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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

7 Restoration Company Websites You Need to See

A quick online search for restoration companies shows what most of us already know — this service industry isn’t on the forefront of ground-breaking web design. However, we’ve seen how an updated website can help restoration companies bring in more business and boost search engine rankings.

To help inspire an upcoming redesign, we’re sharing the best restoration company websites we’ve seen to date.

How we selected the restoration company websites

Using the expertise of our web development, graphic design, and branding teams, we evaluated each site based on UX/UI design best practices and overall branding. We also looked at the quality of response time, visuals, navigation, layout, font use, and clarity of information. In no specific order, here are the top seven restoration company websites.

Certified Restoration, Inc. – San Diego, CA

Providing fire, flood, and mold services, Certified Restoration has a clean and simple site design that makes the page easy to navigate. The deep blue and burnt orange color palette makes important information stand out, while the simple animations and transitions add interest as you scroll through. The navigation makes it simple to learn more about the company services, and each page leads the viewer deeper into the website. Throughout each page, the subtle section breaks make it easy to take in chunks of industry-specific information without getting overwhelmed. We also really like the company’s use of customer reviews and service guarantees to draw in visitors and encourage brand trust. Certified Restoration has an all-around clean, simple site that’s attractive and pain-free to scroll through.

Screenshot of Certified Restoration Inc. homepage.

 

Simply Contents LLC – Southern California & Olympia, WA

Although the Simply Contents website is a theme site, it earned a spot on our list for its functionality, color choices, and clarity of information. The site makes it easy to understand services not many have heard of unless they’ve experienced a fire or water disasters, catering to the customer first. Since it is a single page site, it lacks the diversity and depth offered with custom websites. However, this layout also encourages visitors to contact the company for more information or to request a quote.

Screenshot of the Simply Contents homepage. Simply Contents are emergency & disaster inventory packing specialists in Southern California & Olympia, WA.

 

Rapid Dry Restoration – Northern Colorado

Another custom design, the Rapid Dry Restoration website is a clean design and easy to navigate. The blue and red color palette makes for cohesive branding and is also used throughout the site images. Simple animations on buttons and a rotating header add visual interest without being overly interactive. It’s easy to understand the services this restoration company provides and the permanent header is a great call to action for visitors seeking immediate emergency help.

Screenshot of the Rapid Dry Restoration homepage.

Rapid Dry Restoration is a water damage restoration company in Northern Colorado.

 

Service First Restoration – Southern California

From first impressions of the Service First Restoration page, you see a person pulling back a visual layer of effect. This shows the old, destroyed property being peeled away as a beautiful, modern look is revealed. This visual effect speaks huge volumes for storytelling! This opening story is further emphasized with a nice quote at the bottom of the slider,  that brings it all together! The menu is clean and simple, the site design has a great palette of two tones of color (blue and orange) with nice white space filling in the remainder. This site is definitely an example of great design and brand messaging.

Screenshot of Service First Restoration Inc. homepage.

Service First Restoration Inc. is a professional damage reconstruction based in Southern California.

 

American Fire Restoration LLC – New York Metro Area

Rounding out our top restoration company websites is American Fire Restoration based out of New York. This company switched up the traditional theme by adding their own flair with services boxes under the hero image and a fully-functioning footer navigation. The sections are divided nicely, making it easy to transition from services to the company’s mission statement. Overall, this a well-designed theme that does its job getting information across and sharing details to potential customers.

Screenshot of the American Fire Restoration homepage.

American Fire Restoration, LLC is an emergency restoration company in the New York Metro Area.

 

Accuworks – Nashville, TN

Among restoration companies, great minds clearly think alike. Once again employing a blue and orange palette, Nashville-based Accuworks takes a more subtle approach to this attractive color combination. Accuworks’ hues are some of the darker ones we’ve seen – and very easy on the eyes. A soothing navy blue tone is the primary color throughout the site. The contrasting orange brings the eyes to links and calls to action, expertly drawing the user’s focus and inviting them to explore the site. A video featuring President Jeff Stockton serves as the focal point of the home page, even matching his madras shirt to the website’s color scheme. Each staff photo on the “About Us” page follows suit with appropriate coordinating orange and blue attire. Some thought has clearly been put into emphasizing the brand’s signature colors.

Screenshot of Accuworks homepage.

Accuworks is a restoration service company based in Nashville, TN

 

TMP Cleaning & Restoration Services – Eastern Massachusetts

While utilizing a premium WordPress theme, TMP Cleaning & Restoration Services of eastern Massachusetts has certainly made this template their own. Above-the-fold content features a handful of striking images, each featuring a call to action for a particular service. TMP boldly emphasizes their 24/7 service in the main navigation menu, giving customers confidence that their home is protected day or night. When viewing the website on a phone, this mobile-responsive design hides the larger menu options, but keeps their hotline number and service hours prominently displayed – which is fantastic in the event that your desktop has been damaged in a fire or flood. The navigation also breaks down their services between residential and commercial, so users can easily find information specific to their unique property needs.

Screenshot of TMP Cleaning & Restoration Services homepage.

TMP Cleaning & Restoration Services is a restoration company based in Eastern Massachusetts.

 

Key Takeaways From The Restoration Web Designs

Looking through these restoration company websites, it’s easy to see how simple graphics, easy navigation, and attention to a cohesive color scheme can make or break a site. Amazingly, the reason these restoration companies stood out is largely due to the lack of web design competition in the respective industry. For restoration and service industry websites, it goes to show that a little effort can pay major returns when it comes to investing time and effort into a great, well-designed website.

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Why CRM is Important for Organizations

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, which is a term that refers to practices, strategies, and technologies companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data. Keeping the customer at the heart of your company’s strategy is key to building your brand.

Running a business is tough. As a small business owner, CRMs provide reassurance. This software was created to help companies effectively manage their customer base and to follow up on potential customers, so their efforts can be focused on other areas of the business.

Sounds pretty good, right? And yet, many companies will try to bypass investing in a software to support customer relationship management.

Why Excel is Not the Answer

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Wait, can’t I do all of this in Excel?”

If you are just starting out and have less than 5 customers, yes, you can input customer information manually into an Excel sheet. The problem with this approach is that it is not scalable; looking ahead, you will want to double or triple revenue, and the time you and your employees will have to take manually recording customer information is going to reduce the capability to follow up on valuable opportunities.

