|Top 3 Reasons Web Design Is Crucial for Startups’ Success|
Web design can be the make or break factor for businesses, especially for startups that are just making their way into the competitive world of business. Yes, you’re probably well-aware that having a website for your startup is a must, but did you know that sometimes simply having a website is not enough. In fact, having a bad website can do your business more harm than good. Here are the three top reasons why web design is crucial for startups’ success and what factors you should consider when creating your website.
Great web design will keep users coming back, while bad web design will send them running. Not literally, but you get the point. Consequently, it is important to pay close attention to how your page looks and works. So, how exactly can you ensure a pleasant user experience for your web page visitors? Well, the main point is to make sure your startup website is user-friendly both in appearance and functionality. One way is to create a great landing page.
Although many perceive design to be concerned only with the aesthetic aspect, the reality is different. Yes, appearance is important, but functionality takes the gold medal in web design. If you want users to engage with your business, then you should ensure your website is user-friendly, both in appearance and functionality. This means that website content is easily accessible and is easy to consume. Otherwise, you risk losing interest and potential customers.
The most common reasons users stop engaging with websites are: content loading issues, content overload, and poor appearance of page and layout. Actually, 66% of people would rather view a beautifully designed website than a plain one. Also, you should make sure there is sufficient and relevant information about your business. Hiring a professional web designer can help you secure a pleasant user experience.
Great design and marketing go hand in hand. Due to a large presence online the majority of businesses employ an online marketing strategy due to this large reach. Online marketing is especially useful for startups if they want to compete with the big fish. Also, online marketing doesn’t have to be expensive which is perfect for startups with a limited budget at their disposal.
Feature links to social media pages, ad banners, email newsletters, or anything that can further support the aim of your business on your website. Placing eye-catching graphics to these external links can increase click-through rate. For instance, don’t just hyperlink the word ‘Facebook’. Instead create a fun clickable icon. Your visitors will love them!
Additionally, keep in mind that web design doesn’t stop at your website. Make sure your linked social media pages communicate your business goals just as effectively.
Branding can be considered one of the most important elements of your overall business strategy. Branding involves the way others perceive your brand. Web design is one of the best ways to communicate your brand mission. Moreover, websites are often the first point of contact for many clients, so this is the best place to share your business objectives. This provides an excellent opportunity to share what your business is all about. If you have the right approach, that is.
Many believe that branding means having a good logo and voila. But this is not so. Having a good logo is just the start. Branding incorporates effective marketing, engaging content, and alluring images. Basically, anything that promotes your company’s mission, while attracting interest and encouraging engagement from potential clients. And where is the best place to develop your branding strategy? Why, your website of course. For this reason, web design is crucial for branding success. If you have all the right content but lack the design, then your business may very well go downhill.
One piece of advice: don’t overwhelm your website visitors with too much information. Keep it simple and concise. Explaining the main objectives of your business and services with catchy content will increase likeliness for people to engage with your brand. In fact, statistics show that content inspires brand recall, which then increases customer engagement.
If you want to ensure your startup reaches success, then it is definitely worthwhile to revise your web design strategy. Even if you’re convinced your website and pages are looking great, there is always room for improvement. When designing your website, keep in mind that it should be tailored to meet customers’ needs and guide them towards reaching a solution. After all, people visit a website to solve a problem. Make sure your startup is their solution.
Martina Markovska is a writer who writes for Valoso Hub. A writer by day, a reader by night, she specializes in digital marketing and information technology content. You can find her online, passionately sharing her views, or offline curled up on her favorite armchair with a good book. Her inspiration: knowledge is power.
The 21st century is almost two decades old, and its early prodigies are reaching maturity. Social networking, digital marketing and visual branding are no longer in their infancies, and what started as experiments are now integral parts of our cultural sphere.
A near-fully connected world means that the line between consumer and marketer continues to blur. Brands now create messages not only to invite a customer’s purchase, but to inspire that same consumer to spread the message to a broader market. More than during any time in the past, consumers control a deeper level of the market.
