What Offline Advertisers Can Teach Online Marketers

By Cameron Chapman

As online marketers, we often ignore the methods used by offline advertisers, especially print and outdoor advertisers. After all, print is the past and digital marketing is the future. What could we possibly learn from staring at a bunch of magazine ads or billboards?

The answer is: quite a bit. Offline advertising has a much longer history than online advertising and marketing, and has had a lot more research done over the years. There are proven techniques that have worked offline for decades that online marketers have barely tried. So why not try a few techniques that have proven effective for print, television, and other offline advertising campaigns, and see how you can translate them to the web?

Don’t Fix It If It’s Not Broken

There are a number of examples in the world of print advertising where companies have attempted to change or “improve” their products and promotional methods and have nearly ruined their successful businesses. Take the recent Gap logo fiasco. Gap attempted to update their logo to reflect a more modern style, and suffered such an enormous backlash from their customers that they changed it back to the old one within days.


http://blog.kissmetrics.com/offline-can-teach-online/

By Cameron Chapman

As online marketers, we often ignore the methods used by offline advertisers, especially print and outdoor advertisers. After all, print is the past and digital marketing is the future. What could we possibly learn from staring at a bunch of magazine ads or billboards?

The answer is: quite a bit. Offline advertising has a much longer history than online advertising and marketing, and has had a lot more research done over the years. There are proven techniques that have worked offline for decades that online marketers have barely tried. So why not try a few techniques that have proven effective for print, television, and other offline advertising campaigns, and see how you can translate them to the web?

Don’t Fix It If It’s Not Broken

There are a number of examples in the world of print advertising where companies have attempted to change or “improve” their products and promotional methods and have nearly ruined their successful businesses. Take the recent Gap logo fiasco. Gap attempted to update their logo to reflect a more modern style, and suffered such an enormous backlash from their customers that they changed it back to the old one within days. Leer más “What Offline Advertisers Can Teach Online Marketers”

40+ Useful Online Generators For Web Designers

By Cameron Chapman

Generators can be a great way to save time in your web design projects. High-quality generators can create graphics or code or even layouts in a matter of seconds or minutes, things that might take an hour or more if done by hand. Below are some useful generators to help you speed up your web design process. There’s everything from color scheme tools to complete layout generators included. If you know of other useful generators out there, please share in the comments!

Color Schemes

A good color scheme is the cornerstone of a good website design. Coming up with unique and appropriate color schemes isn’t always easy. That’s where these color scheme generators come in handy.


Full article
http://www.noupe.com/tools/40-useful-online-generators.html

By Cameron Chapman

Generators can be a great way to save time in your web design projects. High-quality generators can create graphics or code or even layouts in a matter of seconds or minutes, things that might take an hour or more if done by hand. Below are some useful generators to help you speed up your web design process. There’s everything from color scheme tools to complete layout generators included. If you know of other useful generators out there, please share in the comments!

Color Schemes

A good color scheme is the cornerstone of a good website design. Coming up with unique and appropriate color schemes isn’t always easy. That’s where these color scheme generators come in handy. Leer más “40+ Useful Online Generators For Web Designers”

What Can You Learn from 7 Awesome Corporate Blogs?

A Quick Guide to Starting Your Own Corporate Blog

If the above blogs have inspired you to start your own corporate blog (or revamp your existing one), the tips below will get you going in the right direction.
Why Are You Blogging?

All the blogs featured above have clear-cut reasons for blogging, and the content they publish reflects that. There are a few different reasons businesses might blog, and some businesses blog for more than one reason. Figure out why you’re blogging so it can guide your decisions from here on out.
Set Goals

Before you get started, think about what you want to accomplish by blogging. Simply saying you want to blog because everyone else in your industry is doing it isn’t a good enough reason. You need to want something from your blogging efforts. Take a few minutes to write down your blogging goals, and then keep them in mind as your blog grows and evolves.
Blog Management

You’ll need someone to manage the technical end of things, as well as your content. If you don’t have designated IT people for managing your website, going with a hosted blogging service will save you a lot of headaches.

