What is Content Marketing

 

Content marketing is a key to helping businesses plan for a reliable source of website traffic and new leads that help generate awareness to your brand.

Traditional marketing is no longer something that is used often or even effective anymore. With the times changing, technology is finding new ways to adapt and create new ways to promote businesses. It is a marketing technique to distribute valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract a specific audience. For example, content marketing, for example, involves the creation and sharing of online material– social media posts, videos and blogs.

There is several types of content marketing that can be used strategically and successfully when used the right way.

Infographics include charts and statistics, webpages used for SEO or even videos and podcast that help promote your service and products in a whole new way. Social media, however, is one of the primary sources to promoting your content because it allows you to interact with your audience directly. This also creates a great opportunity to survey what your clients want and need from you as a business, which only benefits your content even further.

Here are three ways content marketing is used within a business:

  1. Owned – Sharing your content on the brand’s social media channels is quick, customizable and easy to connect with your target audience.
  2. Earned – Social media works best when your audience shares your content with their networks.
  3. Paid – Social networks that allow paid advertising. Matching a network’s demographics with your brand’s persona will help you determine where to invest. 

Why is content marketing important to your business? Content marketing taps into awareness and research of the customer needs and wants. When it comes to content, it provides the consumer with a better solution that they didn’t consider before.

Rules of Designing A Logo

What is a logo? A logo’s main purpose is to make a brand immediately recognizable, and inspire trust, loyalty and an implied superiority. Initially, it is what makes a company or business stand out in a competitive market. It is used to identify.

As Image is just as important, however, the main feature that your brand should include is a logo. It’s important not to ever hide your logo. Once you decide on an image for your company, it should be everywhere and on anything your customers have access to and in contact with. A logo can also be changed depending on the social media or different platforms that it is used on.

However, there are rules to designing the perfect logo for your business. One that represents everything your business believes and stands for. In doing so, your company will stand out among its competitors. Follow along for specific rules and tips on creating the best logo for your business!

  1. Create Balance – Having a balance is important for your logo. Keep your logo balanced and appealing by keeping the weight of the colors and graphics and the size equal.
  2. Know the Colors – When choosing colors for your logo, keep in mind what colors evoke feelings and moods. For example, yellow can evoke happiness. Avoid using colors that are so bright in the eyes, use colors that are near each other on the color wheel (for a warm palette use red, orange and yellow hues).
  3. Style – Your business design style should always suit the company. Also keep it mind that the more simple it is, the more recognizable it will be. If you start with a more complicated design, you often end up with a simpler version of it in the end.

Remember to create a logo that not only represents your business, but one that your audience and customers can relate to.

Branding Basics

Brand Identity is a huge factor when it comes to the success of your business. This includes keeping a specific color, pattern or even your own design to provide an image that perfectly suits and represents your business. Think of your mission statement and what its purpose is to your business. Essentially, your brand should represent that in one picture. It is what makes you stand out among your competitors.

So what is included in identity? It’s a clean way for describing your brand. This means stationeries, packaging, messaging, and even digital projects among others that follow a certain style guideline.

A brand is a relationship between an audience and a business. Initially, it’s the reward for the building loyal and genuine relationships with your audience. In doing so, as a business owner, you have to be aware of what it will represent to your customers. When creating your logo, it’s vital to have these three things come through:

  1. Vision – From offering an existing product in a completely new and inventive way, the vision for your business should be all about its journey and where it is meant to go, whether large scale or small.
  2. Values – Your values are what your business stands for and what you believe in as a business. This key is vital to be genuinely shown in the way that your business operates.
  3. Personality – With your three statements of ‘why’, ‘how’, and your brand promise, you now find how you would want your business to come across to your customers. This can come across through the graphic design, the tone used in your content, as well as through customer service.

Brand recognition is a powerful tool to have. It not only increases public recognition of your business or products, but can also help you engage with your customers and create a solid connection.

5 Must Have Features for Your Small Business Website

Making sure your business website has everything it needs can be a little overwhelming. From having all your business contact information properly in place or having to be certain that your website has a clear description of what your services are can make a huge impact on whether a view becomes a customer. Having a clean and modern approach to your site is what makes a business successful, especially when it embraces the right features. Here are 5 features each website should have:

  1. Mobile Friendly – Your small business depends on a good mobile strategy. Today, the majority of people research, browse, shop and do absolutely everything straight from a mobile device. Making sure your site supports every inch of its site through mobile can make a huge difference in keeping your customers happy and also informed.
  2. Integrate your Social Media – If your business is serious about using social media as a marketing tool either for your business or as a resource, having it connected to your site is important! Having it integrated with your main site allows an easier way for you to connect with your customers and vice versa. Always be sure the buttons are visible on every page, preferably top or bottom of the site.
  3. SEO – Search Engine Optimization is fundamental for any and every small business website. When using SEO, they have two functions: providing a ranked list of websites based on relevance to search term, as well as crawling and indexing sites. It helps position your website at a proper place where customers can find you easily when in need of a specific product or service.
  4. Include Testimonials and Reviews – Using testimonials of the customers who have used your business can help convert your website visitors into customers. This feature is one of the best ways to grab attention to your customers by showing the uniqueness of your business in comparison to others. It allows the customers to get to know you from a different perspective.
  5. Easy Navigation – Having a clean and easy navigation throughout your website can make your customers very happy. Think about what customers need to do on a specific page or where they should go to contact a staff member or customer service. The main page should have features that are easy to navigate to your customers.

