Archive for April, 2013

How to Write Authentic Web Content

Posted by on Apr 25 2013 | content, Content Writing, Web Content Writing

Writing just for the sake of writing and not focusing on legitimacy of the content is like trying to paint without a canvas. One might think that being authentic should be easy, but it is easier said than done. Being truthful is one thing, but to be able to fit it in a certain frame while giving it that creative spark tends to be a tough task at hand, even for the most creative writers.

Some useful tips on how to make your content genuine and relevant:

  1. Develop your own Signature Style: Paulo Coelho and Stephen King both have very different technique of writing and they both make it work to their advantage. Do not try and copy anyone’s way of writing because that will just come out as a fake print. Write the way you would normally talk because if you do that, your writing would be smooth and expressive.
  2. Tell a Story: Relate the subject of your content to something that may have happened around you, or with you. People love reading a great story and this also gives your article a sense of integrity.
  3. Form Your Own Views: It is not necessary that you agree with black being the most fashionable color while the rest of the world thinks it is.  If you think it’s yellow, then take a stand and express why you believe it is. When you write about a certain subject, it is important to formulate your own opinions on it as this will naturally create a coherency in your content and make it an original piece of writing.

It is important to take the time and think before you put pen to paper for any topic that you wish to write on. Trying to rush your own thoughts would never give you the result you’re looking for. Originality in content springs from original thoughts, so as long as the thoughts are your own and uninfluenced, the content would be genuine and high-quality.

Image courtesy stucorner.com

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9 Ways to Ensure your Creative Agency Creates Better Website Designs

Posted by on Apr 23 2013 | Web Design, Web development

Developing and designing websites entails a wholesome process of meticulous creation, which focuses on satiating target audience demands and being conducive to revenue generation. For a powerful website design, how a creative agency stays ahead depends on insightful awareness and trend knowledge.

In this article, there are listed, a few of the most effective ways to creating impressive web designs for diverse businesses?

  1. Learn Mark-Up Languages: Knowledge of the newest methods, structures, and mark-up languages will provide the relevant impetus to outshine your competitors.
  2. Strengthen Skill-Sets: This doesn’t mean only looking for fresh shortcuts and quick fixes. When it comes to website design, how a creative agency can stay ahead also depends on the honing of existing skills and fine-tuning designing abilities. Assigning time to learn existing languages, whether SQL or JavaScript, strengthens the core competency.
  3. Improved Programming: Optimizing the usage of methods enhances the design quality. The more technically sound programming language is always suitable for any venture.
  4. Appropriate Colours: Simple rules of contrast apply here. When applying colours to website design, how a creative agency stays ahead depends on how it visualizes the page, which should befit the business in question. Darker text on lighter backgrounds offers easy visibility and comfort of reading to your page visitors.
  5. Pristine Backgrounds: While HTML can add intricacies to a website; the simplest way is to use a relevant image. Not only is the file size conducive, but the reference also makes it relatable, thus empowering brand recall and driving traffic.
  6. Comprehensive Sitemap: Comprising one or more pages, it provides direction and a synopsis on the site, while also working towards SEO fulfilments.
  7. Seamless Navigation: Offer a product with easily navigable website design. How a creative agency stays ahead often counts on streamlining and integrating the business’ elements. With a better page visitor experience, client conversions are a feasible goal. Compromises are inexcusable for not creating a simple-to-understand format and linked structure.
  8. Ban Browser Caching: Caches imply that an older version will be displayed to the page visitor when he comes back to your site. Tweaking the ‘best by’ date is far better as it allows the person to see fresher information, rather than stale updates.
  9. Flash Moderation: Including animation can liven up a website but exercise caution to not overdo it. Flash-heavy websites take extremely long to load in standard internet connections, which frustrate the page visitor.

With these guidelines to website design, how creative agencies stay ahead, will no longer be as much of a mystery. Keep exploring and imbibing design abilities to sharpen your talents and broaden your understanding of target demographics for different businesses.

Image courtesy mashable.com
 

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How has Social Media Changed Customer Service

Posted by on Apr 18 2013 | Social Media, social media optimization

Waiting for several minutes that feel like hours on the phone, trying to get through to someone “sensible” enough who can take your order for the bunch of roses you wish to order for your mom’s birthday. One word, “frustrating”. Such a simple job ends up becoming a nightmare. So what is the solution? Log on to a website that sells flowers, like www.myflowertree.com, select the flowers, and click on buy and voila! Easy job done in less than 60 seconds! And since you feel great about the efficiency showed by that brand, you leave a wonderful comment on how great their services are!  That is how social media has changed the face of customer service.

