Shot of Inspiration: Beautiful Website Backgrounds


Website backgrounds have a reputation of being “in the background”, when in fact they are very important in setting the mood of the entire site and creating a strong impression with visitors.  When you make your own website, the background needs to be one of the first things you decide on – will you use an eye-catching image? Or will you go for an elegant pattern to attract more focus to other parts? Are you going to make the screen shine with colors or create a unique atmosphere with monochromatic shades?

There’s no right answer for these questions. It depends on the type of website you want to create and the brand identity you want to project. There are many different styles you can choose for your website background and they all have a different effect.

Here you will find some outstanding examples of various types of backgrounds. Have a look, visit the sites and get a feel of what each background is good for. This will help you understand what kind of background is the best for your website.

One Grand Image

Inspirational Backgrounds for Web Design

 Creative People

Inspirational Backgrounds for Web Design

Cappello’s

Inspirational Backgrounds for Web Design

Red Hot Chili Peppers Leer más “Shot of Inspiration: Beautiful Website Backgrounds”

2013: THE YEAR BRANDING MARRIES CONTENT? BY CHUCK KENT




Three Experts Speak Out On The Intersection of Branding and Content Marketing

The rise of consumer control, particularly via social media, and the unprecedented ability of consumers to choose, or reject, messages Content marketing has been around for over 100 years, ever since The John Deere company introduced The Furrow, a custom-published magazine designed to help farmers (and John Deere) be more successful.

For most of that century-plus, many of the denizens of “sexier,” higher-profile brand marketing firms have looked down at content marketing as one of the lesser “below the line services.’ However, a confluence of powerful factors suggests that all marketers – and their agencies – will be wise to consider how to best marry traditional brand messaging with the informational, educational, entertaining charms of content marketing, online and off. Those factors include, but certainly aren’t limited to: The shift toward search algorithms that favor quality content over SEO manipulation.The growing consumer distrust of traditional, paid advertising and marketing communications.

The opportunity to shift from a forced “push” marketing model to a natural “pull” model, a shift beyond the short-term value of transaction to create the long-term value of trust.“We Are Just At the Beginning of Thinking Differently” >>>> Sensing a sea change at hand, we asked three content leaders and practitioners to give their forecast as to what extent content would finally penetrate brand marketing programs in 2013. Leer más “2013: THE YEAR BRANDING MARRIES CONTENT? BY CHUCK KENT”

Business Branding Through Characterization Guide [Infographic]


See on Scoop.itGabriel Catalano human being | #INperfeccion® a way to find new insight & perspectives

Want a more dedicated and loyal customer base? Try business branding characterization profiling, and you will find a new level of success for your brand.

As more and more companies take to the Internet to have a shot at a greater level of success, branding becomes ever more important. It has been said a million times by now, but a company without a website is most likely a failing one, and that is becoming more evident now than ever before. Leer más “Business Branding Through Characterization Guide [Infographic]”

Justin Lafferty | latest articles….


| justin@allfacebook.com | Twitter: @JLaffertyAF

How Does Facebook Improve Its Mobile Apps?

Earlier this week, Facebook released an update for its iOS application, integrating popular features from the stand-alone Camera and Messenger apps. On Friday, the site’s engineering team shared how they use these apps to see what shutterbugs and messaging mavens like best before they tweak the main app.

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INFOGRAPHIC: How Businesses Are Making Friends On Facebook

The holy grail for a brand on Facebook is the advocate. But how does a brand turn an everyday Facebook fan into someone who is willing to share and speak positively about the company? Ambassador, a social referral platform, laid out a timeline illustrating how a user becomes a brand advocate.

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How Do Facebook’s Opt-In Notifications, Pages Feed Affect Brands?

Facebook set the marketing world abuzz when it began testing two features: opt-in notifications for page updates (so users can be pinged whenever a page they have chosen posts) and a separate pages feed (where users can see all posts from all pages they’ve liked). Jason Weaver, CEO of Shoutlet, a social media marketing service that works with top consumer brands, told AllFacebook recently that he thinks this is a chance for companies to re-establish connections with fans.

