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The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategies & How to Improve Your Digital Presence

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Would it be correct to assume a major part of your marketing strategy today is digital? Probably.

Consumers and businesses alike are almost always online and on the go – and you want to be able to reach them and observe their behavior where they spend their time.

But when you’re growing a business, this ever-changing digital landscape can quickly become an overwhelming one. With a number of other responsibilities and tasks that you need to do, how can you also efficiently create, fine-tune, and maintain an agile digital marketing strategy?

We’ve put together this guide about marketing strategies to help you improve your digital presence and grow better.

If you’re a small business and you’re unsure how to jumpstart your strategy, this digital marketing strategy template will help you get there. It includes actionable tips and templates to set you up for success.

Now back to this — are you confused about the difference between a marketing strategy and marketing tactics? We cover that below.

Marketing or not, there are three parts of any strategy:

    1. A diagnosis of your challenge
    2. A guiding policy for dealing with the challenge
    3. A set of targeted actions that are necessary to accomplish the policy

Depending on the scale of your business, your marketing strategy may include several moving parts, each with different goals. With that said, working on your strategy can become daunting at times.

So, if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed about your marketing strategy, refer to these three steps to keep you focused on achieving your objectives.

Now, let’s look at digital marketing strategy.

A strong digital marketing strategy helps your business achieve specific digital goals through carefully selected mediums. Similar to marketing strategies versus marketing tactics, “digital marketing strategy” and “digital marketing campaign” are also often interchanged. So, how do they differ?

We cover that in the following sections.

What is a digital marketing campaign?

Digital marketing campaigns are the building blocks and actions within your digital marketing strategy that move you toward a specific end goal.

For instance, if the overarching goal of your digital marketing strategy is to generate more leads through social media, you might run a digital marketing campaign on Twitter. You may share some of your business’s best-performing gated content on Twitter to generate more leads through the channel.

1. Build your buyer personas.

For any marketing strategy – digital or not – you need to know who you’re marketing to. The best digital marketing strategies are built upon detailed buyer personas, and your first step is to create them.

Organize your audience segments and make your marketing stronger with templates to build your buyer personas.

hubspot buyer persona templateBuyer personas represent your ideal customer(s) and can be created by researching, surveying, and interviewing your business’s target audience.

It’s important to note that this information should be based upon real data whenever possible, as making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to move in the wrong direction.

To get a rounded picture of your persona, your research pool should include a mixture of customers, prospects, and people outside your contacts database who align with your target audience.

But what kind of information should you gather for your own buyer persona(s) to inform your digital marketing strategy?

That depends on your business — it’s likely to vary depending on whether you’re B2B or B2C, or whether you sell a high-cost or low-cost product.

Here are some starting points that you can fine-tune and tailor to your particular business.

Quantitative and Demographic Information

      • Location: Use web analytics tools to easily identify what location your website traffic is coming from.
      • Age: Depending on your business, this may or may not be relevant information. But if it is, it’s best to gather this data by identifying trends in your existing prospect and contact database.
      • Income: It’s best to gather sensitive information like personal income through persona research interviews, as people might be unwilling to share these details via online forms.
      • Job Title: This is something you can get a rough idea of from your existing customer base and is most relevant for B2B companies.

      Qualitative and Psychographic Information

          • Goals: Depending on what challenge your product or service solves, you may already have a good idea of the goals of your buyer persona. Cement your assumptions by speaking to real customers and internal sales and customer service reps.
          • Challenges: Speak to customers, sales and customer service reps, and any other customer-facing employees to get an idea of the common challenges your audience members face.
          • Hobbies/Interests: Ask customers and those who align with your target audience about their hobbies and interests. If you’re a fashion brand, for example, it’s helpful to know if large segments of your audience are also interested in fitness and well-being to inform future content and partnerships.
          • Priorities: Talk to customers and target audience members to find out what’s most important to them in relation to your business. For example, if you’re a B2B software company, knowing your audience values customer support over a competitive price point is very valuable information.

          By combining all of these details, you’ll be able to create buyer personas that are accurate and highly valuable for your business.

          2. Identify your goals and the digital marketing tools you’ll need.

          Your marketing goals should always be tied back to the fundamental goals of your business.

          For example, if your business’s goal is to increase online revenue by 20%, your marketing team’s goal might be to generate 50% more leads via the website than the previous year to contribute to that success.

          Use a high-level marketing plan template to outline your annual marketing strategy, identify top priorities, and more.

          marketing-strategy-template-free

          Download the Template

          Whatever your overarching digital marketing goal is, you must be able to measure the success of your strategy along the way with the right digital marketing tools.

          For instance, the Reporting Dashboard in HubSpot brings all of your marketing and sales data into one place, so you can quickly determine what works and what doesn’t to improve your strategy for the future.

          3. Evaluate your existing digital channels and assets.

          When reviewing your existing digital marketing channels and assets to determine what to incorporate in your strategy, it’s helpful to first consider the big picture — this will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or confused.

          Gather what you have, and categorize each vehicle or asset in a spreadsheet, so you have a clear picture of your existing owned, earned, and paid media.

          Owned, Earned, Paid Media Framework

          To do this effectively, use the owned, earned, and paid media framework to categorize the digital “vehicles,” assets, or channels you’re already using and decide what’s a good fit for your strategy.

          Owned Media

          This refers to the digital assets your brand or company owns — whether that’s your website, social media profiles, blog content, or imagery. Owned channels are what your business has complete control over.

          This can also include some off-site content you own that isn’t hosted on your website (e.g. a blog you publish on Medium).

          Earned Media

          Earned media refers to the exposure you earn through word-of-mouth marketing. Whether that’s content you’ve distributed on other websites (e.g. guest posts), PR work you’ve been doing, or the customer experience you’ve delivered. Earned media is the recognition you receive as a result of these efforts.

          You can earn media by getting press mentions and positive reviews as well as by people sharing your content via their networks (e.g. social media channels).

          Paid Media

          Paid media refers to any vehicle or channel you spend money on to catch the attention of your buyer personas.

          This includes things like Google AdWords, paid social media posts, native advertising (e.g. sponsored posts on other websites), or any other medium through which you pay in exchange for increased visibility.

          Since you have a better grasp of what this framework entails, let’s look at an example.

          Say you have an owned piece of content on a landing page on your website that’s been created to help you generate leads. You know you want to incorporate different parts of the framework rather than just working with owned, earned, or paid media alone.

          To amplify the number of leads the content generates, you make an effort to ensure it’s shareable so your audience can distribute it via their social media profiles. In return, this will increase traffic to your landing page. This is the earned media component.

          To support your content’s success, you might post about the content on your Facebook page and pay to have it seen by more people in your target audience.

          This is how the three parts of the framework are able to work together — although, it’s not necessary for success. For instance, if your owned and earned media are already both successful, you might not need to invest in paid. So, evaluate the best solution to help you meet your goal, and then incorporate the channels that work best for your business into your digital marketing strategy.

          Now you know what’s already being used, you can start to think about what to keep and what to cut.

          Keep track of your paid media efforts with this free Paid Media Template.

          hubspot paid media template

          Download the Template

          4. Audit and plan your owned media campaigns.

          At the heart of digital marketing is owned media — and it almost always comes in the form of content. That’s because nearly every message your brand broadcasts can be classified as content, whether it’s an About Us site page, product descriptions, blog posts, ebooks, infographics, podcasts, or social media posts.

