If your business’ website is underperforming, you’ve probably been asking yourself why.
Here are the most common reasons that indicate it really is time to bite the bullet and invest in a website design that will give you ROI for a few more years to come. (more…)
So, securing your website used to be as easy as SSL and now TLS.
But now it’s when we deliver your site as HTTPS as opposed to HTTP.
Well, that’s just another bunch of acronyms. In English, please?
Every Business Needs a Website, Right?
Of course, we are going to say that, aren’t we? We’ll tell you that you need funky business cards, glossy brochures, a nice prospectus, cool flyers, wicked posters, eye-catching bumper stickers, a shiny new website and some SEO and PPC services thrown in to boot, right?
Well, yes. We do all that. And more. We are Clever Marketing.
But we are not going to advise your business to do everything, especially if, in our experience, we can see it’s not an essential for you. Not every business will need brochures and flyers, posters and stickers.
However, every business needs a website, right? (more…)
Web Design Trends. 2017 is an exciting time for the web industry with technology and customer needs moving at pace. Of course, the digital landscape is continually changing so we all need to evolve with it to ensure we remain ahead of the curve. With this in mind, we take a look at the top five web design trends we think you should be looking out for in 2017. (more…)
The New Year is all about re-evaluating and that means it’s the perfect time to refresh your website. A lot can change in the space of 12 months so it’s a great opportunity to ensure you’re attracting and retaining the right kind of customers.
January is an ideal time to review your website and how it’s performing so it’s in line with your business objectives. Here are our top tips to refresh your website so you can position yourself ahead of the competition. (more…)
Many features go into creating the best landing page design. Once you know who your target audience is, planning what features you need to include on your landing page is very straightforward.
Of course, visitors to your website will vary but your objective is to appeal to the majority of those you want to attract. We all know a landing page must have enticing copy, attention-grabbing imagery and a strong call to action, but what are the essential characteristics you need to incorporate to be head and shoulders above your competition?
When a company visits your website, do they get the same brand experience as they would across your other digital channels? What about offline – is the branding of your brochure or print campaign consistent with your online branding? Brands never want to be predictable but when it comes to marketing strategy, consistency really is essential.
It raises brand awareness giving your company a personality and identity. It reinforces your position in the marketplace, therefore driving authority. It helps attract new customers. An inconsistent message can create confusion and could be seen as a sign a company cannot be trusted. Companies are often time short so how can you ensure brand consistency internally and externally across all touch points all of the time?
The building blocks of a consistent brand identity include messaging, tone of voice and design guidelines. While these must be specific to your company, these are the main elements that should be considered.
A brand message should clearly define your positioning. Think about your logo and rules for using it with or without a tagline too. Consider how it will be applied and if you need different versions (ie; a logo with a transparent background might be a requirement). If your branding agency is designing a new brand identity, consider how it will translate across all touch points. Will one logo suffice or does it need to be scalable?
Brand design is not just about a logo, design guidelines are a fundamental part of the mix. Typically these should include a colour palette, font type and weight, photography and illustration styles as well as other visual elements. Consider how the colour palette will work online and offline, checking colour matches in programmes such as PowerPoint. It’s worthwhile including guidelines for your website (ie; banners, buttons, web fonts) and print (ie; specifications for the most used collateral). Your brand design agency can help with this.
As well as the look and feel, tonal values are just as important. Consider how your tone of voice will be applied on your website and in print but also across your social media channels. Think about the personality of your company, what kind of impression you want to give and how should you communicate. Cover off best practices like grammar, punctuation and spelling with your branding agency as well.
Once your brand guidelines have been finalised by your brand design agency, it’s worthwhile considering a cheat sheet featuring the most used elements too. It’s a great way to have a quick point of reference while ensuring brand consistency. Clear brand guidelines should provide everyone internally with a framework to implement activity across all channels.
If you require help with your brand identity or brand guidelines, feel free to contact us on 01276 534 680 today.
A well thought through creative brief is where a successful project begins. It builds excitement around a forthcoming project and it’s the best way to inspire your graphic designer or graphic design agency.The outcome is more likely to result in a solution that’s interpreted the way you want it to be and within budget.
The outcome is more likely to result in a solution that’s interpreted the way you want it to be and within budget.
Depending on how well you know your graphic designer or graphic design company, briefings are most effective when conducted face-to-face. The information provided in your written brief forming the basis for discussion.
Regardless of whether you need a logo, a brochure or website design services, often sharing more information in a creative brief is more beneficial than not enough. But what are the essentials?
Here are Clever Marketing’s top 7 tips to get you started.
