Archive for Elizabeth Hines


5 Chatbot Platforms for Supply Chain Operations to Consider

5 Chatbot Platforms for Supply Chain Operations to Consider

Consider these chatbot platforms for supply chain operations that can help you create artificial intelligence bots to interact with your prospects.

Chatbots are on the lips of every marketer these days hoping to automate some of their processes. These artificial intelligence computer programs are designed to conduct conversations, simulating how a human would interact. If you haven’t already, check out this introduction to chatbots for the supply chain.

Chatbots are on the lips of every marketer these days hoping to automate some of their processes. These artificial intelligence computer programs are designed to conduct conversations, simulating how a human would interact. Click To Tweet

There are countless options for platforms that let you create and customize chatbots. Here are the 5 most important chatbot platforms for supply chain operations to know and consider integrating into their websites.

5 chatbot platforms for supply chain operations

1. Chatfuel

Chatfuel is a great option for marketers who lack programming experience, as it does most of the hard work for you. Reportedly used by companies including MTV, TechCrunch, BuzzFeed, British Airways, and Adidas to create their chatbots, Chatfuel provides easy-to-use resources with a simple user interface that lets you create a chatbot in less than 15 minutes.

2. ChatScript

ChatScript is a four-time winner of the Loebner Prize for the most human-like artificial intelligence. While it doesn’t require advanced programming knowledge, it provides an open-source framework for developers to build and deploy chatbots.

3. Facebook Bots for Messenger

Facebook’s Bots for Messenger is a tool that allows businesses to build chatbots for Facebook’s Messenger platform (which is currently used by nearly a billion people). Its three main capabilities are its send/receive API, generic message templates, and the ability to customize the welcome screen users first see when interacting with your bot.

4. Botsify

A popular chatbot platform, Botsify lets anyone create bots easily without needing to write any code. It provides templates with a range of drag-and-drop functionalities. Additionally, it boasts human takeover ability to ensure a smooth transition from a bot to a human at the appropriate point in the sales funnel.

5. Flow XO

This platform offers the templates and tools necessary to create a talking bot, and lets you run and test functionalities with a built-in test console. Flow XO also offers a provision for you to connect with your customers over voice and chat when required in the conversation.

While email marketing continues to be a key tactic, marketing via messaging apps is becoming more and more expected. These chatbot platforms for supply chain operations offer ease, convenience, and a positive customer experience. They’re worth considering!

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Archive for Elizabeth Hines


How to Use Social Media to Promote Events and Conferences

How to Use Social Media to Promote Events and Conferences

Follow these 3 steps to use social media to promote events, conferences, and other business occasions.

Social media is a powerhouse tool for growing brand awareness, audience engagement, and lead generation. It’s also one of the most effective ways out there to promote special events.

Social media is a powerhouse tool for growing brand awareness, audience engagement, and lead generation. It’s also one of the most effective ways out there to promote special events. Click To Tweet

But simply creating a Facebook event and sharing it once or twice won’t get you the most bang for your buck. You need to be strategic about your use of social media to promote events and conferences.

Follow these 3 steps to make the most of social media as a promotional tool.

3 steps to use social media to promote events for your business

1. Choose your platform wisely

Not all social media channels are created equal, and neither are all events. Finding the platform that suits the unique needs of your event or conference is a big part of a successful promotional campaign. For instance, Facebook is a great option for large-scale public events, since it lets you hone in on your target audience in specific ways.

On the other hand, for corporate events like seminars, conferences, and continuing education programming, LinkedIn is your best bet. LinkedIn lets you set up your event and allows attendees to network with each other before the event even happens.

When it comes to more informal events, Instagram is a great way to identify and engage with potential attendees. The platform’s highly visual nature is ideal for sharing imagery related to your event, and it’s an ideal place to use hashtags.

2. Pick a hashtag

If your social media circle includes people under the age of 35, you’ve probably noticed that pretty much every wedding, graduation party, and even family vacation has its own hashtag these days. Corporate events are no different. Hashtags are a fun and memorable way to foster a sense of community, and they have the important benefit of being an easy way to group all information, questions, and comments about your event.

