How to convert your print banner for the web


Have you ever wanted to promote something on your website which is currently running on the ground? Perhaps you have posters that are plustered all over your neighborhood and an advert in the paper and you also want the same to appear on your website. And so you try to get your print banner to fit in the space but somehow the fonts are way too small or some graphics are way too large. Sounds familiar? So what do we do in this situation?

image source                                                                                                                              image source

While some banners might easily work on the web most simply don’t. Majority of banners are unclear or appear to have too much going and the visibilty on the website is therefore compromised.

First off you may need to understand some standard banner sizes then determine how big the spot you want to fit this banner is. To do that you can install a simple adon like ‘measure it’ on your chrome browser that will allow you to measure the size of the area that you want your banner to fit.

Size, length or width are measured by pixels on the web so that is what you will use when communicating with your designer. 

Next you can go online and checkout several banners to get an idea of the kind of banner design you really want. Since you can really waste a lot of time going back and forth between you and the designer if your concept isn’t clear. 

Generally the best banners will have a solid background –with maybe a simple subtle pattern – and a bold communicative photo with the words or copy next to this. While this might be an oversimplification, using many photos will generally turn it to a cluttered frankensteins monster.

Incase your intention in the beginning was to create a sophisticated look such as those used to promote events like parties and even church events then it’s best to refer to the previous stage where you do your research online and checkout other banners that you might really like.

 

Top Valentines Day Banner Designs & Offers


Having enjoyed writing about the swap of the website I pulled from my 2015 swap files last time and with Valentines Day around the corner I’ve decided to pull out a few swaps with this particular theme.

First off lets view a 2016 valentine’s offer banner that I swiped from ‘Transformers Chapel’. Now I haven’t really checked if they have done any banners for this year but this looked really nice that I swapped it at the time. 

Most of the online banners that i’ll often swap with are those that really stop you on your tracks and pull you in, which is really what you want anyway before you can then communicate your message.

The next one below is from Ythera.co.ke which is an online store for romantic gifts. While there isn’t much to write home about in terms of their website, the Facebook banners they have been doing have been really cool. Just check out the banner below

Of course the show-stopper is the lady … then the unique pose they use … then the message which is in sync with their brand and that just says it all. Nice to see how they avoided red for the font and used pink to rhyme with her dress, Perhaps the only thing i’d change slightly is the blurred font. They have also done several other banners like the one above.

The beauty of the ad is the optimistic idea for potential customers particularly gentlemen who may feel like they have discovered where to get that perfect Valentine’s gift without making a big blunder. 

So … are you working on your valentine’s offer for your clients or prospects? Perhaps we can ‘swap’ an idea or two from other industries too.

 

 

How to Drive More People Online Using Shorter Links On Your Adverts & Offline Promo Pieces


Have you ever had a new flyer or an advert done that you didn’t want to link to your website’s homepage but to a special landing page or article on your website? For instance if you are promoting an event, then you may want people to go to a particular page where they can see more information about the event including what would motivate them further to register for the event.
Generally the link to your specific event post on your website will be longer so this could end up looking like www.myeventscompany.com/upcoming-mixer-in-westlands. What you will probably notice here is that the link is already so long and most people won’t be motivated to visit the events page online.

The 2 quick methods you can use here to give people quick access are by:

1. shortening the url

Anyone can quickly do this using any of the many url shortening services available online like bit.ly so that you end up with a much shorter link like 3bit.ly/2kbM703

Additionally you can also get a customized short url for your own domain for instance myeventscompany.com could become myvnts.ly which would enable you to maintain your branding consistency accross multiple plattforms.

2. use a Qr code on the print flyer or advert

This is also another viable option, of course the people accessing this will need to have their own qr code reader already installed on their phones, then their only job would be to quickly scan your ad and access more information online instantly. You can easily create your own Qr code using any of the many free services like qr-code-generator.com

Part of the motivation to use any of the 2 afore mentioned services is that:

  • You gain more insight into how many people are actively engaging with your promotional piece which would help you determine which promotional pieces work best, so that you can run those pieces more frequently.
  • You could use this to try to get them to sign up for a free offer so that you an remarket them using more affordable channels instead of having to keep spending a lot on expesnive marketing channels.

