Desktop vs Mobile Advertising

Smartphones are here to stay. 257 million Americans had a smartphone in 2018, and that number is only going to rise as the years go by. People do everything on their phones; text and call each other, browse social media, read books, and surf the internet. Finding a way to advertise to those users can go a long way to spreading brand awareness. But there are some key differences between internet advertising on a computer and advertising on a mobile device. Let’s go through desktop vs mobile advertising.

Real Estate

The biggest difference between mobile devices and a personal computer is the available space. With a computer, space is hardly ever an issue. Even with the smallest laptops, full-screen browsers offer plenty of space to display menus, banners, navigation tools, and columns for text. Mobile devices are another story. Even with a tablet, the available space for different compositions is limited. Keeping in mind how your website or ad will be displayed on a phone or tablet will help improve reactions to your brand.

Try to keep your call to actions simple on a mobile page. One link to a cart or a contact page is more than enough for a mobile page. Keep the text to one column and make sure it scales for mobile. There’s nothing quite as annoying as having to zoom in and out of a text, scrolling across the page, just to read it.

Optimization

While utilizing the available real estate and space you have for mobile, it is also vital you optimize your page for mobile users; or use a mobile-specific page. Many websites’ navigation relies on mouse hovering, holding your cursor over a link to show more menus. This doesn’t exist on mobile. There are no cursors, only fingers. Having a system that relies on something not there is only going to annoy and frustrate users.

Videos

Videos are another sticking point with mobile users. Many websites will load a video when users access the site. Maybe it’s a news story, maybe it’s an ad. Whatever it is, it must load. This isn’t a problem with a computer over Wi-Fi. Wireless internet is pretty fast nowadays, so bandwidth isn’t a big deal for some at home. Using mobile data, however, is not as quick. You have limited bandwidth on mobile and having a video load right out the gate may slow down site load times.

Adobe Flash is installed on close to 90% of computers, so designing an ad running on flash isn’t a terrible idea for desktop. But for mobile, flash isn’t nearly as popular. It runs only on a few versions of Android operating systems and is completely banned by iOS. That means if you have an ad based on flash, anyone using Apple products won’t see it.

Know Which Ads to Use

Knowing what types of ads to run when interacting with mobile users is crucial. Most people, while using a computer, are sitting down, focusing on the screen in front of them. Often, they’re working or doing something that needs a computer specifically. Longer ads work well here because they’re captive audiences. Mobile usage is different. Users are more likely to use their mobile devices in between activities that require their attention. Browsing social media on the train during their commute, texting a friend while in the waiting room of an appointment, shopping online while on their couch during a commercial break. Mobile devices have used a distraction for most, something to fill downtime with. Keeping your ads short for mobile is ideal. If it’s too long, people might get bored and move on.

Conclusion

There are some key differences between desktop and mobile marketing. Being aware of these differences and knowing how to utilize the advantages and avoid the disadvantages is important. Having a mobile-optimized site is ideal. This way you can take advantage of the benefits of both formats without having to tip-toe around the detractions of the other format. You can tailor ads for the focus you get from a computer user and use the higher interaction rates of mobile users. If you have any questions, contact us here!

Hashtags and Digital Marketing

hashtags

Social media is an important part of our world. Utilizing the platform in your business is also an important task. But how do you use the hashtag in digital marketing? We first have to start with what a hashtag is. Hashtag is the name for the pound sign (#) in the social media world. It began being used as a “hashtag” by Chris Messina in 2007 on twitter. Its purpose is to group posts and other content into easily accessible pathways for users. It is called a “hashtag” rather than “pound sign” because “pound sign” in the UK refers to “£” rather than “#” which is called “hash,” “gate,” and sometimes “octothorpe.”

Today the hashtag is almost ubiquitous with social media, being embraced on almost every platform ranging from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook. The hashtag has entered the cultural zeitgeist, it’s been embraced, it’s been parodied, and it’s been used in everything from disaster relief to weddings to advertising. This means that the hashtag is incredibly useful for online advertising and social media engagement, but how do you use it? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out; here are some tips to utilizing hashtags in your digital marketing.

