Benefits of Email Marketing

Benefits of Email Marketing

Small businesses have lots of options when it comes to marketing strategies. However, those options are not all created equal. Some may be more expensive or time-consuming than others, and some may have higher ROI. The type of business you own will largely determine the different marketing strategies you employ, but there is one that is effective across industries:

Email marketing.

There are many benefits of email marketing as a marketing strategy. And did you know that email marketing is one of the most well-received forms of marketing with consistent ROI?

Many people spend a considerable amount of their day looking at emails, especially on smartphones. A recent survey from Statista found that almost 50% of smartphone users prefer to receive communications from businesses via email.  And those communications are usually successful in converting to sales. Another survey found that 50% of people buy from marketing emails at least once a month. This leads to an impressive average ROI for email marketing, earning approximately $36 for every $1 spent.

Numbers, however, aren’t the only incentive to work email marketing into your marketing strategy. Read on for the top 7 benefits of email marketing that you can take advantage of for your business.

Personalized Marketing

Email marketing is easy to personalize, which can make it more effective at converting leads and earning sales. Personalization options for email marketing are endless, but there are two common strategies.

The first involves simply including the recipient’s name in the subject line or body copy of the email. It seems simple, but this strategy is incredibly effective in increasing email open rates. Emails with personalized subject lines have a 26% higher open rate than generic subject lines. Most email marketing platforms include easy-to-use codes to include the recipient’s name, so it’s easier than ever to personalize your email marketing strategy.

Segmentation is the second personalization strategy for email marketing. Segmentation is when you divide your email list into categories and send different communications to each category. For example, you could have one email go out to first-time customers, and a different one sent to repeat customers. If your business markets multiple products or services, you can also utilize CRM software to tag your email list based on the services your contacts are interested in. Then you can opt to only send emails about certain services to those contacts. This ensures that your messages are relevant and interesting, instead of being viewed as spam.

Measurable Results

Another one of the benefits of email marketing is how easy it is to see measurable results. Email platforms often have built-in statistics that detail bounce rates, open rates, click-through rates, and more. You can see how quickly a contact opened an email after it was sent, or how many recipients clicked on a link in the email. This data is invaluable for future email marketing initiatives. Use the data to determine what works and what doesn’t, and you can refine future emails using those strategies.

Increased Site Traffic

Improved SEO is another benefit of email marketing. Including links to your website in your email communications encourages recipients to go to your website to check out your products and services. Backlinks to your website via email will improve your website’s SEO ranking overall. Emails with links to your website also can generate more traffic by word-of-mouth. Recipients can forward an interesting email to their other contacts, which could lead to more customers checking out your site who may not have otherwise.

Increased Sales

60% of consumers in a survey reported that they have made a purchase because of a marketing email they received. This statistic is particularly noteworthy for small businesses with an e-commerce site. Emails detailing promotions, sales, or product highlights can generate interest and encourage customers to purchase to take advantage of a deal. You can even develop email-only promotions or deliver your contacts a special coupon code to further entice them.

Cost-Effective

With a high ROI, email marketing is more cost-effective than other forms of marketing. Sending printed mailers, producing radio or television ads, or hiring more marketing personnel are all costly marketing strategies that may be difficult for small businesses. Email is an easy way to reach thousands or hundreds of thousands of people in minutes, at little cost to you. Many CRMs make it easy to send emails directly from their software to your contacts, so you can manage your customers and your emails all in one place for one price.

Timesaving

As a small business owner, you know that time is invaluable. In addition to being cost-effective, another benefit of email marketing is how much time it will save you compared to other forms of marketing. Traditional marketing campaigns, like television, radio, or print, can take weeks or months to produce and implement. Email marketing is easier and faster to put together, which means that your emails can be more timely or topical depending on what is going on in your business and the world at large. Emails don’t have to be fancy, either! A simple text-based email can be composed quickly and sent out even within a single day.

Improves Recognition

Finally, another benefit of email marketing is it can help improve your brand recognition. Email communications, like other written brand communications, will often be composed in your brand voice, or showcase your brand colors, style, or logos. Showing off your brand’s personality in your emails and providing your email list with something of value may even generate excitement for your weekly or monthly newsletters. You can research your audience and even do surveys to determine what kind of content they’d like to see in their inboxes. Then, when you deliver, it will improve your brand recognition and brand image overall.

Develop Killer Email Marketing with Killerspots

When done right, the benefits of email marketing are vast and rewarding. The first step to drafting a killer email campaign, however, is with killer written content. If you need help crafting emails for your small business, Killerspots’ team of talented writers can help create emails that engage and convert. Get in touch with us today to speak with our writing and marketing teams.

6 Tips on How to Develop a Catchy Jingle for Small Business

jingle for small business

Advertising your small business on the radio is still one of the most effective methods of advertising. In fact, even in 2022, more Americans listen to the radio than use Facebook every week. And radio holds the highest collective trust of any advertising channel. If you want to get your small business out there, advertising with a jingle for small business is the best way to do it.

Jingles have been widely used in advertising for decades. From the first jingle broadcast for Wheaties on Christmas Eve, 1926, jingles use the power of music and repetition to stick their associated product into the heads of customers for good. You probably can think of at least five jingles off the top of your head without trying too hard. They’re just that powerful.

But what goes into a catchy jingle for a small business? How do you get customers to remember your brand without annoying them or overwhelming them? Writing jingles is a bit of a science, but we’ve broken down the top 6 factors to keep in mind when writing a jingle for small business. With this guide, you’ll have a catchy earworm of a jingle in no time.

1. Audience

The first rule of thumb for any advertising campaign is to think of your target audience. Jingles are no different. The audience you’re trying to capture is going to determine the type of small business jingle that they’ll respond to. In general, you’ll need to create an audience profile before you start writing so you can determine who your ideal audience is.

There are a lot of factors that go into an audience profile, but here are the big ones:

  • Gender
  • Age range
  • Geographical location
  • Occupation
  • Family/Marital status
  • Race and/or ethnicity
  • Income status

With your ideal audience in mind, you’ll need to think about what factors appeal to them. Younger demographics will likely gravitate towards a jingle that’s more upbeat or resembles pop music. A higher-class crowd may like something classical, instead. A rural audience may like acoustic sounds instead of electronic ones. The words and instruments you use in your jingle all have different meanings to different people, so choose carefully.

2. Product/Service

The product or service that your jingle is advertising is the second most important factor to consider when writing a jingle for small business. This will determine the style of the jingle and the content almost as much as the audience. What do you want your audience to remember about your jingle? What does your small business offer that your competitors don’t? Think about your overall brand image and the call to action you’d like your customers to take and use that to write taglines or lyrics to be sung for the jingle.

Make sure the style of your jingle matches your business, as well. If you have a tech company, futuristic, electronic tones will sound better than acoustic or rock music. A jingle for a car dealership should sound fast, upbeat, and inspired by rock or pop. If the image the music evokes is the opposite of what your business is associated with, audiences may be confused and not realize what the jingle is advertising.

3. Mood/Tone

Evoking the right mood and tone with your jingle for small business is the key to making sure your company stands out. You’ll need to determine what you want your audience to remember most when they hear your jingle. What should they think about your company? A real estate agent’s jingle should evoke trustworthiness and professionalism, while a jingle for a toy company should be fun, playful, and energetic.

4. Wording

If your small business jingle isn’t instrumental only, chances are, it’s going to be your tagline, slogan, name, or phone number that is going to be sung. Out of these choices, you should pick the one that will drive your audience to your intended call to action. If you want listeners to call your business, having your phone number as part of the jingle is the best course of action. If you want to drive home what makes your business different than the others, a strong, memorable tagline is a better choice for the jingle wording.

Choose words for a tagline or slogan that are simple to pronounce and evoke strong imagery. Use famous jingles as examples—which company’s jingle gets stuck in your head the most? Take the elements that make their slogan so effective and use them for your jingle for small business.

5. Repetition

Repeated sounds, notes, or words are what make a song or jingle stick inside someone’s head. In fact, the human brain loves repetition so much, that it will start to create melodies out of repeated sounds even if they aren’t being sung. Use repetition to your advantage when creating your small business jingle. Whether it’s repeating words, notes, or even nonsense sounds (e.g. “la la la”), utilizing repetition in your jingle is the best way to keep your business at the top of your audience’s memory.

