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Project Management Software 101: A Guide for New Project Managers

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Project management software is the ultimate solution for businesses looking to stay organized. The program allows you to collaborate on tasks with your team members. You can share progress reports and documents too.

The project management tools help you delegate assignments to your employees.

It’s evident that project management goes beyond collaborating on tasks. This guide focuses on answering one question: What is project management software?

What is Project Management Software?

Project management software definition can be extracted from the following questions: Is your company looking for a tool for organizing assets? Do you want a solution that facilitates smooth communication between your vendors, clients or team members? Are you looking for a solution for budget tracking or scheduling?

New project managers may find it overwhelming to manage several project components at once. Project management software programs allow them to scale up their processes for productivity.

Project management software examples include Microsoft Project and the Zoho Office Suite.

Types of Project Management Software

Software used in project management varies on factors such as company size and intended use. You can find one as either desktop or cloud-based software. Some are developed for specific work obligations or industries.

They’re as follows:

Desktop Project Management Software

Desktop project management software programs allow you to organize your tasks from a PC. All changes made on your project are saved on the PC’s hard drive.

Such programs are available on the market as either free or paid versions with different features included. They require an Internet connection to allow you to collaborate on or share a project.

Cloud-based Project Management Software

The cloud-based ones require a reliable Internet connection since they’re hosted on a web server.

They allow for more security and control since your project will be saved on the cloud. You can even access your project or share files with colleagues regardless of your location.

Cloud-based project management tools are ideal for teams with an active online presence.

What Are the Features in Project Management Software Programs?

Software programs should foster your ability to be efficient and productive at work.

Program management software programs evolved over the years to include several incredible features. Your goal is to care about their impact on the productivity of your team.

Here are some of the features your teams need for project management.

Progress Tracker

Tracking your milestones helps you identify both strong and weak points for improvement. Get a solution that enables you to map your work and monitor significant strides.

A progress tracker allows you to correct identified issues before delving deeper into the project.

Scalable Task Manager

A scalable task manager allows you to define workflows based on the roles of your team members. This feature gives you control over your task delegation process.

Relying on it helps you become flexible when prioritizing tasks and setting deadlines. Find expert assistance on scaling your tasks from this website.

Typical task manager solutions and services offered through third-party solutions usually include:

  • Agile Transformation
  • Agile Workshops
  • Business Agility
  • Project Management
  • The Scrum Kickstart Package

Team Communication Tools

Your project can only run well if your teams communicate with each other. Using different apps for communication can be tiring and time-consuming.

Your team members need an all-in-one tool with impressive communication options. The solution should allow you to engage in productive conversations without disrupting your workflow.

Tools for Setting Role Permissions

Your project management software should cater to the needs of every team member. You need a solution that sets role permissions on tasks that require individuals with particular knowledge.

Such a feature helps you prevent data loss caused by team members that aren’t knowledgeable in a given field.

Each platform and software is going to be different, but each should also come with their own tutorials and guidance videos. This is something Hubspot has done really well with, as they have thousands of customers and teams using their software.

Easy-to-Use Navigation Features

The program should make it easy to access files and documents. Its user interface should include intuitive features for easier navigation. Choose one that’s compatible with your teammates’ devices.

Time Tracking and Reporting Tools

Reporting allows your teams to stay accountable for their actions. Reporting tools give you data on the timeline for executing tasks, the current project stage and the achieved milestones.

The software should feature time tracking tools to provide a real-time update on your work progress.

Why Project Management Software Programs are Essential to Your Work

Your goal when handling tasks and meeting deadlines is to be self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency entails allowing processes to flow as you focus on essential assignments.

Project management software programs enable you to create a self-sustaining model for your teams.

Here are other advantages they can add to your line of work.

Ability to Prioritize Tasks

Projects come with different deadlines, specifications, and tasks. The role of a project manager is to track and organize tasks based on priority.