While that was just one scenario, there are several ways in which social media has changed the way services are provided to customers. From food, to clothes, to bathroom essentials, there is an ‘order online’ or ‘leave review here’ option for practically everything these days.  Whether a situation goes well or on the contrary, bad, a customer would never hesitate in expressing their views for the world to see since it is available at the click of a button.

  1. It’s all out in the open: Gone are the days when people sent letters or emails to company’s complaining about their bad experiences with the product. With blogging and online forums, people can voice their dissatisfaction, and no company can hide from that. This also increases the pressure on businesses to perform well 24-7 since anyone can post a review if they are unhappy and a third person can see that and form an opinion real time.
  2. Customers solve each other’s problems: Online public forums help customers identify issues that are relevant to them, and at times they don’t have to reach out to anyone since they can read and review an issue discussed earlier which might be similar to their own. Also they can openly offer advice to anyone who needs it.
  3. Wake up Call! Companies have become more sensitive towards customer’s issues and customer centricity has become a key factor in driving businesses. Since there is a lot more transparency between the seller and the consumer through social media, the core of every business now is how to improve customer satisfaction.

Social media is the strongest platform for customer service. Whether it’s the good, bad or the ugly, a customer has every right to express his or her appreciation or discontent for any brand or type of service. Sometimes however this may cause people to voice opinions which may not be relevant or may seem over the top and unreasonable. Social responsibility goes both ways. It is a relationship between the consumer and the seller, and social media happens to be a mediator between the two.

Image courtesy mashable.com

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Facebook is Changing, Again!

Posted by on Apr 16 2013 | Facebook, Social Media

It was just a year ago that Facebook introduced Facebook Timeline as a brand new concept. It was a concept that people either did not understand at all or misunderstood to a large extent. Now that most accept and admire the Timeline for its utility and beauty, Facebook is up to introducing a new change.

The focus is on making your profile visually more appealing. You might revolt against the change though, for it is difficult to accept all formats, designs and structures that Facebook introduces. However, you can’t deny that you are desperate to know the reason why what is being done, is being done. It’s time again, to brace yourself up for another face-lift brought to you by none other than Facebook. Here are a few things that the new Facebook brings for you:

The New News Feed

Facebook as a social media platform is moving towards becoming truly digital and smart. An important aspect of the new design is on the News Feed. The improved version of the News Feed is going to be more like a newspaper. Everything will be arranged and sorted in a chronological manner. On the basis of the posts and articles that you have liked before, Facebook will suggest trending topics that might be of interest to you. It was in 2011 that Facebook started working on News Tweaks. Finally, it has come up with a better strategy.

Bigger and Better

Facebook is trying to bring a bigger and better visual experience to its users. The maps, the photos, the images – everything that is a part of visual appeal will be bigger in size. The central focus, however, will be on pictures, videos and other creatives. Here is a piece of good news for those who wish that nothing about the cover image changes – Facebook has not made any change to the format of the cover photo feature.

Graph Search Header

Those who are wondering about the recently introduced graph search should be happy to know that the new Facebook will allow its users to use the Graph Search option.

Conclusion

Are looks everything to the new Facebook design, you might ask. The answer to your question is definitely a ‘No’. With its new design Facebook wishes to prepare for a large mobile market that lies ahead. Are you game for the change?

Image courtesy encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

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Grab the Bulletin by the Horns and Pin it

Posted by on Apr 15 2013 | digital marketing, Social Media

Staple members of the social marketing stronghold are undoubtedly Facebook and Twitter. However, since its inception in 2010, online social bulletin Pinterest has outdone Google and even Twitter in terms of referral traffic and client conversion rates. If you’re contemplating the business possibilities of Pinterest, here are a few points that will get you pinning for more.

 

What it is

It allows sharing photos on your own virtual bulletin board, managing them, and dotting them with either pins or images. It entails boundless possibility with pinning and repinning your distinct images as well as those of other related ones.

Being highly socially addictive, users engage in fun, and gain greater recall by simply posting interests while the visual presence ratifies the business or brand.

