Doodle 4 Google logo

We have talked about the idea of building your brand through philanthropy here on the blog before, and all the benefits it can have for your business. A great example of a brand paying it forward is Google’s annual Doodle 4 Google Contest, which started in 2010.

The voting for this year’s contest is going on right now through May 9th,and you can vote for your favorites in each of the 5 grade groups by clicking here. The challenge this year was for participants to come up with a doodle of an invention that would make the world a better place.

READ MORE

Image from Kate Spade's Facebook profile


In theory, it sounds like a great idea to have your website coordinate with your Facebook page, doesn’t it? But theory and practice are two different things, and for small business owners who don’t have a graphic designer on call, this might sound like a tall order. That is, unless they’ve tried the newly-revamped Cover Photo Designer from our friends at Pagemodo.  This tool has been making Facebook cover photo creation a snap since 2012, and the update that was released yesterday makes the process and results even better. They’ve added lots of new themes and a whole new design interface that let’s the user add custom shapes, text, and logos to make a totally personalized image. It’s an easy way to create a great looking cover photo if you have limited design skills and no budget (it’s free).

READ MORE

Video about ad cliches

The Inbox Diaries is a new series designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with all the latest news in small business, marketing, and social media. I’m scouring my inbox every day for interesting tidbits – so you don’t have to.

This Week’s Stories:

Avoid The Clichés Featured In This Hilarious Video
Have you ever seen a field full of wind turbines in a commercial for a washing machine and wondered “what does this have to do with getting my whites whiter?” Then the video below might be for you. According to Mashable, this video comes from the stock video provider Dissolve, and was perhaps created to encourage its clients to advertise responsibly.

READ MORE

Final High Five on How I Met Your Mother

Caution: this blog post may contain HIMYM spoilers. Image: CBS

When starting and running a small business, busy entrepreneurs sometimes forget one critical aspect – creating and managing a solid brand. We’ve talked before about the differences between name, logos, and brands, so we won’t backtrack too much here. Suffice it to say that after coming up with a business name, a logo, and stationary, many people think they’re done branding their business. But that’s just the beginning.

READ MORE

starbucks_cover

Sometimes when a well-established company decides to take a new direction, the change is so natural that you almost can remember what it was like before. Sometimes, however, the change can feel disjointed, and loyal customers almost feel offended by the departure. The difference between these two scenarios? Good brand management.

When I first read a case study about Starbucks’ decision to test beer, wine, and dinner foods in certain markets, I was skeptical…for about 2 minutes. But once I took a beat to think about the Starbucks brand – instead of its product offerings – I was sold. That was sometime last year, so I was really happy to hear the announcement recently that they’ve decided to release Starbucks Evenings in several wider metro areas.

READ MORE

howto

For today’s installment in our content marketing series, we’re going to take a look at three very different brands doing content marketing in unique and interesting ways. And while these are well-developed brands with a fair amount of capital (human and financial) behind their efforts, the techniques they employ are absolutely accessible by small businesses as well. Let’s dive right in.

1. Saveur Magazine
Of all the types of content you could create, video certainly has the potential to go viral very quickly, and with very little added effort on you part. The key is to create something that will answer a question that a lot of people might have on their minds. Saveur does exactly that with their SAVEUR Basics video series. While there are probably a number of expert chefs consuming the magazine and website, the majority are more the aspirational set. People who cook frequently and want to be able to expand their skills so they can be more like the pros. Enter this series of just a handful of tutorials that are brief, helpful, and beautifully shot. I find these incredibly useful and really make me value Saveur as a brand. And judging from the YouTube details, over 1 million other people feel the same way.

READ MORE

infographic_cover

As you may have heard, the day has finally come for the release of new Generic Top-Level Domains, or gTLDs, on the Internet. Though many are available today, more will be part of a measured rollout over time. According to ICANN, this expansion will take available gTLDs – like .com, .biz, and .org, from 22 to 1400. At the end of this post, you’ll find a great infographic from Webmechanix that gives the details, important numbers, and a partial list of the new TLDs that have been (and will be) released by category.

READ MORE

Today’s article is a guest post from Webs’ Search Marketing Specialist, Collin Tate.

Originally this post was going to be about my experiences with Zappos, how awesome they are and how businesses both large and small should aspire to completely own customer service the way that Zappos does. Instead, I’m going to chat about an unexpected hero, and how going above and beyond typical customer service creates bonds and develops customer loyalty.

If you’ve ever owned a computer, you know how frustrating it is when things stop working. There’s little worse than when you have an accidental drop, you get a virus, when hardware fails or kids or pets get their little hands or paws on your computer. If you’re like me, you first try to troubleshoot the issue alone. When that doesn’t work, you call a family member or friend who knows their way around computers, hoping that they can fix your problem, all the while praying that you don’t have to call tech support.

READ MORE

Admittedly, the marketing strategy of offering a rewards program is nothing new. But as with the success or failure of many tactics, it’s all in the execution.  You will likely get some benefit from a generic ‘refer a friend’ or ‘spend more, save more’ type of program, but to really maximize your rewards program ROI, think about offering something that really resonates with your target market and reinforces your brand’s role in their life.

Take, for example, Sweetgreen restaurants. They will be our case study today not only because everyone in the Webs office is loving that they just opened a franchise across the street, but mostly because Sweetgreen started out as a small business, possibly much like your own.

READ MORE

STYLE SWITCHER

Layout Style

Header Style

Accent Color