3 Examples of Snapchat Used for Viral Mobile Marketing

Snapchat Marketing

There’s no doubt about it: capitalizing on Snapchat is the next big mobile marketing move that you should be making with your small business brand. Recently, the Snapchat app has gained massive popularity among teenagers and twentysomethings for its innovative new approach to mobile communication.

Snapchat for Small Business Marketing

The application allows users to send “snaps,” or photos and texts that arrive in the same manner as other mobile communications, but with one notable twist: they are marked with a time limit. The sender of a snap decides how long the receiver will be able to view the message (time limits range from between 1 and 10 seconds), after which the message is automatically deleted, never to be seen again. In essence, Snapchat is the self-destructing message of the mobile world.

But why is Snapchat a promising mobile marketing tool for small and medium size business?

The main reason is that it helps promote the sense of urgency that is such a cornerstone concept of consumer sales. This concept can in turn be used for a slew of different interesting and innovative mobile marketing strategies, many of which have already become more effective than basic text message marketing. The issue with texts is that people can simply save them and forget about them: with Snapchat snap messages, customers are encouraged to act immediately to buy a product, receive a coupon promotion, or take advantage of some other marketing tactic. In other words, Snapchat does what text message marketing has never been able to do: deliver a strong call to action.

In addition the newly launched “Snapchat Stories” allows brands to:

Add Snaps together to create a narrative. When you add a Snap to your Story it lives for 24 hours before it disappears, making room for the new. Your Story always plays forward, because it makes sense to share moments in the order you experience them.

Need proof that your small or medium-sized business should add Snapchat to your mobile marketing strategy? Here are three major national brands that have already started experimenting with the marketing potential that the app has to offer, as well as explanations for why your small business should follow in their big footsteps.

McDonalds & LeBron James

Mcdonalds_logoThe fast food chain just started experimenting with Snapchat in February of this year, using the app’s new “Snapchat Stories” feature to compile a short video advertising its new Bacon Clubhouse sandwich. The video featured basketball superstar LeBron James, and was built and fleshed out throughout a day as McDonalds used Snapchat to add bits and pieces of video and imagery to the story.

At the end of the day, the Snapchat story was 36 seconds long and had gotten a ton of viral attention by building actual suspense and intrigue around the video’s core announcement. Sure, we can’t all afford to hire LeBron James, but the way McDonalds used Snapchat to market a new product was interesting nonetheless.

McDonalds-on-Snapchat

The New Orleans Saints

saints-09-sb44-champs-drew-1024x768Snapchat’s big brand-name adopters aren’t all fast food restaurants. On the contrary, the New Orleans Saints created a profile last October with the goal of giving fans a look at a bit of behind-the-scenes football action through the Snapchat Stories function.

Since football sneak peaks could mean anything from brief windows into team practice sessions and pre-game rituals to game play-by-plays and merchandise announcements, the Saints’ unsurprisingly generated a good bit of attention. Even though your business obviously isn’t an NFL football team, there are likely behind-the-scenes sneak peaks you could give that would build excitement for your brand.

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Why Icons Are Essential In Small Business Marketing + [FREE Download] 10 Pack Icons

Promotional Graphic Final_V2

When most people think of marketing or advertising, they think of expensive television commercials, memorable radio spots, eye-catching newspaper or magazine advertisements, or even entire websites or social media feeds. In essence the average person thinks of the complete marketing concept rather than assessing the different pieces that went into building that concept. The building blocks of advertising can be different depending on the ad campaign, ranging from text to sounds to pictures and beyond.

One of the most common building blocks, however, is the use of symbols. Small visual symbols can serve a range of different purposes in the marketing world, from spicing up a webpage design to telling customers where to click in order to perform various essential functions. The key functions of symbols in marketing are outlined below, and each is essential to a successful marketing campaign.

