Thursday, 30 September 2010

The New Twitter – Looking at the New Advertising Platform on #newtwitter

I’m just wandering how many people have recently logged onto twitter, seen the blue bar at the top of their screen, read ‘Pssst... the new version of Twitter is here’ and thought ‘oh yea, i’d heard something about that’ and have clicked the try it now button.The new twitter has certainly been a hot talking point, just check #newtwitter.

Now my thinking is that Twitter are getting some very accurate live data out of how many people are having a look at the new Twitter, spending a small time playing about THEN reverting back to the old screen. Thinking ‘Phew! Not ready for all that quite yet!’ The simplicity has somewhat been lost, if Twitter users wanted a media integrated service would they just not choose Facebook?

The main premise of Twitter is SIMPLE. Just 140 characters of text that’s it. Nothing too complex about all that. Are Twitter trying to fix what isn’t broken? Well no, more realistically they are trying to gain more revenue and this new format is much more conducive for online marketing and brand promotion through the sale of sponsored tweets and advertising.

As an advertiser paying to promote a number of Tweets I would be 10 times more likely to cough up the money if I knew the following. That, not only will my tweet reach no end of users, but when this great number of Twitter users see the promoted Tweet, it has a visual tag attached. This may contain a brand name, a caption or a video on the same screen. This is clearly neat work from Twitter and I’m sure it may only be a matter of time before the initial shock of change has worn off and we’re all on our way tweeting again. (With a backdrop of subconscious advertising being cleverly played around us.)

Personally I use Tweet Deck and rarely use the main Twitter site. There is a great deal of add on software for Twitter that makes the process much more pleasurable. According to Ad age, “Twitter plans in November 2010 to take its ads beyond Twitter.com and extend them to the rest of the user base through apps such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite.”

So the future of promoted tweets and advertising by Twitter will be available on all third party apps. This makes perfect marketing sense and will see the rise of a new form of Social Media advertising far surpassing the marketing power of a Facebook ad.

Twitter advertising is a great platform to not only spread the word about a new product or service but get an instant response from an immense number of people and begin new conversations.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Web Branding review the Performance Development and Tuning website

Web Branding took on this project within the first half of 2010

It has been a great pleasure working with David at PD Tuning and helping revamp their old website.
PD Tuning offer high quality Engine tuning and remapping. Specialising in ECU remapping and performance engineering, Performance Development & Tuning are specialists within their field and provide the best available service.

PD Tuning Homepage

After an in depth Consultation we agreed on the following goals to ensure the best website design and seamless web functionality.

• Clear User Navigation
• High Brand Visibility
Coherent message of all services provided
Well balanced structure
• Information Rich to maximise Search Engine Optimisation
Well linked for Digital Asset Distribution
User friendly scroll bar for Power Gains and Image Gallery
• Original and unique design
• Website user a priority - Q&A – to inform and educate
Accessible on all browsers, smart phones, iPads etc.

PD Tuning Powergains


To maximise the Website’s exposure :


• Extensive Keyword analysis
SEO keyword implementation
Social Media Campaigns
• Good amount of inlinks
• Equally good linkage to Digital Assets such as Blog,Twitter and YouTube

We look forward to working with PD Tuning well into the future, building and improving on the current Search Engine Optimisation campaign we have in place to ensure this site receives the amount of traffic it deserves.

The Future of Web Branding and Internet Evolution

Branding online has vastly more avenues available thanks to the changes of the internet within recent years. To better demonstrate this the past 12 years of internet evolution are briefly touched on below:

• 1998 – Sees the birth of Google.com, now the well known world leading search engine
• 2000 – The dotcom bubble and the start of file sharing with the likes of Kazaa and Morpheus
• 2001 – Wikipedia is founded now the biggest source of articles online
• 2001 – Apple brings in iTunes and the iPod
• 2003 – MySpace is begun, Skype offer free calls, even video calls over the internet
• 2004 – Facebook leads the way in a new format to rival MySpace
• 2005 – The video internet portal ‘YouTube’ arrives on the scene
• 2006 – Facebook opens its doors to the world. Filesharing is booming with BitTorrents
• 2006 – The new ‘micro blogging’ of Twitter is launched
• 2007 – The iPhone, new age of smart phones is upon us
• 2008 – Social Media is alive and kicking, 1 out of 8 marriages in USA met online
• 2009 – Most businesses are now represented on all social networking platforms
• 2010 – Google TV launched, Apple TV on the way, internet videos online set to make the TV obsolete.

