Brand Personality — Pumpkin-Spiced

 

Every year as summer begins to soften into fall, there are a couple of things I look forward to. The sweater weather, the changing leaves, football season and…Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice latte.

Not only do I love the taste of it, I love the special voice that their marketing team gives the PSL on social media.

Everything from beer, to cereal, to chips and salsa can be pumpkin-flavored, and we can give the credit for pumpkin spiced passion to Starbucks. The PSL was first created in 2003, and has started a pumpkin spice boom every fall season since. From the beginning of September to the end of October (or Pumpkin Spice Season), @TheRealPSL is active on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr with cleverly curated posts. The PSL has been on social media since 2014. Aside from the Frappucino, The PSL is the only drink on Starbucks’ menu that has its own social media account.

Ultimately, the PSL social media is all about creating and sustaining hype for the drink. The PSL accounts are only active in the fall — first, to announce the imminent arrival of the PSL, and thereafter to remind people they can still get it.

As a major part of Starbucks’ sales, the PSL and its social media are essential.

So what makes the PSL social media strategy so effective? Four vital attributes–audience, scarcity, brand personality and creative content.

Audience

Starbucks knows their audience well. PSL customers tend to be somewhat affluent, health-conscious millennials. Reaching their audience effectively means that Starbucks has been able to gain a lot of followers (37k on Instagram, 17.4k on Twitter). Not only do they have a significant number of followers, the PSL generates significant engagement on their posts as well. PSL posts receive 493% more likes per photo than Starbucks’ regular posts.

By using a mixture of photos, videos, and gifs, the PSL is able to diversify their social media feed and keep it interesting. And @TheRealPSL adds the bonus of responding personally to its followers.

Now you see where I got the good looks & bad eyesight. #FBF

A post shared by Pumpkin Spice Latte (@therealpsl) on

Scarcity

The PSL only comes around once a year for a short amount of time. Starbucks takes the cue of the changing leaves to start creating hype. By using clever, sporadic posts for the PSL social media, Starbucks drives excitement for the PSL and thus the purchase of the beverage.

Brand Personality

Unlike the other social media accounts for Starbucks, The PSL is very much a brand character. The posts are put into PSL’s first person voice. The more PSL posts, the more the audience learns about the character. Even though it’s a product and it’s not around most of the year, the audience is invested in the PSL story, and they grow to love the PSL character. And because the brand has a well-defined, fun personality the content they produce is top-notch.

Creative Content

To go along with brand personality, the PSL social team has created posts that are eye-catching, entertaining, and fun. We learn the PSL goes backpacking, has a pumpkin-cat named Ginger, and other fun details. And the brand is responsive — engaging with fans that want to interact with the beverage on social.

For another example of a company using a branding character, check out New Belgium Brewing Company’s Voodoo Ranger. He’s a relatively new marketing tool for New Belgium, but he’s already the face of four of their beers.

Utilize the PSL social media strategy for your own marketing goals. But be sure to be original — we all know that the copycats aren’t the same as the real thing! Now, who’s thirsty for a PSL?


Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten once dressed up as a PSL for Halloween and it’s still her favorite costume to date.



Protecting your Brand against the Unknown

Writing this blog was not on my “to-do” list until news of Hurricane Harvey. Current events spark conversation, so this seemed timely. It is not without sensitivity to those who have lost loved ones or who are dealing with loss of all unimaginable kinds.


The recent events in Houston invoke all types of emotions, by those directly and indirectly affected. For me, the current event was bone chilling because I spent the summer reading 5 Days at Memorial, by Pulitzer Prize author Sheri Fink.

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The book is a real-life account of the 5 days at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. The first half of the book paints the picture of a flooded basement that contained the emergency generator, a helipad that was in disrepair, a lack of electricity, plumbing, food and a lot of patients at various levels of health.

People died. Some on their own, some with the help of physician-directed medication. Healthcare professionals were saddled with a hopeless situation and delivered compassion in the form of dosages of lethal medication as they deemed necessary.