1. Find the right words for your brand

A Hashtag is a word or set of words that can easily group things. They act as a keyword that people can use to search for tweets and posts related to whatever it is they’re interested in. That means that the words you choose as your hashtag are vitally important to its response from social media. Using big words, more than a couple, or difficult to spell words could hamper engagement and response.

Picking a word related to your brand, product, or service is also important. Some companies have it easier here than others. For example, all Coca-Cola need to do is throw a #coke at the end of a tweet and they have an instant engagement platform. It’s simple, and it’s synonymous with their product to the point that any tweet containing it will immediately hearken back to Coca-Cola.

2. Engage with Trending topics

Engaging with the topics and trends that are popular at the moment is a great way to find expand your brand influence. Find a trending hashtag that relates to your brand or service and engages with it. Using these trending topics are a great way of spreading your brand to more customers. These topics are relevant to people’s lives at that moment, so if you can engage in a way that is also relevant or promote your product when they are thinking about the problem it solves, you can leave a lasting impact on them.

3. Keep it simple.

As stated above, keep your hashtag short, the more words, the harder it is to read. With multiple words, capitalizing each new word is a good way of signifying the breaks between words. This makes your hashtag easier to read and less confusing for the consumer. Keeping it simple also means limiting the number of hashtags in each post. One or two, maybe three, but the fewer number of hashtags in a post the better and more sharable it is. #Putting #a #hashtag #before #every #word #is #annoying #to #read, and will put consumers off. The simpler the hashtag and the post, the easier it is for people to share.

4. Incentivize.

Use your hashtags to promote a deal or giveaway your doing. Give people a reason to use your hashtag, and thus do your advertising for you. A solid discount on a service or a product for using the hashtag or engaging with your social media can a long way in getting a response.

5. Engage with your audience.

A hashtag gives you a way to connect with people talking about the same thing, so actually, talk with them. Listen to what they’re saying, respond and craft your next campaign to utilize the feedback you’re given here. Coming up with a hashtag and making a post is an easy part, now you get to do the leg work and respond to it. They’ll engage with you for a reason, maybe it’s just as simple as saying they like your product. Maybe they’ll tell you something you can do better. Be open and willing to adapt and you can go a long way.

Conclusion

Social media is a platform that grows by the day. It has its customs and language. Being able to utilize those things are an important part of making the most out of social media. Nothing is more ubiquitous with social media than the #hashtag. The hashtag is a part of modern culture and knowing how to use it to its fullest potential can give you a leg up in expanding your business and brand. Keep these things in mind the next time you start a social media campaign. If you have any questions, contact us here!

The Basics of Typography

typography

Words are an important part of our lives. We use them on a daily basis. We type them on computers, write them on paper, and speak them to each other. With all this being said, we can assume that words are also important in advertising. It’s almost important how you present these words. Here we are going to breakdown the basics of typography, and how to use it.

Typography is a term that refers to the style, arrangement, or appearance of typeset. It is the font, the bolds, the italics, the size of the text, and the layout you choose.

Readability is the most important part of any print or web media. And choosing the right background, the right font, and the right font color are all vital to this. Avoid textured or busy backgrounds. These are both distracting and make the text hard to read. Keep the contrast between the background and text high, as the more contrast there is, the easier it is to read. Also, keep good spacing on your page, don’t bunch up your text as it makes it harder and more frustrating to read. Too small of text can be frustrating for readers and may end up driving people away from your copy. Finally, use contrast throughout your page. The contrast between colors, but also contrast between sizes and images on the page. Larger text is a good way to direct attention to certain topics of the page.

Font

Choosing the right font is an important decision to make. There are two different types of fonts. Serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have little tails on the letters, and stroke lengths change through letters. An example of serif fonts is Times New Roman.