The most effective hashtags tend to be short, memorable, and easy to read. It’s also worthwhile to do a quick search to make sure your hashtag hasn’t been used before. In all posts related to your event, use your hashtag prominently, and encourage your audience to do the same if they share or post independently.

3. Don’t forget about content

One of the most effective ways to promote events on social media is — you guessed it — content. Blog posts, related case studies, testimonials from former events, promotional interviews with potential attendees or keynote speakers, videos, case studies, and white papers/industry reports are all content types to consider.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you promote a new event. Chances are, existing content can be repurposed and reposted on social media channels. You’re serving the dual purpose of promoting your event and driving more traffic to view and interact with your content.

When it comes to promoting events, social media is your friend. Approaching it strategically can help you raise awareness, attendance, and interaction and reach for your brand.

How do you use social media to promote events?

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Archive for Elizabeth Hines


How to Use Guest Posting as Part of Your Content Strategy

How to Use Guest Posting as Part of Your Content Strategy

Guest posting can help you build your reputation as a thought leader, grow your contact list, improve your SEO, and expose your content to new audiences.

At Fronetics, we use guest posting as a part of our own — and many of our clients’ — content strategies. Essentially, we partner with a relevant influencer or company and swap content to post on each other’s blogs. It can be a really effective way to reach new, relevant audiences and provide interesting perspectives and voices to keep your core audience engaged.

What’s so great about guest posting?

Guest posting has all kinds of benefits. Every time you post as a guest, you expose your content to a whole new audience. We talk about the importance of exposure all the time when it comes to content marketing. Your biggest asset isn’t your products or services; it’s your expertise. Guest posting helps you establish your brand as a thought leader.

Guest blogs can be a really effective way to reach new, relevant audiences and provide interesting perspectives and voices to keep your core audience engaged. Click To Tweet

In addition to posting with industry influencers and peer brands, guest posting for larger publications can be hugely beneficial, for obvious reasons. Not only are you introducing your brand and content to a broad audience, you’re associating yourself with an established authoritative source.

By the same token, having other brands author guest posts on your own blog is a great idea as well. When key influencers write for your blog, they bring their audience directly to you, allowing you to tap into a new and relevant set of prospects. Not only that, by inviting peers to contribute to your content, you’re forging and strengthening relationships within the industry.

Guest posting is great for SEO

We’re always talking about how to improve your SEO. One benefit of guest posting that’s often overlooked is that it can significantly improve your search engine rankings.

Search engines use backlinks from other websites, particularly popular ones, as part of their algorithms that determine how search results are ranked. According to online business expert Sarah Peterson, in a guest article for the Huffington Post, “You can use the opportunity of your guest post to include 1-2 backlinks to strong pieces of content you want to rank for.”

Grow your contact list

We all know that email marketing is hugely effective and profitable, if your contact list is strong and effectively segmented. Another often overlooked benefit of guest posting is that it has the potential to strengthen and enrich your email marketing efforts.

Because you’re being exposed to new audiences, both as a guest blogger and when guests write for your blog, you have the opportunity to target and cultivate new leads from relevant sources. Use guest posts as an opportunity to usher prospects to lead generation campaigns on your own website.

Says Peterson, “if you’re not using this marketing strategy, you could be leaving a ton of email subscribers on the table.”

How do you use guest posting in your content strategy?

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5 Secrets to Creating Infographics that Will Wow Supply Chain Buyers

5 Secrets to Creating Infographics that Will Wow Supply Chain Buyers

Infographics are a content powerhouse, but creating them isn’t always easy. These five tips will help you make the most of this format.

Infographics can be one of the most effective content mediums. We know that digital natives, who make up the majority of B2B buyers today, prefer short-form, highly visual content. So infographics make a lot of sense when it comes to speaking their language.

Infographics can be one of the most effective content mediums. We know that digital natives, who make up the majority of B2B buyers today, prefer short-form, highly visual content. Click To Tweet

Infographics are also prime candidates for reposts on social media. But, if you’ve ever tried to create one yourself, you know making an effective infographic is a lot harder than it sounds.

It might seem daunting at first, but these five tips will go a long way to help you in creating infographics that are effective in engaging supply chain buyers.