6. Short, Sweet, to the Point

Finally, remember that your small business jingle should be short, sweet, and to the point. Most jingles are only a few seconds long, with a maximum length of 30 seconds for an entire melody to be used under radio ads. The “hook” of the jingle, or the sung tagline or phrase, should be around 5-10 seconds in length. Choose just a few short words to be sung, and don’t make it too complex. You want your audience to be humming the tagline over and over. If it’s too long, the repetition is less likely to stick. Less is definitely more!

Killer Jingles from Killerspots

If you’re not a songwriter or lyricist, Killerspots has been producing jingles for small businesses since 1999. Our talented team of writers, musicians, and singers will help you through the jingle development process, from the initial concept meeting, all the way to hearing your jingle on the radio, in commercials, and beyond. Listen to some of our previous work and get in touch with us for a free jingle quote.

6 Steps for the Best Small Business Web Design

Small Business Web Design

Is your small business online? You may already be aware of the importance of social media for your business, but is your website optimized for maximum lead conversion? And do you know the best small business web design and user experience (UX) strategies to make your site beautiful and user-friendly?

In 2022, design is king for your website. In fact, a survey found that 50% of consumers believe that website design is important to a company’s brand. But user interface (UI) or UX is also incredibly important. UX/UI involves how users interact with your website, and how easy or difficult it is to navigate. In the same survey referenced above, 42% of users reported that they would leave a website because of poor functionality.

So, for the best possible client experience, you want your small business website to be responsive, elegant, and easy to navigate. But how do you go about this? Where do you start with small business web design?

Designing a small business website is a time-intensive endeavor, and there are many factors that affect web design or UX choices. However, there are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind. Keep reading for our top small business web design strategies to improve your small business website.

Step One: Set Up Your Site

You may already have a website for your small business, but if you don’t, you’ll need to start from the ground up. First, choose a Content Management System, or CMS, to develop your site. There are many CMS on the market to choose from, but the easiest are platforms that have a simple front-end design experience. Font-end design experiences, included in CMS like WordPress and Squarespace, allow you to visually design your website without needing extensive coding knowledge.

After you’ve chosen your CMS, you will need to choose a host and domain for your site. A web host is where your website files are stored, and many hosting platforms will cater to a particular CMS. For example, Bluehost markets itself as a WordPress hosting site. WordPress itself also offers hosting services with WP engine.

A domain is the web address that a user types in to find your website. Domain names should be simple, short, and relate to your business. If possible, use a keyword in your domain name that would be searched to find your business. For example, if your name is Hannah and you own a shoe store, you could register the domain “hannahshoes.com”. Robert with a consulting firm could register a domain like “robertsconsulting.com”.

Step Two: Choose Your Site’s Purpose

Next, you need to know the purpose of your small business website. Will you be selling products online? Or is your site geared toward generating leads for a service you provide? Do you own a restaurant and your patrons are looking for your menu? Or are you a content creator, and you want to display your work for future clients? The purpose of your website will largely determine the layout and types of pages, as well as the overall branding and design. We’ll go more into detail in the section about pages.

Step Three: Decide on Design and Layout

Now that you have your CMS, domain, hosting, and the purpose of your small business website, it’s time to start designing. You can design your website using a template or create your own from scratch. Either way, first you will need to choose the overall look and feel of your website. What colors and typefaces are you using? Are you using images as design elements, or sticking to a more text-based design? Whatever you choose, keep it simple and stick to a defined color palette, typeface, and header style on every page. The more consistent your design, the more visually appealing your site is to your visitors.

Next, choose a layout for your information. How is your content organized? Most users will expect these common elements, so make sure you include them in your layout:

  • A header with a navigation bar.
  • Your logo or business name.
  • Contact information that is easily accessible.
  • Footer navigation.
  • Social media links.

Many websites now have a one-page, scrolling design, where the tabbed pages in your navigation bar transition from one to the next simply by scrolling. This layout is popular due to the increased prevalence of mobile internet traffic, where scrolling rather than clicking is the preferred method of consuming content. Choose the design that’s best for your small business website and your customer experience.

Step Four: Choose Your Pages and Create Content

With a design and layout in mind, it’s time to create your pages and fill them with content. Depending on the kind of small business you’re operating, you will want to emphasize different pages further up in your hierarchy. Restaurants will want their menu page front and center, while companies that provide services will need to list and describe those services first. Your pages will vary, but make sure you at very least include the following:

  • About Page
  • Services Page or Pages
  • Contact Page
  • Privacy Policy Page (A Legal Requirement)
  • Terms and Conditions Page (Also Required)

Next, you’ll need to fill your pages with content. Make sure to have enough information on each page, but not too much to prevent visual clutter. Present information in an easy-to-read format, such as lists or bullet points, with clearly defined headers so visitors can find what they’re looking for more easily. Most web users skim read to find what they want to know, so utilizing headers is a great way to make sure your important content isn’t lost in excess fluff.

Step Five: Optimize for SEO

Once you create your content and organize your site layout, you will need to optimize your small business website for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ensure that your small business website follows SEO best practices, including organic use of keywords, appropriate alt text for images, and updating meta descriptions within your search engine optimization tools. These SEO strategies will ensure your site ranks positively within search engines, increasing the chances of your target audience finding your website. You can check out this guide for some SEO best practices you can use to increase your small business website’s search engine rank.

Step Six: Optimize for Mobile Devices

To build off of the last point, SEO and mobile optimization go hand in hand, as Google has recently switched to mobile-first indexing. Users also respond more positively to sites that are optimized for mobile. So, making sure your website is fully optimized for all devices is key to gaining and retaining lead conversions.

Approximately 55% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, and 93% of users surveyed report that they would leave a website if it wasn’t optimized for their device. Utilize the responsive design settings in your CMS to design for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, so your small business website works smoothly and looks sleek across all devices. Images and text elements should be resized to fit the screen, and navigation menus should be compressed into a hamburger menu, so the navigation is mobile-friendly.

Get a Killer Small Business Web Design from Killerspots

Are you not sure where to start designing your small business website? Killerspots’ web design team creates beautiful, responsive websites for our clients, no matter what industry they’re in. Learn more about our web design services and get in touch with us to get started today.

5 Things to Know About Radio Ads

Things to know about radio ads

Radio ads tend to be one of the more underrated outlets chosen as a form of marketing for new or smaller businesses. In reality, radio has the greatest reach across every age group in American culture. Radio can reach over 243 million American listeners in just one week. Compared to other media outlets, radio tends to have the most consistent listeners. Most people get in their cars in the morning and choose to listen to something, whether it be music, podcasts, etc. on their drive to work. Some people choose Apple Music, Spotify, or even regular AM/FM radio. Regardless of the platform users choose to stream, each of those platforms respectively has advertisements they choose and/or get paid to stream.

If you’re looking to increase exposure to your brand, advertising on the radio is a worthwhile outlet to learn more about. Below are 5 things you should know about radio ads before starting on your radio advertising journey:

1. Audience

Before you draft scripts for your radio ads, you will need to know who your audience is. The product or service you’re advertising will largely determine your target audience. These demographic factors are some of the ones you’ll want to account for:

  • Sex (Males or Females)
  • Age (Kids/Teens, Young Adults, Middle-Aged Adults, or Seniors)
  • Urban, Suburban, or Rural
  • Geographical Location (East, West, South, Midwest, or Other Countries)
  • Income Level
  • Education Level
  • Occupation
  • Family Status

Create a couple of profiles of your ideal customers based on the list above. Once your profiles are complete, then you can start drafting bullet points for a script your target audience would respond to.

2. Platform

With your audience in mind, you should then determine the platform your radio ads will play on. As we already said, AM/FM radio reaches millions of listeners every week. But there are other audio platforms that also run “radio” ads. You can choose to run ads on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, or Amazon Music.

What will your ideal audience listen to the most? Age, income, and occupation will likely be the most important factors. If your product is geared towards rural retirees, you would want to stick to AM/FM radio. However, if your ad is targeting middle-class millennials or Gen Z, you would want to run your radio ads on music streaming platforms. You can also do both for maximum exposure, but as we’ll cover later, the cost will largely be the determining factor for this decision.

