Why You Need To Outsource Your Social Media.

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Social Media is an exponentially thriving industry that will promote and expand your business reach. It involves more than just posting when you think of it or feel like it.

Successful Social Media marketing requires a strategy. Social media marketing will drive quality traffic leads, sales, and boosts your online reputation. Visual branding must be consistent across all platforms. Visual content has a lasting effect on the viewer. Your Social Media Manager will:

  • Set clear objectives.
  • Deliberate planning and goal setting.
  • Identify target customers
  • Develop a regular publishing schedule.
  • Creating and publishing relevant, high quality content.
  • Provide content.
  • Develop brand awareness.
  • SEO (Search engine optimization) and generation of inbound traffic.
  • Communicate the brand in a positive and authentic way that will attract today’s modern buyers.
  • Promote content through social advertising
  • Plan a Conversion strategy
  • Monitor, listen and respond to users in a “Social” way while cultivating leads and sales.
  • Design, create and manage promotions.
  • Compile reports for management showing return on investment (ROI)

As you can see proper Social Media Management can be an intensive task.

If you are not ready to commit the time and resources to hiring a full time on-site Social Media Manger, consider outsourcing. Billions of people worldwide use social media on a regular basis. Businesses who take advantage of this and interact and attract new customers if they are regularly active and take part in social conversations.

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Do I Need A Mobile App?

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Everyone thinks they need a mobile app for their business. But actually there are certain conditions that warrant having a mobile app for your business.

The first objective is to ensure your website is responsive. A responsive website adjusts the layout for various platforms (i.e. iPad, mobile device, desktop) and web browsers. The home page should have one action that demonstrates the value of the product, a button to push, a video to watch, or a compelling demonstration.

So, what would an app do for your business? Do you sell products? Is your business a restaurant or cafe? Is your company a delivery service? Is your business a travel agency? Does your business sell event tickets? Do your competitors have mobile apps? Will your app solve a customers problem?

These are just a few examples but,I hope you are getting my point. Your business app is not a substitute for a web page. Your mobile app will allow your customers and potential customers to interact with your business to buy or use your services online. A mobile app eliminates the need to see you in person for a business transaction to occur. Otherwise, a website will suffice.

If you answered yes to any of the questions above. Consider this, U.S. consumers spend five hours a day on mobile apps with 92% using mobile apps. However, 23% download the app and never use it again. 80% download it and never launch it.

So what am I saying? Building an app considerations:

1. Survey your competitors
2. Find similar business models.
3. Why do your users need the mobile app?
4. What incentives will you give your customers for downloading your mobile app?
5. What’s your marketing campaign?
6. Make sure your plan includes expenses for maintenance and regular updates of the app.

Simply building an app is not enough. Focus on delivering tangible benefits to your customers, and the hard work you put into building your app will pay off, time and time again.

Every Business Needs A Video

72% of businesses say video has improved their conversion rate. Video continues its onward march as the bannerman of the content revolution, yet it’s fairly safe to say that most start-ups and scale-ups have yet to take full advantage of video marketing for their brand. When it comes to content marketing, video comes in at just number three on the list of type of content used.

What is your marketing strategy? Does it include the use of videos?

Here Are A Few Ideas:

Demonstrating not only the need but the benefits it will provide to the target recipients.

This is an excellent way to inform donors of the proceeds of their donations.

This is a “How To” video. Its content can be cooking or product demonstration.
You can also use this format in a training video.

Happy to help.
Questions? Call 317-698-1365 or use this easy scheduler.
https://live.vcita.com/site/lp35oojvtz0nvajw/

Get more ideas by visiting.
www.carlisdesignstudio.net

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Hattie L. Carlis Owner/Creative Entrepreneur
Happy to help.
Questions? Call 317-698-1365 or use this easy scheduler.
https://live.vcita.com/site/lp35oojvtz0nvajw/

Get more ideas by visiting.
http://www.carlisdesignstudio.net

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Choosing YOUR Best Promotional Video

  1. Increased relatability

    A good business video helps your customers relate to you and your business.  People like people, so there is no better way for customers to relate to your business than a well-produced corporate video. If a potential customer can relate to you then it fills them with more confidence and as a result increases the likelihood of them buying your product. For example, shoeline.com reported an increase in sales of 144% on products with video.