Whatever your reasons maybe, shortening the links on offline media pieces and adverts that cant be quickly clicked to access a long link to an article, landing page or sales page will definately help improve your ‘access rate’ online.

How To Come up With Some Amazing Concepts For Your Next Website


Part of my creative process has always been spurred by what I see on the web on a day to day basis. Whenever I find a site whose design, copy, call to actions, structure or strategy I like, I simply do a screen capture of the site and save it for latter.

Great Artists Steal, Swipe & Deploy

Then on the occasion when am working on a new project and my mind goes blank I dig into this bank of designs & concepts that I’d captured before to ‘borrow’ an idea or two – add my own flavor and voila we have a new design that you can’t usually tell looking at the original since I’ll often usually just borrow a small aspect – like maybe I liked the way they did their footer or the way they worded a particular call to action.

That said here is one site that made into my swipe file in 2015 see below each image for a more detailed description why swapped this site.

So this was their previous site – which I’d swapped sometime in 2015. When I first opened their website I instantly undestood their product – notice how they used very few words to put this message across

 


 

I just swapped this in 2017 – interesting how they found a way to make the site even more clear in communicating the 3 step process to using their service. Also that top area where they ask for your number now covers your viewport / computer screen top to bottom when you first open the website to drive more people to take this one action first.

So while to people who only love design these might not really look that cool, if you visit this actual site here you will see how their main focus is in communicating their message quickly and getting you to take the next action and not much else – which is their core objective.

Going through lots of sites like these and saving those that have an ‘interesting’ idea gives me lots of ideas to use everytime am working on a project and also helps the clients because they are introduced to new creative concepts and ideas and better ways to make their websites work for them. Hopefully in the future I’ll feature more samples from my files.

 

Your Website: The Ultimate Lead Conversion Tool in your Marketing Arsenal


Your website is increasingly becoming the go to place where people can quickly find out more information about you and your organization. This is especially exacerbated with the proliferation of smart phones and tablets that enable people to quickly access you when they hear about you or see your ADs without the need to get behind a computer or step into a cyber. So how do you ensure that when they visit your site they will be convinced that you are the best option in the market?

So how do you ensure that when they visit your site they will be convinced that you are the best option in the market?

First off, you’ll have to understand your target market and also your ideal customer profile. It goes without saying that your site should speak to your audience; it will be easy to determine this if you have been in business for a while. However if you are just getting started then your market research and positioning strategy should be your guide.

In addition to understanding your target market you can also sketch out what your ideal customer profile or persona looks like. For instance it might be a new mother in her 40’s who has just bought a new car thats the ideal customer for your organization.

Once you have figured out your ideal market and customer profile its time to look at your website’s content. Here your understanding of your customer comes into play and you list down reasons why they should choose you over every other option available to them. This exercise should also help you determine your unique selling points.

Finaly discover your customer’s buying process and what stages they might actually be in. If you are offering a relatively new or unique solution then an explanation type approach may be best. That includes seeking to first introduce a problem the audience probably have, an overview of how you are solving that problem and then the introduction of the solution. A followup with testimonials will serve to dispense any doubts.

By now you should have in place all the materials you need to develop an amazing website – to convert any new leads into clients and customers.

How To Keep Your Website From Quickly Becoming Outdated


How To Keep Your Website From Quickly Becoming Outdated

Lately, we’ve discovered that most people  have a tough time keeping their websites updated – with the exception of a few. The problem this presents is that not only does your website’s content slowly become less relevant to frequent visitors but in addition to this your ranking on Google also slips down since Google aims to provide the most relevant information to people. And oftentimes the most relevant information isn’t the 2009 information but the 2016 information. 

So how can you create your own content and updates in an easy way without having to think too much about it?

1. Create a list of topics 

Suppose you have a ‘news’ section on your website then this will make the job of where to post latest updates easy. Next is figuring out what content to put. The truth is that as business owners we generate a lot of information on a daily basis – yet all this data may not necessarily interest our clients. And so the first step would be to identify the various topics of interest for our customers. 

