Author Archives: Sarah Hickman

Printing jargon buster

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Printing Leamington Spa

We received so much positive feedback from last month's blog post on busting the jargon around graphic design that we thought we'd treat you to a glossary for printing terms! So here goes...

Binding
Method by which pages of a publication are held together.

Bleed
Additional printing area outside the normal printing area. Necessary for the allowance of the mechanical cutter in the trimming process.

Creep
Tendency of a printed image to drift out of register or position during the printing process.

CTP
Abbreviation for 'Computer to Plate', the method of making printing plates direct from digital media.

Die cutting
Process that uses sharp steel blades, laser beams or water jets to cut predetermined shapes into substrates.

Digital proof
Soft or hard copy proof produced from digital data on a display or on a substrate.

Drilling
Process that uses drills to bore holes in a substrate, for example in paper inserts which will be bound in a ring binder.

Embossing
System that uses dies to press raised images or textures onto blank or printed substrates.

Encapsulation
The process of covering and sealing printed paper or board with a tough waterproof, plastic film. An overlap is usually left around the edge. Often mistakenly referred to as 'lamination'.

Fill in
Undesirable effect in which small non-image areas are filled by ink.

Gloss lamination
A printing finish that gives a high gloss sheen often used on brochure covers, menus, magazine covers or presentation folders.

Gravure printing
A process in which the printing areas are below the non-printing surface. The recesses are filled with ink and the surplus is cleaned off the non-printing with a blade before the paper contacts the whole surface and lifts the ink from the recesses.

GSM
Measure of paper density. Stands for ‘Grams per Square Metre’. The higher the GSM number, the heavier the paper. For example, standard A4 office paper is 80 gsm.

Hickey
Imperfection on a printed sheet caused by unwanted particles that can cling to the image carriers during lithographic printing.

Imposition
Positioning pages in order to ensure correct sequence when the resulting print work is converted to final page form.

Laminating
The application of transparent plastic film, usually with a high-gloss or matt finish, to the surface of the substrate to enhance its appearance, increase the thickness and stiffness and to increase its durability. Differs from 'encapsulation'.

Letterpress printing
A process in which the printing surface of metal, plastic photopolymer or rubber is raised above the non-printing surface. The ink rollers and the substrate touch only the relief printing surface.

Lithographic printing
Process for printing from a smooth surface, called a plate, to a substrate, generally paper. Based on the rule that ink and water repel each other. The image area of the plate is treated to receive and transmit ink to paper via a blanket. The non-image area of the plate is treated to attract water and thus reject the ink from the ink roller.

Matt lamination
A printing finish that gives a subtle, tactile effect, and forms a protective coating over the print. Gives a less glossy finish than gloss lamination.

Moiré
Interference patterns that can appear at regular frequencies when two or more patterns on an image interact with each other (for example a fine check pattern).

Offset printing
The most commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred (or "offset") from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface.

Pagination
Making up into page format.

Perfect binding
Adhesive binding – gluing together individual pages or signatures directly to the cover of the book. Best used when the spine thickness is from 3mm to 25mm.

PP
Acronym standing for 'Printed Pages'. For example a brochure may have 16pp.

Perfecting
Printing the second side of the sheet. Also known as backing up.

Process colours
The colours used for four-colour process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.

Raster Image Processor (RIP)
Processor that creates a bitmapped image from any other form of electronic file.

Register marks
Small reference patterns, guides or set of fine line crosses, added outside the image area to provide points for alignment and registration of subsequent colours in printing operations.

Run on
The additional cost to print further copies at the same time as the main print run.

Saddle stitching
To stitch with wire through the back of a folder booklet or brochure. At a larger pagination this method will not work, and a different option such as perfect binding will be used.

Screen printing
Often called silk screen printing. A stencil process with the printing and non-printing areas on one surface, the printing (image) area is open screen. The substrate is placed under the screen and ink is passed across the top of the screen and forced through the open (image) areas on to the substrate below.

Self cover
A brochure or booklet having the cover in the same substrate as the text pages (inside pages).

