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Having the strongest tools in your online marketing toolbox should be one of your top priorities for your business. Having a strong, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use website should be one of those incredibly sharp tools!
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to the blog writers desk and welcome to December! How excited are you to drive and walk around our cute little town and see it decorated to the holiday nines? Don't forget to shop local and shop small this year. 2020 has been a hard year for all of our local businesses, and right now more than ever they need your love and support. Our incredible town has something for everyone on your holiday shopping list this year. Personalized and unique gifts, gift cards to your favorite restaurants, coffee shops, and bakeries, and fun (socially distanced and safe) activities, and much more can all be found right here in the sweet tea capital of the world! Don't forget, shopping locally and supporting local small businesses help support our neighbors and our local economy. Investing in it is an investment back for you! Also, if you don't feel safe shopping or ordering in person from all of your favorite local businesses, many of them are selling their products, gift cards, and services on their websites! Many local artists are also selling their goods on Etsy, on their websites, off of their social media pages, and more! If you need any recommendations on where to shop this year, please reach out to us, visit your favorite local Summerville websites, and ask around! Make this holiday a very special one, regardless of how difficult it has been for all of us!
Speaking of online shopping, social media pages, and websites we wanted to focus on sharpening one of the many important tools you need to have in your small business toolbox this time of year, and all year round. We need to start the conversation about having an excellent website. After making it through all of your online holiday marketing planning these last few months and putting all of that into action, it's time to get ready for the upcoming new year. We know how busy this time of year is for you, but we also know you understand that work for a small business never stops. All of us at Creative are constantly pushing ourselves and working towards how we can better ourselves to help our clients, and how we can help our clients grow to their next level of business. One of the many steps we help our clients grow and prosper in, what one of our tops services is, and what we promote very often our on social media pages is having a strong, functional, and beautiful website. As the 2018 and 2019 winners of the Readers Choice and Berkeley County Best Web Design Firm, we wanted to dedicate one of our very last blogs of 2020 to the many reasons why having an excellent website is so important.
In today's world where almost all first introductions and interactions individuals make with a new company, restaurant, or service start with a Google search, having an excellent website is a must. This will be your introduction to most of your new clients, supporters, and consumers. It is more likely for a curious individual to turn to their web browser to look for what they need or ask for an opinion through their social media network than any other forms of search. Having a welcoming, easy to navigate, and beautiful website serves as that first handshake in these situations, and automatically gives you credibility to these new hopeful potential clients without you having to lift a finger. Google helps with these introductions too, especially if your SEO is top-notch.
However, if you don't even have a website, that can be a fatal blow to your company and a huge loss in clients and sales. The amount of organic traffic your company will receive by having a website is incredibly important and can be stronger than print, radio, or TV advertisement in many cases. However, if you are only using print, TV, and radio advertisement and don't have a website, this will automatically cause you to lose credibility too. It will seem strange in today's world that you wouldn't have a website. Potential customers want to learn more about your services, your prices, and how to contact you without having to go digging to find it. If this isn't readily available through a website, it is highly unlikely that they would choose your business over someone who does have a website with all of this information. Having a website is one step closer to knowing and trusting the company behind the website before even choosing to work with someone.
That being said, if you do have a website but it's not pleasing to the eye, difficult to navigate, lacking information, and lacking contact information, this will also repel your potential customers. No one wants to spend extra time nor do they want to get frustrated by having to dig for information, get confused on how to interact with your website, or not finding any of the information they are looking for. You want a design that's pleasing to look at, explains exactly what your company does and what it offers, who customers can talk to, all while staying true to your unique brand.
[Sense of Easy, not Urgency]
You have a strong, beautifully crafted, and easy to navigate website - now what? In 2020, the pandemic has kept many people out of brick and mortar stores, and kept them to window shopping on their phones and computers from the safety and comfort of their couches. This trend has been powerful and popular even before the pandemic hit. Physical window shopping is slowly becoming a thing of the past while the power of scrolling and Google search shopping is slowly starting to take its place. It's easier, faster, and a gateway to finding new products and services at the click of a button. It's also a huge time saver and potentially a huge moneymaker for your business. Where does this all start? With a strong website.
While many new clients might find out about your products and services thanks to your social media pages on Instagram and Facebook, they will still be lead to your website landing page to decide if they're going to buy from you and what they're going to buy. Having a website can also expand your customer base. You or your brick and mortar shop might be located on the west coast, but having a website could allow you to sell your goods across the country or even globally. You are opening the market to anyone in the world, or where you personally choose to ship to, by having a website.
