Oct 30

Beware of Internet Trolls

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Beware of Internet Trolls - BMT Micro

There is a particular beast out there that every online business should beware of. This beast enjoys creating conflict on the Internet and is fueled by arguments it creates in online communities. It craves attention from others and will do anything just to get a reaction from someone. Encountering one can be a disturbing and even frightening experience for a business that has never had to deal with a beast like this before. But being able to identify an Internet troll is half the battle and learning how to deal with one is an important skill for any online business to master.

As we mentioned before, a troll is someone who craves attention and feels rewarded when they create any sort of altercation. Trolls view blogs, chat rooms, forums and social media as a challenge to create the biggest argument or upset the most people in a dramatic way. The main tool of an Internet troll is accusation. They will turn your own words against you and twist your statements to cause any sort of disruption. This is why an online business must be strategic when getting involved in any sort of communication with a troll.

Any time you give a troll attention, you are giving it exactly what it wants and run the risk of tarnishing your brand or online presence. Since a troll’s ultimate goal is to get attention, simply ignoring them could be your best tactic. It is proven to be effective because when the troll does not get the response or reaction they are seeking, they will most likely go away on their own. So if you find yourself under a troll attack, just ignore it.

If you become a target of rumors or misinformation that is spread by an Internet troll, your first reaction may be to fight back. But if you choose to respond to a troll, the best way to do so is with facts. Keep your remarks to an minimum, state your facts and move on. Don’t respond in anger or with any emotion. Most of the time trolls are just looking for a reaction and will thrive on any kind of negative attention. Usually there is no point in trying to reason with a troll but if they are being particularly offensive, you can also delete their comments. It’s best to use this tactic as your last option because by deleting their posts, you are giving them a reason to come back and publish another comment.

Sometimes your business may not need to be the one who fights a troll. If you have a loyal online community or fan base, there is a chance they may take matters into their own hands and fight the troll off. The bad news is if your audience is not familiar with the art of battling Internet trolls, it is possible for this tactic to get out hand. So as an online business you will need to closely monitor the conversations of your followers and fans in your online communities. Be an active member in your community so your business can step in if trolling gets out of hand or becomes a problem.

Is an online world without trolls possible? Probably not since trolls gravitate to anywhere online users interact. Even though you cannot control whether or not you will become a troll’s target, you can decide if you will become a troll’s victim. Knowing that a troll is only seeking attention, the most important thing for a business to remember is to not feed the troll. Trolls feed on your response and their only purpose is to antagonize and cause trouble. If you make this mistake it will only lead to engaging in an unwinnable, argument that only intensifies the more you “feed” it.

Does your business have experience dealing with Internet trolls? Do you have any magical tactics to fight them off? Feel free to share how your business handles Internet trolls by posting in the comments!

 

Oct 23
Reading Time: 4 minutes

       Why You Should Consider Using Reddit - BMT Micro

Despite only being 10 years old, Reddit has quickly become one of the largest sites on the Internet. According to reports from Reddit, the site has almost 160 million unique visitors a month and 7 billion page views per month. Reddit also revealed that 1.8 million users cast almost 24 million votes in a single month, which is a significant amount of engagement. With numbers like this, businesses everywhere are trying to learn how to utilize the massive platform to drive traffic to their own sites. But Reddit may be one of the hardest places on the Internet to do any sort of marketing since the community takes a strong stance against spam and/or promotional attempts. With that being said, if you take the time to understand how Reddit works, there are still quite a few ways businesses can take advantage of the community.

If you aren’t familiar with Reddit, you’re probably going to have no idea what is going on the first time you visit the site. Don’t be fooled though. It may look complicated but its functionality is pretty great. Reddit also gets easier when it is actually useful to you, so for starters, it helps if you become an active member of a few subreddits that you care about.

Reddit is made up of many smaller, user-created discussion forums that are topically themed. These are known as subreddits and anyone can create one focused on the topic of their choice. Reddit users have definitely taken advantage of this too. When browsing the site, you will find thousands of subreddits covering nearly every topic imaginable. But how exactly can a business use this to their advantage?

Think about it this way, how many times have you read or heard somewhere that you need to find or establish your target audience in order to reach potential customers? I’m sure your answer will be “a lot” since finding your target audience is a fundamental part of any marketing strategy. The great thing about Reddit is your audience is automatically divided in the subreddits. This gives businesses an opportunity to find out what people are talking about in their industry or product genre, and you could even get a jump on trends before your competition. But before you start jumping into the conversations on subreddits, you will need to understand how people think and interact in the particular ones you would like to target.

One of the best places to start is with the top posts of all time in a subreddit. These are important because they will show you the type of content a particular subreddit appreciates the most. This also gives business an opportunity to find out what potential customers are talking about and what information they are seeking. The feedback and opinions from Reddit users on subreddits can be a great source of insight for a business and could be a valuable tool in future marketing campaigns.

Reddit_top_posts_screenshot

To have a clear understanding of subreddits, it is important to know some of the Reddit terminology. As we stated earlier, subreddits are basically individual communities that are focused around one specific topic. Each subreddit has their own unique tone, set of rules, and appreciates different types of content. There are two types of content that can be found in subreddits: self posts which include a title and text and link posts which include a title and link.

