Web and Digital Marketing Trends

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Digital marketing is very effective in building and promoting your business. From having a website, to email marketing, to social media, businesses have more exposure to the masses than traditional marketing.

If your goal is starting your own business or if you’re planning to take your business to the next level, here are a few top business marketing and design trends to consider while building your brand online:

Website designs are looking bolder and easier to navigate. Websites are a lot more responsive. What does that mean? In web design, having a responsive website means that the layout is scalable so that it’s easily viewable through a computer, tablet and smartphone. More customers are purchasing products through their tablets and smartphones than their desktop computers. Your website should be well-designed and user-friendly in those platforms so that customers can come back for more.

Content: More visual, less text. Visual content, such as photos and graphics, can help tell a story a lot more than text and can help promote something more effectively. Plus, having a consistent look and feel — for example, logo and colors — to your website, as well as other digital platforms, can help build your brand. Don’t get me wrong – the written content (or text) is just as effective, as long as information is short and to the point.

Social media continues to dominate. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr…the list of social media channels keeps growing. Even though there are many social media channels to choose from, you don’t need to use all of them. Whichever social media channel you choose depends on how much you use it and your purpose of using it. For example, some businesses would find Facebook and Twitter more effective in promoting than Pinterest and Instagram. Here’s an informative “cheat sheet” on some of the popular social media networks and how each network is best used for business.

Email marketing provides a lot more value to your business. To some people, email marketing is perceived as “junk mail” and tend to delete from their inboxes. However, email marketing offers a lot more value than people realize, especially when it comes to offering important content. The purpose of email marketing is to inform customers and prospects of what’s going on in your business or industry. Plus, email marketing usually provides a “bridge” to your website, which can act as your site’s promotional tool. So whether you’re promoting a new product, recapping an event, or just want to provide something newsworthy, email marketing can be an effective marketing tool.

Here’s one informative article that I found on Business2Community on “why email marketing is still in style.”

Metrics is actually more important than you realize. You have your website and you’re promoting your business via email and social media, but do you know if people are taking notice? Websites and other digital accounts usually have metrics reporting tools to track how many people are visiting your site, what pages are more popular than others, and for long have a visitor viewed your site.

If you’re looking to expand your business online and want to take advantage of the digital marketing tools that are out there, please contact me.

yvenia Web Solutions is a partnership between yvenia Design and ma WebCenters®, an innovative Internet marketing company specializing in business website design, eCommerce and hosting services. Here are five reasons why yvenia Web Solutions can help promote your business.

Sources:
Success in 2015, MA Webcenters Blog, 12/22/14.
Why Email Marketing Is Still in Style — And Thriving, Business2Community, 3/11/15.
Social Media Cheat Sheet, Ad Week, 10/2014.

Portfolio Update – Digital Assets

It’s been a very busy few weeks for me, but I wanted to give you a portfolio update. I’ve added the following new pieces to the Web Design and Assets portfolio page.

To see more designs, please visit my portfolio.

AWCNJ Kicks Off with Networking, Digital Marketing Tips, October 14

If you are in the marketing and communications field who lives in the northern NJ area (Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson counties) AND want to meet new people while learning about the latest trends in digital marketing, the Association for Women in Communications (AWCNJ) is hosting a Fall Kickoff on Tuesday, October 14, at the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ.

Karl M. Stearns, President of KMS Marketing Solutions, will explain the strategy behind email marketing and how it is used in conjunction with social media. The results will be an effective connection with your community to help build the buzz around your small business or non-profit, rather than a bunch of emails and random posts on social media.

Karl Stearns is a nationally known speaker on small business topics. As a Platinum Solution Provider for Constant Contact, he is one of a handful of Authorized Local Experts who has taught hundreds of small businesses how to utilize the powerful tools of digital marketing.

AWCNJ’s Fall Kickoff will begin at 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the Morris County Public Library, 30 Hanover Avenue, Whippany, NJ 07981.

Cost is $15 for members, $25 for non-members and $10 for students with current college ID. Admission at the door is $30. Sandwiches and refreshments will be served. You must pre-register for this event here.