The second half of the book details the litigation that followed those difficult life-ending decisions. Everyone accused was eventually acquitted and the exercise prompted immunity laws that protect workers in an emergency situation today.

The epilogue was maybe the most powerful portion of the book. It reviewed not only disasters in third world countries when medical resources have to be rationed, but also situations like Hurricane Sandy and the Ebola patient at Texas Health in Dallas. It included discussion of ethics and the possible biases of having a limited resource distribution protocol in place. “Fifty patients, six outlets. How do you decide?” — was a quote from the book referring to a real-life situation when all fifty patients needed to be on ventilators.

A thought provoking read and history does, tragically, repeat itself.

What does this have to do with protecting your brand? Nobody can predict a natural disaster, but everyone can make an intentional effort to plan for the worst and practice their crisis plan. The lawyers in 5 Days at Memorial asked hospital executives for their crisis plan — a show of due diligence.

Your communications team needs to be part of the team crafting your crisis plan. Who will talk to the media? Where will press conferences be held? What is the message and talking points? Do you have press release templates and up-to-date media distribution lists?

What are smaller and more likely worst-case scenarios that might affect your business? Maybe it’s a theft, power outage, server failure or more snow than your employees can plow through.

Take some intentional time and brainstorm with your team. Make a list:

  • What could happen?
  • How would we respond to an event?
  • What can we do proactively now to minimize the effects of an event?
  • What is our chain of communication?
  • What/When/How do we inform our customers?

Read about other crisis situations, learn from their successes and failure. Remember Tylenol? Uber? Samsung? Wells Fargo? There are many examples of how the actions of others or actions of your internal staff can damage your brand.

My rule of thumb for a crisis response:

  1. Accept responsibility (not applicable in a natural disaster) — State what happened, clearly and honestly
  2. Apologize — We are very sorry for . . .
  3. Explain how it won’t happen again — new training, education or new processes in place — and set those changes in motion

Brands are an investment, and a good brand reputation can be quickly lost whether it’s the fault of something in your control or not. Nothing brings that home more profoundly than a tragic event. With Harvey on our minds, now is as good a time as any to be prepared.

Sending our prayers for those in Houston.



Swag Stats: Ten Things That Might Surprise You About Promotional Products

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Stylin’ in Jet shades

We all know that marketing has changed significantly over the last few decades. There are certain things that have remained consistently effective when it comes to brand recognition, swag items being one of them. People still like receiving promotional products and especially useful ones. Depending on distribution, it may be more effective to select something of higher cost that the user will value and keep longer, maybe an insulated tumbler. If the goal is to reach a broader audience, go with something less valuable but perhaps just as useful like a pen. Let these statistics* help guide your decision to get the best ROI for your business.

1. 85% of people remember the name of a company that has given them a promotional product

2. Consumers are 2.5x more likely to have a positive impression of promotional products compared to internet advertising.

3. 87% of consumers keep promotional products for over a year.

Here are some examples based on popular branded giveaway categories among US consumers:

4. 50% own a promotional writing instrument.

5. T-shirts are the most popular with consumers over the age of 55

6. 50% own a promotional bag. Among 18-24 year old women, 57% own one.

7. 53% own logoed drinkware, 50% of them use the item 2-3 times per week.

8. 45% own promotional USB Drives, and 91% keep them because they are useful.

9. 29% own branded calendars, and 76% of those consumers have them displayed in their home or office.

10. 50% of consumers own logoed outerwear and 75% of those keep them because they are useful.

Danielle
A Jet mason jar tumbler in action!

It is also important to consider the timing of a product — Think outside to box to gear your goods towards an event or the time of year. Is your audience going back to school? Think USB drives or cord wraps. Are they going to a football game? Maybe a clear tote bag. Do you want to engage your audience in social media posts? Give out something like trendy sunglasses to encourage fun photos. Regardless of the timing — go with a unique, useful and memorable item to make your brand stand out.