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Facebook Friendship Pages Converted To Timeline

Have you ever gone through your friends list and wondered, “How do I know this person?” There’s actually a way to see all engagement between yourself and a friend — friendship pages, which recently got the timeline treatment.

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Wishpond Serves Up Easy, Engaging Facebook Marketing

Trying to think of a way to create a fun contest that will make Facebook fans engage with your brand? Stop thinking. Wishpond, which is now stepping into the social marketing world, has launched an easy way for brands to reach out to their fans through Facebook and other avenues.

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Postagram Direct Turns Facebook Photos Into Branded Postcards

Users are increasingly finding new ways to find offline uses for Facebook. The latest? Postgram Direct, which allows a user to send a real-life postcard to someone featuring Facebook photos. Sincerely, the parent company, announced Thursday that Postagram Direct has partnered with Gap to allow users to send free postcards to friends and relatives.

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Takei To Take On Facebook’s Algorithm In Upcoming Book

Actor George Takei has been a fierce opponent of the way Facebook determines which users see certain posts from pages. After reading an open letter from an aggravated page administrator to Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Takei said he’s writing about Facebook’s algorithm — which many people refer to as EdgeRank — in his upcoming book.

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INFOGRAPHIC: The Science Of Facebook Engagement

One of the biggest challenges facing Facebook marketers is the plight of gaining engagement. Brands and other page administrators have tried to figure out the best types of posts to rack up more likes, comments, and shares — and most important, to play into Facebook’s algorithm. An infographic from American Express OPEN and SocialMouths shows some simple ways to make a page’s posts more popular.

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Brands Will Become Media: Here’s How


 

Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 9.41.03 AM
If your company doesn’t have the above model in place a year from now, you may regret it.

You’ve probably felt it for some time, but now the roadmap is becoming clear—companies must build their own media empires. And if they don’t, they risk missing a window of opportunity that provides myriad benefits, whether it’s telling their own stories or becoming more efficient with the media dollars they spend.

Trends in media consumption point to the convergence of savvy marketing tactics combined with a real-time newsroom approach for brands to be seen and heard in a collectively social, digital and mobile world.

Facebook: Engagement Isn’t Enough

First, let’s start with Facebook which, thanks to an alleged algorithm change, has been at the center of controversy in the marketing world. Though it’s cited as the reason brands have noticed their content reaching a lower volume of Facebook users, the caveat is that there is much a company can do to increase the odds of being seen and heard on Facebook. But, it relies on a brand doing a few things really well.

For starters, it’s not enough to solely engage on Facebook. A company now has to provide a steady flow of high-quality content, which then relies  not only on organic content sharing from Facebook users but also on subsequent media purchases with Facebook in order for that message to spread.

Sound familiar? It’s how advertising has been done in the past, only with a big difference. Much of the content that tends to do best is oftentimes associated with current news or highly relevant social issues. Take for example whatOreo has done with its Daily Twist initiative, where in honor of the cookie’s 100th anniversary, agency teams get together daily to decide how to riff off of relevant, often newsworthy, subjects that, by day’s end, produce a new piece of clever, highly shareable visual content that’s sent out into the digital ecosystem. This type of approach makes clear what most pundits miss when challenging the notion of “ROI” in social media—the reason a company wants to amass followers in social media is to build their own marketing/communications network, which bypasses the middle man and goes right to the source.

The end game in social media won’t be accumulation of fans but rather your ability to reach them and potentially inspire action.

Full story

 

by Victoria Austin | Latest Facebook-comScore Report Touts Benefit of Paid + Earned


blog.360i.com

Following Facebook’s promising Q3 earnings call last week, the company released a report in conjunction with comScore to emphasize the growing importance of an integrated paid and earned media strategy. [Editor’s note: For more information, read 360i’s report on the same subject.]

Understanding Paid and Earned Reach on Facebook seeks to answer the million-dollar question on the minds of marketers: just how valuable are Facebook fans? This topic has been heavily debated since the fan/Like capability was first featured on Facebook, and while no monetary value can be assigned to a fan, it is clear that social communities – like those on Facebook – are important to brands.