For more information about the event, contact AWCNJ Programming at programs@awcnj.org.

Visual Content Marketing Tips Using Pinterest and Instagram

InstaPinLogosSq2I recently attended a very informative webinar hosted by Piqora, a California-based company specializing in marketing and analytics for visual, interest-based networks like Pinterest, Tumblr, & Instagram. The team presented very helpful tips on how to market and promote products and services using Instagram and Pinterest.

More than just sharing photos, Instagram and Pinterest are two of the fastest growing social media platforms to help promote brands through visual content marketing. What are the main reasons for their success and what does using these platforms mean to your business? Here are some helpful nuggets that I learned from the webinar. If used strategically, Instagram and Pinterest can help promote your business more effectively.

What does Pinterest mean to your business?

  • Virality – Viewers collect images through inspiration or if customers want to buy something. “Repins” help amplify the message.
  • Content – Learn what type of of content is performing well and see what’s trending or popular.
  • Traffic – 50% of web referrals happen 3.5 months after the initial pin on Pinterest.
  • Money – Posting a product catalog can help drive traffic to your website or business, which in turn can generate revenue.
  • Strategy – According to Piqora, pinning at the right time or when viewers are active leads to 36% higher repins. The best pinning time is before 9am on weekdays and after 9pm on weekends.
  • One tip I learned: Hashtags are useless in Pinterest since the platforms can search keywords automatically. In other words, hashtags are NOT needed in Pinterest.

What does Instagram mean to your business?

  • Posting frequency – Best posting time is usually after 5:00 p.m.
  • Using multimedia types – Test and experiment with different media to see what your audiences love. For example, videos are a good visual to view an entirely different picture of a product while some brands don’t find video as effective as pictures with filters.
  • Hashtags play a central role for your content to be discovered. According to Piqora, adding up to 7 hashtags on each post generates the most engagement with your audience. Having 8 or more hashtags would be perceived as spam. When adding hashtags, make sure they are concise, catchy and easy to remember.
  • Should be a visual diary of your brand’s story – For example, if you want to show a logo or brochure that you designed, how about showing different variations of the piece or show inspiration on how you came up with the design.
  • Build a community in Instagram through authentic visual storytelling. Instagram provides an opportunity to show your brands personality and build emotional bonds with your audience. In addition, hosting a contest or promotion can help accelerate community growth, just make sure that you have a clear goal and strategy in mind before promoting the contest.

For more tips and resources on Instagram and Pinterest marketing, go to www.piqora.com.

Social Media Cover Banner Quick Guide

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Whether you are a business that wants to change the look of your brand’s social media outlets, or you want to show your personal and artistic style, here is quick design guide in creating your social media covers, including size dimensions for four of the most popular networks – Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn (Premium only).


Quick Tips in Designing Cover Photos for Social Media Platforms

  • Keep a consistent look and feel for your brand throughout all of your social media networks.
  • Keep your networks fresh w/ new imagery. If you’re a designer, photographer, or artist, you can add a banner on the cover photo section as a way to showcase your work if you’re showing a single image or multiple images in a grid-like format.
  • Create your cover photos to reflect your style, personality or brand. Remember, cover photos should provide a visual background for your networks and are not meant to be used to advertise or sell anything.
  • High resolution images are strongly recommended. Anything smaller would look pixelated, fuzzy or have low quality. When you download images, it’s best to download from your computer instead of your phone or tablet. I noticed personally that if downloading a banner from the phone, the banner looks grainy if viewing from a computer.
  • If you’re promoting a business, try adding a logo as your profile picture.

Social Media Banner Sizes
Facebook (Source: Facebook Cover Size Helper)

  • Profile photo – Page profile pictures are square and display at 160×160 pixels on your Page. The photo you upload must be at least 180×180 pixels.
  • Timeline Cover Photo – Facebook cover size is 851 x 315 pixels.