1. Symbols help to build your brand:

This might go without saying, but really think about it. In many cases, symbols are synonymous with a business’s brand. When consumers think of virtually any major brand, from McDonalds to Mercedes, from Apple to Twitter, and from Shell Gasoline to Nike, the first thing that pops into their minds is an image of the symbols those companies use to represent their brands. The McDonalds arches, the Mercedes star, the namesake objects from Apple and Shell, the Nike swoosh, and the Twitter bird, these are all iconic symbols that are so ingrained in our everyday culture that they play a legitimate role in the way we perceive the companies that created them. Heck, there are even mobile games out there based on identifying brands from their symbols.

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2 Programs to Help Small Biz Owners “DIY” their Graphic Design for Serious Savings

Once upon a time, it was okay for websites to look amateurish. Back in the 1990s, website design was at a rudimentary stage at best. Those who used the internet did so to find content that they couldn’t get anywhere else, but they didn’t expect it to look good. Certain relics of this age of website design – like the official Warner Bros webpage for the 1996 film, Space Jam – show just how comical a lot of pre-millennial web designs looked. More important than that, however, these old, untouched sites serve as a reminder of how much stock most modern internet users put in visual flare.

Today, not only do web managers have to provide compelling and unique content, but they also need to do it in a way that looks good. These 2 programs are certain to help any small business owner “DIY” their graphic design for some serious savings in the long run, especially when it comes to creating graphics and content for your social platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest, and many other marketing arenas. 

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“A Generation of DIY Graphic Designers”

For these reasons and more, the internet has brought about a generation of do-it-yourself graphic designers – people who (for good reason) don’t want to spend the time or money that it would take to become trained in the ways of Photoshop and InDesign, but who also want to be able to add eye-catching visuals to their websites.

Luckily, the fact that there are so many people who are teaching themselves the basics of graphic design has created an environment where it is easy to maintain a blog or website with great looking visuals. A wide range of programs – from template-based website builders to free graphic design software – have been developed in recent years to help nurture this burgeoning scene, and most of those programs are built with two primary qualities in mind: first, they are simplistic and easy to use, with a very manageable learning curve; second, they provide visual results that look great without breaking the bank. Check out our reviews of them below!

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6 Do’s and Don’ts for Small Businesses and Holiday Marketing

From Thanksgiving and Christmas to Valentine’s Day and the Fourth of July, a small business should always be building a list of ideas that could liven up its holiday marketing promotions. However, before any business starts off on a holiday marketing campaign, there are several do’s and don’ts that should be part of the core program in order to streamline efforts and turn any given holiday into a booster for company growth and public good will.

Valentines-Day-for-Small-Business-Marketing

#1 – Do Consider All of the Holidays

Many think of just the big fall and winter holidays when it comes to marketing strategy, but there are many occasions throughout the year that small businesses can use to gain extra momentum. Make it a point to think beyond Thanksgiving and Christmas with your holiday marketing in 2014. For instance, incorporate Valentine’s Day messages into your newsletters, social media, and blog posts to gain client interest, or offer limited-time promotions for St. Patrick’s Day to drum up customer engagement.

#2 – Don’t Try to Please Everyone

As with any type of marketing, your holiday marketing plans need to be focused and goal-driven. Since holiday appreciation is virtually universal, many small businesses make the mistake of believing that they can be everything to everyone around major holidays. This isn’t the case, so focus on your prime market and think of a holiday marketing tactic that will engage the people most likely to buy your product or service. Celebrating Bastille Day anywhere but in France or where you have a large French following would likely do you very little good.

#3 – Do Plan Ahead

Our client, Dress Your Guests, used Valentine's day as the perfect opportunity to partner with another lifestyle blogger to increase their social reach.

Our client, Dress Your Guests, used Valentine’s day as the perfect opportunity to partner with another lifestyle blogger to increase their social reach.

You can’t dream up and execute a perfect holiday marketing plan overnight, so begin planning your timeline and strategy at least eight to twelve weeks in advance. It may seem bizarre to begin thinking about your Fourth of July marketing in early April, but the longer you have to plan your marketing concepts and company promotions, the more effective and successful they will be.