Facebook’s prior study, Power of a Like II (published in June 2012), was designed to determine whether branded social media exposure – including posts published by a brand and ads served by a brand – has an effect on consumer buying behavior.

As a follow-up to that study, this latest whitepaper from Facebook and comScore centers on understanding how paid and earned media can work together to help brands navigate the cluttered Facebook community – and engage both fans and non-fans in the best way possible.

3 Major Findings for Marketers— >   Leer más “by Victoria Austin | Latest Facebook-comScore Report Touts Benefit of Paid + Earned”

A Product Brand vs A Service Brand? | theideabrand.com


Building a Brand Management Service Vision’

1. What’s the difference between a Product brand and a Service brand?

Product brands are about products. Mars, a classic Product brand, doesn’t answer back, doesn’t get tired, isn’t anxious, is always ready to perform and always tastes the same. Every experience with a Product brand is/should be identical. Service brands aren’t like that. Service brands are about people. People who represent the organization lose their tempers, get tired and anxious, and sometimes have just had enough that day. Every experience with a Service brand is therefore different. 

Starbucks

Whatever you feel the Starbucks brand stands for, one thing all Starbucks customers can agree upon is that the chain has elevated the ubiquitous coffee house to much more than a commodity by making it a special, customer oriented experience, it’s become a Service Brand.

Similarly, Virgin has done the same with everything from air and space travel to music festivals.

The Virgin ‘Service’ brand revolves around delivering value pricing, high quality, fun, innovation, while being authentic, people-oriented, hip, and associated with Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and his personal reputation. Not to mention – great customer service.

Many of the people who are in charge of managing Service brands (CMO’s, MD’s, Call Centre Directors, Customer Service Directors) have been trained in the traditional school of creating great consumer product brands. Their attempt to manage Service brands as though they are Product brands has created vast problems.

Virgin Sir Richard Branson

For the customer, the person who represents the brand is the brand.

If the person representing the brand doesn’t perform properly, the relationship between the brand and the customer may collapse.
The implication of this is that service-based organizations have to focus on their internal employees to a far greater extent than product-based organizations.

Complete article
i.d.e.a.

Time for Brands to Get Innovational with Facebook


One of the biggest challenges I face at Social@Ogilvy is maintaining a simultaneous focus on innovation and operationalizing proven practices. Technically you cannot do both at the same time. It’s kind of like multitasking, which is really a myth. We “bounce” between tasks, never quite doing them at the same time. And just like multitasking, innovation and tweaking reliability cannot quite happen at the same time. Kind of like designing the car of the future even while you use it to pick up groceries everyday.

Yet there are few practices quite like applying social media to business to bring out the inner entrepreneur and Six Sigma black belt in all of us. We simply have to do both, if not simultaneously, then in quick succession. No sooner had we created a new way to audit a brand’s social presence (Social Brand Print) then we had rolled it out globally, making it more efficient and generally improving on the final product.

This is a brand leader’s dilemma in using social media. Just think about the marketers who demand new, innovative ways of using Facebook, for example, and then demand ROI in the next breath. ROI comes after innovation when you are trying to scale or make a process more reliable and efficient. Still, this is the boat we find ourselves in. And Facebook is the perfect platform for pursuing both innovation and operation.

Facebook helps us be “Innovational”

Facebook exceeded 1 billion users and 200 million of us actively post content in addition reading our friend’s updates. Forty percent of the world’s Internet users are on the platform.  It’s got scale which is certainly one of the attributes to look for when scaling and making more efficient. (Source: GlobalWebIndex)

The ad platform including the premium ads we love as sponsored stories are now handled automatically making them more efficient. Plenty of marketers like us have established a Facebook ad planning and buying “desk” staffed by social media experts who blend media knowledge with social media smarts. They sit adjacent to the community managers driving measurable engagement deeper and deeper. Pulling media back towards the content and creative teams is both innovative and operational.