3. Stations

If you choose AM/FM radio ads, you also will need to determine the stations on which your ads will play. Large, national stations will have the largest audience, but they will also cost more to run ads, and they may not target your ideal audience. You may want to select a local or independent station to run your ads if your target audience is rural, or if you have a local product/service you’re trying to promote. The number of listeners may be less, but the quality of your leads will be greater if they’re more likely to have a use for your product.

4. Frequency and Timing

The next thing you need to consider is when your ads will be played and how frequently. Your target audience will be actively listening at different times during the day, so it’s important to go back to your audience profile to make this decision. If you’re targeting white-collar workers, the morning commute hour would be prime time for multiple airings and the same with the afternoon or evening commute. If your target audience is stay-at-home mothers, mid-afternoon or evening would be the best time to catch their attention.

Unless your audience is overnight workers or night owls, chances are you won’t have much luck airing in the middle of the night. But look closely at your audience profile, and the optimal times to reach them could surprise you!

5. Cost

Finally, you’ll need to take into consideration your budget and the cost of radio ads. Radio tends to be of much greater value than television and print. Even so, knowing what you’re spending your money on is imperative. To get the most bang for your buck, making sure that you’re informed on the ins and outs of radio advertising before heading into a business will prove to be highly beneficial.

The cost of your advertisements will vary greatly depending on a few factors. Radio advertising can range roughly anywhere from $200 – $5,000 per week depending on your location. There is a significant difference in costs for advertising in a smaller regional marketing station, as opposed to a larger city metro station. Radio ads are priced through the evaluation and consideration of factors such as frequency of play, reach, and cost-per-point. Cost-per-point is what it may cost to reach 1% of your ideal audience.

If you’re going the streaming service route, the costs will be different. Spotify has a minimum of $250 to advertise on their platform, with each individual ad play costing fractions of a cent. Pandora charges between $8-12 CPM for audio ads, which means that for every thousand people Pandora shows your ad, you’ll be charged that amount. They also have a $250 minimum spend.

You’ll need to do your research and determine what your budget is for radio ad spending. Ask around, get quotes from different stations and different platforms. Using the factors above and your audience profile, you’ll be able to determine which station or platform will be the most lucrative, and how frequently your ads should run to reach your target demographic.

Killer Radio Ad Production from Killerspots

With all this in mind, you may be wondering how you can draft radio ads that will grab your audience’s attention. Killerspots has been producing radio ads for our clients since 1999, with many awards under our belt. When it comes to radio—we can do it all: script writing, voiceovers, producing, jingles, media buying, and ad placement. We do all this while delivering the best ads with the most value for your budget. Get in touch with us today for a quote, and in no time at all, you’ll be hearing your business all over the airwaves.

Why Voiceovers Work: 4 Powerful Reasons to Add VO to Commercials and Videos

Voiceovers in Commercials

The power of video, audio, and voiceovers are unmistakable in advertising. With commercials, explainer videos, and social media shorts, audiovisual content is everywhere. And it’s effective, too. According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers say video is an important part of their marketing strategy. 81% of the same survey respondents report video has a direct, positive impact on sales, and 94% agree videos help increase user understanding of their product or service. Those are some powerful statistics!

This means video content is king for advertising, but what about the audio to go along with the video? Audio is an equally powerful tool, and many content creators turn to voiceovers to enhance their video content. A professional voiceover adds several important qualities to your videos that can increase engagement and ROI. Keep reading to learn more about the top 4 reasons why you should invest in voiceovers for your videos and television commercials. 

1. Target the Audience

Adding an effective voiceover to your video content starts with choosing the right voiceover artist for the job. The specific actor and their line delivery can capture the intended audience instantly and make them pay attention. The voice actor’s gender, age, accent, vocal quality, and tone are factors that contribute to targeting your audience.

Let’s say, for example, that your company sells infant car seats. A voiceover delivered by a young woman will grab the attention of your target audience: mothers of young children, or people who know mothers of young children. Conversely, if your company sells car accessories, an energetic male voiceover will target your ideal audience of young to middle-aged men. If you’re advertising walking canes, your voiceover actor should sound like a senior citizen.

Accents and regional dialects are also important to consider with voiceovers. Depending on where your target audience is located, you’ll want a voiceover that matches the regional dialect, accent, or language. Choosing the correct voice lets the audience know you understand them and their needs. It tells them your company is local and you’re one of them. All these qualities are important to building trust with your audience. If they don’t trust you or your product, then they’ll tune out or buy elsewhere.

2. Provide the Correct Tone or Mood

A professional voiceover actor will also provide the correct tone and mood for your video. They are specifically trained to deliver lines with a particular quality or energy. Your product or service will come alive, and your audience will grasp the message more easily thanks to the voiceover actor’s performance.

Think about the overall mood of your video project. Are you producing an explainer video? An energetic, upbeat, and instructive voiceover will inspire your viewers and teach them something. Or perhaps you’re creating an ad for a child’s toy. You’d want a bubbly, youthful voiceover to go with it. A professional actor will be able to determine the right tone to use for the recording, and your audience will respond to it.

Tone also contributes to how trustworthy the narrator sounds, and how trustworthy your product or service is overall. An authoritative, confident voiceover convinces your audience that you are an authority on your product or service. It inspires them to keep watching and to heed your call to action.

3. Play to Emotions

Like tone and mood, the right voiceover can also play to the emotions of your viewers. Sound and audio have a powerful effect on the mood of the listener. Vocals are particularly effective in producing emotional responses in our brains. Have you ever been moved to tears by a talented public speaker? Or inspired to achieve a goal? A trained voiceover artist delivering your script with a particular emotional weight can influence your audience in several different ways.

Perhaps your video is an advertisement seeking donations for a nonprofit. An impassioned voiceover pleading with the audience to act will easily tug on the heartstrings and convince them to donate. Or maybe you’re selling an online course to help entrepreneurs succeed. An energetic voiceover with a can-do attitude will inspire your audience to sign up, as the voiceover will have made them believe in themselves. Professional voice talent knows what lines to emphasize and how to deliver them for maximum emotional impact.

4. Hold Audience Interest

Finally, voiceovers lend incredible power to your videos because they hold the audience’s attention. A simple video with only background music and text may be easy to scroll past. Professional voice actors are skilled at grabbing attention in the first few seconds of their delivery. Combined with visuals, a warm, inviting voiceover will convince the audience to stay and watch the entire video, because they want to know what the narrator has to say. It keeps the audience engaged, and in a world of declining attention spans, this is incredibly important for your product or service.

The right voice talent will know how to deliver your script to keep the audience hanging on their every word. Combine that delivery with onscreen text, and you have a winning recipe for retention and engagement.

Killerspots Professional Voice Overs

So, you’ve decided  you need to add a voiceover to your next television commercial or video project. If you’re not confident in your own voice acting abilities, you don’t have to worry. Killerspots works with hundreds of professional voice actors from all over the world, and we can help you find the perfect voiceover for your project. Old or young, male or female, character voice or straight narration, our library of voiceover artists is unmatched in the industry. Take a listen for yourself to our top talent then contact us with your script idea and we can get to work! Together we’ll create engaging, creative videos with the perfect voiceover for your product.

What Is a Sound Logo? How Sonic Branding Can Help Your Business + 5 Top Examples

Sound Logo Netflix

If you own a small business, you already know branding is incredibly important. Branding is the process of creating a perception of a product, service, or company. More importantly, branding is what makes your business distinct in the minds of your consumers. A total brand image should tell your customers what your company does, what your values are, and how they should think about your company.

Branding is accomplished primarily through visual means. Logos, website design, and even the style of writing used in all written and web communications are what most people think of when they consider branding. However, branding can also be accomplished via audio. Most audio branding is accomplished by jingles or radio advertising. But there is another aspect of audio branding that many companies miss:

The sound logo or audio logo.

What is a Sound Logo?

Sound logos are part of an overall marketing strategy called sonic branding. Sonic branding uses sound instead of or combined with visuals to evoke a particular message for a brand. A sound logo is a short sound clip, no more than a few seconds long, that can accompany a visual cue or stand in the place of a visual logo. This strengthens the recognition between the visual and the product/company because the human brain is especially in tune with audio cues. In fact, the brain has a faster reaction time to auditory stimuli than it does to visual stimuli. So, a sound logo is a powerful tool companies can use to cement their brand image into their customers’ minds.

