Digital Décor

Posted on October 29th, 2014 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

When it comes to holiday time, we decorate pretty much everything there is in existence. We decorate houses, offices, stores, cars, food, trees and streets. You name it and there probably is a decoration for it. So why not decorate your online place of business? In this digital age, people do everything online and it would be smart for brands to do some online decorating for the holiday season.

 

Every year each and every brand should do something to acknowledge the upcoming holidays with Thanksgiving and Christmas décor on their websites. This gets users in the spirit of holidays, which leads to more engagement with the website. One example of decorating your online hub would be to decorate the logo with holiday décor. It gives the logo some holiday spirit. Another one would be to use some Christmas lights along the top of the website or along the menu. All these allow their users to connect with the brand.

 

Here are some examples Google has done over the years.

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Another reason to decorate your website for the holidays is that it is a way for the website to connect with the users and also to be current and up-to-date. It’s refreshing to see that a website is actually being updated! Websites that don’t take advantage of holiday decorating tend to feel outdated and make users feel out of touch. Simple animations (a Christmas tree, Thanksgiving turkey, ornaments or snow) bring joy to the audience and gets them more engaged with the website.

 

As we all know, more engagement leads to more consumers, which ultimately leads to more sales. Making the emotional connection to the user can be difference in making a sale and there isn’t a better opportunity to do this than the holidays. The customers who interact with your brand will become more engaged because of the holiday décor and based upon the experience they have, the consumer may become loyal and always think of your brand first.

5 Sites for Infographics

Posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

 

In a world where content that has too many words ends up being tossed aside, it’s becoming more difficult to create engaging content that slices through all the words while still being a healthy balance of information and pictures. Infographics have become powerful tools used by companies, customers, and the public. These are especially important when it comes to branding and creating creative content.

 

Visual.ly

 

No training is needed and this site has templates for putting together infographics with haste. It can be used for free to quickly and easily illustrate a business process or show how a small company is structured.  The site also demonstrates what type of infographic to use for different purposes. There is an option that allows you to upgrade and pay extra for a professional infographic customized for your brand or you could even negotiate for an interactive one!

 

Infogr.am

 

This site is easy to use because it allows you to create or embed your infographic, charts wherever you like. With Infogr.am, you can import Excel data and add Vimeo or YouTube videos to make engaging graphics, which are always eye-catching!  By making engaging graphics, you increase traffic to your website with creative content that’s easy to interpret and read by your audience. What makes their site different and in the top five is the ability to create interactive infographics that can engage your audience further.

 

Easel.ly

 

Almost 150,000 visuals have been created with Easel.ly, which has well-designed starter templates. With a lot of Easel.ly’s users it’s quite simple to get inspired as well as learn how to make your infographic more relevant and engaging to your audience by creating infographics and sharing video as well as template ideas. Though the free membership only comes with a few free templates, its user-friendly interface helped bring this site into the top five.

 

PiktoChart

 

Another site, PiktoChart.com, offers a starter set of six templates for free, but begins to charge for any templates not included in the six free templates. A pro account includes more than 100 templates and more than 1,000 icons and images to use in your graphics This site offers services that can help you make an infographic to represent your brand. With simple and clean design, the site is able to assist and advise users how to create a story in their graphics.

 

InfoActive

 

This site won a startup accelerator award at SXSW in March of 2013. This service allows its users to customize an entire page with graphics, headlines and charts. The site is easy to register on and makes a smooth transition for users to get started building their infographic. Though it is mostly for information with charts and data rather than pictures and content, its user-friendly aspects and ability for the user to create a polished infographic puts this site in the top five.

 

Whether you want to pay for the service or find a free template, these five sites can make that content you’re trying to share with your audience more engaging and easier to read.

 

5 Reasons to Encourage “Checking-In”

Posted on October 15th, 2014 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

iStock_000027632272SmallIn this day and age everyone has the ability access the Internet in the palms of their hands.   The growing influence of social media allows for everyone’s opinion to be heard, and this can be leveraged for growing businesses.

 

Checking-in allows the user to publicly announce his or her location using their smartphone.  For instance, if a customer is at their favorite restaurant they simply create a status, check-in with your location and post. Everyone who follows you will be able to see exactly where you are! Here are 5 reasons why every business owner should encourage their customers to check-in:

 

 Exposure

Exposure is very important to a growing business and checking-in is a great way to expand your reach to potential customers. Seventy-four percent of smartphone users get real–time location-based information on their phones.  On average Facebook users have more than 200 friends in their network so it only takes one person to check-in to increase the exposure for your business.

 

Website Traffic

It is important for businesses to become socially connected, which means more than just having a website. Businesses must join other social media and make sure it is linked to its website. When people check-in at the business’s location all of the users that see the post could potentially view the website as well and decide to stop by in the future.

 

Revenue

Checking-in is not limited to displaying your location, but it also allows you to post a review of the experience! Did you know that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? The more consumers that check-in with a positive review will establish credibility for the business.

 

Customer Engagement

Reward your most loyal customers with exclusive offers to help attract new customers. Customers who engage with companies over social medial spend 20% to 40% more money than other customers. The idea is to give to your customers and they will return the favor by sharing the deals they receive thus bringing in more business!

 

Advertisement

If a company has a new product or service then checking-in is an easy way to get subtle advertisements on social media. After all, business’s customers are walking, talking, posting and tweeting advertisements! A business can provide incentives for the people that interact with them on social media like allowing them to try out the new products first!

Social media is changing the way businesses do business so make sure you get the most out of the potential that is online. Keep checking back with us for more tips!

Bandwidth Cap

Posted on October 8th, 2014 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Some data providers, such as Comcast, have been experimenting with metering Internet that would provide plans with only 300 GB worth of Internet usage and for every few hundred GBs over the consumer would pay a fee. Putting a limit to the usage of Internet is called the “Bandwidth Cap” and its purpose is to persuade consumers to buy cable services that will prevent online television or movie streaming or downloading.

 

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This can affect the online marketing area because the bandwidth being provided after someone goes over to 300GB cap will immediately decrease. High definition and large picture advertisements require more bandwidth and if the customer goes over the cap it will take longer for those websites and ads that require more data. Websites that we reach out to on a daily basis like Yahoo and Google would load more slowly after the 300 GB cap. Traffic for these sites could decrease with the bandwidth cap.

 

 

Today people do not like to sit and wait for things such as images or ads to load. The world of today is more fast-paced than ever. We have to-go drive-thrus, text-to-order restaurants, apps that send our pictures for printing – everything is fast-paced and doesn’t have time to slow down. A bandwidth cap could have the potential to put our society back a few years and that is one thing that nobody can afford.

 

You may be wondering how anybody can go over 300 GB? We answer that with this – think about how much you do on your computer or phone using your Internet. People download movies, stream videos, make purchases, save photos, download GIFs… the list can go on forever.

 

Despite all that we do there are a few ways to deal with the cap which include using sites that determine the most efficient use of bandwidth for you, restricting browser bandwidth usage and scheduling downloads. These caps haven’t hit us hard yet, but it’s never too late to start preparing to save a few GB.

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