          Content helps convert your website visitors into leads and customers while improving your brand’s online presence. And when this content is search engine optimized (SEO), it can boost your search and organic traffic.

          Whatever your digital marketing strategy goal is, you’ll want to incorporate owned content. To start, decide what content will help you reach your goals.

          If your goal is to generate 50% more leads via the website than last year, your About Us page is most likely not going to be included in your strategy, unless that page has somehow been a lead-generation machine in the past.

          Here’s a brief process you can follow to work out what owned content you need to meet your digital marketing strategy goals.

          Audit your existing content.

          Make a list of your existing owned content, and rank each item according to what has previously performed best in relation to your current goals.

          For example, if your goal is lead generation, rank your content according to which pieces generated the most leads over the last year (such as a blog post, ebook, or site page).

          The idea here is to figure out what’s currently working, and what’s not so that you can set yourself up for success when planning future content.

          Identify gaps in your existing content.

          Based on your buyer personas, identify any gaps in the content you have.

          For example, if you’re a math tutoring company and know through research that a major challenge for your personas is finding effective ways to study, create some.

          By looking at your content audit, you might discover that ebooks hosted on a certain type of landing page convert really well (better than webinars, for example).

          In the case of this math tutoring company, you might make the decision to add an ebook about “how to make studying more effective” to your content creation plans.

          Create a content creation plan.

          Based on your findings and the gaps you’ve identified, make a content creation plan outlining the content that’s necessary to help you hit your goals.

          This should include:

              • A title
              • Format
              • A goal
              • Promotional channels
              • Why you’re creating the content
              • The priority level of the content

              This can be a simple spreadsheet, and should also include budget information if you’re planning to outsource the content creation, or a time estimate if you’re producing it yourself.

              5. Audit and plan your earned media campaigns.

              Evaluating your previous earned media against your current goals can help you get an idea of where to focus your time. Look at where your traffic and leads are coming from (if that’s your goal) and rank each earned media source from most effective to least effective.

              You can obtain this information using tools like the Sources reports in HubSpot’s Traffic Analytics tool.

              hubspot traffic analytics tool

              You may find a particular article you contributed to the industry press drove a lot of qualified traffic to your website, which boosted conversions. Or, you may discover LinkedIn is where you see most people sharing content, which increases traffic.

              The idea is to build a picture of what types of earned media will help you reach your goals (and what won’t) based on historical data. However, if there’s something new you want to experiment with, don’t rule it out just because it’s never been done before.

              6. Audit and plan your paid media campaigns.

              This process involves much of the same process: You need to evaluate your existing paid media across each platform (e.g. Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to figure out what’s most likely to help you meet your current goals.

              If you’ve spent a lot of money on AdWords and haven’t seen the results you’d hoped for, maybe it’s time to refine your approach, or scrap it altogether and focus on another platform that seems to be yielding better results.

              Use this free guide for more on how to leverage AdWords for your digital marketing strategy.

              By the end of the process, you should have a clear idea of which paid media platforms you want to continue using, and which (if any) you’d like to remove from your strategy.

              7. Bring your digital marketing campaign together.

              You’ve done the planning and the research, and you now have a solid vision of the elements that will make up your digital marketing strategy.

              To review, here’s what you should have solidified so far:

                  • Clear profile(s) of your buyer persona(s)
                  • One or more digital marketing-specific goals
                  • An inventory of your existing owned, earned, and paid media
                  • An audit of your existing owned, earned, and paid media
                  • An owned content creation plan or wish list

                  To provide a better understanding of what digital strategies entail, check out the following list of basic marketing strategies commonly utilized by teams across a range of industries.

                  Digital Marketing Strategies

                  1. Publish a blog.

                  Blogging is one of the primary ways you can market your business digitally. While a few dissenting voices claim that blogging is “a massive waste of your time,” it’s still a major play for businesses that want to attract customers who are genuinely interested in their products and services.

                  Why? Because well-written, well-researched blog posts often answer an urgent need for a potential customer. For instance, HubSpot sells marketing software, and our users are typically marketing professionals who create plans, campaigns, and editorial calendars for their employers. For that reason, the topics on our blog directly address these needs:

                  digital marketing strategy example: bloggingDon’t blog just because; blog with the intent to solve for the customer. To effectively do so, it’s important to understand your target audience and their pain points. That way, you can write highly targeted content that’s genuinely helpful for readers.

                  Recommended Reading

                  2. Advertise on specific platforms (e.g. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Instagram Ads).

                  An organic blogging strategy is only a portion of the story. It’s just as important to implement non-organic plays, such as paid advertising. Not only will this help you drive more brand awareness, it will also help you reach audiences who can’t find your business organically yet.

                  This is an important strategy to implement when you’re still growing your blog and not yet getting as much traffic as you want. There are a few types of advertising you should consider adding to your digital strategy:

                  Nearly every platform has an option for you to advertise — either through a display network (such as Google’s) or through its built-in ad system (such as Instagram’s, Facebook’s, and LinkedIn’s self-serve advertising portal).

                  Here’s one example of an ad on LinkedIn:

                  digital marketing strategy example: linkedin ad

                  The benefit of advertising is that it’s not dependent on a content or SEO strategy. You simply need to write a few lines of copy, decide on imagery, and launch your advertising campaigns. To ensure that your campaigns are a success, you’ll want to create an advertising plan that outlines who you’re targeting, which channels you’ll be using, and how much you plan to spend.

                  We recommend downloading the following template to create your plan.

                  Featured Resource: Advertising Plan Template

                  digital marketing strategy resource: advertising plan templateDownload this Advertising Planning Kit

                  3. Offer free educational resources.

                  Your digital marketing efforts don’t stop when you get people to visit your website or click on your ads. You also need to offer them additional value in exchange for their email. While the gated content is free, users “pay” with their contact information. This practice is called lead generation, and it’s essential if you want the opportunity to nurture visitors into eventual customers.

                  To offer free resources, you would create a landing page that offers a single educational resource: an ebook, a guide, a template, or a kit. Think about what your customers need in their day-to-day to do their jobs successfully. Create a resource that will help them do just that. Here’s an example from HubSpot:

                  digital marketing strategy example: landing page for ebook

                  Follow landing page best practices to ensure the visitor is driven to download the resource for free. Limit the use of navigation menus, remove extraneous information, and remove buttons and links that lead out of the landing page. Their only option should be to download the educational content.

                  Recommended Reading

                  4. Search engine optimize your digital content.

                  SEO is one of the most important plays you can make in your digital strategy. It will help you rank for keywords related to your products and get more eyes on your blog content, as well as your educational offers.

                  If your product pages aren’t earning traffic, SEO is your best bet to get those pages in front of those who are searching for those products and services. To ensure that your content engages and converts users, it’s important to invest in an on-page SEO strategy.

                  Not sure how to get started? Download our starter pack below.

                  Featured Resource: SEO Starter Pack digital marketing strategy resource: seo starter packDownload Your Free SEO Pack

                  Recommended Reading

                  5. Create an online giveaway and/ or contest.

                  digital marketing strategy example: giveaway on instagram

                  Image Source

                  Giveaways and contests are another way to generate brand awareness online and boost your digital strategy. In exchange for a free product, you’ll get hundreds, if not thousands, of new followers and leads who can be nurtured to become customers.