The rapidly changing landscape of the Internet means that web branding of the future will also have to evolve. Web branding shares many similes to Branding of yester year, the firm basics still remain the same: Simplicity, Brand character, a clear Image of values and most importantly a memorable brand that your customers will hold in high esteem and talk about positively.

Thanks to all these new innovations listed earlier, each brand, if they carry a high quality online social media and internet marketing campaign are going to get their brand seen a whole lot more, in a great deal many more places.

It is apparent that more and more opportunities are opening up for a variety of multi-media web branding. It will not just involve a fancy looking image on a website but will depend on how cleverly the brand can be portrayed in as many different media types as possible.
Creativity and Innovation will be crucial to powerful online web branding of the future.
The brands that have made a worldwide name for themselves in the past are finding the old laws of branding don’t work. For instance figures from 2009 show that media spending for advertisements in newspapers/ TV was down 30% but up the same amount within the mobile and online markets.

Ground breaking, controversial and thought provoking branding campaigns are coming to the forefront. To get a brand noticed within this climate you’ve got to shout very loud and most importantly have a clever message to kick start the social media conversation.

A brand can be likened to a personality. A more colourful, vibrant and flamboyant personality will receive much more attention and intrigue. These qualities are important for a brand to gain maximum exposure but other qualities need to be adhered to also. Trust, Loyalty and Admiration, if these key qualities can be well balanced with the eye catching personality traits; a brand has the foundations for true success and notability.

For a Brand to get noticed in these times requires thinking outside the box and delivering something fresh. It’s an exciting time for Web Branding and the old rules of paper and TV are no more.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Thinking Outside the Digital Box – Inspired Thinking

With the rise of Social Media everyone’s after the most pioneering and original way to target their customers. It is so easy to reach the wide audiences businesses have always craved for thanks to the potential of the internet. The new problem now is how to grab this audience’s attention and hold onto it.
Thinking outside the box is described by some as moving out of your comfort zone to find innovative solutions.
This statement is no different when applied to business. Taking risks and treading the path less trodden will sometimes help break barriers to reach a spark of genius.

Let’s take a look at some inspired ‘outside the digital box’ ideas of recent time.

• Stickybits

Stciky Bits Website

Barcode stickers are the innovative thinking that got the team at Stickybits to use a mobile scanning app to correlate social media content to physical objects or locations. Quite simply you can buy a pack of barcodes and start creating your own personal points of urban interest. Attach a sticker, scan it then post it online and share. Stickybits have so far proved very popular with street art enthusiasts but if this catches on could be huge. www.stickybits.com

• Tabbed Out

Tabbed Out

Forgotten your bank card? No cash? No wallet? Fear not! Well that is if you’ve managed to remember your phone you can take advantage of the forward thinking of www.tabbedout.com. Tabbed Out allows you to first find a pub or restaurant nearby that hosts their service and then simply connect your tab straight to your credit card.
No cash, no problem.
The Next idea is also in a similar vein:

• Pay with a Tweet

Pay with a Tweet

In these modern times many people would prefer to be paid in praise and recommendations rather than cash. A good review or testimonial of a product or service these days is priceless, so this clever bit of kit allows owners to sell their goods in exchange for a good old of dose of positive tweeting. www.paywithatweet.com

• Cemetery Surfing


Rosetta Stone

Why just have a limited number of words engraved onto your tombstone when you could have your whole life story available for your mourners or just the curious to download. At www.personalrosettastone.com they have come up with an ingenious way of bringing cemeteries into the digital age. A small tablet can be added to the headstone and visitors will be able to learn about the deceased’s life story via a mobile device.