Pinterest for Business

With about 40 million users currently, the amazingly substantial traffic provides a fantastic platform for business communication with customers, existing and potential. In addition to being a free platform, it is connectable to both Twitter and Facebook, meaning that when a user pins or repins your images, it reaches those websites as well.

Target Audience

Businesses that cater to young women have prime position with over 80% of the user base consisting of females, between the ages 18 to 40. If senior citizens are the required demographic, the less tech-savvy would not be conducive to promoting products meant for them.

Content

Being a visual website, the pins depend highly on aesthetic and appeal to the user base. Clothes companies and style-based firms of design and sports would do far better than others who would still be able to increase their own website traffic and brand awareness with the multiple business possibilities of pinterest. Marking related content is also crucial, as it displays a wholesome reputation of covering the areas in your industry, to encourage repining and sharing. Additionally, attaching personal preferences helps to draw a larger crowd and extends the scope of the brand and its composition.

Conclusion

This visually driven social media website is constantly growing and holds the third position for traffic created. This is only one of the business possibilities on Pinterest that are freely available to utilize in a proper manner. Including guest contributors, organizing contests, and creating catalogs helps to add depth to your business presence, which through pinning, will escalate rapidly.

 

Image courtesy webranx.com

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Five Ways to Optimize your Business through Facebook

Posted by on Apr 10 2013 | Facebook, Social Media

Social Media is the way to get into your customer’s minds, but staying there is a different story altogether. Getting someone to notice you is one thing, and to remember you the day after is another.  Most people spend their waking moments checking their Facebook profile, and the last thing before they go to sleep. There are several fish in the sea, so what would make you the whale?

Here are some useful tips that would help you enhance your business through face book:

  1. Invite People from your Friends List: Your objective should be to reach out to people who you know would be interested in finding out about your business. People generally form an opinion by seeing the number of “likes” for a particular page.
  2. Make it “Interactive”: By facilitating a private messaging tool you can reach out to twice the amount of people since they would be able to ask you questions and you would be able to provide them with spot on answers. Nobody enjoys a “download”, and making it a two way interaction would help boost the popularity for your page.
  3. Provide Consistent Updates: “Out of sight…out of mind” is something you want to avoid like the plague if you want your page to get noticed, and even more importantly appreciated. By reshuffling photographs and keeping up with the current trends will keep your fans and followers hooked. For example, if you own a restaurant that goes by the name “Bombay Bakers”, you can tag your fans with punch lines like “don’t miss the free chocolate cup cakes this Friday!”
  4. Grammar Grammar! Spelling mistakes and incorrect usage of grammar can be the biggest turn off, and would instantly make the reader close your page, not bothering to ever look at it again. Proof reading is a must.  Also, don’t make your writing style complicated with big words, make it simple and to the point. People sitting online do not have the time to look up the meaning for different words, so avoid the heavy” vocabulary.
  5. Clutter Free: Make sure you update the new, and take out the old. Avoid whatever has already been said or done. In addition to that, make sure your page is easy on the eyes and has more photographs to support what your brand is trying to sell. Visual appeal is very important if you want to make an everlasting effect on the readers.

The most important thing that can either make it or break it is the way you sell your brand, because “sell” is the one word you want to stay away from. Inform your readers about why your product or your business is good, but do not ask them to “buy” it because a desperate attempt to sell something always makes the potential customer think twice and then most likely decline your offer. So, keep it simple, keep it fresh, and keep it appealing, and you will surely get more than what you set out for with your social media marketing strategy.

 

Image courtesy mashable.com

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QUIZ: Are You a Social Animal?

Posted by on Apr 06 2013 | Social Media

It’s an alluring development – the onset of a social network. Just a decade or so back, the homosapien race was merely social. Today, it is one that is actively networked. Definitely, the progress is rational. However, like behavioural psychology would point out, there are a few who limit their social interactions.

Take the quiz to know some fun facts about your social networking persona! 

A. How Often Do You Check Your Facebook Account?

  1. That’s the only place I am reachable 24*7
  2. Every morning, afternoon and evening
  3. Maybe once a week
  4. I don’t have a Facebook account. Does it surprise you?