Suppose you are the Managing Director of an NGO then your ‘partners’ or ‘donors’, who will probably happen to be your main audience, may wish to see what you are doing on the ground and the many lives that are influenced through their financial support. Additionally,  as an NGO you might be targeting new causes/ that you may want to see funded in the near future. Bearing these in mind you can then brainstorm the topics that you will cover for the next quarter or even the next 12 months for your website. For example you may choose topics like:

  1. Margaret – going from strength to strength –in her fight against Lupus
  2. Our new volunteers from Ukraine – teaching in Panda school
  3. Many thanks to our loyal staffer Mary for her love for street children
  4. We are now fundraising for the Mukuru Water project
  5. A video of thanks from Mukuru Girls

This easily gives you an idea of what you can also do to plan ahead for your own website updates. Now please note that once you begin doing this you will start getting more ideas for more topics while at random places. For instance when you out at a meeting or while doing your other work. So you have to have an easy system in place to help you capture all these ideas as they come. One thing you can do is keep a mini notebook with you all the time or install a note-taking app on your phone like Evernote, Google Keep or OneNote where you can quickly jot down an idea and still have it synced on the cloud. 

2. Capture materials during events and activities 

Every time you have an event, an activity you are doing with clients or even where the staff is carrying out their work simply whip out your phone and take lots of photos of the event. This will help you build a large content resource from which you can not only pull out stories but also photos for use in developing future campaigns.

3. Just write

Additionally during those downtimes where you might have speeches or even when stuck in traffic, write 2 or 3 paragraphs of what happened at the event. Most people might actually find this easier since you are not pushed to sit down in a quiet room and forced to write; this can lead to a ‘mind freeze’ and blockage of your creative juices due to the pressure.

If you do the above steps and make them a habit then you shall have more content for your marketing arsenal than you can possibly use. The power however, comes into effect when you realize that you have fresh content to send out to your prospects enough to keep them engaged without having to keep resending the same advert or flyer which can get boring fast.

How Can You Use Powerful Website Banners to Instantly Catch your Clients Attention?


A website banner is one of those things that few people with basic websites know much about. However, this is also one of those elements that you can use to send a particular message to visitors coming to the website. First off we have to understand what a banner is. Most of us have been to websites where we saw an advertisement and if it was something we were interested in we may have clicked on it. This however isn’t the only use of a banner.

Banners can be used for:

  • Advertising other peoples products and services often through a third party ad service.
  • Advertising your own commodities, upcoming event(s) or service(s)
  • Encouraging lead generation 

For now we’ll only cover the last two points explaining how you can use banners to advertise or promote your own product or use it to generate more leads from your website. 

Let’s say you are a new company and you have a new website. What you will realize very fast is that most people won’t really land on your website right through your homepage; instead they will often come in through your blog or one of your site’s pages. Now let us say that you also have a new product that you want people who are coming into your website to be aware of. The easier way to alert them whilst on your website is through the use of a banner. 

But what really makes a good banner anyway? Probably the biggest thing you can do to make the banner striking is to use stronger colours than the rest of the website. Next also consider using a catchy photo. There is a reason why most banners even outdoor banners feature interesting photos – to divert the viewers’ attention to the banner.

Another really important thing to look at is the main title of the ad banner which has to be very prominent; this will encourage viewers to click on that banner. Think of when you pick up a newspaper and the ‘headline’ grabs your attention and makes you want to turn to page 6 to read the full story; this is how you want your banner to sell, leading viewers to click on it to find out more. 

Of course in order for the headline to really work you must understand your audience and also know who it is you are targeting with your message. This of course is the whole foundation of your website – that it is actually addressing a particular ‘persona’ who fits the profile of your target client(s), customer(s), member(s) or visitor(s) of your organization. 

Finally, It is mandatory that the banner must call the viewers to a clear action. A call to action could be to have them click the banner, or simply to inform them about an upcoming event, or it could be that you want them to call you on a specific phone number. In the future we shall look at other ways you can improve your website to maximize the ROI you can extract from your website.

