keithI’ve been hearing the same argument about website design since the late 90′s.

“We need to tell our client’s everything we do on the home page without having to scroll”


Or


“Our clients don’t know to scroll so we have to be concise and get our message across immediately”


This phenomenon is known as staying “above the fold” which is where the screen cuts off your webpage and you are forced to scroll (gasp) to see more content.


I began website design in 1999, a time when AOL was dominant. Their interface took up a majority of the screen. Placing their web browser inside that interface, combined with the smaller monitors of the day, and precious bandwidth to conserve due to dial-up viewers web designers like us were challenged with conveying proper messaging and design within a 6 inch, low resolution space on a good day.


Now more than 15 years later, technology has changed, screen sized are gigantic compared to their predecessors, our very DNA for consuming data has evolved yet we still hear the same request about “the fold phenomenon”. Why? Is it valid?


No!


Now I realize you may be coming to this very blog searching for advice because you do not fully understand website design and marketing. So lets try and relate this concept to something everyone knows about. Television.


It’s been said in the ad world that the mark of a good commercial is “if you can watch it with the volume off and still understand what the company does and its value proposition” its a good commercial. While this concept certainly sounds not only feasible but desirable for your commercial think about the top commercials of all time.


If you were to watch the Budweiser frogs commercial with no sound, would you know why Budweiser beer is better? How about the famous Clydesdale spots? Try watching these top 25 Super Bowl commercials of all time without sound and see if you catch my drift:




In short, commercials as well as websites have the ability to connect with clients on multiple levels. You can use them to build trust, convey a feeling, make people laugh, or even annoy them into submission.


Thinking of these potential branding medium and opportunities as a spreadsheet of logistics to convey as to why your product or service should be used is a recipe for disaster, or at least a band-aid for lack of creative thinking. Not to mention massive missed opportunity.


Your website is an unparalleled opportunity for branding, building trust, showing off corporate culture, exposing your vision and more. Take advantage of it, hell push it as far as the medium allows. Trust me, your visitors WILL scroll!


quote2












Photo: Nathan Barnatt who is actually extremely creative, he just looks that way.

Share

Having an event on Long Island? Need to get the word out? Generations Beyond has created this free checklist for you to utilize in getting the most exposure for your event via the availability of free postings online.


Click the image below to download your copy of this handy, free checklist!
Think you need more help? Contact us today! We’re great at publicity and packing out events!


li_list


Share

 

 Facebook-Decrease

Facebook has recently switched up how posts are seen by users. This new change has small businesses scrambling to reach their followers as they discover only 2-5% of their audience is actually seeing posts, favoring a more “pay to play” approach as opposed to organic or viral methods.


Does this mean Facebook is a dead end?


No! While it is more difficult for businesses to be visible on Facebook, consumers are still more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media.


Here are some ways to improve visibility on Facebook:



  • “Like” your business page on your personal Facebook account

- Invite family & friends to “like” your page as well. Encourage your employees to “like” your page.

- Like, Comment and Share posts from your business page to your personal page. The more interaction on the post, the more people will see it.


  • Focus on post quality vs. quantity

- Pictures over text, videos and links from popular/trusted web sources will improve your posts’ chances of reaching your audience


  • Look to the big guys for what works

- Most of social media marketing is trial and error; let the bigger companies with large marketing budgets figure out what doesn’t work. Use them as a template for what you should be posting.


  • Stay on the pulse of your industry and market

- Trends come and go so quickly, once we find out about them on mainstream media outlets, they are already on the way out. Find the most important/knowledgeable sources in your industry and discover the influential voices in your market. Keeping ahead of the trends will keep you relevant on social media.

Share

At Generations Beyond, we’re proud to be the people that clients turn to when they need to “push the envelope” or think outside the box… it’s what we call “going beyond,” and it’s our specialty.  However, there are times in marketing where even the folks at Generations Beyond have to recommend coloring inside the lines. One prime example of this is the world of e-commerce. While it’s important to utilize a thoughtful and strategic process to get people to notice your brand and your shop, once they get there, it’s extremely important to “color inside the lines” and give them an experience they are used to.


When an online shopper visits your website, places item into their cart, and for whatever reason decides not to go through with the purchase, that’s called “Cart Abandonment,” and it’s the greatest problem that most e-commerce shop owners have to overcome.  From both  design & marketing perspectives, it is important to note that online shoppers are both coveted, and, increasingly demanding when it comes to their shopping experience. Anything from a slightly unexpected event, such as a pop-up in the wrong place, or even something as small as an out of place font, to a change in what the customer perceives as the standard checkout procedure, can lead a potential new client astray, and right to your competition.