Sans Serif, or “without” serifs, fonts do not have the tails on letters, and stroke lengths are consistent throughout the letters. An example of sans serif is Arial.

Serif fonts are considered by consumers to be more traditional. They represent the structure and a sense of establishment. Sans serif fonts, however, represent more modern sensibilities. They represent a more casual setting.

Differences between Serif and Sans Serif font
Display vs Text

The next two distinctions between fonts are the differences between display and text fonts

Display fonts are meant to draw attention to themselves. They’re bold and guide the eye across the advertisement. They might be stylized, they might not be, but most are not supposed to be read for more than a few words. Think about any Coca-Cola ad you’ve ever seen. The Coca-Cola logo is iconic, whenever you see that cursive you think of coke. Whenever you think about coke you see that cursive.

Text fonts are the opposite of display fonts. This font is used for continuous reading, it’s simple and easy on the eyes. We see it so much that we take it from granted. We see text fonts in newspapers, magazines, books, webpages, even this blog. It goes unnoticed because it’s simple, easy on the eyes, and your eyes move easily across the page from word to word.

Finding the right balance between display fonts and text fonts is crucial for any ad, webpage, or piece of media. If you overuse display fonts, you run the risk of annoying the reader and pushing them away from your ad. If you underuse the display font, then you run the risk of people never reading the ad in the first place. Too much copy and people will get bored and move on. Too little copy and people might not know what you’re selling.

Differences between Display and Text Font

 

Conclusion

Typography is an important part of any design. There are a lot of fonts out there, and a lot of choices that aren’t easy to make. Hopefully, this blog has given you some more information on this vast sea of choices. Whether you go with serif text, sans serif, or plaster your company in the flashiest display font you can find. Any questions about typography? Or want to get into touch about getting the design just right? Contact us here.

Everything You Need To Know About Landing Pages

landing pages
You’ve sent out your email campaign, paid to put your ads on every webpage google could find, what’s next? Your website? Well ideally you want your customers to find you, but how will they find whatever specific product or discount or service you’ve just spent so much money on advertising. The answer is landing pages.

WHAT ARE LANDING PAGES?

Landing pages are web pages that allow you to capture a visitor’s information through a conversion form. A good landing page will target a particular audience, like that email campaign you just did. Creating landing pages allows you to target a particular audience, offer them something of value, and convert a higher percentage of your audience into leads. Landing pages can also capture information about who’s visiting your page and what brought them there.
Landing pages also give your offers places to live. Any special offers you might be running have a specific spot where visitors can trade their information for the offer. This allows you to gain some new customers, information about your demographics, and new leads to maybe sell to. The new leads give you fuel for other marketing campaigns. Maybe they didn’t bite on the original campaign, but they were engaged enough to respond, so another campaign might do the trick. Landing pages also give you information on what your consumer base is engaging with, as well as insights as to the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD LANDING PAGE?

HEADLINE:

The headline of a landing page is the first thing visitors see when they arrive at the web page. Headlines should be clear and concise, summing up what the offer is in simple, plain words.

COPY:

The copy of the landing page should be simple and short. It should clearly express what the value of the offer or product is in a plain and compelling way to attract the customer. Keeping it short is essential. Having a quick turnover from access to the conversion of the customer is ideal.

KEYWORDS:

Your page title, headline, headings, and copy should have keywords to optimize for search engines.

SOCIAL SHARING:

You should enable links to your social media and links that allow the visitor to share your offer on their own social media. This should go without saying, but you want them to share your products around for you.

HIDDEN NAVIGATION:

You should hide your site’s navigation on landing pages, or at least minimize it. This will reduce irritation for your customer, focusing the page on the specific product or offer the page is promoting. It will also decrease distractions for the visitor, and stop them from easily leaving the page.

CONVERSION FORM:

A simple form that allows your visitor to trade their information for the offered product. Keep it simple, name, email, maybe a phone number if you absolutely need it.

IMAGE:

A good quality image that gives visitors a tangible idea of what they’ll receive. Give them a reason to want to sign up, something to want.

