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Online Marketing Tips for 2013

Published on March 8, 2013
Tags: Web Design London

The area of online marketing is constantly growing and changing, and businesses need to keep on top of the most effective marketing tools in order to keep attracting visitors to their websites and, in turn, convert them into buyers or users of their services. 

But with so many options out there, how do you know which ones to focus on? Here are some of the main marketing tips that businesses will be looking at this year.
 
1. Create Engaging, Useful Online Content
 
The need for online content is nothing new, but there are still so many businesses out there who have websites that offer nothing new or interesting to potential customers. While it’s vital to have a clear, easy-to-navigate site which includes all of your company’s information, you should be offering more: this can be in the form of a frequently updated blog based around your chosen industry which will attract users in your target market. The more original, thought-provoking content you can offer them, the more time they’re likely to spend on your site; build a relationship with your readers, and they will be more likely to stay loyal to your company.
 
2. Keep Up With SEO Developments 
 
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has always been important when marketing your site, but make sure you’re up to date with the best way to implement keywords into your content and other SEO techniques. Download an SEO plugin for your blog or hire a company that specialises in search engine optimisation to help you out.
 
3. Go Responsive For Mobile Platforms
 
Smartphones are more popular than ever before, and with more and more people relying on their mobiles to surf the net and shop online, it is imperative that your website is formatted to be able to work on any sized device, including laptops, netbooks, and tablets, as well as phones. The easiest way to do this is to choose a responsive layout for your website. This is a single design theme that works on screens of all sizes and dimensions, and actually adds more to the site when a bigger screen is in use. There’s no need to pay for two separate designs, and offering a quick and easy mobile version of your website will encourage custom from people using all kinds of devices and platforms.
 
4. Make The Most Of Social Media Marketing
 
The popularity of websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest shouldn’t be underestimated, especially if your business site includes a blog. Whereas in the past, blog posts relied heavily on SEO to attract readers, social network websites are now helping in this area due to their sharing abilities. It’s quick and easy to add social media buttons onto the beginning or end of every blog post, and this encourages readers to share their favourite articles with their online friends. It is word of mouth for the internet generation, and every blog should take advantage of it.
 
There are many more marketing tips for increasing your website visitors, but following just a few of these should result in a more prosperous 2013.

By Chelsey Evans

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Tips On Creating Effective Marketing Videos

Published on February 22, 2013
Tags: Web Design London

 

Every business – no matter what type and what size – relies on a carefully planned marketing strategy to promote their company online, including writing blogs, creating a social media presence, running competitions, and setting up effective email campaigns. One technique of digital marketing is sometimes left out, however: that of creating online videos.

So what are the main points you need to consider when creating an effective marketing video?

1. Include Video In Your Existing Marketing Campaign

Due to your usual marketing, you will already know the demographics of your current clients, so tailor your video to these types of people. You’ll also need to decide what kind of video you want to make: examples include product demonstrations, interviews with employees, testimonials from clients, and a general overview of how your company works. Choose your objective and your target audience and create a plan for your video that will slot in with your existing marketing campaign.

2. Focus On Quality

uality is key. This may mean hiring a producer to film your video, or investing in some professional equipment if you plan to make several marketing videos in the future. If you do purchase your own set of tools, ensure you buy all of the accessories as well as a top-quality camera; a tripod is essential to stop amateur-looking shaky camera work, lights will ensure good visual quality, and microphones will help with the audio. If doing everything by yourself, you’ll also need to invest in some top-quality editing software if you want to give your video a polished look. Also, consider shooting in HD for a quality picture, and make use of close-ups for people who will be watching your video on a small screen.

3. Include A Call To Action

Like with other online marketing methods, you should always include a call to action in your video (or written underneath) to tell people what the desired next step is. Even if this is obvious – if you’re promoting a single product all throughout the video, for example – giving people a link or a specific instruction on what to do next is the best way of ensuring a sale, a mailing list sign up, or whatever else you wish the user to do.