On the content end of things, it’s a good idea to designate one person as “editor“. That person should be responsible for making sure there’s content ready as scheduled, and that it’s been proofread and optimized for search engines. This can be one of your bloggers or someone else in the company.

It’s important to decide on the kinds of posts you’ll publish, and who’s responsible for writing posts. Have more than one person updating your blog, especially if you want to publish on a daily basis. Spreading the workload out lessens the chance that your bloggers will get burned out. You’ll also want to create some kind of guiding document for your bloggers, so they know what is and isn’t acceptable to post.


A winning corporate blog can bring new traffic to your website and added attention to your company. According to one study, businesses that blog get an average of 55% more traffic on their websites than those who don’t. It adds value to new and existing customers, and can make you stand out from your competitors. But how, exactly, does a business go about creating a blog that their customers will actually read?

Zappos.com CEO and COO Blog

zappos ceo coo blog
Zappos.com, the giant online shoe and apparel retailer, has a number of blogs. Some focus on their products and general company news, but one in particular stands out: the shared blog of their CEO and COO.

What sets this blog apart is the transparency it offers to Zappos.com customers. Internal emails, memos, and other corporate news are all shared. The fact that internal emails are copied in their entirety and shared with the general public is something a lot of corporations would scoff at. But it’s all about building trust. Zappos, for instance, recently posted an extensive internal email that marked the 1-year anniversary of their deal with Amazon, and included the original email they sent out when the deal with Amazon was announced.

If the public sees you as honest and straightforward, then they’re more likely to do business with you. It’s that simple.

Zappos.com also has another blog that’s noteworthy: Zappos Insights. It’s hosted on a separate domain, and includes tons of information about the way they do business and their corporate culture. They also offer information on outstanding company culture at other businesses. They have regular features on things like books they’re reading and fun posts like the Zappos Family Music Video. It’s aimed at other entrepreneurs and businesses, and has tons of valuable insider information on how to build a corporate culture as outstanding as what Zappos has.

The Takeaway

Transparency builds trust. If you want your customers to view your company as honest and straightforward, don’t be afraid to share internal documents and be as open as possible about what your company is doing. Having that information come from a higher-up within the company lends more credibility and gives it extra impact.

The Facebook Blog

the facebook blog
The Facebook Blog is clearly targeted at existing users. And when you have an active user base of more than 500 million people, it’s important to keep communication not just open, but streamlined. The blog serves as a perfect, unintrusive platform for keeping users updated on new features and important information.

The Facebook Blog is another great example of how having multiple employees posting can result in better, higher-quality content and a more consistent posting schedule. Included in the people who blog is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Having your CEO or other high-level executives blog when something important is being announced gives it more credibility in the eyes of customers.

The Takeaway

The Facebook Blog can teach us two things. First, when you have to communicate with huge numbers of people, a blog can be a great way to do so. Second, having a huge blogging team that includes employees from throughout your organization makes your blog much more engaging for users. Your CEO should be blogging, but so should your interns.

Lulu

lulu blog
Lulu takes a different approach to their blog. Rather than just promoting their company and their services, they offer valuable information to their customers and prospects related to self-publishing, the industry they serve. Sure, they also talk about their own products and services, and how to get the most from them, but it’s always with the customer in mind. You won’t find any regurgitated corporate press releases here.

When your customers are do-it-yourselfers or a similar demographic, providing information that empowers them to do what they do better, you become their go-to point for knowledge. When they have a question about something, they view you as an authority on the subject and turn to your blog for advice.

The Takeaway

Think about what your customers are doing, and how you can help them do it better. That should include not only how you can help them directly, but also how they can help themselves or get help from others who do things your business doesn’t. If you put the needs of your customers first, they’re more likely to respect your company and turn to you when they need something. Leer más “What Can You Learn from 7 Awesome Corporate Blogs?”

What Can You Learn from 7 Awesome Corporate Blogs?

A winning corporate blog can bring new traffic to your website and added attention to your company. According to one study, businesses that blog get an average of 55% more traffic on their websites than those who don’t. It adds value to new and existing customers, and can make you stand out from your competitors. But how, exactly, does a business go about creating a blog that their customers will actually read?
Zappos.com CEO and COO Blog

zappos ceo coo blog
Zappos.com, the giant online shoe and apparel retailer, has a number of blogs. Some focus on their products and general company news, but one in particular stands out: the shared blog of their CEO and COO.