                  This method is specially useful if you sell a consumer product or if you provide a service with physical deliverables. For instance, a beauty brand might choose to give away beauty products, while a photographer might choose to give away a free portrait session. Businesses that might not benefit from this strategy include B2B businesses or manufacturers — though you can certainly spin it to serve your needs, like including one free box of product for the first customers to sign up for your mailing list. That’s one potential example.

                  Recommended Reading

                  6. Organize a webinar.

                  If you don’t feel like a contest is a right fit for your business, then webinars are the next best choice — especially if you’re a B2B company. They’re essential for educating the public about your products and services, as well as giving interested leads an opportunity to hear about your offerings straight from a company representative. That way, they can ask questions and get answers in real time.

                  digital marketing strategy example: webinar library

                  Image Source

                  Sell a complicated product? Then consider creating a dedicated webinar page on your website, where you list both upcoming and past webinars. Your customers will be able to access educational content that benefits them, and prospects will be able to learn more about your products in a more interactive format than a simple blog post or case study.

                  Recommended Reading

                  7. Produce a podcast.

                  Audio marketing has been on the rise — all you have to do is look at the ways Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces have gone head-to-head to earn market share. While platforms such as Clubhouse are different from podcasting, the idea is the same: You get to educate and engage an audience while they’re on the go. All they need is a device that plays audio.

                  For inspiration, check out the HubSpot Podcast Network:

                  digital marketing strategy example: hubspot podcast network

                  Podcasts can become an essential element in your digital strategy, allowing you to reach people on platforms other than search engines and social media channels. Plus, it’s a much more unplanned, natural medium — though of course you should plan each episode carefully and ensure you’re delivering content that actually serves your readership.

                  Featured Resource: How to Start a Podcast digital marketing strategy resource: how to start a podcast guideDownload Your Free Guide

                  Recommended Reading

                  8. Create an email marketing campaign.

                  Email marketing is one of the most important digital strategies you can implement today. It gives you plenty of opportunities to nurture customers who are highly interested in your products. After all, you wouldn’t be subscribed to a newsletter of a brand that doesn’t interest you, and a business isn’t supposed to email customers who haven’t signed up to its mailing list, anyway. Not unless it wants to risk diminishing email deliverability.

                  You can earn subscribers through your blog, through contests, and even through webinars. Any time someone gives you their email — and every time they give consent to receive communication from you — you have full permission to target them with an email marketing campaign.

                  Featured Resource: Email Marketing Planning Templatedigital marketing strategy resource: email marketing templateDownload Your Free Template

                  Recommended Reading

                  Now it’s time to bring all of this together to form a cohesive marketing strategy document. Your strategy document should map out the series of actions you’re going to take to achieve your goals, based on your research up to this point.

                  Let’s discuss how our digital strategy template can help.

                  Digital Marketing Strategy Template

                  While a spreadsheet can be an efficient format for mapping your digital marketing strategy, that approach can quickly become messy and overwhelming.

                  To plan your strategy for the long-term – typically between six to 12 months out, you need a reliable digital marketing strategy document. But, where to start? With our free digital marketing plan template.

                  This template will walk you through your business summary and initiatives, help you build your target market and competitor information, and flesh out your marketing strategy — including your budget and specific channels and metrics.

                  hubspot business plan template for marketing strategy

                  Use this digital strategy template to build out your annual digital marketing strategy and tactics. By planning out these yearly plans, you can overlay when you and your team will be executing each action. For example:

                      • In January, you’ll start a blog that will be continually updated once a week, for the entire year.
                      • In March, you’ll launch a new ebook, accompanied by paid promotion.
                      • In July, you’ll prepare for your biggest business month — what do you hope to have observed at this point that will influence the content you produce to support it?
                      • In September, you’ll focus on earned media in the form of PR to drive additional traffic during the run-up.

                      This approach provides a structured timeline for your activity which will help communicate plans among colleagues.

                      Finally, here are some examples of digital marketing campaigns and their strategies to inspire you.

                      1. Béis: Paid Ad

                      Travel accessory brand, Béis, recently launched a social media campaign to announce feature updates to one of its products. And they did it in the best way: by showing instead of telling.

                      digital marketing strategy example: beis

                      In a 34-second clip, the brand showed how their product performed before and how it performs now following some changes to the material.

                      This is a fantastic campaign as it not only highlights an improvement on a product but it also shows customers that the brand is constantly iterating and improving. Secondly, they make sure to include captions in the video to ensure that it’s accessible without sound.

                      2. Omsom: Social Media

                      Asian food brand Omsom leverages its TikTok profile to share behind-the-scenes content, recipes, and culturally relevant content.

                      In a recent video, the brand’s co-founder shared how it sources one of its key ingredients and how they chose the more difficult route to preserve the integrity of the food.

                      @weareomsom

                      here’s why we choose to make our lives harder as food founders! #business #sourcing

                      ♬ original sound – Omsom

                          Here’s what Omsom did right: They highlighted their brand’s values while still building excitement around the product.

                          Sharing behind-the-scenes content is a great way to connect with your audience and share details that will simultaneously highlight your mission and/or values.

                          3. The General: Paid Advertising

                          After reports that consumers thought the brand was untrustworthy due to its low-budget ads, The General decided to revamp its entire marketing strategy.

                          In a commercial featuring basketball superstar, Shaq, the brand addressed the elephant in the room and introduced a new-and-improved look.

                          In addition, they also emphasize their credibility by mentioning how long they’ve been in business and how many people they’ve helped.

                          By addressing negative perceptions head-on, brands can not only change how consumers view them but also show that they are in tune with their target audience.

                          Grow Better With Marketing Strategies That Improve Your Digital Presence

                          Your strategy document will be very individual to your business, which is why it’s almost impossible for us to create a one-size-fits-all digital marketing strategy template.

                          Remember, the purpose of your strategy document is to map out the actions you’re going to take to achieve your goal over a period of time — as long as it communicates that, then you’ve nailed the basics of creating a digital strategy.

                          If you’re eager to build a truly effective strategy to help grow your business, check out our free collection of content marketing templates below.

                          Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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              MARKNADSFÖRING

              Dating App Algorithms: Optimizing Search for Love

              Publicerad

              Dating App Algorithms: Optimizing Search for Love

              With nearly 8 billion people in the world, it’s safe to say there’s at least one person out there with whom everyone reading this would have a happy, healthy relationship. Now, that person isn’t the same for all of us—of course, and thankfully! And, depending on how you feel about soulmates, there might not be “the one” at all, rather potentially dozens or more people with whom you’d have a fulfilling relationship if only your paths crossed.

              But back to that number—8 billion (8,000,000,000). That is a nine-zero situation that we don’t see spelled out very often. And all those zeros make for a lot of potential relationship heroes to consider.

              But we don’t start by considering all 8 billion; we hone in on those folks who seem most likely to be a good match. We start with basic criteria—like age, location, gender and gender preference—and continue refining our options from there.

              And if you’re doing your searching and sorting at least in part through ‘the apps’, which the numbers show many of you are, dating app algorithms are instrumental in helping you find someone special.