Signature pages
Professionally printed books have many pages printed per sheet of (large) paper, which is then folded and cut where necessary to produce a gathering or 'signature' of several smaller sheets.

Spot colour
Colour created from a single ink, which is not one of the process colours.

Spot UV
A special printing finish you can apply to specific areas on your print work to make it shinier. For example you can apply UV varnish to your logo.

Stitching
Method of binding pages in a booklet, for example using wire, thread or metal/plastic rings.

Stochastic screening
Printing process that uses the variations of spacing of tiny dots of uniform size and density to render tones.

Substrate
The base material that images will be printed onto, for example paper or card.

Web printing
The use of rolls (or 'webs') of paper supplied to the printing press in a continuous form. Generally used for runs in excess of five or ten thousand impressions. Typical examples of web printing include newspapers, newspaper inserts/ads, magazines, direct mail, catalogues and books.

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Graphic design jargon buster

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Graphic Design Leamington Spa

Here at Public we make sure we explain everything to you in layman's terms. But have you ever heard a graphic designer or graphic design agency use a term and wondered what on earth they're on about? This little glossary might help bust that jargon...

Author's corrections
Corrections made by the author on proofs, that alter the original copy. The cost of making such alterations is charged for.

Bitmapped image
Image represented by an array of picture elements, each of which is encoded as a single binary element.

Blank dummy
Mock-up consisting of the substrate and cover material required for a printed document (e.g. a paper brochure).

CMYK
Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and black process colours.

Encapsulated PostScript file (EPS)
Type of image file conforming to Adobe standards.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
A simple way to log in to another internet location in order to retrieve or send files.

Gradation
Staged change in tones from highlight to shadow.

Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)
A commonly used method of compression for digital images. The degree of compression can be adjusted.

Line art
Image that has no tonal gradation.

Pantone
Pantone is one of the most widely used colour matching systems in commercial printing.

Portable Document Format (PDF)
File format used for the exchange of documents and defined in the Adobe portable document format.

Point size
Typographic unit of linear measurement.

RGB
Abbreviation for red, green and blue, the colours that combine on a digital display to make an image.

Tag Image File Format (TIFF)
Format for exchanging raster-based data.

Tone
Degree of lightness or darkness in any given area of an image.

Tone value
Percentage of the surface occupied by the image area.

Typography
Process of designing, specifying, composing, printing or otherwise working with typefaces by means of analogue and/or digital techniques.

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6 rules for writing advertising copy – by George Orwell

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Copywriting Leamington Spa

George Orwell, author of ground-breaking works such as Nineteen Eighty-four and Animal Farm, started his career as an advertising copywriter.

He used this experience to create a few simple writing rules, which we can still use today to ensure our writing is clear, direct and effective. His rules apply whether we're writing a blog post, web page, magazine article, news story, advert or mailout.

1. Try not to use metaphors, similes or other figures of speech
DON'T SAY: Cutting-edge web designers
SAY: Leading designers / the kind of designers that others follow / the industry's most original designers

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do
DON'T SAY: Expeditive, accommodating or monumental
SAY: Quick, helpful or large

3. If it's possible to cut a word out, do so
DON'T SAY: J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury's most lucrative writer, is now exploring themes of great importance - crime, suicide - in her first novel as Robert Galbraith, “The Cuckoo's Calling”.
SAY: J.K. Rowling explores crime and suicide in her first Robert Galbraith novel “The Cuckoo's Calling”.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active
DON'T SAY: It was understood by the team that Peter's visit was a great success
SAY: The team understood that Peter's visit was a great success

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent
DON'T SAY: In the spirit of carpe diem, the design team blue-skied proposals on the aortic behaviour of cupid's arrow
SAY: The designers took the opportunity to think creatively about love

6. Don't break these rules!

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Twitter for business – what do I say and how?

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Twitter for business

So you're a business owner and you've heard that Twitter is a great marketing tool. You've set up an account and are faced with Twitter's text box asking “What's happening?”

What should you say?

