Viewing entries tagged

Our Principles for Effective Branding Online


Our Principles for Effective Branding Online

Principles for Effective Branding Online

Before you can build an engaging, purposeful site to promote your brand, products and/or services effectively, you first need to understand the viewing habits of users. 

Basically, users’ habits on the Web aren’t that different from customers’ habits when shopping in brick and mortar stores. Like window shoppers scan windows before deciding to enter a store, web visitors glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and then click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing for which they are looking before entering too far into a site. In fact, there are large parts of the page they don’t even look at. And, if they don’t see anything that catches their attention, they will move on to a site that does.

Web users are impatient and insist on instant gratification. Very simple principle: If a web-site isn’t able to meet users’ expectations, then the design has failed to get the job done properly. Complicated and overloaded with information are two quick ways to get users to leave the web-site and search for alternatives. 

Users follow their intuition.  Users want to have control. Users want to have an experience that is comfortable and easy.

honos+creative design principles:

1. don’t make users think 

2. dont squander users' patience

3. manage to focus users' attention

4. strive for feature presentation/call-to-action 

5. effective message, content and copy

6. strive for simplicity

7. dont be afraid of white space

8. communicate effectively visually

9. basic design, functionality and navigation are our friends 

10. test early, test often

bottomline: if you want an effective site, your must test and re-test


5 Must-Have Tools for Every Startup


5 Must-Have Tools for Every Startup

Let’s face it – you are struggling to get your startup on track but failing to manage everything on your own. Well, you surely don’t have enough budget and investors to assemble a top-tier marketing team, nor do you have enough time to learn the basics of everything and become jack-of-all-trades.

In fact, the age of “if you build it, they will come” strategy is long gone and is never going to provide you the same exposure that it did in the past. However, making use of some tools will get you started on the right track and give you enough pace to kick-start your profitable business in no time.

Check out these 5 must-have tools for every startups.

1. Content Marketing Tools

It has been reported that 58% eight percent of B2B marketers increased their budget for content marketing in 2015. Content marketing tools are considered as the backbone of most online businesses today as they help in creating, distributing, and measuring effectiveness of their contents. Here are a few content marketing tools that can be useful:

Google Analytics – Google’s analytics tool makes it easy to customize reports, measure the impact of social media and mobile on website traffic.
Alexa – Though this tool is currently neglected by many, it provides data and global rankings for commercial websites and their effectiveness on the web.
SEMRush – This tool helps to track keywords and rankings, both paid and organic.
Moz – This platform can be used to monitor social media, manage SEO campaigns, and measure different online metrics.

2. Social Media Marketing Tools

Social media is considered the future of online marketing and As a startup you need word-of-mouth, and you need to start promoting you or your brand on social media starting on day 1. While there are several social media platforms available, using them one at a time might be time-consuming and boring. There’s no need to worry as social media marketing tools are there to back you up. From creating, curating, managing, scheduling and analyzing, these tools will empower your brand to capitalize the market. Here are a few that might be helpful for you:

Buffer– From creating a posting schedule to different social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and G+ pages, Buffer is an all-in-one social media marketing tool.
IFTTT– Another all-in-one tool that has recipes for your social media needs, IFTTT lets you post, read and do all sort of things with almost all social media platforms available.
Social Rank– This tool helps you to identify, organize and manage your followers and potential customers on different social media platforms.

3. Email Marketing Tools

Email marketing is probably the oldest and still one of the best ways that are proven, effective and important for any kind of businesses and startups. No matter what comes in and goes in the world of digital marketing, email marketing is what will exist forever and will always remain crucial to grab success. Here are a few email marketing tools you need to use:

MailChimp– An ESP tool that has both free and paid plans, you get some pretty useful and powerful features with MailChimp.
The Hemingway App–  Want to make you copywriting clear and conversational? This is what the tool will help you with; optimize emails.

4. Project & Employee Management Tools

Most startups and small businesses do not care much about using project and employee management tools as they handle a small number of projects and work in small groups. But, if they are to grow big eventually, they need to have the know-how of handling bigger projects and large employee and clients’ base.

Pingboard‘s CEO Bill Boebel says: “We found that most of our customers were still managing their org chart in PowerPoint or Visio — even with several hundred employees. These documents are time-consuming to maintain, difficult to share and often become out-of-date shortly after they are created. And quite frankly, org charts made this way are ugly.”