Another drawback is inputting customer information into different locations, or sheets make it difficult to analyze the information. In order to discover which strategies are working the best for your customer retention, you should be able to quickly view historical data. Viewing the complete history of your company’s interaction with a client sheds light on where things went wrong in unsuccessful transactions, or how customer loyalty was built through successful communications.

Diving Deeper into CRM

“CRM” is the name used for any system or model selected to manage a company’s interactions with its current or future clients or customers. Though the available software differs, the objective is to allow the company to follow customers throughout the customer lifecycle. The goal is to improve customer service relationships and assist in customer retention, thereby raising profits.

At its most basic level, CRM software consolidates customer information and documents into a single database.

Technical Offerings

Below are the things that a CRM can do for you. Each element takes a small bit of learning, but once you have the skills, you can greatly boost your sales success!

Sales Force Automation

Some CRM systems automate certain business functions of the sales cycle. This is especially useful for crafting personalized messages to follow up on lukewarm or cold leads that human sales personnel give up on or completely forget about. In sales, it’s rarely a “no,” it’s usually a “not right now.”

Marketing Automation

CRM tools with this feature can automate repetitive tasks to enhance marketing efforts. For example, when a new lead is generated via the customer entering their email address into a landing page, the system may automatically send newsletters and marketing materials to keep their interest.

Geolocation Technology

CRM software can include this type of technology, which creates geographically relevant marketing campaigns. One awesome application for this approach is for when disastrous weather occurs and the CRM software reaches out to check in on the customers’ well-being.

Workflow Automation

CRM systems help businesses streamline mundane workloads, enabling employees to focus on high-level tasks.

Follow the Customer

Some CRMs can be used to gain insight into customers’ digital behavior and preferences outside of your area. This is done with data created by mobile payment from a digital wallet and passbook technology that tracks the customer after they’ve left your site!

Human Resource Management

CRM systems can be used to help track internal company information, such as employee contact information and performance reviews.

Operational Benefits

Customer Snapshot. One place to store all of your customer information means you can easily generate reports to show the health of your customer relationships. Therefore, the software is fully aware of your customers’ needs so you don’t have to be.

Instant Metrics

Going along with this customer snapshot, you can generate reports on various aspects of your business automatically. This data can be used to see gaps in the customer relationships, forecast trends and plan for the future.

No Mixed or Duplicate Messages

Keep every member of your team on the same page. Does one customer need an immediate follow-up call? Does a customer relationship that has gone stale need a little rekindling? A solid CRM also means the chance for duplicate messages to be sent to the same customer is greatly reduced.

Personalization

Tracking offline and online activity allows organizations to personalize content and offer the greatest value to the customer.

Reminders

Integrate the CRM with your company calendars to relate important events or tasks with the relevant client. The CRM can also suggest suitable times to contact the customer.

Behavioral Analysis

As mentioned, some CRMs track the customer’s digital path after they’ve left your site. This path can provide valuable information your company can use to really know your customer, which helps to build buyer personas, provide value with relevant content, etc. When you are able to view real-time customer actions in everyday life, you have the opportunity to see where and how your product fits in with their lifestyle.

Companies are now trying to combine digital, mobile, social and offline CRM data. The implications for enhancing customer relationships with this data are expansive and, as consumers, it is something we can all look forward to experiencing.

Let’s Sum Up The Benefits

For most businesses that are just getting off the ground, departmental jobs are mixed across the company’s employees.

A CRM system synchronizes, automates and organizes all of the customer-facing areas within your company, from sales to marketing to customer service. By providing your employees with one centralized place for storing customer data, internal and external communications are promoted. Creating a snapshot of all of the data touch points is one of the challenges big companies face, which further supports the point that investing in a CRM system from the start is necessary, as it can be expanded as your company grows.

Interested in learning more ways to make your company grow?

Elevare works with you to create memorable experiences throughout the customer lifecycle using stunning web pages, digital advertising, and content marketing.

Just fill out the form below to get started with a free 30-minute consultation.

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Our Top 9 Picks for the Best Restaurant Websites in 2018

We all enjoy finding a delectable dining experience when we decide to cruise the town in search of the next eatery to please our pallets. But how do we search for this wonderful new place to indulge our cravings? At Elevare, we had a different kind of craving to satisfy. What restaurants had the best digital presentation of their food.

We decided to put our digital search skills to the test, searching restaurants around the nation to find the best online experience that satisfied our craving for a beautiful restaurant website. In the end, we found 9 stunning examples of what we thought a restaurant website should be.

From our research, we have to admit that most restaurant websites we found weren’t very exciting and didn’t provide clear information like directions or what’s on their menu. A shocking amount of restaurants still don’t even have a website! A great restaurant website should entice you to head straight to the restaurant to devour their delicious-looking food.

How We Chose the Top Restaurant Websites

While there are some fairly decent looking restaurant themes, we wanted to reward the eateries who created a custom website from scratch that is just as unique as their restaurants.

To the best of our knowledge, every restaurant website we choose is custom-made and utilizes the best practices of UI/UX design. The criteria we used to evaluate the sites include consistent branding, clear messaging, a custom, non-themed design, and typically was not a major chain. Here are our top 9 restaurant website picks in no particular order.

Yeah Burger

The first thing you notice about Yeah Burger’s website is the inviting images of their food in an artistic way. The sliding background is fun and interactive but doesn’t overpower the site. The text is still easy to read and the site is easy to navigate. The color scheme and images are warm and inviting and almost make you feel like you’ve walked into one of their restaurants. The whole site showcases their philosophy of “Keepin’ It Real”.

Yeah Burger featured on Elevare best restaurant website blog This website has inviting images of their food in an artistic way. Image credit: Yeah Burger

Farinella Italian Bakery

Farinella Italian Bakery Pizza & Panini’s website has a fun, family friendly look and almost feels like a carnival. They have very consistent branding throughout and display a great use of a serif font! The red and yellow are powerful, hunger-driving colors that are perfect for a busy Italian restaurant and also ties seamlessly with the colors of America’s favorite food, Pizza! We like that they make it easy to find the directions without even having to click on a seperate link and that you can quickly make a reservation or order online. That why is simple for customers to navigate if they are in a hurry.