Before you start typing away about your latest offers, take a step back and consider your social media strategy. This needn't be a long and drawn out process. We've written a blog post with some tips to point you in the right direction.

Now you know why you're doing it and who you're talking to, it's time to get tweeting.

1. Use a catchy headline, clear English, and interesting content
Don't forget that Twitter is fast-paced. People usually skim-read the thousands of tweets that pop up in their news feeds every day. Try to make yours stand out.

2. Rewrite and repeat your best tweets
If you worked hard on a blog post or are proud of your new product or service, don’t be afraid to tweet about it a few times. When you repeat your tweet, make it different - don’t tweet the exact same words every time.

3. Tweet breaking news
If you tweet breaking news there is a good chance others will share the news as well, and your tweet might just spread. Make sure you use a hashtag...

4. Use #hashtags
Using a hashtag is as simple as adding the ‘#’ sign before a single word or phrase without spaces. If you tweet with a hashtag, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your tweet. Remember: don’t over-tag a single tweet and use hashtags only on tweets relevant to the topic.

5. Tweet about trending topics
By tweeting about a trending topic you give your tweet greater exposure than it typically will receive. Getting retweeted is an excellent way of extending your influence on Twitter. Retweets can lead to more followers, more traffic to your website, and more publicity for your business.

6. Use pictures
Twitter's own research has proven that including an image with your tweet increases engagement (i.e. more people will see, click on and retweet your tweet).

7. Use links
This isn't essential, but if you include a link to your own website (especially a relevant page) this can drive more traffic to your site. Use a URL shortener like bit.ly to save space – you've only got 140 characters. If you use a scheduling tool like Buffer, the system will automatically shorten any URLs for you.

8. Tweet often
It sounds obvious, but with over 300 million users worldwide (and growing), there is plenty of other noise on Twitter so you need to be persistent to make an impact.

9. Say thanks
Out of common courtesy it's worth taking the time to say thanks if people mention or retweet you. Also they will be more likely to retweet you in the future.

10. Help others
Help others get their message out and they will be much more likely to do the same for you.

11. Include @mentions
If you include the Twitter user name of others in your blog post, they'll be notified that you mentioned them. There's a good chance they will retweet your post when they find out they are in the post you are sharing. This often works for big brands too – but only if you say something nice about them!

12. Time your tweets
We use Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule our social media posts at the optimum times for ourselves and our clients. Scheduling your tweets in this way can help your content get maximum exposure.

13. Avoid too many self-references
If you focus too much on “me” and “my business”, tweets can resemble pushy sales pitches. Of course you need to talk about yourself, but remember that Twitter is a social platform so people will lose interest if it's only ever about you.

14. Run a Twitter competition / freebie
The better the prize you are willing to give away, the more likely people are to retweet your link. And if you offer a free online course, eBook, or digital content, you are more likely to get engagement.

15. Install Twitter buttons on your website
Installing a Twitter button onto every page or blog post on your website makes it easy for people to share your content. You can get one from Twitter and you'll probably be able to do this without your web developer's help.

16. Analyse your results
Use Twitter Analytics to find out what you're doing right (and wrong). You can drill down into the data to find out what's working best for you.

As well as managing our own social media accounts, we do it for other businesses. Contact us to find out how we can save you time and help get your business found online.

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25 quick and dirty marketing tips for startups... and established businesses

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Marketing tips for startups

Started a new business but not sure where to start with your marketing? This super-quick list should help you on your way.

1. Create customer ‘personas’ – small summaries of who your ideal customers are, and target your marketing efforts to them.