Audio logos are also especially powerful because humans are hard-wired to have emotional responses to sound. Music or other audio cues are processed in the emotional center of the brain. This emotional hub also is responsible for memory recall. For example, a listener can hear a piece of music that makes them feel happy or sad, and they immediately recall memories associated with those emotions.

The right sound logo can evoke powerful emotions in customers that a company can use to its advantage. An expert sound designer can craft an audio logo that triggers the right emotions so that your product or service is viewed favorably by your audience.

But how is this done? Well, consider the following five examples of audio logos. These top companies use these sound logos as part of their overall sonic branding strategy, to great success.

Top 5 Famous Examples

1. Netflix

The Netflix sound logo is one of the most recognizable sound logos of the streaming age. It’s also one of the shortest. At just two notes, the “ta-dum” sound that plays when the app loads on your device is a great example of the emotional power of sound. What do you feel when you load up Netflix and this sound plays? Are you excited about binge-watching? I know I am.

2. Intel

The Intel audio logo is one of the most well-known technology audio logos in history. And on its surface, it may sound simple. A five-note mnemonic, the logo lasts about three seconds. But it’s actually a multi-layered sound comprised of many instruments playing the catchy sequence of notes. You can probably hum it without playing the video above, it’s that pervasive.

3. THX

THX is focused on high-quality sound, so what better way to set audience expectations than with an exciting, engaging, and loud sound logo? A full orchestral suite glissando, the logo starts soft and transitions to a mind-bogglingly loud climax. The THX logo was a staple of many cinematic experiences of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. When you hear this logo, you know exciting things are going to happen.

4. T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s melody is instantly recognizable and iconic. The bright and catchy 5-note trill is an earworm that most people can hum by heart even if they aren’t a T-Mobile customer. Combined with the bright pink T-Mobile logo, the mood and brand image they convey are clear and target modern audiences.

5. Apple

Sound logos aren’t just used in advertising. Audio cues of all kinds are pervasive across Apple’s product lineup. The most recognizable are the Mac startup noises as outlined in the video above. Apple does sound design very well, bringing forth a nostalgic and trustworthy image as a power player of a tech company. You can even hear examples of their expert sound design in the actions you take every day on your iPhone. From the swoosh when you send an email, to the ding-ding of a text message. These sounds are unique to Apple and instantly bring forth their brand image when heard.

How Can My Business Use an Audio Logo?

Now that you’ve listened to these examples and you know the value of an audio logo, you may be wondering how you can create one. If you aren’t an experienced sound designer or if you don’t have a strong brand image in mind, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Killerspots’ sound design and graphic design team can work together hand in hand to help you create a sound logo that will plant your business on the map. First, we can sit down with you and go over your existing visual logo to talk about its message. What colors are you using for your business? What message and mood are you trying to convey? Is your brand punchy or is it warmer and welcoming? How do you want your customers to feel when they see your visual logo and hear your audio cue?

The answers to these questions will guide our branding experts through the design and development process of your audio logo. Once we have a clear idea of your message, then the magic can happen.

And it really is magic. Check out our audio logo and one we made for master entrepreneur and CEO, Storm Bennett:

We Can Hear Your Sound Logo Now

Combined with an overall brand strategy, utilizing an audio logo for your business can set you apart from your competitors. Partner it with a killer jingle or radio campaign, and you have the perfect recipe for a brand that sticks and eventually, a loyal customer base. Get in touch with Killerspots today to find out how we can create an audio logo for your brand that will become synonymous with your business image.

Accessible Web Design – 7 Tips to Get Started

Asian young blind woman with headphone using computer with refreshable braille display or braille terminal a technology device for persons with visual disabilities.

We live in an increasingly connected world; the internet has shaped every aspect of our lives, and is so pervasive it’s almost impossible to avoid doing anything online. Social media and web design are the easiest ways for a brand to connect with a wide audience. However, the web can be a difficult place to navigate for consumers with disabilities. Hearing or visually impaired users may find there are large swathes of content online that are inaccessible or difficult for them to use. Making sure your website is accessible is one of the most important ways you can avoid alienating potential customers. 

“Accessibility” is an umbrella term that is used to describe aspects which influence a person’s ability to function within an environment. In web design, this translates to how easily your site can be navigated by someone of differing ability.

It may be a legal requirement for your business’ website to be accessible. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses that fall under two different distinctions (Title I and Title III) must have accessible websites. 

Title I businesses are defined as businesses that have 15 or more employees and operate 20 or more weeks per year. Title III businesses are categorized as “public accommodations” such as banks, public transport, or hotels. 

The ADA does not have specific guidelines for web accessibility, but there are many ways you can ensure your website is accessible to all users. These 7 tips below will get you started:

1. Add Alt Text to Images

Images on your website help to visually break up text and add meaning to your content, but what about users who are visually impaired? Any important images or graphics used on your website should have alt text embedded into the code, so people who use screen reading software can have a meaningful description of the image. This is especially important for infographics; make sure your alt text includes not only a description of the visuals of the infographic, but a transcription of any words contained in the infographic, as well. 

If an image used is purely decorative, you can leave the alt text empty. This will allow a screen reader to ignore the image entirely.

2. Add Captions or Provide Transcripts with Video or Audio 

Any video or audio that appears on your site should contain text captions. Many online platforms offer the ability to generate captions automatically, but adding captions to your produced videos is the best way to display an accurate script for your audio. This ensures users with hearing impairments (or even people who prefer to watch video without sound) are able to understand your video content. If you cannot add captions or your content is audio-only, you can provide a transcript of the audio the user can download to understand the meaning of your content. 

3. Use Proper Headings for Organization

Screen readers can pick up on headings and subheadings to better organize website text. Marking sections with <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc is a simple way to ensure visually impaired users will be able to hear your content as intended. Don’t skip around in numerical order, however. Going from <h1> to <h3> might look nice visually, but it can confuse someone using a screen reader and make them think there is content missing. Keeping content in a logical sequence makes it easier for screen readers to follow; skipping numbered heading formats may be disorienting or confusing. 

4. Simplify Navigation

Organize your menu options to be the same on every page. This makes your site predictable and easier to navigate. Some users are not able to use a mouse due to movement difficulties. Including the ability to navigate your website by keyboard could make navigation easier for them. Users should be able to follow internal and external links with ease, and be able to go forwards and backwards through content without getting stuck. Test your web page by trying to navigate without using your mouse to check that navigation is intuitive and simple.

5. Be Mindful of Color

Using color to distinguish parts of your text may give your website a polished look, but solely using color can run you into trouble for accessibility. Approximately 8% of men and .4% of women around the world have some form of color blindness; red-green color blindness is the most common deficiency. Add other design elements, such as patterns or different fonts to better visually distinguish different parts of your content. You can also utilize borders or whitespace to separate out sections. And be sure to use enough contrast between the background of your page or image and your text; there are many tools available, like this color analyzer, that will test contrast levels to make sure they are within accessibility guidelines. 

6. Use Readable Font

Set your default font size to something reasonably large. Users can use their browser’s settings to increase or decrease as needed. However, your design should ensure that enlarging fonts won’t interfere with readability or functionality. Choose a typeface that is simple with distinct letters and wide enough space between letters. Users with dyslexia will have an easier time tracking text that is spaced further apart. Use plenty of space between paragraphs, as well. 

Avoid using images of text instead of text for headers or other text assets. Screen readers won’t be able to read them without a well-written caption, and it makes editing content more difficult.

What More Can I Do?

Many content management systems, such as WordPress, have accessibility settings built-in to themes and templates. This can help get you started, along with the previous tips above. In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has created a system of guidelines to better help developers with accessibility. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG, are a detailed list of actions you can take within your web design to make your website fully accessible to users with disabilities. There is even a quick reference guide with examples you can use to get a better idea of the types of accommodations that can take your website to the next level of accessibility.

Of course, if you need assistance, you can always contact us for help! We can be there with you every step of the way while you build a website that is sure to wow and be accessible to everyone. 

