Why Ecommerce Brands Should Leverage User-Generated Content

With more than 24 million online stores in the e-commerce industry and lots of brands competing for undivided attention, an e-commerce entrepreneur may find it challenging to position themselves in front of their target clients. However, you can stay ahead of the competition and boost sales if you understand the power of user-generated content.


But what is user-generated content or UGC? UGC is authentic, unpaid content created by users of a certain product. It can be in the form of comments, testimonials, tweets, pictures and Facebook statuses.


So why should your company leverage user-generated content? Here’s how UGC can help you achieve your company’s goals.


1) Improves Brand Awareness


Besides SEO, social channels like UGC are a powerful driver for brand awareness. Statistics has it that 37 percent of consumers use social networks to research a product before making a purchase. In another research, 52 percent of customers say that watching videos give them confidence in their purchasing decisions.


It is, therefore, essential for brands to track reputation and unveil consumer insights. You can as well add reviews to a third-party site since users tend to view them as more reputable.


2) Enables You to Provide Better Customer Service


You can only improve your customers’ experience by identifying and understanding how consumers feel about the product.


Create loyal customers by allowing the existing ones voice their feelings and thoughts about your brand. This way, you will know their grievances and resolve any of their problems. Furthermore, providing a platform where people can air their opinions about your product encourages them to stay on your website longer and freely discuss their problems with other customers.


3) Nurtures Trust through Authenticity


Research shows that 92 percent of online consumers rely on recommendations from others. The big problem is that entrepreneurs spend most of their time running paid ads and making captivating posts to lure people to purchase from them. This alone does not give consumers enough reason to do business with you if you do not show real testimonials from real users.


Social proof assists companies to become more transparent and reputable.


4) Increase Website Engagement


User-generated content makes consumers feel more connected to you. Users know that you value their experiences with your brand and in turn, they will be more engaged and place you top on their list.


Rather than placing photos of your products on your website, it is better to include user-generated content images. This technique encourages visitors to purchase your product.



Will VR Technology Change Marketing Forever?

Virtual Reality has been a topic of discussion for years, but there has been significant progress in 2016. While there is still a lot of work to be made before it becomes an established technology, now is the best time to look at the significance of VR in business and how it will affect marketing.


What is VR?


Virtual Reality is the use of computer hardware and software to create a simulated environment. Unlike conventional user interfaces, VR immerses users and enables them to interact with 3D worlds, placing them inside the experience.


VR technology is becoming cheaper thanks to the increase in new developments and consumer interests. This is creating a massive demand in the marketplace as well as brands that want to try out the technology.


Why is VR Very Effective?


Those with little or no experience of VR will probably wonder what all the fuss is all about. Here’s how VR is effective:


1) Immersive – A more visually and engaging technology is more immersive than television, social media, and mobile devices. The immersive nature of VR creates the possibility of consumers returning to your content to check out on any details they missed the first time.


2) Novelty – VR is the newest technology. It is cool and is something that has never been seen before. This already creates an attraction in the marketplace.


3) Story-basedVirtual Reality is typically rooted in storytelling. It is so natural that when a new technology emerges, it affects how stories are shared or told. You have the formula for success if you have VR as a visual medium for storytelling.


How Virtual Reality Is Being Used


The VR technology has a huge potential in marketing. Here are some of the uses of this technology:


  1. a) Customer Education – Involving consumers in a certain topic is surely one of the best ways to teach them. For instance, giving consumers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on during the production process gives them a connection to the brand.


  1. b) Amazing experiences – You can instantly transport your clients to any scene in the world, thanks to Virtual Reality. Marriot International recently partnered with Relevant and Framestore VR Studio to take customers on virtual tours of vacation destinations like London and Hawaii. The technique was a huge success.


VR technology gives marketers endless, exciting and promising advancements in the marketing industry. It is a powerful technique of revolutionizing the way marketers engage with consumers, which will create a lasting effect on many businesses.



Wilhelmina Austin Launches Brown Agency after Acquiring Heyman Talent-South

It was the beginning of October 2015 when Wilhelmina Austin acquired Heyman Talent-South to re-launch as The Brown Agency. Combining the two, which are among the most trusted agencies in the region renders The Brown Agency to be the only full-service talent agency in Austin and among the best in Texas. The two joined forces pulls out the outstanding strengths and controls from both entities to bring out a stronger organization.