What sets this blog apart is the transparency it offers to Zappos.com customers. Internal emails, memos, and other corporate news are all shared. The fact that internal emails are copied in their entirety and shared with the general public is something a lot of corporations would scoff at. But it’s all about building trust. Zappos, for instance, recently posted an extensive internal email that marked the 1-year anniversary of their deal with Amazon, and included the original email they sent out when the deal with Amazon was announced.

If the public sees you as honest and straightforward, then they’re more likely to do business with you. It’s that simple.

Zappos.com also has another blog that’s noteworthy: Zappos Insights. It’s hosted on a separate domain, and includes tons of information about the way they do business and their corporate culture. They also offer information on outstanding company culture at other businesses. They have regular features on things like books they’re reading and fun posts like the Zappos Family Music Video. It’s aimed at other entrepreneurs and businesses, and has tons of valuable insider information on how to build a corporate culture as outstanding as what Zappos has.
The Takeaway

Transparency builds trust. If you want your customers to view your company as honest and straightforward, don’t be afraid to share internal documents and be as open as possible about what your company is doing. Having that information come from a higher-up within the company lends more credibility and gives it extra impact.
The Facebook Blog

the facebook blog
The Facebook Blog is clearly targeted at existing users. And when you have an active user base of more than 500 million people, it’s important to keep communication not just open, but streamlined. The blog serves as a perfect, unintrusive platform for keeping users updated on new features and important information.

The Facebook Blog is another great example of how having multiple employees posting can result in better, higher-quality content and a more consistent posting schedule. Included in the people who blog is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Having your CEO or other high-level executives blog when something important is being announced gives it more credibility in the eyes of customers.
The Takeaway

The Facebook Blog can teach us two things. First, when you have to communicate with huge numbers of people, a blog can be a great way to do so. Second, having a huge blogging team that includes employees from throughout your organization makes your blog much more engaging for users. Your CEO should be blogging, but so should your interns.
Lulu

lulu blog
Lulu takes a different approach to their blog. Rather than just promoting their company and their services, they offer valuable information to their customers and prospects related to self-publishing, the industry they serve. Sure, they also talk about their own products and services, and how to get the most from them, but it’s always with the customer in mind. You won’t find any regurgitated corporate press releases here.

When your customers are do-it-yourselfers or a similar demographic, providing information that empowers them to do what they do better, you become their go-to point for knowledge. When they have a question about something, they view you as an authority on the subject and turn to your blog for advice.
The Takeaway

Think about what your customers are doing, and how you can help them do it better. That should include not only how you can help them directly, but also how they can help themselves or get help from others who do things your business doesn’t. If you put the needs of your customers first, they’re more likely to respect your company and turn to you when they need something.


7 Awesome Blog Ideas

A winning corporate blog can bring new traffic to your website and added attention to your company. According to one study, businesses that blog get an average of 55% more traffic on their websites than those who don’t. It adds value to new and existing customers, and can make you stand out from your competitors. But how, exactly, does a business go about creating a blog that their customers will actually read?

Zappos.com CEO and COO Blog

zappos ceo coo blog
Zappos.com, the giant online shoe and apparel retailer, has a number of blogs. Some focus on their products and general company news, but one in particular stands out: the shared blog of their CEO and COO.

What sets this blog apart is the transparency it offers to Zappos.com customers. Internal emails, memos, and other corporate news are all shared. The fact that internal emails are copied in their entirety and shared with the general public is something a lot of corporations would scoff at. But it’s all about building trust. Zappos, for instance, recently posted an extensive internal email that marked the 1-year anniversary of their deal with Amazon, and included the original email they sent out when the deal with Amazon was announced.

If the public sees you as honest and straightforward, then they’re more likely to do business with you. It’s that simple.