              Table of Contents

               

               

              Källa: https://www.statista.com/chart/24404/most-popular-dating-apps-us/

              Algorithms are sets of instructions or rules that help complete a process as those rules intend. No matter how simple or complex the algorithm, or how much or how little data it has to digest to function properly, the basics of how it works are the same.

              Algorithms are designed as tools to help in sorting, digesting, and delivering relevant information; it is people who determine the goals the algorithm will help achieve. And despite algorithms in the digital space being regularly eyed with suspicion by many, they are truly intended to improve our search results.

              While all dating apps share a foundational commonality—helping foster connections—they also differ in some key ways that might influence their current and future goals. Let’s do some background research on a few of the most popular dating apps to see what we dig up.

               

               

              If you’ve tried more than one dating app, or are weighing your options, you may find yourself wondering the same thing you wonder when looking for a partner: “Are they really all the same?” This is where it’s important to again consider the goals of that particular platform. Many have the same overarching goal—to connect people to other people they’ll like—but what kind of connections is each best suited for, and why?

              You can tell a lot about a dating app by the first impression it makes with its name and slogan; both can provide some level of insight into what the goals of that dating platform are, which helps make sense of what the goals of the algorithm would be.

              Remember that “matching” is largely what search functions as a whole are designed for, whether it’s matching searchers with the right information, right services, right answers, or Ms. or Mr. Right.

              Let’s do some classic internet detective work to see what we can learn about a few popular apps, diving deepest into Tinder…
               

              Tinder Algorithm

              Pie chart for US dating app market share in 2021 withTinder, Bumble, and Plenty of Fish in top 3

              Källa: https://www.businessofapps.com/data/dating-app-market/

              Tinder is among the most popular dating apps thanks largely to its large user base, ease-of-use, and becoming a bit of a household name over the past few years. For many folks, Tinder is synonymous with dating apps the way Band-Aid is synonymous with adhesive bandages. In fact, recent data shared by Statista found that brand awareness of Tinder in the US is 84%, and that 37% of all US dating service users are on the platform.

              As we know, the first step in understanding an algorithm is determining its goals. Let’s see what we can learn about who Tinder is, and what their goals, purpose and promise are, straight from the source—Tinder.com.

              • Tinder is the most popular free dating app in the world, and has made more than 55 billion matches to date. They boast millions of single users, and considers themselves “the most diverse dating app”
              •  

              • In your Discovery Settings on Tinder, you can set your sexual orientation, and the age and distance-from-you for the profiles you’ll see on the platform. They use location-based technology to connect you with relevant profiles based on those selections (Source: Tinder FAQs)
              •  

              • Tinder can also be used to foster non-romantic connections, including helping college students make friends at school through TinderU
              •  

              • Tinder believes “everyone deserves the right to be seen and make the first move,” and doesn’t filter by race, religion, education, or height
              •  

              • Tinder isn’t only for those looking for ‘the one’ — ”Some sites, like Hinge and eharmony, are designed for long-term relationships, but on the Tinder app, we’re all about the experience and offer possibilities for whatever it is you’re looking for.”
              •  

              • If you want your answers to specific questions to help you in finding users with similar replies, you can enable the Tinder Vibes feature. You can also add Passions (or Interests) to your profile.
              •  

              • Tinder can also help you in finding more matches by notifying you when a Swipe Surge is underway—a period of high activity on the platform. Once you’ve joined, you can narrow your options by selecting from different categories that let other users know what you’re looking for on Tinder (ie. casual chats, nightlife, etc.)
              •  

              • Tinder is open to evolving to keep up with the changing wants and needs of its users. After all, those who started on the platform in their early twenties may have very different goals in their early thirties, and no platform wants to lose its most loyal users. As recently as December 2022, Tinder added a Relationship Goals feature

               
              Now that we’ve unpacked what Tinder is to help in understanding the why behind their algorithm goals, let’s dive deeper into what they’ve shared about how their algorithm works, which bears a lot of similarity to social media platform algorithms.
               

              Engagement is a primary factor

              Just like the Instagram algorithm better understands what you want to see more of based on your in-app engagement, Tinder can provide you with better potential matches the more you use the app. This includes using “anonymized cues” from photos in tailoring future recommendations, serving up profiles with photos similar to those a user has liked before. Nopes are also considered.

              Because there are two people in this equation, the algorithm is working similarly on the flipside, showing your profile to users who have liked other profiles with photos similar to yours. If you start noticing similarities in the profiles you’re shown most often—like all your matches have profiles featuring concert photos or camping photos—your swipe history has likely influenced your results.

              But on Tinder, it’s not just measuring your engagement metrics to determine your top interests; they also want to make sure you’re still actively looking. Tinder wants all their users to have an optimal user experience, which is facilitated in part by prioritizing active members.

              Translating this to the ecommerce space, they want to make sure they aren’t wasting your time, or annoying you, by directing you to out-of-stock URLs.
               

              Proximity comes into play

              When creating a Tinder profile, users provide their gender, gender preferences, age, distance (from potential matches), and current location. These are all fairly standard, but it’s that ‘current location’ where things can get interesting.

              In addition to considering your state or city-based location in the potential matches shown, Tinder will go one step further and prioritize profiles that are in the nearest proximity. “Proximity is a key factor; it’s always fun meeting someone in the same neighborhood and that’s why we consider a potential match’s distance from a member’s current location.”

              Translating this to the commerce space, they don’t only want to show which stores have the product in-stock ‘near you’ in a broad sense, rather what’s available in the stores closest to you where you can click-and-collect (swipe-and-connect?) ASAP.
               

              User-provided data can help refine matches

              Many folks like that they can get started swiping on Tinder with just a modest amount of upfront work required, but the more data you give the algorithm to work with, the better your results are going to be. While adding your interests/passions and a detailed lifestyle description are optional, Tinder will consider them in your matches when you provide them.

              Tinder also shared some things that aren’t factored into their algorithm, including social status, religion, and ethnicity. They also noted that their much-discussed Elo Score is “old news” that their latest technology doesn’t rely on.
               

              Match.com Algorithm

              Match.com logoSource: https://www.match.com/

              While there are dozens, if not hundreds, of dating sites to choose from today, the one that can be considered the mother of them all is Match. Starting all the way back in 1995 when many folks still relied on newspaper classifieds to find singles in their area, Match.com entered the scene to lay the groundwork for letting the information superhighway (aka internet) provide the path to lasting love.

              Unlike Tinder, Match isn’t simply looking to foster connections; as their name implies, they are looking to help find true matches. They’ll even let you know if you’ve crossed paths with one of your matches in real life. That said, it isn’t as expressly marriage-driven as eHarmony, so may serve as a nice middle ground for folks who want something more than casual, but aren’t rushing nuptials.

              So how do they make those matches? As you might expect, your provided information is at the foundation! And as noted by BestCompany, Match offers one of the most comprehensive profiles around—if users take the time to complete theirs. In addition to being able to add information like religion, profession, and whether you have children, Match goes even further giving users the option to submit responses to essay questions. They also let you rank how important something is, noting if it’s essential or just nice-to-have.