Farinella Italian Bakery featured on Elevare best restaurant website blog A fun, family friendly look and almost feels like a carnival. Image credit: Farinella Italian Bakery

Michi Ramen

A simple, clean website with easy navigation is the crux of Michi Ramen’s website. It displays a great use of subtle colors to put the focus on their food and restaurant information. It’s not too busy or too robust and very clear to see what they offer. We like how they explain how to order your Ramen first to make the menu less confusing for first time visitors. Overall the website is well thought out and very user friendly

Michi Ramen featured on Elevare best restaurant website blog A display of great use of subtle colors to put the focus on their food and restaurant information. Image credit: Michi Ramen

Pizza Express

Ok ok, we made an exception here. Though we normally don’t include chain restaurants in our votes, Pizza Express’s website really stood out. It features a great use of simple color schemes. The white space is used very nicely to bring out the direction and flow of the user experience. The social widgets are well-styled and the verbiage is humorous and inviting at the same time. We love that their menu focuses on events like Mother’s Day and fun kid friendly events to show they have a family friendly atmosphere.

Pizza Express featured on Elevare best restaurant website blog The social widgets are well-styled and the verbiage is humorous and inviting. Image credit: Pizza Express

 

Caravan Restaurants

We are excited to present this in our list. We love the simple design and great use of space. The black and white, almost grunge feel is sophisticated at the same time as being industrial in nature. We have seen this trend in the past couple years, but Caravan Restaurants is one of the best at making it work! We also like that you are instantly directed to pick the restaurant closest to you, so you know are getting the most up to date information such as hours and menu items for that location. That also makes it seem like each location is its own separate restaurant, giving it a more local hometown feel.

Caravan Restaurants featured on Elevare best restaurant website blog

The black and white, grunge feel is sophisticated at the same time as being industrial in nature. Image credit: Caravan Restaurants

Little Goat

Little Goat is everything we wanted Flash sites to be back in the day. Though this site is not responsive as far as mobile implementation, we had to give props to the creativity and unique experience this site provides. From the illustrations and animations to the use of bold and light sans-serif fonts in a well-styled and interactive design, this pick is one of our favorite creative sites. Plus if they took that much to craft their website, just imagine how fun-for-your-mouth their food is going to be!

Little Goat featured on Elevare best restaurant website blog

For creativity and unique experience, this site provides a well-styled and interactive design. Image credit: Little Goat

 

Big Apple Hot Dogs

Flat design, parallax animations, and clever illustrations provide a fun and engaging experience for this New York Style Hot Dog Restaurant name appropriately as Big Apple Hot Dogs. The clever hot dog illustrations also give potentially boring menu descriptions a fun interactive feel to keep people browsing their website. Though the site is quick to browse, we know from development that this site was no easy feat. Tie it in with a seamless, responsive experience, this site is one of our favorites!

Big Apple Hot Dogs featured on Elevare best restaurant website blog

Flat design, parallax animations, and clever illustrations provide a fun and engaging experience. Image credit: Big Apple Hot Dogs

 

Salsa Brava Fresh Mexican Grill

When you think about Mexican restaurants, you usually think of vibrate colors and bold flavors. Salsa Brava’s website captures the essences of a great Mexican restaurant while still maintaining a simple and modern feel. The site is easy to navigate and very user friendly. The top banner pulls you in with delicious images of their food. Their color scheme utilizes red and yellow to make visitors hungry, but are also fun and festive without being too overpowering. Overall their website is fresh and lively just like their food.

Salsa Brava Fresh Mexican Grill featured on Elevare best restaurant website blog

The site captures the essences of a great Mexican restaurant while still maintaining a simple and modern feel. Image credit: Salsa Brava Fresh Mexican Grill

 

Urban Egg Eatery

Fun, inviting, and delicious-looking food make your eyes wide and your stomach growl!  Urban Egg’s website has a beautiful and bright color scheme perfect for a breakfast restaurant. It encourages the visitor to wake up and get ready for their day with a meal at this breakfast eatery. The site is easy to navigate and laid out with a nice array of information to help you find just what you are looking for.  An updated Instagram feed lets you know this restaurant is upbeat and social. We also like that the main focus of the website is the importance of community and how they donate to local charities and schools. You get the feeling that you will be treated like an important part of their family from the first time you walk into the restaurant.

Urban Egg Eatery featured on Elevare best restaurant website blog

A beautiful and bright color scheme perfect for a breakfast restaurant. Image credit: Urban Egg Eatery

 

Top Restaurant Website Takeaways

Searching for the top restaurant websites made it very apparent how important a well-designed website is to the user experience. To make a restaurant website stand out, it should be easy to navigate, have a clean design, bright and beautiful images, and utilize the best practice of UX/UI design, as well as showcasing the most important reason for going to that establishment; THE FOOD! It was even more baffling how many restaurants don’t even have a website.

* Feel like we missed an amazing restaurant website? Send your submission over to info@elevareagency.com.

Want Your Website to Look like One of These?

Elevare designs stunning custom restaurant websites that will set you apart in your industry. From beginning to end, we create a unique and amazing experience for you and your site visitors. If you want a site that’s like none other, look no further! Just fill out the form below to get started with a free 30 minute consultation.

Check out our review of “Our Top 6 Picks for the Best Roofing Websites in 2017“.

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How to Use Pinterest in Your Company’s Marketing Strategy

When you hear of Pinterest, do you automatically think of recipes, crafts, and endless hours spent scrolling through a sea of pins? While the social media platform has a reputation as a place for women, the number of men using Pinterest doubled in 2014. And though those numbers are two years old at the time of this blog, think of the number of potential customers for your business.

What is Pinterest?

Having dubbed itself as “the world’s catalog of ideas,” Pinterest is pretty much that. Launched in March 2010, the social media network features the ability to ‘pin’ anything that can be found on the internet to user created boards. The platform is commonly known for its collections of recipes and crafts, but if it catches a person’s eye, it can be saved.