It is important to note that one of these types can be disable or not accepted as well as the other depending on the subreddit. This is why it is important to know the audience of a particular subreddit before approaching it. Posting the right content to the correct one is vital to making sure your submission doesn’t get downvoted into nothingness.

One of the most interesting parts about Reddit is that unlike most other sites that are strictly controlled by a team of moderators or editors, Reddit is controlled by its users. Everything on Reddit is driven by “karma,” which reflects your standing in the community based on positive and negative points (upvotes and downvotes) on comments you’ve made or links you’ve submitted. Every Reddit user can vote on every link or discussion posted and everyone’s vote counts the same amount. An upvote means that you think post is good or you agree with it and a downvote means the opposite. Pay attention to the posts in each subreddit that get upvoted the most and which types of comments get upvoted and downvoted the most. This way you have a clear understanding of popular opinions on common topics in your niche area.

Although upvotes and downvotes are meant to be used to identify good and bad posts, they are also often used to express users opinions. Since the content on Reddit is controlled by its users, they shape Reddit by their own opinions and beliefs. This gives users a sense of ownership in the community and increases interaction. It is a good idea for a business to target smaller but highly relevant subreddits (ideally with at least 5,000 subscribers). Your content is more likely to get upvotes in smaller subreddits rather than larger ones where your posts may get lost in all the noise.

The trick to being successful on Reddit is that there is not one. You have to become a member and genuinely contribute great content if you want any results for your time or to drive any sort of traffic to your site. If you create great content that is relevant to the users in the subreddits you decide to target, you will be rewarded with valuable advice and guidance. But, having a clear understanding of the communities you want to interact with is crucial if you want to have a successful and beneficial experience on Reddit.

 

Oct 16
Reading Time: 3 minutes

How Color Impacts Your Online Business - BMT Micro

Colors impact everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are developing software or branding your business, the colors you use will define your audience’s mood and influence their response. Color has a massive influence on our attitudes and emotions, and thus the decision we make. The color schemes an online business uses can encourage people to click a call-to-action button, browse a website longer, or make a purchase. Using the right colors can also give a business an edge over the competition and convey messages effectively to meet the needs of their target audience. However, not just any color will do. There is actually a science behind how people react to colors that many online businesses are beginning to tap into to increase their sales.

Color psychology is the study of how color influences the decisions people make. Color psychology allows online businesses to predict how customers will respond to marketing messages based on the color of the copy, call-to-actions and links. And more importantly, when a business has a clear understanding of color psychology, they can use that knowledge to boost conversion rates. Research from QuickSprout even indicates that “90% of all product assessments have to do with color and color is 85% of the reason shoppers purchased a specific product.”

So, bottom line, the proper mix of colors can actually increase an online business’s sales. But color is a tricky thing and you have to use it in the right way with the right audience. We have gathered a few tips and facts to help you start incorporating color psychology into your landing pages or website.

Studies show that women don’t like gray, orange and brown; they prefer the colors blue, purple, and green. Most people think that the majority of women love the color pink but just a small percentage actually choose it as their favorite color. So if you are trying to improve the appeal of your site or marketing efforts to female visitors, use blue, purple and green to improve your conversions. Men, on the other hand do not like purple, orange and brown so stick to blue, green and black when targeting male visitors. Children and younger generations tend to prefer warmer colors associated with positivity and high energy like red, orange, pink and yellow.

Yellow is seen as a color of warning, which is why it is used for things like warning signs and traffic signals. Brands, on the other hand, use yellow as a way to show they are fun and friendly. Yellow stimulates the brain’s excitement center so the playful, fun feeling associated with yellow may be a result of heightened emotion and response, not sheer joy. For an online business, heightened emotion during any website experience is only a good thing in small doses. Thus, something like a yellow call-to-action may create just enough emotion needed to increase conversions.

Green is very easy on the eyes, which gives site visitors a more relaxed feeling while browsing. Green is also common on websites passionate about environmental issues. Studies show that when customers see green on a site, they tend to feel calmer, more comfortable and confident when making a purchase decision.

Blue is one of the most-used colors but with good reason. A lot of people like blue because it conveys a feeling of trust, serenity, and efficiency. If an online business wants to be seen as trustworthy and efficient, try using blue in strategic locations on a landing page or website.

Orange can be used a fun color and some suggest that it helps stimulate physical activity and confidence. Orange also suggests urgency, which make messages more noticeable and actionable. But orange can also been seen as overwhelming. If it is used excessively, the color may be overpowering and ultimately distract shoppers.

Red can be a great color to draw attention to an element, like a call-to-action. It is one of the highest-converting colors for call-to-actions along with green, orange, and yellow. Red can also be overwhelming so it needs to be used in moderation.

The color black suggests power and luxury. It is an excellent color to use if your business deals with costly and luxury items because it drives confidence to shoppers.

White is primarily used as a background color because it contrasts well with a majority of text colors. Most well designed websites today use plenty of whitespace to create a sense of spaciousness and breathability.

