How Brands Are Using Drones To Enhance Their Business

The mainstream public didn’t consider drones to be much more than a toy as the Parrot AR Drone was unveiled as the first commercially available model, an iOS smartphone-controlled quadcopter, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2010. However, it hasn’t taken long for them to be used in a variety of incredible and often unbelievable ways utilising this growing technology.

Here are a few examples of how drones such as the xk detect x380 drone are becoming a standard tool in so many industries, the problems they’re built to solve, and the range of major brands utilising them to aid their needs.

Entertainment

From big budget to independent filmmakers, the use of drones in entertainment has added an affordable option to give greater depth into both education and storytelling. A sweeping view of a snow capped mountain range, floating like a bird above the coastline, a skyscraper view of a car chase or a superhero battle, the pursuit of a mountain biker down a hillside, or even drones filming drone racing! From live music, cultural and news events to wildlife programmes where safety is an obvious concern, these free flying camera systems are now indispensible to the industry.

The BBC have utilised drones throughout their programming. They have their own in-house team of ‘drone-journalists’. Red Bull have not only set up their own drone racing event but they are renowned for using the technology to film a whole host of extreme sports, utilising the system for unrivalled views and angles to give an extra dimension to the action.

Delivery Services

There are too many companies to list who are using drones to make deliveries or are testing to include them as part of their service.

UPS have introduced a residential delivery drone that makes its deliveries from an electric powered van. The van also acts as a charging station to enhance the lifespan of the drone and in turn its efficiency. They are commercially operated to deliver to remote areas but in testing they were utilised to make medical deliveries to out of reach locations.

The Royal Mail, Amazon, Flytrex and DHL have all entered the market with their own testing and introduction of this technology. Even JustEat have been testing drones to make food deliveries in some of the bigger towns and cities in the US and Europe. Now that’s what I call ‘fast food’!

Construction & Architecture

In May 2017 Balfour Beatty acted on their word to investigate the use of drones by trialling them to survey two bridges in West Sussex. Not only did it greatly increase staff safety but it also made a saving of over £8,000 compared to more traditional methods.

CIO Fernando Villa who is overseeing a team of sixteen senior architects has also stated that the use of drones in filming the facility will be used for augmented and virtual reality technologies in order to process the maintenance of the 133-year-old Sagrai Famila church finally completed, although it isn’t due to be until 2026.

Telephone & Internet Technology

BT have been investigating using drone technology to provide temporary internet access in remote areas or in emergency situations. They have been researching ways to bring coverage to disaster zones, battlefields and limited access areas by introducing them to assess the situation and then creating a network through tethered drones and balloons.

Also working in the same technology are US communications brand AT&T when they recently provided a temporary internet connection to an area of forty square miles over Puerto Rico via their drone, the Flying Cow (which stands for ‘Cell on Wings’) after the hurricane Maria shut down all telecoms on the island. They also announced that they are now using drones to inspect their cell towers too.

Transport

Last September in conjunction with the German company Volocopter the Dubai Roads & Transport Agency tested their first taxi drone service with a view to launching it commercially within the next five years. The driverless drone flies two hundred meters above ground and will be able to tackle thirty-minute flights controlled by an app and GPS co-ordinates with speeds of up to 100mph.

Warfare

Technology innovators Animal Dynamics have created military drones inspired by dragonflies that use a flapping wing propulsion system as opposed to the conventional rotor blades due to their quiet performance and ability to glide, saving on fuel and becoming highly efficient. Ideally suited for short-range surveillance it can operate in high winds and adverse weather conditions.

The US Military have been using drones for armed attacks since 2001 and have been featured in the media more recently with their Predator AUV (unmanned air vehicles) attacks on the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in Afghanistan. These drones are designed to carry out attacks on ground targets ranging from military bases, vehicles and high-profile individuals.

Law Enforcement

We’ve all watched the helicopter coverage on Police, Camera, Action but in 2015 Devon and Cornwall police undertook a trial using drones to help carry out some of the tasks more efficiently that your typical beat bobby would normally undertake. Searching for missing people and monitoring traffic accidents was shown to be a much more economical alternative to sending out the police helicopter service. In 2016 they created a special unit dedicated to drone use throughout the country.

Remote Repairs In Industry

Oil giants Shell has been using drone technology throughout their plants in Europe to carry out safety checks that were once hazardous and time consuming. Previously the checks were undertaken by teams of engineers having to abseil into hard to reach places to monitor for gas leaks and other faults. The use of drones now means the inspections are fast and easy and where plants were often closed for one of two days they can now remain open and functional as the checks take only a matter of hours. Fitted with standard or infrared heat cameras and various sensors a range of information can be gathered and processed from often inaccessible places such as heat towers or the underside of an oilrig platform in a fraction of the time.