#4 – Don’t Go Overboard

A little bit of holiday cheer can go a long way. Don’t try to theme every facet of your business around the upcoming holiday. Instead, pick one or two marketing strategies that you can spice up with a holiday twist. Customers will better appreciate a Christmas E-card or a Halloween Facebook contest more if it’s a standalone promotion rather than part of a sweeping and epic holiday marketing plan. In fact, less is sometimes more. If your clients are being bombarded from every direction, especially if you are sending them daily emails, it’s likely that they will stop paying attention.

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3 Easy Ways to Keep your Website Visitors from “Just Visiting”

Courtesy the New Yorker.

Courtesy the New Yorker.

Conversion optimization, or conversion rate optimization (CRO), is the practice of not only gaining a large online base of web visitors–be it to social platforms, your websites, or other locations–but effecting movement and traction with that base as well. Whether to boost sales or to increase online subscriptions with the subtlest of design changes, conversion optimization techniques are used to convert mere visitors to loyal customers.

We’ve already covered the basics of conversion optimization for beginners, and in this post we’ll be discussing more in depth techniques as a part of a case study for one of our favorite clients, Dress Your Guests. Although the effects of CRO are hard to distinguish from simultaneous demand increases or just pure luck, we’re confident that these three techniques will help you gain not only new web traffic, but new, loyal customers as well.

1. Rethink a Redesign

dyg_logo_bigRedesigning your website and satellite digital properties to be clear, concise, and eye-catching is a job for the experts. Not only does it take creativity to design an aesthetic and cohesive brand, it takes a developer with complex knowledge of a variety of coding languages–such as PHP, jQuery, mySQL, HTML, CSS, and many others–to make the ideas a reality on screen. BWD has a team of artists, consultants, and coders with years of expertise to deliver to you beautiful digital user experiences in any sort of timeline needed. Our recent redesign (pending release in 2014) of the fashion start-up, Dress Your Guests, convinced its founders what the tiniest differences in layout and user experience design make in publishing effectively to boost digital readership and signups.

2. Trust the Trust Marks

Incorporating your clients’ testimonials, well-established logos, and integrated reviews from websites such as Yelp or Foursquare can do wonders to immediately establish your credibility as a company through simple and well placed visual recognition and reinforcement. BWD works closely with our clients to gather press logos, happy clients’ feedback, and showcases of well-known logos to communicate to future clients, “We’ve done great work for >>insert worldwide brand here<<, so we’re certain we can help you out, too!” In the case of Dress Your Guests, we made sure to feature the most prominent press outlets in the fashion world on their front page to demonstrate their expertise in the industry.

Using Trust Marks for Conversion Optimization

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Meet Christine: BWD’s Very First Growth Hacking Intern!

Christine YuanWe are truly happy to welcome Christine Yuan of Barnard College at Columbia University to the BWD family as our very first intern! She’s been growth hacking with us since September of this year, and today we sat down for a few quick, fun questions! — Lara Chelak, Founder

Q: What fascinates you the most about working with small businesses and start-ups?

Answer: The movers, shakers, thinkers, and makers behind the small businesses and start-ups who work with BWD teach me so much about what it means to “do what you love, so you never have to work a day in your life.” There’s a transparency with small companies that makes it easy to see their founders’ simple ambition and powerful tenacity. The abundant courage it takes to write a brand statement and commit to a website domain for your brainchild is inspiring.

Q: Why do you find digital marketing important?

Answer: Digital growth seems to be a positive feedback loop. A great company with a useful, interesting product will need a great website to promote its brand and its cause. When people read a brand statement that excites them, they will naturally “like,” “favorite,” and “follow” the page to learn more. Digital marketing is just the conduit that keeps people connected to other like-minded people.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your academic studies and background.

Answer:I was born inquisitive–growing up in New York City simply fueled the rate at which I asked questions. I’m an Economics-Mathematics major, Philosophy minor at Barnard College, so I ask questions about what’s fair in the world and answer with graphs and equations. My areas of interest are Labor Economics and Behavioral Economics because I wonder why we do the things we do. Aside from my academic interests, I’ve been exposed to various corners of the technological world: I’ve been blogging since I created my first Xanga in 2005 and dabbling with audiovisual equipment in the back of event spaces since 2010. I’ve interned in the technology department at AllianceBernstein, but interning with BWD is my first foray into helping provide digital solutions for client services goals.