Think of the boards as digital bulletin boards without losing push pins in the process. Boards are used to organize ideas and break user’s interests into categories. You can have as few or as many boards as you like. The author of this blog personally has 25 different boards on their Pinterest account. The boards I use most often are titled ‘running,’ ‘film photography,’ ‘food,’ ‘apartment decor,’ ‘yarn,’ and what I call ‘wardrobe updating.’ Secret boards were introduced in 2012 and allow only the creator of the board to view the contents, unless they add a collaborator to also pin.

How Does It Benefit Any Business?

Businesses of any size can reap absolute benefits from using Pinterest. It is a great source for back links. These are a crucial SEO ranking signal and a boost to your overall visibility online. It also falls under referral traffic which is argued by some as the number one benefit of Pinterest to any business.

Think of Pinterest as another way to show off and share your knowledge of your specific business or industry. As an image based platform, if you include even a single image or graphic on every page of your website, that is an opportunity for someone to pin your content. A single pin can be active for more than a year on Pinterest, a phenomena addressed further in a moment.

People can link to your content via widgets. What is a widget? It isn’t an abstract object from a fourth grade math problem. Instead, it’s the little red ‘Save’ button that usually appears on a photo when you hover the cursor over it for a few seconds. Widgets can be created for any photo or graphic you have on your website, opening the door for visitors to share every inch of your website.

Does Pinterest Help My Content Stay Fresher than Twitter?

It’s an ongoing strategy session for marketers and businesses who use online marketing alike. How do you get your content in front of people and keep it there, or at least for a few minutes for engagement? We’ve all seen how quickly tweets are pushed down a Twitter feed and Facebook posts are constantly adjusted by the platform’s algorithms. What worked last month – or even last week – could soon be outdated.

Enter Pinterest and its ability to see pins for content that is more than a few days old. If you’ve used Pinterest for any amount of time, you’ve seen pins that are at least a year or two old. How does this happen? One person liked that content and saved it to a board. Someone new came along, began following that person, also took an interest in it, and saved the pin. The cycle keeps moving along as long as Pinterest exists.

Exactly how many pins on Pinterest are re-pins? According to a September 2015 infographic from Social Marketing Writing, 80 percent. When you think of the 72.5 million people who use Pinterest, that’s a lot of pins floating on the internet since early 2010 and high odds of your content being continuously recycled.

How to Engage with Other Users

Like any social media platform, there are many ways you can engage with users. Our favorites for Pinterest start with the simple fact that people love sales, discounts, coupons, and any way to save a little money. Take advantage of Pinterest’s image base to share sales and drive traffic to your website or brick-and-mortar store.

Give your followers more opportunities to interact by using several images on each of your web pages. This goes back to the widgets discussed earlier in this blog. The more options people have, the more likely Pinterest users visiting your website will pin content.

If you’re looking to give your overall search engine optimization efforts another boost, take advantage of rich pins. Consider these citations specifically for Pinterest, individual pins that use meta-tags. Articles or mostly text content will have a headline, the author, story description, and link in its pin. A product or service can have real-time pricing, availability, and where to buy included. Not only are you giving yourself a little help in the SEO department, you’re giving your customers even more valuable information about your company and services.

Don’t be afraid to respond to questions and comments left on your pins. Like any other social media network, Pinterest provides space at the bottom of each pin to comment. You can also tag a person which will notify them of the comment on the pin. Just remember to follow the basics of responding to online comments at all times.

How Can Elevare Help Me?

While we can’t help you cull out the many delicious looking recipes that you’ll make someday from your boards, we can give your business another boost online. Pinterest may have started out as a place for people to save recipes and plan weddings, but we know it’s grown to much more than that. Whether it’s helping you build a strategy to further engage your customers or create a plan for restarting a listless campaign, we can help you use Pinterest to grow your business and bottom line.

Are you ready to grow your social media presence? Elevare has had great success helping people with social media goals including awareness campaigns for new business launches and conversion campaigns to grow revenue.

To get started, fill out the form below and we will contact you within the hour to start the conversation towards your success!



Does My Newest Product or Service Need a New Domain or Website?

The hours, weeks, and months spent bringing a new product or service for your business from an idea to reality have reached the end. In the next phase, you’ll introduce it to your current and potential customers, expanding your business in the process. Congratulations!

But there’s one sticking point in this final phase – a friend of a friend heard that you’re supposed to create a new domain name and or website for the new offering. A new website? You may be now thinking of the weeks it took to create your current business website and wondering how you missed budgeting for such time and expense for this new offering to have a website. No need to hit the panic button and bring the scheduled introduction to a halt, you don’t need a new domain or website for a new product or service. Sure, if you have limitless marketing money for such things, this could be an option. But for many businesses, creating a new domain or website to promote an individual product or service is unnecessary.

Instead, there are many ways you can approach your new product or service in terms of promotion. Commonly, businesses use campaigns, landing pages, and content offers to spread the word. It doesn’t matter which of these routes you choose, any promotion will require planning, organizing, and strategy long before the promotion itself begins.

Campaign

There are two ways you can approach using a campaign to promote a new product or service – the Apple way or the Beyonce way. For Apple, the lead up to the launch happens over weeks and months, leaning on social media and using it to your advantage. The Beyonce way has little or no buzz before the product arrives innocuously overnight, but quickly gains steam through word-of-mouth and digital marketing.

Social Media

We talk all of the time about the power of social media, but it’s easy to overdo it during a campaign. With so many ideas and concepts for posts coming together, we understand the excitement. Post variation is nearly required but with a little flowing creativity, they can be quite effective. Snap a quick photo of someone writing notes on the project or a short video of behind the scenes production without giving away details is common. Custom hashtags fit perfectly in here and can help build anticipation around the impending launch. Encourage your followers, fans, and customers to join in with the hashtags. The same hashtags can be used for a Twitter chat to continue promoting the offering once it has launched, for example.

Email Marketing

Another steadfast way to get the word out about a new product or service is through email marketing. With the various segmented email lists you have, target those who the new product or service would help or address an issue they have. This can be known based on customer feedback or based on a buyer persona. Offer behind the scenes photos and or videos of the creation process to your email subscribers and house everything on email-only landing pages. Letting people in on the process is another way to use email marketing for engagement.

Traditional Mailers

While not the first move for new product or service launches in the digital age, traditional mailers can still reach customers who aren’t active on social media and email. Self-mailers and postcards are popular sizes and leave plenty of room for letting people know about the new offering through whatever attention grabbing design and copy you come up with.

