How Did You Find Us?

Making sure your Business is being Found

One of the primary goals of any business is exposure — to get the information about who you are and what you do into the hands of the people who need it. There are many different avenues to get this information out:

  • website
  • Social Media, including Facebook
  • street front sign
  • newspaper ads
  • radio or TV ads
  • direct mail

Because of the many options available, you need to know which avenue is most effective. Luckily, there’s a simple way to find out which of these is really having an impact: ask your customers!

A casual “How did you find us?” can improve your interaction with customers and give you some valuable information at the same time. If you don’t know how your customers are finding you, how will you know where to focus your efforts? Without knowing how and where your business is getting noticed, you might be wasting money and effort advertising in the wrong places. Their responses can help you determine which marketing channels are worth the investment and which ones your customers are responding to.

This question can also enrich your relationship with customers — showing your interest in them and why they chose your business. Certainly if a new customer comes to you because of a referral, you want to be able to thank the person who referred them to you. Also, the customer’s response may give you fodder for further connections and conversation:

  • Heard it on the country music station? “Hey, did you hear that Lady Antebellum is coming to Indy?”
  • Saw it at Parkview Field? “Are the Tincaps going to beat Dayton tomorrow?”
  • Just googled it? “Why did you pick us over the other companies that came up?”

A bit of a personal connection can go a long way. And, of course, make sure you or your employees follow up with the obvious: “We hope to see you again soon!”

At HD Marketing & Design in Fort Wayne, we can help you create a highly effective, custom marketing campaign to help you grow your business. We look at what avenue works best for your business. Whether that is print design, Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing, or commercial production, HD Marketing & Design can help you make sure your business is being found.

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SEM? SEO? What’s the Difference?

difference SEO SEMBoth SEO and SEM are marketing strategies with the goal of achieving high-ranking results on internet search engines (such as Google or Bing) for your website. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but in reality, they are two different services.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Websites designed with SEO in mind strive is to obtain a high placement on the web search results page. A high ranking makes is easier for people to find your site and easily connect with your company, products and services.

Marketing agencies such as HD Marketing & Design in Fort Wayne,  follow a set of SEO “best practices”  that help their clients’ websites get high rankings every time. Some of these tactics include:

  • keyword research and development
  • creating keyword-rich content
  • link building from other sites
  • using social media (like Facebook and Twitter)
  • improving the site’s navigability

A quality SEO strategy is one that is constantly evolving. HD Marketing & Design works continually to stay on top of changing search engine algorithms and technology AND to monitor your site’s effectiveness versus your competitors.

What is SEM?

SEM means Search Engine Marketing. SEM is a broader term than SEO. It encompasses the various ways to use a search engine’s technology, including paid ads and banners. It is often a costlier approach. SEM uses the search engines to advertise your website to Internet customers with the goal of sending more targeted traffic to your site. Ad rates vary between the different search engines — they each use different formulas to estimate “pay per click” charges.

At HD Marketing & Design, we can explain the potential costs to you and help you determine the best approach to help you grow your business. Our goal is always to maximize the relevance of accessibility of our clients’ sites, while keeping your marketing budget in mind. If you would like to launch a powerful SEO or SEM campaign to help your business get found online, call the team at HD Marketing & Design in Fort Wayne, today at (260) 432-8437.

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Copyright Laws

When is it OK to use someone else’s work?

Thanks to the Internet, today, it is not hard to get your hands on anything for which you may have a need.  Wikipedia is now recognized as a legitimate resource and Twitter has almost deemed newspapers unnecessary.  Although it has never been easier to access necessary information, it is important to keep in mind that just because something is on the Internet, doesn’t make it free for you to use.  Because of the ever-changing world of technology, I thought we could all benefit from a refresher course in Copyright laws, and what is OK for us to use.

Copyright Law Basics

The first thing to keep in mind is that copyright laws have been put in place in order to protect your intellectual property and creative works.  The second you write or create something, you own legal rights to that piece of work.  How would you like if you wrote a poem, and posted it on Facebook; then, one day you find out that someone has been making millions off of your poem, passing it off as their own.  This exact situation is why copyright laws are put into place.

Copyright law is a very detailed, complex subject.  Because every situation is different, it must be treated as such.  Copyright laws are not necessarily black and white — there are many gray areas.

At its core, the copyright law states that if something exists on the Internet, it is because someone created it.  As a creator of that item, he or she owns any intellectual property, and rights to that item.  With the exception of very few minor cases, anyone who attempts to infringe upon that right will be held legally responsible.

Of course, I did mention that there are a few minor exceptions to that rule.  Let’s dive into a few of those exceptions.

Fair Use Law

You may have heard someone claim “fair use” as an excuse to use someone else’s work as his or her own.  The truth is that “Fair Use” is in fact a legal term that does make it OK to infringe on someone else’s work.  However, there is hardly ever a situation where “fair use” is actually being used in the right context.  Contrary to popular belief, claiming “fair use” is not like waving a magic wand that makes everything legal.  Fair Use is a very complex doctrine with many loopholes and exceptions.  If you would like to attempt to tame the “Fair Use” beast, more information can be found here.

Acknowledgment Doesn’t Magically Make Everything OK

Another popular myth is that any image is fine to use, as long as you give credit to the creator.  Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, using someone else’s work and then giving them a “shout out” is still very much illegal. Copyright laws imply that the creator has a right to choose where they want their work displayed.

In times of uncertainty, where you are not sure if you can legally use someone else’s work or not, it is always better to err on the conservative side.  If there is any doubt in your mind, simply do not use it.  It is not worth the potential lawsuit that could follow.

As you can see, when it comes to copyright, there is a lot to keep in mind.  The laws of copyright are quite lengthy, extremely detailed, and sometimes even fairly vague in its content.  Because each case is different, it can be difficult to know for sure when you may be infringing upon someone else’s rights.  Because of this, copyright laws can leave you in very dangerous territory!

If you find yourself in need of content for blogs, web sites, articles, ads, social media, or any form of marketing, contact  HD Marketing & Design in Fort Wayne. We can help you create original content to save you from potential trouble in the future.

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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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