opportunity to reach ad and ad-free members of Netflix in a live environment with traditional ad formats.

Last but not least, Netflix recently announced they are adding Pause Ads to their suite of custom ad units. This is currently in beta and is expected to be rolled out to the general marketplace in H2 2024.

Netflix Ad Specs

When it comes to advertising specs, it’s important to follow Netflix’s guidelines which include the following… 

  • Supported Lengths: Netflix accepts ads in 10, 15, 20, 30, and 60-second durations.
  • File Format: Ads must be submitted in MP4 or MOV format.
  • Aspect Ratio & Resolution: Maintain a 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of either 1920×1080 HD or 1280×720 HD.
  • QR Codes on the Horizon: Netflix is preparing to support QR code integration within commercials, allowing viewers to seamlessly access additional information or promotions.

Hot Tip: Stay tuned for updates, as Netflix is constantly evolving its ad platform.

Why Advertise on Netflix?

Advertising on Netflix offers several unique advantages for advertisers including… 

  • Massive Reach – Netflix boasts a massive subscriber base worldwide (globally, there were around 270 million Netflix subscribers in Q1 2024), providing advertisers with access to a vast and diverse audience. These viewers are often highly engaged, spending significant time on the platform consuming content. In fact, Over 70% of Netflix’s ad-supported members watch for more than 10 hours a month – which is 15 percentage points higher than the nearest competitor according to Nielsen.
  • Targeting – Netflix collects extensive data on user preferences and behavior, enabling precise targeting of advertisements based on demographics, interests, viewing history, and more. This targeted approach increases the relevance and effectiveness of ads, maximizing ROI for advertisers (more on this below).
  • Global Reach and Localization – With a presence in numerous countries around the world, Netflix offers advertisers the opportunity to reach audiences on a global scale. Additionally, the platform’s localization capabilities enable tailored advertising campaigns to resonate with specific regional or cultural audiences.
  • Unskippable Ads – Unlike some streaming advertising platforms, Netflix ads are unskippable, guaranteeing your message reaches viewers.
  • Positive User Experience – Netflix prioritizes a positive user experience, so it’s unlikely viewers will see the same ad twice in a single episode. However, there’s a chance you might encounter the same ad later during your viewing session. It’s also important to note that children’s profiles maintain their ad-free experience.
  • Ad Delivery & Blocking – Since ads are delivered server-side, ad blockers are ineffective on Netflix. Additionally, playback automatically pauses if you minimize the window while an ad is playing, ensuring your message is seen.

Best Practices When Advertising on Netflix

When advertising on Netflix, it’s essential to understand the platform’s unique capabilities and audience targeting options to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns. Check out a few best practices you need to consider… 

Explore Audience Targeting Capabilities

Netflix offers several audience targeting capabilities for advertisers on their ad-supported tier. These capabilities focus on three main areas: demographics, viewing habits, and content context. Here’s a breakdown:

Demographics:

  • Age: Advertisers can target users by age groups, like 18-34, 35+, etc.
  • Gender: Ads can be shown to specific genders (male or female).
  • Location: Targeting can be set by country or even state (in the U.S.).

Viewing Habits:

  • Genre: This lets advertisers target users based on the genres they watch, like comedy, drama, action, etc.

Content Context:

  • Top 10: Ads can be placed before or after shows and movies on Netflix’s daily Top 10 list, ensuring high visibility.

Advertisers also have the option to choose where they don’t want their ads to appear. For example, they can avoid showing ads on programs with mature themes or content that may not align with their brand values.

By using a combination of these targeting options, advertisers can reach a more precise audience interested in their product or service. This increases the ad’s relevance to viewers and potentially improves the ad campaign’s effectiveness.

It’s also important to note that Netflix now has the ability to target advertiser first party data. The platform currently has two approved DMPs: Liveramp or Adobe. Advertisers who work with either of these DMPs can upload first party data for targeting or suppression.

It’s important to note that Netflix’s ad targeting is still evolving. While it doesn’t offer some of the more advanced options found on other platforms, they are working on expanding their capabilities.