The formal agency, Wilhelmina Austin was launched in 2010 by Justin Brown who was the supreme head. With time it became one of the most respected and trusted agency in central Texas for modeling talent. On the other hand, Heyman Talent-South had become one of the most prosperous agencies in Austin for acting talent. Merging the two entities and launching a new one, the Brown Agency gave their customers an all-rounded portfolio of skilled talent. The combination also opened doors for more talent opportunities across the country.

The main offices of the Brown Agency will be in Dallas, headed by Justin Brown serving as the CEO as well as the president. Michael B. Bonnée, the founder of Heyman Talent-South, will apply his experience in the theatrical unit of the Brown Agency.

Justine Brown applauded the merging of the two companies and said that it is an action that has led to the birth of a full-service agency. He says that the transaction is an integral part of their strategic growth and increased commitment to serve their great talent as well as their clients. Brown added that the two companies are good in picking the best, developing them on a better market level so as to deliver the most professional and dependable talent.

“We are now able to do this on a larger scale,” Justin Brown said.

Michael B. Bonnée also expressed his happiness to join the Brown Agency by saying that the co-joined knowledge, talent and experience is a very exciting opportunity.

Although they did not give the details on the financial bit of the transaction, a formal celebration of the launch was planned to happen thereafter.

About The Brown Agency

Brown Agency is a full-service entity offering model and talents expertise. It was formally known as the Wilhelmina Austin before combining with Heyman Talent-South to form The Brown Agency. The company has grown to the top-notch where it aims at the big market standards and expectations that have never been experienced in Central Texas. They have worked with big brands such as Dell, Louis Vuitton, L’oreal, Toyota and other well-known companies in the world.

Most fashion models have graced the runways for the Austin Fashion week, New York Fashion Week, Miami Swim Week, Dallas Fashion Week and many more shows. “We are only as good as our talent,” Justin Brown always says.


Mobile Apps Lose Impact

Growth in the app market is slowing. TechCrunch reports that Flurry released a study on January 12 that states app growth has only increased by 11 percent over last year. Marketers looking to engage demographics through mobile apps will have to get inventive and understand the changing landscape.


Many users are concerned about a lack of privacy. They are uncomfortable with their private data being mined through social apps so they have turned to apps that seem to offer greater privacy. This could potentially explain why the personalization category, as measured by Flurry, reports a 46 percent decline in user engagement. Consumers don’t want to be tracked and they don’t want to be told what they like. They do like a few things. Apps that offer smooth mobile payments are preferential and app categories like shopping, sports and especially business and finance are seeing more users. Marketers would benefit from turning their attention from social platforms to apps that reach a specific market.


In other words, knowing where your preferred customer lives online may become less important. Instead of following your customer, let them find you by positioning your advertising and marketing on channels relevant to your industry. This old-school strategy might offer more marketing success than invading, or appearing to invade, a potential customer’s privacy.


If your business lies within an industry suited to provide app-based services, especially in the above mentioned industries that are witnessing continued growth, then it makes sense to keep your apps. First, run an audit to see how useful the app is in attracting customers and making conversions. Then, ensure the app is useful and efficient.


TechCrunch predicts marketers will mine contact lists, use email and will witness a rise in app mergers and acquisitions as well as the fading of venture capital-backed apps.

Marketing Bikinis On LinkedIn: The Genius Of Candace Galek

Candace Galek, CEO of Bikini Luxe, took a small online retail business that she operated off her small dining room to a major player in the swimsuit industry with innovative marketing techniques, which she attributes to her need to market her startup on a budget. Utilizing influencer marketing, Galek worked with her “super fans” as she calls them to promote her brand and increase consumer engagement.


However, Bikini Luxe’s success can be attributed to Galek’s social media marketing on LinkedIn. While not the social media platform that comes to mind for a bikini startup, galek used LinkedIn to show a woman’s derriere in a bikini bottom while asking fellow LinkedIn users if it was appropriate. The support and outrage got Galek noticed, which was her goal; her account was even taken down temporarily, before being reinstated.


As a model from sunny Miami, Florida, Galek was used to photoshoots clad in swimwear, nevertheless, she decided that she would rather sell bikinis, rather than model them. Even at a young age, Galek knew she would be an entrepreneur, at and age 29, she’s made her dream come true. With over 500,000 followers on multiple social media channels, including Pinterest, Galek is considered a savvy marketer as well, so much so that she been featured in Forbes and asked to write for Inc. Magazine. Her goal is to build Bikini Luxe into the largest resortwear and designer swimwear brand in the world, and with her impressive marketing skills, she just may do so.