2. Listen to your customers.

3. Have a professional-looking logo and website (essential!).

4. Make sure your website is kept up to date, images are good quality and spelling is correct.

5. Write a blog and use it to share helpful information.

6. Write a guest blog post and/or submit posts to large websites.

7. Keep an ongoing list of marketing ideas.

8. Create the most appropriate social media account(s) for your business, and use them.

9. Keep a database of email addresses. This can be as simple as a list in Excel.

10. Segment your database into customer types.

11. Send email newsletters.

12. If necessary, change the content of the newsletter depending on the customer type.

13. Give a discount or special offer, and promote it on your website, social media and email.

14. Ask customers for testimonials and referrals.

15. Sponsor a local event.

16. Get interviewed for a blog, magazine, newspaper etc.

17. Use SEO to drive traffic to your website (ask your web developer for help).

18. Make sure you’re listed on Google My Business.

19. Attend networking events – and remember they’re not all about selling your services.

20. Use business cards (yes, people still use them!).

21. Advertise using Google AdWords.

22. Advertise on social media.

23. Host an online workshop, webinar or deliver a free training session.

24. Write a press release – but it must contain an interesting story, NOT be a sales pitch.

25. Check out the competition to see what they’re doing right (and wrong).

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New year, new marketing plan: 10 ways to revamp your marketing for 2018

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New year new marketing plan

It’s a new year, so now's the time to reflect on the successes or challenges you faced in 2017, and think about what you want your business to accomplish in 2018.

Like many areas of your business, it's a good time to take a look at your marketing. To help you revamp your marketing strategy in 2018, we've put together 10 helpful tips to get you started:

1. Establish a budget
When creating your marketing budget, you need to be focused on your customers. Where are they, and how do you find them? Start by looking back on last year’s marketing costs and create a realistic budget. Methods of marketing are rapidly evolving, so your budget should have some room for changes you might need to make in the new year.

2. Consider your target market
You may have plenty of customers coming through your door or visiting your website every day, but are these the customers you really want to reach? Do you know who your target market really is? You can’t focus on revamping your marketing plan until you know who you really want to target. Have a look at the value of your current customers – should you be sticking with them or looking elsewhere?

3. Consider your strengths
Say you run a restaurant. Do you serve the best pasta in town? Offer the friendliest service? Run a great mid-week offer? These are the things you should to focus on in your advertising. When you know your strengths, you can use them in your marketing materials.

4. Create a realistic schedule
One of the key parts of staying on track with marketing is establishing a realistic schedule that works. Just like any new year's resolution, it's better to make it achievable. Planning your upcoming year will help you stay focused on your goals.

5. Update your logo
Your logo is one of the first things potential customers see. Does it communicate your brand well? If you think your logo still fits, there’s no need to change it – but if the font or graphics seem at odds with the personality of your business, consider getting a new one. And do it properly: hire a professional designer!

6. Review your website
Is your current site easy to navigate? Has it been updated in the past few years? Does it feature an accurate menu and easy-to-find contact info? Has it been optimised for mobile devices? If the answer to any of these questions is no, consider revamping your site.

7. Create valuable website content
People assign more credibility to sites that show they have been recently updated or reviewed – and it's also great for SEO. When a website is updated regularly, Google sees it as an active site and therefore ranks it more highly in search results pages. Have a look at what you say on your website, and make sure it's regularly updated and reflects your brand well.

8. Be mobile-friendly
Mobile internet use is growing and growing (something we wrote about way back in July 2013). This year, it’s important to make sure you're producing content that’s web-friendly, and ensure your website is optimised for mobile (if you haven’t already). This will help you reach more of your audience and let customers know that you take your digital marketing seriously.

9. Review your advertising tactics
Look at the channels you use for your advertising. Do you use Google AdWords, email marketing, press adverts, social media advertising, or something else? Are these methods bringing in the customers you want? Think about where your ideal customer is and what channels they'll actually see - and be most receptive to.

10. Have a fresh look at your social media presence
Social media is no longer an option…it’s a necessity. It's also one of the most direct and effective ways you can promote your business. Even if you’re already actively using social media, evaluate your activity and see if you’re doing all that you can. Are you using your Facebook page effectively? Are you responding quickly to customers on Twitter? This is also a good time to think about whether you need to be active on so many platforms. For example, if your customers don't use Twitter, stick to Facebook. Your time will be better spent and you'll have more time to engage. A content calendar is a fantastic way of scheduling in your activity.

So in summary...
Marketing is basically about listening to your audience, and telling them why they would benefit from using your product or service. Making a few tweaks to your plan can help refine and target your marketing, and put you on the right track for a successful 2018.