“As consumers – via social media – we all have a seat at the marketing table – by sharing our needs and priorities through direct feedback and purchasing choices,” Influence-Central founder and CEO Stacy DeBroff recently told Forbes. “We’ve seen the impact of the ‘brand revolution’ on key consumer-facing industries. In the coming year, brands will become even more attuned to the needs and priorities of the consumer, and increasingly shape their product offerings around the latest lifestyle trends.”
It’s vital, therefore, that digital marketers stay in tune with the current pulse of branding, visual storytelling and social marketing in order to give consumers not only what they want to have, but also what they want to share. We’ve consulted the experts and identified the top 10 digital-marketing trends to watch for in 2017:
1. Episodic Stories
Audiences used to wonder how a story would end, but no more. People still to know what happens next, but they’d rather not see their favorite tales end at all. Why else would the world have been forced to withstand Sharknado 5?
There are now so many outlets to deliver content – and so many entities producing it – that niche audiences can find just about any subject matter that tickles their fancies. With so many options available, how do digital marketers capture – let alone keep – consumers’ attention? When they find what works, they stick with it.
Think about it: 30-plus years ago movie-goers were satisfied with three Star Wars films to complete the franchise. Now there’s so much demand for a galaxy far, far away that the world sees a new Jedi adventure every year. Meanwhile, 2.27 million Twitter users aren’t satisfied with a weekly episode of The Simpsons, and are hanging on Homer Simpson’s every tweet throughout each day.
Digital marketers are taking heed to these cultural changes, and 2017 promises to see episodic marketing stories move to the forefront. Just as the original soap operas were created to literally sell soap to television viewers, storytelling will play an integral role in 2017 advertising and branding efforts.
“Stop interrupting what people are interested in, and become what they’re interested in,” Marriot’s vice president of global creative and content marketing David Beebe advised brands at last year’s Contently Summit.
2. Virtual Reality
If there was any doubt that media has moved beyond two dimensions, it was shattered when 360 and VR technologies flew off the shelves on Black Friday – only a year after the release of the first mainstream virtual-reality devices in decades.
Now that VR gear is available to the average consumer, plenty of the biggest names in tech are releasing content to accompany the device, including movie-streaming apps, video games and marketing campaigns. Audiences can now interact with brands like never before as they walk around scenes, manipulate objects and even influence outcomes.
Instead of passively watching an actor demonstrate a product, customers can virtually use it themselves. Rather than looking at pretty pictures of a place they might like to visit, audiences can be fully immersed in the location, virtually take a short hike and walk along the beach. And as virtual reality becomes an even greater part of everyday life, its use in marketing promises to expand in ways we haven’t even yet imagined.
Engagement: it’s the ultimate marketing X factor and the ultimate goal of many branding experts. The more engaged an audience is with a brand, the more it matters to them, ultimately leading to more sales. And few strategies engage people more than gamification.
Motivating audiences to take action or modify behavior by applying gaming elements such as goals, points, levels and awards in non-game contexts isn’t new to 2017, but it’s still a fairly recent strategy.
The term “gamification” may have been coined in 2002, but the technique didn’t gain popularity until 2010. That year, Starbucks awarded customers who checked in at multiple locations custom Foursquare badges and special discounts. That and similar early campaigns were so successful that by 2013 more than 70 percent of Forbes Global 2000 companies surveyed said they planned to use gamification for marketing purposes.
Now that there’s an app for this, that and pretty much everything under the sun, gamification campaigns are popping up across the marketing universe.
Nike administers an immensely popular app that allows customers to record and track fitness achievements, work toward goals and compete against themselves or others. And countless brands now reward customers with points in exchange for leaving reviews or making purchases. But it’s not enough to just award points – they must also mean something. For gamification to succeed, customers must not only be engaged, but be motivated to continue playing.
A simple gamification strategy might reward customers with points each time they review a product, then allow them to redeem those points for discounts.
4. Instant Gratification
Digital marketers are now targeting the youngest group of consumers: Generation Z. And what do we know about kids that grew up surrounded by social media and technology, who never knew the agony of waiting on a dial-up Internet connection, the frustration of programming a VCR or the routine of waiting for a new episode each week? Their desire for instant gratification is like that of no previous generation.