              The importance of your profile, from Match:

              “It contains questions about who you are, where you’re from, the things that interest you, your lifestyle, and your background and values. It also asks you about your ideal match. All of this information helps form a great image of who you are and who you’re looking for. Not only does this help potential matches understand you better, it also helps us provide you with better matches through our unique matching tools.”

               

              Bumble Algorithm

              Bumble logo

              Källa: https://bumble.com/

              Bumble is unique in that it requires women to make the first messaging move (in heterosexual matches). They note that they prioritize kindness and respect, and similar to Tinder, have sister sites aimed at helping users network eller find a new BFF. Like many other popular apps, Bumble is free to use, but offers optional premium features that can help get your profile seen and improve or increase functionality.

              Bumble isn’t as transparent about their algorithm as Tinder, but who you see on the app appears to be largely filter-driven. While filters can be very helpful in narrowing your selection of available options, Bumble notes that over-filtering may leave you with very few profiles that make the cut. Loosening your filters can help in making you matchable with a wider variety of users, but bear in mind you’re losing some precision in the process.

              Similar to most dating app algorithms, it is speculated that Bumble is learning what you like and don’t like as you swipe. Just like the information you expressly provide to aid in making matches, including your gender and distance preferences, your swipe activity is another factor for the algorithm to consider. The more intentional you are about the choices you make, the more accurately the algorithm will be able to deliver strong potential matches in the future. This is just another layer of ‘you get out what you put in’; if you want Bumble to better understand who to show you, they need to get to know you first.

              On Bumble, regular use of the app isn’t only encouraged, but required for optimal experience. Once a match is made, a message must be sent within 24 hours; if not, the match expires. And after the first message has been sent, another 24-hour timer begins. If a reply isn’t sent within that window, the match expires. Similar to Tinder, this shows us that Bumble prioritizes profile activity so it can ensure users aren’t wasting time crafting messages to inactive users.

              Where Bumble differs from Tinder is in what the vast majority of its users are looking for. Whereas Tinder aims to be the dating app destination for users looking for everything from casual connections to something serious, the majority of Bumble users are looking for long-term relationships.

              It’s also worth noting that the ‘women message first’ model for heterosexual relationships is a motivating factor in using the app for men and women alike. As Bumble’s infographic shows, 97% of women made that first move and messaged their matches in the past month. And 63% of men reported that “women making the first move” was their reason for choosing Bumble.
               

              eharmony Algorithm

              Source: https://www.eharmony.com/

              Källa: https://www.eharmony.com/

              eharmony is a dating app designed for people looking for serious, long-term relationships. In fact, according to eharmony, couples who met through their platform make up 4% of all marriages in the US.

              With this goal in mind—helping people who are truly, deeply compatible find one another—eharmony has to ask a lot of questions to make sure they get things right. For casual daters, these types of question lists are often exactly what puts them off a dating site. For those who want to get right to scrolling or swiping, eharmony is not a good match.

              Just remember—you get out what you put in, because the algorithm is working with the input you provided in its output. The more relevant information you provide for it to work with, the more tailored to you your results will be. On eharmony, they actually quantify your likelihood of getting along with someone by assigning a Compatibility Score, with 60 being low compatibility, and 140 being the highest compatibility.

              Explained by eharmony:

              “Each of your matches will display a different eharmony Compatibility Score and, as the name suggests, it’s a simple indicator of how compatible you two are. These scores are based on your similarities and contrasts, as well as the answers you gave to our Compatibility Quiz when you joined eharmony. In the Compatibility section of each match’s profile, you can see what similarities you have, and also potential points of friction.”

              Happy to answer a laundry list of questions about who you are, and what’s most important to you, but don’t want to pay a fee? OkCupid is another popular dating site option that relies heavily on provided information to aid in the compatibility measurement process, for free (upgrade options available).

               

               

              Just because algorithms can help you find love certainly doesn’t mean they’re the only path to happiness. They simply provide a more streamlined, strategic path of possibility that sifts through the wide sea of options, providing a curated, filtered, or otherwise sorted list of choices from which you can weigh pros and cons before ever typing “hello.”

              Similarly, most of us have happened upon one or more products in our lives that we didn’t even know we were looking for, but instantly fell in love with. Perhaps it was that perfect gold charm bracelet you stumbled across in a tucked-away jewelry store while on vacation. Or maybe it’s those jeans you grabbed at a store near your office when you forgot you had after-work plans, and they ended up being the most flattering, comfortable jeans you’ve ever owned.

              These are moments of luck and serendipity, and they do indeed happen every day! But they don’t make a solid plan for accomplishing your goals, no matter what you’re searching for.

               

               

              Tinder Super Like feature pop-up

              Källa: https://tinder.com/feature/stand-out

              The algorithms that power dating apps will always be running in the background, but many apps offer ways to get your profile seen when it might not have otherwise been algorithmically driven to the top. It’s important to note that these aren’t true algorithm workarounds, rather methods through which you can push to the front of a specific line, often at a price.

              Additionally, some features are more simply designed to let you engage more often or heavily within the app, which can naturally improve your chances of securing a date. In a sense, this can be thought of as advertising yourself.

              For example: In addition to the additional benefits packed into each of Tinder’s subscription tiers, popular premium features include Boost and Super Like, which Tinder claims will “increase your chances of matching by 3x and have convos that last 70% longer.” Exclusive to Tinder Platinum subscribers is the Priority Like feature, which “puts your profile in front of the people you Like faster.” Similar premium features are available on Match.com, where they’re known as Power-Ups.

               

               

              Not only do some dating apps offer paid services that help users go over the algorithm to an extent, they also make a lot of their money from advertising revenue. As it turns out, love—or at the least the quest thereof—just might be able to pay the bills, after all.
               

              Does Match Group have a monopoly on love?

              Ad space across many of the most popular dating apps can be purchased from the same place—Match Media Group. That’s because Match Group owns more than a dozen popular apps, and can sell cross-platform advertising options to prospective advertisers for many of them.

              “Match Media Group serves as a single point partner for marketers to leverage the aggregated audience, data and insights that result from having millions of global users across Match’s portfolio of dating platforms, including Tinder, OKCupid and Match.com.”

              Match Media Group

              As for who exactly is cuddled up under this love umbrella, the following are some of the dating apps owned by Match Group…

              • Match.com
              • Tinder
              • OkCupid
              • Hinge
              • PlentyOfFish
              • UPWARD
              • Ship
              • Meetic
              • OurTime
              • …and many more dating companies worldwide

              But the Match Group isn’t the only major player on the block. There is no denying their impressive portfolio of apps, and the incredible data they’re able to collect and leverage thanks to the millions of users across their portfolio. But two of the biggest names in the dating app world are missing from their list—Bumble and badoo—both owned by the same parent company.
               

              What advertising options are available on dating apps?