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Email campaigns: how to avoid sending spam

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email-campaigns-spam

So you've read our blog post about using email in your marketing, and have decided to go for it. But before you grab a long list of email addresses and start hitting send, you need to consider spam.

What is it?

We've all had it. Spam is basically electronic junk mail. It's defined as an unsolicited email, i.e. one that the recipient did not ask to receive.

Make sure your recipients have actually opted in to receiving mail from you, because the last thing you want to do is antagonise your potential customers. More to the point, sending unsolicited emails is illegal - although we're not sure how many cases actually make it to court...

How can I avoid sending it?

  1. Make sure your list of email addresses is clean and up to date. If you get a high bounce-back rate you might be marked as a spam sender.
  2. Don't use 'blitz' or 'spray and pray' approach. Segment your recipients and make sure your messages are targeted correctly, i.e. what you are sending is actually of interest to that segment.
  3. Add an Unsubscribe link. This is a legal requirement.
  4. Don't bombard your contacts, or they'll get bored of you and unsubscribe.
  5. People's spam filters check for html code. Opt for plain text emails, high quality html templates, or professionally coded emails
  6. Avoid multiple exclamation marks, coloured fonts, all capitals and 'spam trigger words'. Check out our list below.
    • Free
    • Visit our website
    • Opportunity
    • 50% Off
    • Click here
    • Call now
    • Subscribe
    • Bonus
    • Discount
    • Save up to
    • Winner
    • Prizes
    • Information you requested
    • Important information regarding
    • Guarantee, Guaranteed
    • Special Promotion
    • Great Offer/Deal
    • All New
    • One Time
    • Order Now

Obviously some of these words are common business phrases so it's hard to avoid them. We suggest that if you must use one of these phrases, just use it once per email otherwise it could be blocked. Try to use synonyms like 'complimentary' instead of 'free', or change the wording slightly so you don't get picked up by spam filters.

A good way to deal with these issues is to use a a web-based email marketing service like MailChimp or Mailigen. These services are free up to a certain level, so are great for small businesses who want to give email marketing a try.

If email marketing sounds a bit too daunting, drop us a line and we'll see if we can help.

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What's a social media strategy and how do I get one?

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socialmediaLeamington

For all businesses, and particularly SMEs with restricted budgets, social media can be a valuable and very cost-effective method of marketing communications. That's if you know how to use it.

It's about involvement and brand-building, getting your name out there rather than using it as a direct sales tool. Compare it to being at a party. The person who stands there all evening talking about ME! ME! ME! will end up alone as everyone will slowly get bored and wander off. The person who asks questions, responds, gets involved and has interesting things to say will attract the bigger crowd. That's not to say you can't shout about how great you are now and again of course!

To make the most of this valuable marketing tool, make sure you've worked out your social media strategy. This isn't as difficult as it sounds. All you need to do is ask yourself some questions:

1. Why am I using social media?
Is it for website traffic? Conversions? Brand awareness? Creating a brand identity? Creating positive brand association? Communication and interaction with key audiences? Maybe it's a few of these.

2. Whose attention am I trying to get?
Okay, so you want to market that new line of products, for example. You still need to know your target audience for that product.

3. Which sites do I want to use?
If you have enough staffing power to handle multiple social networking sites, that's great. If not, it's important to focus on one or two, or you could spread yourself too thin and end up going days or even weeks without activity.

4. Who's going to manage my page?
Would your social networking activity fall under a current employee's responsibilities, or do you need to bring in new talent? Will you do it yourself? Outsource to a professional? If you ever find yourself without the staffing resources to manage your page, don't stick your head in the sand, find the time to do it yourself or pay someone else to do it.

5. What's going to be the personality of my page?
Keep an eye on the 'voice' of your social networking site. People buy from other people, not from other companies so it may be useful to pick a person (yourself?) to represent your business.

 

Take some time to answer the questions above and you should have a clearer idea of where you want to go.

 

HOW DO I GET THERE?