It’s no wonder today’s youth gravitate toward the most instantaneous of social channels, such as SnapChat and Musical.ly. And companies that hope to attract and retain young consumers’ interest must keep up and evolve.
“This generation has grown up with instant response as its baseline expectation,” DeBroff told Forbes. “We can count on at least three platforms we’ve never heard of rising to social prominence next year that embrace faster, more pictorial and more spontaneous ways for Gen Z to bond.”
5. Real-time Marketing
Wearable and mobile technology continues to drive consumers’ expectations toward immediacy, and few strategies meet those desires like real-time marketing. The near-constant connection of the masses through social media provides unique opportunities for brands to capitalize on the latest news stories and events.
For example, many companies are now reaching out to customers who tweet their brand, sometimes almost instantaneously. A customer who complains about her internet provider via Twitter, for example, can be proactively contacted by customer service rather than being expected to call and wait extended lengths of time on hold.
Clever marketing strategists can also leverage social media to newsjack events in real time. When Superbowl XLVII was unexpectedly interrupted by a power cut, for example, the quick-thinking folks at Oreo created and tweeted a related meme that perfectly tied in the event with the brand. Within minutes, the tweet was retweeted more than 10,000 times, and Facebook users liked the image 18,000 times.
And while all social-media outlets are prime environments for real-time marketing, none offer as ideal a marriage between the two as Twitter. With its 140-character message limits, Twitter is based on the principle of real time.
What are users thinking or doing at this very moment? And the short messages scroll down the screen so quickly, whatever is tweeted can be seen instantly. In fact, according to a Trendology report which examined 106 major brands that utilized real-time marketing, those tweeting about unexpected occurrences during major events saw a 1,2000-percent increase in retweets per follower.
Of course when it comes down to it, most successful real-time marketing campaigns require plenty of planning. What are the odds that the Oreo team saw the power go out during the Super Bowl broadcast, created a marketing concept and had a designer create the graphic within the matter of seconds before it launched its successful tweet?
Isn’t it much more likely that the company’s forward-thinking marketers brainstormed weeks in advance for any unexpected events that could happen during the Super Bowl? It makes you wonder how many memes they designed for that evening – just in case – that never saw the light of day.
The folks at Getty Images truly have their fingers on the pulse of visual communication trends. In 2017, they expect graphic arts to move in the direction of realism. Audiences are growing tired of all the fancy filters, and they are now drawn to the raw, the gritty and the real. Unfiltered photography, drawing on principles of photojournalism, adds a documentary aesthetic to commercial imagery.
“What we are seeing now is content producers, whether that’s a digital marketer or an independent filmmaker, they want their project to mimic the style of the content that we are shooting and creating ourselves,” VideoBlocks CEO T.J. Leonard told Digital Trends.
The numbers certainly support the unfiltered trend. In the past year, VideoBlocks saw searches for “selfie” go up by 270 percent. Likewise, over at Getty Images, searches for “authenticity” increased by 104 percent and those for “real life” rose by 99 percent. Getty researchers have also identified a trend they call Color Surge, in which the color is the star of the image.
“Over the past five years, if not decade, social media and filters have meant that consumers were using a very nostalgic photo treatment – hazy, dreamy and washed out,” Getty Images visual-trends director Pam Grossman said. “Color Surge feels like the anecdote to that. It’s bright, astonishing and even unnatural. That’s very exciting to me because it feels like we are turning a visual page.”
7. Short Films
With the exception of toy companies, audiences rarely see an entire movie produced by a brand. Hollywood production costs must make 30-second television ads more feasible for brands that aren’t Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Legos. But like all technology, costs to create a movie are getting lower, and brand films are gaining popularity.
The short film – running anywhere from 10 minutes to a half-hour, is turning into a marketer’s dream. Long enough to entertain, the productions are also short enough to keep production costs manageable and promotion feasible across multiple platforms. And digital video is becoming the media of choice among younger consumers. In 2015, Americans spent more time each day with digital video than they spent with social media. Studies have also shows that an astounding 80 percent of millennials reference videos when making purchasing decisions.
Rather than blowing their marketing budgets renting TV air time, companies such as Jaguar, Samsung and Marriott are directing those funds toward creating high-quality short films that can be viewed on YouTube and other free video channels. But since 84 percent of millennials claim they dislike traditional advertising, the key to creating a successful brand movie is focusing on entertainment more than promotion.