Imagine your graphic design agency has no knowledge of your business and what you do. Rather than assume what they might know, supply them with everything they need.
Thinking about where you are now, provide an overview of your business and your proposition. Consider the benefits of your products or services and your Unique Selling Points (USPs).
Within the marketplace, outline your positioning, your competitors and how your business is perceived. Depending on the scope of work, a SWOT analysis may also be beneficial.
Outline to your designer or graphic design company what you want to achieve from your project – lead generation, brand awareness or driving traffic may all be factors.
Think about what you want the call to action to be and how you’ll measure effectiveness.
You’ll then be able to set up your Key Performance Indicators to later guage how effective the campaign has been.
Once you know what your goals are, you can consider how to get there. What do you believe the scope of work is ie; a rebrand, collateral or a new website. If you’re unsure of all the elements, your graphic designer or design agency can help you. However, do outline exactly what you think needs to be done. It might be a 24-page brochure in full colour with an online version for your website for example.
Think about print quantities and who might do the printing – can your graphic designer or design agency organise this for you. Consider whether more than one version is required. For websites, think about the customer experience and how quickly visitors can get to the information they require. Consider the journey you want to take them on and how you’ll keep them there.
Think about your audience and what types of people you would most like to talk to.
Describe what they’re like professionally and personally including specific socio-economic classifications where relevant.
Does this audience know your business already or are they prospective clients?
Is there a need to design more than one version or create a separate page on a website?
Think about what will appeal to your target audience and why they should believe what you’re saying.
Before a new project commences, a budget must be agreed with your graphic design agency. The estimate should provide a detailed understanding of what’s included for the duration of the project. Payment terms should be agreed before work starts. Should the brief change once work has begun, additional costs can be incurred.
This is why it’s important to get the brief right from the outset. If printing is a requirement, this should be included in your budget along with any other extras like envelopes. For websites, consider how you’ll drive traffic to your new site. Do you require SEO services or social media support for example?
Think about the messaging, style and copy for the task in hand. What look and feel are you going for? Can you draft any outline copy? Take into account colours and fonts as well as examples of what you do and don’t like. Any mandatories and constraints should also feature.
Share your brand guidelines if you have them to maintain brand consistency. Always supply your logo as well as images you’d like to feature unless these are being sourced. Consider too the tone of voice that should be used to identify with your target audience. Existing collateral can be referred to as a style guide. For websites, also take into account the keywords you need to include.
Realistic timings are essential before commencement of any project. A timeline should be drawn up which include key stages from briefing to delivery. Actions should include who has responsibility for what and by when. Where the requirement includes printed collateral, print lead times should also be incorporated. The same applies to any internal sign off procedures.
Although this might sound like it’s a lot to think about, you will know much of it already. After all, you know your business better than anyone else. But by sticking to these steps, briefing your graphic design agency will be far more effective!
Briefing your graphic design agency is a really important starting point to every project, so getting it right from the beginning is key to a smooth and successful campaign. Once you’ve got your brief in place, give us a call on 01276 534 680 or email [email protected] and we will be happy to discuss your next venture.
When it comes to designing or indeed re-designing your website, it’s easy to focus on the aesthetics. However there are a host of things to consider before forging ahead with your web design strategy – there’s the domain name, web hosting and technology to take into account with functionality, user experience and mobile friendliness just as important.
Clever Marketing takes a look at what to consider before undertaking a website design. (more…)
Mobile has been big in 2015. Mobile is one of the most important areas in which to concentrate your efforts next year.
Browsing on mobile devices overtook desktop use in 2014. Mobile continues to grow in popularity, as does its influence upon shaping our browsing habits. Brands risk being left behind if they still haven’t optimised their websites for mobile.
But it it’s not enough to simply make your website responsive, and then leave it that. (We wish it was) Like the rest of the digital marketing world, the mobile dimension is constantly changing and moving forward. Mobile is consistently improving the user experience. Consumers now expect websites to keep up with the newer, slicker phone models being introduced onto the market. Users just want their online browsing to be simpler and easier.
In this post we discuss some of the most prominent recent changes in mobile navigation. It will keep you at the cutting edge of mobile digital marketing development. Additionally, it will help you to impress your users with a forward-thinking and easy to use website. We’ll share some extra tips and tricks to help you keep improving your mobile navigation. Ready to start? (more…)
If you believed everything you read on the internet, you’d think that mobile phones are taking over the world.
In a way, though, they are – last year for the first time mobile traffic exceeded desktop traffic, reflecting the momentous shift that’s been happening in consumer browsing habits for some time now. Namely that we now use our mobiles for everything. Checking social media, browsing the news, shopping – our mobiles are never out of our hands. (more…)