I hope you can see from the afore mentioned sites that thinking outside the box can bring into creation some marvellous ideas. Get Thinking!

Monday, 27 September 2010

The Changing Face of Online Videos

The Internet is changing and so is the way we use it. Only a few years ago watching videos online could be a very frustrating experience. Long download times and poor quality videos when being streamed online made many people think that video wasn’t best suited to the internet.
When compared to a TV, it used to be a hands down competition that TV far out performs online videos. The size of the screen and the far superior quality has had the television leading the way, until now.

A technology just being rolled out is the introduction of internet TV, Google have just released Google TV and Apple are not far behind. A simple box that will plug into your current TV and then you’ll have the huge multimedia choice the internet can provide. No longer will you be restricted by a limited number of channels or timetabled listings but the ability to watch what you want when you want.

Predictions forecast that within three years time, an impressive 90% of all bandwidth used will be for the use of online videos. This isn’t hard to believe as videos are becoming more and more popular, not just for entertainment but as an important business tool.

The old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is extremely poignant, as then, what’s that make a three minute video worth?

Videos are very helpful for businesses trying to sell their products and services. A video that will automatically start playing once you arrive on a website is far better at holding the viewers attention than an image or animated gif. As a visitor you’re eyes are instantly drawn to the video and for this reason it far out performs any standard image based web advert.

Videos that just play from start to finish are already seen as ‘passe’, the really interesting and engaging videos focus on user interaction. Some interesting examples out there include an interactive video CV, this video allows you to navigate around the video in a similar way one would navigate a website. Each separate section delves into the selected area of education or expertise, all sections are short videos filmed by the individual in question. Another impressive example found was on a companies website under the about us section. A video shows all the employees standing in front of you, by selecting certain individuals you animate them allowing them to speak and explain their job, likes etc. These new types of user interactive videos are definitely effective and allow the user more choice to feel part of the experience.

User engagement is a necessary tool for successful websites of the future.

Recent interactive video campaigns of note include Tippex’s ‘Shoot the bear’ video. The user gets to change what the hunter and bear do by entering a verb of choice.
An amusing advert that uses human interaction to great benefit. Old Spice also had an extremely lucrative video campaign involving an American football player in various different scenarios, the catch being that all the situations were dreamed up by members of the public.

There really are no limits to the possibility of interactive videos, the more original and innovative the better, they also have the potential to revolutionize user reviews and testimonials for all manner of products, experiences and services. An interesting and truly interactive future lies ahead.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Optimising your Business for Facebook

More and more these days businesses are finding out about the benefits of setting up your business brand through Facebook. It has taken a good while for most modern day companies to come round to the thinking that social media network sites aren’t just a fad but it will definitely help promote online business.
A common misconception is that it’s hard to set up your business on Facebook, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Facebook has an extremely user friendly interface and even if you haven’t used it before it’ll only take a short period of time to get used to it.

Here are the simple steps you need to follow to set up a business page on Facebook:


• Sign up for a free account if you’re not already one of the 100’s of millions using Facebook.

• On the left hand side bar of your user profile you will see one of the options is to ‘Add a Page’. You will be asked to specify the type of page you require.
Select the Business page option and fill in the required fields such as name and location.

• Now is the time to get your business page looking the part to best represent your business. Facebook provide a checklist of recommended options to get you started. Run through all these as best you can loading a business logo for your profile and linking your page to your website, blog and twitter if you have them. The integration of multiple platforms within the social media sphere is very useful so for example when you make new posts from your new Facebook page, automatic posts will be posted on say your Twitter account. This will maximise your online coverage and ensure more efficient online business promotion.

• A good hint for your profile image is to use the dimensions of 200x600px. This size is the maximum size Facebook will allow. Most people only use a small percentage of this. Make sure you all this space as it’s great advertising space for your services and products. Page space is seen as page real estate. The more you’ve got the better.

• Make sure you fill in all your tabs at the top of your profile, info, links and add a couple of posts on your wall to get you started linking back to your website, blog etc.