Landing Pages

Any landing page created for the new offering should be specifically tied to the marketing campaign. The product page will have content aimed to appeal to all customers of your business, with education as the main goal. Using landing pages for a new offering removes most of the usual distractions found on product pages and keeps the focus on the new item with a single message.

Landing pages generally take one of three forms. The most common are the short and simple click through. This page takes a customer directly to the shopping cart or calendar to book an appointment, for example. A lead capturing page looks to collect information about people interested in the product or service with emails to follow up afterward. A microsite is meant to be its own mini-website within your existing website, including with its own URL. These are usually used for large campaigns for brand launches or a popular product.

Content Offer

Having a content offer attached to the new offering can sweeten the pot, per say, whether it is a discount, coupon, free consultation or trial, or demonstration. Whatever you decide to go with, be triple sure it is high quality and has a value to your audience. People don’t like to give out their contact information for little in return. Conversely, putting your best foot forward will lead to repeat customers and hopefully new ones as returning customers tell friends and family about your business. Also, previously created blogs related to your new offering can be packaged and used as an additional content offer.

How Can Online Marketing Help a Company Spread the Word About New Services or Products?

It’s all about the strategy and planning you put into the marketing of your new offering. Online marketing is the final product of everything you do leading up to the launch itself. It also gives you yet another presence online. Using online marketing can be viewed as an example of how engaged your company is with all things digital and that you understand the importance of it.

Elevare Can Launch Your Product to New Heights

Whether you’re launching your first or seventh new product or service, Elevare can help you reach as many current and potential customers as possible. strong background in local search citations, marketing, social media and more. working with clients from before, during, and after a campaign is finished, our goal is you to have as much success as possible. Whatever your plan is, we’re here to help put it in motion.

Let Us Help You Promote Your Product or Service Effectively. Get a FREE 30 Minute Consultation!

We would like to offer you a FREE 30 minute consultation to review your product or service and help launch your business to new heights. Just fill out the form below and our marketing specialist will contact you within the hour!

Should We Change Our Business Name or Brand?

When you started your company, whether six months or many years ago, odds are you offered certain products or services. Flash forward to present day and the idea you had has flourished, growing well beyond your initial offerings.

When the business started, the company name aligned perfectly with your products and/or services. Now that you’ve grown well beyond humble beginnings, that name doesn’t encompass your full brand or offerings. Or if it does, it may be only one or two original offerings.

The question at hand, unfortunately, doesn’t have a black and white answer, instead is fraught with gray areas. Should we change our business name or brand to reflect our current offerings?

We have compiled the most important areas companies of all size should take into consideration when decided if a rebrand is necessary.

 

Why Might There Be a Need to Consider a Rebrand?

The why behind considering a change of any magnitude to your brand has a great effect on how you’ll proceed. Is the change due to a merger of two companies where a new brand will be necessary? Has your brand become stagnant and could use a makeover? Does your current brand not engage new customers the way you had hoped?

If the company is a relatively new business, say under 2 years old, you could most likely make a relatively seamlessly switch. Remember that all social profiles, pages, web pages, citations, and anything else you have online will need to be updated with the new branding. The Big 3 (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) have different allowances and rules for changing profile information.

 

What Is the Cost of Building a New Brand?

As with any project, the best thing to start with is a budget for how much the project will cost, the cost of building a new brand also has many variables and therefore many different answers. Fear not, however, because Elevare has the experience to help guide you and your business through this process and help cover all the bases.

In today’s market, general startup businesses usually spend between $2,000 to $10,000 on startup costs for branding, design, websites, marketing consultations and more. On the other hand, established small businesses can spend upwards of $20,000 to $60,000 to rebrand. The size of the company and overhead, website size, and a number of products or services offered factor into how much the project will cost.

 

Are There Any Legal Changes to the Company?

Even if your brand is staying the same, a name change will carry legal requirements and considerations, in addition to a few common courtesies to others. The Small Business Administration has several recommendations for businesses in the process of or considering a name change.

Check trademarks and available domain names. Even a variation of a name could be trademarked and cause legal issues down the road, regardless of if you or others think it’s different enough. If your domain name will be changing, be proactive early in the process. See if one or several possible new business names and or variations are available. This will lessen the stress should you find out your first or second choice is already taken.

All business types except for sole proprietors should notify their secretary of state to change business names. During this process is when you’ll be notified or discover if the name you’re looking to change to is already in use by your state or another business.

The IRS along with state and local revenue agencies will need to be notified of any name changes for your business. Additionally, business licenses and permits will need to be updated to reflect any name change. Usually, a small business falls under a category of a sole proprietor, corporation, or partnership and doesn’t need to change its employer identification number (EIN) with a name change. But, we recommend checking with the IRS to cover your bases and lessen the chances of a tax surprise in the future.

Under the area of common courtesies, you’ll want to develop a plan to notify your customers of a business name change and have the change reflected on all loan paperwork, leases, bank accounts, and other important paperwork.

 

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Should I Survey My Customers?

If at all possible, ask your key customers their opinion on the pending name change before it happens. Nobody likes to be blindsided. It’s another way to show your customers that you appreciate the relationship you have with one another. Allowing input can further build those relationships and potentially avoid launching a rebranding that is rejected by new and old customers alike.

Blind surveys to customers will give invaluable insight and honesty you can consider and work with during the rebranding process. Remember to tip off vendors and suppliers as they will need to update paperwork on their end.

Surveying customers can also lead to the discovery of information you didn’t expect. Perhaps it’s not your brand at all that’s an issue, but they left because of a service or product you used to offer but don’t anymore. Getting this information during this process is crucial to understanding your need for a rebrand.

 

What Kind of Marketing Will Be Involved in This Change?

Again, this hinges on the size of your business. The bigger the business, the more costly the rebrand is going to be. Consider everything your business uses in its marketing. Common areas that will need to be involved include:

  • Corporate identity/product packaging such as letterhead
  • Business cards
  • Promotional materials
  • Signage
  • Any printed materials.
  • Sales materials and tools such as website, brochures, presentation materials, and templates.
  • Interactive tools such as an email newsletter, branding used on other websites not your own, and company blog.