5 tips for creating infographics that engage supply chain buyers

1.      It’s all about the title

Well, maybe not all, but your title does matter a lot. When it comes to infographics, your audience will definitely be judging a book by its cover. This means that your title should be accurate, short (70 characters or less), descriptive, and engaging. This is how your audience will decide whether they’ll click and read.

2.      Colors matter

You’d be surprised by how much people are influenced by color in their content choices. The color scheme you choose should make your readers feel comfortable and should be visually appealing. This generally means sticking to two main colors and using no more than four colors. Use clear, bold colors for your main colors, and subtle, warm tones for complimentary colors.

3.      Bump up your SEO

There aren’t a lot of downsides to infographics, but, unfortunately, there is one: publishing them on your blog doesn’t do much for your SEO, since text in infographics is contained in the image and isn’t recognized by search bots. But there’s an easy way around this: Include a transcript of your text with your graphic. I recommend writing at least 350 words, in addition to the graphic, to boost SEO.

4.      Keep it simple

There’s a reason that simplicity is king when it comes to graphic design online. Increasingly, designers and businesses are favoring clean, minimalistic layouts. This means few unnecessary elements and plenty of white space so as not to overwhelm readers and to convey information without unnecessary distractions.

5.      Get interactive!

If you’ve mastered creating infographics and are feeling ambitious, try taking on the next big thing: interactive designs. This means your readers can engage with your content, whether by hovering over it, clicking on it, or even answering questions or taking a quiz.

There are a number of infographic-creation tools available on the internet these days. At Fronetics, we really like using Canva, which has plenty of templates that are easy to use and do a lot of the design work for you.

What are your tips for creating infographics?

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Archive for Elizabeth Hines


Should You Let Your Employees Work from Home?

Should You Let Your Employees Work from Home?

Considering instituting a work from home policy for your business? Ask yourself these three questions first.

As the supply chain becomes increasingly digital, many employers may be considering implementing a work from home policy. After all, we know one way to attract millennial talent is to allow for this kind of flexibility.

But before you make the decision to open the door to a work from home arrangement, consider these three questions.

3 questions to ask before implementing a work from home policy

1.      Are your employees organized and self-motivated?

Ask any employee who works remotely, and they’re very likely to tell you that working from home makes them happier and more productive. And they aren’t necessarily wrong. There’s certainly evidence to suggest that with today’s technology, there’s essentially no downside to working from home, and it does often enhance productivity.

But working from home isn’t for everyone. Writing for the Harvard Business Review, marketing strategist and Duke University Professor Dorrie Clark suggests that workers considering a work-from-home arrangement first take a moment to introspect and understand how they work best.

According to author Natalie Sisson, “If you’re good at managing your own time, and you’re productive and have discipline, you’ll be able to do work from anywhere. But if you need to be in one place, and you need to go into an office, or need to be surrounded by the same people all the time, it probably won’t work for you.”

2.      Is there a wealth of local talent?

One of the less-often-considered factors when businesses consider remote work arrangements is actually an important potential benefit for employers. Not every location has a tremendous amount of local talent, but that doesn’t have to limit your business. If you’re in an area where finding qualified employees is a challenge, making remote options available can be a big resource — essentially, the world is your oyster!

Not every location has a tremendous amount of local talent, but that doesn’t have to limit your business. If you’re in an area where finding qualified employees is a challenge, making remote options available can be a big resource. Click To Tweet

Consider having remote hires come onsite for training, team-building, or orientation, and make sure they’re equipped to meet the requirements of their positions. Once that initial foundation is laid, and expectations are clear, they can work from anywhere in the world — and save you the office space.

3.      How much collaboration is required?

Are you considering remote work options for positions that require extensive collaboration with other employees? If so, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it does require some additional forethought.

With the technology available today, remote collaboration should theoretically be a piece of cake. But it’s important that everyone be on the same page about expectations. If remote workers are needed in a scheduled daily meeting, for example, it’s important that that expectation be made clear from the outset.

It’s also crucial to make sure that remote workers are given the resources they need to collaborate with their colleagues, and that they have a good understanding of the technology they’ll be using.

Work from home arrangements can be beneficial for employees and employers alike. But it’s important to consider all the variables to ensure that it’s the right thing for your business.

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