These features will help you get started on your business website and successfully maintain it up-to-date with your customers.

How to Make your Business Blog Unique

Your blog is a great representation of what you want your business to stand for – well thought out and accurate knowledge for your audience. Blogging is known as an effective way for businesses and individuals to provide information, gain more business and create a strong relationship within their customers/audience. However, as the blogging industry continues to bloom, you’ll find hundreds and hundreds of blogs all trying to grab attention. Knowing what can make your blog stand out from the crowd is an important key to its survival.

So, how can you make your business blog unique?

  1. Content – Using content that specifically meets the needs, services and products of your business will be useful for your clients. Using ways to provide new and informative content to your blog gives your customers and easier way to be in the know of everything in your business. The more useful information you post, the more your readers will become regulars.
  2. Images and Videos – Having mixed media within your blog can definitely be a boost and maintain traffic. Having mixed media is a way to have your readers engage on a level that they prefer, making them crave for the next post.
  3. Find the Holes – One of the best ways to stand out, is looking for holes in any offerings of your competitors. If many fail to provide a service to a problem, use that specific niche as a problem solver and stand out with the difference.
  4. Become the expert – Your post can help demonstrate your expertise on a particular subject within your business, whether it’s in photography, graphic design, etc., over time you can become a go-to resource to your clients. This trick can help your readers be engaged in learning new resources and solutions in the specific subject.

Remember, your business blog should be easy to read and still encourage your readers to engage. Providing effective posts can create a support and loyalty system to your readers and customers.

How Long Should A Website Last?

When creating a website, the idea of how long it’s meant to last should always be kept in mind. On average, 3 to 5 years is the standard length to a website’s life. The design and coding is an important factor to take into account when creating your site. It’s also important to question what features are better for your website? Is it still helping your business? Or is it easy to access and navigate for your customers and clients?

The best ways to maintain the website’s life is to have constant and frequent updates on everything – many times allowing you to add new features and functionalities to your website as time progresses. After a few years, a website can begin to lose its appeal and can cause unwanted issues for your customers. Similar to seeing an old restaurant lose its appeal, customers can identify when and what websites are new and which are dying out. Therefore, a redesign has the potential to produce better results of turning visitors into sales, or even provide other valuable improvements to your business.

Here are some solutions to help keep your website looking brand new: 

  • Making sure your website contact is up to date like the contact information, or checking if your business hours and location are still current. If your staff members are also included in the website, it’s a good idea to keep track of the current ones as well. Aside from accurate content, providing important information to your website such as FAQs, articles and information for clients will allow them to frequently visit your website for anything they need.
  • Social Media is a big deal for any business success. Make sure your social media accounts are all linked correctly. By linking your media accounts directly, it allows everyone to follow the accounts to their preferences – Use buttons such as “Like/Follow/Share/Connect”.
  • Another cool feature you can design into your website are blogs or discussion forums. It gives you and your audience a better way to connect, as well being a great opportunity to keep track of any event, information or product that your business promotes.
  • Attract your audience eyes by providing more images and/or videos. This is a great way to add content that can help extend the time your site design remains for viable.

Depending on your business, a fresh design varies from an entirely new website. Different elements can be added or changed on a regular basis. In many cases, applying new designs to your already existing website does the trick and saves you time from having to redo it from the ground up. This lets you redesign and rebuild more quickly and effectively while still giving you the chance to update any changes later on.

The 3 Secrets of Successful Website Content

Businesses today require more than just price, quality and convenience. Instead, it requires a successful online foundation it can continue to strive and attract its customers. When using a successful online process, it’s important to know which factors will make your audience come back. Here are some tips to help you better engage your audience and keep your content to a perfect amount.

  1. Engaging but To-the-Point Content – When dealing with content, your main goal is to engage your audience but also to get your point directly across. For example, think Buzzfeed. The articles aren’t incredibly long, and the paragraphs are properly divided out to get their points across. The best way in doing so, is to point out examples that are short and directly will get your goal across to your readers.
  2. Compelling Imagery – It is much easier to process information with images. It  breaks up long chunks of text, as well as create a stronger experience for the audience to scan the site they are seeing. When using images, use images that are professional and relevant to what your content addresses. In addition to this, use images that are high quality which will bring a unique experience to your audience.
  3. Satisfying UI/UX – User Interface and User Experience is all about how the site looks and flows to your audience. Of course you’ll want it to attract the eye, as well as be intuitive and easy to navigate. However, it’s important to have it clean and consistent (user experience) before look (user interface). You shouldn’t have to teach your user how to navigate your product. In doing so, you avoid using too many new, intriguing features so it’s not overwhelming to your readers.
  4. Know What You’re Trying to Say – It’s important to know exactly what you want to say, and what your main goal is when having an online presence. In doing so, you can represent accurate and related topics and suggestions that better represent your brand. You’re also able to better engage your audience to social media platforms that will represent your brand to not only your needs, but to the needs of your customers as well. For example, if your business is strictly photography, platforms such as Instagram or Facebook can be a better platform to your brand because you are able to promote your photos and engage your customers accordingly.

