Be In The Know Blog

HTML5 Is the Future for the Internet, but Its Present Is a Struggle

Posted by Jennifer Dragon on December 21, 2015 at 11:04 AM

Following Steve Jobs' comments in 2010, Apple insisted that its iOS software wouldn't continue to support Flash long into the future. That opened the door for a new coding language designed to build rich digital content for the Internet's consumption. Today, that coding language alternative has a name: HTML5.

Released in October 2014, this new coding solution has inspired a lot of debate over whether it's an actual improvement over Flash, and how, exactly, it's able to elevate the ceiling for online content development. While long-term forecasts for this coding language remain high, many developers think it will ultimately provide a more versatile and agile platform for content creation than Flash. Nonetheless, the release of the new coding language has been met with multiple challenges that impede its present stature and give the language a bad name.

Here's a rundown of what challenges HTML5 developers currently face on the long road to a (hopefully) better coding language solution.

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Topics: Website Design & Development, Interactive Design & Creative

Landing Page Design: 4 Improvements You Can Make Right Now

Posted by Ginger Gatewood on December 9, 2015 at 10:29 AM

You only get one chance to make a first impression, as the old adage goes, and while that doesn't specifically apply to landing page design, it's certainly comparable. If you are running campaigns without optimizing your landing page, your chance to make a good first impression is lost. As a result, consumers may be bouncing at a higher rate.

Though there are many ways to optimize your landing page design, here are some quick fixes you can do right now to reduce bounce and encourage conversions.

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Topics: Website Design & Development, Interactive Design & Creative

Local Media Websites Prove Effective Destinations for Rich Media Ads

Posted by Chris Finan on November 16, 2015 at 12:59 PM

Banner ads and other traditional display ads haven't gone out of style, but they do face a pressing need to evolve with the times. Because the real estate on Web pages remains valuable as an advertising tool, the challenge marketers face is maximizing its potential to inspire attention, engagements and conversions.

A partial solution to this challenge is the advent of rich media ads as a form of display advertising. These ads are increasingly being deployed to local media websites — newspapers, radio, TV and other sites that see traffic from concentrated regions with specific audience interests in mind.

This two-part strategy — creating rich media ads and deploying them to relevant destinations — is driving critical gains for marketers, improving performance metrics and flexing the value of display ads, even in the face of rapid landscape evolution.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Interactive Design & Creative

Why "Click Here" is Dead

Posted by Rachel McMullen on September 10, 2015 at 11:16 AM

If there's one phrase that's been overused in the marketing world, it's "Click here." While this simple call-to-action (CTA) rose to prominence in the 1990s (when Internet marketing was in its infancy), this standby phrase is one relic that's refused to go away despite a need for retirement. This is especially clear when you consider that consumers are using touch-based devices to access content at an increasing rate, which technically makes "Click here" outdated in addition to overused. (When was the last time you truly "clicked" on something?)

While some may feel a nostalgic attachment to "Click here," it's simply not always an effective way to motivate consumers in today's world, especially because this phrase is so common that it's easily overlooked. The world of digital marketing is evolving all the time, and your CTAs need to evolve as well. If you truly want to reach modern consumers, it's time to put this old phrase out to pasture and try crafting your own unique call-to-action. Here's how.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy, Interactive Design & Creative

The Latest Web Design Trends

Posted by Jennifer Dragon on August 19, 2015 at 11:02 AM

As many organizations update their websites based on the latest Web design trends, there is a potential for your site to get lost in the monotony. However, as current developments are all about finding unique ways to connect with your audience, there are more opportunities for you to make your site stand out to a targeted group. Overall, most trends in imagery, layout, color and typography are moving toward a simpler design.

Imagery

As 1stWebDesigner points out, one of the current Web design trends involves incorporating large background images. While you may already be seeing these types of images everywhere, you can give your brand an edge by adding subtle movement. According to 99designs, one variation on this trend is animated storybooking, in which an animation sequence is triggered when a user scrolls to a certain position on his or her screen.

