Creative Ideas for Promoting Online Products and Services

There are lots of resources and e-books trying to help people promote their products online. Some of the advice found there is very good, while some is not very helpful.
In this article I have included a few ideas that try to adhere to online marketing best practices, yet attempt to suggest original ways for effective online marketing.

Hope these work for you if you are selling a product or service on the web, or if you just have a website or blog you’d like to promote.

Demo movie: In the virtual world, making people understand the benefits of your products, services or websites is a real challenge. One way to do so is to make a short movie that takes the viewer through the highlights of the product or service. This would make your product more tangible. You can put the movie on your website, but may also publish links to it on different discussion groups, upload it to internet video services (such as YouTube or Google Video) or even make copies of it on a CD and hand it out as a give-away to people you know or to existing and potential customers. If you are looking for a handy tool to easily produce such movies – check out the Adobe Captivate tool.
Funny/Shocking Viral Presentation: Getting people to laugh or shocking them are good ways of getting their attention. You can use this to promote a product or a service. Make a funny presentation involving your product or website, and send it over to your friends and your email list members, if you have one. The presentation should include a link back to your website. If it is funny or shocking enough, it should spread from one person to the next, bringing you more traffic and leads. If you need an idea how to make a presentation funny or shocking, read the Creative Tool called “Extreme Results” described in one of my newsletters.
A Competition to Promote you product/service/website: Instead of working hard by yourself to promote your online products and services, you can use the power of your visitors and costumers to do so with a greater impact. A good way to do so is to hold a contest that encourages them to promote your products or recommend your website. Although an advanced version of this approach is using affiliate programs, it is not always appropriate or desired. If, for instance, you don’t sell products online and can’t offer affiliates any commissions, you can use this simpler and less formal way to achieve these same goals.
Collectors’ Items: In most services or products, you should be able to find or define a group of fans that would be enthusiastic and highly supportive of your product or website. To make even more out of this group, try to think of a type of item or content that they may receive and keep as special collectors. This would keep them involved for a longer period of time and give them more to talk about as well as draw in other people to the scene.

Why an Integrated Workplace Safety and Wellness Program Is Best

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset and keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority for any company. Many businesses have a workplace safety program and a wellness program, but the two programs operate independently of one another – but should they? There are some compelling reasons to integrate the two so that employees can benefit from a more global, holistic approach to staying safe and healthy on the job.

To adequately address health and safety issues, companies need to look not only at whether an employee is performing their job safely but whether they’re healthy and fit enough to do their job without a high risk of injury. Issues like obesity, poor physical fitness and inadequate nutrition make it harder for employees to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.

The link between health and safety

According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who are obese are at higher risk for occupational health issues and injuries. When obese staff are exposed to chemicals on the job, they’re at higher risk for occupational asthma and heart and lung issues compared to a non-obese person. They’re also at greater risk for ergonomic issues and bio-mechanical problems including carpal tunnel syndrome. If companies focus on workplace safety without addressing the obesity issue, the bigger problem remains. A unified approach that integrates occupational safety measures with wellness initiatives that emphasize good nutrition and weight control provides a more effective solution to the problem.

There’s also the issue of back injuries. Back injuries are one of the most common workplace safety issues, and people who are overweight and physically unfit are at higher risk for injuring their back on the job. Most back injuries occur as a result of lifting objects at work and ergonomic issues. Although it’s not possible to prevent all work-related back problems, integrating wellness with safety by emphasizing regular exercise to strengthen muscles in the lower back can reduce back injuries. Integrating workplace safety and wellness offers a more well-rounded approach to preventing back injuries.

What part does wellness play in safety? Wellness programs that focus on stress reduction, smoking cessation and alcohol and drug-related issues are also important for workplace safety. According to a study published in a Canadian publication called The Daily, smokers are at greater risk for being injured at work compared to non-smokers. Among women, the risk was nearly double. Stress does more than just affect employees psychologically – it increases their risk of being injured on the job. Employees who are under stress at home or at work are distracted and less able to focus on doing their job safely. Integrating stress management into a workplace safety program can help reduce the number of injuries and motivate employees to be more productive. Nutrition is another factor that a workplace safety and wellness program should address. Employees who start their day with only a cup of coffee are more prone to blood sugar drops that can lead to workplace injuries. Good nutrition is an integral part of any safety program.

There’s another benefit of merging wellness and workplace safety. Employees are less likely to participate in programs that address workplace hazards than they are wellness programs that focus on personal benefits. Integrating the two makes it more likely that employees will take part.

The bottom line

Combining workplace safety with wellness has a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Most importantly, it helps to create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace – and that’s something every company should strive for.

New Equity Release Lender More2Life Launches New Products

Signs that the equity release market is beginning to spark into life again, can be evidenced by the re-emergence of a former lender in the market.

More2Life have joined forces with annuity specialist Partnership assurance to re-launch their impaired life roll-up lifetime mortgage plan.

Incorporating an impaired life facility & protected equity guarantee, the More2Life equity release plan can be seen to be opening a niche market for itself. The impaired life facility means that depending on health & lifestyle, a higher than normal tax free lump sum can be achieved, should serious health issues be present.

The More2Life equity release plan has been designed with three scenario’s in mind: -

1. Enhanced plus – industry leading maximum release, impaired life product

2. Enhanced protected – impaired life plan with ‘protected equity guarantee’

3. Protected plan – older applicants looking for a ‘protected equity guarantee’

Pitching the enhanced plus plan at the maximum release end of the market means that should the applicant qualify on medical grounds, they would have the highest lump sum currently available. This would even surpass the current Aviva Lump Sum Max product, although this would be at the expense of a higher interest rate with More2Life.

The following percentages are the maximum releases available on the Enhanced Plus: -

Age 55 23%

Age 60 28%

Age 65 33%

Age 70 38%

Age 80 48%

Age 90+ 54%

For example, an applicant aged 65 with a property valuation of £250,000 & meeting the underwriting criteria, can release a maximum of £82,500 on the enhanced plus plan.

The interest rate for this product will be 7.49% monthly.

The second product – ‘enhanced protected plan’ is also based on health & lifestyle grounds & again can provide an enhanced lump sum. However, to qualify for this equity release scheme the health situation will not be a serious as the enhanced plus. The interest rate for this plan is lower at 6.99% monthly.

Another feature of this plan is the ‘protected equity guarantee’ which is included & guarantees a percentage of the property for the children/beneficiaries on the eventual sale of the property.

The guarantee works as follows: -

Should the overall facility available be £80,000, yet only £40,000 is taken, then 50% of the final sale value will be protected on sale.

This can be an essential tool for applicants who wish to ensure that a guaranteed inheritance is passed onto their children.

The final option is the ‘protected plan’ which has no impaired life facility, but does include the protected equity guarantee. The interest rate is the same as the enhanced protected at 6.99% monthly.