The Benefit of Strong Logo Design for Your Brand

Logo design

A killer logo is critical to the success of your brand and organization. After all, you want your brand to be clear, recognizable, and persuasive so you can attract clients and build your business. Pulling together the right design elements into a logo can elevate your brand — and your sales.

Curious to learn more? Keep reading to understand why you need to prioritize logo design when building your brand!

Strong Logo Design Makes a Strong First Impression

First impressions are everything, right? And you want to make the best one possible when you’re establishing a brand. That’s where a dynamic logo can set you apart from the crowd.

With a logo, you need a design that plays into your consumers’ expectations for your brand. Think about what kind of tone you want to communicate. What colors, shapes, and icons can come together into a fresh and appealing logo?

By having a strong logo, you’ll make the right impression on potential customers. People have busy schedules and a lot of interests competing for their attention, so you need to hook them right away. They’ll be more likely to check out what you have to offer within your brand if they are wowed from the start.

How do you make that first impression? You hire experienced designers who can listen to your expectations and craft the perfect business logo design.

Hiring the right design team is a big piece of the branding puzzle since you need designers who can capture your brand with well-chosen design elements and a little originality. Work with your graphic designer to help them understand the mission of your organization so that you can make that strong first impression.

The Right Shapes Can Work Wonders

Recent studies suggest that the shape of a logo impacts the way a customer understands an organization. What does that mean? It means that when it comes to graphic design for logos, you’ll need to choose your shapes wisely.

Think about how you want your audience to perceive your brand. Do you want them to see you as friendly and service-oriented, or efficient and commanding? Do the research to know who your target audience is, and find ways to incorporate the visual qualities best suited to that audience.

It’s also important to determine what visual qualities work best. These will depend on your goals. An experienced graphic designer can choose the right tools for the job, and then walk you through the design theory behind their choices.

When it comes to shapes, curves and rounded lines tend to create a sense of warmth and approachability. So if your brand serves people in a very direct way, curves can be a wise choice within your brand identity.

Sharper lines and edges suggest professionalism as well as brand strength. A simple, more sever design might communicate that your brand is forward-thinking and cutting edge. Keep the corners sharp and the details minimal.

If you and your designer do opt for text, talk it over with them. Make sure you’re clear on the visual difference between serif and sans-serif fonts. They project very different images, so know which one serves your brand identity better!

You’ll Communicate Your Brand Clearly

Your brand logo needs to communicate your product or service clearly. If it doesn’t, you risk losing potential customers to your competitors.

If you’re real estate agent, for instance, it makes sense that your logo would communicate a sense of orderliness and structure — or maybe even an image of a house. With logo design, the goal is for someone who hasn’t seen your mission statement or anything else to be able to have some sense of what your brand represents.

A good rule of thumb is to show your logo design to other people for feedback. These can be friends, family, coworkers, or strangers. A good designer will be open to feedback and work with you to make sure that you’re satisfied.

Logos Make You Instantly Recognizable

You want a logo that people will recognize in any context. This is a challenging goal to achieve, but it is possible through excellent design work. And excellent design work means that even a simple shape or abstraction can speak volumes about who you are and what you do.

In today’s competitive world, consumers have grown distrustful of advertising that says too much. Advertisements that make false claims or seems too good to be true actually can damage a brand. This means that heavy-handed, text-heavy logos are falling out of favor.

Clean and comfortable logos are the better way to go. Brands like Nike have stayed relevant in part because of their memorable designs. Everyone knows the Swoosh, and there’s nothing aggressive about it.

Paying for a logo design might seem like a big upfront investment, but it’s one that pays off in the long run. And don’t think you can design something on your own if you don’t have a design background. It’s better to hire the right designer so that your logo looks professional and not amateurish!

When you’re developing your brand logo design, aim to create something that people will recognize whether it’s on a poster, website, or article of clothing. Brand recognition is huge, and you don’t want your brand to get lost in the shuffle.

Logos Help With Social Media Marketing

It’s important to leverage social media to showcase your brand, too. The days of relying on print materials are gone, so upping your digital game is crucial to your brand’s success. Set up social media accounts and use your brand as your profile picture whenever possible.

So much of social media is visual, so logos offer an easy way to engage new clients. With the average person spending over 5 hours on their phones each day, people are encountering so much visual content — and at a rapid speed. Make sure that your brand logo is active on a number of social media platforms as part of your marketing strategy.

Assign your savviest employee to handle the responsibilities, and make sure to document the metrics so you can see how your audience responds to your logo. If you notice that your logo is not translating into an audience or new sales, look into making some revisions.

You’ll Build Visual Consistency

From a branding standpoint, nothing is worse than an inconsistent public image. If the text and colors on print materials differ from those on Instagram, you’ll confuse your audience. And if the text is serif in one place and sans-serif in another, you won’t be building brand consistency.

With a logo, you create a clean symbol that you can include in any branding materials, whether digital or print. Think of it as a stamp or seal. Everything else you write or design should complement and enhance your logo.

And make sure that your logo works well in black and white. While most digital platforms will allow you to use color, be prepared for other formats — like print media — where you may be limited to grayscale. Design a logo that has enough contrast and clarity to translate to black and white formats effectively.

Ultimately, consistency is the key. Since part of your goal is to draw in new customers, keeping your logo uniform and clear is an essential step to creating a strong brand. Your brand will be more memorable and easier to recognize in a crowded field of competitors.

You’ll Build Brand Loyalty

You want your customers to come back, right? If customers have a good experience with your product or service, they’re more likely to do that. That’s why you want them to make a strong visual association with your brand — and a logo can help you do that!

Aim for a design that is timeless and not gimmicky. Designs that are based on trends will feel stale quickly. Things like drop-shadows, gradients, and handwritten text might seem like fun design choices at the moment, but you might be sick of these trends a year from now.

If your design has staying power, your clients may be more interested in sticking around, too. A logo that changes frequently could suggest that your brand is unreliable.

The Bottom Line

Good logo design has the capacity to elevate your organization’s visibility and sales. With some research and collaboration, you can build a brand that people will know and want to come back to. Make sure logo design is the next thing you pursue to strengthen your brand.

When you’re ready to craft the perfect logo, contact us and we can work with you to realize your vision!

How to Create an Editorial Content Calendar for Your Dealership

editorial content

According to a 2018 report by StatusLabs, 90% of searchers haven’t made up their mind when they search on Google. That means you have an opportunity to turn those searches into viable leads. With search engine optimization (SEO), you can gain a higher ranking. Before you boost your ranking, however, you’re going to need a lot of content. Get started by creating an organized, well-thought-out editorial content calendar!

With an editorial content calendar guiding you, you can remain on schedule and on track for success.

Here’s everything you need to know about creating an editorial calendar. With these tips, you can stay on track with your marketing initiatives throughout the year. Get started with these tips.

Why You Need a Content Calendar

In order to rank above the competition, you need unique, high-quality content. Google’s SEO algorithm prioritizes content that’s relevant to user intent. By learning what your customers need, you can create content that appeals to their interests.

Then, you can create an editorial content calendar to remain organized.

A content calendar can also help you recognize opportunities to connect with your audience. For example, let’s say you’ve created a blog post that’s full of interesting data. You can turn that blog post into:

  • A video
  • An infographic
  • A still image or gif

One piece of content can become four different opportunities for you to connect with prospects. Then, you need to determine where you’re sharing that content.

For example, let’s say you post an article on your blog Monday. Then, you can send a weekly email that features your new blog post on Wednesday. Finally, you can post a gif to social media on Friday to attract more people to your blog.

Strategize

Creating an editorial content calendar allows you to develop a strategy for your content. Learning how to create an editorial calendar will help you remain organized with:

  • The content you’re creating
  • The topics you’re covering
  • Where you’re sharing your content
  • What form your content will appear in

Organizing your content using an editorial calendar will help you increase productivity and efficiency. In addition to saving time, you can also use your calendar to create content based on your marketing objectives.

Is your goal to generate more leads from your content this year? Your content calendar can help you test different types of content throughout the week. Then, you can use data to determine which topics and forms of content helped achieve your goal.

Researching blog posts and keywords will also benefit your SEO strategy. By focusing on SEO, you can attract more people to your site. Then, you can use compelling call-to-action language to convert them into customers.