 

how to integrate your website into your advertising and promotions to catapult your results


Most people wrongly assume that once they have a website, then they can go ahead with running their offline marketing campaigns. Few however take the different approach of sending people to a relevant website page or even a landing page.

If you are marketing aggressively and want to see your website give you results then you need to realize that the messages in your offline marketing campaigns have to synchronize with the weblink you drive people to. This means that its not always such a good idea to drive people to your homepage most of the time.

So how do you then structure all this for the most bang for your buck?

Lets use a simple example first. We have a company that sells water pump products in residential areas. Now on the website homepage the company talks about it’s heritage, what it does and who it has worked with. Unfortunately, the latest product that it is selling is not highlighted. So suppose you put a link or a banner would that be enough? Well that would certainly be better than nothing although not nearly effective. 

The better option in this case would be to first understand how your campaign is being run. The strategy behind your campaign will then dictate the rest of the tools that you will need to develop.

For instance you might want to sell a new type of water pump – your current ‘hot’ product. Now assuming your startegy is door to door marketing in your neighbourhood, you may wish to take your startegy to a new level. Remember, that most people don’t buy the first time they hear a message and that it generally takes 12 touches before they buy. Keeping this in mind we may want to ensure that we ‘touch’ ‘potential’ customers multiple times using multiple media.

So how can we then improve this company’s campaign, to increase the sales and boost the return on investment in this particular campaign? Simple. Shift the focus from just trying to sell to trying to get the contacts of potential buyers. Now this would involve a shift in the design of the flyer towards trying to get them to get something for free. Instead of the call to action pushing them to call you and order the pump now, why not push them to call you or visit a special page to download your detailed brochure with photos, product details and pricing as well as videos showing the installation and how it works. 

The reason you will want to do this is twofold,

  1. More people will not necessarily want to call you. Instead they may prefer to go to that relevant website page and download your brochure and watch the video first before calling you; either because they are just thinking about it and aren’t really ready to buy but want more information.
  2. You want their contact information so that you can do a followup. This is especially because (like we mentioned above) most people won’t buy immediately and some people are many months off from buying – yet we also want to capture these people incase of other future ‘hot’ sales.

Now back to your flyer; the person has just seen it, has many questions and doubts which you have promised will be answered when they receive your free information pack online where they will see how other people are saving time and money using the pump instead of working manually. To take it further this information is only available for 30 days.

When they visit your special site (they don’t go to your main website or even your homepage – instead they visit www.magicpowerpump.com or something relevant). This special site is simply a one page website where they enter their contacts and download the information. Now two things happen here:

  1. People who want to order from you today already called you from the flyer.
  2. People who were interested but not sure when they will make the purchase or who are just on the fence have just given you their contacts and you can do a followup and maybe later on close those sales.
  3. Now that you have a complete contact list you can ‘touch’ these potential buyers with more media such as emails, sms, phone calls and social media (facebook, whatsapp, etc).

Would such a campaign be more aggressive? Absolutely! And would it cost you so much more to do it? Not really, in fact the biggest drawback for most people is that such a campaign would require you to think more and get yourself better organized to implement it well. However, as entrepreneurs we prefer to just print out the flyer and get it out there as quickly as possible which isn’t always the best way but its way better than not doing something or just waiting.

Coming from this example you can see that different products and services can be marketed in a similar way, whether you use flyers,magazine and newspaper adverts, facebook adverts, letters/emails and so on … having a strategy behind your media push will always help you to be more effective and spend less in the long run.

How To changeover to your new domain without losing Direct traffic


Many companies and organizations these days will often reach a particular point where they may decide to register a new domain . This could be due to a number of factors, for instance:

The next time you want to move your domain or register a new one for whatever reason please realize that your only option isn’t to simply abandon your previous domain but that you can still retain (or capture) old traffic coming to those websites – whether from people who still think you are still there or from your ranking on Google.