It is for this reason that when a potential client has a “great idea” such as having an animated shopping cart fly across the screen each time the “add to cart” button is pushed, to help “set their store apart” from the rest, we, in an unusual move for GB,  take the path of sticking to what already works.


Aside from design & programming, here are some additional reasons your clients may be abandoning their carts:


oob

Share

We will presenting a webinar in partnership with LogMyCalls on Thursday, March 27, 2014 entitled:


“The Future Of Client Connectivity”
30 Minutes with Generations Beyond’s Digital Trust Engineers



To register free visit:
https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/521032599


blog

Share

event_postAfter The Event.


After the event, you should continue to cover the happenings of the show.


Use your blog to do a post-show wrap up. Post your final photos, and send out general thank-you’s to attendees, new followers, new clients and new prospects.


Send out personalized thank-you’s via private messages to your prime suspects, and don’t forget to return the favor and follow your new prospects back via pertinent networks.


Finally, when it’s all done, be sure to count up all those new prospects you’ve created via social networking and apply an ongoing ROI number to those efforts! It’s useful for current and future marketing plans and I’d love to hear about your results!


Click here for Part #1 of this article.

Share

info_hot


In short, infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.


Why should you use infographics for your business?

  • Easy to scan and view makes messaging more successful
  • Tailor made for social sharing – boasts viral capabilities
  • Boosts brand awareness
  • Increases traffic
  • Shows an expert understanding of a subject
  • 40% of people respond better than just plain text
  • Don’t take our word for it, check out this article on Forbes


To say we are all overwhelmed with data is a given. Infographics are unquestionably a great way to help seperate your data from the pack and get your story across to potential clients and visitors. Take a look at a sample infographic we created to explain why anyone should work at Generations Beyond:


infographic

Share

Click here for Part #1 of this article.


instaThe social media tools mentioned already can also be your default tools for marketing to your audience during the event, however there are constantly new and powerful social networking tools popping up all the time to help you best achieve your marketing goals such as Instagram. Instagram is an amazing, online photo sharing tool which can be used for personal or professional means.


It is not necessary to know or use every tool out there! Use what you are comfortable with until you become restricted by them. Chances are there is another tool out there that will help you achieve your specific social networking goals. If there isn’t congratulations! You may be the next social media startup!


Utilize the same tactics mentioned already to continue to speak to your audience. Photos speak a thousand words. Let your clients at home in behind the scenes of the show, share photos of the event, show prospects who could not make it scenes of the event setup and/or breakdown. Share tips or photos from the keynotes or seminars.


People are vein. Take photos of attendees visiting your booth. If they would like a copy of the photo give them your card to be contacted later. Or better yet, “Follow Us On Twitter” to get your copy. You just boosted your network of prospects by one!


The tactics that can be utilized during the event are endless. Remember one of the keys to building a network of quality followers is giving prospects a good reason to follow. I’ve seen company’s utilize social media for real-time scavenger hunts, or even free prize giveaways. The only way to get clues or notices of giveaways is to follow the company’s social networks. You have to be in it to win it.


Click here for Part #1 of this article.

Share

trade-show-social-mediaAlmost all businesses jump head first into setting up their social media profiles. They brand them, make them look perfect, put the obligatory social media icons across the top of their website and then… ummmmm wonder what now? Hand it off to the young intern I guess?


This is an all too common, short-sighted mistake made by many businesses in today’s digital age to try and keep current with marketing trends. Using social media to market and network your business can prove to be a challenging task. However, a company event such as a tradeshow can be a boon to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn marketing efforts.


Let’s start with your overall corporate image. For a small business owner, exhibiting at a professional, industry tradeshow can help boost your overall corporate image due to something called the “Halo Effect.” The halo effect occurs when one positive characteristic of a business affects the way that business is viewed by others. For example, if you see a person walking down the street who is well dressed and wearing glasses, studies show that in addition to noticing their nice appearance you will automatically assume that person is also smart and successful.


Signs of growth, expansion and/or appearing on a public stage within the leaders of your industry bring with it connotations of a successful and competent business. So let’s utilize this event, all of it’s accompanying ulterior benefits and social media to let as many people know about your event and make it as big a success as possible.