Here are four ways you can fuel innovation on Facebook:

Facebook Studio – Nothing sparks innovation like examples of great work with a bit of a competitive edge. If you haven’t tapped into this site to see what brands and others are doing on Facebook, then kick back and browse around for an hour. Make an appointment to come back every week and submit your own work. You might win an award. Leer más “Time for Brands to Get Innovational with Facebook”

Strategy: know your customer, release early, listen and learn | thedrum.com


The Drum takes a look at the key ingredients for creating a successful app strategy that will deliver.

Top tips for applying app strategy: know your customer, release early, listen and learnTop tips for applying app strategy: know your customer, release early,

With the exponential growth of mobile comes the wealth of opportunity for brands to enhance consumers’ lives by providing useful or relevant information, entertainment, or simply enabling them to complete concurrent tasks more seamlessly. This is where apps come in.

But with over 700,000 apps in Apple’s app store alone, and apps to inform, educate and entertain, it can be difficult for brands to understand how to implement an effective app strategy. Here, The Drum speaks to individuals from the app development sector to determine their top tips for applying apps successfully.

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER

At the heart of an app is its user, therefore it is crucial for brands to understand their customers. “As with all marketing, it’s essential that the consumer is always at the heart of the creative idea,” says Mark Hadfield, senior planner, Weapon7. “This ensures relevancy and gives the app a real role in their lives.”
Kevin Galway, business development manager, bss digital, stresses the importance of understanding customers. “What do your customers want and what technologies do they use? Will they be prepared to pay for the app or do you need to deliver a native app and a web app to reach more users? Ultimately an app needs to be useful, enjoyable and informative to the customer – this is paramount to keep them coming back for more.”

Grapple CSO Adam Levene also emphasises the importance of harnessing the potential of mobile to make their lives easier. “It’s all too easy to borrow from what a brand is doing online. The smartphone is the most personal device in the world, always with customers and always on. As such, brands must get into the mindset of providing a first-class experience that provides ongoing value, solves customers’ pain points and makes their lives easier. More than any other channel, mobile has the potential to build deeper connections between a brand and consumers.” Leer más “Strategy: know your customer, release early, listen and learn | thedrum.com”

Social Media Are A Square | via social.ogilvy.com


Thinking Social / Value

Social Media are like a town square. A place that people frequent every day in order to meet with their friends. To share their news and exchange opinions about issues that matter to them. To learn about new things their friends like and suggest. Even to make new friends.

So what is the role of brands in that square? How do they fit in a place where real people talk mostly about themselves?

You could imagine brand properties in Social Media, as info-kiosks, set up in the town square. Kiosks that mostly provide information about brands, their products and their services, without actually selling them.

These kiosks might be full of advertising material and promotional leaflets. They might have registration forms for people interested in receiving news from the brand. And they usually let people in the square come into contact with brand representatives, to post questions and other inquiries. We usually call these info-kiosks “Facebook brand pages”!

And what brands mostly want to do in the “square” with their “info-kiosks” is to create big crowds around them, interested in what they advertise. They want to create buzz, and have more people coming in.

So what are the most usual ways they go about it?

1. Contests

Brands like to set up sweepstakes contests in their info-kiosks. They put big signs announcing the prizes, and hope that a big queue of people will form outside, all wanting to participate.

But even after people participate, they quickly go back to the conversation they were having with their friends in the square, since that is the real reason they came to the square for in the first place…

2. Content

Some brands believe that, if they fill their info-kiosks with interesting and relevant content, people will stay longer and consume it.

But while this strategy will keep some people coming back for more, it’ll only work for users already interested in a particular subject or brand, and won’t easily create buzz in the square, and massively bring new people to the info-kiosk.

3. Causes

Other brands prefer to stand for a cause, and call people who share the same beliefs to sign the cause and support it. Their pages act not unlike the kiosks political parties set up in squares in order to attract potential voters.

Brands could support issues ranging from ecology and human rights, down to the beauty of people with round curves, or support people who love dogs and cats! If you believe the cause, you sign up for the brand that supports it. But again, not everyone believes in the same things, so this strategy cannot usually create big buzz in the square.

So what could create buzz?

4. Experiences

There are brands that treat their info-kiosks like attractions in an amusement park! Magical experiences that people go in with excitement and walk out in amazement.