B. How many social media platforms are you registered with?

  1. Almost every that I’ve StumbledUpon
  2. At least those that my friends are on
  3. Just the one or two popular ones
  4. The ones that promise a career

C. What’s a hash tag for you?

  1. It’s my key to trend on Twitter
  2. I see something like that on Facebook when friends mention a one-liner
  3. It’s a symbol on the phone that I sometimes use
  4. I don’t know, may be it stands for Number, as in #1

D. What’s your Favourite Facebook activity?

  1. I just like the activities on Facebook, each and every one
  2. A few like Criminal Case and Chatting
  3. Updating my profile and Uploading pics
  4. I think it’s all a waste of time

 

Result time

If you chose most 1s ..you are the Social Monkey – Having a merry time on every branch of social media, with a bunch of crazy chums

If you chose most 2s…you are the Web Hawk – Like a referee you’d rather watch than participate

If you chose most 3s…you are the Net Pet – Happy to hang around for a bit to have a good time

If you chose most 4s…you are Social Hermit – Living aloof, never in a rush to catch up

 

And please do post your results in the comments box below!

 

 

(Image courtesy encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com)

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5 Essential Twitter Tips for a Business

Posted by on Apr 04 2013 | Social Media, Twitter

500 million – that’s the number of users Twitter boasts of on this date. Like most of social media, Twitter comes free of cost (there is an option to pay though) and not using it as a business tool would be missing too big an opportunity. Whilst owners of large businesses have got a hang of Twitter as a marketing tool, many small businesses are still trying to catch up rather than keep up.

So what do you need to dig out maximum benefits from Twitter:

Start Trending: Twitter hashtags are a way of spreading the word. They get your business in the loop, by not just creating news, but also by bringing out the opinions of the commoners with regard to your business

Listen to the Feedback: You would find a lot of Twitter users giving their opinions about a certain product. Feedback must serve as an eye opener. Having said that, it won’t be recommended that you accept every criticism coming your way (as most customers have tendency to take out their rants at the slightest sign of trouble).

Conversations: You can take it a step further by getting involved in 2 way conversations. Hire someone who can directly take the user queries/complains and responds to them promptly.

 It’s all Real-time: There is no better way of making your offering go viral than Twitter. Everything happens there and then. You launch a product, you tweet about it, and they will know about it. With platforms like Twitter, there is not even a nanosecond of a gap between the time of initiation and the time of going viral.

Avoid Aggressive Marketing: Now that you have garnered a fair number of followers, don’t post tweets regarding your promotions and offers only. Aggressive Twitter marketing will not bring more followers to your Twitter account, which would be lost in social media universe. Users don’t need too many reasons to hit the ‘Unfollow’ button and you are giving them one. Post tweets that have some sort of connection with your offerings but at the same time are interesting and worth retweeting.

With Twitter, it is even possible to get your small scale business boom like a giant. As an active social media platform, the bird-like marketer carries messages from where they start to those who relate with them, in less than 140 characters – Perfect retention and attention tactics. Beat that!

Image courtesy userinterfaced.com

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Picking Ideas: Thoughts for a Copywriter

Posted by on Apr 01 2013 | Content Writing, Copywriting, Web Content Writing

The job of developing copy for web content is an art of its own kind. While many have mastered it, others are stumbling on their way to it. There is always an easy way out of this, which generally translates into copy-paste method, but doing justice to a creative would require much more than that.

So, here’s what a creative writer can do:

Keep a Sharp Eye: True, a copywriter would be required to have an eye for details. No matter how small but if a word, a caption or a slogan, seems impactful, should make way to the copy bank of the writer. This adds on to ideas and gives perspective on subjects related or unrelated.

Save the Searches: This is important because there are way too many sources that one comes across every single day. So, to keep a fool proof reference to a work, it is good to save it with proper indexes. This helps in getting back to the copy and pooling thoughts out of it.

Sort the Best: It depends entirely on the copywriter as to how he likes to shape up the work based on the brief. In which case, sorting out the best is his job. At the same time, feedback is always welcome as it helps bending and tweaking the fine lines.

Improvise Critically: When nothing else works from memory and resources, the only possible solution lies in innovating. Trusting that the person is creative, this should be a cakewalk. But one may hit the writer’s block. Don’t fret, have patience. That works too. It does come along and from a very odd place indeed.

Keeping these nuances in mind can help any creative person get over the copy blues over time. However, it is important that this becomes a habit as natural as breathing for the best results.

Image courtesy sslavec.files.wordpress.com

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