Mikhail Blagosklonny

Dr. Mikhail Blagosklonny is a distinguished physician-scientist who studied aging and cancer. Currently, he is a professor of oncology at Roswell Park Institute, New York. In his education life, Blagosklonny received a master degree in internal medicine. He then went ahead to earn a Ph.D. in cardiology and experimental medicine from the First Pavlov Medical University of St. Petersburg. He was also given the position of an associate professor of medicine at the New York Medical College. He then rose to the position of a senior scientist at Ordway Research Institute, which he held until 2009.

Blagasklonny interest in research includes targeted cancer and cancer therapies that can protect the normal cell from damage, as well as anti-aging drugs and underlying mechanisms for aging. According to the result of the research, Blagasklonny has managed to formulate a hypothesis describing the possible role of TOR (Target of rapamycin) signaling in cancer and aging. In the hypothesis, he proposed the use of rapamycin, which is a popular drug for cancer treatment and life extension. The drug is made of macrolide compound that is used to coat coronary stent and prevent organ transplant rejection. The compound is also used to treat a lung disease known as lymphangioleiomyomatosis. The drug is useful when it comes to the inhibition of the B-cells and T-cells activation. It inhibits the activation of these cells by reducing the production rate of interleukin-2.

Perhaps, Dr. Mikhail Blagosklonny is one of the passionate advocates of the research on the use of rapamycin drug in cancer treatment. Apart from the hypothesis, the research done by Dr. Blagosklonny range from cellular and molecular biology to clinical investigation, which includes cell cycle and new anticancer strategies. With his research, Dr. Mikhail has managed to improve the state of art and technologies that are used in the study of cancer and its treatments. Visit Google Scholar for more info.

Tesla, Progress, and Fee Structures for Supercharging Stations

Tesla Motors Inc. has announced a change to the structure of Supercharging station fees. A change is necessary because a great expansion of stations is underway. Expansions come with costs. Those Tesla owners who were quite fond of free charging capabilities are likely unhappy about having to reach into their wallet to pay for charging. Such is the nature of progress. Tesla’s free charging stations could be deemed a brilliant short-term marketing strategy.


Few people have not seen a “free trial offer” for a product. The idea at work is a customer takes something out for a test run and, if suitably impressed, continues on as a paying customer. No, buying a Tesla is not the same as signing up for a magazine subscription. Once someone purchases a Tesla vehicle, he or she owns it until the model is sold. Since Tesla vehicles reflect such a radical departure from the common automobile in the marketplace, a few sweeteners must be in place. Free charging would be a great sweetener.


Trying something new requires an incentive. Free supercharging is definitely an incentive. Additionally, when there is a limited number of charging stations, free charging cuts down on annoyances on being inconvenienced to drive far.


Tesla is a growing company. The types of cars the company sells are growing in popularity. This means more supercharging stations must be built. Increased production of stations comes with costs. Consumers end up paying those costs.


The cost-conscious can take solace is some very good news. Tesla will be soon rolling out the Model 3 sedan, a lower-priced model. The lower price may offset charging fees. More good news exists. The fees associated with supercharging come into effect when an annual limit has been surpassed. Those who do not drive beyond the limit still reap promised rewards.


The Nintendo Switch Reflects Critical Point In The Company’s History

Nintendo is always at work trying to release incredible new products that consumers will appreciate. By “appreciate”, it is meant they choose to buy the product when first released at full price. The costs of developing new products are not exactly cheap. No guarantees exist that anything Nintendo manufactures is going to sell. Right now, a lot of fingers are crossed in Nintendo’s offices regarding the development of the Nintendo Switch. The Switch is a really interesting-looking console designed to deliver a mix of home and portable function.


Nervousness abounds with the release of the Nintendo Switch because the company really does need a hit. The company has suffered from loss in market share due to competition from mobile gaming systems. Continual losses in market share mean less revenue running into a company’s coffers. This is an obvious problem. Lesser profits means less money for development. Coming up with something new like the Nintendo Switch becomes a lot more difficult when fewer funds are available.


