I spent years working on making websites adapt to multiple screen resolutions from 800 width up to 1024 and larger. But as the world has become more mobile, and the ubiquitous smartphone has taken over the information superhighway screen resolution has been reduced.
As we have let go the holy grail of page speed and low resolution graphics, and embraced high speed connections for end users, the mobile market has been struggling with looking at websites that only reduce to 760px and scroll left to right on a 3g or 4g connection.
There have been arguments for an against building mobile specific websites. Some think that mobile users are used to maneuvering the desktop site on a small touch screen, others contend that the easier the user interface the more engaged the customer.
Well the argument is over. Google is rewarding sites search engine ranking with mobile friendly designs. April 21 the new facet of the Google algorithm comes into play. If you want to reach mobile users through Google. you need a mobile friendly website.
There are a number of ways to achieve the mobile friendly format, including responsive design, and mobile specific pages served based on user agent.
PromoSta can help you make the switch, or migrate to a new mobile platform and keep your visitors engaged on whatever device they access your site with.
There have been a lot of developments in the last 15 years of the world wide web. We’ve gone from straight text on a page to some pretty astounding websites that are full on multimedia showcases of company products and services.
With those advancements have also come the development of the build your own service. Typically, a side note to a hosting solution from any of the big name hosting companies, and to a lesser extent some services specifically devoted to building “customized” websites.
Sure you can build your own. Brett did in this commercial:
But the question is: Should you?
Most importantly, you are focusing on building a business and selling your products or services. Building a website, no matter how easy the commercial may imply, is not your primary skill set.
Second, do you know what you are trying to market, and how best to do that? Does this offering make sense when you need to keep SEO, and customer engagement in mind?
Finally, and like Brett says, “Don’t be so surprised.” Is it a good idea?
PromoSta can help you to divine what your business strategy and marketing plan should look like, then build the marketing materials to work together to better tell your story and how it benefits your customers needs.
Once upon a time when the internet was a skeptical fad to companies trying to expand their marketing channels, I worked for an ad agency that worked for months developing a corporate presence for a client. One of the specific features they wanted was a group photo of the employees in front of the building and sign.
I suggested to them a couple times this may not be the best design element for the website, as well as some of the corporate literature. However, they insisted and we integrated it accordingly.
Unfortunately, our worst fears were realized a week after all the brochures had been printed and three days before the launch of the website, the VP of sales left for a competitor company, and a mad panic ensued removing the photo from the website, and re-printing the 8 page corporate capabilities brochure.
Fast forward 15 years, I’m still telling this story to everyone who wants a corporate profile showing everyone in the company. Individual pictures with a brief bio are fine, and easily edited in digital media (websites) however, I still suggest a group shot is a bad idea in the worst cases of Murphy’s Law.
However, when the need arises, photo editing has grown leaps and bounds since that fateful spring in the late 90’s and sometimes you just need a group photo professionally shot just mere weeks before – the guitarist quits!
PromoSta even has a solution for that!
Of course a couple months later… The singer quit… Sometimes you just have to take a new picture.
Detroit’s own rhythm and blues revue The Infatuations engaged PromoSta to develop a digital media strategy integrating disparate social media channels into a central web hub allowing the band to better communicate to fans regarding gigs, releases, products, and special appearances (Caleb Gutierrez sang the national anthem at Comerica Park).
Additionally, added graphic design elements to upcoming show promo flyers and facebook event banners. Upcoming releases for FREE Detroit – Summer ’13 Mixtape and digital download graphics and some schwag graphics as well.
Further integrated tools from Bandsintown, TopSpin Media and big cartel to allow the site to update fans from multiple channels.
Engaging your customers and internet search engines are important aspects of your marketing challenge while working to get to the ultimate goal… More Sales.
Every business needs a website. Many businesses have a website which is static and for lack of a better term dusty in the back of the interwebs…. Many times this can be the malaise of forgetting about it, being more focused on the important tasks at hand (we know marketing usually falls pretty far down the list) or just not having access to the website.
I work with some clients who have come to me with the complaint, “My old web designer was good, I just can’t seem to get him on the phone.” or “I’ve been waiting for this update for weeks now…”
There is an easy solution.
WordPress is an open source web design tool that can be easily, and cheaply, set up for your business. It can be daunting at first to use, but isn’t any harder than any word processing tool you may already be using and only slightly more complex than facebook.
PromoSta can help you to get your business up and running with WordPress, or migrate your existing content over into a fresher redesign powered by WordPress allowing you the ability to manage your web pages on your time and at your pace.
These web sites are very search engine friendly and catalog nicely into search results. If the idea of managing the pages is still daunting, PromoSta is always here to help with the development and upkeep of your site if you would prefer to just have someone else handle it.
When you purchase a domain name the company usually suggests you purchase a list of domains as well, the plural, the .net, .org, etc. etc.
Yep, it’s important.
The point is that you don’t want someone pilfering your potential clients, or trading on your fair name. There have been ongoing arguments about the legality of “Cybersquatting” purchasing domain names and then trying to resell them to the people who want them or use them to leverage against a similar name.