The right promotional product is out there for your business. There are endless options, and if you need help finding the perfect fit, we can help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

FullSizeRenderKatie proudly sports her Jet coffee mug almost everyday. She loves finding the perfect swag items for clients and then seeing them in action!



Every relationship needs an audit.

I recently got out my old bike. It’s a Schwinn, cruiser type, with an old basket and a cute bell.

 

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I expected it to perform like it had every other time I got it out of the garage. Without giving much thought to it, I assumed the tires were full of air, that the brakes would be functional and that the old bell on the handlebars would announce me as I cruised down the trail.

You know how this is going to end.

Without all the details: Tires . . . flat. Valve stem. . .cracked and leaking. Brakes . . . very little. Bell . . . well that was the only bright spot. These discovered defects were over two bike rides on two hot days – of course all my husband’s fault, so now he’s in trouble too.

Was it naïve of me to think that a bike I bought in 2000 for $99 would still be a trusted and reliable friend in 2017? I’ve never had it looked at by a professional. I have added some air to the tires . . . because heck, I don’t ride more than a few times a summer, what could go wrong?

These series of events got me thinking about how not only personal relationships need attention, tune-ups, some love and understanding, but also companies and businesses that use marketing tactics to drive business through the door, to educate, and to create top-of-mind awareness.

Like my bike, you can’t just buy it and let it sit. You can’t put up a website and wipe your hands and say it’s done. Social media and branding need constant attention. Decisions about marketing campaigns, updating the look of your company and even reinventing what it is you do and how you do it – happens over time as a result of constant listening, research and time spent contemplating “what if.”

I’ve been married 35 years. I still have to be reminded to make that extra effort, to be thoughtful, or to suggest a new restaurant.

It would be easier to (buy a bike, create a logo, sign the wedding license) once and be done. But like my bike — a painless audit at the beginning of my bike riding season would save a lot of back and forth to the bike shop, money and blame. I’m not a marriage counselor, but if you need a marketing audit, I can help you there – as long as I can fly or drive to visit with you about it.



The Magic of Good Summer Vacations and Great Vacation Marketing Campaigns

With warmer days upon us, my mind wanders to thoughts of summer vacation–the magic of warm evenings, the sense of freedom, and the adventures it promises to bring.

I recently read an article in the Chicago Tribune about a lesser known beach town in Rhode Island. The author ruminated on his decision to write the article, knowing that his words would attract people to his hidden gem. He wanted to hold that place close, preserve it, and have it be everything he always experienced each time he traveled there. In the end, he figured a few extra tourists wouldn’t spoil the spot he held so sacred. The way he described the feeling of the place, the food, the sunsets, the water, the outdoor showers (who doesn’t love a good outdoor shower after a sunny, sandy day at the beach!), the slow pace, and the sense of family, took me back to my summers as a child. We traveled to the northeast every summer to visit my grandparents who lived in Cape Cod, MA. Those summers fostered some of the best memories of my life. But what is it about those vacations? Is it the place? The experiences? The time with family? The pace? The innocence? Maybe it’s a combination of those things. A good vacation marketing campaign captures all of it.

Travel and vacation destinations are big business. When a marketing campaign does an amazing job at grasping and relaying the sense of time and place, it can stop you in your tracks. One really great campaign that stands out to me is Pure Michigan. The commercials are narrated by Tim Allen and are done in such a way that even the pace of the commercial relays the pace of the place, all in 30 seconds. It doesn’t feel rushed, and the imagery and narrative make you take notice.

Every time a travel commercial comes on the television I find myself stopping to watch, and longing for a vacation, maybe to Michigan! Pure Michigan is by no means a new campaign. It was launched in 2008, but it was so successful they also revamped their logo and website to match the theme, and it has had the legs to stay relevant into the present. It wasn’t simply a one-off summer campaign that was done once the leaves started to change colors!

