Does My Business Really Need an Online Presence?

Does My Business Really Need an Online Presence? (Yes.)

Even if your business doesn’t conduct it’s day-to-day transactions online, it’s a fact of modern life that people expect to find out about you online. And the more quickly and easily the better! An internet search is almost everyone’s first step in getting details about a product or service they need or a company they have heard about. Whether you are serving the local area or meeting demands worldwide, the internet is almost certainly where potential customers will go first to find out more about your business.

If you can’t be easily found on the web, you are losing an easy and affordable opportunity to let the world know what you do and increase your customer base. Beyond the fact that an internet presence will increase your potential customer base, here are some other reasons to be online:

Show What You Do

It has never been easier to let people know what you have to offer. With a few clicks, consumers can see what you’re all about. You can show that information in whatever format best fits your services, e.g. photos, video, text, or a combination of these and other options. Even better, customers can get this information when they need it — whether it’s during business hours or not.

Build Relationships

Social media is truly about building relationships. It is a great opportunity to connect and communicate with your target audience. These forums can give your business a voice that makes it more “human”, relatable and/or understandable. And, social media makes it easy to keep customers updated about new products or services, awards, important company news, etc. It is a simple yet effective way to keep customers interested in your company.

Market Your Brand

Websites and social media are some of the most cost effective methods of sending out information to a large audience. Using the internet for marketing purposes allows you to easily overcome distance barriers and time constraints. Online marketing gives you the opportunity to market your brand in creative and exciting ways — and in ways that easily adapt as your business or services change.

An online presence is one of the most important investments a business can make — but also one of the most cost-effective.

The experts at HD Marketing & Design in Fort Wayne, work with you to get to know you and what makes your business unique. They are excited to show you the big impact that a small investment in an online presence can bring. They have been helping companies nationwide expand their business and online presence for years. Regardless of your business type, size or location, don’t let the opportunities of internet marketing pass you by. Let HD Marketing & Design help you take your business to a whole new level.

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5 Cardinal Sins of Web Design

Some Web Design Trends to Stay Away From

 

Trends in web design come and go as technology advances and developers find innovative ways to spread information or show off designs. Just like in fashion, there are accepted forms of design, and there are some that are looked at with disdain. Although a few of these can be looked at as fun or quirky, they don’t convey a professional message. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with web “fashion,” so here are some things that you definitely shouldn’t have on your website in 2014.

MIDI or other music that plays when your website loads

When a user visits your website, they usually don’t want to be bombarded with music they didn’t choose to listen to. If the volume is turned up and your interested visitor has forgotten, it can be quite a shock as well. If you have a website that centers around music, let there be a choice to start or stop the audio instead.

Flash introductions or animations

Time is a valuable thing and people don’t like to waste it. Flash introductions do just that. When visitors come to your website, more than likely they are looking for specific information. Showing an intro is delaying that, and can be quite frustrating causing users to leave your site quickly. Having a flash site also does not provide much content for Google or other popular search engines to crawl. This could hurt a website’s search engine rank substantially.

News tickers

These are just plain hard to read and inefficient. Having the information you wish to present laid out in a normal paragraph is perfect.

Different cursor styles

Most everyone who uses the internet is now familiar with the default cursor styles and when they change. The last thing you want to do is confuse someone who visits your website with changes to the common cursor styles that are default.

Neon Colors

You don’t need to get people’s attention if they are already on your website. Subtle colors and patterns will work well enough to be aesthetically pleasing. Neon colors will only serve to distract users from the information you’re trying to convey, and burn retinas in the process. Neon colors can also make text difficult to read. Bright yellow text on a bright lime green background is next to impossible to read.

If you are featuring any of these items on your website, it might be time for a redesign. Contact HD Marketing & Design to learn how we can help you give your web site a more modern and professional look. Based in Fort Wayne, HD Marketing & Design has been helping people in all avenues of marketing, such as Internet/Web Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, Video Production, Social Media, Print Design, and more.

Until then, check out an example of the aforementioned mistakes in web design. Enjoy!

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Your Marketing Strategy : Trick or Treat?

It’s impossible this time of year not to be reminded of all the creepy, scary characters that populate our Halloween stories, movies and nightmares. As marketing professionals, we at HD Marketing & Design began to wonder: “Is there anything a business can learn from these characters about how to liven-up its marketing strategy?”

Don’t leave that marketing plan for dead. Dig it out from the graveyard of your “things to do someday” drawer, dust it off and let’s talk. These quintessential Halloween creatures may inspire some dos and don’ts to consider:

Frankenstein

Is your website just a cobbled together work of random pieces like this horrifying man-made monster? Make it “lively” and unified instead. Websites need to be easy to navigate. A great website allows users to quickly find the information they need.

