Aug 23 2019
We’ve already taken a close look at why every brand needs a Website in today’s day and age when competition is cut-throat and maintaining a strong digital footprint is imperative. However, not anything and everything will make do. In fact, there are eleven important elements that make a Website robust. Let’s take a look at all of them right now, shall we?
1. Be Clear
Customers who happen to stumble across your Website shouldn’t be confused about what it is you exactly do, else they are going to bounce off your platform immediately, and that’s going to lower your SEO performance . Make sure there is a crystal clear description that is short and sweet about your products/services – and, it should be super easy to spot.
Pro Tip – Your Website should have a clear call-to-action, as well!
2. Site Map
A site map is an important element to include on your Website, even if there aren’t too many pages. It helps users navigate your site smoothly and look at all the sections + subsections in one convenient place, in case they are having difficulty finding something. Do not miss this component!
Pro Tip – Also add a Search Engine on your Website.
3. Straightforward URL
Do not complicate your URL – it’ll be difficult for people to remember and pass along to others. Stick to your brand’s name, and preferably .com (which is most commonly used). In essence, your URL should have high recall value.
4. Easily Contactable
Contact info. Hyperlinked social media icons. Customer service chat-box. All of these features should be easily discoverable. Nothing frustrates a customer more than having to search for a way to get a hold of you should they need help or wish to receive assistance with an order / query.
5. Credibility Boosters
Testimonials. Reviews. Awards. Media coverage. Portfolio / case studies. Prestigious client tie-ups. Endorsements. Display your “social proof” proudly to boost your credibility. This works as a charm in swaying customers / clients in your direction over your competitors.
6. Smart Design
High-quality content User-friendly design. Mobile-friendly navigation. Stunning visuals. Hero shots. Smart headlines. Crisp sub-sections.These are all staple ingredients of any solid Website. Do not neglect these basics. If your site isn’t user-friendly, it will turn them off and impact SEO adversely!
Pro Tip – Do not forget to invest in a good logo. Microsoft Word Art is not going to cut it!
7. Appealing Offers
Convert site visitors into customers with an appealing offer they cannot resist. Are you an e-commerce portal? Offer a nice discount off first purchases upon subscription. Do you offer services to other companies? Offer a free trial of your service upon subscription.
8. Regularly Updated Blog
A blog is an important element of most Websites these days. They allow you to improve SEO. And, they also enable you to maintain your image as a thought leader. Furthermore, you can often repurpose content from your blog as social media content, killing two birds with one stone. Word of advice – do NOT turn comments off on your blog. Remember, the goal is to engage.
9. Security / Safety Measures
If users feel your Website isn’t very safe to use, they probably won’t want to make a transaction on your platform. Make sure your site is fully secure. And, if you’re dealing with customers in Europe, make sure it is also GDPR compliant.
10. Links & Tags
Don’t forget SEO basics when designing your site. Always use tags, meta-tags and try to cross-link within your Website so audiences can be redirected to co-related content and spend more time on your Website.
11. Update Regularly
Many brands forget to update their Website regularly. Just because you are current on your social media handles does not mean you can slack off on your Website. If you haven’t updated the Copyright date on your portal, that shows you’re lazy. If you haven’t updated your client roster, again, you’re showing you aren’t taking your own company’s achievements seriously. Make sure you set a date every month to update your Website properly. And, while you’re doing that, also cross-check analytics!
We hope these eleven essentials will guide you to revamp your Website so it does more for your business, moving forward. Need help with designing your Website? Contact our team right here.
Aug 21 2019
Social media has many advantages for businesses of all sizes, such as –
- You can boost brand awareness at a low cost.
- You can improve traffic to your Website.
- You can offer better customer service.
- You can develop brand loyalty.
- You can gain more in-depth insight into your audience and the marketplace.
- And, you can establish brand credibility.
However, if you are a startup or a one-person-show (i.e. an artist, designer, freelancer), there’s a huge possibility that you might not have a fancy budget in place to make the most of social media’s benefits. Figuring out a posting schedule, obtaining nice artwork and planning an ad budget can be intimidating. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of seven tips to help you setup a low-cost social media campaign.