Project management tools help you accomplish essential tasks first without compromising your ability to tackle the rest.

Optimize Business Processes

You can make your workflow smoother by optimizing your business processes. The optimization process involves examining achievements, failures and redundant tasks.

Count on this activity to identify problems and recommend appropriate solutions. Project management software programs make such a process simple to execute.

Easy Integration

Project management solutions are designed to work with other applications and systems. You can use them with social media sites to share snippets of your work.

They work well with customer relationship management tools too.

Higher Level of Organization and Standardization

Your teams can use project management solutions when working on multiple projects for similar customers. Such solutions help them standardize the process and reduce the time needed to track progress.

They feature several templates you can use to customize each client’s assignment.

Improved Information Sharing and Collaboration

Your team members should aim for transparency when working on the same project. With the right project management tools, they can share ideas for productivity.

You can even assign specific tasks to each one of them and track the status of the work.

How Technology Is Reinventing Project Management Software

Technology is changing how people meet their job responsibilities and manage work.

Digital innovations including smart devices are allowing more people to work far apart. New enterprise software programs are offering limitless opportunities for executing tasks.

Project managers can succeed by relying on a solution that fosters transparency. Project management solutions offer seamless user experiences to both small and large businesses.

Here are some of the market trends on project management software you can learn.

Team Members Are Operating Far from Each Other

The project management industry continues to record an increase in remote users.

Team members are collaborating on projects with large distances between them.

Software developers continue to release new cloud-based solutions as a reaction to this trend. Such updates focus on social networking and collaboration tools.

Project Managers Relying on Big Data Analytics

Previous versions of project management software only allowed for simple data tracking. The modern ones enable project managers to find insights from large data sets.

They come embedded with business intelligence tools for efficiency. You can use them to incorporate data from a recent project into an existing one.

Compatibility with Mobile Devices

Software developers are making project management solutions more adaptable on mobile devices.

Mobile users nearly account for more than half of the traffic generated on websites hosting the software. You can run the software as a mobile app or from your phone’s Internet browser.

What to Consider When Buying Project Management Software

Besides focusing on price, you should look for a solution that can meet your project’s needs.

Register for the trial versions to establish whether a program is worth your cash. Being savvy and keen can also help you get a better deal.

Use the following factors to guide your purchasing decisions, or refer to this complete review on Write — which has applications and securities in place that make it easy for anyone to control users, projects, and data across a wide range of platforms.

Your Implementation Plan

The software program can get your tasks organized. An implementation plan helps you decide on how you’ll use the software to meet your goals. Enlist your team members’ help to map ways for integrating it into your workflow.

Ask Your Teams for Suggestions

Project management solutions are only helpful if you consider your teams’ needs. Encourage them to share suggestions about features they’d love to use.

Base your purchasing decision on their feedback. Consider the program’s application and adoption in your project.

Sample the Trial Versions

Software demos allow you to use a particular program before purchasing it. Trial versions help you determine whether a solution is adequate for your needs.

Pose questions to the software vendors about the product. Pay attention to the means they use to respond to your queries.

Compare and Justify Costs

Determine whether the program’s benefits match the time and cash required to use it.

Find a software program that scales up your business. Compare costs across different vendors too.

Get one that’s suited for both your budget and project needs.

Get the Best Value Out of Your Project Management Software

I hope this guide has answered your “what is project management software” question.

Your upcoming project should be executed with the best tools you’ll ever find. You have to look for a solution that can improve your teams’ input in the project. Focus on getting project management software with the powerful tools you need.

As with all content and services offered through this site, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you might have. I’m looking forward to hearing from you so we can partner up.

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Maximizing the ROI of Exhibition Marketing by Leveraging Your Blog

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Many business owners mistakenly believe that trade show marketing is obsolete. They believe that it is better to focus on educating and reaching potential customers through their blog or posting videos on YouTube. Marketers that make this assumption are missing out on an excellent source of potential new customers. Trade show marketing is alive and well. PwC estimates that the exhibition event industry is worth $14.3 billion. Rather than viewing exhibition marketing as an outdated strategy, you should combine it with your digital marketing strategy.