Zappos.com also has another blog that’s noteworthy: Zappos Insights. It’s hosted on a separate domain, and includes tons of information about the way they do business and their corporate culture. They also offer information on outstanding company culture at other businesses. They have regular features on things like books they’re reading and fun posts like the Zappos Family Music Video. It’s aimed at other entrepreneurs and businesses, and has tons of valuable insider information on how to build a corporate culture as outstanding as what Zappos has.

The Takeaway

Transparency builds trust. If you want your customers to view your company as honest and straightforward, don’t be afraid to share internal documents and be as open as possible about what your company is doing. Having that information come from a higher-up within the company lends more credibility and gives it extra impact.

The Facebook Blog

the facebook blog
The Facebook Blog is clearly targeted at existing users. And when you have an active user base of more than 500 million people, it’s important to keep communication not just open, but streamlined. The blog serves as a perfect, unintrusive platform for keeping users updated on new features and important information.

The Facebook Blog is another great example of how having multiple employees posting can result in better, higher-quality content and a more consistent posting schedule. Included in the people who blog is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Having your CEO or other high-level executives blog when something important is being announced gives it more credibility in the eyes of customers.

The Takeaway

The Facebook Blog can teach us two things. First, when you have to communicate with huge numbers of people, a blog can be a great way to do so. Second, having a huge blogging team that includes employees from throughout your organization makes your blog much more engaging for users. Your CEO should be blogging, but so should your interns.

Lulu

lulu blog
Lulu takes a different approach to their blog. Rather than just promoting their company and their services, they offer valuable information to their customers and prospects related to self-publishing, the industry they serve. Sure, they also talk about their own products and services, and how to get the most from them, but it’s always with the customer in mind. You won’t find any regurgitated corporate press releases here.

When your customers are do-it-yourselfers or a similar demographic, providing information that empowers them to do what they do better, you become their go-to point for knowledge. When they have a question about something, they view you as an authority on the subject and turn to your blog for advice.

The Takeaway

Think about what your customers are doing, and how you can help them do it better. That should include not only how you can help them directly, but also how they can help themselves or get help from others who do things your business doesn’t. If you put the needs of your customers first, they’re more likely to respect your company and turn to you when they need something. Leer más “What Can You Learn from 7 Awesome Corporate Blogs?”

35 Excellent Wireframing Resources

By Cameron Chapman

Wireframing is an important part of the design process, one that shouldn’t be overlooked by even the most experienced designers. Wireframes can save development time by outlining exactly how a site should look and function, in a manner that can be shown to and approved by your clients.

But wireframing can be confusing, especially to new designers. What’s the right way to create a wireframe? Is there even a right way? Should I use pen and paper or software? Which software? How long should it take? All these questions and more are answered in the resources below.


By Cameron Chapman

Wireframing is an important part of the design process, one that shouldn’t be overlooked by even the most experienced designers. Wireframes can save development time by outlining exactly how a site should look and function, in a manner that can be shown to and approved by your clients.

But wireframing can be confusing, especially to new designers. What’s the right way to create a wireframe? Is there even a right way? Should I use pen and paper or software? Which software? How long should it take? All these questions and more are answered in the resources below.

Wireframing Articles

The articles featured here discuss wireframing and prototyping both from a theoretical and a practical point of view. If you have questions about how to wireframe or why you should, one of the links below will likely answer your questions.

My Five Commandments for Wireframing
A podcast and article from Boagworld on good practices for wireframing, including why you should wireframe and the benefits of paper wireframing.

Fivecommandments in 35 Excellent Wireframing Resources

Wireframes for the Wicked
Here’s a slideshow that talks about the purpose of wireframes and the different types of wireframes.

Wireframesforthewicked in 35 Excellent Wireframing Resources

Sometimes, the Best Wireframing Tool is a Pencil
A brief post on why wireframing with paper and a pencil sometimes works better than using computer-based tools.

Wireframingpencil in 35 Excellent Wireframing Resources

Why Sketching and Wireframing Ideas Strengthens Designs
This post from SpyreStudios covers why sketching and wireframing your ideas leads to the evolution of good designs.

Wireframingstrengthensdesigns in 35 Excellent Wireframing Resources Leer más “35 Excellent Wireframing Resources”