An editorial calendar will help you see how many posts you need each month, further segmented into different categories – i.e. testimonials, product shots, videos, contests, throwback/flashback posts, blog links, etc. This will be the most important step in keeping your social media campaigns low-cost – planning prevents unnecessary expenditure on unneeded posts and/or urgent last-minute creatives. Furthermore, it helps you pick which posts truly deserve a paid push-out.
2. Curate Your Content
Based on the editorial calendar you’ve formed, you can then figure out which creatives can be sourced for free through sites, such as Canva, Unsplash and Pixabay. And, you can also pin-point which creatives truly need a graphic designer to work their magic on. This will help you keep your graphic design budget to a bare minimum.
Many social media pros also emphasize the value of drawing user-generated content, too – not only do you engage with your audience base through this tactic, you also get free material. For example, you could run a contest that requires participants to take photos with your product(s) or send in a testimonial.
And, think of clever ways to repurpose existing content you have on file. Can you convert any blog posts into infographics? Can you present industry information out there in the public domain in a visually interesting way that’s easier to digest? Are there any user reviews/comments on your page you can convert to testimonials? Think, think, think!
Pro Tip – When working with graphic designers, create a mood board and detailed creative brief to minimize extra costs associated with too many revisions.
3. Tie-Up With Micro-Influencers
We’ve already looked at the benefits of working with micro-influencers in an earlier blog post. With a 7x higher engagement rate than bigger influencers, micro-influencers offer more value and sometimes even tie-up on a barter basis. Research ones suitable for your brand and collaborate!
Low cost tools like Google Trends and Adwords will help you determine which content is performing best in the market, so you can make sure your social media content mix is offering audiences the right value. You can also track your Website’s analytics to see if your social media handles and ads are even redirecting customers to desired page(s).
Pro Tip – Try different content ideas and post timings to figure out what’s resonating the most with your TG.
This might seem fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised how often this gets overlooked. Make sure you add hyperlinked icons to your social media handles in emailers, official email signatures, your Website and whenever you guest post on other platforms, link back to your company’s social media handles, too. You might pick up more followers through this simple tip.
6. Use Ads Consistently
Simply putting great content out there doesn’t magically bring you thousands of followers. You need to invest in pushing content out so people know it actually exists. While you don’t need to spend big bucks on Facebook and Instagram ads, it is critical you chalk a small, but consistent budget to obtain more likes on your FB page and boost select posts throughout the month that are important. Learn to work your way around algorithms so your content is discovered all the time.
7. Less Is More
Lastly, be selective where you want to be. Rather than hopping onto any and every social media platform that exists, select 2-3 platforms at most that are genuinely relevant to your brand and dedicate your energy to them properly.
Aug 19 2019
The world of online marketing has become extremely competitive, especially for e-commerce portals. With everyone glued to the Internet, the importance of maintaining a solid online presence cannot be emphasized enough. You need to be where your audience is, after all. And, one of the key tactics of beating your competition is to build a visually stunning, high-content and user-friendly website that not only ranks well from a SEO perspective, but also impresses both your target audience. Here are five of the best web design companies you should definitely study to get some much-needed Web design inspiration.
1. Lounge Lizard
Winner of many awards, Lounge Lizard is a New York based team that consists of graphic designers, content writers, designers, programmers and digital market specialists. They all keep one end-goal in mind when designing a Website – the number of users must grow. Active in the market since 1998, SoftwareTestingHelp.com and WP Arena have both profiled their work, in the past. They have worked with brands such as Spectrum Entertainment, Frey Moss, Sachem Public Library, Motorola Solutions, Novus and Animalpark.
Check out their work right here.
2. Go Gulf
CEIBS. Fujifilm. Air Mauritius. Zodiac. These are just some of the very many prestigious brands Dubai-headquartered Go Gulf has helped with their Web based expertise. Founded in 2005, they have already dealt with over 500 companies! No wonder TIME, Neil Patel, CNN, Mediabistro, Techwire and more have featured them. They’re constantly up to great Web design and development.
Check out their work right here.