THANK YOU PAGES AND RESPONSES:

After they sign up for your product, send them to a thank you page. If they give an email, send them a response email with either the offer or if it’s a service something of that sort. Be sure to give them a reassurance that you’ll be in contact with them soon.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS:

The more conversions on your page, the better. While this may seem simple, it is important that every offer you have has a landing page. This allows you to track the numbers of separate campaigns you’re doing and how successful they are. Minimize the distractions. Earlier I mentioned that you should do away with the navigation links of your website, and that’s to reduce the distractions. The entire point of a landing page is to get the visitor to sign up for your product, reducing the complexity and extra links on your page will help to achieve that. Keep the page “above the fold.” That is don’t make the visitor scroll on your page. Keep everything on a single page that sells everything at once. This makes it simpler for the visitor to sign the conversion form and the simpler the better here. Have any questions? Contact us here!

Website Building Process for Business

website building

Building a website is a vital part of any business in today’s world. The internet is an everyday tool almost everyone in the world uses, and having a website enables you to engage with an ever-growing customer base. There are a lot of options out there to build a website, and whether you go to a code your own, go to website building service, or hire a professional developer/designer, the choice isn’t an easy one.

Website Building Sites

If you’ve watched many videos on YouTube or listened to any Podcasts in the last few years, then you’ve probably seen ads for services like Squarespace or Wix. These sites offer the ability to create your own professional looking websites through their company. These are website building sites. They are straightforward, easy to use, and give people the ability to create websites without years of education in coding. You pay these services, and they give you some templates for websites and online stores. Like anything though, there are pros and cons to everything. So let’s look at some of the most popular website builders out there:

 

Wix

Wix is one of the most popular and highly rated website building sites out there. It comes in a multitude of different price packages for whatever your needs might be ranging from free to $500/month. Some of the features that Wix offers are mobile optimization, an online store option, domain name, and social media integration. Wix has an easy to use and intuitive editor with over 300 different templates, giving you a wide array of personalization capabilities. One of its best points is the drag-and-drop editor that allows you to essentially point and click your way to a beautiful website.

One of the biggest downsides of Wix, however, is that it’s not the most SEO friendly platform out there. Poor SEO can really slow down the organic growth of your platform. The ease of its user interface is also something that can eventually hamper Wix since it can make large changes difficult to do. It also makes customizing your site in your own unique way difficult, do to the cookie-cutter nature of these services. Wix also makes it difficult to export your website data if you ever want to change services, and for any decent-sized company, the more expensive premium packages are the only ones worth considering.

Pricing for Wix :

Free: Free

Combo: $14.50/month

Unlimited: $17.50/month

Business Basic: $25/month

 

Squarespace

Squarespace is a big competitor of Wix. While both offer very similar services, they each have their own fans. Squarespace really excels at making visually aesthetic and beautiful websites. With gorgeous templates, you can really make a memorable impression on anyone who visits. Squarespace also has the drag-and-drop feature that makes website building simple and intuitive. The backend design, or the user interface for its customers, is also beautiful, which gives off a polished and measured feel to it. Squarespace offers 24/7 customer support that is helpful and always there should any problem arise.

The biggest slight against Squarespace is that it is not very customizable. Beyond the templates offered by the service, there is very few, if any customizable options to really give your website a personal touch. Like any template service, Squarespace suffers from the fact that everyone uses the same set of designs. While the websites themselves can really look beautiful, they also look just like any other Squarespace website, so making a website that really sticks out can be a challenge. One of Squarespace’s biggest selling points is its eCommerce options, and while they’re solid, there are a lot of better options out there can be used. If you want a website to sell your merchandise, Squarespace probably shouldn’t be your first stop.