4. Market Through Social Networks And Other Channels

Once your video is ready to go, it isn’t enough to simply upload it to your business website and wait for people to see it. Like with any marketing material, you need to distribute it through as many different channels as possible. By all means, place it on your website and on your company blog, but include social media badges and share buttons to encourage interaction on social media websites. Put the video on YouTube and post the link to your Facebook fans, your Twitter followers, your blog readers and on any other social media site you use.

You can also promote your video in printed publications; just add a QR code so that people can instantly watch the video on their phones or other mobile device.

 

By Chelsey Evans

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Marketing With Social Media Badges

Published on February 22, 2013
Tags: Web Design London

Social media marketing is nothing new, and neither are social media sharing badges, but how do you utilise these links to make the most of what you’re trying to promote? A lot of it, of course, depends on your type of business, but if you use a blog for SEO or other marketing purposes, knowing when to – and when not to – use social media badges can help you to attract more readers to your website.

So what things do you need to consider before using these badges on your blog or site?
 
1. Deciding Which Social Media Sites To Choose
 
There are hundreds of social media websites out there, and you need to choose which ones will be most useful for your business. For example, if you have a technology or science blog which will be of interest to many people, using Facebook and Twitter could help attract more visitors to your site. If it is a very specific business article, LinkedIn or Google + might be better. If you’re a photographer, Pinterest will be of great use to you. 
 
Just make sure that you limit yourselves to two or three: too many icons will make your website slow to load, which will put visitors off and will also damage your search engine listing. Speed aside, too many social media buttons will overwhelm your readers, and if they’re being asked to share on too many different sites, they might end up not sharing at all.
 
2. Deciding On The Type Of Sharing Button To Use
 
There are two main types of sharing buttons for social media: ordinary sharing icons and counter buttons. Counter buttons are becoming more popular, but if your article or blog post has no or only a few shares or likes, it could hinder rather than help you in promoting your site. People could see the small amount of interest and decide against looking at the article. An idea is to use ordinary sharing icons, and then change to counter buttons when your blog is getting more visitors.
 
3. Integrating The Buttons Into Your Site Design
 
Most social media sites will come with generic buttons you can use on your website or blog, and while it’s good to use images that are instantly recognisable to your readers, it doesn’t mean you have to be exactly the same as every other blog out there. Getting creative with your social media buttons can set your site or business apart from the rest and can help to attract more visitors. Adapt the button to your website’s colour theme, or include it in the actual design instead of having the buttons as separate elements. Anything that makes your site different will intrigue visitors and encourage them to read what you have to say.
 
In deciding on the most relevant sites for your business, the types of buttons to use, and how to integrate them into your website in an interesting way, you will be able to make the most of social media sharing.
 

By Chelsey Evans

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Inbound Marketing in 2013

Published on January 25, 2013
Tags: Web Design London

This year will see an increase in companies focusing on inbound marketing and moving away from traditional outbound marketing processes. It’s about time, too; customers no longer wish to be constantly bombarded with advertising when watching TV, surfing the web, or opening their post. In this day and age, there is simply too much of this kind of advertising to have any kind of positive effect – people skip TV adverts, put direct mail in the bin without opening it, and leave websites that have too much obvious advertising. This leads to a shift in customer behaviour, as they are more aware of the methods businesses use to target them, and are also more in control of the information they are receiving. This is where outbound marketing starts to become redundant and where the more subtle idea of inbound marketing comes into play.
 
What is outbound marketing?
 
Outbound marketing refers to the more traditional way of advertising to customers, such as TV adverts, direct mail, pay per click online ads, cold calling, and any other method of marketing that can be considered ‘intrusive’. Communication is generally just one-way, and there is no effort on the part of the company to inform or entertain the user. Businesses ‘beg’ customers to pay attention to them.
 
What is inbound marketing?
 