• It is possible to add additional tabs at the top of your profile which is extremely useful and good for expressing your business brand. For this you will need to add an application to your page called ‘StaticFBML’. Search for this in the search bar and go to the link. On the ‘StaticFBML’ page there is an option on the left hand bar to ‘Add to my page’ use this.

Now return to your page, you now have an additional tab called ‘StaticFBML’ by using edit page option you will be able change the tab’s name to something like ‘Welcome’. StaticFBML allows you to use HTML code to create a fully functional website within this space. For this example I am simply going to create an image by 500x700 and use this as a welcome image. Upload the image onto a folder on your website, blog or similar so you can have a url address pointing to it.
The code for the FBML box is as follows:

<div id="app0000000000_bgImage" style="border:none; position:fixed; left:0; top:0; width: 500px; height: 700px; background-image:url(http://www.address for your image.jpg); background-repeat:no-repeat; background-position:top">

• On the profile edit options you are able to specify that visitors to your page will land on your preferred tab. For maximum effect change this to your welcome tab and as soon as a visitor lands on your business page you will have a full page spread promoting your business, your full length profile and welcome screen.
These pointers should help your business profile on Facebook and will definitely drive more traffic back to your website.

The Art of Great Blogging – How to Blog Successfully

The simple truth of what makes a successful blog is high quality content. Blogs that can provide consistently good articles on popular topics are going to naturally gain status. Blogs are the perfect extension for a business website. Your blog should be seen as a marketing tool but it’s a big mistake to see your blog as only that. A visitor to your blog is soon going to lose interest if the only articles to read are promoting your latest products, telling of discounts this month and so on.

A blog must engage the audience through user interaction, comments, questions, polls, views, interests, how to guides, trivia, interesting facts, links, videos, likes, dislikes and many other factors that make up human emotions. This is the personal touch and when we take a step back, that’s what social media networks are all about. Everyone has a voice within the world of blogs, the trick is to coax out people’s opinions and get them talking.

The great thing about Social Media is that ideas can spread like wildfire. If you can manage to come up with a unique, controversial or ground breaking article, within days or even hours your exclusive content can be linked to, from all over the web, due to the powerful influence of sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Many blogging sites allow you to compile your entries online although I would veer away from this method. On the odd occasion that you lose internet connection, your computer freezes or crashes you’ll lose everything which can be rather frustrating. Take more time over an article and construct it using a program such as Microsoft word and take advantage of the spell checker and thesaurus to ensure your blog post will be as successful as possible. Once you have your finished article, copy and paste your writing into which ever blog host you use. These days most blog hosts and article repositories have a rich text feature that will allow you to transfer fonts types, sizes, links etc. to make sure the finished piece looks just right.

Blogs are a great place to take advantage of links and keywords. Link to relevant information about your writing and not forgetting to make sure you link back to your website if you have one. This will make sure you get the credit you deserve for writing a good piece of copy. Using specific keywords within your title and throughout your content is also important if you want to promote a product or a service you may offer on your main website. A good place to find popular keywords is the Google Adwords tool, use this to find the best words with least competition within your field.

If you can manage to post a steady stream of quality content on your blog you will definitely see an increase in traffic to your main website.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Which Social Media Platform is Best for You and Your Business?

With so much choice available within the Social Media arena it is easy to understand how some of us can seem daunted and confused about starting to use social media for the first time.

This article will run through the big players within social media to help you learn which type will work best for you.
Once you have worked out the best form of social media for you and your business it will give you the opportunity to harness the true potential of social networks and help your business grow. It is worth taking time at this stage to figure which aspect of social media suits you to really see the benefits in the future.

The following list includes a current classification of the top social networking sites.


Bebo – started up in 2005, Bebo pulls in a young crowd and its main focus seems to be multimedia – great for sharing video and music. If your target audience are teenagers then this will be a great starting point to get your name into the young domain.

Blellow – Similar to Twitter, Blellow is a social community for professionals and freelancers to help with productivity and project solutions by asking ‘What are you working on?’