You can create content to support other active campaigns, too. For example, you might have new products you’re releasing. Maybe you’re making a big change to your brand.

Planning your content ahead of time will help you make sure everything is aligned. That way, one tactic can support the other to benefit your entire strategy.

How to Create an Editorial Calendar

As many as 63% of businesses don’t have an actual content strategy. Making the effort to create an editorial content calendar will help you focus on content creation. By posting content regularly, you can increase your chances of reaching new customers.

Here are five tips to help you learn how to create an editorial calendar for your business.

1. Know Your Goals

First, determine your goals and objectives. For example, you might want to focus your marketing efforts on:

  • Driving more traffic to your website
  • Boosting brand awareness, recognition, and reach
  • Strengthening your SEO strategy
  • Building brand loyalty with customers to increase retention
  • Gaining more leads and conversions
  • Attracting new customers to increase sales

Once you determine your goals, you can determine what type of content will help you achieve those goals.

For example, let’s say you want to boost brand awareness. You can create company culture videos or vlogs to keep people informed about your business. Video content is a great way to help people connect with your brand.

If you want to generate more leads and conversions, try posting a product demo or tutorial instead!

2. Research Topics

Next, start making a rough list of ideas for content. Make sure your ideas align with your business goals.

For example, if you want to generate leads, create ebooks for site visitors to download. You can have them complete a form on your website that requires their email. The informative ebook can become an incentive for them to provide their contact information.

If you want to improve your SEO, create content that targets specific keywords.

For more sales, create content that focuses on the benefits of your products or services, such as case studies or webinars.

3. Know Your Audience

In order to create content that attracts customers, you need to understand your target audience. What type of content are they interested in? Which headlines catch their attention?

Feel free to see what your competitors are doing. Which pieces of content generate the most shares?

You can use Google Keyword Planner or Google Trends as a place to start.

Once you know what your target audience likes, you can start creating your own content.

4. Start Writing

Start brainstorming ideas and writing content. Make sure to optimize your content using specific keywords. Then, start writing.

Once you have a few pieces of content, start organizing your editorial content calendar. Try to post at least one piece of content a week to start. Then, determine how you can split that first piece of content into new forms.

Recycling your content will help you discover new ways to connect with your audience.

For example, you can convert a few blog posts into a larger ebook. Then, you can make that ebook a downloadable piece of content to generate leads.

5. Monitor and Optimize

Once you start using your editorial calendar, take a look at the progress. Use Google Analytics to determine which pieces of content are attracting the most visitors and leads.

Monitoring your content will help you recognize new opportunities.

Which topics do people enjoy reading? Which forms of content do they share? Make a note of where you succeed.

Then, use that data to improve your overall content marketing strategy.

Stay On Track: How to Create an Editorial Content Calendar for Your Dealership

Ready to get organized and on track? By learning how to create an editorial content calendar, you can attract more people to your dealership with ease!

Need help getting started? Contact us today to discuss your business goals!

9 Benefits of Video Marketing to Grow Your Online Presence

benefits of video marketing

If you haven’t been using video marketing, then you seriously need to reconsider your marketing strategies because you’re missing out big time. Interesting videos make interesting stories, and stories are excellent for marketing because they elicit emotion.

Some of the most significant reasons why video marketing is essential for your business is the fact that it’s memorable and measurable. This makes video marketing one of the most powerful ways of reaching customers, whether prospective or existing. 

So what are the benefits of video marketing, and why should you implement it in your marketing strategies? Once you are done with the marketing basics, you need to delve deeper and capture more attention. Let’s look at the benefits of video marketing for your business. 

1. Videos Result In Great ROI

To get you started off with some excitement, video marketing provides fantastic ROI, and this is one of the things you’re in business for. Even though video production may not be the easiest or cheapest of tasks, with a plethora of online video editing tools on the internet, it will pay big time.

Additionally, most customers are not worried so much about the video quality, like the content quality. Provide clear and relevant messages that explain what your products or services are all about. Of course, this is not to say that they should be low quality, even smartphones nowadays produce incredible videos, so you’ll have no excuse. 

2. Videos Build Trust

Essentially, trust is the foundation of conversions and sales. In a highly competitive business world, persuading clients to do business with you and not your competitors is not an easy feat. Building trust and strong relationships with customers gets easier with videos.

Videos ignite emotional responses, regardless of how short they are. In fact, you don’t need to keep selling because once you provide useful and interesting information, customers will come to you. Effective and interesting videos present your business in a conversational form and give customers the confidence to purchase products online. 

3. Videos Appeal to Mobile Users

An overwhelming 78% of consumers watch videos on mobile devices because people nowadays want to do things on the go. The number of mobile users increases by the year, and this only means that your video audience will keep expanding. Mobile users are more likely to feel a personal connection with a brand than desktop or TV viewers, so it’s imperative that you take advantage of the market. 

4. Videos Boost Conversions and Sales

Adding the most important video to your landing page alone could increase your conversion rates by 80%. One of the many benefits of video marketing is that videos have the ability to lead directly to sales. Vision is the most dominant sense that human beings possess, so it’s only natural that videos have such a huge impact on them. 

5. It’s Easy to Explain Everything Through Video

It’s so much easier to show people how your products work compared to writing about it. Explainer videos trend every day, and so do tutorial videos. Most consumers are watching explainer videos to learn what products are all about and how to use them. 

An explainer video on your homepage would be super effective in driving conversions and sales. If you have a difficult concept, then video is the best way to explain it in a way your target audience understands. Besides, interesting videos, such as animated videos, are fun to watch, and people like to share such videos. 

6. Videos Engage Everyone

One of the most significant benefits of video marketing is the ease of video consumption. Consumers get bored very easily, and reading long product descriptions is not pleasant at all. The modern customer is too busy for that anyway, and videos are easier to work with because all they have to do is watch, regardless of where they are.

Even if they’re lazy, as long as your videos have clear audio, they will certainly watch them. 

7. Videos Encourage Shares

Most people tend to share videos than they do content, and shares lead to a larger audience. If you want to expand your target audience and get the message out there, delve into video marketing and watch your customer share! This is simply one of the best ways to go viral. 

8. Videos Are Excellent for All Search Engines

All search engines, especially Google, value high valuable content, and interesting videos will have a tremendous impact on your SEO. With prolonged exposure, you will build trust, which will signal to search engines that you have valuable content.

You are more likely to rank high on search engines if you have a video on your website, and given the fact that Google owns YouTube, videos certainly affect search engine ranks. 

9. Social Networks Thrive Through Videos

It’s already clear that people love videos, and you should give provide just that, but where? Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are some of the best places to post your important videos. Most consumers would share company videos as long as they were entertaining, regardless of whether they are actually interested in the products. 

Bonus Tip: Ads Do Wonders in Videos

Video ads have the highest click-through rate among all digital formats. This says a lot about marketing videos and all the benefits they come with. If you do everything right and create awesome videos, you can be sure that people will remember, regardless of whether they watch the whole ad or not. That’s how awesome videos are for business. 

The Benefits of Video Marketing: Summing it Up

From financial motives to practical reasons, you can well see the benefits of video marketing. All these points make quite a strong case for videos and showing you that they work. If you want to jump into the modern marketing wagon, video marketing is the way to go. 

If you’d like more awesome marketing tips, check out our website or give us a call and we’ll be glad to help. 

The Best Documentaries of 2019 Revealed

2019 was another great year for documentaries.

Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have really taken the art of the documentary seriously when other platforms are still catching on. We need to cherish our documentarians because they’re telling the true story of our society and the reasons for our actions. 

As we look back on the events and characters of our recent past with some of the films that came out this year, so too will future generations about things that are happening now. They might not be blockbusters, but they serve a crucial purpose.

Today, we’re going to talk about the best documentaries of 2019 and why they were so impactful. Some are tragic and confusing character studies, while others take an in-depth look into the funny, terrifying, and absurd bits of the way we live.

If you’re an aspiring documentarian, these films are must-watches because they exhibit unmatched research, dedication, and overall quality. Use these to find inspiration for your next film project.

Meeting Gorbachev

Werner Herzog is a master of documentaries and narrative film, consistently delving into the depths of human experience no matter the medium. Meeting Gorbachev ditches Herzog’s dour and self-serious personality for a more jovial back and forth conversation with the former Soviet leader, nearing the end of his life.

