Archive for James Trumbly

What Facebook’s Latest Algorithm Change Means for Social Media Marketers

Posted by James Trumbly on March 3rd, 2014 at 10:20 am

This article was originally published on HMG Creative by James Trumbly.
Social media marketers spend their time studying sites like Facebook to determine how the content they post can garner the most visibility. So when Facebook announces a major rollout to the news feed algorithm, the social media marketing world gets turned upside down, especially when those changes mean the current way of doing things has to be drastically altered.
In December of 2013, Facebook announced that high-quality articles would be receiving greater visibility than images (“the latest meme”). That was a game-changer for marketers, many of whom rely on images to command larger chunks of real estate in the newsfeed and to generate activity among fans. The blogosphere went nuts, with some bloggers accusing Facebook of trying to squeeze more money out of businesses in order for their content to be seen, and others fretting that publishers like Buzzfeed who specialize in creating viral content would get ousted completely.
At the end of the day, though, Facebook’s announcement shouldn’t come as a shock. They are, after all, providing free advertising by means of their brand pages (well, except for the money you pay to the social media platform to make sure that page... Read more

8 Disastrous Website Design Mistakes

Posted by James Trumbly on July 22nd, 2013 at 11:00 am

Web design isn’t an exact science. There are broad principles to follow, but at the end of the day, you have to figure out what works for you and your audience. However, you should always remember that your customers have itchy back-button fingers, and some web design mistakes will make them bounce every time. Here’s a list of our top eight design mistakes:

Making Content Look Like Advertising
Web users these days have developed “banner blindness.” Anything that looks like a banner ad or block ad will be ignored. Avoid the common web design mistake of putting essential information in a format that looks like advertising.

Using Non-Intuitive Navigation
If you have to explain how to navigate your site, you’ve done it wrong. Navigation should make sense to someone who has never seen your site before. Group similar links under headings and make it easy for visitors to find their way back to a previous page and to the home page.

Automatic-Play Flash Videos
No one wants to be held hostage while you play a 20-second introductory video before loading site content. Video is great, but make it optional by providing a play button for the user to click when he or she is ready.

Not Listing... Read more

Hitting the sweet spot with your next social media contest

Posted by James Trumbly on July 11th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Everybody loves a good contest, right? For the customer, the contest is all about the prize; for your business, it’s all about the new contacts you make and future marketing opportunities. Let’s take a look at five steps to hitting the sweet spot for both parties.
Determine Your Goal
When the contest is over, what will you have to show for it? Potential goals might include growing your fan or follower base, increasing click-throughs to your website, boosting conversion rates, creating awareness of a new product, getting customer testimonials, and encouraging likes and shares on your Facebook page. Social media makes it possible to accomplish goals far beyond the contact-gathering efforts of the business-card-in-a-fishbowl, so think outside the box (bowl).
Create a Plan
Best Instagram photos, video testimonials, creative pictures of a product in use, and content creation for your website all make great social media contest ideas. If you’re looking to grow your contact list, a simple click-and-share contest may help you accomplish your goal. Make sure your idea will actually help you reach the goal you determined in Step One.
Make the Prize Desirable
The quality of the prize should be relative to the amount of effort participants had to exert. A musician I... Read more

Three Website Design Disasters – how does your website stack up?

Posted by James Trumbly on July 3rd, 2013 at 8:00 am

The world of web design can seem pretty intimidating at times. After all, the success of your business rises and falls on whether your website successfully engages your site visitors and conveniences them to take the next step. We know you’re kickin’ it with awesome web page design, but just in case you need some inspiration, take a look at these big business web design disasters and take some notes on what NOT to do:
ZULILY
Plenty of “deal-of-the-day” websites require you to register before you can see the actual deals, but Zulily’s home page gives you next to no information about what the site does. Here are the biggest design problems:

You can find a bit of information about how the site works, but it’s buried at the bottom of the page under a banner that looks like advertising, making the viewer ignore everything below it.
Links to “How Zulily Works,” “Brands We Love,” and “FAQ” appear in tiny type that doesn’t stand out from surrounding content.
No secondary call to action if the visitor isn’t ready to register.

Bottom Line: It’s too hard for non-registered users to learn about the site.

CAROL HOUSE FURNITURE
Carol House makes visitors jump through multiple hoops in order to view... Read more

Steps for building a WordPress website

Posted by James Trumbly on June 25th, 2013 at 9:00 am

Think WordPress is just for blogs? Think again! WordPress is a great option for small businesses looking for an easy, professional way to create great designs for their website content. Let’s take a quick look at four easy WordPress design techniques for creating a killer site.
1. Choose a Theme
The sky is the limit when it comes to WordPress themes, but keep a couple of points in mind:

Choose a theme that meets your needs—The theme should reflect the personality of your company. It should also include any essential elements you need to present the type of content you have. Spend some time researching available theme options before you just pick one that strikes your fancy.
Consider your willingness to dabble in the code—If you are familiar with coding and enjoy tweaking things, you can choose a theme you love even if it has a few elements you’re not really happy with. If you’re the type of person who gets nervous just looking at a block of code, stick with a theme that meets your needs as is.

2. Customize Your Theme
Do a quick Google search and you’ll come up with thousands of widgets and plug-ins for your WordPress site. They’re the best way... Read more