It’s that time of year – the most wonderful time of year, to be exact! The holidays are among us and with them a whole host of new activities to enjoy in Austin. Grab your coat, some hot chocolate, and the fam, and head out for some holiday cheer at one of these can’t-miss Austin events. It’s the perfect chance to enjoy Austin’s weirdness in all of its wintry magic.
What makes a video go viral? Perhaps it’s the catchy dance-inspired jingle or the tooth biting little brother. Whatever it is, we can all agree that they have one thing in common: originality. Add in some humor, sex appeal or complete random-ness and you have yourself a Grade-A viral anomaly. Here at Startifacts.com, take a look at seven of our favorite viral videos.
Isaac’s Live Lip-Dub Proposal
I Told My Kid I Ate All Their Halloween Candy Again
Dollar Shave Club presents best electric shaver
The Dog Strikes Back
Twitter is gaining momentum at an alarming rate and more and more businesses are using Twitter to create new revenue, build relationships and solve customer issues. As a Twitter user for both personal and business use, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. Below are 6 tips to writing good tweets and getting more followers!
1. Keep it simple! Probably the most important piece of advice anyone can give you…no one wants to read a novel; especially on a network of fast-moving posts.
2. Be original. Yes, I know this is trivial but a lot of people forget to use their own thoughts.
3. Be personal. Bring your followers into your world, show them what YOU are about and make them feel welcome.
4. Make ‘em laugh. If you can’t come up with anything creative then default to a funny joke, everyone can appreciate a laugh now and then!
5. In conjunction with keeping it simple, make it catchy at the same time! Use words that define you and intrigue the reader. Separate yourself from the pack.
6. Hashtags. Another no-brainer in the Twittersphere; hashtags are to Twitter as SEO is to a solid website.
Web design has changed exponentially since the advent of web 2.0 in the early 2000’s. What used to be static-only websites have now been replaced with dynamic ones that incorporate many design features including widgets, social plugins and much more. Here are 12 tips to keep in mind when building or rebuilding your website.
1. Show value– give people a reason to visit your site and keep them there.
2. What does your website do? Are you informative, are you selling something? Include a call of action and let it be seen on the site!
3. Simplicity– Keep it simple while still getting your point across.
4. Myspace is out! That means no blinking text or magic cursors!
5. Popups– Do I really have to explain this?
6. Keep the home page accessible. I’ve been to many sites where once I click a link on the navigation bar, I cannot get back to the home page- so frustrating!
7. Follow in Apple’s shoes and drop Adobe Flash– it’s processor heavy and there’s no place to embed SEO.
8. I KNOW THIS MAY SOUND DUMB BUT DON’T CAPITALIZE ALL OF YOUR CONTENT.
9. Speaking of words and content, check your grammar and spelling please!
10. Use keywords and descriptive text that relates to your business. However, don’t over-embed keywords in your content- keep it natural.
11. Be accessible, yes add a Contact page and put an email, phone number, something!
12. Navigation is key! Keep a global navigation bar that allows accessibility to all of your pages.
I know the post reads “12 Tips” but I’m throwing in a BONUS, yay!
13. Social media integration- the key to the popularity and national/global success of your website and business.
If you’ve never heard of this odd application before, never fear (I was just introduced to it a few months ago)! Once you get started, it’s a piece of cake. For those of you that love organization, it’s a wonderful tool for you to manage all of your social media platforms in one easy place. Although there are a few different types of HootSuite accounts, the version we will be investigating will be the basic account.
So let’s start with the basics. All you need to do is go to hootsuite.com and create an account. This doesn’t require much but an email, name and password.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll start by adding a social network. As you can see, the three networks you are initially offered are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. By clicking on “add a different social network”, you are given many more options, such as: Google+, foursquare, WordPress, MySpace and mixi.
Choose the account you wish to sync first, allow HootSuite permission to that account and voila! You should see something like this:
You can either compose or schedule a message by clicking in the “Compose message” box. You will need to select your account by searching in the box which is right next to message composition. To schedule, choose the calendar icon and pick your desired date and time.
If you would like to make any changes or view your scheduled items, choose the arrow icon located on the far left Dashboard.
To add on additional accounts. Select the “+” tab at the top of the page. You will then see the option to “Add Stream.” With the basic account, you are allowed up to FIVE different streams. (Other accounts will allow for more streams depending on the price.)
You should now be able to complete the basic functions of HootSuite! Can I get a woot, woot?! If you’d like to learn more, you can always check out the free online tutorial they offer every member or contact us and we’d be happy to help. Good luck!
Ah, the infamous Fifth Day of Christmas. I don’t know about you, but this might be the only part of the (original) song that I can actually remember every time. But in the case of these Five Content Creation Rules, not rings, I encourage you to commit these to memory as well!
I’m sure you’ve already heard the saying, “Content is King,” but what does that really mean? It all began with content as the key for search engine optimization and the huge role it played in positioning your company as an industry resource. Then came the rise of social and the need to push consistent communication. Creative tactics emerged through micro-sites and with social media popularity exploding, brands had to compete with the thought-leaders or become obsolete in the marketplace.