Before The Event. This is the prime time to log on to your social media networks and begin networking and inviting potential clients your event. Your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles should at this point be populated with many of your contacts already. These networks do an amazing job of locating people within your contact lists as well as other people closely related to those in your contact lists. If not, be sure to check those inboxes on those accounts and accept and approve these networking requests!


Once these networks are established begin posting announcement about your upcoming exhibit. Furthermore, aside from these broad, general messages find those prime, prospects and personally invite them to your booth via private message. These prospects could be those suspects whom you already know and have unable to successfully nail down yet, or even people you may not know as well or at all who live or work close to your upcoming event.


In addition to the above tactics for Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter is an amazing tool that will also help you find those people not already in your network attending or thinking about attending your event.


San Diego Comic Con is a personal favorite of mine of which I’ve both attended and exhibited at. Months before the convention begins you can utilize the search term #SDCC and find literally thousands of people talking about the tradeshow in real time. Attendees, fellow exhibitors, distributors and/or sales reps are just the beginning.


Your tradeshow marketing efforts begin NOW! While some may see this as daunting, true marketers will see this as an opportunity to begin networking with others at the event, months before the event, during the off-time, not those precious, often hectic eight hour days of the tradeshow.


By simply searching for people “tweeting” utilizing the hashtag #SDCC I can:

  • Find attendees that might be potentially interested in my product, similar products, complimentary products or even (gasp) interested in my competitors’ offerings.
  • Locate fellow attendees and form strategic relationships and share the load of the pre-show effort marketing tasks. This can include sharing lists or mentioning each other within other marketing efforts (newsletters etc).
  • Locate my tradeshow neighbors and begin a relationship well before the show, not in those rare downtimes during the show. Tradeshow neighbors are ALWAYS helpful to have.
  • Locate businesses, distributors and or sales representatives attending the show. Invite these FRESH prospects to my booth to talk further.

  • Regardless of semantics you can see how using these simple networking tools can lead to endless new prospects before the doors of the tradeshow even open for setup. Check with your tradeshow administrator to see if they have a designated hashtag for their event. If not, no problem! You can start the trend and make one up yourself and pass it along to fellow exhibitors. After a few emails you will be surprised how quickly your efforts will be picked up and appreciated.


    Click here for Part 2 of 3 – Using Social Media to Market Your Tradeshow Appearance – DURING YOUR EVENT

    Share

Often referred to as a “video-sharing website,” YouTube was created by three former PayPal employees in 2005. Since Google bought it in 2006, YouTube has become a wildly successful medium through which information is exchanged and products are marketed.


YouTube draws more than a billion monthly visitors. Consumers watch 6 billion hours of video every month via YouTube, and 40 percent of YouTube’s traffic comes from mobile devices.


What does this mean for those who wish to publish information or market goods and services?


mobile-YouTube


YouTube Statistics
Mobile device use to access YouTube has risen. In 2012, 25% of YouTube’s traffic came from mobile devices. The year before, only 6% of its traffic was garnered through mobile use.


With the sale of tablets and smartphones growing, this increasing prevalence isn’t surprising.


Mobile use Of YouTube: Personal And professional significance
The numbers are important on both personal and professional levels. Those who upload and share videos for entertainment or discussion of an issue about which they are passionate should note that more and more people will be view their data via a smartphone or tablet.


Videos must be optimized for a mobile device’s unique visual settings. This goes for business use, too. Effectively marketing must take into account the device’s small screen.


Other Implications
The prevalence of YouTube use via mobile devices might have implications with respect to the appropriation of fiber optic internet sources offered through providers such as Verizon and AT&T Mobility.


Increased use of mobile devices to access YouTube might cause service providers to make significant changes to the way their wireless packages are marketed, and prices charged. Mobile users could search for the highest quality and most competitively priced wireless services.


This shift will likely parallel the general movement away from laptops and PCs as the primary medium through which individuals access the internet.


Conclusion
Technological advancement for the Internet and social media, and the changes it will bring, are inevitable. Those who want to appropriate Internet technology to exchange ideas or expand business should recognize that responding to trends can help facilitate success.


Those who regularly upload data to YouTube should ensure videos are mobile friendly. Statistics regarding the mobile use of YouTube indicate that to get the most out of the sharing site, we must acknowledge and adapt to the trends that affect the way it is accessed and explored.


Post written by: Michelle Smith is a freelance writer with a focus on social media and marketing. She can be found typing away on her laptop in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Michelle welcomes your feedback at michellelsmithwriter@gmail.com

Share