Inbound marketing utilises social media sites to create an approachable online presence, as well as making use of content marketing such as company blogs, ebooks, white papers and infographics. Communication is generally two-way, encouraging interaction with and participation from customers, and the goal of the marketing is to inform or entertain, rather than going straight for the hard sell. Businesses earn their right to target customers.
 
What are the advantages of inbound marketing over outbound marketing?
 
1. The Cost
 
Whereas businesses have always had to have big budgets for traditional marketing methods, the costs of inbound marketing processes are much lower, leading to a higher ROI.
 
2. Customers Discover You On Their Own
 
Outbound marketing relies on constant work to make sure advertising is being generated and seen by their potential client base, but this isn’t necessary with inbound marketing. Especially if you have created an informative blog that encourages participation, and have a strong social media presence, interested web users will share your content and get other people interested for you. Word of mouth in the internet age shouldn’t be underestimated.
 
3. Building Customer Loyalty
 
If you have taken the time to build your brand online and actually interact with your potential clients through social media, blogs, Youtube, and other channels, then your business suddenly seems more personal and more approachable. Also, if you provide new and intriguing insights on industry developments through these channels, people will begin to associate your business with specialist knowledge; they’ll keep coming back because they trust what you are saying.

Whatever you decide to do with your marketing, if you ensure that you identify your target audience, know what your desired action is (buy a product, sign up to a mailing list etc), and can measure your success rate to see what is and isn’t working, inbound marketing could help your business gain new customers and a whole new brand awareness online. 

By Chelsey Evans

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How Is Email Marketing Changing?

Published on January 25, 2013
Tags: Web Design London

With all the current focus on new and exciting marketing methods for online business promotion, email can sometimes get left behind, but the truth is that email marketing is constantly changing and improving, and it can still be a useful tool in gaining and keeping customers.

 
So what should we expect to see from email marketing in the upcoming year? Here are just a few of the many changes that businesses will be making to this marketing method in order to keep it up to date and relevant with today’s savvy web users.
 
1. Keep Your Email Campaigns Going
 
Some businesses are leaning more towards social media sites as well as their own company blog to keep in contact and interact with their customers. While this is good in terms of utilising inbound marketing techniques to attract new clients, not everyone uses social media in this way. This is particularly relevant with B2B companies; some people still prefer to keep their business life separate from their online social life, and therefore ignore interacting with brands on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. By all means, use these websites to target some customers, but be aware that others will still prefer receiving information from you solely through your business mailing list.
 
2. Embrace Mobile Platforms
 
Smartphones and tablets are getting more popular every day, and they are expected to get even more widespread this year. People want to access the web – and therefore their emails – on the go, quickly and easily and with minimal fuss. Businesses are slowly catching on to the fact that they should have mobile-friendly websites – by using responsive layouts, for instance – but they also need to focus on distributing mobile-friendly emails. This means only sending the most important information, and in a way that is easily read while on the move.
 
3. Make Use of Videos In Emails
 
Gone are the days where videos in emails are slow-loading and a hassle to watch; this year, HTML5 is expected to be utilised by many big brands in their email marketing campaigns. Get across all of the information you need in an entertaining and informative video, instead of emailing lots of long paragraphs that no one will want to read on their mobile device.
 
4. Using Automated Campaigns
 
Automated campaigns are used regularly by both B2C and B2B businesses, and they’re not going anywhere in the upcoming year. Some companies have started sending automated emails based on specific individual client information – such as customers’ birthdays – whereas others have been using behavioural based campaigns to target specific types of clients with their emails. ‘Welcome’ campaigns will continue to be just as important as ever in keeping new customers engaged with what your business has to offer.
 
If you make the emails you send to your clients easy to access and easy to read, as well as being informative and innovative – in the use of videos, for example – you will give your email marketing campaign the best chance to attract new customers and keep your existing clients happy.

By Chelsey Evans

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