You can definitely reach a lot of customers through content marketing. However, many customers want to see you show off your products at local exhibitions. Tradeshows are A much more personal form for interacting with customers.

If you want to make the most of your tradeshow marketing strategy, you should leverage it with your blog. Here are some ideas to consider.

Use your blog to educate future customers about products before they attend your tradeshow

Most people stumble upon trade shows while attending another, larger event, such as a county fair. They have no prior knowledge of the products or vendors at the tradeshow.

As a trade show vendor, you aren’t going to get as much value if your prospective customers aren’t informed beforehand. You are going to need to dedicate the entire event to educating them and answering elementary questions.

This is where your blog can come in handy. Take some time to write blog posts about your upcoming trade show. A marketing expert we talked to from RollerBanners suggests having an FAQ section so you can let people know about the different products that you are going to showcase. You can even embed a couple of videos about your products, so readers have some idea of what to expect when they attend your trade show.

Customers will have a better idea about your products after reading your blog posts. They will attend your trade show more prepared and ready to ask more helpful questions. By asking more informed questions, they will have the information they need to decide whether or not to make a purchase.

Encourage customers to contribute positively to the discussion

Most exhibition events encourage two-way conversations. This format can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the comments of the attendees.

If customers have a negative perception of your product, they may make negative comments that will dissuade other people from making a purchase. On the other hand, people that express positive sentiments about your products well encourage others to consider buying your products.

For example, click fraud detection company Clickcease, is attending conferences around the world all the time. The benefit here is two fold:

  1. They get to increase exposure to their brand and meet new businesses and potential clients.
  2. The visibility and one-on-one interaction is a great way to build trust and new clientele.

However, it’s also important to understand that not all businesses and brands have the time or budget to attending conferences around the world. For times like these, it’s best to use your blog to facilitate positive discussions which may have also been relevant at marketing trade shows.

Here are few ways it can help:

  • You can use your blog to dispel any negative assumptions people might have about your product. This will help discourage people from asking leading questions that could cast your brand in a negative light.
  • You can highlight some of the milestones you have reached and unique selling points about your products. Did you get an honorable mention from a reputable organization in your area? Talk about it on your blog. People might discuss the positive elements of your product amongst each other at your event or ask positive questions about the admirable elements of your brand.
  • People that are not going to be interested in your product will be less likely to attend. Although there is always a possibility that hecklers will come by to express their criticism, most people that don’t like what you have to offer will simply avoid your event after reading your blog post. This means they won’t be around to spread negative feelings about your brand at your tradeshow.

Your blog is a great platform for facilitating discussions about your brand. Why not use it to encourage positive feedback with other customers at your tradeshow?

Attract more targeted attendees to your event

Old school marketers used to measure the success of exhibition marketing by the number of people that attended an event. In the digital marketing era, marketers understand that the quality of leads is more important than the quantity. Attracting more targeted leads significantly increases your opportunity to make a sale.

You can use your blog to draw more interested participants. The easiest way to do this is by reading blog articles and optimizing them around relevant keywords. For example, if you are running a trade show in Dallas, Texas to promote a couple of woodworking tools you created, you could optimize your articles around the following keywords:

  • “Woodworking trade show Dallas”
  • “woodworking events in Dallas”
  • “woodworking schools in Dallas”
  • “Learn about woodworking in Dallas”

You could also add the names of other surrounding cities so that you could reach people in those areas as well. People going on Google to learn more about woodworking will stumble upon your blog posts and learn about your upcoming events. Then they will be more likely to attend your events and consider making a purchase.

Optimizing your blog for SEO is an excellent way to draw targeted leads to your tradeshows. Here are some tips that will help.