 

What Are the Pros and or Cons to Changing Your Business Name or Brand?

Possible reasons you may need a rebranding could include customers don’t engage with your company like they used to, competition in the area has grown and your company’s image is stagnant, or you want a modernized look and feel to your brand.

Regardless, if you are considering a rebrand there’s something that you feel needs changing. One of the best things you can do is write a list of pros and cons regarding the change, why you feel it’s necessary and if there are any other issues that may be affecting your decision.

Is there disconnect between your company, offerings, and customers at this point, possibly leaving everyone a bit out of the loop? A change can be an exciting time for the business and customers alike, giving a fresh spark for everyone.

A branding change can be a fun, exciting process for all those involved. Putting everything on the table and working to cover all the angles will help to ensure your success. Remember that a clear plan will help to abate current customer confusion, and that communication is key. A rebranding announcement on social media, press release, even emails to current clients are all very important during launch phase.

 

What’s the Final Conclusion on Whether a Change Should Be Made?

There’s a lot to look at and consider when the question of changing your business name or brand is raised. If you do decide that a change could give your company the persona it needs after years of growth, Elevare can help you from the first day to the final day.

We also offer free consultations and free estimates to companies creating a new company and brand or considering a change to their current one. We can help you discover the best solution to move forward with growing your company and making your vision a reality.

Authentic Marketing? But Isn’t That What We’re Already Doing?

What is Authentic Marketing?

The term has been around for several years, being described by Forbes magazine in 2012 as “the true self-expression of a sincerely held business philosophy.” For some business people, the described may seem rhetorical because would you be in business if you didn’t believe in what you did every day?

The idea comes down to creating a conversation between your brand or company and your audience that’s natural and genuine. Instead of sounding like an on-going sales pitch or public relations move, it includes acknowledging shortcomings as mistakes do happen in life. Authentic marketing requires digging deep to find out what your audience wants, needs or has concerns about. The thought of “isn’t that what we’ve been doing in our marketing” may be going through your head. Take a moment to think about your strategy and how you’ve been reaching and engaging your audience.

Have you been backing up the words with action? That’s authentic marketing.

Trends Pushing Authentic Marketing

Blame – or don’t – the millennials who want transparency and honesty from brands and companies they are consumers with. Authenticity has shifted brands and companies from goal orientation to knowing and doing exactly what they believe in. The path of marketers and reaching consumers has gone from structured and a near perfect line to a string of yarn being batted around by a pet.

Customer and consumer wants, needs, and concerns change on a daily basis and companies have begun listening and adjusting accordingly, even on the fly if necessary. Consumers want to be able to relate to your brand and company on a near personal level before handing over the cash.

Why Marketing to Different Generations is Key

We know we’re different from our parents in everything from the music we prefer to how we respond to marketing. Odds are if you have children, they will or are different in how they relate to marketers also. But what generation people fall into has become key to how best to reach them as consumers and companies have begun to tailor to specific generations.

Keppler Speakers shares advice on marketing to different generations.


Seth Mattison on Selling and Marketing to the Generations

 

Generation Y (1996 – present)

Between the roller coaster economic ride in their life and technology boom and bust, this generation is a little tricky to pin down for marketers. Though they are young, Gen Y has money to spend and will spend it, but only if they feel a value and receive satisfying information to their questions and concerns. People in this generation have been exposed to a global perspective since birth and carry a strong sense of independence and individuality. Real life examples along with truth and realness engage this generation more than anything.

Millennials (1981 – 1995)

With more than 80 million people born in this 14-year time frame, the Millennials have surpassed the Baby Boomers as the largest age group. Millennials have grown up with technology. Does anyone else remember caring for their Gigapet in the 1990s while walking around listening to music on a Sony Walkman CD player? Even with the technology, this generation will buy online as often as buying from a brick and mortar store. Brands and companies have to target millennials with a strong online presence, whether by a website, blog, or social media.

Generation X (1965 – 1980)

Often called ‘the forgotten generation’, wedged between their Baby Boomer parents and Millennial children, Generation X could be called skeptical as they don’t merely go along with trends and styles. Currently, at their prime earning and spending years, the majority of Generation X use mobile devices and social media on a regular basis. Raised before the internet, this generation has stymied marketers with their nearly even split of engaging through traditional and digital marketing alike.

Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964)

This generation was in their formative years during the post-World War II suburban boom and turbulent 1960s. Generally speaking, they lean on hard work, individualism, and social activism. Most are retired or close to retirement age and are most likely to be bargain hunting on all goods and services. Though Baby Boomers place a lot of value on face-to-face communication, they regularly search online for information and utilize calls and emails to a company if necessary. Their history with social activism comes into play as lots of Baby Boomers are interested in knowing what your business stands for.

Silent Generation (mid-1920s – 1945)

This generation looks for value for their money, a sense of comfort and belonging. Traditional marketing with flyers, newsletters, and postcards is still a great way to reach them. But don’t disregard the Silent Generation as technologically illiterate as many are active and use the internet in their information searches.

Elevare Can Help You Find Your True Voice

If you’ve written or read through your marketing campaigns and felt a little something was missing, we can help. Whether it’s fine-tuning your company’s voice to reach new customers or brainstorming ways to engage a new generation of consumers, Elevare has the tools to do so. From building a custom website to managing your social media presence, our staff is well versed in reaching and engaging all generations of consumers.

 

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9 Powerful Ways to Quickly Grow Your Business

How would you quickly increase your revenue as a business owner? Tighten the purse strings on upgrades or hold off on adding to the staff? Perhaps, but there are many ways to have your revenues trending upward. So many ways that asking a handful of people at a chamber of commerce gathering could fill up several pieces of scratch paper. But to make it a little easier, we’ve gathered our favorite seven ways to quickly increase your revenue.

Expand Distribution Channels

Expansion might seem like an expense you can’t take on when looking to increase your revenue, but sometimes you need to spend money to make money. If your website has heavy traffic searching for your products and services, offer a way for customers to make purchases through it. eCommerce additions are a relatively quick way to increase the bottom line. Furthermore, a commission-based sales person or putting together a promoted event are also great ways to expand your reach and distribution in a short amount of time.

