Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
For me, the ocean is all about science. It is such a wondrous place and we actually know very little about it! I am so blessed to live in San Diego, California, and the ocean has always been a refuge of solace, a place to rejuvenate and an endless canvas of new and interesting wonders. We see dolphins and seals regularly and I've even had 6 foot long leopard sharks swimming all around me - and that's just near the shoreline!
"Those who dwell as scientists … among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." ~ Rachel Carson "In The Sense of Wonder" 1956
If you're looking for some cool ideas for #WorldOceanMonth promos, these some great places to begin:
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!
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.
The best way to make the most of your online marketing channels - whether it's your website, blog, email newsletter or social media feed - is to develop a habit of keeping them fresh. For small businesses and nonprofits though, this can be a real challenge. As small business owners, we wear a lot of hats and marketing often ends up on a back burner. To remedy this, consider scheduling in a 7 step monthly update. Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing your first one and setting it up as an easy task each month.
February Newsletter: 5 February Promo Ideas | Reminders | $50 off Video and Motion Graphics | Olympic Spirit
January Newsletter: Free 3-Month Marketing Planner | Online Marketing 101 Webinar | News | Soaring
Following on the success of last year I'm offering my live, online webinars again this year. These 1 hour presentations are designed to quickly get you up to speed on topics like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media marketing, blogging for business, using Facebook for business, the most effective ways to maintain your website and much more. These sessions are also valuable for small business people and nonprofit professionals who need to know enough to avoid internet scams and over-priced services. For example, what are the deliverables you should get in a search engine marketing service? What is Google Analytics and why should it be a part of any SEO package? How often and what sort of content should you be posting on social media? All that's required is to be online with your favorite device, if you want to participate in the question and answer period you'll get best results with a computer and headphones (or earbuds). There are 12 sessions in all and if you miss the live session on Wednesday night you can log in and view a video replay afterwards. As with my Web Labs I'm offering a nice discount for a Season Pass. While individual passes are a great value at $15 each, a Season Pass is just $144 which saves you $34. With a money-back guarantee you have nothing to lose and as professional development it's even a tax write-off. See the full webinar list and sign up.
I'm really excited to announce that all of the details are coming together for my upcoming Pixel Lava Webs Lab series. While I got a ton of great reviews last year, students all said the same thing - that they never got around to putting their new knowledge into action. That gave me the idea of creating these live, presenter-led sessions where we work together to build up our online marketing. In the same way that services like Blue Apron deliver a ready-to-make meal, each Web Lab features a standalone project with step-by-step instructions. I'll begin with a demo and then we'll get to work. My goal is for every student to leave every session with a new, ready to use project. The sessions are also a great way to get the support of like-minded small business owners and nonprofit professionals. By working together week by week, we'll motivate each other to stay on track and provide the accountability to GET THINGS DONE. To encourage students to take advantage of the whole series I've created a super deep discount of $385 for a season pass - that's 50% off. If you run a small business or nonprofit I encourage you to join us. You CAN bring in more clients, buyers, donors, volunteers, patients, visitors, etc. and I will show you how. With a money-back guarantee you have nothing to lose and as professional development it's even a tax write-off . Get all the details!
Learn from anywhere by computer, phone or tablet
Back by popular demand and updated for 2017 it's my Wednesday Website Webinars (www-get it?). These 1.5 hour online presentations cover search engine optimization, social media marketing, blogging for business and much more. Chose to just listen in or speak up and participate in the Q&A. No rushing around, just find a cozy spot and relax while learning. Every session includes a valuable resource-packed handout too. Kick off the New Year with momentum and focus!
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