Six Branding Basics Web Developers Don’t Want to Miss (Reblogged)

KDE brand map: description of the new KDE bran...

KDE brand map: description of the new KDE brands after the re-branding effort. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six Branding Basics Web Developers Don’t Want to Miss

By  in Advertising Branding

All businesses, big or small, greatly benefit from creating a strong brand. Companies usually want to brand their business websites so customers remember them and think of their goods and services when they need something. A brand identity can be anything like alphabet characters, logos, colors, tagline, font style etc.

A strong brand leaves a mark on the user’s mind. Strong brands always use something as a baseline to promote themselves.  For example:

  • Red Bull (Gives you wings)
  • Mountain Dew (Always energetic)
  • Nike (Just do it)

Branding a business website isn’t always that simple, but there are certain elements that can help you to get on the road to create a successful branding campaign. In this post we will describe how designing a website relates to the basic branding principles.

Express Your Brand’s Personality

To develop your brand’s essence, conduct an analysis internally. Analyze customers, competitors and trends in the industry you are in. How you are perceived? What are you great at? How are you different? What do you do? Is the purpose clear? Why does it matter?

Appearance is usually the first thing that many Web designers think about when the topic of branding comes up. Including features such as: business logo, website design, color scheme, images, fonts, business cards and stationery etc. Obviously, Web designers can provide a lot more assistance to their clients when it comes to appearance.

Provide Quality Content

Your website should keep your audience updated and informed, whether it is news or an update regarding your company. It is important to keep your website up-to-date and fresh. Remember that blog posts are likely to be found at a higher level in the search engine results and are also likely to be shared on social media. So, what you publish on your blog, may be what draws clients to your website. Everything that you publish is a reflection of you and your business. Details like customer service, history, contact info, news etc. can be added to establish trust and transparency between your company and the customer.

Build consistency

Convey your organization is professional and credible. Everything about your website should reinforce your brand. All the details you provide are consistent throughout the website.

Other important website aspects to consider:

  • Is the site functioning properly?
  • Are there any broken links?
  • Are there any grammatical or typographical errors?
  • Is the provided information up-to-date?
  • Do we have browser compatibility issues?

Maintain Experience and Reputation

The usability and functionality of a site contributes to a clear arrangement of information. Make sure there are calls to action (properly placed and visible to the customers), the tagline defines your business identity and logic and your logo is in an appropriate place. All of the details of the site add up and contribute to the overall user experience.

Reputation has to do with how others perceive you. To build a good reputation:

  • Pay attention to your client’s needs.
  • Deliver what you promise.
  • The branding message you are trying to convey should match the way that others think of you.

Use and Reuse of Graphic Visuals

Consistent visuals and layout allows you to reuse more of your content, be it style sheets or images. This means your site will load faster because the user’s browser doesn’t need to download as many things — old images and CSS are already stored in its cache. It also creates signature recognition of the brand and continues to give a feel of consistency.


Uniqueness is one of the major aspects of creating a successful brand. Be prepared to bring new ideas to the table and utilize them effectively. Make your users’ experiences unique by offering a website that is uniquely displayed within the industry, otherwise the interaction will not be memorable. Do not follow others, instead, try to become the trend setter.


Building a strong brand is important for every company as well as for personal websites and blogs. The Web is an excellent platform to build your brand, so it is important not to ignore branding while working on your website. Use all the above techniques mentioned above to make it powerful and effective.

Neha Yusuf is a social and mobile app marketing expert Cygnis Media, a leading application development company in United States, offering iPhone, Facebook and Web applications development services.

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The 10 Commandments of Content Marketing (Reblogged)


The 10 Commandments of Content Marketing

Written by  – 6 Comments
Categories: Content Marketing

The 10 Commandments of Content Marketing

In a dark cave called Google labs, 600 mathematicians with PhD’s who live on a diet of corporate provided designer food and who hang out in an office disguised as a playground flicked a switch.

They let the Hummingbird update to their search engine algorithms loose.

Their goal?

Make finding information with their search engine a great user experience for billions who use their search engine to find “content” that excites and salivates the senses.

Content is the lifeblood and cornerstone of this knowledge web that is driven by search and social networks.

Content marketing evolves

Savvy social media marketers had a light bulb moment while on a love fest with Mark Zuckerberg. They realized that they wouldn’t just keep chasing Facebook likes in ever decreasing circles and would add awesome content as a key tactic to their marketing arsenal.

This came together and started an online trend and tsunami of content creation and curation. Content marketing is now being woven into the DNA of digital marketers who understand the power of content to attract and sell. Let’s have a closer look at the key principles of content marketing.

Here are the 10 commandments of content marketing.

1. Create the best content you can

Easy said but hard to do. Making your content memorable and sticky is a craft that has many parts. A good place to start to help you do that is with the 6 key concepts that are contained within the book “Made to Stick”

Here are the 6 principles to guide your content creation.

  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotions
  6. Stories

If you can weave some of these principles into your content creation then you are well on your way to awesome content. You can read more at “6 Ways to Make your content Sticky

2. Write awesome headlines

In the past people had to buy a book, purchase a magazine or a newspaper to obtain information. That purchase was a financial commitment no matter how small. You bought it and you were committed in some small way to keep reading..

On the social web that offers so much content for free if that headline doesn’t grab you or the first line doesn’t touch your heart or your mind it is discarded and you are on to the next snippet.

Nanoseconds and fleeting web surfers are a challenge for content creators. You have only moments to capture attention and get that click on your link whether it appears in a tweet, a search engine result page or a Facebook post.