 

 

Zombies

Zombies NEED to feed. Are you feeding your audience regularly with updated content, announcements, and news via social media? Keep users up to date on all the latest happenings on their news feed. Connect with clients and potential clients where they hang out online. Feed their feed!

 

 

Werewolves

 

Werewolves transform only when the moon is full. Do you have outdated information in your marketing materials — print, web or social media? Don’t wait for the next full moon to give your audience correct information or to update the look of old materials.

Ghosts

 

Is your website being found? If it’s not on the first couple of pages of Google, it may as well be invisible. 75% of Google users never scroll through to the second page of results. Find out how SEO and content marketing can help your web site be seen!

 

Bring your Marketing Back to Life

Talk to the experts at HD Marketing & Design in Fort Wayne about how to raise your marketing plan from the dead. We have expertise in all areas of marketing, from print to video to website designSEO, & beyond. We get to know our clients and work with you to customize a marketing strategy to keep your message relevant. Contact HD Marketing and Design today to learn how our team can bring your business’s marketing plan back to life.

“It’s alive! My marketing is alive!”

IFrame

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Hiring Web Designer & Developer in Fort Wayne

 Hiring: Web Designer & Developer in Fort Wayne

Creative Technologist Job Opening

fort-wayne-marketing-job

Fort Wayne marketing company, HD Marketing & Design, is hiring! We’re seeking a part-time (21-35 hours) web designer / developer to join our team!

The ideal candidate will have a creative eye for designing cutting-edge web sites along with the knowledge to implement current web technologies including responsive design, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, PHP, and MySQL, and enjoy working in a small team environment.

Interested? Find out more about our current job opening in downtown Fort Wayne: http://bitly.com/fortwaynejob

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Ice Bucket Challenge & What Social Media Can Do for You

Social Media Marketing Grows Awareness and Builds Brands

Social Media Marketing Fort Wayne

Get Connected with Social Media Marketing

Who hasn’t heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, right?

It has become a world-wide fundraising phenomenon. The driving force behind its success? A desire to raise money to put an end to a terrible disease. The vehicle that got that charitable message to the world and inspired millions to participate and contribute? Social media.

As this successful campaign demonstrated, social media is all about engagement. In the case of the Ice Bucket Challenge, its use of social media moved people beyond being just the recipients of a message. It encouraged them to actually become participants in the spread of that message. Every participant now felt a personal relationship with that cause and was encouraging their social network to participate as well.

At HD Marketing and Design we believe that relationship marketing is one of the most powerful forms of advertising. We understand and value the power of social media — all the heavy-hitters like, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google + and more.

From new small businesses to established firms, there are lessons to be learned from the Ice Bucket Challenge. We can tailor your social marketing strategy to strengthen your relationship with existing and potential customers by:

1. Making it simple
2. Making it fun
3. Making it timely
4. Making it “shareable”

Social Media Marketing Company in Fort Wayne

Whether your marketing goals are bigger or smaller than the Ice Bucket Challenge, HD Marketing and Design of Fort Wayne’s Social Media Marketing program is for you. We know how to leverage social media to both get the word out about what makes your business unique, AND to engage your customers so they participate in promoting what you do.

Our Social Media program will set up your social media sites and continues to work with you frequently to:

  • Add fresh content to Social Media on a regular basis
  • Increase likes, comments, & shares using promotions and other proven techniques
  • Encourage relationships with potential customers
  • Strengthen loyalty with existing customers
  • Keep customers up-to-date on new products or services
  • Build brand awareness
  • Get your business more face time on search engines

Learn more about our social media marketing program or contact HD Marketing & Design today at (260) 432-8437 to schedule a consultation to see how our Internet Marketing Program can help you connect with your customers and potential customers where they hang out online.

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5 reasons to get Social – Why you NEED Social Media

Social Media Marketing – What can it do for your Fort Wayne business

social media marketing fort wayneFace it, social media has become a constant part of everyday life. Even if you personally aren’t facebooking, tweeting, streaming YouTube videos, or using Yelp to help you find a nearby coffee shop — your customers are. Social media (which also includes things Google+, Pinterest, Instagram. etc.) is a fabulous communication tool for making a business more accessible to its customers and more visible to potential customers.  If your not already on, you’re missing out! We could list a multitude of reasons why any business should be using these platforms; but here are our Top 5 reasons how your business can benefit from social media marketing:

1. Connect with your existing customers

As you know, one of the best sources of business is your current customers. And chances are, your customers are already using a variety of social media as part of their day-to-day life. Linking your company into this social interconnectedness just makes sense. It will help customers remember your services, learn about new products or services, and let them easily connect with you to ask questions or offer feedback. Social media gives companies and clients an easier way to interact than we’ve ever had before.