3. Alt Agency
UK based Alt Agency’s strengths are design, development and Web site maintenance. And, the brands they’ve worked with all fall into a really interesting mix, including F1, The Beatles Story, Bad Bear, Supercar and Concept Hair Magazine. Founded in 2006, they’ve certainly come a long way Website-by-Website.
Check out their work right here.
Milan, Italy sure is known for being a hip hub. And, the same goes true for Web design! Launched over 12 years ago, Playground specializes in designing digital experiences, and they handle other verticals, too, including content and email marketing. Their data-driven approach to Web design has won them some pretty high-profile clients, such as The North Face, Timberland, Vans and Napapijri.
Check out their work right here.
5. Ruckus Marketing
Crayola. Haley Davidson. HSBC. OnePlus. Porsche. What’s the common thread with all these brands, minus the fact that they’re huge? Well, they’ve all turned to New York based Ruckus Marketing to help with Web related solutions! Listed as one of the top design agencies by Agency Spotter, Ruckus Marketing handles UX/UI, Website development, apps, marketing, branding and much more for clients across many diverse industries.
Check out their work right here.
We hope these five design pros from around the globe help you set the bar higher for your own Web site’s design. Remember, if you don’t invest in your own brand image, no one will want to invest in you. If you need help with putting together a user-friendly site, contact our team right here.
Aug 02 2019
Building a sizeable social media presence isn’t an easy process – it can take a long time and it can also be really costly. We’re pretty sure you must have heard of influencer marketing – the hottest marketing trend out there on the market right now – in fact, the influencer marketing industry is projected to touch 10 billion by 2020. Research indicates 49% consumers actually depend on recommendations from influencers, and campaigns conducted with influencers have a ROI of 6.50 for every dollar spent.
But, what if you don’t have the big bucks to tie-up with influencers? Well, that’s why we’ve decided to help you bag some FREE influencer marketing.
1. Go Micro, Not Macro
Rather than going after influencers who have hundreds of thousands of followers, opt for micro-influencers. Studies indicate micro-influencers have a nearly 7x higher engagement rate than bigger influencers. Furthermore, since micro-influencers engage in way fewer campaigns, 82% consumers have a higher chance of acting upon their recommendations. Often, a small freebie of your product(s)/service(s) are enough to have them on board, or a really small token amount will suffice.
2. Do Your Homework
If you have less followers than the influencers on your wish-list, spend some time brainstorming how you can offer them value. For example, can you give them business referrals? Can you spot issues on their Website (i.e. broken links)? Can you plug them for a feature story at a friend’s publication? Figure out what you can do for them before you ask them to do something for you!
3. Interact Selflessly
Follow. Subscribe. Like. Comment. Share. Shout-outs. Attending their events. Support causes they endorse. Praise for recent accomplishments. You get the point! Selflessly support influencers you have your eye on, so you can build a relationship, gradually. Remember, it takes time to nurture an equation like this if you’re not putting money on the table.
4. Send Them Freebies
Send a box of goodies from your product catalog, or offer a free service to influencers. If they really like it, they might just post about your brand on a day they don’t have any paid campaigns running.
5. Shine The Spotlight On Them
One of the best ways to get social media shout-outs from influencers is by featuring them in your platform. Interview them for your blog. Or, include them in a listicle of Top 10 Instagrammers Covering XYZ. Or, you can even ask them to guest post on your Website. If you promote them on your platform, they are likely to share the URL of their interview/article with their own following.
6. Be Better Than Your Competition
This goes without saying – always try your best to create content that’s more exciting and aesthetic than your competition (a social media competitor audit helps with this), and chances are influencers will feel more inclined to work with you.