With these four helpful tips, your website will be able to have accurate content to better suit your customers and your businesses.

PR Essential You Need to Know

When dealing with Public Relations, you never stop growing professionally and even personally. With every new development in the business, you adapt and take in a bit of information every time. With the right skills and motivation, a successful career in PR isn’t hard to come across, however, which essentials are needed in public relations? Follow along for a list of the top skills a PR must have.

  • Communication – From being a good listener, communicating with others is something that will happen every single day. As a PR person, you must be able to pick up on the slightest tone or emotion during a conversation. Aside from not allowing your emotions cloud your judgement, having a clear way of speaking and choosing words carefully, allows you to build a relationship with your client.
  • Expert in Social Media – The social media is redefining communication today as we know it and being knowledgeable about social media is an important factor. Knowing your client’s voice is vital to their needs, and knowing how to brand that out on social media is what they will need. Making use of Google Alerts and other tools keep you on top of the hot issues and on top of the competition.
  • Research Skills – A good researcher, in order to communicate accurately, needs to be knowledgeable about their clients and what their needs are. This allows you to keep track of a fast-paced markets and keep you up to speed with current affairs.
  • Be Creative – As a PR professional, not only will you be creative in writing, but being creative in ways to promote new businesses and approaching new clients. As a profession that is always calling for fresh new ideas, having a creative streak is a crucial skill to have. If you can think out of the box, you’ll make your clients happy.

Better Photos for Your Website Using A Smartphone

Ever wonder how people take these wonderful and bright photos on their phones? How could they get a perfect angle, with the right amount of light without a fancy camera? You look through their Instagram and Flickr for inspiration and next thing you know, you’re trying to take pictures like them. With practice and patience, taking top notch pictures on your phone will become a habit for you. Here are some tips to try to get a better photo without the use of a professional camera!

  • Use Grid to Balance – The grid is your bestfriend. Using the grid is great to help improve the balance and focus point of your photo. With a series of lines on the screen of your smartphone’s camera, based on the rule of thirds – a photographic composition principle that says an image should be broken down into thirds, vertically and horizontally, giving you nine parts in total to use. By  points onto your focus, your photo will become more balanced, leveled, and focused.
  • Edit, Don’t Filter – Why use the same filter many, many people are using as well? Branch out and be creative. By editing your photos, you can get creative with lighting and choosing what colors are going to bring your photo to life. There are several helpful apps that are perfect for editing to help you get perfect exposure, filtering, convert to black and white and help get rid of blemishes and unwanted spots. A few apps that are free and great for editing are VSCO and even Snapseed, which is great to use for tools like removing any unwanted object or to enhance the mood of your image.
  • Focus on One Subject – The best photos always include that one subject, whether it be a plate of food or one specific person. In which case, spending extra time on the shot is an important key. By tapping on the screen, it allows the camera to instantly focus on your subject, helping you ensure the right focus and lighting.  Always remember not to let your focus take up too much of the frame, but instead allow two-thirds of the photo to be negative space – letting the focused subject stand out even further.

With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to get the right focus, with the perfect lighting and edits to get your picture perfect!

Importance of SSL Certificate

Have you ever noticed the http:// and https:// in front of a URL before and wondered what they mean, or why the variation exists? Well, that is because the S in front of the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (http) determines whether or not the website has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate. Do you have an SSL Certificate in your website? Let’s look at some of the reasons for why you should consider it.

The ultimate purpose for an SSL Certificate is to secure all communication between your browser and the website, which secures the connection between clients and the server as information is being loaded. It encrypts all the data so it’s only understood and seen by those who are intended to have the information. This encrypts information by using two different keys. One key is the private, which is only known to the recipient of the data, and the second key is public.

This is important because information that is submitted to the Internet could get lost, or end up in the wrong destination since these data pass through multiple computers before reaching its target. SSL Certificates holds all types of important information, like the domain name, the owner’s name, the location of the owner, and more! Could you imagine if this type of information ended up in the wrong hands? That is why SSL is important.

If your business is a retail business or requires the exchange of money, having an SSL Certificate is a requirement. In other words, you need to have an SSL Certificate in order to accept online credit card payments. Aside from this, though, online users who know of SSL will NOT risk shopping on a non-secure site, so not having one can inhibit your business’ sales. Having this certificate can not only help you keep all important data secured but also help create a trusting relationship with your customers, which is needed in order to ensure that they will return to your site.