  1. They are rebranding and will be using a new company name going forward;
  2. Their old domain may be a .com and they now want a .co.ke or  if the organization is an NGO they may want it a .or.ke (… more on this later).
  3. They want to ensure that no one else can register a similar name under a different TLD. For instance their website is abc.com but they also want to have a parallel one abc.co.ke to prevent another company registering the latter and either causing a mix up or grabbing their customers online.

Whatever your reason once you’ve decided to changeover, how do you then make sure that you don’t lose any direct traffic coming to your url?

Direct traffic in this case is the traffic coming from people who are directly typing your url into the browser to check out your organization online. However the traffic could also come from people who are opening that pdf profile or document that you emailed them to check out your website.

Now imagine what would happen if someone was trying to visit your previous domain name yet you had moved on to a new one. Of course it can sometimes be a bit hard to inform everyone that you moved. In this case the best that you can do is:

  1. Retain your previous domain name or
  2. redirect all traffic coming to that  domain to your new domain.

To do this realize that your domain renewal fees will double since you will now be paying for two domains. However, the good news is that your hosting fees don’t have to double as well. And since a domain only costs you anywhere from Ksh.1,000– Kshs. 2,000 per year, this won’t be a big deal.

Now to avoid the whole hosting cost as well – this is assuming we are redirecting them to your new website and you have no intentions of running two different websites – then the whole process will be rather simple.

You will have to ensure that your current hosting package allows for add-on domains. This way you will be able to ‘plug’ your old domain to your existing domain as an add-on domain without incurring the extra hosting cost. Thereafter, you simply redirect traffic from that domain to your new domain.

There is obviously the whole matter of ‘informing’ Google that you have moved your website so that you don’t lose your SEO rankings and position on Google that your old Domain/website helped you achieve (… i will cover this later on).

If you are registering multiple domains   such as abc.com and abc.co.ke and abc.net (in order to prevent other companies or organizations from using the same name) then you would also follow the same above process. This way if anyone types your name with a .co.ke they will certainly be taken to your  main site – the abc.com website – and they wouldn’t really know it unless they looked at the address bar.

So the next time you want to move your domain or register a new one for whatever reason please realize that your only option isn’t to simply abandon your former domain but that you can still retain (or capture) old traffic coming to those websites – whether from people who still think you are still there or from your ranking on Google.

 

The Latest: My New Digital Editor


When I started posting articles on my website, I found it tough to sit still and compose a story on a particular topic but one of the things that made it easier for me was to simply pick on topics I knew about than trying to research on things that I didn’t do on a regular basis. This however lead to another problem; since I was now writing so fast to get the information out of my head and all typed up, I was making terrible spelling mistakes and using poor sentence structures.

Additionally, right after each article I would hurriedly read through once and would be either too excited or rushing to the next thing to carefully read two or more times.

For those looking for an editor you might encounter just a few challenges. Since most editors are working offline, you might want to train them on how to use your website’s back-end, to avoid having to print your articles then have them edit, then you update, then they recheck …. till you finally conclude after being stuck in a back and forth loop.

So for a while now I’ve been getting so much feedback on mistakes caught by most people. The good news is that am now receiving help from my new editor hence my articles will be polished for your reading pleasure.

For those looking for an editor you might encounter just a few challenges. Since most editors are working offline, you might want to train them on how to use your website’s back-end so as to avoid having to print your articles then have them edit, then you update, then they recheck … till you finally conclude after being stuck in a back and forth loop.

So get your editor digital ready and give them a separate login into your website. The reason for this is actually two-fold:

  1. You may need to track all edits just in case you need to revert back or refer to previous text or/and,
  2. You want to give them a lower level of security so that they can’t access your code, plug-in(s) or settings since they might make a mistake and bring down your website unwittingly.

For WordPress websites, a user level for ‘editor’ (if you are the only one managing all your posts) or ‘author’ (if you have multiple people) is fine. 

So from now on TandosMarketing.com shall receive that touch of class that airline magazines have enjoyed – since my editor has worked on inflight magazines. And if you need a trained digital editor too, please contact me here and I’ll let you in on the action 🙂