Another problem, a really serious problem, also presents itself when a company suffers a loss of market share. Popularity declines. How could it not? Fewer people are buying the products the company puts out. A disastrous issue here would be the damage presented to the company’s brand. Once a brand is relegated to “also ran” or “has been” status, clawing back to a prominent position in an industry becomes difficult.


Nintendo has a very storied history in the global gaming landscape. The brand would not exactly be destroyed after one or two years of weak sales. If the Nintendo Switch does not reflect improvements in sales, then the company could be in serious trouble. More and more embarrassing years of market indifference begin adding up. Nintendo has a lot riding on the Nintendo Switch’s March 2017 release.


What Twitter Can Do to Avoid Being Sold

When Twitter came into existence around a decade ago, it offered something highly innovative at the time: a social network that lets users share short messages with a list of subscribers. The idea worked quite well and the new social networking site began attracting various types of users, including individuals that just want to stay in touch with their friends, businesses looking for a way to promote their products and services, mainstream and alternative news services working to share the latest with their audience and many others.


Twitter became a household name and the second most popular social networking service after Facebook. Its user base grew exponentially, with the latest figures showing that it has close to 317 million monthly active users. Despite its impressive growth, Twitter has always had trouble in one key area: making money. Since its launch in 2006, it has lost more than $2 billion and still isn’t profitable. As expected, investors aren’t too happy about the situation, which has given rise to speculation that the microblogging service may be sold in the near future.


However, some industry experts believe Twitter can avoid this and actually start turning a profit, if only it gets back the innovative spirit that put it in the spotlight in the first place. Several examples of this have been put forward. One idea involves changing the way users interact with those they follow by giving them an easy way to filter content based on what they find most interesting and relevant.


A more ambitious plan involves Twitter-enabled appliances. For example, an Internet-enabled fridge could send out messages to household members with images of the contents that remain or notify them if they’re low on a certain type of food item they use regularly. Further integration with home automation systems is also a possibility, which could be monetized by a monthly subscription instead of ads, thus providing Twitter with a regular stream of revenue.


InnovaCare Inc. has announced the Addition of Three executives to their Leadership team

Innovacare is among the top Medicaid and Medicare Advantage organizations that specialize in providing health care services in Puerto Rico. The organization added three executive leaders in the year 2016 as announced by Rick Shinto, the president as well as the Chief Executive Officer of the organization. The new leaders are Jonathan Meyers, Penelope Kokkinides, and Mike Sortino.

Jonathan Meyers was appointed as the Chief Actuary Officer of the organization. Before this appointment, he was working at the largest carrier in New Jersey, Medicare and Medicaid for Horizon BCBS as the Director of Actuarial services. He has also served at HealthCare Partners in New York as the Chief Actuary and Division of Heritage Medical Systems as the VP of Managed Care as well as CFO at different times of his tenure. Previously Meyers was also providing employee’s benefit consultation services to big unions and employers such as International Paper, SEIU 1199, AXA Financial and Northwell Health among others.

Penelope Kokkinides was named as the Chief Administrative Officer of Innovacare, Inc. she has been working in the industry for more than two years gaining experience in most government programs as well as managed care services. She is extensively knowledgeable on how to develop clinical programs and to manage most health care processes. She aims at improving organizational infrastructure and operations efficiency. Previously Kokkinides has successfully held executive positions in different organizations such as Centerlight HealthCare, Touchstone Health, AmeriChoice and in a division of UnitedHealth Group.

Mike Sortino was hired as the Chief Accounting Officer in the organization. Previously he was working with Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co. as a controller and for five years for HCC Specialty as a Chief Financial Officer. He possesses a vast experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry as well as public accounting.

Shinto said that the three leaders bring massive experience, expertise as well as professional integrity to improve the quality of services offered at Innovacare, Inc.

About Innovacare Inc.

Innovacare, Inc. is an organization that offers managed health care services in Puerto Rico. Dr. Rick Shinto is the CEO for InnovaCare Health Solutions. His various honors include the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for New Jersey. The organization operates under two advantage programs namely PMC Medicare Choice and MMM Healthcare. PMC Medicare Choice has over 200, 000 members and it is served by more than 7,500 service providers. Innovacare has a broad benefit coverage working in a coordinated model as they manage two allocated Medicaid plans under the general Governmental Health Plan (GHP) of the region. The organization is working diligently to provide quality healthcare through the creation of coordinated models of managed care.

Read more about Dr. Rick Shinto in Businesswire.com.

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