Easyjet have also announced that they too have trialled safety inspections using drones and will be introducing them to UK airports in 2018. They have stated that the drones are more efficient with these checks than the human eye and want to roll them out worldwide – not only that but they also want to use drones to make runway checks in the first six months of 2018 too.

Environmental Solutions

A drone has been designed to catch rhino poachers through the national parks in Africa by Spanish engineers developing the technology at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona. Its key development is in the use of thermal vision technology in its camera.

And in 2014 Coca-Cola delivered messages of thanks tied to cans of Coke to the 2,500 migrant workers building high-rise buildings in Singapore. The message was to link Singaporean nationals and the migrant workers who travel far from their countries to build the city-state’s hi-rise buildings to provide good feeling and community in places where it isn’t always natural. The campaign was called “Happiness from the Skies” and it hit the media with a message that they wanted to use a method that is often associated with death and evil, due to the drones more frequently portrayed military uses, and turn it into something peaceful and good.

…all that and more

Drones are getting smaller, bigger, faster, stronger, lighter, more reliable, and infinitely smarter with the advances in technology. This progress is giving them an almost never ending list of uses to help achieve our daily tasks and many more we haven’t thought of yet.

Where will it end? Only the future will show us that but while we’re along for the ride, we may as well do it with a selection of rotors above our heads…

Top Tips To Rank a Local Website in 2018

Basic SEO practices are pretty much essential for ranking a local website anywhere in search engines, never mind the front page, and this is especially true for content that is not user generated (forums or review sites for example). With search engine algorithms changing all the time, and the rise of machine learning into 2018, knowing a little more than the ‘basics’ is going to be more important than ever. With that in mind, we sat down with RFK Solutions, who offer a range of leading SEO services in Scotland. This is what they had to say with regads to ranking a website locally in 2018!

Claim Your Google My Business Page

This is the first thing that you should be thinking of, so if you haven’t claimed your Google My Business page yet then you need to make it a priority. For full details of setting up your page, you can take a look here but you need to make sure that you include the following:

  • Make the listing description a long one, make it unique and make sure it includes links. Write this description very carefully, as well as properly formatted, because this is going to take full advantage of Google Search’s RankBrain update. Machine Learning in search is going to go full throttle in 2018, so try and answer possible searcher queries in your description.
  • Be sure that you have selected the correct categories for your business to further help Google match up your business with the search query.
  • Upload as many high quality, relevant photographs as you can. Visuals are everything and help users determine whether or not your business is right for them or not.
  • Add your local telephone number (not a mobile if you can avoid it) and also your business address. Both of these things need to be consistent with what you have on your website – Google can, and does, place higher priority on listings where these details corroborate each other.
  • Make your profile and cover photographs high resolution. What looks great on your mobile may not look so hot on a larger screen – and blurred imagery will get you nowhere
  • If your business has opening times and days where these change (not all business types have or need details like this) then add those too.
  • Get your customer to leave you reviews on Google.

Get Local Reviews

Reviews are an enormous ranking factor, especially if you run a local business. Getting reviews is actually easier than you might think but don’t focus on just Google reviews try TrustPilot too, and Yelp. Google should be your first port of call though, once you are set up on Google search with GMB.

The first thing to do is contact your existing customers and ask if they would mind leaving a review for you. It’s quick and simple and they will rarely decline. A benefit of this is that you can effectively cherry pick great reviews – you know who is most likely to leave a glowing comment with 5 stars, so hit them up first.

Generate local links and citations

Link building is a great way to boost your website’s visibility and authority, so long as the linking website is relevant to your business. The same is true with local businesses except it is more about linking with local businesses, regardless of their actual ‘standing’, that are posting about similar things to you.

Citations are another excellent way to improve visibility on search engines. Citations are, basically, mentions of you in local directories. The trick here though is making sure the directories display your NAP (Name Address Phone number) as you do on your website and GMB listing

You can use Bright Local to check on existing citations and make sure your NAP is being displayed properly. Need to actually get citations? There are a few ways to get it done, but you could this handy tool to get you started.

Social Signals

Potential customers won’t always be searching Google Maps, they may also look to social platforms to find local businesses. Facebook is used in this way quite a lot so it’s worth setting up and maintaining a page there just for that reason alone. Twitter can come in handy also, for the same reason.

One thing that both of these platforms have in common, and is incredibly useful, is the hashtag. Sadly, most people don’t even realise that Facebook has this functionality – don’t worry though, Facebook knows and its search tool takes them into account when people use it to look for something. The only problem is, you need to be using hashtags on your pages in the first place.

Adding hashtags to your posts on Facebook may sound like amateur hour, but you are missing out if you don’t do it. Besides, nobody thinks twice about using them on Twitter so don’t be bashful on big blue either!

Whichever platform you use, remember that they act as citation sources so make certain your NAP is consistent with every other appearance of it elsewhere.

You should have enough to go on now to really make an impression and get your local business ready for the rest of 2018 and get it ranked. Now, start contacting your customers and get those reviews coming in!