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I feel like the title of this post goes without saying, Social media is vital for the marketing of any brand or business. If a small business doesn’t even have a simple Facebook page, it will not last long I guarantee it. It’s hard to believe that all this social media buzz is only really ten or fifteen years old. Since then it has been changed, updated, replaced (remember MySpace and Bebo), been called a Godsend and criticized as the end of social interactions as we know it. Books and entire college courses have appeared over the past ten years in order to prepare the next generation of savvy marketers.  But is it really worth it? In short yes…yes….yes. It is not an option anymore a social media strategy is vital for any brand. Here are the main benefits for a brand of social media:

 

Humanize Your Brand

This may not seem obvious for brands but when you post on social media you help to create an image, a personality. Think of what you post on social media and how that reflects your personality. The same principle applies to a brand, if you’re a sports band aiming to attract young people you will post flashy photos or maybe a funny meme with a caption that you target demographic would laugh at. People in that demographic then start associating your brand with certain personality traits.

Establish Your Brand as a Leader

A well-developed marketing campaign will constantly be in front of your target audience across all social media platforms. It will never be far from your target audience’s news feed and is easily accessible. It will be the first brand they think of whenever anyone thinks of a certain item or trade, think of Skillshare who constantly promote themselves across Facebook, Instagram and especially on YouTube.

Increase Web Traffic

This is one of the immediate benefits of a social media strategy. If people constantly see your brand everywhere on multiple social media platforms, it’s easier to direct them to your website.  This in turn improves your websites visibility on search engines.

Boost Sales

Ah yes finally this is the part you’ve been waiting for. Multiple surveys have consistently shown an increase in sales for business that prioritize and develop a strong social media presence. When I say strong social media presence, I don’t just mean one post a year on a Facebook page. I mean constant posts across multiple platforms and striving to gather new likes and clicks.

Go Viral

This is the dream for any marketer to have a post go viral. If you go viral your post will be on top of every user’s newsfeed and just thinks of the amount of possible sales this could generate. This is cheaper than any marketing campaign on TV or radio and can reach a vastly bigger audience.

 

If you haven’t already, it’s time to invest in social media marketing and unleash its full potential for your brand. If you don’t your brand will fade out especially in these difficult times for businesses. Don’t waste any more time.

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One of the questions we get asked on a near daily basis is should I be using WordPress? Our response is always the same it depends on what you want to do and how much time and effort you want to put into the site. For example, if you want to create a blog of your thoughts WordPress has readymade themes and templates to help you.  Problems arise when you want to add further functionality or want to monetise your blog. Here in this blog we want to highlight some of the limitations of WordPress. Before we start don’t misunderstand us, WordPress is an incredible resource for the development of a website without a large team and in a short time frame. However, no web development tool is perfect, here are some of the things you need to consider before using WordPress:

 

Earning Limitations

You can’t run Google Adsense on your blog as it goes against WordPress’s terms and conditions for the monetisation of blogs or websites. You can apply for a WordPress advertising program called Wordads but the adds have to meet word presses standards. This may limit any possible monetisation of WordPress.

Website Can go Down Without Notice

Websites can go down without notice. Unless you’re paying attention and monitoring the site you may not notice it’s gone down, it may be down for a few hours or a few weeks. You may have to hire an agency to help you get it back up and running which adds to the list of expenses.

Security

Due to the popularity of WordPress it’s a common target for hackers and cyber criminals. There is no such thing as a 100% secure website, even if your development agency downloads all the security plugins, they can’t guarantee full security for the site.

Plugin Updates

Technology is constantly updating to improve the user experience. However, some of these updates can cause glitches or if you don’t update some features may stop working. This means your agency must constantly be working to try and keep the website and the plugins all up to date.

 

Once again, we’d like to reiterate that WordPress is a great tool for creating websites but it’s not the only tool. Consider the points above and your needs   before you start building your website. For any questions feel free to get in touch with our team.

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The Covid 19 pandemic has caused unprecedented changes in the business world. There is not a single business or sector that has been left unaffected.  This has left many employees, managers and business owners scrambling to try and adapt to this strange new climate.  Old ways of doing business and previous business norms have been thrown out the window along with any aversion to new ideas. Overnight businesses have resorted to remote work for all staff and prioritizing tasks. While many businesses won’t survive this crisis, for others this is an opportunity to rejuvenate and modernise your business. There are two fronts to approach this digital strategy for survival, remote working and the digital media. Both these elements are key, and one can’t be prioritised over the other.

 

Remote Working

This is the latest global trend changing the office life all over the world. It’s important to get used to this and ensure all employees have been given proper training on how to use the remote software and how meetings can be contacted or how work is to be submitted. Sticking to meeting times and work deadlines is key to establish a routine. Workers can be given a more flexible schedule to fit around there day and other commitments like childcare. Studies have shown that during the pandemic, without long commutes and with a flexible work schedule productivity has increased dramatically as workers could prioritize key tasks and were given more freedom.

