Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
Content marketing is a fancy term for promoting yourself online by offering useful material. It's successful because it works on the power of attraction instead of distraction. In the same way we skip commercials, it's easy to tune out cheesy stuff online. Instead, we want to put out appealing, relevant content. Simple! Or is it? Do you have a hard time seeing your business through the eyes of an outsider? What may be an everyday, mundane thing to you (ho hum, here I am meeting with the wine rep again) might be wonderfully exotic to a new client (the handsome Italian wine rep - are you kidding me?!). With the goal of harvesting cool content for your social media marketing, here are 15 social media ideas that come out of the everyday things you probably already do.
May brings two fun social media promo opportunities- Mother's Day and May the 4th, aka Star Wars Day. Most of you can undoubtedly come up with a creative promo for the ubiquitous Mother's Day whether it's a free dessert for bringing in Mom this month or a moms-only discount coupon. But if you're looking for something more unique and geeky, go for a May the 4th promo. May the 4th is a lispy reference to the Star Wars "May the Force be with you" - a way of saying goodbye and good luck. It's a great way to tap into Star Wars mania and connect emotionally with your audience. Here are 10 great short videos to bring your May 4th social media alive. Don't forget to add the #MayTheFourth hashtag to get your posts seen by as many people as possible!
May Newsletter: Fresh Ideas | 10 Goodies for May the 4th | Partner Program
Over the years, the most powerful marketing I've seen is word-of-mouth. Most of us ask for recommendations or read reviews for everything from a restaurant to a new car. At Pixel Lava, I've always offered a simple referral commission - if you tell someone about me and we end up doing business together I send you a check for $50. I recently realized that my favorite projects have come to me this way so I decided to expand the program. I now offer three partnership levels; Affiliate, Colleague and Team Member. Anyone can sign up as an Affiliate and earn generous $80 commissions. The Colleague and Team Member levels are for fellow graphic artists, marketers, agencies etc. who want to expand their service offerings without hiring staff. By bringing me in as-needed you get a reliable partner at a great rate. You also get access my Partner Portal with white label marketing materials, small business resources and special perks. No matter what the level, joining the Partner Program is 100% free. There's nothing to sign or do, the only goal is to make it easy to recommend (and fun to work with) Pixel Lava. Sign up during the month of May and you'll get a Referral Card Power Pack by mail that includes customized referral cards in an artsy card case and a nifty Pixel Lava sticker. Why not sign up for free right now?
April Newsletter: The Power of Communicating with Images | Facebook Security Tips | $10 off Storewide
As an interactive designer I'm fascinated by how much we communicate nonverbally. From websites to social media to the humble business card, we transmit a lot of information visually. But sometimes the effectiveness of a piece has nothing to do with design, it's simply the emotional power of an image. Take for example the high resolution Earthrise image by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing our planet from the surface of the Moon. To me, April is a celebration of Earth and a reminder that caring for our cosmic home is nothing less than our sacred duty. Like the more famous "Blue Marble" photo from 1968, this shot instantly communicates - without words - that we are one family living together on a tiny planet. Whether you're a small business striving to use your website to boost sales or a nonprofit using social media to attract donors, powerful images reach people at an emotional level and can carry your message far and wide. If you think that's far fetched, consider the ways in which iconic imagery has shaped our cultural landscape and altered the course of history.
In the aftermath of Facebook's mind boggling privacy breach revelations I've had a few concerned calls about using social media. While it is scary that companies like Cambridge Analytica were able to purchase data and quite possibly influence political elections in several countries, those bad actors should not be allowed to overshadow the positive aspects of social media. Like me, many of my friends use Facebook to keep up with friends and family. Many of my clients use Facebook to help new clients find them, to share valuable resources and connect to colleagues and industry associations. Many nonprofits and popular movements use Facebook - and social media in general - to fundraise and organize. But like all media, it is important to consume it with a critical mind. Who benefits from this or that story? What agenda is being served? So, assuming that we as users can think critically about our usage and that the good outweighs the bad, here are some simple ways to make your use of Facebook more useful and secure.
The face of technology, both past and present, is persistently male from Jobs to Gates to Zuckerberg but behind those leaders are millions of people who contribute critical research advances, put the ideas into production and market, sell and support tech companies and products. To celebrate International Women's Day, I did a bit of research and found a huge list of amazing women from a range of countries and cultures whose work laid the foundation for modern computing, websites and the internet itself. Here's a look at just 10 of my favorite pioneering women in technology.
March Newsletter: 7 Step-by-Step Guide | Complete Workshop DIY Kit | 82% off | International Women's Day
I've just completed a big update to my Complete Workshop DIY Kit! I dialed in the templates, added info to the Tips & Tricks sheet and updated the Set Up Checklist. Workshops are a great way to deliver valuable information, create community with clients, cultivate sales & referrals, generate social media buzz and more! But putting a workshop together is a lot of work. First you need to create and assemble the materials - your presentation, handouts, sign-in sheets and door signs, etc. Then you need marketing so there are flyers and posters to be made, social media graphics to be created, email announcements to be written and more. And lastly you need to get as much value as possible by using evaluation forms, gathering reviews and tracking your results. Why struggle to make quality, matching versions of all of it from scratch? My freshly-updated kit includes field-tested materials I’ve developed as a professional graphic artist and used in promoting and running my own client workshops for several years.
About the author
As the owner of Pixel Lava Interactive I've helped hundreds of small businesses and nonprofits with websites, graphic design and more. I hope you'll find this blog full of useful information.
~ Ame Stanko