A more recent campaign that really grabbed me, mostly for its humor, is the Las Vegas “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign. In one of the commercials a woman comes home from Vegas and tells her husband how much fun she had, pulling out her sketchbook to show him her “sketches” instead of photos of all that happened while there. It’s impactful because it’s so appropriate for what we think of Vegas. They never show a single image of Las Vegas. It was the feeling and reputation they captured. Maybe this campaign won’t quite have the staying power of Pure Michigan, but the wit and relevance sure do make it memorable.

 

 

Another campaign with a clever twist, is the new Sweden Airbnb campaign. In Sweden there is a national concept of “freedom to roam” meaning anyone has the right to access, walk, cycle, or camp on any land (with exceptions of private residences, and a few other restrictions). According to the site sweden.withairbnb.com. . . “it’s a home with all the necessities and amenities that any great home should have. It’s a place where you can eat berries from the ground, sleep under the stars, swim in the lakes and roam freely. To make this home available for everyone, Sweden has listed the entire country on Airbnb.” It’s a revolutionary idea for a country, and it’s causing quite a stir.

 

 

Vacation marketing must convey the magic of a place, and answer the question, “Why go there?” at a deep level for viewers. Marketing can’t create unique vacation experiences, but it sure can help you find the place to make those memories happen.

Maybe it’s the fast times we live in, always rushing from one demand to the next, always tuned in to technology, that makes us long for a slower time, where we can actually take a few breaths and feel the sun on our face and the sand beneath our feet. Vacations provide just that, a respite. So with summer just around the corner, remember to take a moment, or several moments, to pause and recharge. Better yet, take a vacation! Don’t let the days slip by. Grab your family and head to that special summer spot that lets you feel reconnected, and don’t forget to find an outside shower to rinse off your sandy toes.

ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

Erin is currently researching her next vacation destination and would love to hear all about your favorite spot!



Five reasons your brand isn’t working any more – and what to do about it.

Like everything in life, business is about relationships, and branding does a lot of the talking for you to your customers. Your brand communicates your values to your customers – are you trying to sell fun, quality, reliability, familiarity, innovation, or something else? Does your brand say that? If your branding isn’t communicating what you want it to, it’s time to think about rebranding. A rebrand isn’t a decision to take lightly — but it can make all the difference for a company, and take it to new levels.

Some reasons an organization might need to rebrand are:

A bad reputation — less than stellar customer service relationships may have tarnished your image. You’re ready to start over — with a new identity that’s more focused on your customers.

Name change, or a merger/acquisition — New blood in the family or a new direction prompts a conversation. Who are we? What do we do differently? How can we explain how the new organization is for the customer’s benefit?

Your brand no longer describes what you do — Along the way, your organization may have found a way to specialize or found new avenues of business. A rebrand helps solidify your place of relevance in today’s market.

Confusing — what is it you do again? If the customer has to ask this, they’ll probably use your competition instead.

You look like a competitor — You gotta stand out from the crowd.

Take rebranding as an opportunity to solidify colors, taglines, logos, and your look and feel to create a professional package that can be maintained across mediums. A brand isn’t just about the logos — it needs to be about your brand’s promise to customers too. A solid brand is a launch pad to fulfilling your customer’s expectations of you.

Branding & Strat_3

A few of our clients have had different reasons for rebranding. For Campbell County Health, located in Gillette, Wyoming, they needed to figure out a name that showed that they were a health system, not just a hospital. With clinics, a hospital, and a variety of specialties and facilities, they needed a name and brand that encompassed the whole organization. By rebranding to Campbell County Health, they were able to designate themselves as a health system, not only a hospital. For their patients, Campbell County Health is now a more comprehensive health system that can provide excellent care for a variety of needs.

 

Another client, Prowers Medical Center, had had the same logo for almost 20 years. They had an outdated logo that didn’t speak to their real expertise. As one of the Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in the nation, Prowers Medical Center needed to look like it and present a united front. With a new brand, Prowers Medical Center extends the promise to their patients that they are contemporary and patient-centered. Branding & Strat_1

So — what kind of message are you trying to communicate to your customers, and is your brand doing that? If not — reach out to us. We’re great at helping you define your brand message. And from logos to materials, we’ll get you there.

Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Among friends, family, and at the office, Kirsten is known as the cat lady – she’s starting to think it’s time for a personal rebrand!

😹

 



The “always” in customer satisfaction

Being from Northern Colorado, I love the Human Bean coffee shop. Here’s why:

  • Their coffee drinks are consistently good
  • The staff is always friendly
  • They have drive-up service
  • I get a chocolate covered espresso bean on top, every time
  • They back up this goodness by donating generously to community causes

My Human Bean visits are a consistently positive experience. As marketers, we know that brand consistency builds brand loyalty. I’d add that brand sincerity does, too.

What do I mean by brand sincerity? They walk their talk. They don’t promise one thing and do another. They don’t fake a smile when they hand you your coffee to hide the stress they feel when cars are piling up behind you. They don’t give to various local causes simply to boost their marketing efforts. They don’t forget to make you feel special by placing that bonus bean on top.

Brand sincerity is a tricky thing, because you have to leave a positive impression every time you touch a customer, from the front door to the final transaction. The 17586583_1659281251047525_2502153972765163520_noutcome–that great cup of coffee–is most important, but customers decide who you are every step of the way. If you hit the mark each time, they’re yours to keep.

If you are in healthcare like many of our clients at Jet Marketing, you know consistency can be hard to achieve when a patient experiences 10 to 20 interactions in just one visit. Consider how many chances you have to be less than perfect: A patient sets an appointment, walks through the door, is greeted, sees a nurse or medical technician, sees a doctor, gets lab tests or imaging scans, gets a treatment plan, receives care instructions, checks out, receives a follow up call with results…and that’s all from one doctor visit. Imagine a hospital stay.

One grumpy interaction with staff or missed step along the way can result in a “usually” rather than an “always” on the HCAHPS patient satisfaction survey where healthcare customers rank their satisfaction on a scale of never, sometimes, usually and always. The only answer that generates full federal reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare for hospitals and clinics is “always,” the most desired box to check on the survey–hence, hospitals thrive or nosedive by their Top Box results.

How can a hospital that has dozens of outlying clinics and a long list of services deliver top care consistently? How can they maintain brand sincerity when so many fingers are in the patient pie? Here are some ideas:

  1. Choose a motto and give it meaning with action.

    For example, our client Campbell County Health in Gillette, Wyoming chose “Excellence Every Day” which they’ve integrated into their daily team huddles and process improvement efforts.

    Provide scripting for front-end staff, technicians and nurses.

  2. Regardless of what facility your patients call, they get the same greeting and warm response. Some of our hospitals have employed the acronym AIDIT, which stands for Acknowledge (by looking in their eyes, calling them by name), Introduce (say your name and what you will be doing for them), Duration (if there is a wait, tell them how long), Explanation (explain the procedure) and Thank you (for choosing us, for calling).
  3. Enlist volunteers to greet your patients at the front door and offer to walk them to their destination.

    Our client Montrose Memorial Hospital did this with excellence on our first visit–complete with a charming older gentlemen who linked arms with us and walked us to the marketing director’s door.Always Blog graphic

  4. Educate patients they will be receiving a patient satisfaction survey and ask them to fill it out.

    While you can’t ask patients to respond with an “always,” you can let them know you want to hear their feedback, and that it helps you improve and makes a difference with federal funding. With that said, don’t let the HCAHPs survey be the end-all goal. Patients are savvy. They recognize when staff are insincerely nice just to get good scores. At the end of the day, an “always” is achieved by consistent, genuine and positive experiences that create loyal customers who are convinced you are great and expect nothing less. In other words, they trust you to deliver that delicious bean on top.

 

3Lynn Nichols, Copywriter, Publication Specialist

Around the office, our copywriter has earned the facetious nickname of “Dr. Lynn” for her off-the-cuff diagnoses of team ailments from her years of healthcare writing.



