Web Design Vector

When starting to build your small business website, all of the pieces that go into properly executing your business online can be quite overwhelming.

From vision, to fonts, to imagery, we consulted our in-house web design expert, Justin, to bring you the five factors to focus on when designing your small business website:

1. Come with a GOAL in mind
It’s always a good idea to know what you want for your website before you start designing.

Is the goal of your site to sell something, generate leads, show off your portfolio, or just display your business hours? Once you establish this goal, you can start crafting the content of the site around it. If you’re an artist showing your work, focus on your art and include nice imagery. If you’re advertising a store front, have your contact information and hours of operation front and center.

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social_media_scheduling

Small business owners are always trying to strike the right balance between the time they spend marketing their products and services, and the time they spend actually running their business. Because of this ongoing struggle, they are often hesitant to jump into social media, having heard that maintaining a social presence on multiple networks can be pretty time consuming.

As with all things, social media management is what you make of it. And having the right knowledge and tools at your disposal can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the amount of time social media marketing occupies. One of the first steps toward making social media less intimidating is to know when, and how often you actually need to post to engage your audience. For the purpose of this article, we look at Facebook and Twitter, since we find they’re most popular with people starting out.

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Content Marketing Institute SlideShow Box Office Success

Every day it seems that the amount of content available for consumption continues to grow. And while we love to give you tips on how to create better content and how to plan your content strategy for the upcoming year, we thought we’d also pass along this helpful ebook we found from Content Marketing Institute on the best ways to actually measure and see if all the content you are creating is working!

With cunning puns on movie lingo, here are the top three tips we took away from the Measuring Your Content Marketing Box Office Success SlideShare:

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customer_experience

Whether online or offline, a customer’s first time experience with your business is incredibly important and has a very large impact on the likelihood that they return again.

On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)

So how can you ensure that wherever new customers discover your business they get the first time experience they deserve and that will keep them coming back? Just follow these five techniques and you’ll own your customers’ first time experience.

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wimpy_web_writers_slideshow

If you own or market a small business these days, you are going to have to do a fair amount of writing in order to grow it. There’s no getting around it: whether you have a website, are starting a blog, or need to create some printed collateral, it pays to be able to write clear and compelling copy.

While not everyone is born with the innate ability to write well, there are certain pitfalls you can learn to avoid in order to improve your god-given writing chops. In the Slideshare below, marketing expert Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative has collected some of the top characteristics of what he calls “Wimpy Web Writers.”

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4th of July Email Campaign

If you live in the United States, you know that this upcoming weekend is a very important holiday: Independence Day!

It’s the day that Americans celebrate their freedom, show their patriotism, and send many, many emails to your inbox to remind you how lucky you are to be an American.

In true marketing fashion, many of these emails are already landing in our inboxes, and are building excitement to buy and engage with several products and brands.

While it is easy to become immune to these marketing messages (since we know all the tricks already), we took the liberty (pun intended) of scouring our mailboxes to show the best of the best, and lessons you can learn from these emails.

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Brand Personality Chart

Earlier this month Sarah talked about how to name a business.  After you’ve carved out a name for your business, you should think about defining more of your corporate identity. After all, it makes a lot of sense to have a holistic business identity that encompasses your business name, brand, logo, and design aesthetic. Your corporate identity should carry a consistent message across mediums – from digital to print and back again. A fundamental aspect of this business identity is its brand personality.

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smallbusiness_employeeadvocacy

When we talk about social media we are often talking about connecting with your consumers to bring a genuine voice and a face to your brand.

But, did you know that you can also use social to strengthen relationships among your employees?

According to EveryoneSocial, when you engage in a social employee advocacy program 20% of employees are more likely to stay at their companies, 15% are more likely to feel connected to co-workers beyond their core teams, 20% are more likely to feel inspired, and 27% are more likely to feel optimistic about their companies’ futures.

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Pagemodo Facebook Ads Video Screenshot

With 40 billion active small business pages on Facebook and more than 2 million active advertisers, it is safe to say that to keep competitive in the social media space, you must join the growing pay-to-play market.

Over the years Facebook has given hints to small business Pages that it is time to participate by updating their algorithm, which declined potential organic reach, adding call-to-action buttons to the top of the Timeline, and supplying more types of ads like video and multiple-image ads. But it truly wasn’t until this year that it became evident that Facebook advertising is here to stay with reports that:

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