Jul 31 2019
There are plenty of brands vying for the attention of your particular target audience. So, how do you keep your existing followers hooked and also draw new customers to your page at the same time? Social media contests! However, not every social media contest is going to generate the same amount of brand engagement. Make the most of your resources with these seven tried and tested contest ideas that are bound to generate solid value for your company –
Why Run Contests
Running contests are helpful for a variety of reasons, including –
- It allows you to build a database of contacts to then engage through automated drip email campaigns and special promo offers
- It widens your reach to your followers’ network
- It provides you with user-generated content to repurpose in social media posts
- It enables you to generate hype surrounding your brand and/or a particular product/service
Before we get into the top ideas for running social media contests, let’s first look at six important pointers –
- Always give away something of value to your users so they actually feel motivated to participate
- Use a contest headline that is clear and catchy
- Make sure participation steps are not too complicated, else engagement will be low
- Boost contests through paid promotions (i.e. FB/Insta ads) so people actually know you’re running it
- Input all data you retrieve into a running Excel sheet to re-engage everyone with “thank you for participating” emails that offers a nice promo to lure them in for a purchase
- Consider using a branded hashtag unique for each contest to track entries smoothly and gauge contest success
Alrighty, let’s jump right into contest ideas now, shall we? –
Top Social Media Contest Ideas –
Idea 1 – Like & Comment To Win
One of the easiest social media contest methods, the “Like & Comment” tactic helps boost traction on your page immediately. And, since there are no other steps to required to enter, audiences are more likely to take part in your contest since it’s easy-breezy. The less complicated the action steps, the higher the number of entries!
Idea 2 – Event Tie Up
Tie your social media contest with a special event, cause or day to boost participation. Since people are already searching for trending event/special day hashtags, your contest is going to gain more eyeballs. If you make the stakes even higher with a much grander giveaway, you could possibly even do a PR campaign surrounding it for free media coverage.
For example, if you run a pizza shop, National Pizza Day is a great special day to tie your contest with and perhaps give 2-3 lucky winners a free pizza voucher and a chance to make the largest pizza in the city (the idea of the largest pizza in the city would appeal to local journalists + bloggers, too, since it is a feel-good, topical story!).
Idea 3 – Sharing Is Caring
If you want to tap into your followers’ following, the Reshare/Retweet/Repost contest tactic never fails. In fact, if you tell followers every re-share/re-tweet/repost counts as a separate entry (i.e. increased odds of winning), that’ll motivate them to spread the word about your contest on all of their social media handles. This is a no-brainer!
Idea 4 – Referrals
A variation of Idea #4, instead of asking entrants to reshare/repost-retweet, you can simply ask them to repost + tag their friends or to just tag their friends in the comments section below your original contest post. This doesn’t eat away from much of their time, and it gets the word out quickly about your brand!
Idea 5 – Rep Search
A lot of subscription boxes and publishing houses love this contest idea on social media. In essence, you’re getting free influencers through this method. Offer to select 3 “reps” for your brand who will receive a box of goodies for a set number of months (provided they share a certain number of social media posts about the goodies you send them). Tell people to upload an original collage of different images relevant to your brand and to tag your company in the post. Add a clause that whoever receives the most number of likes on their collage wins.
Idea 6 – Audience Inputs
People like to participate in a contest that’s fun. “Caption this” contests that award the most-liked witty comment are a handy idea for this very reason. You can also post a clever trivia question. Or, give your followers a chance to vote on new products/services – for example, if you run a cosmetics brand, you can ask your followers to pick between two new shade options or different name options.
Idea 7 – Endorsements
If you have a set of products (i.e notebooks, clothing, jewellery, tea/coffee), you can ask followers to send in a selfie with it and/or a testimonial video to enter in your contest. This will give you plenty of user-generated content to repurpose in the future.
We hope this post has you thinking about social media contest ideas you can start implementing in your own digital marketing plan! If you need any help, contact our team right here.