“The story is ours to tell,” Intel’s co-marketing director Billie Goldman, who has helped produce the Emmy-winning Intel Films series since 2011, told Contently. “In product placement, I don’t get to own the journey and be woven throughout the story. When I own the content, I own all of that.”
8. Global Neighborhood
Any observer who didn’t just crawl out from under a rock knows the now live in a global society. Groups once separated by oceans now regularly connect with social media as though they were in the same room. And our role in a global society is influencing the ways we see ourselves. Rather than celebrating our likenesses, we now embrace our differences as a part of our cultural identity.
In response to social globalization, more digital marketers are focusing on inclusive campaigns that reach out to diverse groups. Rather than create separate campaigns for Brazil, Canada and Spain, why not combine efforts and craft an even better promotion that reaches customers in all three nations? Why limit the target audience to the local market, when a campaign could just as easily reach across the globe?
9. Artificial Intelligence
It’s the rise of the machines, and marketing experts predict 2017 will be the year artificial intelligence takes on a crucial role in the industry. AI allows digital marketers to meet ever-rising customer niche expectations by combining and analyzing a variety of data across a multitude of media and platforms.
The advanced insight provided by AI more than predicts market changes and consumer behavior, it can use those same algorithms to customize messages to each customer, encouraging the desired outcome. Every consumer experience will be unique, as computers determine who would respond best to which message on what platform and at what time.
Consumers are already taking note, the matching of searches in an internet browser to the ads displayed on Twitter and Facebook has become a frequent topic among social-media users. It is an AI system, after all, that determines if you are most likely to purchase a coat or a bikini, from Target or from Old Navy, and then directs Facebook to display a matching advertisement in your Newsfeed. And we’ve only seen the beginning.
10. Influencer Marketing
Whether they’re reading product review, browsing the blogs or watching their favorite YouTube personality, today’s consumers take note of others’ opinions when making purchasing decisions. According to Influence Central, 81 percent of consumers say they frequently buy items they’ve seen shared on social media, and 86 percent of female consumers agree that social-media content is now the primary source of online research used in their purchasing decisions.
The survey also found:
- 82 percent of female consumers say social media has changed the way they gather opinions and information.
- 81 percent of consumers say product reviews influence their shopping choices.
- 72 percent agreed that social media recommendations take the guesswork out of purchasing a new product.
- 94 percent of survey respondents report buying new food items and ingredients based on a social-media recipe, photo or suggestion.
If consumers are most-heavily influenced by online recommendations, then how do marketers target new customers? By targeting the influencers, of course.
Influencer marketing isn’t a new strategy. Companies have long sought influential spokespersons to help sell their products. Modern influencer marketing isn’t so different from Nike paying millions to Michael Jordan to help the company sell sneakers. But instead of writing Mike a check with a slew of zeroes, brands are offering popular bloggers free products or discounts to review their wares.
Social media influencers, specifically, aren’t traditional celebrities. Rather than famous actors and musicians, today’s influencers are regular, everyday people with typical lives and careers – and a large online following. In fact, a Variety survey of U.S. teens’ favorite influencers found that YouTube creators outranked traditional celebrities, taking eight of the top 10 spots.
Fortunately for the digital marketer in 2017, a variety of tools are available to create visually-stunning, interactive and informative content that is right in line with any of the year’s top trends. Resources such as Visme enable designers of all skill levels to craft engaging infographics and presentations that appeal to a broad range of audience demographics.
With nothing more than a browser and an internet connection, anyone can tell better stories and translate boring data into beautiful, engaging and interactive content with an easy-to-use editor.
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|Polishing Your Writing? Follow These 3 Self-Editing Steps|
Editing as a Key to Writing Success
Every writer should raise his competence in editing and proofreading. It does not matter that the writer will edit and proofread someone else’s writing, it only means that he will use this skill to make his writing better. These steps are important for everyone – for professional fiction writers, for academic writers, and for students. Everyone should understand what he or she may do with the text to make it better.