Q: What role do your studies play in the work place as an intern, and how have your studies helped you adapt to business situations in unique ways?

Answer: It’s difficult to balance my responsibilities as a student and intern, but I like how all my experiences make me who I am. My multidisciplinary studies seem to keep me open-minded. My background in economics and philosophy motivates problem-solving while my training in mathematics helps me understand solutions structurally. Most importantly, my rigorous schedule continually challenges me to work intelligently and efficiently. I’ve met amazing people, in and out of school, who have taught me about all sorts of things (from how to solder to how to think about intergenerational justice), and  I don’t think I would have had the opportunities if I hadn’t sought a breadth of interests. All the behind-the-scenes development I learn about from interning with BWD add to my growing knowledge about how the world works.

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6 Super High Traffic Websites You’d Never Know Were Run on WordPress

As of November 2013, approximately 20% of websites are powered by WordPress (up from the 14.7% in 2011!). Thanks to its increasing versatility as a content management system, WordPress now powers some of the most popular websites (over 72.4 million websites in total) making it the most popular CMS in the world. 

In this post we’ve selected an eclectic group of six from a number of different industries that are sure to fascinate and possibly amuse you! Plus, we’ve included their Alexa rankings in the United States for some perspective on how big these WordPress giants really are.

Modern News Publishing

1. TechCrunch

TechCrunch (Alexa traffic ranking in the US: 242) is one of the premier technology news websites, and it’s entirely run on WordPress. Not only does it provide valuable information about companies of all sizes across the globe, it rates technology companies and experts in its free database, the CrunchBase, to help keep the public informed about the tech world.

TechCrunch Website Powered by WordPress

2. Digital Trends

Digital Trends (Alexa traffic ranking in the US: 913) provides technology news, as well as product and app reviews for the technophile. Their website has an ombre effect, where top-news articles are highlighted in large pictures on the top, featured stories are differentiated by large-font bylines with blurbs separate from their accompanying pictures, and even more linked articles are provided at the bottom. The  use of images and text on this news/reviews site is organized with finesse, and yes, it’s all fueled via WordPress.

Digital Trends

Go, Team, Go! Major Universities & WordPress

3. Boise State University

WordPress is robust enough to host the university website for Boise State (Alexa traffic ranking in the US: 7,937), consolidating over 200 individually-managed university websites into one enterprise level WordPress site for educators, administrators, students, parents, and fans alike to take part in both their studies and school spirit together. Everything there is to know about the Broncos is on the easily-managed website, which incorporates responsive design for viewing on your phone and tablet, too.

Boise State

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We’ve been nominated for the 2013 Small Business Influencer Awards!

Psst… vote for us in the small business influencer awards by clicking on the yellow button here

The Small Business Influencer AwardsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BWD inc. Nominated For 2013 Small Business Influencer Awards

Cleveland, OH, September 4, 2013 - BWD inc. has been nominated for a 2013 Small Business Influencer Award in the category of Corporations.

The Small Business Influencer Awards honor those who are influential to small businesses in North America, through the products, services, knowledge, information or support they provide to the small business market.

The Awards are designed to recognize the unsung heroes of small businesses, those who support and encourage entrepreneurs and small business owners, and help them achieve success and stay successful.

Says Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends and one of the co-founders of the Awards along with Ramon Ray of SmallBizTechnology.com, “Influencers are those who play crucial roles in the small business ecosystem, but who often are in the background. Many of the nominees are themselves small business owners, entrepreneurs or small businesses. The impact of the Awards goes well beyond nominees, however, the awards also encourage and excite the nominees’ employees. The Awards are intended to provide that added little boost in motivation and morale that can make a big difference in results. Being nominated also distinguishes the nominee from competitors, and in that sense can lead to competitive advantage.”

About the Small Business Influencer Awards

The Small Business Influencer Awards, now in their third year, enable the small business community to nominate and show their support for those that influence and support them. The Awards have an open nomination period, with community voting, and then a judging period by a group of industry-knowledgeable judges.

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