The 4 Concepts
Professional Design & Branding—
Every successful organization—whether commercial or non-profit—has a visible identity that makes a desired impact. In other words, if you do not already have one, you need a brand. We are all familiar with some of the iconic brands, especially when we see their symbol or logo. For example, name the company: 1) the golden arches, 2) an apple missing a bite, 3) a ‘swoosh’ with its tail pointing upward to the right. The widespread recognition that these organizations command is the ultimate evidence of brand success. When people visit your website, one of the first impressions it makes is via your brand identity, including for example: your logo, a tagline (i.e. mini-mission statement), a color scheme and distinctive design or graphic cues.
- Are you just starting out and need a brand identity?
- Does your organization—especially your web presence--need a new image?
- Do you have a logo already, but you would like to incorporate it more effectively into your marketing strategy?
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website development, Administration & SEO (Search Engine Optimization)—
Many organizations, especially smaller ones, decide to create their own website using one of the many templates available online at little or no cost. And the do-it-yourself approach may be adequate and appropriate, depending on your goals and objectives. However, chances are that your organization—like nearly every organization on the web--is competing with others for visitor traffic, especially if you want to expand or monetize your Internet presence.
What you need is a professionally done website that matches up against your competition, while also meeting your specific needs--no more, no less. 'Professional" does not automatically mean 'expensive'. It simply means that your website helps you achieve your organizational goals and objectives. Professional web development takes into consideration factors such as: content management, information architecture, navigation structure, visual appeal, graphic design consistency, website optimization and SEO page optimization.
It’s one thing to develop and launch your website. The real challenge is to get people to find and visit the site. And once they find you on the Internet, it’s another thing entirely to convince them to stay there long enough to do what you want them to do, find what you want them to find or buy (or perhaps “buy into”) what you are offering. Getting visitors to your site in the first place, making sure they can find their way around (i.e. navigate) the site, and ‘convincing’ them to stay on your site for a while is where professional website development and SEO come in.
website administration really involves three things: 1) making sure the site works every day, every time for every visitor, 2) modifying the site, when necessary, to ensure that it is meeting your goals and objectives, especially as they change and evolve, and 3) updating the unique content of the website (e.g. explanatory text, articles, blogs, photos, streaming video). Many organizations want to do the updating themselves, and that is certainly doable with today’s user-friendly website templates. However, the first two administrative tasks listed above can be more challenging. This is where professional website administration comes in.
- Are you frustrated or unsatisfied with a website you have created on your own?
- Are you in the middle of creating your own website, but find yourself in over your head, or simply stuck?
- Are you ready to have a website developed professionally, so you can compete with others in your market?
- Do you want a website developed, but you want to control and manage the content yourself?
- Do you have a website that is not getting enough traffic?
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Online Marketing & Advertising—
If you are seeking to expand, maximize or monetize your Internet presence, you will need to develop and execute an online marketing and advertising strategy. A successful online marketing strategy increases your brand recognition, expands your web presence and contributes to reaching your organizational goals and objectives. If you are a non-profit, a successful marketing strategy increases awareness of your cause, increases your membership, and finally, increases your contributions. If you are a commercial operation, a successful marketing strategy expands your brand recognition and increases your sales.
There are three ways to utilize and monetize advertising online: 1) ads that you create and place on your own website to sell products, 2) ads that you create and place on someone else’s website to generate traffic to and/or sales on your own website and 3) ads that are placed on your website to sell products from other sources or to generate traffic to someone else’s website. Your success in advertising depends on the quality and placement of your ads, on the consistency and longevity of your advertising campaigns, and on the amount of money you are willing to spend on advertising. Finally, your success in advertising varies according to the amount of time and effort you put into tracking and evaluating the success of specific advertising tactics.
- Do you have an online marketing strategy? If so, are you satisfied with the results?
- Are you advertising online yet?
- Are you making money by advertising for others on your website?
- Are you familiar with how Google Adsense and Google AdWords work and how you can make money using them?
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From the perspective of an organization seeking to expand its geographical reach or increase its sales, the Internet is a powerful tool to improve your relationships to your constituents and customers. This may be accomplished, for example, via live chat, various feedback techniques or using the new social media sites.
The new media marketing and social networking sites, including for example, Facebook and Twitter, can be confusing and even overwhelming. However, online tools like these and others can help bring you significantly closer to your target market--increasing your understanding of what your constituents or customers think and feel, like and dislike, care about or not, and so on. One of the most powerful aspects of social media is its ability to engage your constituents or customers in interaction with each other. Once this happens, your cause, product or service is poised to, as they say, “go viral”.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about the new media marketing and social networking sites is THEY ARE FREE. It is simply a matter of understanding how they work and how you can use them.
- Are you using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to establish and expand relationships with your target market?
- Are you effectively using all the tools that Facebook, for example, offers for marketing purposes?
- Are you transforming your market into a community in order to build customer loyalty or to gain repeat business?
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