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Perspectives on Effective Leadership in 2021 and Beyond

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Perspectives on Effective Leadership in 2021 and Beyond

In an ever-changing business environment, strong leadership is essential to an organization’s survival and success. The competition is relentless and the threat of digital disruption looms large. Since 2000, half of Fortune 500 companies have breathed their last breath from not being digitally nimble.

As the world progresses, business leaders face challenges that didn’t seem like such a big deal even ten years ago. Here is a look at some key organizational issues worthy of your focus.

#1: Removing internal silos and increasing inter-departmental collaboration

Hyper-collaboration has entered the business lexicon and open office arrangements have become increasingly common. Yet, departmental silos remain in place, often to the detriment of companies seeking fast growth. Leaders face the challenge to break down these silos.

Redesigning the organizational structure is out of bounds for most organizations given how time-consuming and expensive it can be. Nurturing a silo mindset is a viable option. It involves promoting the idea that departments exist not to succeed as individual units but to serve other departments and to unify to move the organization forward. A concrete action would be to train people from different departments to engage effectively at interfaces. In this regard, new businesses can consider gaining useful guidance from a reputed provider of executive coaching in the District of Columbia.

#2: Remaining competitive in the war for talent

How successfully have you been able to attract the most talented and skilled employees to your company? In all industries, the war for talent is getting fiercer, and some businesses are at a disadvantage. Here’s why.

A lack of robust HR policies is proving problematic to recruitment efforts. To cite an example, not having a relocation package means you will miss out on a top-tier candidate. Outdated hiring practices are preventing companies from selecting the best candidates from the available talent pool. For example, a business may focus excessively on qualifications and not enough on 21st century skills like critical thinking, creativity, and flexibility. Or the hiring manager may schedule one too many interviews that antagonize applicants. A good starting point would be to revisit your HR policies and procedures, and investigate your hiring practices along with outcomes like attrition rate, individual and team performance, rate of innovation, and financial performance.

#3: Driving growth and innovation

Businesses today acknowledge the need to act quickly on ideas and keep the wheels turning with idea generation. A maze of rules and micromanaging people is counterproductive to these priorities. Our experience delivering executive coaching in Maryland also finds that they exhaust both managers and the managed.

Giving people autonomy and ownership over their work, and accepting new ideas easily are crucial to empowering people. The extent to which these actions deliver outcomes will depend on the quality of your workforce. Hiring talented, motivated, and passionate individuals can help you hit the ground running on your growth and innovation goals. For example, as HR manager, you can make it a priority to hire people who not only fit the bill as far as skills and work history are concerned, but also share the same values as your organization.

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#4: Serving multiple stakeholders

Why do businesses exist? Even fifty years ago, this question would have elicited the following answer from most organizations: to make a profit and serve stakeholders’ needs. In 1970, the well-known economist Milton Friedman famously said that companies had no duty to serve their employees or to benefit the world. He argued that their duty was solely to maximize profits and minimize costs so as to generate the most value.

Friendman’s views would be shot down today. Indeed, the legendary management Peter Drucker said that while profitability is an absolute for businesses, it isn’t the sole reason for a business to exist. According to Drucker, profits give businesses ‘energy’ by supporting the core functions of marketing and innovation, and provide capital for more jobs and better jobs. Today, business leaders would argue that they are duty-bound to multiple stakeholders, from shareholders and employees to customers and communities. Profits enable businesses to do something new or better.

How do you go about satisfying multiple stakeholders? A results-focused program relating to executive coaching in Maryland would guide companies to develop a plan for managing multiple stakeholders. Companies could first identify stakeholders, determine their interests, manage conflicts of interest, define outcomes, organize communication, and implement reporting methods.