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Topics: Responsive Design, Website Design & Development, Interactive Design & Creative

The ABCs of A/B Testing Banner Ads

Posted by Jennifer Dragon on August 5, 2015 at 11:40 AM

A/B testing, or split testing, is a tool that online marketers use to compare two versions of a piece of content to see which one performs better. These tests may be run on various types of content, including Web pages, banner ads, social media posts and blog entries. A/B tests, which can run for any length of time, give marketers insight into which kinds of key phrases, design elements and calls-to-action are most effective.

According to Marketing Land, U.S. digital ad spending hit an all-time high of $49.5 billion in 2014, and 16 percent of that, or $8 billion, was spent on desktop ads alone. Banner ads aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so it's important to make sure you're using them to your best advantage. Optimizing your banner ads with A/B testing can help you stand out from your competitors and reach your audience in a meaningful way. Here are three of the benefits of performing these tests on banner ads.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Interactive Design & Creative

5 Ways You Might Be Screwing Up Your Banner Ads

Posted by Jennifer Dragon on July 10, 2015 at 10:19 AM

When the first banner ads were created, they were very effective because they were original and stood out among more traditional advertisements. According to Fast Company, the first banner ad had a click-through rate (CTR) of 44 percent, dwarfing today's rate of 0.8 percent. Now, Internet users often develop ad blindness because they get bombarded with different types of messages every time they go online. As a result, businesses must reevaluate their banner ad design and content to make sure that this marketing channel remains successful. Here are five ways you might be screwing up your banner ads — and five best practices to employ instead.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Interactive Design & Creative

Landing Page Design That Will Land Results

Posted by Jennifer Dragon on June 8, 2015 at 9:43 AM

It can be difficult to create a landing page design that is both attractive and effective. Here are some guidelines that will help you ensure that your landing page lands you results.

Keep It Simple

You should make your navigation system so user-friendly that your customer can get anywhere with one click. To avoid confusion and keep your user's attention, you should also make sure that the link your user clicks on to get to your website lands them on the page with the information they were promised.

The visual appeal of your landing page also plays an important role in your user's experience. A simple design is most appealing because it is not overwhelming to the user. You should make sure that your design — i.e., headers and color scheme — is consistent across all touch points.

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Topics: Website Design & Development, Interactive Design & Creative

3 Things That All Great Banner Ads Have in Common

Posted by Jennifer Dragon on May 28, 2015 at 10:39 AM

Most marketers know the essentials of banner ad creation: all banner ads should be a standard dimension, feature a call-to-action in a prominent location and include at least one "clickable" element. But it can be tough to design an ad that not only follows this basic formula, but is highly effective as well. Here are three key elements that all great banner ads have in common.

1. Strategic Use of Color

99designs has a helpful color guide that breaks down what different colors represent and how to use them effectively. For instance, they explain that red is the most powerful color and that it should, therefore, not be over used. The design blog also mentions that though colors like yellow and orange are associated with optimism and happiness, you should avoid using them for anything other than a call-to-action button or a creative flourish because these bright colors can be irritating to viewers' eyes.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Interactive Design & Creative

Boost Conversions Through Strategic Use of Color

Posted by Jennifer Dragon on October 16, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Can your brand's color scheme impact the rate of your customer conversions? It may seem like a small item on the long list of considerations, but when a major brand like Southwest Airlines changes its signature hues, as noted by the Dallas News, it's a sign to marketers that color can clearly have a huge impact on your audience's perception and response.

An infographic posted at WebMag.co including data compiled by Kissmetrics relays some new findings on the psychological impact of color. It breaks down the color preferences of the average website viewer by gender (perhaps surprisingly, there are some color overlaps). It also illustrates how marketing firms found success with digital campaigns simply by changing the color of some graphics. For example, Web marketing software vendor Performable changed the color of a call-to-action (CTA) button from green to red and saw a 21 percent increase in conversions. Most marketers will tell you to avoid using the color red, using the "stoplight" reference — green means go; red means stop. However, in an interview with Forbes, psychologist Sally Augustin, PhD, explains that red has the power to remove analytical thinking and spurn immediate action. Think about that classic red sports car impulse buy, and you're on the right track.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy, Website Design & Development, Interactive Design & Creative

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