Here are a few easy-to-use and useful tools:

Org chart software– This tool helps to create and structure the members, their relationships, and relative ranks according to their positions and jobs
Basecamp– From managing projects, groups and client works, Basecamp is an all-in-one tool to manage everything at one place.
Trello– Another project management tool to give you the perspective over all of your projects, Trello makes collaboration with employees and clients easy.

5. SEO Tools

If you or your company needs to gain quick attention and visibility online, search engines need to be your top priority. From gaining leads, making sales and making an impact through online visibility, SEO is what every startup need to focus on first. Here are a few SEO tools to track and maintain the online presence:

Ahrefs– From link profile data to content referral information, Ahrefs does everything you need to track you and your competitors.
Schema Creator– Addition of schema or microdata can increase search engine visibility and Schema Creator is what does it in minutes to your website or blogs.
MozBar-It lets you perform a range of SEO tasks from your browser, including keyword ranking data analysis, schema validation, and SEO metric reporting.

credit: original article


5 Social Media Studies That Will Boost Your Marketing Skills


5 Social Media Studies That Will Boost Your Marketing Skills

To help you better understand the ever-changing social media landscape, check out these studies.

We are very grateful for all the research that has been done on social media.

Social media studies have given us great ideas to improve our social media marketing, helped us understand the psychology behind social media behaviors and made us better marketers.

To help you better understand the ever-changing social media landscape, we jumped into the latest social media research papers, hoping to discover some under-the-radar insights to help supercharge your social media marketing strategy.

In this post, I’d love to share what we discovered and bring you some insightful and surprising social media studies of 2016, sharing the key findings and actionable takeaways you can try today.

read more


Web Design tips: optimizing digital experiences for human behavior


Web Design tips: optimizing digital experiences for human behavior

For User Experience Design That Delights, Put People First

In a world saturated with web and mobile apps, great user experience (UX) design remains scarce. Maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, optimizing digital experiences for human behavior is always a challenge.

As entrepreneurs or designers, it can be easy to fall into the trap of putting process over people. Designing in a black box, obsessively working to add functionalities or developing features without anchoring every decision to the needs of users are all common issues that come with this strategy. This tunnel vision often stems from having no clear product vision, too many stakeholders, or intense pressure to meet release deadlines.

To design products that solve problems instead of creating them, entrepreneurs and UX designers should keep a few tips top of mind.

Get Feedback First

Through a project’s life cycle, user experience designers need feedback from the people the product is meant to help. Surveys and market research will only go so far. You need to recruit and interview actual target users.

When you’re ready to build something, start with a prototype. This can be anything tangible that conveys the big idea behind your product. Tools like Invision and let you create demos and get immediate audience feedback. Once you have a prototype, let users break it. Observe them testing out features. Ask questions. When they encounter a problem, you’ll know immediately, and you’ll be able to work on resolving it.

Don’t make assumptions about a user’s needs. Verify that the pain points your product addresses actually exist. When adding new features, confirm that these match up with people’s needs. Pushing out a bunch of notifications, for instance, may align with your business objectives, but those alerts might annoy users.

Plan Perfectly

Begin every project with the end in mind. Create a plan to get your product to market fast, and prioritize requirements, understanding that done is better than perfect. Make sure you have a launch plan. Know who your first users will be, and make it easy for them to share your product with your next wave of users.

Have a positioning plan. Understanding what differentiates your product can be a difference maker, and focusing on those elements during the design phase will lead to success.

Plan for your platform. If your goal is to release an app on Android and iOS, don’t expect the two versions to be identical. Think about the requirements of each operating system. Otherwise, you’ll have an app that probably doesn’t align with user expectations. As you plan, know when enough is enough. Cramming in additional features complicates the experience and can result in information overload for users, placing you back in the black box you’re climbing out of.

Develop a Product Persona

If your product were a person, whom would it resemble? Brainstorm the qualities your product would have, and make sure any product copy or messaging aligns with that persona. You’ll need to define a clear voice for your product to help users connect to it in a way that surprises and delights.

In many cases, your product is your brand. The way you talk about it should be consistent, both internally and externally. Your company may end up becoming like your product persona. That’s a good thing.

Great Design Keeps Moving

Accept that the first product won’t be perfect. In fact, it may never be perfect. That’s OK — design is iterative. Look forward to continuously improving on the basis of user feedback, and always be testing.

There’s no one formula for great user experience, but these best practices place people first, setting up your product for success. With design in mind, you’ll build an app people look forward to using.

original article