In this day and in this year, where the pandemic has made it hard to hold onto a brick and mortar location, a website can free you up from the responsibilities that come with it and the rent you have to pay to keep it. If you have a strong website backed up by an incredibly active social media and SEO presence, and you can ship your goods and products anywhere, you don't need that brick and mortar store unless you want it. On the other hand, if your company offers a service and you prefer to operate mobile out of a car or company vehicle, a well-crafted website can continue to promote your services while also avoiding a brick and mortar location.
[A Conversation Worth Having]
We've talked about the importance of communication in many of our blogs. Responding to comments or messages on social media in a very timely manner, responding to emails as quickly as possible, and giving your customers a place to start a conversation are some of the most important practices a business needs to have and provide. Having a website allows this communication to happen with ease and allows it to be organized for you and instant for your customers. It provides the information needed to contact you with any questions, problems, and concerns right away. Adding a chatbox can provide quick and 24/7 customer support instantly, too. This also allows, subconsciously, for your clients to connect with you and trust you with ease and without causing a headache.
Don't forget that a website not only makes the process easy for your clients, but it also makes your job easier too. That's the dream right there, isn't it? Once you create your stunning website and keep up with its maintenance throughout your company's lifetime, you're set to go. At this point, you'll have nowhere to go but up. A website will also be a godsend for your marketing team, who need all your love this time of year. Once you've established an excellent website, planning for sales, holidays, and new products will be so much easier for them. They have a landing page to display these changes, the ease to direct new and returning clients on where they can buy your goods and services, and an established brand to base all of their marketing off of! What a relief!
We understand the hesitations in hiring a company like ours to build, create, and manage a website. We've heard and understood all of them. However, if you want your company to continue to grow, have credibility, if you want people to know who you are and what your company does, continue to make money, and make a good first impression, a well-designed website is the way to go. We are here to chat with you about any questions and concerns you might have about building or redesigning your website and to help get you started. Creating beautiful websites is one of our many passions and something we hope you're getting excited about! Let's get started taking your business to the next level with the website of your dreams, contact us today! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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There are so many working pieces of a successful company and workflow. Is keeping up with trends one that you have to do? We believe it to be one of the most important things to stay on top of!
The business world, just like any industry, changes rapidly. The right thing to wear, the cool things to do, where to eat, and the latest catchphrases can grow in popularity thanks to one viral Instagram post in a matter of seconds. It can be exhausting to follow and keep up with. It's even more exhausting when you're trying to run a business on top of staying aware of these changes. We get it. It's part of what we do for our clients and is something we deal with every day.
Is it really necessary to stay on top of and to follow trends? Or do you just find what works for you and your company and stick with that? In all reality, as much as we hate to say it, not staying on top of these fast-paced trends can endanger your company. Sticking to your very traditional means of business can be very damaging and will leave you in the dust of your competitors as they take the lead, your customers, and your business.
Also, remember to identify if the changes in your industry are true trends or if they're just fads. Fads will disappear overnight and can lead to a lot of frustration. A lot of money and time can be spent on implementing a fad. If it's mistaken for a trend, it can lead to a lot of frustration and money and time lost. Make sure you know the difference between the two, and how to spot both. What we want you to take away from this blog is to make sure that you are staying on top of trends. We do recognize that it can be a lot of added work, but it needs to be added to your workflow. We want to hear how you've encountered and implemented trends in your business! Comment below and share your experiences. If you want to learn more about trends, let us know! It could appear in future blogs.
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Small businesses, be warned! Two of the most important tools in your online marketing toolbox sound very similar but they are two VERY DIFFERENT tools. It's time to break down their differences and pick the right choice for you and your company.
Happy New Year Everyone! We hope you had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones, and you're just as excited as we are to jump into 2020! One of the biggest things we were focusing on before the holidays set in was the challenges, changes, and inconsistencies of online marketing across many social media platforms. If you spend as much time as we do studying and working with advertising on places like Facebook and Instagram, you are very familiar with the fact that it changes constantly. It's hard to keep up with each change and how it affects your advertisements daily. These advertisement tools can determine your business growth and popularity online, so if you don't understand the changes in trends or are unfamiliar with the tools available to you, you could be in serious trouble. One of the biggest things we have been digging into is Geofencing and Geotargeting. This behind the scenes marketing tool can make or break an advertisement campaign without even trying. The names look so familiar, they much basically be the same thing right? Wrong! Although they are connected, you need to understand their main differences. When you understand the differences, you will be able to choose which option is best for your company. The best choice will help you gain more customers, followers, and supporters. First off, let's get down to the definitions.