Test Your Ad Creative

Just like any other marketing campaign, testing your ad creative on Netflix is vital for optimizing performance. Here are some key reasons to test your ads:

  • Discover What Works: Testing allows you to compare different ad variations and identify which elements resonate most with your target audience. This could involve testing variations in messaging, visuals, calls to action, or even ad length.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Testing provides valuable data and insights. You can track metrics like click-through rates, completion rates, and brand recall to see which ad versions generate the best results. Don’t rely on guesswork. Testing helps you move beyond assumptions and identify what truly connects with viewers.
  • Meet Audience Expectations: Netflix viewers anticipate premium content, including ads. Testing ad creative ensures that your commercials meet these expectations by delivering high-quality, engaging content that resonates with the audience.
  • Optimize Performance: Testing allows you to refine your ad creative to achieve optimal performance. By experimenting with different elements such as messaging, visuals, and calls to action, you can identify the most effective combinations that drive engagement and conversion.
  • Enhance Relevance: Testing helps ensure that your ad creative remains relevant to your target audience. By continuously testing and refining your approach, you can adapt to changing consumer preferences and market trends, ensuring that your ads stay impactful and resonant.
  • Maximize ROI: Effective testing enables you to make data-driven decisions that maximize ROI. By identifying and scaling the best-performing ad creative, you can allocate your advertising budget more efficiently and achieve greater results.

Measure and Analyze Your Results

Netflix doesn’t offer 1:1 conversion measurement for ad buyers (yet) – but they do have brand awareness and lift studies they offer advertisers so keep this in mind when measuring and analyzing your results. 

The platform did recently announce that this summer, Netflix will expand its buying capabilities to include The Trade Desk, Google’s Display & Video 360, and Magnite who will join Microsoft as the main programmatic partners for advertisers.

Starting in the second half of 2024, Netflix just announced that the following third party measurement partners (partnering to measure and verify the impact of advertiser campaigns) will also be added: Affinity Solutions, iSpotTV, NCSolutions, Videoamp, DCM and TVision.

They also announced Netflix will launch an in-house advertising technology platform, by the end of 2025. This will give advertisers new ways to buy, new insights to leverage, and new ways to measure impact. 

Is Netflix Advertising Right For Your Brand?

Overall, Netflix advertising offers the unparalleled reach of a massive, highly-engaged audience. This can be a strategic choice for brands seeking broad awareness and brand association with premium content.

If you’re interested in exploring advertising opportunities on Netflix for your brand, consider reaching out to the Tinuiti team. Our expertise can provide guidance and assistance in navigating the complexities of advertising on the platform, maximizing your campaign’s effectiveness and ROI. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase your brand on one of the world’s largest streaming platforms—connect with Tinuiti today to get started.

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Xngage and HawkSearch join forces with a powerful connector

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Xngage and HawkSearch join forces with a powerful connector

The bar has been set by the industry leaders in UX and Merchandising, and our customers have stated their claim clearly – “to grow our market share, we must have an enterprise search experience that drives conversions.

Optimizely offers baseline search experiences within our commerce platform, which are designed to help companies get started with organizing and delivering SKUs to customers. These experiences utilize out-of-the-box algorithms and methods for sorting, categorizing, and customizing.

While Optimizely provides a foundation for search experiences, we knew there were users ready to take their search capabilities to the next level. This is where the Xngage and HawkSearch partnership promises to redefine how you approach search-driven experiences within Optimizely Configured Commerce. Our highly experienced partner Xngage has developed a seamless integration connector, a best-in-class accelerator for harnessing the power of HawkSearch.

The powerful partner in search

HawkSearch is known for its expertise in search-driven engagement, AI-powered product discovery, and no-code customizations. With a strong history of serving B2B customers with enterprise-level search solutions, it was a perfect choice to make HawkSearch directly available within Optimizely’s platform.

The expertise of Xngage made this connector a reality enabling Optimizely’s Configured Commerce customers to:

  • Easily plug directly into the HawkSearch service to share your products and their relevant data.
  • Utilize powerful unit of measure conversions, ensuring your customers can find exactly what they’re looking for.
  • Customize sorting and facets to deliver highly relevant results to customers.
  • Craft a personalized user experience with features like auto-complete and the new ‘instant engage’.

Customers can further explore HawkSearch’s capabilities in this on demand webinar and recap, which highlights the benefits and use cases of the Xngage connector for HawkSearch.

A powerful partner in digital growth

Xngage complements Optimizely perfectly, as they deliver robust solutions in the realm of digital content and commerce experiences. The development of the Xngage connector to HawkSearch is a part of their broader mission to empower manufacturers and distributors to serve their customers digitally. This alignment seamlessly fits with Optimizely, making our partnership with Xngage an ideal choice. 