Here’s where it got to us.
My client RonsonRepair.com stumbled across a site that happened to be the plural of his. (I won’t provide a link to this “competitor”). After a little research we found that the owner of the site is a previous customer who purchased some repair products, failed to pay my client, and since has fashioned a version of the repair service based on my clients work, and gone into a competitive position.
This is an exception drag, as my client started this site as a hobby that has blossomed into a full time career. Of course whenever you are the best at something someone will try to eat into that success.
That’s pretty underhanded, and the way of the Internet. Just beware, and look at the investment of all those additional versions of your URL.. You may want to own them a couple years down the line.
Corporate Identity is the image that you present throughout your marketing and public image. This Identity should be consistent throughout all your public facing communications.
This Identity and its consistency helps to create your corporate persona, and identifies who you are, and what you do to your customers, clients, and prospects. In general your identity is the recognizable imagery that identifies your image to the public.
Recently, PromoSta helped Vilano Landscape create and implement a consistent corporate identity throughout a series of marketing channels.
We helped them to develop a vehicle logo that identifies the brand and provides contact information, allowing residents in the neighborhoods to know who is providing lawn care at their neighbor’s house.
Afterward we developed a consistent image into business cards that also identify the company, its image, and what they do.
Coming soon their website is coming online to provide in depth information on the lawn care services, maintenance and landscaping design. Additionally, clients will be able to request quotes, and order services through the website allowing the company to expand their services through the internet.
Is your corporate identity consistent throughout your marketing materials? Do people know who you are when they are holding your business card in one hand and viewing your website? If your corporate identity could use and overhaul contact PromoSta and let’s discuss how we can improve your image and consistency.
You wouldn’t leave your business with no supervision for three months.
Don’t neglect your website, it is your business child. Your website is like a growing child, it must be nurtured and fed to grow and learn to interact.
Updating your website with fresh content helps you and your business. Consumers start the majority of their searches for purchasing decisions on the internet. The more information you can present about your products and services the more likely you are to generate business.
Your primary point of initial contact with customers and prospects is through your website. Keep it fresh. Interact with that audience. See results.
Additionally, your web presence makes a statement about your company. You need to keep it consistent. Keep your corporate identity and brand consistent. This web presence has to reflect current technology on the internet. Customers expect information on the website for services such as FAQ’s, product documentation, and customer service. This is in addition to product explanations and online ordering.
Frequently updated websites are cataloged by search engines more frequently, increasing relevancy and naturally rising among the search results. Additionally, it gives you more opportunity to tell your story with additional content, and relevant keywords your target audience is searching for.
Interactivity is what customers are looking for on the internet now. Easily create that two way communication with new tools throughout the internet. Start with services such as facebook and twitter. Integrate newsletters into your marketing mix to get information about your company out to clients who request your information. Newsletters provide your audience an opportunity to provide feedback, which you can use to increase your customer service and shape your products and services to their needs.
Add a blog with RSS feed to your site, helping increase relevance among the search engines. Additionally, it keeps your customers and prospects abreast of updates to product and service offerings. Your website can be your ultimate sales tool in helping you cross market new products to existing clients.
As technology advances this interactivity gets easier and easier to implement. Power your website with WordPress, allowing you or your staff to take control of content, reducing your cost to agencies for frequent updates. While you can do these things yourself it is important to understand what you are doing and how to do it effectively. You need a professional to help you build the proper design keeping all the above elements in mind, and how to keep content consistent while expanding.
Ready to take your site to the next level? Eager to implement any or all of these suggestions? In need of a web site redesign for a modern look and functionality? Contact PromoSta to help guide you through the technology that can help you improve your bottom line.
PromoSta is proud to have partnered with Eric Dennis of St. Augustine to develop and launch www.ThisIsAGoodSign.com and work with the team there to deliver stickers and e-commerce solutions to their cause.
This Is A Good Sign has a philosophy that we are bombarded with bad news all the time… Sometimes too frequently. Good Sign team members work to spread positive vibes, and messages throughout the world, by just being happy. The response has been nearly overwhelming here in North Florida, and the campaign has spread easily into neighboring states, long distance to the coasts, and stickers have shown up in various countries!
PromoSta is happy to have been able to help spread some positive news in this time of relative bleak news reports, and dismal economic reports. The Good Sign Team would remind you that not everything is doom and gloom, these things shall pass, and it’s all about the fun you can have in the meantime.
All in all it’s a great message, and we fully concur.
Recently, I’ve worked with some companies to develop specific regional or niche markets focusing on a small audience to expand their overall product reach.
One example is a nationwide beauty product supplier AglowSkinCare.com who built a small focused market in Detroit pointed at people who attend events around the city. The subsequent offering DetroitBodyGrease.com promoted the Aglow Skin Care Line while also promoting Detroit Pride and local products.
Another example from our friends in the Midwest would be Label Network a nationwide product labeling company that provides any solution for products that need an adhesive label. However, since they were attending the same events as Aglow Skin Care (and their label supplier) Label Network Developed the “Product of Detroit” Line of stickers and promotional materials that not only became sought after merchandise, but also promoted the products available through the parent company Label Network.
