Consumers brag about their brand preferences
According to a study by ExactTarget and CoTweet, over one-third of Facebook users who become fans of businesses do it to show their support for the company to others. Around the same number of Facebook business fans do so for discounts, so keep them loyal with super deals and great customer service and they’ll brag about you and introduce you to others.
Interestingly, 43% of Facebook users say they “Like” or are fans of at least one brand on Facebook.
Your viral press release
When it was time to make a corporate announcement or release some news, it used to be that you would post to the newswires and work the media praying for some uptake. That has changed quite dramatically in recent years.
These days, if you release a press release on the net with some real news, on paid and/or free sites, you can very quickly get thousands of postings and some real traffic (hackers and spammers included). You can also get some serious media attention.
The automated bots crawling the web are picking up content that is often pulled into credible websites that report real news. They’re also finding content that gets posted to websites that don’t have any reporters at all, reporting exactly what you said and what they scrape off the web. Most of these automated sites grab the press release, run ads beside it and make a little cash off of your story. They are often difficult to distinguish from the harder-working, journalistic sites, until you read the next article and you wonder why they ever reported that next story at all. But, it’s all good.
We recently helped to launch an online virtual world created by a Winnipeg company, called Weopia, that is focused on the online dating industry, and they received boatloads of publicity from around the world after an online press release and some serious working of the media contact lists. But, the sheer volume of stories in countries all around the globe, on websites we had never heard of, and from reporters we had never talked to, was astonishing.
Bots were grabbing our content and websites were grabbing it from them and translating it into new languages, but real people with blogs and news sites were grabbing it as well. They would go to the Weopia website, try the product, or simply add a little take of their own and post a new story. And every once in a while a national TV or radio reporter would call to do a Skype interview, or a newspaper would call with questions and to ask for additional photographs. And traffic on the website grew and grew.
One year later, it still gets reported on. The web is an amazingly intricate network of ever-changing links and connections between real people and automation that can work wonders on a little bit of news.
The above image illustrates in 3-D the actual domains and connections of the world wide web (courtesy, www.opte.org).
Balance of Form and Function
Way back when, I was an intern working with a large automotive manufacturer and was asked ‘what do you think?’. I was looking at a 1st generation corporate website - my first response was ‘looks great but what does it do?’.
The art of balancing website design and functionality still holds true today. This balance is an art as well as a science, and it’s not easy. Anyone who’s been involved with designing and developing a website knows that it’s a long and involved process that starts with an in-depth planning phase. The planning phase focuses on the WHAT and WHY, what we want to do and why we want to do it, in essence the strategy. Next we move into the design phase, the HOW, which is where our creative team spreads their wings and do what they do best. They design a website that not only provides a visual experience for the user but also delivers the ‘goods’. The end product is a website that meets users needs and wants and achieves the business objectives of our clients.
A great example of this balance of form and function can be seen in the new website we recently launched for the Winnipeg Airports Authority. Our goal was to design and develop a first-class website to reflect a new chapter of the Winnipeg James Richardson International Airport with the opening of its new terminal later this fall. The website design portrays the feeling of the new airport terminal, friendly, warm, contemporary, open blue sky, innovative while designing a framework that allows the user to access information through easy navigation. The user experience for the website is focused on the primary target audience, travellers and meeters and greeters, with features like an easy-to-use arrivals/departures information search, ability to sign-up for flight status notification by text or email, gallery, calendar of events, route map, and a custom mobile version for those on-the-go business travelers.
Custom Mobile Version
Overall, the website looks great and works great - we hope you think so too. But we can’t forget who got us here, our client who challenged us with translating the vision of the new terminal into a website, the brilliant team at Fusion for meeting the challenge, and to the talented folks at Visual Lizard who programmed this outstanding website. Check out the new site here!
QR Codes and Who Scans Them
Quick Response Codes, or QR Codes, are becoming more and more popular and are a great way to get interactive quickly with your customers. Here’s what everyone needs to know...a QR Code is a 2D matrix bar code capable of storing up to 4,296 alphanumeric or 7,089 numeric characters. There will be a test later. Actually, they are a variation on the typical bar code that can encode text, URLs or other data for quick retrieval by a scanner or phone with a QR Code app. They were invented by a Toyota subsidiary and were originally used for tracking auto parts. They allow us marketers to measure response rates with great precision. Interestingly, in Japan, they have been used in cemeteries on gravestones to offer additional information to mourners.
We recently used a QR Code in a contest for Winnipeg's premier shopping mall, St. Vital Centre, called “Style it. Share it. Win it.” You browse through their collection of spring items and make an inspiration board (and share it!) to be eligible to win your entire board plus weekly draws for cash.
Scan this code and enter the contest right now.
To describe what’s happening now with QR Codes (in the US), Jumpscan created this infographic. Note that Starbucks is using QR Codes for payment and that 48% of people have never heard of them.
A Website Named Desire
Here's a sweet little poster to brighten your Monday brought to you by vistamix.com. It explains the seriously misunderstood world of bringing websites to life plus it's hilarious! It takes a village to raise a beautiful website: designers, developers, project managers, clients, critics, moms, dads, doggies. We know this very well at Fusion.
Check out the intereactive version here and enjoy!