#5: Making the most of employees’ talents

You have hired top-level candidates. How effectively you leverage their talents will ultimately decide whether your superstar hires contribute to your business goals. They must be sufficiently engaged to perform to expectations in their role and remain with your company for a few years at least to make a sizable difference to your growth and innovation goals. For this, aligning engagement, performance, and employee development is paramount. A possible strategy would be to:

  • Understand the strengths of your people and use them to improve outcomes
  • Establish an effective performance management and reward system
  • Provide developmental opportunities to help employees grow their skills, including running leadership training programs

Developing identifiable career paths is a key aspect of retention plans. A lack of career growth is one of the top reasons why people leave their company. Making career development for promising employees a top-of-mind issue can help you avoid the revolving door of talent.

#6: Getting blindsided by disruptors

Gazing into your crystal ball to correctly predict the medium to long term future of your industry hinges on your willingness to watch trends, competitors, emerging services, and the business ecosystem, on a continual basis. You will also want to ask ‘what’s new?’, ‘what’s next?’, and ‘where can we improve?’.

Hindsight is not an option in our fast-moving business landscape; there is an urgent need to understand and act, as any executive coaching Maryland professional would tell you. A comprehensive business strategy and effective change management initiatives are critical to not just survive disruption but also thrive in a changing business environment.

Self-reflect to stay motivated and build stronger teams

Self-reflection is touted as a beneficial leadership practice, and for good reason. To err is human; we all have our weaknesses and implicit biases that can come in the way of making the best possible decisions allowed in our position of authority and power. Asking yourself why you did what you did and why you aren’t doing something that has its merits, will help you better understand the leadership areas you need to work on, biases to overcome, and gain clarity on your core values. It will mold you into a well-rounded leader and help you get comfortable around improving your leadership abilities throughout your entire life.

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What You Need to be Doing NOW to Get Your Shop Ready for Black Friday

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What You Need to be Doing NOW to Get Your Shop Ready for Black Friday

Did you know that 130 million users use Facebook and Instagram to discover sales and buy products during Black Friday weekend alone? 

This means that setting your shop up for success is an excellent way to attract all shopaholics into your business and make serious money. But, with so little time, how can you know what you’re supposed to do? 

Well, after talking with Meta experts, I’ve put together an easy-to-follow checklist with everything you need to do AHEAD of Black Friday if you want your Instagram or Facebook Shop to be a huge success this holiday. 

So read on, and start planning now!

11 Things you need to do to get your shop Black Friday ready

The key to a successful Black Friday is reaching the right audience with the right products. In years past, this meant a well-placed ad in the local newspaper or a spot on the radio. But today, the best way to reach potential shoppers is through social media. And of all the social media platforms out there, Instagram and Facebook offer the best buying experience. 

Facebook and Instagram Shops provide an easy way for businesses to showcase their products and reach a wide audience, and offer a convenient way to browse and purchase items with just a few clicks. Plus, since most users are already using these social media platforms *we’re talking about more than 3 billion*, it has become a natural way to shop. 

So if you’re a business owner looking to take advantage of Black Friday, setting up an Instagram or Facebook shop is a must, and here are the best tips to do so: 

1. Start planning your holiday strategies if you haven’t already

For many businesses, Black Friday is make-or-break time, when they can either turn a profit or end up in the red. That’s why it’s so important to have a solid plan in place for dealing with traffic. 

By mapping out a strategy beforehand, businesses can avoid being overwhelmed by the high demand and ensure that everyone has a positive experience. This means, planning your offer and deals ahead of time, placing your ads budget, doing product inventory, organizing customer service, etc. 

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Regarding offers, Instagram and Facebook Shops allow businesses to set up coupons and discount codes during checkout, and timely offers to display their deals. Offer parity with your site is key. So be sure to review #7!

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2. Update your Meta Shop banners 

In order for retailers to lure customers into their shops, they need to make sure their signage is up-to-date and eye-catching. This is especially true for banners, which are the first thing people see when hunting for good deals and promotions. 

A well-designed banner can help to create a sense of urgency and excitement, convincing shoppers that they need to act now in order to get the best deals. These act as hero images from a traditional site, but for your Instagram Shop.