The Unboxing Experience

Even if we don’t admit it, some of the same things that we were excited about as kids still give us the same feelings as adults. Online retailers finally figured this out and as marketers, we can tap into the same ideas and principals.

BirchboxIt’s the excitement and anticipation of opening a gift — even if we already know what’s inside. A curated and thoughtful un-boxing experience makes the consumer feel special and it increases the perceived value of their purchase. More and more companies are upping their game by shipping orders in colored or patterned boxes, carefully wrapping the items in fancy tissue paper or placing them in cloth bags, enclosing a personalized note or putting your receipt in a nice envelope. When you receive a package like this, you are excited to open it for more reasons than just the item inside.

We can apply this theme to many other aspects of marketing a business — even if the company does not offer something tangible. It’s the attention to detail and the element of surprise that can make the customer (or potential customer) feel special and elevate your brand.

Add a surprise to your next promotion to make your audience excited to dive in. This could add cost to your campaign, but if it draws attention and conversation, it is well worth it.

Business Card Example from Moo
Business Card Example from Moo

The possibilities are endless, but here are some examples to get the wheels turning:

  • Design a direct mail piece with a unique shape or even put it in a padded envelope with a clever item that aligns with a campaign. Anthropologie’s birthday mailings are great inspiration.
  • Everyone loves a giveaway, and promotional items are a great way to boost brand awareness. Consider taking it to the next level by packaging it or surprising your audience with something unconventional. Jet Marketing recently branched
    Anthropologie
    Example of Anthropologie’s Birthday Mailing

    out with miniature chairs as part of a school health center campaign to keep students out of the nurse’s office and in their chairs.

  • Add foil or print your business card on a heavy or unique paper. Use an interesting pattern or quote on the reverse side of the card to invoke emotion.
  • Present a proposal or bid in a pocket folder or bind it in a unique way to make it memorable.

Keep it unexpected, interest the audience, and don’t forget your end goal. In an increasingly impersonal world, this mindset will add personal elements to your product or service. A plain brown box just doesn’t cut it anymore.

 

Katie O’Hara, Project Manager

Katie loves the challenge of finding ways to help clients stand out in a crowded world. She believes that finding inspiration in unlikely places is the key to great ideas.



A Publication to Love

They say people don’t read anymore. We all have shortened attention spans, and we want more graphics and video– not text.

While I don’t disagree with these basic trends, I would encourage you (especially women) to pick up the most recent copy of Darling and reconsider the values you place on reading.

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Targeted to women of all ages and walks of life, this magazine is like no other that I’ve seen. You’ll need a $20 bill, but if you don’t enjoy the format, the variety of stories, the photography, illustrations, graphic treatments and even the paper it’s printed on, I’ll reimburse you!

I so appreciate wandering through this publication that my husband started picking up for me each quarter. With just a few artful advertisements in the opening pages, this publication does not have any other advertising.

Each story is well crafted and synchronized with effective type treatments and rich, often monochromatic photography. There is nothing “stock” about this perfectly bound and perfectly done publication. In fact, editors at Darling embrace the raw, and real, non-photo shopped approach.

It’s artful and it makes me stop to spend a little time to feel the texture of the pages and listen to new perspectives or inspirations found within the covers. It’s an exercise in mindfulness really. This magazine doesn’t go out in my recycling pile, like most of my other magazines. I keep them. I treasure them. I share them with others.

IMG_3388At Jet Marketing, our approach to many of our marketing campaigns employs strategies of less text and more graphics. But we also create original newspaper article content, community newsletters and donor publications that get noticed. While our publications are different than Darling, they are relevant, professional and they speak to a target audience with specific education or awareness goals. Seem old-school? Well maybe, but sometimes what is old is new.

I believe that people still do read — however, Darling reinforces the fact that a high-quality piece that is relevant and attractive helps your marketing or publication rise to the top and increases the likelihood of perceived value.