 

Digital Media

We’ve dedicated numerous blog posts to the importance of digital strategies such as ecommerce, social media posts and a well-functioning website. If you don’t have all these functioning, you will lose out. For advice on these please see our previous posts on using social media and a website to increase sales and web traffic.

 

This is a time where we are all struggling to come to terms with this strange new reality. But these two elements have been shown through numerous surveys and studies to help businesses and improve employee welfare and performance. In these times seek out local developers for advice on how to go about implementing these changes.

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In previous blogs we’ve talked about interactivity on websites and Dark Patterns in UX design, now we’d like to highlight an often-controversial feature in web and UX design, gamification.  Gamification is the process of applying games design elements and game principles in a non-game context such as a website or an app.  The best example is probably the language learning app Duolingo, think of the experience it offers users, for every lesson you complete you achieve points, there is in app purchases with those points and a community element where you can compete against “Classmates”.  Duolingo has helped millions of people all over the world learn languages and has a dedicated following. However, some people claim gamification is manipulative, dishonest and tries to feed off people’s weaknesses, gambling and betting apps are a prime example of this where the UX design encourages frequent use. Our team at Artemee believe that there is a healthy middle ground where gamification can respect the user and create an enjoyable experience. We hope to highlight the most common features of gamification and some prime examples of their usage.

 

Page Loading Bars

The whole point of UX design is to make the experience of using a website or app as enjoyable as possible. Nothing is as boring or as annoying as waiting for a page to load or transition to the next page. To overcome this many new sites and apps have started utilizing dynamic transitions and animations between pages to hold the user’s attention.

Quizzes

This can be a double-edged sword as it increases a sites SEO ranking while at the same time if used too frequently can annoy users. Buzzfeed is famous for its use of quizzes, fun quizzes and polls is a great way engage your users and gain useful insights. But don’t overdo it!

Communities

Video games have become more social affairs, with the advent of online multiplayers people have met like minded individuals and explore the same universe. A website can benefit from creating and environment of collaboration and community by fostering a sense of community. This can be done by creating forums or in the case of Duolingo classrooms where users can interact with each other.

Points Based Features

Points can be a great way to try and encourage people to return to a site ad interact with it more frequently. This is the most common feature of gamification. Users can purchase features for points or achieve a new level on site, this creates an aim for the user to achieve.

Rewards

Another common feature is a system of rewards for the achievement of a task or for completing an action on the site. Audible ( an ebook and podcast app from Amazon) is a prime example of how to use this feature. After listening for a period of time or at certain times you are rewarded with a “badge”, such as the Night Owl badge for listening to an ebook late at night or you achieve a different rank like scholar if you listen for over 400 hours.

 

We hope you have found this post helpful and would like to remind people these features are to improve the user experience and never to be used to manipulate people. Hopefully you can use some these features to make amazing and beautiful websites.

 

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A website is one of the first points of contact many people have with a company, personality or brand, users decide within the first few seconds whether they trust a website. One of the first things people can tell on a website is whether it’s new or hasn’t been updated in years. Most users often don’t have the vocabulary to describe what makes a website look modern or what the latest web design trends are, but they’ve seen certain features so often that when those features are absent the website is seen as old fashioned or out of date. Web design trends are like fashion trends they come, and they go but for any business it’s important to keep up with these trends. Here are some of the trends that web designers are using in 2020:

Brutalist Style

Brutalism is a design trend that has come and gone out of style over the years, over the past few months many web developers have returned to this style for inspiration. Brutalism be a harsh style but with the right content it can form a memorable and beautiful aesthetic.
Aspects of the brutalist style are sharp typography and monospaced fonts with sharp edges. Dark or minimalist colour schemes are also a feature of this style. The emphasis with this style is always with the content, images often take over the majority of the space.
This style isn’t for everyone, but it can be paired with the right content to make beautiful websites. Below are examples of this style.

Immersive 3D Elements                                                                              This is an exciting new development in digital media. In previous posts we talked about interactive elements in websites and how they benefit a website. Over the past view year AR (augmented reality ) technology has been improving and becoming more cost effective and accessible to developers especially for mobile development. While this technology is not commonly used in websites immersive 3D images that take up the full screen. Immersive 3D images lead to quite striking websites that encourage users to stay on the site with their interactive features.

Mixing Photography and Graphics

Above we mentioned how the brutalist style places the content as a priority but it’s not the only style that uses images and graphics so strikingly. Young designers are making photography the main focal point on many new webpages particularly on landing pages. Overlapping custom graphics with original photography can lead to a striking and memorable image for a first-time user. This is possible one of the most common recent trends and can be seen on websites for nearly every industry.

Minimalist Navigation

As websites are being accessed from a greater variety of devices like smart watches, websites need to look as striking and appealing on different screen sizes, so designers are increasingly looking at a more minimalist design for the navigation. Minimising the navigation makes the website easier to use on smaller screens. This can be quite a challenge as you need to take great care in planning the layout to ensure all features are still there and easy to find while still enticing the user.

As we said before these are the latest trends that are prevalent in 2020, while they be as popular in 2021? Who knows? But for now incorporating these elements into your website will make it look memorable and demonstrate the artistry of your development team.

 

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