2. Increase your customer base

You can monitor social media to learn what potential customers are looking for from your business or industry. This can then help you target new customers through social media — and bring more traffic to your website, increase your brand awareness, and/or even bring more clients to your physical location. Also, social media is a great way for potential customers to learn about you through word of mouth from their friends and relatives who are already using your products and services!

3. Improve your Google search ranking

Businesses that are not active on social media show up less on Google searches. According to Google, 80% of consumers use search engines to find information about local businesses. A search engine optimization (SEO) professional, like those at HD Marketing and Design, are skilled and always up to date on the best way to use social media to make sure your business will be easily found in a Google search. And that will result in more customers finding their way to you.

4. Create buzz

Journalists commonly rely on social media to research story ideas and track trends. This can translate into “buzz” for your business beyond social media as well as reach potential customers who may not be active on social media. And for those customers who are on social media, that buzz can influence them to learn more about the new products or services you are promoting.

5. It’s cost effective marketing tool

Becoming active on social media platforms is relatively cheap in terms of bang for your buck. Many of them are even free to join. They are an easy and versatile way to quickly get information about your business to the people who need it — without a big time or staff commitment.

HD Marketing & Design Fort Wayne can give your business a voice

Don’t let social media remain a mystery. The marketing experts at HD Marketing and Design know the best ways for engaging with your clients and potential clients using a variety of social media. It’s a fantastic medium and we want to help you make the most of it. We can identify which platforms make the most sense for your business. We will design an online presence that maximizes customer engagement and develops the brand awareness that your business deserves.

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Hiring Internet Marketing Specialist

fort-wayne-marketing-job

HD Marketing & Design Fort Wayne is seeking a part-time Internet Marketing Specialist with experience in SEO, Social Media for brands, SEO blogging, and content creation. The ideal candidate will grow the online presence of multiple brands in multiple industries as well as build our internet marketing department.This part-time position has the potential of growing into a full-time position quickly with the right candidate.

For more information, visit:
http://hdmarketingdesign.com/internet-marketing-specialist-fort-wayne-indiana.php

 

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Consumer Confidence is on the Rise

Consumer Confidence at 7-year High

money in handIn the latter part of the year 2007, consumer optimism began to wane, and soon we suffered one of the biggest meltdowns of our economy since the Great Depression. As the economy worsened, many businesses went into survivor mode, cutting employees, reducing and not replacing inventory, and reducing the advertising budget. We will always argue that advertising is the last thing a business should cut when sales start to slump, but that’s what happens, and we really can’t blame you for that.

However, if you did cut your advertising budget in 2007 or 2008, then to be truly consistent, you need to increase your advertising budget now in 2014. Why? Because the retail economy is roaring back.

The Conference Board is an organization which since 1916 has tracked consumer confidence in the U.S. People do not buy things, especially discretionary items unless they feel confident about their short term economic future. When people feel good, they buy. When they’re worried about their jobs, they don’t buy.

The Conference Board publishes a monthly index number reflecting consumer confidence. The higher the number, the greater the confidence. As you might assume, the Index has been lower than normal over much of the past seven years due the recession.

Over the past three months, however, the index has been rising, and is now at the highest point since October of 2007.

What Does Consumer Confidence Have to Do With Advertising

Consumers drive our economy, so as their enthusiasm grows, so do your sales. Now that you know this information, what do you do about it? The answer is to prepare for success. Just as you prepared for bad economic times a few years ago, you must prepare for good times. It’s time to rebuild your inventories, train and have in place the right employees, and boost your advertising budget before your competitors do and steal your market share away from you before you even have a chance to cash in on better times.

Another way to prepare is to analyze your digital footprint. In other words, it’s time to make sure your website is ready for the increased traffic that’s already starting to grow with the economy. Before the recession, a lot of buyers still made their way physically to stores. During the slowdown, people got used to going to the internet. It saved on gas, and often, they were able to find a better price online. The online habit isn’t going to change just because there’s more confidence and cash in the economy, because it’s now a buying habit. To succeed, you’ve got to conform to consumer behavior.

HD Marketing & Design Fort Wayne

At HD Marketing & Design, we can help you review your digital efforts. Not just your web site, but also your social media and use of video. And, we can help you get found online, because no matter how good your website is, if no one sees it, no one will buy from it. Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to come to you and show you how you can capitalize on growing consumer confidence.