Additionally, they can be used to highlight specific sales or promotions, making it easy for shoppers to find the products they’re looking for. After all, what good is a sale if no one knows about it?

So if you’re looking to make the most of this busy shopping day, don’t forget to update your social shop banners with eye-catching designs. It could make all the difference in attracting customers to purchase in your store.

3. Make your organic media is shoppable

Facebook and Instagram Shops allow you to tag a product every time you post a picture, reel, story, or video. This is especially relevant because it drives users from an organic publication to your shop where they can check all the information about the item they’re interested in. 

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Plus, tagging can give you clean insights to how they’re interacting with products and creatives. 

Hat tip: Did you know that you can tag your products in the description of your feed posts? No more using ‘link in bio’ in your copy for your organic posts. Use the @ symbol and choose ‘products’, once you have found your product select it and BAM, your product is now linkable in your Instagram post’s description!

4. Set your products up for success

Each product description should contain anything and everything a user needs in order to buy. This includes: 

  • Engaging and informative product descriptions

Standing out from the crowd of sellers can be especially hard during the holidays. However, a great way to do that is to make sure your product descriptions are clear, concise, and compelling. 

No matter if you’re selling clothes, accessories, or home decor, a good product description will tell potential customers everything they need to know about a product, including its features, benefits, etc. Plus,  it should also be engaging, so that shoppers are tempted to click “add to cart”, so don’t forget about the call to action and use strong and convincing language to urge the buyers to take your deal. 

Be sure to exclude urls in your product description because it’s not allowed. Keep your product descriptions centered on benefits and remember, users often have 1-3 seconds to evaluate the efficacy and interest in a product from a product description.

Images that are well-lit and clearly show the product details can be the difference between a customer clicking “add to cart” or moving on to the next item on their list.

For Instagram and Facebook Shops, images need to be at least 500×500 pixels. Additionally, it’s important that you include more than just one image and focus on features. 

Extra tip: according to Meta experts, if your product is in the lifestyle category, detailed product images can help you increase your possibilities of making a sale by 6-8%. 

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Extra extra tip: Include an image of a customer’s selfie with the product. Showcasing real customers using or holding your product makes a big difference with your conversions.

  • Include price, availability, and sizes

No one will buy anything from your shop if you don’t have this information! So check your products and make sure that all of them include the deal price, pieces in stock, and sizes (this one applies only for items that are in categories like: Clothing Accessories, Newborn & Baby Fashion Accessories, and Costume Accessories)

Regarding sizes, you can (and should) add a size chart to help users feel confident in the purchase decisions and potentially reduce return rates. 

Bear in mind: July 2022, Meta changed the basic information each item showcased in their shops needs to have in order to be displayed, so click here to discover everything your products need to have!

5. Update your catalog

An outdated catalog will make it difficult for them to find what they’re looking for, and they may decide to do their shopping elsewhere. 

So, it’s important that you check and update your catalog to display all the products that are on sale to help your customers make important purchase decisions and drive sales. 

Taking this into account, your catalog should: 

  • Have all the products displayed with their variants
  • Include product details: complete all data fields (materials, ingredients, multiple images, videos, and size charts where applicable)
  • Be maintained: update collections with new items and inventory quantity. Regarding this, you can use Meta Pixel to automatically update your catalog and reduce operational load. 

6. Enable checkout on Facebook and Instagram Shops

Redirecting users to your own website or another platform in order to complete a sale is inconvenient and can lead to lost sales. So, it’s HIGHLY recommended that you set up your shop with checkout, if you’re allowed,to help potential customers discover and buy your products on one platform. 

**For eligible stores in the US, all fees are waived through the end of 2022 for enabled checkouts.

Onsite checkout can be set up in Commerce Manager and it’s available for US shops only; it will give insights into shopper demographic and full-funnel conversion data which, in return, can help you optimize your campaigns. 