Of course, a person can always order professional editing and proofreading services, but if he or she writes a lot, it will be necessary to find a person available 24/7/365. And you probably agree with me that the best person available all the time is you. Besides, you understand the idea of your writing, your intentions, and your target audience, and you do not need to explain all these things to someone else. The only problem is that you need to be critical of yourself. When you proofread the article you should not think about it as about your article. You need to be objective and distracted enough to check it critically and find the mistakes that you did not notice. However, if you find a good company or editor to become your companion, you may save your time and write even more enjoying high-quality proofreading services.
Three Steps for Professional Proofreading
So now let us move to the practical methods of making your writing better. There are three important steps that you need to perform every time when your piece of writing is ready.
1. Cut It Off
The common problem of all writers is their greed to words. It does not matter that they do not write enough, it means that they write a lot, but they do not want to make their writing shorter. When someone asks them to make a piece of writing a little bit shorter, this is a real problem for them, as they think that every single word in the text is important.
However, a good writer should understand that the real art is to write shorter and preserve all the ideas in a brief form. People do like to read long texts, but they do not have time for that, and your task is to simplify their life making writing more available for reading.
If you feel that you cannot delete some idea or sentence, try to paraphrase it in such a way that you are able to preserve the meaning but use shorter phrases and words.
2. Fill It with Strong Words
Do you know that a verb is considered to be the strongest part of speech? Most of the writers and common people think that an adjective is stronger, but most of the adjectives have an opposite effect. People do not believe things that are described with the adjectives but they do believe things described as verbs.
Try to fill your text with strong verbs and get rid of adjectives that make it weaker and less impressive. When you write, always pay attention to what parts of speech you prefer to use.
3. Mind Your Grammar
Although most people write with mistakes, they hate to notice mistakes in writing of other people. Perhaps, you have noticed that when you notice a mistake in a newspaper, you feel disappointed and cannot longer believe that the text is written by a professional. The same is with any other piece of writing. Your text should be perfect in grammar and spelling so that your reader is satisfied and enjoys every sentence he reads. Good grammar and spelling create a proper level of trust.
Of course, you may have some problems with writing correctly, but today, this is not the problem that you cannot fix. There are various apps that help enhance your writing just in a minute. Use these apps or order services of a professional editor.
And there is one more tip that will help you improve your writing. Give yourself some time before you start to proofread and edit your paper. A couple of days or a week will be enough to get distracted from your writing, and you will be able to look at your writing from a new perspective.
We strongly recommend that you check your writing and try all the methods to turn into a high-quality and impressive piece of content. Whatever you write proofread the article. Your readers always deserve better, so just give a try to making a step forward to shiny writing with no mistakes!
Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed his sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Currently, Kevin works as a part-time writer at the BreezeWriting. Apart from writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn.
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Smart devices have replaced laptops and desktop computers as the primary platform for going online. The combination of advances in wireless technology and the release of more powerful smartphone components and apps can be attributed to this notable trend.
However, if you are not careful with your mobile data consumption, you can end up wasting a substantial amount of money — or worse, have your data plan cancelled or suspended.
If you rely heavily on your device as your primary mode of connecting to the internet, it is crucial to find the best mobile data plan that meets both your needs and budget.
How do you make that choice?
The first thing that you need to do is to determine the service quality offered by each carrier in your area. This will help you narrow down your choices further.
If you frequently travel overseas, you may want to factor in international availability.
The next thing that you will need to determine is how much data you actually need. You need to be aware that some carriers levy high penalties when you go over your monthly mobile data allocation.
Do not opt for an unlimited data plan unless you are sure that your consumption and needs actually merit going for one. Otherwise, you will end up overpaying. Plus, you can effectively manage your data consumption by using a few nifty tricks, like switching to Wi-Fi when you get home.
In order to determine how much data you actually need, you have to look at how much data you have consumed in the past. To do this, you need to go to your phone's data setting. This will tell you how much data you have used previously as well as the apps and services which use up most of the data.
Once you have a clear picture of how much data you actually consume in a month, the next thing that you need to determine is how much talk time you actually need.
Some carriers offer their customers plans that have lower total minutes but higher allocated data. If you use your device more as a computer rather than a phone, you might want to check these plans.