Pricing for Squarespace:

Personal: $12/month

Business: $18/month

Online Store (Basic):$26

Online Store (Advanced): $40

 

WordPress

WordPress is probably the oldest website building sites on the market, and arguably the most popular. A primarily free blogging website, WordPress offers people the opportunity to post their own thoughts giving them a platform. Since 2003, they have expanded, like its competitors, into a website builder that thrives on template designs and user-friendly interfaces. With a simple design which allows its users to easily and freely edit their websites, WordPress has made a name this market. There are also a wide variety of 3rd party plugins that allow going beyond WordPress’s offering.

Although the service has been around for over a decade and a half, its offerings are somewhat limited, and the user interface, while intuitive, can be frustrating at times. The templates are also limited and offer minimal customization for personal branding.

Pricing for WordPress:

Free: Free

Blogger: $3/month

Personal: $5/month

Premium: $8/month

Business: $25/month

eCommerce: $45/month

 

Professional Design

The last option you have is to go to a professional designer or firm. This can be expensive, probably much more expensive than using one of the previously mentioned services. Though it is more expensive, there are some definite upsides to it as well. Firstly, you get the ability to personalize your website to a greater degree than any of the template-driven services. This allows you to have a more unique website, a more unique user experience for your visitors. A professional developer can create a user experience tailored to your target clientele. That alone can help drive sales or other business-related conversions.

While many of these website builder services have some SEO, going through a firm or a professional will open up a wider array of options to optimize your traffic. It’s a design firm’s job to understand these processes and how to apply them. A professional will tailor a website perfectly to what your business needs.

While cost is always going to be a major downside of hiring professionals, another downside is the time to launch. With any of the aforementioned services all you need to do is point and you have yourself a website. Hiring a professional is going to take time to prepare everything. Your time from hire to launch might be a couple weeks in this situation. The tradeoff for this, though, is that your website is entirely unique to your business and a lot more complete than using a builder yourself.

Conclusion

Ultimately, every website is a commercial decision. Whether you’re a hobbyist trying to display what you’ve made, or a Fortune 500 trying to expand their brand, having a website is important. So is how you make it. This should be a business decision. You’re the only one who knows what your business needs and what it can afford to do. Make sure you consider all the facts and do your own research to find what option fits you best.

Have any questions about the website building process? Contact us today!

The Basics of Color Theory in Design

color theory

The Basics of Color Theory in Design

Color is the first thing we perceive. If something moves past you in a blur, it’s not the shape that leaves an impact, it’s the color of the object. As such, color is a cornerstone from which you should build any logo, branding, or design. Colors can leave lasting impacts and memories for consumers, and can even be associated with products or companies on color alone. When you think of McDonald’s, you think of the golden arches. When you see a red can of soda, you think Coke, just as you think Pepsi when you see blue. Color is an important part of perception and making sure the colors you choose are aesthetically pleasing to the eye is just as important. This post will show you some of the fundamentals of color theory, how to use these theories, and practical applications.

The Color Wheel

Like any concept, the best place to start is at the very beginning. For the color theory that would be the color wheel.

The color wheel is an illustrative guide of color hues around a circle. There are twelve hues, or pure colors, that make up this wheel, separated into three different categories: Primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors. The primary colors are Red, Yellow and Blue. These three colors form the basis of all other colors. Secondary colors are green, orange, and purple, and are made when you add one primary color to another primary color, creating a new color. For example, red + yellow is orange, Red + Blue is purple, and blue + yellow is green. Tertiary colors are the six colors you get when a secondary color is added to a primary color. There are six of these colors, creatively named red-orange, red-purple, etc.

The color wheel can be broken down further into two different categories, warm colors and cool colors. Warm colors are your reds, yellows, and oranges. These colors evoke feelings of happiness, comfort, and energy. Cool colors are your greens, blues, and purples. These colors promote such feelings of calm and tranquility, harmony and nature. They can also invoke feelings of sadness and depression, so a balance between cool and warm colors should be carefully considered when making any design.

Color Theory Schemes

Since we’ve mastered the color wheel, it’s time to look at the basics of color theory and design; color schemes. An important item to consider when designing should be that it is aesthetically pleasing. This can be done by using color schemes. Color schemes are choices in a color that create a uniform style and appeal.