It’s strange and exciting to see Herzog take on the role of a superfan interviewer, but the conversation does flow both ways. If you’re a fan of remarkable people talking about their remarkable accomplishments, this is the doc for you.

Fyre & Fyre Fraud

The rival Fyre Festival documentaries, Fyre (Netflix) and Fyre Fraud (Hulu), examined the eponymous music festival, which was doomed before it began. The cringe factor is at a 10, but you’ll end up feeling sympathy for some of the support characters that just wanted to be a part of something meaningful.

The villains are Billy MacFarland and former pop-rap superstar Ja Rule. Fyre is more of an examination of what went wrong and why, while Fyre Fraud actually gets MacFarland in for an interview to explain how it all went down…and down, and down. Both are highly entertaining.

Rolling Thunder Revue

Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue was a concert tour in the mid-70s when Dylan had become a mega-star in the recording world. The tour was an effort to reach fans in smaller towns to get back to his folk singer roots.

Scorsese’s film is a pseudo-documentary, blending in real interviews with the people that were there. That including Dylan himself, as well as fictionalized representations of characters that may or may not have been around. 

Whether you’re a fan of Dylan’s or not, the film is an entertaining trip through a time and place in American popular music and the mythical figure at the center of it. How things have changed. 

Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

Our fascination with the grotesque is on display in Conversations With A Killer. The 4-part Netflix docuseries takes a look at one of the most heinous criminals of the last century, Ted Bundy. Bundy was convicted of 30 sex crimes and executed 30 years ago.

The series focuses in on several conversations with Bundy while he was on death row. That’s mixed in with some background on the killer and interviews with people that came across him.

It’s a fascinating look into the mind of one of America’s most famous serial killers, but you don’t leave feeling any sympathy for him. You will feel some frustration with a legal system that saw Bundy walk twice before being caught on what was pretty weak evidence.

Apollo 11

Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 might be the space film of the year. It features never before seen NASA-released footage of the moon-landing expedition. No effects, no interviews or voice-overs, just the incredible restored footage.

What you come away with is a sense of wonder of how this feat was accomplished 50 years ago and an appreciation of all those involved. In troubling times, it feels good to look back on something so unifying in American history books.

The names of the three men involved are almost religious in nature now, but the film does a great job of depicting them as mere men that are in a position to do something incredible. Buzz Aldrin even cracks a great joke about locking himself and Neil Armstrong out of the capsule.

While this film will put a lot of conspiracy theorists’ notions to bed, others will make note of the knack for filmmaking that the original documentarians had. When restored, it does look eerily similar to a certain Kubrick film.

American Factory

From the title, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichart’s American Factory would appear to be a grandiose take on the American recession. What it’s really about is how the loss of American factories has become such a simple and politicized talking point.

The film delves deep into an Ohio automotive plant. As a result of the 2008 recession, it shuts down only to be revived a few years later by a Chinese company. We then see the complications of a re-hired American workforce alongside a Chinese-American workforce.

It’s less about the socio-economic and cultural divisions between the two groups or the rise of China and the fall of America. But instead, it’s motive is to give a sense of how much of the world is run by power, big business, and profit.

The Best Documentaries of 2019 Revealed

These were some of the best documentaries of 2019, but there were so many more that it would be impossible to talk about them all. Finding inspiration in other people’s work is how all great documentarians get started. Don’t shy away from it.

Watch these films and figure out how you can take bits and pieces from each one to create your own unique style. To get help audio, video, and greenscreen production for your documentary, check out what we offer at Killer Spots Agency.

Your Guide to a User Friendly Website

user friendly website

People are busy, always on-the-go while looking for the next big thing. Consumers expect companies to keep up with their needs. Otherwise, their digital experience won’t fit in with their life in the real world. 

So how do you give customers what they want?

With a user-friendly website, you can make your customers’ lives a lot easier. UX design could also boost your business.

According to research, a well-designed user interface could increase conversions by 200%. Meanwhile, a better user experience design could increase conversions up to 400%.

By now, you’re probably wondering what user-friendly web design entails. Keep reading to discover what makes a good website through user-friendly design. 

1. Start Responsive

Most people keep up with the world from their smartphones. 

According to research, 61% of site users will choose a competitor’s mobile-friendly site over one that’s not. Meanwhile, 45% are less likely to visit a site a second time if they had a poor user experience. 

To develop a user-friendly website, you first need to keep your mobile users in mind. 

Make it easier for people to use your website from their smaller screens. This can include creating a mobile-friendly or responsive site. 

To optimize for mobile users, keep navigation, font sizes, and buttons in mind. Photos and videos should all scale for smaller screen widths.

Otherwise, your mobile users will end up pinching and zooming out, trying to see your content. 

2. Simplify the Nav

People can’t explore your website if the navigation is difficult to use. 

For a user-friendly website, simplicity is key. Make sure the navigation is easy to use and understand. Try not to complicate the nav with multiple tiers, either. 

Instead, minimize the number of sub navigations you use. Make sure each page is named appropriately and clearly. That way, your site visitors can get around without struggling.

3. Show Your Logo

How will site visitors recognize your website is yours?

Branding is also an important component of user-friendly web design. People expect to see your logo in the top left corner. They should also have the ability to click on the logo to return to the homepage.

For additional branding, keep your color scheme and imagery in mind. 

Keeping branding consistent throughout the design will help avoid confusion. If people switch from one page to the next and encounter a completely different design, they might think they’re on a different website.

Branding helps improve user experience by creating a seamless path from one page to the next. 

4. Speed It Up

30% of consumers expect a website to load in one second or less. 

If it takes forever for your pages to load, people might leave. After all, they’re busy. When one website takes too long to load, they’re likely to leave and take their business elsewhere.

Use this tool to test your website speed. The site will also give you recommendations so you improve your site speed. For example, you might consider using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

AMPs follow a set of standards meant to improve the mobile web experience. 

AMP helps speed up your pages by optimizing your content. This feature is best for websites that don’t require additional javascript or sophisticated functionality.

If your website is a little more complicated, you can create a Progressive Web App. These pages create an app-like experience for mobile users. The web page will look and feel like a mobile app without directing users to the app store. 

Both of these page types are designed to improve user experience by speeding up that experience.  

5. Set Up Search

Make it easy for your visitors to find what they’re looking for. 

Set up search functionality on your site. Most user-friendly websites display the search bar in the top right, above the navigation. 

Adding search functionality will streamline the user experience. Instead of wasting time searching through pages one by one, your visitors can immediately find what they need.

Great websites that simplify the user experience also show site visitors your company is ready to help.

6. Clarify CTAs

Your CTA, or call-to-action, clarifies what you want people to do on that page. For example, you might want visitors to fill out a form or call your company.

Placing visible CTAs on the page will help you direct your visitors to take action. When you make the CTA clear (and easy to find), visitors won’t have to wonder about what you want them to do.

Use an eye-catching color for your CTA button. 

Meanwhile, make sure the button also resizes for mobile devices.

7. Clear Up the Content

Seeing a lengthy paragraph will make your visitors tired before they start reading. 

Instead of giant blocks of text, break it up. Try to condense each paragraph to a few sentences, or shorten your sentences. You can also use headings, subheadings, and bullets to break up the text. 

Reorganizing your text will improve readability.

Since people are always in a rush, making the text easier to skim and digest will keep your site visitors from leaving. 

8. Balance It Out

Once you improve the text for your user-friendly website, consider your imagery.

It’s important to create the right balance of high-quality images and text. Otherwise, you could risk overstimulating your visitors.

Stay careful not to overcrowd the page. Many companies are moving toward minimalistic design. This design uses more white space, allowing the content to breathe.

9. Make It Easy to Share

Use social media to your advantage. Make it easy for visitors to share your site content. 

To do this, add social sharing buttons to your content. Making it easier for visitors to share your content will invite new customers to your site. 

10. Add Accessibility

Accessibility for disabled, blind, or elderly users is important as well.

Consider following these guidelines to improve your web design for these visitors. That way, your site is easy to use for anyone who visits your site.

Website Goals: 10 Tips for a User-Friendly Website

Give the people what they want! With these tips for a user-friendly website, you can improve the user experience for anyone who visits your site. The better the user experience, the more likely visitors will become paying customers.

