Category Archives: Marketing Tips

5 Tips For Brands Navigating the New Facebook News Feed

About a month ago, Mark Zuckerberg made a big splash with his announcement that Facebook would be making major changes to the algorithm governing what shows up in your news feed, with the goal being to “encourage meaningful interactions between people” but an unfortunate side effect that “you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”

Zuckerberg says that these changes are necessary because of Facebook’s “responsibility to make sure [their] services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being.” While that’s a noble sentiment, the imminent changes sent those of us in business and media scrambling to figure out what these changes are going to mean for us, and how we are going to adapt.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, stick around and we’ll walk through some of the things you can do to make sure that your time on Facebook is still, in the words of Zuckerberg, “time well spent.” Continue reading

The Myth of Simple Custom Design

Today, I’d like to address something that comes up in conversations with clients quite a bit — the myth of simple custom design. The proliferation of “get it done quick and cheap” web builders like Squarespace and design marketplaces like Fiverr have led to a growing public assumption that high-quality custom designs and “simple” websites can be had for a pittance. This is just not the case.

Think about buying a custom website or design like buying a one-of-a-kind dress from a fashion designer, custom-made to fit your figure. You wouldn’t go with whomever could provide you with the cheapest dress, ask for it to be completed hastily or farm it out to a tailor who is too far away to take your measurements. The same is true of custom design and site development!

So let’s break it down and look at some specific reasons why you shouldn’t use your bottom line as your guiding light when making decisions about custom design. Continue reading

How To Easily Make an Animated GIF

Love them or loathe them, animated GIFs have become part of the way we communicate with each other in the digital age. Though they have seen regular usage as a way to inject fun commentary into a chat or social media feed for a while now, we are also beginning to see animated GIFs used for marketing purposes as well. Email newsletters are using them to add a little life to a relatively static medium, and their use in social media has grown to include more than memes.

But how do you make one? Animating things is complicated, right? Weeeeellll, sometimes it can be! But even the technically challenged can start creating and using animated GIFs in their marketing (or just for a little fun), with the help of some online tools that make the creation process a snap.

So stick around, and we’ll have you popping out animated GIFs in no time! Continue reading

5 Tips For A Sweet Letterhead Design

letterheadOk, yes, we live in a digital age. Screens reign supreme, and the paper age is winding down. But it’s not finished yet! We still use paper in our business dealings all the time, and one of the most important elements of that pulpy communication is the letterhead.

Creating a branded letterhead for your business can make a huge impact in how people respond to you. It’s a chance to further extend your brand while making every letter you send more authentic and credible.

However, good letterhead design can be trickier than you think! You need to make sure that the design doesn’t overpower the text and that it delivers the necessary information in an appropriate way. Stay tuned, and we’ll go through some tips to make sure your new letterhead is looking its best! Continue reading

Embrace the Double-Optin for Email Lists!

Here at Solamar, we just finished a big switch from Infusionsoft to Mailchimp for all of our online forms / email management. While Infusionsoft is great, we just didn’t need that powerful of a system for what we were trying to accomplish with it, and Mailchimp is our total fave if you don’t need all of the power that Infusionsoft offers.

As we were thinking through the migration and how best to approach it, one issue came up — Mailchimp requires a double-optin for list sign-ups.

What this means is that when someone fills out a form on our site, they don’t automatically get entered into the list on Mailchimp. First, they get sent a confirmation email asking them if they reeeaaaalllly wanted to sign up. Only once they click the button in that email are they finally added to the list and taken to any thank-you pages.

At first, we were like, “Heck, no!” The last thing we wanted to do was add more complexity to the process for our visitors, and were afraid of losing people if the confirmation ended up in a spam folder (which sometimes happens). We wanted signing up to be as simple and painless as possible. What if they missed the confirmation email, or got annoyed at having to take another step and didn’t continue? Continue reading

Using the New Snap Maps for Business

snap mapsEveryone’s favorite up and coming social app Snapchat recently released a brand new feature called Snap Maps. Accessed by pinching the home screen, it shows your location and the location of your friends in real time, via your phone’s location services. It also tracks any “Stories” you’ve posted in the last twenty-four hours. If you don’t want your location shared, Snap Maps allows you to turn on “Ghost Mode”, which hides you if you don’t want everyone knowing where you are or hat you’re up to.

Similar to the Pokemon Go craze of last summer, businesses are eager to leverage this new location sharing technology to harness the power of their communities. But how should you go about doing so? Stick around and we’ll go through it together. Continue reading

6 Tips for Great Email Newsletter Design

email newsletterEmail is still going strong as one of the best ways to reach your audience, and an email newsletter (ezine) is one of the best ways to engage that audience. On top of that, we now have an incredible pool of tools and services that have been created to assist the generation of attractive email newsletters.

So why is it that I still see horribly unattractive newsletters in my inbox all the time?! Just because someone has signed up for your newsletter and given you their precious email address doesn’t mean you can take them for granted! They may have decided to receive content from you, but if you don’t deliver something they actually want to read, they won’t.

Let’s look at a bunch of ways you can ensure that your email newsletter is good-looking and effective. Continue reading