              Three tinder advertising examples with branded profile cards and quiz

              Källa: https://www.matchmediagroup.com/

              Looking specifically at ad products available from Match Media Group, we find the following options:

              • Branded Profile Card (Tinder): Brands can create profiles native to the Tinder user experience. When users match with a branded profile, they receive brand custom messaging including offers, promotions, exclusive content, and/or more
              •  

              • Quiz (Tinder): Quizzes can be fully completed within the app, and leverage Tinder’s swipe feature to answer questions, which can be as simple as asking whether they like or dislike something. Following a short series of questions, these users can then share their results across their social media networks if they choose to
              •  

              • Native Video Card (Tinder): Video advertising is only on the rise, and makes a perfect fit for a fast-paced app that appeals to younger users, like Tinder. Tinder video ads can lead folks to external URLs, including your website. These video ads auto-play within the app when users are in discovery mode
              •  

              • Native Display Card (Tinder): Similar to a profile card in design, these ad units allow brands to drive traffic to an external page with one click.
              •  

              • In-App Interstitial (OKCupid): These full screen interstitial ads are shown as users are browsing their matches
              •  

              • Standard/High Impact Units (Match, Meetic, People Media, Plenty of Fish): These are set to target your key demographic, and are available across several platforms

               
              Match Media Group notes that interested advertisers can run their campaigns across their full portfolio, or on specific sites, with a minimum investment of $25K+.
               

              Advantages of Advertising on Dating Apps

              Chart with penetration rate and revenue of dating apps in US, UK, France, Germany, Brazil

              Källa: https://www.statista.com/chart/24165/online-dating-penetration-rate-revenue-selected-countries/

              There are perhaps more advertising options available today than ever before—from classic digital advertising avenues to in-store screens, LED billboards, magazines, streaming ads, and far beyond. Each of these has unique goals and purposes, as well as the ability to reach potential customers in different mindsets, different funnel stages, and so forth.

              Looking at advertising on dating apps specifically, a few key considerations and benefits come to mind:

              • People on dating apps are already in a comparative state-of-mind. When someone is already actively in the consideration phase, like they would be on a dating app, they are mentally in the right place to be served an ad for a product or service to consider
              •  

              • You can reach Gen Z in droves. The average user age varies from platform to platform, with the most popular free platform—Tinder—being home to a wide audience of Gen Z and young Millennial users. BusinessofApps notes that while Tinder has historically been popular with the 25-and-younger set, its use is increasing with older folks as well. This is due in part to Tinder’s overall increasing popularity, but also because those who have used the app for years are quite simply getting older
              •  

              • Dating apps have a much higher percentage of male users on average. Similar to the average age varying by platform, the percentage of male users compared to female users also naturally varies. That said, looking at the breakdown for a few of the most popular apps, we find that there are significantly more male than female users. According to the above-linked article from BusinessofApps, Tinder’s user base is ~75% male. This could make dating apps an excellent advertising tool for brands whose products or services are largely targeted to men
              •  

              • Your competitors probably aren’t there (yet). The competition for the most eligible singles may be fierce on dating apps, but compared to other digital advertising spaces, it may be easier for your brand to stand out. It’s a unique advertising territory that many brands simply haven’t considered yet, giving those who have an added edge by being early adopters. With an estimated 75 million people in over 190 countries using the Tinder app every month alone, the potential reach is incredible

               

              Dating App Advertising Examples

              Tinder advertising example for Rescue Matches, matching dogs with users

              Källa: https://www.thedrum.com/news/2022/09/22/lovelorn-tinder-users-can-now-feature-shelter-dogs-search-ideal-partner

              Tinder recently partnered with rescue shelters across the country to help some very swipeable pooches find their forever home. As if adding a dog to the family isn’t reward enough, it could also help you secure more swipes. A 2021 study by Honest Paws found that profile photos featuring a canine companion may get more positive attention.

              From The Drum:

              “The tie-up follows a 2021 survey, conducted by Honest Paws, which found that 70% of singles believe that a dog in their profile pic leads to more matches. This belief is supported by 60% who express themselves to be more willing to date someone holding a dog close.”

              Tinder advertising example with Domino’s distributing pizza coupons

              Källa: https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/dominos-pizza-gets-flirty-tinder-valentines-day/1280989

              As we’re all aware, it’s important to consider your audience in marketing. And that’s exactly what Domino’s UK did going all the way back to 2014, with an innovative Valentine’s Day Tinder ad campaign. Do you know who orders pizza on Valentine’s Day? Single people! And do you know who wants a coupon for that pizza? Everyone!

               

               
              There’s a reason people say your profile is a chance to “sell yourself” because ultimately, you are your own marketing manager on dating apps. Interestingly, when we consider all the information above, it’s hard not to see a dating profile as remarkably similar to a product detail page. And just like a PDP, there are certain elements that can help you in optimizing it for search (and conversion!)
               

              Choose your main photo wisely

              Your main photo is the first photo potential connections will see, and heavily determines whether they choose to learn more from your other photos and profile content.

              Similar to the main photo you choose for a product you’re selling or advertising, you’ll want the photo to be clear/in-focus, eye-catching, and prominently feature an attractive and accurate representation of the available item (in this case, you!), without others in frame.
               

              Let the pictures do some of the talking

              While there is room to provide additional information about yourself through text, just as they do with product images, photos can tell a lot of that story for you. Select an assortment of pictures that clearly display your interests, values, hobbies and more. This might mean including a photo with your dog, another of you hiking, another at an amusement park, and another marching at a protest.

              These don’t tell the whole story of who you are, but they give some important information before a single word has been read, just like lifestyle photos and infographics on PDPs.
               

              Showcase your unique value propositions

              It’s hard to argue that honesty is typically the best policy, and in the dating apps landscape, it’s absolutely crucial. Not only can it save you from frustration and disappointment, but it can also save you a lot of time, and help in finding a truly strong match faster.

              Just as you would do when considering what distinguishes your particular product from similar products in the same space, think of what unique characteristics about yourself are not only likely to be intriguing, but are also an integral aspect of your personality, values, or lifestyle.
               

              Include the most important and relevant information in your profile copy

              Want to give dating app algorithms the most information to work with in crafting potential matches that are truly personalized to you? It’s going to take a little work on your part, but it can actually be a great self-reflection session!

              Just as you consider what a prospective buyer would want to know about a product before adding to cart, what is most important for a potential suitor to know about you before sending a message? This information might vary depending on the seriousness of connections you’re looking to make, and how important something is for you in a partner. If something is a make-or-break for you, be sure to include it in your profile copy to save everyone time.

               

               
              Graphic with three professionals in Connected Commerce, Lifecycle Marketing, and Streaming+

              Our research into how dating algorithms function only solidified our suspicions that they function very similarly to the algorithms that impact our daily lives as marketers. After all, the goals of platforms like Google, Facebook, and Tinder aren’t all that different—to help in sorting through an abundance of options to present you with what you are most likely to be interested in based on key preference-determining factors like your provided information, and previous engagement.

              Thinking more specifically about marketing and advertising options, we realized that just like people, each has its own set of strengths and skills that make them a solid match for different business goals.

              In the spirit of dating profiles and Valentine’s Day being just 2 weeks away, we created Marketing Profiles for three of our services—Connected Commerce, Lifecycle Marketing, and Streaming+. Which one is the most important match for your business?

              Graphic reading “Marketing Profile: Connected Commerce"

              Name: Connected Commerce

              About Me: I’m that holistic free spirit your mother warned you about, who really and truly believes all things are connected! Rather than searching for the path of least resistance, my sights are set on crafting the path of best performance. You might call me the Cartographer of Commerce Success, because I don’t follow a templated map—I draft a custom one every time. I am your 360-degree commerce solution; if people are shopping somewhere, I’m considering how we can make that somewhere work best for you.