Build backlinks to your blog from local websites

Offsite optimization is one of the most important elements of SEO. You can have exceptional content on your blog, but it won’t start ranking until you have built quality backlinks.

There are a number of ways that you can build the links to your blog. Some of them are much more effective than others. A lot of the outdated SEO strategies that worked well 10 years ago are pretty much worthless today. Submitting articles to generic article directories like Ezine Articles is not going to give you quality results. Also, most of the old website directories have either been deindexed by Google or have started adding the “nofollow” tag to outgoing links. You won’t get any link benefit from using them.

So, how do you go about building quality links to your blog to promote your events? One of the best approaches to use local news and other websites. There are a couple of reasons this is better than using generic platforms for building links:

  • Backlinks from local sites will seem more relevant to Google.
  • These websites are not constantly getting spammed by people looking to promote their websites. They will be more comfortable using the “dofollow” tag.
  • Websites owned by other businesses in your area will be more likely to trust you if you are also local. They will be more comfortable sharing your event.

Try collaborating with at least five local websites. You might be surprised to see how much your rankings increase afterwards.

Optimize your blog for every city within a couple of hours

When you are trying to optimize your website to reach local customers, it is easy to get tunnel vision. Most businesses only optimize their website for their own city. They forget that there might be a dozen other cities within a reasonable driving distance. If you optimize your blog for those cities, you might be able to reach those customers too.

Create high-quality articles that are at least 1,000 words long

When you are writing a blog post about your upcoming tradeshows, you should make sure they are as detailed as possible. Google tends to rank websites higher in the SERPs if most of the articles are 1,000 to 2000 words long. The average article on the front page is 1,900 words long.  You will find that a lot of local competitors are still ranking for websites with short-form content. However, this is usually because there isn’t much competition. You will have a strong advantage if you use longer articles.

You can also learn more about SEO and blog page length here.

Share testimonials on your blog

Your tradeshow could help people decide whether or not to purchase a product. However, it never hurts to try influencing customers before the event.

If you can give customers a positive impression of your brand before the event, you will have an easier time coaxing them into making a purchase. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing testimonials on your blog.

Testimonials have been proven to be very effective at increasing conversion rates. They will both entice people to attend your event and make them more willing to make a purchase once they visit.

Use your blog to follow up with customers that attended your tradeshow

Most of the other strategies outlined here focus on encouraging people to attend your tradeshow and making them more open to your pitch. However, your blog can also be great for engaging with people that attended your event.

The average person needs to be exposed to your brand seven times before they make a purchase. They might not be ready to become a customer after attending your tradeshow. However, if you encourage them to visit your blog for more information, they might be ready to make the commitment. You can also use your trade show to get them to join your mailing list so you will be able to engage with them more regularly.

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Billboard Marketing vs. Digital Marketing in 2019

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More than 71 percent of customers look at billboard advertisements. That alone might be enough to sell you on a new billboard campaign, but digital marketing is no slouch when it comes to generating leads either. This begs the question: how does billboard marketing measure up against digital marketing?

Here’s a breakdown of both advertising methods: their pros, cons, and what you should take from each.

What Is Billboard Marketing?

Billboard marketing is exactly what it says on the tin: marketing using billboards. The style of billboard has gone through a few changes, with the digital billboard leading the pack in modern times, but the principles are the same. Someone must pass by a billboard in order to see your advert.

Pro: It Targets Local Audiences

If you’re looking to give your brand local flair, then a billboard isn’t a bad choice. It’s hyper-local, so only customers in your area will see it. This is also a great way to associate your brand with a particular location.

Pro: Increases Brand Awareness

It’s not enough to have your brand seen just once; to cultivate proper awareness, an audience must be exposed to a message multiple times.

In marketing, this repetition is called “effective frequency.” It’s the driving principle behind many campaign slogans, and for good reason: it works.

Marketers like to debate the numbers behind effective frequency, but no matter how many times it might take for a message to reach your audience, there’s little doubt that billboards are an effective way to do it.