Furthering their goal of digital growth, Xngage offers a range of holistic and complementary professional services, including:

  • User research & user experience design (UX)
  • Enterprise architecture & ERP integration
  • Product information management (PIM)
  • Ecommerce Implementations, and digital growth services.

To learn more about this highly experienced digital commerce partner visit Xngage.com.

The future of the partnership

This partnership is just the beginning. Xngage and HawkSearch are committed to working hand in hand to empower you with the tools and insights you need to elevate your ecommerce site. Stay tuned for future blogs, webinars, and resources that will help you make the most of this transformative alliance.

The future of ecommerce search has never looked more promising, and we’re excited to have you on this journey with us.

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

With the advent of e-commerce, manufacturers have unprecedented opportunities to expand their reach, streamline their operations, and enhance profitability. Amidst this digital revolution, adopting Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) is pivotal in optimizing production processes, quality control, and resource management.

As the lines between traditional brick-and-mortar sales and online commerce continue to blur, manufacturers increasingly realize the need to adapt and thrive in this new digital landscape. This article explores the top 3 strategies manufacturers can employ to succeed in e-commerce.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is specialized application software designed to solve the tasks of synchronization, coordination, analysis, and optimization of production output within any production. MES systems belong to the class of shop floor-level management systems but can also be used for integrated production management at the enterprise as a whole.

MES collects and analyzes production processes, product demand, and inventory data. This allows manufacturers to adapt more quickly to changes in the market, reconfigure production to meet current requirements, and closely monitor trends. As a result, manufacturers can more easily predict and meet customer needs, which helps increase online sales.

MES helps in maintaining accurate inventory records and managing inventory turnover. This avoids overstock or shortages, which can affect a company’s ability to meet online demand and maintain customer service levels.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) enhance transparency and automate operations, reducing human errors and operational costs. Integrating Manufacturing CRM streamlines customer data, allowing manufacturers to tailor products, respond to market changes, and offer competitive prices in online stores. The synergy between MES and CRM creates an agile manufacturing environment, optimizing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Content Marketing

Kapost’s research shows that companies in the B2B segment that blog get 67% more leads on average than companies that don’t. However, it’s worth remembering that content marketing requires a lot of resources to prepare and regularity in publishing it. This content can be, for example, brand identity and E-commerce logo, articles and videos, webinars, research, and interviews.

The content should help solve a specific problem to create the image of an expert and thus influence the decisions of potential customers. The topics discussed should not be chosen randomly. A little research in Google Trends will help select the main topic, discussion areas in the video, phrases, and words that should be included in the article. Publishing content based on such a prepared analysis allows you to achieve high positions in search engines. It provides a good user experience for customers looking for answers to product/service questions, comprehensively covering the subject matter.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are free traffic, increased user confidence, and the creation of an expert image.

Content marketing is a form of promotion that requires patience and time. Its effects will also depend on the quality of thecontent itself, its optimization, and promotion methods. No specific terms can be specified here.

YouTube channels as a form of content marketing

You can discuss your production process and show and test products on your YouTube channel. If someone is looking for information about a product and is unsure which brand to choose, they will likely find your video and maybe make a purchase. Remember to choose a title that matches the search query and prepare a video description with product links. You can send out an email to announce when new videos are released. Whenever you have particularly compelling videos, you could also promote them via texting notifications to drive even more traffic.

Utilize user-generated content and social media

Not utilizing the content that your users generate is a huge issue. This is because it’s not easy to refresh an e-commerce website and keep it alive. But photos and videos taken by real customers are great for this purpose.

Adding a “widget” that connects your online store’s website to its official social media accounts brings significant benefits. These include revitalizing your social media accounts, increasing your credibility as a manufacturer, inspiring other customers to buy, and encouraging repeat purchases.

Snapchat Planets

Snapchat’s “Planets” feature provides a unique and interactive way to engage with your e-commerce store’s audience. Here are some creative ideas on how to leverage Snapchat Planets to create engaging content:

  • Virtual Store Tours: Use the AR feature to create a virtual tour of your store. Each planet can represent different sections or categories of your store. For instance, one planet could showcase your latest collection, another could highlight bestsellers, and another could offer exclusive deals.
  • Product Launches: Announce new product launches by creating a cosmic journey. Users can travel from one planet to another, each unveiling a new product with engaging visuals and detailed descriptions. This creates a sense of excitement and discovery around new arrivals.
  • Interactive Shopping Experience: Create interactive shopping experiences where users can explore products in a fun and engaging way. For example, users can navigate through different planets to find hidden discounts or special offers, making shopping more interactive and rewarding.
  • Customer Rewards and Loyalty Programs: Develop a loyalty program where users earn points or rewards by exploring different planets. Each planet can offer unique rewards, such as discounts, free samples, or exclusive access to new collections. This gamifies the shopping experience and encourages repeat visits.
  • Themed Campaigns: Align your marketing campaigns with planetary themes. For instance, during holiday seasons, you can create a holiday-themed planet where users can find special holiday deals, gift ideas, and festive content.

