This is Bloominari's blog, where you'll be able to find lots of great information about marketing, design, strategy and all updates and news about our company and latest projects.
Everyday we should be thankful for everything that life provides us, but today is Thanksgiving so it's an opportunity to take a moment to stop, meditate and consciously be thankful for what we have.
At Bloominari we're very thankful to everyone around us who's helped make a reality the dream we had set not long ago. We want to take the opportunity on this special day to thank our families, friends, partners, collaborators, team, and clients for everything each of them has done to help our company get to where we are today.
Although we're a young company (less than a year old), our team of young marketers, designers, strategists, and videographers have years of experience in the fields of Internet marketing, graphic design, web design and small business strategy; All of which have helped build a company that can offer the San Diego community affordable and professional marketing services to help companies grow, promote their products/services online and increase their overall sales.
Today is exactly 7 months since we changed our company name from MyeDesigner to Bloominari, and we couldn't have been happier!
Smartphones are everywhere, and as time goes by the number of new mobile phone apps grows exponentially. As new and more useful mobile apps appear on the market, businesses and individuals are now using their smartphones more than ever before.
There are now more tasks that people can complete today with their phone than ever before - such as E-mail, banking, editing documents, creating invoices, etc. People can now take their work wherever they are without having to sit down on full-size computer.
If you’re a small business owner, you might ask yourself the question: “Should I build a regular website and/or build a mobile app”?
The answer to this important business and marketing question depends on the type of business you have, what your online goals are, and of course your time frame and budget.
In order to decide what’s the best option for your business, let’s first explore what the differences are.
A website is a portal on the world wide web (www) that can be accessed from anywhere around the world through a web browser. Today, both computers and smartphones have web browsers, Any device that's connected to the Internet can access the site.
Today’s modern website may be developed in order to be “Responsive”, which means that the layout, size and content of a web page will adapt and change based on the size of the screen it is being viewed at. Visitors will have the best possible user experience on your website regardless of where he/she is accessing it.
Example: Let’s say a person sees a responsive website in full screen and it contains 3 columns of content, which looks good on a normal screen. When the same site is accessed on a mobile phone, those 3 columns will show up stacked on top of each other (instead of next to each other as columns), so that the user can clearly read the contents of each column. Yet, if that same website was “non-responsive” and the user accessed it through a smartphone, the user would see 3 tiny columns on the screen (same layout as the normal screen), which he probably wouldn’t be able to read in his tiny phone screen. In that case, the user would have to zoom-in (pinch the screen) to see each column in detail - which diminishers a positive user experience on the site.
To some degree, today’s responsive websites actually look very similar to mobile apps - when accessed on smartphone - without actually being one. This is a key point to consider when evaluating this as an option.
Mobile apps (or Applications) are basically software developed for your mobile phone, including smartphones - which today are more like mini-computers with calling capabilities using one of the built-in Apps used to make phone calls.
Maybe you’ve heard of a mood board. Maybe you haven’t.
If a fun tool used to gather artistic inspiration comes to mind then you are on the right track. If you picture some sort of hybrid weegie board, you might be a little further from the mark…
Whatever your impression of a mood board might be, it is something you should get to know and love. Making one can be quite fun all in its own, and designing/building/creating anything in a team without one can lead your projects down a serious path of misdirection.
A moodboard is an assortment of images, textures, colors and fonts all arranged together and used to define the overall style or ‘mood’ of your project.
If you create things for a living then I’m sure you already use cool stuff you’ve seen as inspiration. A mood board is simply a more polished, cohesive collection of those cool things.
They are used all across the board (maybe pun intended). Creatives working in design, branding, photography, fashion, film, interior decorating and even wedding planning all use mood boards.
Be aware though, mood boards serve a broader purpose than pure inspiration.
If your work is for a client, then assembling a mood board together is how you let him or her get involved in the design process without them sticking a nose in trying to play art director.
It is how you guarantee that you are all on the ‘same page’ with the direction of the project.
You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you present a beautifully-designed piece of work only to have it unapologetically rejected because it didn’t have the right ‘feel’. Agreeing ahead of time on the elements in the mood board and having your client contribute images they like is how you all are in agreement of what that ‘feel’ should be.
There really isn’t a definitive structure to making a ‘correct’ mood board.
Usually the elements are arranged in some sort of collage fashion. Whether they are strictly aligned to a grid or more loosely placed is dependent on your own style.
You can use social media marketing to connect with your customers, help new customers find your business, and build relationships! Since many small business owners and employees are familiar with at least one social media network, it can be easy to get started. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn all offer free accounts and Pages for businesses, too, so there’s no up-front monetary expense.
Managing social media, though, especially if your company has Pages on multiple networks, can be time-intensive. And when you’re running a small business, your time might be better spent serving customers, keeping track of finances, and managing employees.
Should you make the jump?
It’s noisy out there.
And I’m not just talking about on the street.