Embrace Social Media

Another way to expand for relatively little money is to add to your social media and online presence. Maybe you’ve been thinking about adding a Google+ or Twitter account to combine with your weekly Facebook presence. With more and more engagement for businesses happening on social media, taking the plunge into a new network is a great idea. Not only can the same information be shared across platforms, it can be pulled from the archives in a few months and re-used to engage new customers.

Re-Engage Your Clients

What about that dusty Excel spreadsheet with your customers’ addresses, including voluntarily provided emails? Putting together an email marketing campaign to promote new products or services, send a friendly monthly reminder, or a subscriber-only discount can increase your revenues over the long haul.

Network the Old Fashioned Way – Sort Of

Think of all the people you work with in your business – vendors, suppliers, distributors, customers and even your friends and family. Talking with others about your company and any special services you may offer can draw new leads and possible sales. Plus chamber of commerce events, industry conferences and tradeshows are great ways to meet other like-minded people, however, those events take extra time and planning.

Scheduling time away from your business, planning who will cover when you’re away can become overwhelming. Enter LinkedIn, called Facebook for business professionals by some. A social network for professionals, the site has groups you can join to ask a question or two or provide an answer to others. It’s a digital way to talk with industry colleagues and get your business presence out there through networking when you’re crunched for time.

Update Your Collateral

When was the last time you updated the brochures, pictures, and other handout material for your business and its products or services? Was it a few summers ago when you told the intern to surprise you with a brochure? Odds are your business has grown since then and isn’t accurately reflected in those brochures and other materials.

Out-of-date materials, in both appearance and information, can bring sales and leads to a halt. This is especially true if you’ve launched new services or products since the material was created, giving the illusion you’re a little lackadaisical in keeping up on your own products. The same can be said for your website and what information and material are presented through it. Remember, first impressions count, especially in sales.

Rekindle an Old Flame or Two

Many studies have found that old customers provide more revenue over time than constantly selling yourself and products to new customers. Longtime customers also have experience with your company, how you operate, the quality of service and products, and are great ambassadors to others on your behalf. If a customer has purchased from your company, but it’s been several years, touch base with them. Ask how their experience has been since their purchase and if there is any way you could assist them with an upgrade.

Repurpose, Recycle, Reuse

Going green isn’t limited to physical products and services when trying to increase your revenue. If your company has or had a blog, old posts can be brushed up for a relaunched series or packaged into an ebook for customers to download. Inbound marketing leader HubSpot found 76 percent of its website traffic came from old blog posts, and a whopping 92 percent of lead generation came from those posts. And by old, we don’t mean the very first blog post you wrote, but posts as new as a month or two ago.

Did you have a sale or promotion a year or two ago that was met with rave reviews? Retool it for another launch. Anything old can be new again with a little creativity.

Follow up on That ‘Call Back’ Note on Your Desk

Nearly half of all leads are people who don’t know about the service you are offering until you offered it, or aren’t quite ready to buy. Knowing what stage of the buyer’s journey your leads are in can greatly help clarify things for you and them. For example, blogs are great for informing potential clients of things that can help their business, they they may not have known about in the first place.

The Power of Upselling

The power of upselling can be determined by one word…ask. McDonald’s trains their employees to ask, “Do you want fries with that?” or “Would you like to make it a large for 30 cents more?” When you ask for an upsell, you may be inspiring the customer to move forward with a decision they were already thinking about or bring up a new idea they were not even considering at the time. Asking a question in order to get a yes or no response will move you from a 0% up to a 50% opportunity for a customer to say yes. If you don’t ask, you don’t receive. Even further, how to ask for more business is something you should practice regularly. The delivery is everything and will help increase your chances of getting to a “YES”.

Hiring a Marketing Agency

Increasing your bottom line is one of the main goals of any business and Elevare can help you reach that goal. Using inbound marketing, we create a customized marketing strategy for your company and put it the minds of customers around the clock. We hope that these tips help you to increase your business growth. If you need help with you goals, call Elevare help your to further your success.

 

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Color Palette Marketing

What is Color Palette Marketing

Color palette marketing can be viewed as a snapshot into human psychology as color perception varies widely between everyone you meet. For example, numerous studies and polls have curated that women prefer blue, purple, green while expressing a dislike of orange, brown, and gray. For men, the preferred colors are blue, black, and green while having an opposition to brown, orange, and purple. Blue was found to be commonly preferred by both genders.

Working from the idea of color theory, color palette marketing also strongly accounts for perceptions that colors evoke among people. And while these perceptions vary from person to person across cultures, ages and other demographics, companies have found themselves blended into a family of perceptions based on the dominate color of their logo or brand.

Starting with the primary colors everyone learned about in elementary school of blue, red, and yellow, the color wheel then breaks down into secondary and tertiary colors. Secondary colors are created when combining two of the primary colors, giving us purple, green, and orange. Tertiary colors are two-name colors, such as red-orange or blue-green. All of these colors are considered pure colors, colors which have black or white added to them to produce a tint or shade.

From there, colors used by companies for brands and logos begin to utilize tints, shades, and tones. Color schemes for your website, brand, and logo can be built out of a multitude of colors beyond complementary colors.

Regardless of how simple or complex you envision the colors in your website, brand, and/or logo, keep in mind that psychology is entwined in every color.

The Psychology of Color in Marketing

At the end of the day, there are no clear cut guidelines for choosing brand colors. Keeping the context being worked with, whether a website, brand, or logo, at the forefront of color decisions is essential. Personal preference, experiences, upbringing, cultural differences, and context all factor into our perception of color. Knowing that, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that purchasing intent is greatly affected by colors. The effect of brand perception influences how customers view the personality of any particular brand.

Being able to predict consumer reaction to the appropriateness of a chosen color is more important than the color itself. These predictions can be formed using the five dimensions of brand personality: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. It’s more important for the colors you want to use to support the personality you want to portray than aligning with stereotypical color associations.

How Colors Can Affect Your Website

You can have a website chocked full of great content, but the color choices you may have made months prior for your website may have the potential to negate or contradict that beautiful content. Like with the message and information in your written content, color usage throughout your website should have the aim of being used in the right way, at the right time, with the right audience, and for the right purpose.