  2. If a picture says a thousand words, imagine the prose a video is capable of weaving. There is no better way to express yourself than shooting a corporate video. Rather than pages after pages of written content explaining what your business is all about, the values you hold dear, the work culture you foster, and anything else you might want to say to attract customers and/or employees, shoot a video and let them see it for themselves what you are all about. Videos are somehow more believable and relatable not to mention more instantaneous as compared to written content. 
  3. Showcases your company 

Having a corporate video is a quick, creative and informational way to showcase your business, products and services. A corporate video does not have to be any longer than 5 minutes and in this time you will be able to tell your story in a creative and attractive way. It is a good idea to have a corporate video on your company website, therefore visitors will be able to quickly understand what your business is about without having to scroll through your website for more details.

It is a great way to pack together your most important information along with any relevant images or music which will help attract any visitor on your website.

4.  Reach more potential customers & clients

Your corporate video says a lot about your business so use it wherever and whenever you can. A corporate video is easy to upload on your websites and even to use to promote your business on Social Media. By uploading your corporate video on several sites, you will be able to reach more potential clients and customers who have watched your video and get them interested in your services or product. Try using popular social sites that focus on video like Youtube and Vimeo.

Updating your business video is also important – so keep with the times! If your corporate video is 10 years old, then perhaps it’s time to update and spice it up.

5. Stand out from the crowd 

A video helps your and your business stand out from the crowd. Often, businesses get too bogged down on getting the right information on the website and include too much text and information that viewers find distracting and unappealing. With a corporate video you have the chance put your unique stamp on it and really impress and wow your viewers. If people like your video they will trust your services and share your video with their social circle – helping increase your potential customers and sales.

So why waste your time creating a Corporate Video? It’s easy, quick, accessible, drives traffic to your website and business and finally it brings you in more money! So don’t delay that all important corporate video to showcase your talents.

6. GOOGLE LOVES YOUR VIDEOS

One of the biggest benefits of hosting your corporate videos online is the tremendous potential for ranking high in search engines – specifically Google. Let’s face it, these days having a strong Google search ranking is a cornerstone of just about any business, so making sure that you tap into the potential of SEO/SEM through your video content is paramount. Since its acquisition of YouTube, Google’s algorithms favor video content as they are well aware that many users now get their information from videos – not just text based websites. Climbing the search rank ladder with your corporate video is no different than running a text based ad campaign. It all comes down to using the right key words in the title of your video, and making sure your keyword choices are in harmony with the rest of your website. You would be shocked at how many hits your site will get as a result of clicks that come directing from you YouTube content.

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Should I Pay Someone or Design My Own Website: Pros & Cons

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What Kind of Site Do You Need?

In order to decide which option is best for you, you’ll need to determine what kind of site best matches your business.

A brochure site is the simplest site, and as the name implies, it’s a showcase of what your business does. The primary purpose of a brochure site is to give a company a credible web presence and provide some basic information to prospective customers with text, images, and maybe a video. It’s a good way to show your mission, pricing, examples of what you sell, and basic contact information.

If, on the other hand, you’ll be handling financial transactions, you’ll need an e-commerce site. An e-commerce site is a little more complicated since it will have to be able to handle payment processing and allow you to easily add, remove, or edit products and services.

For some businesses, the site itself actually is the business. Web applications like project management tools, online fax services, or price comparison engines are all examples of web applications. While brochure sites and even e-commerce sites are possible to build with a CMS or website builder, an application is something you should only entrust to a professional website developer. If this is something you’re exploring, be prepared to spend at least $10,000 for a custom app that will stand out and function smoothly.

Some websites combine both e-commerce and an application function (think Amazon). Unless you really know your way around website design, a hybrid site that will process a lot of requests and information should also be built by a pro.

Another way to look at what kind of site you’ll need is to ask yourself how important it will be to your business. If you’re a consultant, for instance, whose business is primarily based on existing relationships, you probably won’t be relying on a website to generate a large percentage of your business. If your website is generating less than 20 percent of your business, a simple brochure site should fill your needs.