Learn the art of writing headlines.

3. Create focused content

Successful businesses know their customers. They understand their problems, their wants and pain points. Content needs to be focused around that ecosystem of topics that provides answers, meets their deep desires and  and solves the customers pain.

Content needs to be kept on a tight leash. Always be putting yourself in their shoes and asking the questions “Is this something my customer needs to know?” or “Would they find this information fascinating?“. If you know your topic and are passionate about your industry then you know what those answers and topics are.

4. Give content coherent structure

We are a time poor society that is bombarded with messages, ideas and information that is often overwhelming. The avalanche of data keeps coming. The challenge is often not what to read but what “not to read”.

Walls of text without structure are a turn off . The key elements to well structured written content are:

  • Short sentences
  • Short paragraphs
  • Subtitles
  • Bullet points
  • Lists

Don’t serve up an article that screams at the reader “I dare you to find the key points within this vast wall of text

5. Make it easy to share

Content needs to flow. It needs to be liquid and designed and built for the social web.

Social sharing buttons that are prominent and easy to find are a war you must win with your web designer. I often see greyed out sharing buttons that only an eagle could spot. What is also often overlooked are buttons without social proof  (not showing how many times the article has been tweeted on Twitter or shared on Facebook).

Sharing buttons with social proof

Even prominent publications such as the online New York Times get this wrong.

New York Times showing no social proof

Sometimes function needs to overwhelm design sensibilities.

6. Optimize for search engines

Facebook and Twitter are maybe sexy and in fashion but Google isn’t to be forgotten. Before hitting that publish button on your blog make sure you have made it easy for search engines to index and crawl your key words, phrases and content.

There is no excuse to not do this with free plugins available for WordPress that make this easy and efficient.

See the screenshot from my blog showing how Yoast helps you optimize your site for search engines.

Optimize content for search engines

This tool will guide you in making your content and blog articles “visible” to search engines. This is based upon optimizing your keyword phrase in the content of your article/post on your blog.

7. Give it a brand voice

Each brand whether personal or corporate has a certain voice. It may be edgy, adventurous or even conservative. This personality or “voice” should be woven into your content DNA.

Corporate brands such as Coca Cola calls this “linked” and “congruent” content that matches the brand mission and purpose.

Want to see a brand that gets this. Checkout Red Bull’s content.

Personal brands are not immune from making this part of their content creation. Read more about this in “7 Tips to Finding your Writing Voice

What is your brand personality?

8. Make content multimedia

The power of words should not be underestimated but the “Visual” web demands more. Create and publish your content into a range of multi-media.

Same message but in a variety of formats.

There is also another principle at play here around the retention of information and learning. The more senses involved, the higher the retention rates. Here is Edgar Dale’s “Learning Pyramid” showing the increased retention rates when you involve multiple senses and multi-media.

Edgar Dale Cone of Learning

Source: National Training Laboratories, Bethel, Maine

Create and publish videos, podcasts, images and infographics and that’s just for starters. Don’t forget whitepapers, ebooks and transcripts. Some like to read and others love to watch.

9. Distribute onto multiple social networks

Don’t assume that your audience is only on Facebook. Everyone has their social network preferences. Some like Twitter, others love Pinterest and YouTube has 1 billion unique visitors every month.

Same content different networks.

So once you have hit the publish button then it’s time to distribute your content far and wide. Ubiquity is the goal. This builds trust, grows brand awareness and credibility.

10. Convert readers to buyers

Content without a goal is a waste of time and money for business and brands. The goals of content marketing can include obtaining subscribers for your email list, increasing Facebook likes and finally selling a product or service. Make sure your content converts readers to buyers. Content marketing needs a sales or “landing page” that converts.

According to Unbounce a sales landing page based on “Conversion Centered Design” should have seven key elements which are in the two categories of design and psychology


  1. Encapsulation
  2. Contrast & color
  3. Directional cues
  4. White space


  1. Urgency and scarcity
  2. Try before you buy
  3. Social proof

Here is how that would look in a sample design below.

Landing page 7 key elements

 What about you?

Is content marketing part of your digital marketing strategy?  Could you do better? What is missing from your tactics?

Look forward to hearing your stories and insights in the comments below.

Want to learn how to make your blog a success with social media marketing and contagious content?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 200,000.

Download and read it now.



Just How BIG is the Web?

A data visualization of Wikipedia as part of t...

A data visualization of Wikipedia as part of the World Wide Web, demonstrating hyperlinks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just How BIG is the Web?

Are you ready for some big numbers? Well how about this:


Once you pick your digital jaw up off the floor, check out a new infographic from Bloxx that shares more on just how big the Web has become. Some of our favorite highlights include:

– If you downloaded every bit of Web content from your computer, it would take 11 trillion years.

– If you packed 450 2-terabyte storage drives into a single 8’ x 10’ room, you’d need 1,000 drive-packed rooms to equal the estimated “Exabyte” of data on the Web

– The amount of data travelling over the Internet in just three minutes is the digital equivalent of every motion picture ever made in the last 120 years.

“Our ‘Big Web’ infographic shows the dramatic size, and threat, of accessing the more than 700* million Web sites offering some trillion terabytes of data,” said Charles Sweeney, CEO of Bloxx, a Web content filtering and email security company. “Next generation real-time Web content filters that analyze and categorize the content of web pages at the point-of-request, are the only way to stay ahead of the avalanche of new, and often malicious, sites created every day.”


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