The isolation effect is a great way to use color in your website. As your brain naturally retains information better if it stands out, using one color against a color scheme such as in a call-to-action will catch attention. But when talking or thinking about color in terms of your website, it usually is referencing scheme, headline type, borders, backgrounds, buttons, and popups.

How Colors Affect Your Brand and Logo

The numbers back up the correlation between perceptions and how people react to colors. A December 2015 Entrepreneur magazine infographic said 93 percent of purchasing judgements are made on visual perceptions. Nearly 85 percent of consumers cited color as the main reason for buying a particular product, while 80 percent think that color increases brand recognition.

With such strong numbers behind consumer perceptions, it’s no wonder so much time and energy has gone into breaking down a color based on its perceived emotional reaction. Think of the dominate color of major brands you see on a daily basis, then take a moment to think about your perception of the brand based on those colors. Do any of the following emotions come to mind?

Blue – Secure, calm, honest, strong, caring, and trustworthy.
Red – Energy, love, exciting, action, bold, and passionate.
Orange – Happy, sociable, friendly, and affordable.
Yellow – Logical, playful, optimistic, forward thinking, and confident.
Green – Growth, organic, natural, caring, fresh, and earth.
Purple – Imaginative, creative, and nostalgic.
Black – Sophistication, luxury, seductive, formal, and authority.
Multicolor – Multi-channel, positive, playful, bold, and boundless.

Elevare Provides Marketing and Branding

Branding blends all of the brainstorming, crumpled paper, and color ideas into the impactful logo and color scheme you want the world to see. From what people see on a package or marketing piece to what they envision when your company is mentioned, your brand is your message and story. We work closely with you and your team from the start to create the vision you have in mind for your company. With the help of our graphic design team, your brand will quickly spring to life on every facet of your company.

 

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5 Best Email Marketing Tips to Boost Your Business

What Is Email Marketing

If it builds trust in a product, brand, or company, any communication via email is considered email marketing. This makes it an effective way to stay connected to current and potential customers while promoting your business. Email marketing can be a successful venture and provide a high return-on-investment (ROI) in a short amount of time.

The emails you send out can be personalized to particular customer segments. These segments can be based on the length of time a particular email address has been on your subscriber list, customer likes and dislikes, individual spending habits and so on. There are numerous software programs that allow you to break down your customers based on segments, giving you further insight into how they interact with your business.

Email marketing can be broken into three forms. Direct email is a promotional message aimed directly at a reader. Retention emails include newsletters featuring content aimed on developing a long term impact. These emails should provide a value to the reader, whether it informs, entertains or benefits. Another route in email marketing is advertising in other company’s emails, such as paying for your company ad to appear in their newsletter.

Regardless of how you approach email marketing forms, remember that responsible email marketing is based on the idea of permission. If you don’t have explicit permission from a user to send them something via email, don’t do it.

Why Email Marketing Is Important

While social media may appear to be the name of the game for engagements and conversions right now, email marketing has seen acquisitions steadily rising since 2009. At the root, it is action oriented. Email can direct traffic to your site, each message causing an action from the reader. The action can cover the spectrum – replying, forwarding to a friend, clicking through to the site, signing up or making a purchase.

Email marketing is almost immediately measurable. Within minutes of having a campaign sent out, the metrics and analytics begin to populate. From there, behind the scenes you can see what’s working, what could use adjustments and what may need to be scrapped all together. These instant numbers also allow for A/B testing that can reveal more in-depth data about your customers than you may have previously imagined.

And while numbers are everywhere in email marketing, so is mobile access. We may dream of the day we can disconnect from our emails, but we know that isn’t possible. According to a 2014 Exact Target study, people use their mobile devices for email more than social media – 91 percent to 75 percent. Think about when you check your email on the go; in line at the grocery store or waiting to pick the kids up from school. Emails can be checked when and where it’s convenient for you.

Though it may seem to be a standalone communication channel, when used in conjunction with a strongly written and fresh blog, email marketing can have a two-fold effect. The two can organically drive customers to subscribe to your emails and vice versa to your company blog, increasing the user engagement.

1. A Low Cost Way to Directly Market Your Business

Traditional marketing focuses on spreading your message and related information to the masses, hoping someone will be intrigued enough to find out more. Then there are the costs for printing material, postage and ad rates in publications. Email marketing has costs of only pennies in comparison. Also, it drives conversions at a much higher rate than social media. A Venture Beat study found email marketing produces a ROI of $38 to $1.

2. Automate and Tailor Email Responses With Drip Marketing

What is drip marketing? It’s those emails you receive on an interval basis after signing up with a company. The company has a set of pre-determined and created emails to be sent out automatically on a schedule. Handy, right? Also called behavioral emails, drip marketing sends out messages based on triggers or actions, such as signing up for a service or making a purchase. The goal for companies who use drip marketing is to give the right information at the right time. Too many emails can turn off customers.

3. Track How Your Customers Interact With Your Emails With Analytics

Having a screen full of numbers looking back at you may seem daunting, but below the surface is untapped potential. What your customers are clicking on, what is grabbing their attention, and many more key insights to your customers lie in analytics. When deciphered and organized, those numbers turn into more engagements, customers and more website views.

4. Schedule Email Campaigns to Promote Your Product or Service

Are you waiting for the perfect time to hit send on a winning product or service promotion to your email subscribers? With scheduled email campaigns, there’s no waiting until the wee hours of the morning and manually sending the information. Campaigns can be planned well in advance then sent via software to your subscribers while you dream up the next big promotion from the comfort of your bed.

5. Reward Your Customers with Insider Only Deals

How much do you think it costs to earn a new customer than keep an existing one? A few dollars, perhaps a little more? A new customer costs a business, on average, five to 10 times more to keep than a current. In addition to the initial cost layout, current customers spend nearly 70 percent more than new customers.

Elevare Provides Email Marketing

From creating a customized email template, building a customer email list or helping you craft a compelling email campaign, Elevare’s team knows email marketing. Whether you’re looking to get started with email marketing in your business’s communication routine or need an extra hand to get your information to your customers, we can help. Contact us and let’s get started.

 

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Want Even More for Your Business?

Are you looking to drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website? We are offering our readers a FREE and essential new eBook called:

25 WEBSITE MUST HAVES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND SALES

Yes, I want to Increase Business From my Website!