If your site will generate a more significant bit of business, perhaps more than 60 percent, it’s likely to be a site that will have more user demands and will have to perform multiple functions. Even if your website is simple, if it’s going to be responsible for the majority of your business generation, it’s best to hire a professional.

Why Build Your Own?

The main reason that most people choose to build their own website is very simple: it might be cheaper. Building the site yourself means you’re not paying someone else and can invest the money elsewhere. Hiring a reputable agency is not often cheap and if you, like most business owners, are cost-conscious then cutting costs is an attractive prospect, especially if you are in the earliest stages of your business and working alone.

However, just because building your own site doesn’t have a financial outlay it doesn’t mean it isn’t costing you in some way. Building a site yourself will incur a large time outlay which could often be better spent expanding your business in other areas. This is especially true for small businesses in crowded markets who often need to expend all of their energy on gaining a foothold in it.

Often people build their own sites  in order to learn about the process of site building and gain enough skill to maintain or modify the site. WordPress has a lot of themes available which means that it is possible to build a very basic site yourself with much less training than with other options.

So What’s The Verdict?

In the end, whether you should build your own website or not mostly comes down to time and money. If you have a lot of spare time then building yourself a very basic site could be fun. I remember completing my first site, and the feeling was great…! On the other hand, if you are in need of something professional then you’ll probably find very quickly that building and running a site for your business is generally a bigger task than most people have the time and desire to get involved in. Before you undertake the task yourself or appoint the task to one of your employees, you should determine if the time you spend on the project could better be used to manage and grow your business. The time you might spend designing, creating and implementing could wind up costing you more in lost business revenue than what you pay to an outside contractor.

It’s never a bad idea to get to know how sites work and what to look out for.

Try Yourself Before Hiring Someone Else to Do It

I’m a big believer that you should try designing your website before you hire someone else to do it.

Trying to do it yourself will open you up to some of the realities of web design and will give you a sense of the constraints and challenges of web design. This will make you so much better when you try to actually hire a web designer.

Plus, you may surprise yourself and realize you can do it yourself.

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Do I Need A Mobile App or A Website?

 

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What’s the Difference Between a Mobile Website and an Mobile App (Application)?

Before you can evaluate the benefits of a mobile website vs. an app it’s important to understand the key differences between the two. Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on handheld devices such as smartphones (e.g. iPhone, Android, and Blackberry) and tablets.

A mobile website is similar to any other website in that it consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed over the Internet (for mobile typically WiFi or 3G or 4G networks). The obvious characteristic that distinguishes a mobile website from a standard website is the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface. Increasingly, responsive web design is becoming the new standard for websites that are not only mobile-friendly, but that can scale to any sized device – from desktop down to tablet and handheld smartphones.

Like any website, mobile websites/responsive sites can display text content, data, images and video. They can also access mobile-specific features such as click-to-call (to dial a phone number) or location-based mapping.

Apps are actual applications that are downloaded and installed on your mobile device, rather than being rendered within a browser. Users visit device-specific portals such as  Apple’s App Store, Android Market, or Blackberry App World in order to find and download apps for a given operating system. The app may pull content and data from the Internet, in a similar fashion to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection.

Mobile app pros and cons

Mobile apps can do things websites can’t, like push notifications and offline access, but they also have cons. They aren’t necessary for some people, for example, if you are a casual mommy blogger you probably don’t need an app. However, many businesses can benefit from one, let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Push notifications – send text messages to your subscribers
  • Offline access – read articles, listen to podcasts, or browse a product catalog while on an airplane
  • Great performance – a well-designed app can be faster than a website
  • Less cluttered – this depends on the website design, but apps tend to have less stuff
  • Get on the app stores – it’s another way to get in front of your customers, you also get a button on their home screen.

Cons

  • Extra expense – while some apps are affordable ($49/mo for example) it’s still another cost
  • Extra setup – you have to setup the app and submit to the app stores

Mobile apps can help your audience get to your content faster, and keep them engaged better. Sending push notifications is a huge advantage, whether you are publishing articles or selling products.