Get ready! The coming months are going to be terrific!

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Is Your Marketing Working For You?

Your Marketing Should Look Great AND Work Great too!

Fort Wayne Marketing MessageDriving past a local business a few days ago on the way in to the office, we noticed they were installing a new sign. Not just any new sign though, a new eye-catching, full color, electronic sign with the changing messages with a stone base! We watched the progress over the next few mornings as we drove by. It was coming along great, we were excited to see who the business was with this great looking sign.

Then, one morning as we were drove past we saw that the sign was on…. the message displayed on their sign let us know that they have a mobile app. Great, they have a mobile app, but WHO ARE THEY? The next morning, driving past, the sign displayed the time and temperature. Thank you for the information, it was great to know I wasn’t running late for work, but… WHO ARE YOU???

Over the next week we would see the sign for a split second only, each time a different message was displayed – “Congratulations to the 2014 Graduates”, “We’re on Facebook”, a picture with the staff, but never the name of the business!

The sign you put out in front of your business can be quite an investment and these bright and colorful displays definitely offer a unique and impressive way to capture attention and let people know about your business. But, are you sure that the messages your sign flashes to the world are really giving people useful information about your business? If it doesn’t tell people who you are and give them a reason to use your services — you are definitely not getting your money’s worth from that investment. After all, as potential customers drive by, they only have a moment to notice your sign and take in what is has to say. And, if potential customers don’t know who the sign is for, how will they ever know if they need  your products or services? Sure, it’s nice to know the time and temperature, but most of us can get that information with a glance at our dashboard. And I’m glad to know that you are on Facebook — but why would I follow your business? 

It’s a fact of modern life — we are all constantly bombarded with information. As Five Man Electrical Band put it all those years ago:

 ”Signs, signs, everywhere a sign. Blocking out the scenery, Breaking my mind. Do this! Don’t do that! Can’t you read the signs?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t let your sign be just another part of the information noise. You spent the money to have a great looking marketing tool – whether it’s a new sign, a new website, a TV commercial, postcard, or other marketing material. Make sure the name of your company is prominently displayed and make sure your message is relevant to your business and to potential customers. Don’t leave people guessing who you are or what you do.

Let HD Marketing & Design Fort Wayne Help You Capture Attention AND Send the Right Marketing Message!

Whether potential customers are looking at your website, following you on Facebook, or driving down the road in front of your business everyday,  you want to make sure your sending the right message. Let HD Marketing & Design help you deliver a message that not only looks great, but works great as well!

(And, apologies for putting that song in your head for the rest of the day.)

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Create a Buzz With Marketing

Does Your Marketing Create a Buzz?

earth fare marketing buzz fort wayneDid you hear about Earth Fare’s big opening in Fort Wayne recently? I’d be surprised if you said no. Earth Fare is a national grocery store chain focused on eating healthier and Earth-friendly products. They did an excellent job of creating a big buzz in town long before their opening. The store has been packed — you could barely get through the aisles the first week. Before it even opened, their Facebook page for the Fort Wayne store had over 3000 “Likes” and now is filled with great reviews from visitors. For weeks before opening, local mailboxes had been receiving store coupons and promotional fliers. Standing in line at other grocery stores, you frequently overheard “When’s that new Earth Fare opening?” Now that’s what I call creating a buzz!

We know you want your clients, and potential customers, to see your business as more than an average company — because you are! At HD Marketing & Design, our goal is to understand what makes you proud and what makes your business unique. Then we make sure that message gets out,  that we create a buzz about who you are and what you do.

Marketing  Tools to Create a Buzz

  • Promote the cool things you do  through press releases, promotional materials, TV/radio commercials
  • Interact on social media and provide sneak peeks of what’s coming
  • Provide great content on your website. Update it regularly and make it useful.
  • Make a personal connection – interact with visitors to your business; collect emails to keep them in the loop and send thank you notes or notices of upcoming events)

You already know this, of course — it’s always in your best interest to keep the customers happy. Your customers are the ones who will recommend you to their friends and colleagues — in person or on social media. And, you know that it goes beyond creating a great product — it’s providing exceptional support, building strong relationships, and always going above and beyond what’s expected. It’s equally important to continue to reach out to customers, and potential customers, across multiple channels. Different customers get their information — and create more buzz — in different ways.

Create a Buzz with HD Marketing & Design Fort Wayne

HD Marketing & Design knows the ins-and-outs of both the newest technology – website design, social media marketing, content marketing –  and the tried-and-true traditional marketing tools – radio & TV commercials, brochures, postcards, press releases. Let HD Marketing help you create that buzz for YOUR business!

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