By leveraging Snapchat Planets, you can transform your e-commerce store’s content into a captivating and interactive experience that keeps your audience engaged, entertained, and coming back for more.

Use newsletters to captivate your target audience

Newsletters can strengthen the connection with the consumer and demonstrate that shopping with you is safe and profitable. Remember that the more personalized the message, the more effective it will be. It should contain a call to action (CTA), such as a button that redirects to products.

Don’t forget to put a box to check for consent to process personal data when subscribing to the newsletter. Also, add an option to unsubscribe from the newsletter in each email.

A regular email account is not adapted for the newsletter, so do not use your everyday email address. This way, you risk being blacklisted by spam filters. The benefits of newsletters are optimizing advertising costs, increasing loyal audiences from different channels, and building mutually beneficial relationships with partners.

Print and PDF Channel

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In the digital landscape, the significance of Print and PDF channels cannot be underestimated for manufacturers engaging in e- commerce. The tactile experience of print offers unique psychological advantages, enhancing comprehension and retention, which are vital for technical manuals and complex product details. PDFs merge this benefit with digital accessibility, ensuring wide reach while maintaining format integrity. This dual-channel approach not only caters to diverse consumer preferences but also bolsters marketing efforts, making technical content more engaging and understandable. Utilizing catalog software further streamlines the integration of Print and PDF channels into e-commerce strategies, enhancing product presentation and distribution efficiency.

Contextual advertising: Google Ads

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If you want the advertising you invest in to have an immediate effect, it’s worth turning to Google Ads. Google displays paid ads in search results and on Google’s network of partners (on-site ads in the form of banners).

You bid when you search for a keyword for which advertisers have set up a campaign. The search engine determines who will appear in the search results and at what position. When assigning bids, the quality of the landing page, the quality of the ads, and the stated maximum bid per click are all considered.

To start setting up your campaign, simply login to your Google Ads account. Using the service is free, and you’ll find plenty of online tutorials on creating a campaign. However, you may find that it won’t generate valuable traffic if you don’t set it up optimally. Your budget will be wasted on clicks that won’t lead to conversions. This is why most companies resort to the help of agencies, including specialized agencies.

There is probably no industry in which Google Ads campaigns cannot be used. However, advertising can be moderately profitable if there is a lot of competition in the industry and margins are low.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are large audience reach, the ability to get the target audience as accurately as possible, and very detailed statistics on results.

The effect of launching a campaign should appear almost immediately. A properly set up campaign will increase traffic to the website. By systematically optimizing the campaign, you can achieve much better results.

You also can use paid Facebook Ads post promotion. It is important to pinpoint your target group, but how do you do it? A popular way is to draw up a customer portrait, that is, to make a collective image of your customer.

This considers age, gender, income level, location, interests and hobbies, and online behavior. Such a person will display a group interested in your services or goods.

Implement personalized product selections

Recommended product block and cross-selling are very powerful internet marketing strategies. In addition to the recommended product block, which shows the analogs of the product being viewed, it is worth paying attention to the website’s functionality.

As a rule, the products in the “You may also like” block are selected based on the pages previously viewed by the customer, his previous purchases on the website, as well as what was purchased by other customers with similar tastes. If this functionality is implemented technically sound, it can lead to additional items added to the shopping cart. “You may also like” block partly acts as an alternative to the advice of a specialist or consultant.

With blocks for cross-selling related products is a similar situation. Usually, in them are placed products from the same product line, collection, or simply those that perfectly match the product being viewed. You can use AI-powered live chats to proactively engage in customer conversations and suggest products based on their behavior.

Conclusion

E-commerce for manufacturers is a vast field, and in this article, we have presented the most popular and most effective forms of selling online. Remember, no effective e-commerce strategy exists. Each industry and business will have specifics. Try combining the above mentioned e-commerce strategies to maximize your chances of success and increase your profits.

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