1. Know Your Audience
Let’s be real. If you don’t know who you’re trying to reach there’s no use in creating content at all. Know who you’re writing for. Is it women ages 24-40 or men ages 60 and older? Decide who your audience is and then learn everything you can about them. Find what questions they have, what motivates them and what they like. THEN, create your content.
2. Tell a Story
Tell a story that is personable, approachable, tangible and memorable. For example: Every year, The Hartford sponsors the Paralympics, and just last year the company decided to tell this story. They launched a media and video campaign through the medium of Facebook highlighting the athletes themselves. The result was a very successful and emotional story connecting with people on an individual and very personal level.
3. Limit the Fluff
The average attention span is very, very short. You need to get right to the point or you run the risk of losing the audience. Eliminate any unnecessary points to keep content concise and hyper-focused. If you’d like some additional examples on the process of un-fluffing, check out one of our previous blog posts on a similar topic!
4. Make it Shareable
The best way to get your content out there is to spread it across all appropriate mediums. So making it easy for others to share your content should be a BIG priority. Try to think of a blog that doesn’t prominently display social sharing buttons. It’s tough, right? That’s because most people won’t go out of their way to share your content so just make it simple!
5. Say What You Know…
…and not what you sell. Customers are not looking to read your blog or micro-site to see what you sell, they can view that in a catalog or on the products and services tab on your site. They are interested in what you know and what you stand for. It’s time to start communicating as a trusted and relevant source and not as a sales script. Storytelling is the new content marketing.
See where your expertise and your customer’s interests overlap to tap into your niche. Tell a unique story and communicate in a way that no other competition can touch.
This SEO company has found the best way to spread holiday cheer! See 10 marketing tips for all to hear! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your crew at HMG Creative. To celebrate the joyous season and year’s end, we now present the 12 Days of Christmas in its entirety, a campaign that is sure to make you laugh, smile and think about marketing in a whole new light going into 2013. Did you miss the the fun festivities, the first time around? No problem! But be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter, so you aren’t left out in the cold again. (You don’t want to be on that naughty list, do you?)
Business Cards Half Off…That’s Almost FREE!
Three Experts Blogging
Four Calling Clients
Five Golden Rules
Six Birds-a Tweeting
Seven Shows-a Streaming
Eight Fans a-Liking
Nine Clients Rocking
Ten Blogs a-Buzzing
Eleven Subscribers Snoozing
Twelve Websites Winning
We are embracing the Holiday spirit at HMG Creative by celebrating the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” For 12 days in December (starting today) we will have a product discount, fun videos and great marketing tips to get your business ready for 2013!
So… eh hem, “On the first day of Christmas HMG gave to me… 50% off business cards…That’s Almost FREE!”
Often the first impression potential clients have of your business is your card. Make sure you’re giving the right impression with a high quality card stock. We have many choices to suit your style including Satin Laminate and even high quality Recycled Papers. See our full line of options at HMG Printing. You can also give your card a check-up by reading our blog post from our very own, Rob Ridgeway, to determine if your card is “cardworthy.”
We hope you enjoyed our “First Day of Christmas.” And be sure to stay tuned for the next 11 days, you never know what else we might have up our Christmas sweater sleeves!
“Boring!” It’s the nemesis of all content writers and it threatens to creep into your newsletters. As soon as boring content shows its face, you can kiss the inbox goodbye and start staking out real estate in the recycle bin. What to do? Follow these eleven tips to keep your subscribers engaged from the headline all the way to the fine print.
1. Tantalize with a fabulous headline.
Ask a question, promise a list of tips, or offer free industry-related advice. If your headline is a lemon, your readers won’t take the time to read further.
2. Write about what you know.
Fill your newsletter content with the things you consider yourself to be an expert on rather than falling back on someone else’s content.
3. Choose current hot topics from your industry.
Follow blogs and stay up to date on new product releases, industry changes, and questions people are currently asking. Position yourself as an expert on current topics through your newsletter.
4. Let your personality shine through.
Be conversational, humorous, witty, and even sarcastic if it comes naturally to you, all with the goal of building a relationship with your readers.
5. Include lifestyle content that relates to what you do.
Show your subscribers how to apply your information to their daily lives. For instance, if you sell dog training videos, write a newsletter with tips on house training a new puppy.
6. Narrow your focus.
Choose a goal for your newsletter and stick with it. Are you promoting your blog, sending industry updates, or offering tips? Let your subscribers know what to expect up front.
7. Match your writing style to the personality of your company.
Is your company trendy and upbeat or do you present a more reserved, professional face to your audience? A law firm newsletter should sound different from a newsletter for a trendy salon and spa.
8. Encourage subscribers to respond.
Include a feedback form or email address in each newsletter and make a point of replying to any feedback you receive.
9. Include relevant images and graphics.
Well-chosen images and graphics can pique interest before the subscriber has started reading. Images should relate in a substantive way to your content rather than being generic stock photos.
10. Break content into manageable chunks.
Bullet points, subheadings, numbers, and space between paragraphs can all make your content look less intimidating by making it easier to skim. Lengthy paragraphs tend to turn people away.
11. Include customer feedback in your content.
Testimonials, customer Q&As, and stories are all great ways to bring your subscribers into the conversation.
By incorporating these 11 tips as you write newsletter content, you can banish droopy eyelids from your subscribers. Keep your content concise, informative, and interesting, and you’ll guarantee an engaged audience.