Contact us today for your user-friendly website!

Why Your Business Needs an Inbound Marketing Strategy

Seo

Let’s bring it in! Inbound marketing (also known as content marketing) allows you to increase traffic to your company’s website. Once you attract visitors, you can engage and delight them with your content.

When done right, an inbound marketing strategy allows you to turn website visitors into paying customers.

Better yet, you can encourage those customers to come back for more through brand loyalty. 

In fact, inbound marketing through content costs 62% less than outbound marketing and produces three times as many leads.

Still on the fence? Keep reading to learn the six benefits of developing your inbound marketing strategy.

1. Inbound is More Effective Than Outbound

Outbound marketing strategies such as flyers and billboards aren’t going anywhere. While they can help you increase brand awareness, these tactics aren’t always effective.

Think about it. Flyers go out to anyone within a certain location. That means you’re not targeting your ideal customer. 

Then, you have to hope the message sinks in. Even with a strong call-to-action (CTA), there’s no guarantee people take action. If they do, how do you know that lead came from that flyer?

Sometimes, outbound marketing strategies come off as interruptive and annoying.

Think about the last time you watched Hulu or a show on TV. The commercials distract from the show you’re watching, just to make a sale. 

Since you can’t always match an outbound campaign to the right audience, some of the ads end up irrelevant to the people who see them. 

An inbound marketing strategy, on the other hand, allows you to choose a more effective route.

Instead of interrupting someone’s experience, inbound marketing strives to help make the consumer’s life easier. By creating content your audience wants and needs, you’re showing customers you’re an informative resource. This also creates a more authentic experience for your customers. 

The precise targeting also ensures companies avoid wasting their marketing budget. 

Instead, you can find your ideal customer and show them your expertise through your inbound marketing strategy.  

2. Target Throughout the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey moves from awareness to consideration to decision. Before your website visitors becoming paying customers, they go through all three steps of this journey. 

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can guide people along their buyer’s journey. 

With a billboard, you only have one chance (and a few seconds) to make an impact. With inbound marketing, you can target potential customers along every stage of their journey. 

For example, let’s say someone visits your website. Maybe they put an item in their cart, then leave. With remarketing, you can show them digital ads of that same product.

Then, you can remind them to return to your website to complete their purchase.

In this example, the prospect starts with awareness—they know about your product. They consider buying your product, but instead abandon their cart. With remarketing, you can spark awareness again, then help the consumer to the decision-making step.

If you don’t have an e-commerce site, the useful content on your website can also guide site visitors along the buyer’s journey. Blog posts and case studies can answer questions, inform consumers, and direct them toward the decision to call your company.

Either way, you’re directing a site visitor straight towards a sale. 

3. Continuously Build Your Audience

With inbound marketing, the goal is to attract prospects and convert them into leads. Once they’re interested, you want to close the sale and turn a lead into a customer. Finally, you want to delight customers so they help promote your product. 

Inbound marketing uses a number of tactics to help you build this audience. 

During the “Attract” stage, you can use blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and advertising. 

Then, you can use a form or chatbot on your landing page to convert visitors.

Email marketing and CRM integration can Close the deal. Then, surveys and referral programs can Delight customers into becoming promoters. 

4. Personalization Pays Off

34% of consumers are more likely to make an unplanned purchase if a brand personalizes content.

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can split your audience into buyer personas. These personas make it easier for you to personalize content per their interests.

Traditional marketing uses a “one message fits all” approach. With inbound marketing, you can focus on customers at a more personal level. This makes it easier for you to build trust with your prospects and turn them into customers.

5. Save Time and Money

Don’t waste time with leads that don’t have any interest in your business.

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can focus on the people already searching for your product or service online. These are people who want to buy already.

Inbound marketing allows you to attract these prospects to your website.

Instead of wasting time pushing a product or service they don’t need, you can attract people who already want what you offer. This makes it easier for you to attract qualified leads using content that aligns with your audience’s needs.

Inbound marketing also uses automation. You can automate tasks to save yourself time and money. These tasks include email marketing, social media posts, monitoring, and reporting. 

When you save time and money marketing, you can spend more time and money on what matters: your business. As a result, you’re able to increase your ROI and compete with bigger companies in the industry. 

6. Measure the Success

You can’t accurately measure a flyer or billboard’s success to boost brand awareness.

With inbound marketing tactics, however, all the data you need is a click away. You can generate reports and measure the success of your campaigns. Then, you can make informed decisions for improving campaigns in the future.

With inbound marketing, you can also set goals and milestones. If you’re falling short, you have the data in hand to show you want needs improving. 

Bring It In: 6 Reasons You Need an Inbound Marketing Strategy

It’s time to bring in new business. With an inbound marketing strategy, you can attract, convert, and delight your customers. Then, you can optimize your campaigns for continuous success. 

Stand out from the competition. Contact us today to grow your company using an inbound marketing strategy!

Marketing Basics for Business

marketing

Marketing for a business in today’s world is, without a doubt, more demanding than ever before. The days of merely listing a company name and number in the phone book are over. Nowadays, it is almost expected of companies to market themselves everywhere. Whether that be by word of mouth, on television, social media, advertising out in public, or all over the Internet. To create a thriving business and client-base, it’s important to make sure your business is well marketed. Below are a handful of tips to start promoting and marketing your business.

Establishing Identity

A crucial element to stand out in a marketplace among your competition is finding a unique identity. A common way for people to recognize a company is by the company’s logo and color scheme. 

Deciding exactly what your company stands for is the first step. Making your company’s core beliefs and mission as clear as possible is necessary. You need to show why consumers should choose you over competitors. Allowing your brand to develop a personality can help consumers easily relate to you and remember your company.

Knowing Your Audience

You should be creating different content for your audience. This should be based on whether they are old or new customers, or if they’re not sure. Taking the time to get to know and understand the demographics, interests, and niche of the market that you are trying to appeal to is crucial for success. You want to make sure that the content that is being created is targeted toward the appropriate audience. Remaining relevant and valuable to your audience is important to remember.

Website Creation and Maintenance

In today’s world, it is very important for a successful company to have a website. Think about it. People nowadays go straight to Google to learn about things that they want to know more about. Whether it’s to find new restaurants in the area, a place that sells a specific type of light bulb, or even to find a place for your child to go to daycare, the Internet is the fastest way to find the answers that people need. With a website, people can look up information anytime, anywhere, and not have to wait until regular business hours. Having a presence online makes it much more likely for customers to trust you. Making sure that the website has a modern, easy-to-navigate, and mobile-friendly layout will promote more frequent visits. This allows the opportunity for new customers to jump on board.

The website should be navigable enough to allow anyone that visits the website to be able to find any information that they might be looking for. This may include details about the business, products and/or services being sold, and even contact information. Providing this information in a clean and organized manner allows users to obtain a sense of how professional and credible your business might be. This allows customers to decide whether or not they’d like to learn more.

Social Media

Getting into the swing of social media and how to use it appropriately as a business or professional can be tricky. One mistake that businesses often make when starting on this journey is diving in too quickly, all at once. Starting with one simple Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profile to let consumers know that you exist is a great start. Getting your name out there on your social media platform of choice is a great way to introduce your business to so many potential new client opportunities. Hiring a social media manager may end up being a great option. This would ensure that posts are scheduled to be shared regularly (perhaps weekly, if possible). 

Social Media Content

What kind of content is necessary to share on social media? Every business takes a bit of a different route. One of the more popular options is using social media as a platform for customer service. Through the use of Twitter, customers can directly reach out to you. They can ask any questions or concerns that they might have, and feel like they’re speaking to an actual person. Not just some automated machine or bot. Social media may also be used for promotional purposes. Even so, it is very important to not overdo this side of things. The last thing you want is for people to feel overwhelmed with ads and promos that seem like spam. Having a nice balance of the content shared on a business social media page is very important for this marketing strategy to be successful.

These marketing tips are an easy way to build a client base (or grow your current one), engage customers, make your business more readily accessible, and to stay relevant. Although these are not the only options that are available to market your business, they are a great place to start!

Have any questions? Contact us today!

Desktop vs Mobile Advertising

People checking mobile and desktop devices

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

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

Blue and teal color splash

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.