Apps are better for accessing content offline, such as listening to audio or reading an article on an airplane.

They can cost extra time and money, and not all businesses are prepared for that.

There are two kinds of apps:

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is like a mobile-friendly version of a website. You can open it through your web browser on desktops, Smartphones and Tablet devices. They are designed to give you most of the features you get from native apps, such as e-commerce, user logins, article posting etc….

Speaking of Native Apps, these are the ones most people want. You can download them on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A native app will also allow you to send those handy little push messages that hardly anybody knows how to deactivate.

A PWA app is around $10-20 per month, creating a native app is not gonna be wallet friendly. Most providers will require you to fork out around $40-60 per month to have it listed in the Android ecosystems, and it is often twice that for the Apple Store.

If your goal is to provide a user experience that feels more like a gaming interface or a computer program than a website, or if you need access to a user’s phone storage and native functions, then an app is probably going to be required.

It’s also important to remember that a mobile/responsive website and a native app are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Plenty of organizations have both a mobile-friendly public website for their general web presence, as well as a downloadable native app to accommodate more specific requirements. In the end, it’s all about choosing the right tool for the job.

To learn more complete the form below we’ll be happy to follow up with additional information, including needs assessment, cost estimates, and Q&A.

How Often Should I Redesign My Site?

 

Placeholder ImageWhen it comes to updating your business website in a timely manner, the one rule is this: There are no rules. Deciding whether to update, redesign or re-engineer your site should depend entirely on your business goals, objectives and economic considerations, rather than on some superficial time frame pulled out of thin air.

Keeping your website’s content updated and fresh is not an easy job to do, it costs both time and money. On the other hand, the benefits from doing so – especially the long-term benefits worth the effort and cost.

It’s the sticking point for new visitors, a conduit for attracting more traffic, a chance to build your brand reputation, and a focal zone for securing conversions.

The updating frequency depends on several of factors:

1. A variety of factors can make a redesign worth considering, but there are several that almost always require an update. You’ve got new branding and color standards, and you need to make sure your new look extends to your website. Your bounce rates are extremely high, meaning people visit but few convert; a well-thought-out redesign can turn this around. Or your business has grown, and plans call for new products and services; your site’s design may need to reflect that change. Last, your customers complain about your site, claiming that it looks outdated or doesn’t work well.

2. It’s good for SEO – Search engines love content and especially new content. They like to have long quality in their index to satisfy their users. A website that is updated regularly is crawled more often, has more pages in the index and more possibilities to boost SEO by applying internal linking best practices.

3. Competition. How often are your competitors posting new content? If they have a larger part of the market share, this is an especially important question to ask.

4. If your current site doesn’t adapt to mobile device screens. Fixing this is an absolute must in today’s mobile-driven world. Another would be if your site was originally built using Flash: Apple’s iPads and iPhones don’t support Flash. (You may need to rebuild rather than redesign.) Flash can slow your site down.  If your site takes forever to load, you need to re-engineer the backend. Nobody puts up with long waits anymore.

5. It’s good for social media – If you are using social media marketing to promote your business, you know that one of the most critical success factors is the content you post on your social media pages. Many times the problem that destroys your effort is lack of content. Having a website that is updated on a regular basis will also give you fuel for your social media promotions.

6. It’s good for your users – Websites are meant to serve users and giving users fresh content makes them happier. A happy user will most probably come back, convert, register, buy or recommend your website to other people.

7. It’s a signal that your website or business is active and alive – Imagine visiting 2 identical websites selling the same product at the same price but one of them has an updated blog, support forum or news section. Other things being equal, which one would you trust? The one that has updated content gives you the feeling that it is still in operation, active and that they care about their customers.

The same is true when you visit a product support forum. If the last update done on the forum was 2 years ago, would you trust that company and buy their product knowing that their support is non-existent?

8. Budget and resources. Finally, you’ll need to consider the budget and resources you’re willing to expand in your effort to attract more traffic. Assuming the quality of your content remains consistent, publishing more often is probably going to lead you to more opportunities; updating means more indexed pages in search engines.