What’s your favorite item to read and why? We’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, pick up a copy of Darling, or stop by the office and I’m happy to share a back copy with you.

darlingmagazine.org

@darling on Instagram

facebook.com/DarlingMagazine

 

Jackie O’Hara, Owner/Account Executive/Strategist

As the “boss lady” at Jet Marketing, Jackie is usually struggling to find time for herself. But when she does, there is nothing like a glass of wine and immersing herself in the latest copy of Darling.

 



The Latest in Web Trends

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While recently researching the latest in web design for an upcoming project, we came across some surprising (and some not-so-surprising) trends and best practices for the new year and thought we’d share.

  1. Phase Out Sliders and Sidebars.

The slider (also known as a photo carousel) has been incredibly popular, but when looking for conversions and engaging your audience it’s best to steer clear. They are often a distraction that users skim right past. They don’t have the patience to wait for each message to appear, and even if they are interested, the message often automatically forwards to the next one before allowing the user to fully engage with the previous.

People think that if they cram as many messages as possible above the “fold”, they will maximize their impact. In reality, their message is diluted or ignored. Worse yet, people may click away from their site.

With mobile devices being the most widely used way users interact on the internet, a scrolling website is your best option. Users are accustomed to and actually expect to scroll through sites. Make the most impact by having a powerful image and succinct copy and a call to action as the first thing a user will see on your site. That will draw them in and encourage scrolling down to see more content.

Sidebars are similar to sliders – often ignored. You have extremely limited time to capture your audience’s attention, so don’t complicate it with more static like a sidebar.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for sliders and sidebars. Sliders are a great way to showcase your portfolio – but they certainly aren’t for every site, and they definitely don’t belong at the top of your homepage.

 

  1. Larger Fonts and Better Imagery.

This may seem like a no-brainer – but bigger fonts lead to bigger impact, especially when people are using mobile devices more and more. Readability is crucial. Keep the content succinct and to the point. A call to action is another helpful way to draw readers in and lead to conversions.

Having authentic, original imagery that occupies a large amount of real estate on your site is a great way to capture and hold attention. You don’t need lots of images, just a few impactful ones. The human brain can process an image 60,000 times faster than text.* Having powerful imagery helps the viewer to understand much more quickly what you are trying to convey.

 

  1. Using Semi-Flat design vs. Flat design

Flat design is a style that has no glossy or three-dimensional visual effects. It became popular with the release of Microsoft’s Metro design language and Windows 8 in 2011, along with Apple’s homepage in 2013.** It focuses on minimalism in terms of design.

It used to be apparent to click when something was either blue, underlined, or had 3-D effects. With flat design, it became more difficult to detect linked elements. Therefore Semi-Flat design has evolved to correct these issues. It adds subtle depth and dimension with shadows and shading, which has helped to mitigate the issues of flat design.

While still maintaining the sharp and sophisticated look of a Flat design, Semi-Flat design can improve usability on your site, which in turn can lead to the all important conversion.

 

  1. Video is on the Rise.

While video has long been around, it is becoming more and more powerful as a tool for storytelling and marketing. It is compelling, instantly engaging and quickly draws in its audience. Including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. *** And by 2020, video will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic.****

Video needs to load and play quickly, because impact is lost if a viewer is waiting for it to load. All you need to create compelling video content is a smartphone so get started today!

 

  1. Simplify Your Navigation.

Complicated navigation systems create way too many options for people and can actually drive them away. Having clear, concise labels that allow readers to know what is in each category provides better usability. For example, don’t use adjectives, instead pick short, predictable words. The easier it is for a reader to navigate your site, the more likely they are to stay and click around.

 

These are just a few of the many trends happening in web design, but we think they’re some of the most important. They’ll help get you going in the right direction with staying on top of the latest strategies in excellent web design and presence.

 

Sources:

* http://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/visual-marketing-pictures-worth-60000-words-01126256

** https://www.nngroup.com/articles/flat-design/

*** https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics#sm.000005pswuag36cweqpnrdp1zt26s

**** http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html

ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

Erin enjoys a good, local coffee shop and family road trips.