As website technologies rapidly evolve, it's easy to get left in the dust. Updating your website every four years is a good rule of thumb, unless your site is built on a system that is scalable and can evolve with the technological updates. If you are starting to think about revamping your current site, there is a lot to think about. It's easy to get giddy about some of the cool bells and whistles that are out there, but they can easily drive your cost up. To help you prioritize certain features, we have put together a list of the website functionality your site needs to have.
Topics: Web Design
History has taught us many lessons and provided us some great leaders. One of those leaders was the legendary Benjamin Franklin. For all that he did to help this country establish independence, there is one quote of his that has always stuck out in my mind, "When you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail." That line resonates across all aspects of life, business, and even website development. Creating a plan for your new website is crucial and something that should never be over looked. We've had many people who know they are in need of an update but don't quite understand exactly what they need or how they can use their website. A new website is great but take some time to think through how that website will grow your business. Here are 5 aspects of planning a website that often get overlooked but should be thought through prior to any design or coding.
Topics: Web Design
So you've been searching around the internet, looking at your competitors and checking out cool new websites, and you started thinking, "Maybe it's time for a website update." I get it, it's like the guy who cruises through the car lot and decides his 2001 Ford F150 is a little dated. And with how fast web design and development is evolving, it starts to make your own website look outdated. Redesigning your website isn't an easy decision; it can be expensive, you may be impacted on your rankings and you will probably have to update some content, but there are some tell tale signs that it really is time to bite the bullet and start the process. Here's a list of 10 signs that it's time for a website update.
Topics: Web Design
Remember those terrible '90s Canon EOS Rebel commercials with Andre Agassi and his super sweet mullet? You know, the ones where he would peer over his dark sunglasses and say, "Image is everything!" Now we all know there are very few marketing strategies that trump a well placed mullet, but honestly, Canon was right on. In marketing, image is everything. It's what attracts consumers to your brand and sets you apart from your competition. It is your messaging, it is your imagery, but most of all, it is your brand positioning. In other words, it's the process of establishing your brand in the minds of consumers. In some ways this is a natural process, but for most successful brands, this process is a well thought-out strategy. So, how is your brand positioned? Do you know? Have you given this some thought? How is your brand positioning reflected in your marketing and social media?
Social media marketing can be a double-edged sword. To get results, you need to find what works for you, but to find what works, you need to invest a lot of time. To save yourself time and from having to read the rest of this blog, I've got two words for you, "CAT VIDEOS." I hope you could sense the sarcasm there, and if you couldn't, maybe this blog isn't for you. For those of you who really do love cat videos in your marketing... this blog might not be for you either. But, for those of you who want to learn a few tips that could help your social media marketing finally produce results, continue on and lets have some fun. Isn't that what social media is all about?
Topics: Digital Marketing
Social media can be a very fickle beast. Just when you think you are heading in the right direction you start to see a drop in engagement, so you switch things up to try something new and the days of planning and strategizing are out the window. Maybe it isn't the strategy that is failing, maybe it's your brand voice. Voice? YES, voice! Social media is all about connecting with your audience. Connections are developed by identifying common interests, senses of humor, vocabulary, and values. Establishing a consistent voice is the key to humanize your brand and develop a connection with your audience. Remember that kid in high school who would change how he acted based on the group of people he was talking to? He never really fit in until he matured and found his voice. Marketing is just like high school except your brand doesn't have acne or go to homecoming dances. Here are a few things to think about when establishing a brand voice.
These days you hear a lot about branding, building a brand, growing your brand and branding yourself. But what is all this talk about a brand? Heck, even professional athletes attempt to enhance their brand to give them more leverage for contract negotiations. When we talk about branding in this sense, what we are really talking about is reputation and perceived value. If you have a strong brand, more than likely you have a good reputation and would consider your product/service valued. So when Kim Kardashian takes a selfie it may take her 25 tries to get her lips to have the perfect duck face look, because she is trying to maintain her brand and all that it represents (sense the sarcasm.) So if you are looking to build a brand for your business or maybe you are a blogger wanting to build your personal brand, here is a list of tips that will help.
As a brand, when your marketing transcends your messaging an amazing thing starts to happen. People begin talking about you or sharing pictures about your products in a way that becomes marketing in and of itself. I'm talking about user generated content. In many ways, this is the gold standard in terms of digital marketing. Your brand has become so strong that people willingly post about your business. This type of user marketing is priceless, but where do you even begin to get people to talk about your brand?
In conversations with marketing execs and owners of aspiring outdoor companies, two questions kept popping up, "How to I get more social media followers?" and "How do I get people to talk about my brand on social media?" I covered the topic of growing your followers in "8 Ways Brands Can Increase Instagram Followers" but now lets tackle the issue of user generated content. After all, doesn't everyone want to achieve transcendent marketing?
Topics: Digital Marketing
I haven't chimed in with a blog in a while as I have been busy traveling for client meetings and spending time with my family to celebrate my daughter's 1st birthday and baptism. But I am back in the office for at least a few weeks so I am getting back in the saddle, so to speak.
For most people in our country, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer and this holds true for our office. Starting this week we switch to our summer schedule where we only work until 1pm on Fridays. This gives our staff the ability to get out and enjoy Montana. We have all chosen to live here for a reason and most of those reasons have something to do with recreation. So as we continue to carry out our "Work Hard, Play Hard," motto, here are a few spots that I am looking foward to hiking this summer.
The concept of brand ambassadors, or social influencers, has been around for years. The use of social media didn't create the need for brand ambassadors, it just made it far more common. Think about the impact Michael Jordan brought to Nike. What would Nike be without the "Air Jordan?" M.J. came into the league in 1984 and so too came the famous Air Jordans. People clung to his athletic success, big smile and winning attitude. They wanted to "Be Like Mike." They wanted to share those experiences through the products he was affiliated with. Using brand ambassadors is the exact same idea. Through brand ambassadors, you are not selling products, you are selling the experience. You are humanizing your marketing which has proven to be far more effective in today's marketplace. According to Visioncritical, four out of ten Facebook users have gone beyond liking, sharing, or commenting on a product to actually buying it and 43% of social media users have purchased a product after sharing or favoriting it on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. These are really good numbers and a great representation of how brand ambassadors can impact your sales. So how do you go about using social influencers? Here are a few tips to help you make some sense of this not-so-new concept.
Topics: Digital Marketing