I mean online. There is so much action every time we dial up (hopefully you’re not still actually using dial up) that it can be almost overwhelming to keep your sights straight.
It’s even more overwhelming when you are one of those businesses adding to the noise. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely should be. The jury’s out as to the impact of an online presence (for those late to the game the answer is a resounding YES). The internet is a great way to get your message heard. Be loud and proud. A lot of people will hear.
But you might be asking yourself what an online presence exactly entails? There’s a lot to do and see on the internet. Where should I focus my attention?
Is it on having a professional website? Maybe it’s Facebook? Or perhaps I should post more consistently to my blog?
Those are all important. In fact, you should have at least one foot in each one of those doors. But there exists an older and arguably much simpler answer to this puzzle. An answer that today seems to get ignored by many businesses but realistically could generate more leads than all those other options combined.
That answer is email.
Marketing has evolved from the days of Mad Men. The key to marketing success in the 21st century is not flash and glamour, but engagement.
Engagement is building and fostering long-term relationships with customers through continual contact.
And email is the best way to build engagement.
This is one of the greatest questions small businesses ask themselves when they’re in need of building their online web presence. As most of you already know, building a website for a company is a crucial step in order to exist in today’s digital world.
Today, if your company doesn’t have a website, it’s is just as bad as if your office doesn’t have a phone number where they can reach you. In short, building a small business website or personal web page is crucial to the marketing and branding of you or your company.
There’s a couple of things you should think about and consider before you jump to any conclusions. Let’s take a look:
Based on your answers to those three key questions, you should be quickly able to decide who should build your website. If you time is more valuable to grow your business and brand, for sure hire someone. If you’ve got time to spare and want to be adventurous and save some money try to build your own!
Too many beginner designers are under the assumption that all the ‘magic’ happens at the computer. They move into Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop way to quickly, and sit and stare at their screens hoping that some inspiration pops out at them from the pixels.
In reality this rarely happens (if at all). Even the ‘simplest’ designs were imagined through a highly structured, multi-step process. Seasoned designers frequently go through tens and maybe hundreds of ideas and raw sketches before they narrow down to the final few ‘workable’ concepts.
These raw ideas are all generated through brainstorming.
The old adage goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” There’s definitely more than one way to spark creativity as well. David Sherwin shares many beneficial brainstorming techniques in his book Creative Workshop. Try out one (or more) of these exercises and see what ideas you come up with that you wouldn’t necessarily have thought of before.
This brainstorming method lets your identify a range of ideas quickly in a free-form manner.
1. In the center of your page, write the key points of focus for your brainstorm.
2. Radiating outward, jot down any related words, concepts, ideas and even opposites.
3. Expand upon and circle relationships in the ideas that emerge.
4. Extract the big ideas and start to sketch out possible design executions.
Similar to mind mapping, word listing has a bit more structure and can sometimes yield quicker results.
Make sure you include compelling social media copy in all of your posts - even if you’re posting to share a video, photo, or link. Even though Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ will make your post look appealing by providing a video, photo, or link embed, you’ll miss an opportunity to engage your reader if you don’t include a relevant caption.
Think again about how you browse social media. You probably skim posts, right? Make sure your copy is easy to understand even at a glance. Unless your social media audience is primarily made up of professionals who are well-versed in and expect high-level content, you probably want to write simple, easy-to-read copy, using a tone of voice that’s consistent with your branding, that includes clear headlines and calls-to-action.
You don’t know who makes up the majority of your audience and what they expect? Read on…
Beginner designers too often feel the need to overdo their designs attempting to make them look artistic or elaborate.
We have all heard the expression “less is more”. Usually this is said to mean ‘cheaper is better’. In truth, however, “less is more” isn’t about spending less money. It is about achieving better design through simplicity. It is about finding the greatest impact through subtraction and restraint.
Newborn creatives try and mask their infancy with flashy graphics and elaborate typefaces. I too, was guilty of this when first starting out.
All this really does unfortunately, is overcrowd and overcomplicate the piece. Just because a design is simple doesn’t mean its basic or uncomplex. Having too many elements in a design gives the viewer too much to digest and takes away from the other elements in the piece and the design as a whole.
It’s easy and free to get your company started on social media. After just a few minutes’ worth of set-up, you’ll have your accounts up and running! But how do you know if your social media activity is actually helping out your business?
You should spend the majority of your time running your business — not worrying whether social media is a waste of time! Put your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to work with our tips. And if you’re in the San Diego, CA area, make sure to join us for our upcoming workshop on content and social media on November 19!.
It’s exceptionally gratifying to see your follower counts go up as you spend time online. Are those followers converting into paying customers, though?
Keep in mind that social media is at its most valuable when it refers prospective customers to your eCommerce website or your brick-and-mortar location.
Provide thoughtful opportunities for customers to visit your website, learn about your services, and take the next step towards converting. But make sure that these opportunities are written with your audience’s motivators and needs in mind! They’ll be more likely to click through to your site if they believe you’ll be able to provide personal value to them.