Blogger – a very powerful tool, a blog is becoming the perfect partner for any modern website. Easy to update, post comments, fully interactive, looks professional, minimal fuss and so simple to link back to and help promote you and your business.

Delicious/ Digg/ StumbleUpon – All these services share the same principle of users book marking their favourite sites, links and information. They have less potential use for business promotion but are a good source of noteworthy information and give good feedback on sites.

Facebook – The biggest and probably the most effective social networking site for both personal and business benefit. A great platform on which to reach a wide audience and to promote events, products and services and also an excellent global communication tool. Like blogs, a facebook page is becoming the norm for most businesses these days.

Friendfeed – This will help integrate all your current social networking sites. Check the latest news from your Twitter, Facebook and Google. A convenient way of sorting through different news and information feeds.

LinkedIn – A business only site that requires you to load your education and work details and is a high quality business network of vast proportions with high-value business contact to be made. A must for all business ventures and professional individuals.

MySpace – Predominantly for music and video, many new music talents have been discovered through Myspace, a powerful platform for creative music types but with no space for business networking. A good tool to reach a young crowd.

Picasa/ Flickr – Both sites are used for uploading and sharing pictures. These sites are good for any business that requires artwork or photography. A great social feel to the sharing of creative wares.

Twitter – Definitely one of the ‘big two’ in relation to social networking sites that have most influence. (Twitter and Facebook). A simple yet highly popular format of posts, no more than 140 characters. Share thoughts, interesting information and links. A great opportunity for businesses to re-connect with customers on a more personal level and very easy to use.

You Tube – Last but definitely not least. With faster internet connections being a thing of the norm, videos are a great way to get a message across. You Tube is the second largest search engine! And it’s just for videos. Short videos can be great for business as they are more effective than a screen full of text and will appear in most google searches.

Depending on your business sector the list above will help you better understand the pro and cons the wide selection of social networking sites and help you make the right choice.

Advertise Your Business for Free. Various Tips on Free Business Promotion

These days more than ever before there is an abundance of free advertising options.

There are so many different avenues to go down to help advertise your business many of which are to be found online. The old forms of business advertising like in a newspaper or magazine are of course still as viable but will cost you.
Why bother paying for advertising when they’re so many sources for free advertising online.

If you’re looking to advertise your business and just starting out so perhaps haven’t got the required funds to spend on business promotion, look no further.

The following sections will run through some of the best value advertising:

  • Forums – a great place to start, there is a forum for just about any topic you can think of. Find Forums that relate to your business type, sign up for free and get posting. Most will allow you a signature below each post. Turn this into a link back to your site and hey presto a little free advert for your business every time you post a comment.

  • Facebook – Similar to the forum idea, facebook is a great source of free advertising. Simply set up a business page, fill it full of interesting facts about your company, photos, videos, articles and other relevant information. Then promote it yourself, invite friends and get talking about it. Try to search for well established groups with a decent amount of members, preferably something that interests you or is applicable to you business sector and make interesting posts with links back to your business page which will be packed full of decent information promoting your services. Viola more free advertising.

  • Blogs – Your own blog is a perfect platform for writing up promotional pieces on your business. Don’t just be restricted to text, use video, podcasts, images, visual adverts.
All these different formats can then be posted to appropriate repositories to maximise the amount of coverage each one gets and remember each one is another potential branch linking back to your website. See these methods of free advertising through different platforms.

  1. Send Articles to Ezine, Go articles, associated content etc. more the better to increase your chances of more exposure. Also offer to write on other people’s blogs, this is a good source of extra advertising and potential new custom

  2. Send Videos to Utube, metacafe, yahoo videos etc. once again the more the better as each video will link back to your business website thus increasing the amount of visitors back to your site.

  3. Send your images to Flickr or Picasso, and be sure to add a good amount of text about your business, with more important links back to your site.
  4.  
     
    • Twitter – This powerful resource is a great way to further promote all the above features. Use a simple and attention grabbing title with a link for yet another great mode of free business advertising.

    Just briefly other free sources of advertising include the following:

    • Sign up for business directories, there’s no end of then out there

    • A simple comment on others sites and blogs will often mean another valuable link back to your site.