              Why Should You Get to Know Me: In the words of Ani DiFranco, “I am 32 flavors and then some.” I am Commerce Media, Commerce Strategy & Ops, Social Commerce, In-Store Commerce, Gaming Commerce, Commerce OTT, Data & Analytics, Creative, and Influencer. A lot of folks think they’re the “total package,” but I really am! I understand that every client journey and customer journey is unique, and that my role is to assure both are properly supported, and strategically accounted for.

              Interests: Finding the best path forward, diving into cross-channel capabilities and impact, full-funnel commerce strategies, success

              Recent Read: Marketing in 2023: 5 Big Bets for the CMO

              Where You’ll Find Me: Come learn more about me at The Commerce Summit on February 15, 2023. (I’ll be the one with a bagful of half-priced Valentine’s Day chocolates I picked up at Rite Aid on the way.) If things go well and we make a real connection (which is kinda my whole thing), we can sync up again a week later for webinar date #2 on February 22, 2023. You can also hit me up here anytime—looking forward to connecting!

              Favorite Quote: “We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”William James

              Graphic reading “Marketing Profile: Lifecycle Marketing”

              Name: Lifecycle Marketing

              About Me: I’m the trifecta of hyper-personalized, privacy-compliant communications—email marketing, mobile messaging, and on-site marketing. I work best when all three aspects of who I am are fully-integrated so I can ensure I’m saying the right thing at the right time in the right place to the right person. (Do I really mean that, or do I keep saying “right” so you see me as the “right one” for you? Yes and yes.)

              Why Should You Get to Know Me: I am a strong, capable leader that can help power your data and audience strategies in the privacy-by-default future. I’m an empathetic marketing avenue, always aiming to provide shoppers and subscribers with only the most relevant information. I believe in rewarding loyalty, and respecting user permissions and preferences.

              Interests: Collecting and leveraging zero-party and privacy-compliant first-party data, building customer loyalty, highly personalized messaging

              Recent Read: The 2023 Lifecycle Marketing Guide

              Favorite Acronyms: SMS, ESP, CLV

              Where You’ll Find Me: On-site, I often literally just pop up! And I usually have a coupon or something equally enticing to offer when I do. But you’ll also find me in your inbox, and in your texts (but only if you opted-in!) You can also reach out here to learn more about why we’d be a great match!

              Graphic reading “Marketing Profile: Streaming+”

              Name: Streaming+

              About Me: I’m a bit of an advertising force to be reckoned with, with no click-to-close box in sight! In some situations, it can even be said I’m over-the-top. I am an unskippable, scalable, targetable, data-driven dynamo, introducing audiences to new brands and services wherever they get their stream on.

              Why Should You Get to Know Me: I’m designed to reach audiences not only where they are today, but where they’ll increasingly be in the future. In the grand scheme of advertising, some folks still see streaming ads as a promising up-and-comer. But the reality is that I’ve fully arrived, and I’m reaching millions of viewers and listeners with relevant, targeted streaming audio and video ads at this very moment. (Bit of a multitasker!)

              Interests: Meeting your audience where they are, non-skippable ads, patented measurement technology that connects served impressions to marketing outcomes

              Recent Read: The Ultimate Guide to Performance Streaming

              Favorite Acronyms: OTT, cTV

              Where You’ll Find Me: On internet-enabled devices near you, including your television, tablet, desktop, and mobile device. Some of the most popular places you can find me are Hulu, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. Reach out today to learn more about how we can make streaming sparks fly!

              Favorite Karaoke Duet Song: Islands in the Stream by Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers

              Personal Catchphrase: Just livin’ the stream!

               

               

              With all this talk about the power of algorithms, and how they’re fueling search results everywhere from Snapchat to Match.com, it’s important to remember that they’re simply tools that play a part in powering what you see—not what you ultimately decide.

              It is still up to you whether you want to go on a date with a person returned in your search results, just like it’s ultimately up to you what product you buy, plumber you call, or restaurant you decide to go to based on your search results. And just like there are algorithms, photos, provided information and more to help you with those other decisions, so is the case in the commerce of love.

              As we’ve explored, choosing the right dating app for you requires considering your own goals in using the app, and weighing those against the goals of the apps themselves. So the first step is finding which app is your best match! And at the end of the day, whatever it is you’re looking for online, chances are algorithms are behind those results you see. (Not to be confused with the Al Gore Rhythm.)

              Want to learn more about how we can help your brand find true love with new and existing customers across the advertising universe? Reach out today!

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              How to create a user flow map for your website & app

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              How to create a user flow map for your website & app



              In the highly competitive world of rock climbing, some athletes perform an extreme version of ascent: a climber performs a flash climb when they complete a route on their first attempt. Climbers value world record flash climbs because each climber only gets one attempt to set a record.

              As difficult as flash climbs are, they aren’t extreme enough for some climbers. In a flash ascent, climbers can study the route, receive advice, and formulate plans. For climbers not satisfied with that level of challenge, onsight climbs are performed by climbers who not only have never completed the ascent before but haven’t even seen the route.

              Extreme athletes seek out unique challenges, taking pride in accomplishing things that most people cannot. While the risk of failure adds unique value to sports, it adds unnecessary difficulty to business processes. In the business world, you don’t define success by creating unique challenges but by creating unique solutions to minimize challenges. One of those solutions is a user flow map—a method of diagramming the pathways users take through your interface.

              A good user flow map helps businesses understand their users’ journeys, identify pain points, and plan for contingencies. This guide explains user flows, how to create user flow maps, and some best practices for designing your diagrams.

              Key takeaways:

              • User journey describes the user’s entire experience with your company, while user flow describes the steps they follow using your interface.
              • Some common shapes like ovals, rectangles, diamonds, and parallelograms have commonly understood uses in flow charts.
              • Follow best practices and use the experts at Optimizely to level up your digital experience.

               

              User flow vs. user journey

              While user flow and user journey have similar names and overlap in significant ways, you should be aware of important differences between these concepts.

              The user journey encompasses every aspect of the user’s experience with your company. The user journey begins when a user first becomes aware of your business (or becomes aware of a need you can solve) and ends with their last interaction with your company. That means that while you can’t know exactly when a user journey begins or ends, you can use customer relationship management software to identify where a user is on their journey and how to move them to the next step.

              The user flow overlaps with the user journey, but it specifically describes the pathway users follow on your website or application. For example, a user flow may begin when a user visits your website for the first time and end with a purchase. Those activities are a part of the larger user journey, but the user flow is more interested in the experience users have with your website or app.

              The user journey is interested in the user’s emotions, tangible and intangible interactions, ongoing communication, relationship building, etc.—the “people” side of the process; while the user flow is interested in the “technology” side of the process—the user’s clicks, page visits and subscriptions. The user flow and user journey describe different elements of the same relationship between your business and your users.

              image source

               

              User flow diagraming

              Your users won’t ever see your user flow map, but you and your team will refer to it throughout the life of your website or app, so while it doesn’t have to be the prettiest document, it should still be clear and user-friendly.

              While the rules of user flow diagraming aren’t set in stone, you should know some best practices and generally understand flowchart creation syntax.