Focused Niche markets are a good way to expand your broad products to a specific market. It also gives you an opportunity to expose yourself to an audience you may have never reached in the first place. In the Label Network example above, They began working with more local bands in the Detroit area for stickers and other promotional items. Musicians were a previously untapped market.
That relationship expanded into a new business venture called “Motor City Special” a promotional opportunity to record local bands and release live vinyl records and sell promotional products packaged in with the records and bands. A whole new line of t-shirts, stickers and records became part of the mix, and a new revenue stream. Not to mention the partners are having a blast doing it!
Business is business, but it is enjoyable when you find something you like to do, and can interact with new people providing a service, product, or cause a new market may be thirsty for.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?
Illustrations in your marketing copy are a must, especially with the low cost of digital publishing. But what does a video say about you, your product, or service?
It says a lot.
In the fast paced digital age, video is imperative in your marketing mix. People simply don’t think they have the time to read long copy. If your web page scrolls beyond the screen resolution it will rarely get read by anyone under 30.
As high speed broadband internet service is expanding into the modern home, video is the way to present your sales pitch, for a number of reasons.
The user doesn’t have to think to take in video content. A video reads the script to the viewer, and shows them processes in action.
Video is dynamic in that it shows the user how something works if it is not a simple process or still photography doesn’t do it justice.
Video shows your company has technological skill
Video stands out from other marketing techniques
Video can be integrated into multiple marketing channels such as websites, social media, and online advertising.
You can use video to show many aspects of your company, products and services as well as integrating other marketing tactics to your video efforts. Customer testimonials are a great example. Your prospective clients can see an actual person speaking on your company’s behalf about good service or superior products. This lends more credence to the testimonial than an anonymous note.
Many companies are leveraging video in different ways to show their products and service to purchasers. A recent story in USA Today shows how JC Penny is using customer’s video to promote their shopping experience. The production costs are nil to JC Penny, and the cost for soliciting the videos is some promotional gift cards which build additional customer loyalty while developing new customers virally.
Provide product-related information to aid use, including how-to for complex products that require training or further help.
Portray products in a real environment to help customers experience the product without seeing it in person. Extend your web site to give customers a more retail-like environment.
Extend other forms of content you’re already creating, such as Webinars, analyst presentations, and quarterly meetings.
With the advances of technology and low cost video equipment, computer editing software, and youtube hosting you can get video integrated into your marketing cost effectively. Additionally, you can generate this content as a commercial, without the cost of television advertising, and target your audience effectively and efficiently.
The old adage, “keeping an existing customer is cheaper than gaining a new one” is very important in this down economy.
What are you doing to keep your company, products and services in the forefront of your customers mind?
E-newsletters are the best solution for continual contact with your customers. Not only is this a cheap environmentally solution over the cost of direct mail, it can help you generate more business and track success effectively! For example, you can send a monthly newsletter or promotion, and view how many people received, opened and subsequently acted on your communication verifying that the effort had a positive Return on Investment (ROI).
PromoSta offers online solutions for developing e-newsletters and can help you to develop promotions that generate SALES!. For a fraction of the cost of a direct mail piece, you can communicate with your customers and inform them of new services, product specials, or news about your company, while reducing the amount of wasted paper and postal costs. Additional, you can give more information in an e- communication than in a postcard or direct mail piece as well as drive traffic to your website.
Contact PromoSta now to find out how we can help you increase customer loyalty by implementing an e-communication campaign.
PromoSta built the website ronsonrepair.com a few years back for a hobbyist specializing in repairing vintage art deco Ronson cigarette lighters.
The strategy was simple, an outlet to better describe his services, and market this skill to lighter collectors on the internet, in addition to buying and selling these lighters on e-bay.
The business was spawned as a result of that e-bay activity. As the repair work became a steady source of work, the lighter collector community on e-bay was well aware of the service. However, for the casual e-bay purchaser, and other vintage lighter owners who did not rely on e-bay there was an open market for additional Ronson lighter repair.
Frequently, people would find a Ronson lighter, or see them in old movies, and wonder what they were. As with any question in this day and age the majority of people turn to the internet and search engines to find their answers. (Do libraries even exist anymore?)
PromoSta developed a targeted SEO strategy, and built the site around the concept of ranking highly for targeted key phrases such as “Ronson Lighter repair” “Fix my Ronson Lighter” etc.
Over the course of three years the site has increased rankings, visibility and traffic through organic search engine placement and increased inquiries to the point the owner has nearly had to hire additional repair people. (Not the original intention of a retiree looking for something to occupy his time and expand his hobby.)
PromoSta can help you to develop a website or redesign and strategize a marketing plan that includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) throughout your site to increase market visibility and subsequently more business. Contact us to find out how.
With the Move to Florida, I’ve found that “Urban Decay” has a tamer definition here in Jacksonville. See more of the desolation that was my hometown at Billyvoo.com. It will become his new outlet for an expanding photography portfolio and showcasing his keen composition eye.