    • Email marketing. Try and put together a well written and appealing email before though so its not seen as instant spam.

    Friday, 17 September 2010

    Total SEO Services present Designing Brand Identity


    Successful brands take time and effort to develop, and possess the power to stand the test of time. A brand will be memorable and send out a positive message to its audience.


    Your Total SEO Services


    At Total SEO Services we understand that a business without good brand design is going to struggle with the online market. We not only excel at Designing Brand Identity but are able to back this up with an extensive knowledge of SEO and internet marketing to guarantee that your business is seen as innovative, fresh and possesses a brand capable of instilling customer loyalty and to help increase the attraction of new customers and thus improve business.

     Designing brand identity is at the forefront of our minds in all aspects of websites, branding, business print and social media services.
    To provide the best website design and business branding, all aspects of business marketing must seamlessly bond to one another and complement each other, thus providing powerful brand identity.

    Total SEO Services combine all of the aspects of web development, branding and SEO that will create a resilient & iconic brand identity to give you the best potential for continued success within your business sector.


    Total SEO Services

    Monday, 13 September 2010

    Win a Website worth over £1000



    Web Branding are giving you the chance to Win a website worth over £1000

    All you have to do is draw, paint, sing, anything.. about how your dream website will look and get the chance to have the website completely designed and built for FREE. Why not enter and win a website today.

    A Perfect opportunity for anyone starting up a business and a little short of cash, or perhaps you've got something to shout about and a website would help you do that. Please get creative and join in the Win a website competition.

    Scribbles on the back of an envelope, doodles at work or messing about on your laptop, absolutely any format is accepted like a quick pic on your phone then either email or send in your ideas..and have a chance to win a website worth over a thousand pounds. EASY

    Thursday, 9 September 2010

    *** Website Design Contest from Web Branding ****




    Web Branding is proud to announce our 2010 Website Design Competition.
    The time is here to put your creative juices to the test and design a homepage for any website of your choice.

    This web design competition is open to everyone at school or university, whether you’re a skilled graphic designer, someone with a natural eye for good web design, unemployed, sat at home looking after your children, bored on your lunch break..anything..ANYONE..get involved!

    SIMPLY JUST CREATE A HOME PAGE FOR A WEBSITE..that’s all!

    The Web Branding Website Design Competition is extremely easy to enter and doesn’t require a lot of your time. Scribbles on the backs of envelopes, a video describing how your website will look, a song!, pictures, paintings, models...absolutely anything you can think of will be warmly welcomed. Think unique, how would your dream website look?

    These days, online marketing and brand building are big business and it is becoming more and more important to grab your visitor’s attention. This website design competition is all about creating a distinctive, eye grabbing and memorable website homepage.

    • Think what makes a good website?
    • What makes you want to stay on this webpage?
    • What about the website design make you want to click and find out more?
    • What makes you keep coming back?

    Web Branding are in the business of online branding and web design and will ensure that the winning entry will be turned into a fully functioning website all property of one lucky winner.

    The winning website will receive a good deal of online branding and coverage

    The Website Design Competition has a prize fund over £1000, your very own website all yours just simply send you website designs into competition@webbranding.co.uk or send to:

    Web Branding, 310 School Road, Crookes, Sheffield, S10 1GR

    Get those creative hats on and try and think if you can design the perfect webpage.
    All entries for the Web Branding 2010 Website Design Competition and to be sent in before 30th November.

    All entries will be marked with the following key points in mind

    • Design Flair
    • Innovation
    • Uniqueness
    • Web Value

    ALL ENTRIES WILL BE FEATURED ON OUR WEBSITE/BLOG

    The top five entries will be chosen soon after we have all the website design competition entries in and these five will be featured on www.webbranding.co.uk/websitecompetition.asp

    Our friends at the ‘Made in Sheffield Magazine’ have also kindly agreed to feature the top 5 entries in the magazine along with a special feature on the winner when the website is built for the winner.

    Then it’s down to the PUBLIC VOTE to decide the WINNER