GEOFENCING: Geofencing is when you draw an actual virtual fence with a predetermined chosen radius. This is used to target and connect specific people in a certain area to your advertisement. It is known to be more accurate than geotargeting. It uses GPS to make sure the audience you have targeted is being tracked and followed based on the coordinates of where they are in that exact moment they're online. When this chosen group of people is online, geofencing collects data and studies how long this chosen group of customers stays within the virtual fence and if and when they come back. This tool helps improve the engagement of local customers for your company and it can help attract customers away from your competition. The disadvantage of geofencing is that it can only target audiences based on physical location. Hand-picking demographics and certain groups of people based on anything besides location have nothing to do with who sees your geofencing advertisement.
Who is the best for? If you are interested in advertising to populations of all interests and ages in your local area, then it is a perfect tool for your company.
GEOTARGETING: This tool is very similar to Geofencing at its base. It does draw the same invisible fence, BUT demographics are included in its makeup. You create your virtual fence, and then you pick who exactly (based on age, interest, gender, etc.) will see your ad. One of the main disadvantages is that you have to open up your advertisement geographic to a much larger area. You are being very specific about the type of people you want to see this add within a particular area So, to get as much of a result as you would with geofencing, the location needs to be larger to attract the same number of people in a geofencing situation.
Who is this best for? If you are interested in advertising to a very specific group of people inside a certain demographic or niche, then this is a perfect option for your company.
Spend time studying both options. I have just given you the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to using these tools, and there is a lot to dig into when choosing which to use. Understand how each could affect your company for the better or worse. Spend time understanding the consumers you have and those you're trying to attract. This might be the perfect opportunity to step back and define your company and who you want to serve. If you have the time and the means, experiment with both and see which outcome is best. But make sure to decide on one in the end, stick with it, and plan your advertising campaign accordingly. The work put into this decision could lead to a more dedicated consumer base and a fast conversion rate. All of us social media people love to see those numbers jump high and jump quick!
Here is to an exciting 2020, we can't wait to build a better business world with you one day at a time!
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Content creation is a huge part of our business, and a huge part of staying at the forefront of the Social Media Business world is paying attention to new and exciting trends to use in our work!
There is a lot of creativity that we use in our work every day. A lot of the images, logos, and designs that we use for our clients are created in house and we are very proud of that. But we also love learning and following new trends when it comes to graphic design - and we wanted to share some of the biggest Graphic Design trends that you will be seeing this year if you haven't noticed them already! Because who doesn't love a little inspiration?
We know that you need to stay on top of the latest graphic design trends no matter what medium you use or don't use. There is nothing wrong with a little extra knowledge! Keep your work fresh and competitive. Don't hang onto the idea that "this is how it's always been done." That is SO dangerous! You want your designs and work to stand out and be able to offer the same if not more to your clients than any competition out there.
2. Powerful Serifs
The rise of the serif font is at its height in 2019! I'm sure you've noticed the trend of illustrations getting lighter and the fonts getting bolder and much stronger. This year has gifted us with new, bold, ad beautiful serif fonts and they will just continue to grow and become more gorgeous. Custom type is becoming the rage for any company that wants to stand out and be noticed by their dream clients and put them ahead of the competition. The gift of these beautiful new serifs are perfect for the job, and if you're designing for a company that wants to brand or rebrand itself these new fonts will also come in handy! Check out some of these beautiful examples:
3. Lighter Illustrations
Out with the bold, dramatic, and very thick lines of illustration and in with the light and delicate! With the trend of the use of foil (hello rose gold!) embossing and other delicate materials, this feminine and innocent style is the perfect accessory. You will see this trend in packing designs and a lot of gifting and other artisan trade that involves intricate designs. These designs will often be paired with textured paper backgrounds.
2019 has been deemed a year of contradictions when it comes to new trends. But when hasn't design been filled with contradictions? This list is very small when it comes to all of the new trends out there - but I can guarantee that these trends are exciting and will lead to a lot of exciting and beautiful growth. Keep your eyes open as you scroll through your phones and as you are looking for inspiration. It's waiting for you to find it!