The internet is a colorful place and an online business can accomplish a lot by using color in the right way, with the right audience, and for the right purpose. Regardless of what your business is selling, it is essential to ensure that your colors are working correctly within each aspect of your marketing efforts. Keep in mind that not one particular color is “best” and you will need to test different color options to discover what works best for your business.

Oct 9
Reading Time: 2 minutes

  Personalized Marketing Trends Worth Your Attention - BMT Micro

One of the biggest challenges online businesses face today is creating a shopping experience that stands out from the rest. Consumers now expect tailored and personalized experiences while shopping online and “74% of online consumers get frustrated when content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests” (Janrain & Harris Interactive). Fortunately, personalized marketing trends offer an opportunity for businesses to reinvent a buyer’s online shopping experience.

Personalized marketing is the ultimate form of targeted marketing and is most often an automated process that utilizes data to craft individual messages to online users. Furthermore, when it is used correctly, personalized marketing enables businesses to connect with users on a more personal and in-depth level which results in higher conversions and ROI.

The following are a few personalized marketing trends that may be worth your attention:

Programmatic Marketing automates the decision-making process and optimizes the performance of campaigns, using artificial intelligence and real-time bidding. It gives online advertisers an opportunity for campaigns to hit the right audience at the right time and ultimately generate higher-quality leads. With programmatic advertising, buyers are served more relevant ads that are based on their wants, needs, and preferences.

Retargeting is also a type of programmatic advertising that uses cookie-based technology. The cookies store data about the user like the pages they viewed or how long they stayed on a certain page. We have written about retargeting (also known as remarketing) in one our previous blogs, check it out for more information

Consumer-owned Content Marketing is a fairly new personalized marketing approach. It displays the owned content of an online user such as one of his or her Instagram photos or a Facebook post. In other words, the buyer creates the advertisements that are displayed to them from their online activity.

Product Recommendation Engines help recommend products they believe based on data a specific user will like. They use filtering methods that collect and analyze behavioral data of an online users activity. For an online business this can help build relationships beyond a single purchase and spark new product interest.

Personalized websites use content optimization systems that deliver content that is generated in real time based on specific information about a user (like the location of your IP address or the device you are using). These are used to cut through clutter and filter out noise by making a users web experience more relevant to them. Personalized website are also used as a way to directly connect to users based on where they are in the sales cycle. This way the user gains the most value out of their visit to your site without wasting any time.

Personalized marketing can be the key to locking online customers into your brand if used properly. It allows an online business to take advantage of the data available to craft custom user experiences and target those that are most likely to buy. The one-size-fits all marketing approach is a thing of the past and consumers are now expecting personalized experiences while shopping online today.

Oct 2
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thank you to all who participated in our live Twitter Q&A today! As promised, here is the blog post summarizing all the questions asked and the answers.

1. Are there any fees to use your service?
There are absolutely no setup fees or hidden charges for our service

2. When can I start accepting payments?
After signing-up, the review is almost instant & you can start selling in a day or less

3. What payments can I accept?
10 different credit card types, PayPal, Amazon Payments, BitPay, Money Orders/Cashier Checks, Visa/ MC Debit, paysafecard, or wire transfer

4. Will I be charged for no sales?
We charge a % of the commission for each sale so if you never sell anything you do not owe anything

5. When will I get paid for my sales?
Payments are made on the 1st of each month for the previous month’s transactions. There is a 30 days hold on your first payment only.

6. If I live in another country will you have trouble paying me?
We have developers worldwide. International payments are available via PayPal, Payoneer pre-paid Mastercard and wire transfer.

7. Will I need a merchant account or payment gateway?
You do not need any other companies to use our services. All orders are placed through our merchant account using our payment gateway.

8. Will you supply a key generator for my product?
We can integrate our system with your key generator or we can contact your key generator remotely via XML. We are integrated with a number of commercial key generators.

9. Are your shopping carts secure?
All BMT Micro servers are fully secured & host all shopping carts using EV SSL. There is no need to worry about the expense of a secure certificate with us!

10. Can I test my shopping cart?
Yes, a test button is available in our secure vendors area. You can test products at any time.

11. Are you PCI compliant?
Yes. We maintain PCI compliance and are scanned quarterly for both PCI compliance and network security.

12. Do you offer fraud protection?
Yes. Our state-of-the-art fraud detection system automatically screens order and puts questionable ones through a manual approval process.

13. What customer support do you offer?
Our customer service team handles all questions related to the payment and ordering process

14. What about technical support?
For technical support, customers are referred to the developer of the software or product

15. Will my contact information be available to customers?
Your customers are not given your contact information, only a support email or URL address.

16. Do you handle VAT?
Yes. BMT Micro calculates the VAT based on the customers country and uses the appropriate percentage for their country.

17. So are you responsible for all tax assessments?
Yes, all sales are processed by us and through out merchant accounts. This makes us the seller to the customer and the ones responsible for all tax assessments.

Thank you again to all who participated. These are important questions you should ask when searching for a payment solution. BMT Micro handles orders for a multitude of developers worldwide. We are proud to partner with you and to be your choice of payment processor. If you are interested in learning more or have additional questions please feel free to contact our vendor services by email at vendors@bmtmicro.com.