Jul 29 2019
A social media content calendar is a great tool because it –
* Allows you to brainstorm new ideas and assess what is / isn’t working
* Helps you plan your SM posts well in advance
* Prevents lags in posting consistency
* Ensures your design and copy teams provide everything in a timely fashion
* Assists with digital ad budgets
* Improves metrics / analysis at-a-glance
Let’s take a look at what elements should be a part of your social media editorial calendar (only use a spreadsheet for this!) so you can plan things more efficiently –
List out all the dates in the month so you can see which posts are going on what days and where the breaks are
2) Post Type
Enter a category for each post going up – i.e. photograph, video, throwback/flashback, testimonial, contest, motivational quote, infographic, etc. You can check if your content is varied enough or too tilted toward one direction (that would be monotonous)
Your copywriter(s) should enter the text for the graphics right here so your design team can copy + paste it easily
Your copywriter(s) should enter the caption accompanying the post when it goes up so your social media team can copy + paste it easily
Your social media team should plan out relevant hashtags per post in advance so they can copy + paste it easily
Specify if a post is going up on FB, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, etc., so you can make sure all relevant platforms are receiving sufficient content that is varied (avoid duplicating posts across all platforms because that’s redundant for audiences)
7) Post Timing
Specify which posts should go up at what time based on insights you receive through analytics – this is especially important if you have multiple posts going out on the same day
Input the number of likes/shares/comments/reshares each post is drawing to analyze what is / isn’t working
9) Point Person
Indicate point people for different tasks to guarantee accountability in case of errors / delays
Indicate which posts should be boosted through a paid promotion, and indicate for how much + demographics/filters
11) Images / Videos
Mention where all the files are saved so the social media manager handling your handles has access to everything they need for posts to go live
Allow a section for notes regarding status – is the copy ready, is the graphic ready, has the post been scheduled, is the post live?
Pro Tips –
* Mention any special days that should be addressed – i.e. if you run a pizza specialty restaurant, you definitely wouldn’t want to miss National Pizza Day for social media posts and hashtags.
* Make sure you conduct a social media audit using these tips to build the most robust mix of content.
We hope these tips help you stay organized on all your social media initiatives so nothing slips through the cracks, which is a risk when operating with a haphazard workflow system. Do the due diligence of putting everything into a documented file all relevant parties can access in real-time and update!
Jul 26 2019
Instagram has a 10x higher engagement rate for brands than Facebook, and a whopping 84x higher engagement rate than Twitter. Furthermore, research indicates 60% users discover products on Instagram. Switch to a business profile and start incorporating the following 5 tips to revamp your business’ Instagram strategy and draw impressive results.
1. Start Advertising
Setting up an Instagram promotion is fairly straightforward and can be done within the app itself, once you’ve switched your account to a business one. Running Instagram ads helps get the word out about your brand and key products/services/events within a specific city. This is important – rather than drawing visitors from a ton of random locations you don’t even service, Instagram ads helps you get the right eyeballs to succeed as a brand.
2. Understand Timely Posting
Make sure you are active enough on Instagram to attract your audience – remember, you have to be social on social media! However, too much posting can also downplay on your marketing tactics by overwhelming your audience – it looks spammy. Use the Instagram analytics tools called Insights to track when your followers are most active and publish posts accordingly. However, limit it to 1-2 posts per day so your engagement is healthy and not off-putting. Plan out your content calendar to contain high-res photos, videos, graphics and more. And, definitely make the most of Instagram’s story feature (you can later save these as highlights to leave a solid first impression).
Pro Tip – Make sure you actually reply to comments and DMs!
3. Heighten Customer Interest With Product Teasers
Since Instagram is perfect platform to advertise your products, you can urge people to explore your brand via discounts and engagement activities like contests and user-generated content submissions, which will create tons of interest. According to Sprout Social, more than 60% consumers need to see something 2-4 times on social media, before they make a purchase. Keep this in mind and gently push, but without being pushy.
4. Partner With Influencers For A Greater Visibility
Influencers are the Instagram stars who have a massive following wield an influence over a sizeable target audience. 94% marketers found influencers helpful for their brands. And, 82% consumers indicated they follow the recommendations of micro-influencers, too. Identify which influencers are relevant to your products or services and collaborate with them. This guarantees a wider reach and high engagement rate in a market you wouldn’t be able to penetrate easily, elsewise.
5. Hashtags Are Important
70% of Instagram hashtags are branded. Customers use your branded hashtags to post user-generated content and it is easier for someone to monitor your brand through searching for one consistent keyword. However, it is also important to use geo-specific hashtags, as well, so the right audience discovers your business. Using overly-generic hashtags might get you more likes, but it is quality, not quantity that matters.
Instagram is a great tool for marketing, analyzing your followers and creating instant brand engagement. We hope that these 5 tips will help you improve your Instagram campaigns. If you need any help, contact us right here.