Con: It Isn’t Measurable

You can make a guess at how many people saw your billboard, but that’s all it would be: a guess. Compare that to digital marketing efforts that provide detailed analytics breakdowns of who saw your ad and what actions they took after doing so.

What about Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the practice of advertising goods or services to audiences online. It can take the form of social media campaigns, banner ads, or pay-per-click advertising.

Pro: You’re Able to Better Target Your Campaigns

A billboard is the very definition of a broad marketing strategy. You’re targeting anyone who drives by in the hopes that some of them might be your intended demographic.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, allows you to carefully target your campaigns. You can target age brackets, seller behaviors, or even individual accounts – read more about ABM marketing here.

Pro: More Effective Use of Inbound Marketing Strategies

Billboards are the quintessential outbound marketing strategy, and that’s not a good thing. Inbound marketing techniques not only see higher lead generation rates, but they’re also cheaper.

Plus, inbound marketing costs 62 percent less per lead than outbound techniques.

Con: People Tend to Ignore Online Advertising

As a species, we’re very good at tuning out non-essential details. Unfortunately for your business, that can include ignoring your slick new online campaign.

Four out of five American consumers ignore online ads. This doesn’t mean they’re not worth investing in — you just have to try harder to grab attention.

Billboard Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

At the end of the day, every marketing strategy has its pros and cons. If you want to cultivate local brand awareness, then a billboard marketing campaign will work well. If, however, you’re looking to harness the power of inbound marketing, you can’t go past digital.

Looking to grow your engagement on Instagram? Here are nine ways to do just that.

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Quick Tips to Find eCommerce Marketing Success with Instagram

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When it comes to online retail, the competition is very stiff on a global scale. With so many people now going online to make purchases, the number of etail businesses has rocketed over the years. For those who plan to set up a retail business online through platforms such as Shopify, it is important to work out how to make your business stand out and increase exposure.

As a small online retailer, the chances are you don’t have a lot of money to splash out on marketing. The good news is that in today’s digital era, you don’t need a huge amount of money to market your online retail venture and help gain exposure. In fact, you can do is very simply and conveniently through sites such as Instagram and other social media platforms.

What Are the Key Benefits for Businesses?

So, what are the key benefits of marketing your online retail business through Instagram and other social media sites? Well, one of the key benefits you can look forward to is the cost-efficiency of this solution, as you won’t have to spend a fortune to reach out to audiences far and wide. In fact, you can market your business and reach out to audiences with far greater ease when you use social media, and you can do it completely free.

With the addition of ecommerce features and advertising options comes to Instagram, this is only going to expand the growth opportunities even further. If you think Facebook was great for demographic targeting and for ecommerce sales, just want until you see what Instagram has lined up. You can read more on this here.

Another major benefit you can look forward to is saving a huge amount of time and resources. This is particularly beneficial for small and start-up businesses, as they often don’t have the resources and time needed to get involved in complex marketing campaigns. With social media platforms like Instagram, you won’t need to worry about this, as you can market your business with speed and ease.

It is also important to consider the reach that social media offers compared to other forms of advertising and marketing. When you use social media platforms, you can reach out far and wide to a global audience with your message. This means that you can engage your target audience and break into new marketing in other destinations simply by promoting your retail business, products, and services online.

Customer engagement can be very difficult these days, but it is also vital if you want to benefit from business success. By using social media, you can engage your audience with far greater ease. This means you can help to build confidence in your business and brand, which will help to further boost the success of your business.

A Simple Solution for Success

Anyone that runs a Shopify business will be keen to spread the word and let people know about special deals, offers, promotions, and new lines. In addition, they will be eager to build a solid reputation for their brand and business. Well, this provides a simple and effective solution that can help to seal the success of your Shopify business. With digital technology at your fingertips and with so many people spending time online, marketing your business is simpler than ever.

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