If you're an SME or sole trader, you might only have a small amount of time each week to devote to your social media. That's fine. You can use tool like Buffer or HootSuite to schedule your posts.

You should also try to draw up a schedule – otherwise you'll either (1) never use your social media accounts, or (2) find yourself wasting time clicking endlessly from one link to the next...

There are a multitude of social media platforms out there. Don't think that you should be using them all. Stick to one or two that you think will be most suitable for your product or service, and devote your time to making sure they are kept up to date. Better to have one useful, well-maintained account than five half-used or dormant ones - it could reflect badly on your business.

Contact usto find out how we could help define your strategy or manage your accounts.

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Everything you need to know about website content

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Website_content

So, your website's been built. What next? You need to think about your website content.

The golden rule is to MAINTAIN YOUR WEBSITE. Don’t just get it built and then forget it – you'll be ignoring a valuable marketing channel and potential for growing your business.

There are many ways you can increase traffic to your website:
• Optimise your site with search engine optimisation techniques
• Google Adwords pay per click campaign
• Promoting your site through advertising on popular industry websites
• Newsletter marketing
• Promotion through social media
• Promotion through traditional marketing such as press adverts and flyering campaigns

Another way of driving traffic to your website is to continually update the site with fresh and valuable content, which we'll talk about here.

So, do you do it yourself or outsource? This depends on your own time and your skill. If English isn't your best subject, this may damage your business' image. If you don’t have the time or skills to maintain your website, use the skills of a professional.

What is website content?

Basically, it's words, pictures and video.

Your web developer might enter the initial content to get you going (make sure you know if this is included in the quote).

People assign more credibility to sites that show they have been recently updated or reviewed – and it's also great for SEO. When a website is updated regularly, Google sees it as an active site and therefore ranks it more highly in search results pages.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is taking your website content one step further.

Many customers nowadays shut themselves off from the traditional world of marketing. They own a Sky Plus box to skip TV advertising, put themselves on the TPS to avoid cold calls on the telephone, often ignore magazine advertising, and skim-read online information without looking at banners or buttons.

Content marketing aims to reach these people in a different way. It's a technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving customer action.

Content marketing is being used by some of the biggest companies in the world, including P&G and Microsoft. It’s also carried out by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.

It can include, blogging, social media posts, e-newsletters, videos, articles on other websites, infographics....the list goes on.

Copywriting

If you're going to write your own words, here are some tips:

  • Try to be clear, direct, and sincere
  • Remember ‘KISS’ - ‘Keep it Short and Simple’
  • Avoid long sentences - split them into two where possible
  • Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem. Get someone to double check what you've written
  • Avoid “wishy washy” words like: may, maybe, hope, wish, try, but, could, perhaps and strive. Instead, use words like will and can to describe what your business will or can do for your reader
  • Avoid the passive voice where possible, e.g. use “We created ten new designs” instead of “Ten new designs were created"
  • Consider why your customers should buy your product or service
  • Know your target audience and use a writing style that suits them
  • Break text into small easily read chunks separated with headings and images for easier scanning – most people skim-read website text
  • Create a call to action as often as possible (without becoming repetitive) – more on this next

Calls to Action

Call to action help your website to work hard for you. Calls to action are also very valuable in email campaigns, as one of the purposes of an email campaign is to get your potential customers to take an action.

Calls to action are a marketing necessity. Get them right and you have the means to drive your customers to just the conclusion you want, for example:

  • Driving up leads and revenue
  • Purchasing goods or services
  • Downloading your latest white papers, etc.

Get your calls to action wrong and you are potentially damaging your digital marketing efforts.

Blogging

Some people have a blog separate to their website, and sometime it's incorporated into the actual site. It's best for SEO to have everything in one place, but if you've got a separate blog, just make sure that you've got obvious links back to your main site.