Here we have the kind of experiences you cannot wait to talk about with your friends at the square, and urge them not to miss them. The kind of experiences that leave you with a smile on your face, and perhaps a souvenir that all in the square can see from afar, and ask where you got it from.

We call these experiences viral Facebook applications!

Three steps in designing Facebook applications that create maximum buzz. Leer más “Social Media Are A Square | via social.ogilvy.com”

Stop Listening and Start Thinking | via whatworkswhere.com


Social Data…

social_data_Image
Social Data is currently the fastest growing discipline in Social Media Marketing. Many brands have embraced ‘Social Listening’ (the process of capturing conversations from the social media). So why am I now telling you to stop listening? Simple, I want you to get value from the mass of social data out there and not just do it for the sake of it.

Using Social Listening platforms alone will never give you valuable audience insights, measure the performance of a campaign or identify relevant influencers. At best it will give you a pretty dashboard that uses very basic segmentation to present the data. The real power of social data comes from manual analysis. In fact I’m a firm believer in the 80/20 rule (80% manual analysis / 20% tool) when it comes to this social data.

Defining what you want you want from social data is mandatory. Listening for brand or product mentions without an objective is a complete waste of time.

Stop and think about what you want from the data. For example do you want audience insights to inform a strategy or do you want data to populate a campaign performance dashboard? Leer más “Stop Listening and Start Thinking | via whatworkswhere.com”

The Colors of the top 100 Web Brands [Infographic]


infographics4u.com

A detailed infographic that reveals powerful colors of the web which are colors implemented by major internet companies in their branding. This great infographic about the most powerful colors in the world comes to us from ColourLovers.com and features colors from the top 100 internet brands worldwide. It reveals some interesting trends in design. Colorlovers had specific goals in mind when they set out to collect the information for the graphic.

7 Ways to Find Powerful Influencers | Written by Belinda Stinson


http://www.jeffbullas.com/

We all know them, the people who know their stuff inside out and we look to for guidance and advice.7 Ways to Find Powerful Influencers

They are not just experts, they are influencers.

Influencers are hubs of information, they have many followers who respect their recommendations and opinions and being featured by them sends a powerful amount of targeted traffic your way.

It is the ripple effect.

If you want to grow your business you need to know who the influencers are in your field, learn from their expertise and build a productive professional relationship with them.

The Leverage of Influence

Influencers are important to your business because of the size of their audience and the influence they exert. It is good old fashion word of mouth recommendations on steroids.

So if you want to grow your business or profile online it only makes sense to find the right influencers, learn all you can and build excellent working relationships with them.

Finding Influencers Leer más “7 Ways to Find Powerful Influencers | Written by Belinda Stinson”

5 Strategies for Using Twitter Effectively


askaaronlee.com

This post originally appeared on the iStrategy blog where I contribute regularly articles about leveraging social media and technology for small businesses. Subscribe to their blog for more great articles.

Can you imagine that just a few years ago Twitter didn’t exist (I won’t “exist” too)? Today the phrase “follow us” or ”follow me” is commonly used everywhere – on the news, radio, on ads and more. And let’s not forget #hashtags that appear on TV shows like X-Factor so that viewers can easily follow the conversations.

Today Twitter is not only used by individuals but is also adopted by brands and businesses to both promote their business on this network and also to be a part of a wider conversation (as McDonald’s did recently).

Buddy Media recently analysed over 320 Twitter handles of the world’s biggest brands to determine what works and what doesn’t; here are some of the key insights from it.

5 Strategies for Using Twitter Effectively

1. Keep Tweets Short

According to their insights, tweets that contained less than 100 characters received 17% higher engagement compared to tweets that were longer. <tweet this>

2. Use one or two hashtags

The study also found that many brands are underutilising hashtags – only 24% of brands’ tweets constains hashtags. Brands that uses hashtags received two times more engagement than those without them. However, the engagement levels drop if brands use more than three hashtags. Remember: Less is MORE!

Brands and businesses should limit usage to one or two hashtags per tweet. Leer más “5 Strategies for Using Twitter Effectively”