Next, determine what the penalties are for data overages for each plan on your shortlist. Be aware that each carrier has different penalties for overages. The last thing that you would want is to be caught by surprise with these penalties. Be sure that you read the fine print.
Finally, there are some carriers that require you to get a new phone from them or from another dealer. Often, this means that your upfront cost for your new mobile data plan can go higher. However, if you are not picky about which device to get, there are plenty of budget options available for you. Plus, a new smartphone often pays for itself over time.
Bob Josward is an IT specialist by profession and a content creator by passion. He is much drawn to technology and is a tech savvy. With his interest on the effects of technology in the business industry, he often spends time reading and researching about gadgets, its advantages and disadvantages, for different kinds of businesses. He visits sites like https://www.sa.zain.com. He uses his love and passion for writing as a medium in effectively delivering his message for other readers and bloggers out there who share the same interest as his.
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In the world of digital or online marketing, what marketers market along with all the products and services is the image and brand of the company. Brand – a simple word but greatly influences the success and longevity of any business or institution. What is branding and why does it trigger so many facets in marketing? Furthermore, how important is branding in coming up with the website design as well as both online and social media marketing efforts?
To define brand simply - it is the identity every company seeks to instill in every consumers’ minds. Brand is what people think about a company, organization, or business – what people initially think of when they hear a company or business name. Most people think that the logo IS the brand but there is so much more than that – more than the logo, there is that story, the struggles and successes, the vision and mission that molded the company. When we talk about branding, it pertains to the various ways an institution shares its message across to people about what the institution really is – its ideals, values and so on.
Branding is a crucial component in all forms of marketing – may it be traditional or digital. When done the right way, branding will eventually help the business cement its reputation and hold unto its chosen market.
How crucial is brand consistency and why does it matter?
From the word itself, brand consistency refers to the absence of any form of confusion or ambiguity surrounding the brand. Here are three (3) reasons why brand consistency matters for every business or institution regardless of the size or market:
1. Your brand is what sets you apart from all the rest of those in the same market.
Refrain from copying off somebody else’s brand that is quite similar to yours. If you already have a brand in mind, then work around it. Remember, you do not want to be associated with another brand: “This is quite similar to Brand X”, “This is exactly like Brand C”, “Why do I feel like you are Brand Q but with a different name?” Make your brand consistent from what you initially want it to be. Consistency in your branding solidifies how people view your company. As your brand is already cemented among the masses, you will definitely stand out among competitors in the same industry.
2. Brand consistency shoots up your credibility.
If you keep changing your brand from Brand X to Brand C then Brand D and so on, then your consumers will definitely have a hard time to keep up. Not being able to keep up with your brand changes will result to consumers having second thoughts about your brand and may end up with people no longer recognizing your brand. Building trust through branding happens when there is consistency – regardless of which platform you use, your brand relays the same message over and over again.
3. Brand consistency gets your message across efficiently.
A consistent voice that brings that one and only message across will help people understand your company and the products and services it offers. There should be consistency from one form of communication to another in order for customers to recognize your brand right away. Make each point of contact count by instilling in the minds of your various users what really your brand is, its story and the message you wish people to understand and convey to others.
It is quite difficult to follow through brand consistency especially when there are inevitable changes in the consumer market, changes in the demand for certain products and services and changes in the goals and visions of the company. This is the very reason why there are institutions well-equipped and trained to take on branding for various clients.
There are a number of web development companies out there that caters to various digital marketing services such as mobile application, social media marketing, online marketing, custom web design, branding, and so on. It’s crucial to choose one of these companies for your digital marketing needs in order to maintain the consistency of your brand. As business owners, one should be critical in making this decision because branding is very essential to your business. It’s what entails your company’s or your products’ trademark. It is mostly the common reason why big companies tend to get bigger through times. It is notable that brand consistency makes people remember the best things about you and your company throughout times. You should make your brand classic through brand consistency.
I am Kevin Clyde Sumalinog Digital Marketer at Proweaver, a web development company specializing in Custom Web Design which helps sole proprietors and small companies increase their sales and grow their business. I am responsible in Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing. You can find us on Twitter: @proweaver