Your goal with a blog is to:

  • Show yourself as an expert in your field
  • Showcase your products and services – within a good story
  • Make it interesting so that it's shared, thus increasing your brand awareness
  • Having obvious 'sharing' buttons on your website will help get your content shared

Some tips for writing good blogs:

  • Identify and understand your target audience
  • Be original
  • Don’t be afraid to make it a long, magazine-style post. If it's interesting, people will read to the end
  • Make it positive – positive blog posts are shared more often than negative ones
  • Use current trends and recent news events as inspiration when you are creating content
  • Use pictures
  • Make is useful – maybe it will help people to solve a problem
  • Make it easy to read, using the copywriting tips above
  • Think of a headline that demands attention. For example:

- Include a promise in your title: “Everything You Need to Know About Web Design” (sound familiar?!)

- Numbers let your reader know what to expect: “10 Ways To Build a Great Website”

- Ask questions to stimulate curiosity: “What's Your Favourite Ever Website?”

- Write a “How To” article: “How to Become a Web Design Expert”

Have a look at some of the most-visited blogs to get tips and inspiration, such as Mashable, Lifehacker and E-Consultancy's Digital Marketing blog.

To summarise on content marketing – you need to keep doing it!

Content schedule

With so many options for content marketing out there, the biggest challenge SMEs face is – how do I find the time? You might be a sole trader struggling to fit everything in. Or an SME with a small number of staff covering a multitude of different roles.

Large organisations and corporates will either outsource their content marketing, or have staff whose sole role is to work on the content. SMEs don't have that luxury.

We can't create time, but what we can do is draw up a content schedule to fit what can do within the limited time we have to do it.

And as always in marketing, think about who your target audience are.

 

If you need any help or advice on getting your website content written, drop us a line.

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What to include in a website brief

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Website brief Leamington Spa

The website brief - thinking about getting a website built but not sure what to ask for?

Let's turn the question on its head. When people come to us for a cost estimate for a new website, we ask them to answer the questions below. These questions will help both us and the client understand exactly what they want from their new site.

1. YOUR BUSINESS
What products do you sell or services do you provide?

How big is your business?

Do you trade within the UK only?

Describe the company using five or ten words (e.g. young, vibrant, technology based, etc.)

2. YOUR CURRENT WEBSITE
Why is it no longer suitable?

What do you like and dislike about it?

Do you know what levels of traffic is it currently receiving, including from mobile devices?

3. YOUR AUDIENCE AND COMPETITORS
Who are your target audience for this website?

What's the purpose of the website? (e.g. sell products, provide information, educate, etc)

What actions do you want visitors to take? (e.g. contact you via email or phone, fill out an online form, follow you on social media, make a purchase, etc)

Please list the names of two or more of your competitors.

Please list the names of two websites that you like and two that you dislike. What do you like and dislike about them?

How will your target audience be accessing your site – via their phones, tablets or desktops?

4. DESIGN
Do you have any ideas for the look and feel of your website?

Do you have existing logo/branding/business cards or other printed materials, or should branding be part of our quote?

5. GENERAL
We will link to your social media so please provide the links.

Do you need to purchase a domain name or do you already own it?

Do you need to purchase hosting?

Do you have an idea of budget and a deadline date in mind?

6. WEBSITE FRAMEWORK
Please place an 'X' to identify any pages or features you envisage as part of your site:
Basic
 Home
 Products / services
 FAQs
 Directions
 About Us
 Contact Us with contact form
 News / blog
 Upcoming events

Special Features
 Home page slideshow
 Video
 Map
 Search facility
 Newsletter / email list sign-up
 Information / request forms

Applications
 Registration / customer login
 Store / shopping cart
 Online payment
 Forum
 Reviews
 Customer surveys/polls

Please list any additional or custom pages you would like.

7. AFTER IT'S BUILT - WEBSITE CONTENT
How often will you need to update the website content?
Hourly
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Rarely

How many content pages do you expect to update on your site each month?

Who will be responsible for updates – your website developer or yourselves?

Who will be responsible for generating content – text and images?

 

As with any purchase you make, you should send exactly the same brief to a number of web companies, so when you get the price back you are comparing like with like. Some people like to use "supplier finding" websites.

Ready for the next steps? Check out our blog post about the stages involved in getting a website built.

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