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7. Offer Parity

An Instagram or Facebook Shop is an extension of your store, but in a more consumable form that doesn’t require users to go from a place to another in order to buy something. This means that both should offer the same data: from prices and deals, to contact information and banners. 

Why? Because some people may find your social shop and make their purchase there, meanwhile others would prefer to go to your website to get more information about you, so offer parity is a must if you want to build trust with potential customers. After all, no one wants to find mismatched prices!

8. Enable product reviews 

By reading reviews, users can get an idea of what other shoppers thought of a particular item before they make a purchase and it can help them make informed decisions. That’s why they’re a key player when it comes to driving sales during Black Friday. 

Regarding this, US shops with onsite checkouts have access to ratings and reviews and can manage them in Commerce Manager, which will allow you to check customer feedback and answer them. 

Remember this: you need to have a shop with onsite checkout to enable product reviews and ratings. 

Moreover, it’s possible to import reviews from 3rd parties! For now, Yotpo and Bazarro are active, meanwhile, Okendo and Stamped.io will be available with the reviews section in the next quarter. 

9. Don’t forget about user-generated content

User-generated content has the added benefit of being more authentic and relatable than traditional marketing materials. It’s this human element that can be critical in helping persuade undecided shoppers to make a purchase. In fact, UGC drives a 9% increase in CTA clicks for buy now or view on the website

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During Black Friday, this type of content can be a valuable tool for helping brands connect with consumers and build trust, so it’s important to include it in your strategy. 

For this, you can use images and videos of different customers using, wearing, and loving your products or provide buyers with information like “how to use” or tips that can help them make the most out of an item. 

If you go to the UGC section of your commerce account, you can find UGC that’s ready for potential use in your stories and in your Meta Shops. You can find any images that tagged your handle or used one of your branded hashtags. When you find images that you’d like to use, you can send a request to that user’s profile for permission of usage of that media in your store.

It’s really that easy!

10. Leverage Shopping Ads and Catalog Ads

Instagram shopping ads allow businesses to showcase their products directly in the Instagram feed. 

By tagging product photos with relevant information, businesses can create ads that include pricing, product descriptions, and a link to purchase the product. These ads are designed to be highly visual and engaging, and they provide a convenient way for users to learn about and purchase products without ever leaving Instagram. 

On the other hand, Advantage+ Catalog Ads are a must-try for those businesses that have a large catalog of products and don’t want to be bothered by having to create a different ad per product. Instead, this type of ad helps you to create one campaign for all your products and show it to people that are interested in even one item from your catalog by creating an individual ad. 

By integrating Catalog and Shop Ads into your paid media plan for Black Friday, you can attract possible customers and take them through your sales funnel all in one platform. 

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If you’re not familiar with these types of ads, you should start experimenting and scaling them as you see fit from now on! Also, don’t forget to set up your CPA!

*** Black Friday ad ramp up should begin by September 20th. October 15th is the BIG day when everyone enters the Meta Ads marketplace and auction pressure increase***

11. Prepare your customer support service

Answering questions from possible customers in less than 24 hours increases their possibility to make a purchase by 50%, that’s why it’s important to invest in effective customer service to help users get a clear understanding of your business and build trust. 

With Facebook and Instagram Shops, you can get an email every time someone asks specific questions and reply by using the feedback tag on Commerce Manager. These replies become publicly available helping future customers see that social proof to make better buying decisions.

However, this feature is only available if you have enabled checkout and are an admin to the commerce account.

When should you start?

The peak of users eager to get Black Friday deals starts from October 15th to the big date *yes, more than a month before Black Friday*, so it’s crucial that you start optimizing your Instagram and Facebook Shops ASAP. 

And, if you feel like this long list may overwhelm you and already give you a headache, at Mongoose Media we have a team of experts that will take this task from you and make the most out of your shop to go from plan to bestselling during the holidays!


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