Twitter (Source: Mediabistro-All Twitter)

  • Header – On-screen size is 1500 pixels wide x 500 pixels high, but Twitter recommends uploading an image up to upload 3000 pixels wide × 1000 wide photo while under 5MB.
  • Profile photo – Maximum upload size is 400 x 400 pixels (up to 2MB). Once uploaded, the photo decreases to 200 x 200 pixels on screen.

Google Plus (Source: Google Plus For You)

  • Profile Photo – 250 x 250 pixels
  • Cover Photo – 480 x 270 pixels

LinkedIn Premium (Source: Social Media Examiner)

  • Cover Photo – 1400 x 425 pixels

Still trying to understand the social media lingo? Here’s a glossary of terms for reference created by MediaMiser.

If you need help in creating social media banners, I’m happy to help you out. Please contact me to learn more.

So, What’s Your Job Title?

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This topic has been in my mind for awhile because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. My little dilemma (if you call it that) is based on The Creative Group’s recent post on modern creative job titles.

Whenever I go meet people in professional networking or social events, the first question they would always ask is “So, what do you do?” What’s my answer? I tell them that I’m a “graphic design and communications consultant.” However, in my mind, am I really? Does this job title accurately represent the work I do?

In my experience, I always feel that I’m more than just a graphic designer. Other than having an art school background who’s very familiar with Adobe Creative Suite, my career has progressed to writing, editing, communications strategy, web content management, email marketing, blogging, social media management (at least for my own social media platforms) as well as budding freelancer and entrepreneur.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all. I feel that having an additional skill set makes you more marketable to potential employers or clients, especially that technology is exponentially increasing and businesses are looking for more than just a hands-on designer.

My only complaint is…what exactly do I call myself? Do I call myself a either a “graphic design and communications consultant” or “creative services professional” since I do more than just design? Should I use my given corporate job title as “Marketing Communications Consultant” even though it sounds too broad, or something else that’s more specific? Maybe I’m overthinking this whole issue and need some sleep (it’s 1:30 am ET in the morning)?

So I have to ask, what’s your job title? Do you make up a fancy job title based on your skills? If so, what is it? I would love to hear your ideas. 🙂

yveniaWeb Solutions – A Web Design and Online Marketing Partnership

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Websites are designed by yveniaWeb’s design team.

As a graphic designer, I usually work independently and efficiently in designing pieces that can help market and promote your business, organization or event. My portfolio mostly consists of print marketing collateral, web assets (web banners and other graphics) and other custom design pieces.

In terms of web design, I can build and design web pages using a content management system, such as Dreamweaver, WordPress, Vignette and SharePoint. However, I am still learning and understanding the web programming aspect in building a website from scratch, such as JavaScript. With a full-time job, building a business on the side, being a co-president of a professional organization, as well as finding room for some social time, even graphic designers need some help.

This is why I have partnered with maWebCenters®, an innovative Internet marketing company specializing in business website design, eCommerce and hosting services. yveniaWeb Solutions offers an online marketing strategy, as well as web design services, for small businesses, start-ups and other organizations who want to build their web presence. Our business also includes an award-winning Customer Service team and a group of talented web designers who can help your business with unlimited support for your website and other questions you may have.

Click here to learn more about yveniaWeb Solutions. If you want to see a demo of our web design and marketing solution, please contact me for an appointment.

yvenia introduces Design Kits

Looking for graphic design services that fits your budget? yvenia Design & Communications introduces various design “kits” for individuals, businesses and organizations. To learn more about the various kits available, go to the yvenia Design Kits page under the Services tab.

For a graphic design quote or if you have any questions, contact yvenia.

Halloween Graphic Design “Pin”-spiration

With Halloween coming up very soon (plus, using my Pinterest account a lot more), here are some top inspirational designs that I saw throughout Pinterest. It’s always interesting to see other Halloween designs that are more than just pumpkins, vampires and the colors, orange and black. Check them out here.

Here’s one poster design that I like, especially for The Walking Dead fans like myself.

For more graphic design inspirations, plus other pin-nable treats, visit my Pinterest account at www.pinterest.com/yvenia