Here is a rundown on a few of the most prevalent schemes you’ll see:

Complimentary Colors:

Here the colors are sitting directly across from each other on the color wheel: such as Red-green, Blue-orange, yellow-purple.

This scheme really makes images pop because of the contrast between the colors emphasizing each other. Be wary of overuse, though, as this scheme can be harsh and exhausting after extended use. Think of all the red and green you’re sick of by the end of the Christmas season.

Split-Complimentary Colors:

color theory

This is similar to complementary colors, this takes colors directly opposite of each other on the color wheel. This is different, however since they use the two colors directly adjacent to the complimentary color. Think yellow with red-purple and blue-purple. Since the colors are not directly complimentary the contrast is not as harsh, meaning it is softer on the eye, but still does a good job of accenting the colors.

Analogous and Accented Analogous Colors:

color theory

Analogous colors are three colors that are all directly next to each other on the color wheel. This scheme is best used with one color being the primary focus with a second that supports it and the third to accent the other two. This scheme gives a pleasing aesthetic that is uniform and can be used to direct attention and action on a website for example.

color theory

Accented is the same as analogous colors, using three directly next to each other, but here you add the complementary color of the primary hue of the three to accent and add contrast to the theme.

Triadic and Tetradic Colors:

Triadic are three colors that are evenly spread around the color wheel from each other. These colors do a good job of creating contrast and tend to be very dynamic and bright. But these three colors also do a good job generating harmony together.

color theory

Tetradic is four colors, two sets of complementary colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel forming a rectangle. Here you want to be careful of the balance between warm and cool colors to avoid clashing.

Emotion

Color theory can also be used to evoke certain emotions. Much like how cool and warm colors have certain feelings associated with them. Check out this handy guide on what emotions certain colors can evoke.

Application

After designing your logo, you now have to get that logo out there and make sure that the colors you painstakingly picked are replicated on all the platforms you use. This is important since printing on the surface, producing on TV or the internet and mixing paint on a canvas can all change the perception of the colors of your logos.

So far, we have talked about the RYB color wheel, which is how we perceive color in the world. But how does a computer replicate that color through ones and zeroes, or a printer match that color without having 600 cartages of ink on hand? They do this through two different color models, the RGB (Red Green Blue) and the CYMK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key [black]) models respectively.

RBG Model

The RGB model is an additive color mixing model. It uses three colors to create more colors by mixing light waves together, these lights being red, green and blue. If you have ever seen a pixel of a TV or a computer monitor then you’ve seen the three lights. Computers can make new colors by changing the intensity of the different colored lights, mixing them together and making new colors. This works on the that the way we perceive color in nature is the reflection of light waves off of objects. This model instead projects those light waves onto our eyes, making similar colors.

CMYK Model

color theory

The CMYK model is essentially the opposite of the RGB model and is the most widely used model in color printing. Instead of projecting the light onto our eyes, this model relies on the reflection off of the paint or ink. This model is a subtractive one, instead of an additive one, much like the RYB model. The colors absorb certain wavelengths of light, meaning the color reflected from the surface is without that wavelength and thus without that color. Cyan, for example, does a good job of subtracting red light, so thus the reflected color is blue and green mixed together. CMYK is a similar model to RYB, but the cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black) of this model offers a wider array of printing color.

These models do a good job of replicating colors, but they are both different, so alterations are possible. Colors will not appear exactly the same even within the same model. Sometimes changing based on the manufacturer or even the age of some screens or ink. To have a consistent design across all platforms, you must be cognizant of all of these differences and prepare accordingly.

Conclusion on Color Theory

Understanding the basics of color theory can go a long way when designing anything. Knowing how colors work, how they interact with each other, and how to apply those designs can leave an impact on all who see it. Color theory is a fundamental part of life and thus should be a fundamental part of any design, logo or brand.

Have any questions about color theory or design? Contact us here.