              • Ovals represent the start and end point of your flow chart. Depending on your process, your user flow might have more than one start point and more than one endpoint.
              • Squares or rectangles represent individual pages or steps. In general, flow charts, squares and rectangles can be any step of a process, but in web and app design, squares and rectangles represent individual pages in the user interface.
              • Diamonds represent decisions that users must make. For example, when a user first attempts to log in to your platform, your website may prompt them to connect a Google or Facebook account, or they may log in with an email or continue as a guest. Depending on their choice, their journey through your website or app may diverge as you deliver a different experience based on their choices.
              • Parallelograms represent input required by the user. For example, you may require them to input a serial number to activate their product or provide a shipping address to receive a service.
              • Arrows indicate the direction of the flow. Your flow may include loops, crossroads, and diverging and converging pathways, so indicating the sequence of elements is essential for your user flow map to be readable. 

              Generally, those four shapes, along with arrows, are the foundational building blocks of your user flow map, but you can always use additional shapes, colors or other design elements to communicate any information you believe is relevant. Remember that the purpose of a user flow map isn’t just to follow the rules or check a box but to communicate information about the user flow. The example below shows additional shapes that other companies have used when creating flow charts.

              image source

               

              User flow design principles

              As with any form of communication, user flow maps lose some value when they omit relevant information and include too much irrelevant information. Designing a successful user flow map includes balancing several considerations to maximize the usefulness of your diagram.

              1. Establish a level of detail

              If your user flow maps are too detailed, they become convoluted and difficult to read. If they aren’t detailed enough, they aren’t useful. Establishing the correct level of granularity is an important first step in designing a user flow map.

              When it comes to designing diagrams, the golden principle is to consider the needs of your users. What kind of questions will they be trying to answer with your chart? What level of experience will they have? What will they be using this chart to do? Answering those questions will help you define the right level of detail for your user flow map.

              2. Consider alternatives

              One of the reasons user flow maps are useful is because they allow designers to visually parse the journey users go on as they traverse your website or app. Do your best to consider every alternative when designing your user flow map.

              For example, what will you do if users add items to their cart but leave without checking out? What will you do if a user provides a billing address but not a shipping address? What if a user requests a free trial but then buys the full version? Your user flow map will help you identify these crossroads and plan for contingencies.

              3. Use the right digital experience platform

              Your users’ digital experience matters. Optimizely is a powerful digital experience platform with expert tools to help with automation, A/B testing, content management, and much more.

              A user flow map only describes your customers’ journey as they interact with your digital interface. While a user map can help identify pain points and visually inspire solutions, the key to improving your customer’s experience is to improve the content of your website or app.

               

              If you’re ready to take your digital experiences to the next level, get started today to set up a meeting with an Optimizely representative today.


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              What It Is And How It Works

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              What It Is And How It Works

              Is a dedicated development team model the right option? Despite seeing several statistics showing how outsourcing helps minimize development costs, you are still determining if it’s the right choice for you.

              Well, when it comes to choosing a suitable outsourcing model, one of the essential things is knowing what your requirements are and which model will benefit your business. Choosing the best of the three outsourcing models is a difficult task.

              Don’t worry. We are here for you.

              This guide will help you decide which model is best for your business. Specifically, we will focus on a “dedicated development team model.” You will know what makes the dedicated team model better than other models. Let’s dig right in!

              What is the dedicated development  team model?

              Dedicated development team model is a type of business model that outsources software development . Usually, the client and the service provider sign an agreement that provides long-term software specialists. This is one of the most prevalent partnership models with fixed prices.

              In the dedicated development team model, the team works on a specific project full-time, reporting directly to the client. The outsourcing company assists clients in recruiting, administrative support, and maintenance. This model works best for long-term projects.

              There are many benefits to the dedicated team model, but to make an informed decision, we must also consider the alternatives.

              Dedicated development team model vs. Time and Material Model

              Another format that is usually compared with a dedicated development model is the time and materials model. In the time and material model, clients pay for the time and effort. This model gives scope for in-depth research, but it doesn’t guarantee the client will work with the same team throughout the project.

              The time & frame of this model suits short-term projects and software that doesn’t require regular updates. Both models have their perks.

              To conclude, time & frame models are best for short term projects, while the dedicated team model is best for long-term and vague requirements.

              When to choose a dedicated team model?

              A dedicated development team model can be beneficial for certain types of businesses. Your focus should be to determine if this suits your business type. Here’s, a quick checklist that will reduce your brainstorming :

              • When your business is in the early stages, i.e., a startup,
              • When the scope of work is vague,
              • When working on a complex and long-term project.

              This model is perfect if you are one of the businesses that may need to extend the contract further.Lately, we have discussed vague requirements and the liberty to extend the scope. Yes, that’s the most significant advantage of the dedicated team model, but the real question is how this works. To begin with, we will have to know how the dedicated development team model works.

              How does the DT management model work?

              Dedicated team management is divided into four steps. Read below :

              Discovery Phase :

              The first and foremost step is to find out the client’s needs. During this discovery phase, the company and client sit down together to discuss requirements, budget, and how to manage the team.

              In short, the following things are discussed in the discovery phase:

              • What are the project scopes?
              • What is the required number of team members?
              • Figure out the skills and expertise required in the team.
              • Negotiate the development costs.

              Team Set Up

              Following that, the company selects team members based on requirements. The number of developers, designers, project managers, and quality assistants depends on the requirements of the client. Companies begin to hire developers based on their requirements and demands. The core member of the team consists of :

              The dedicated team’s structure consists of the following members

              UX/UI designers

              UX/UI designers work to ensure that users have an easy and enjoyable experience while using the software.

              Quality assurance specialists

              These members monitor, inspect, and propose a measure to improve the software according to the client’s needs.

              Projects managers

              Managers are responsible for teams productivity and ensure client demands are being fulfilled

              DevOps engineers

              DevOps engineers are specialists who have a wide range of knowledge of development and operations. This includes coding, infrastructure management, and all necessary methodologies.

              Front-end & Backend Developers

              Front-end developers design the visual aspect of the website to make it easy to navigate and useful, while back-end developers refer to the structure that helps the website function properly.

              Development Phase

              The development phase is when the team starts to work on the project. The dedicated development team model is managed by the client’s team, therefore, the client assigns work to team members. The next big task is to establish a communication bridge for regular meetings, reports, and progress.

              Besides these developments, they also facilitate the following tasks :

              • Assign tasks and monitor them regularly.
              • Manage costs and taxes.
              • Establish a proper work environment.

              In this phase, roles and responsibilities are outlined, and a development plan is created, in house team. Along with that, the team starts to keep track of progress and milestones (e.g., daily calls, reviews of issues and progress, etc.).

              Once the team is set up , the main task is to keep up with the progress and manage the process well. After completion of  software, it is  released to the client’s end-users for testing, deployment, etc.

              Well , the role of outsourcing companies doesn’t end here.

              In the dedicated development team model, work continues; clients still need to update and improve in design, structure, and features. The client and the outsourcing company sign contracts that let them extend work boundaries.

              Besides this, the client also gets access to all the insidious work. Such as  clients can monitor teams and management and all the other management systems.

              Slutsats

              To sum up , Dedicated development team model can be beneficial for businesses looking to build apps or software at a reasonable cost with minimal effort required on their part, especially if you have a small budget for your project.

              Besides, you must explore your requirements and needs and then decide which model is suitable for you.

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