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Social Media Videos

How can I make a great social media videos for my business? Your potential customers are online on popular social media platforms, and guess what; they are watching a lot of social media videos. Therefore, if you are looking for a way to reach out to them, the answer may just lie in a great social media video. However, creating just the right video can be a difficult task. After all, you want to create something that resonates enough with viewers that it goes viral. Here are a few things to consider. Sharing Videos First of all, you need to recognise that social videos need to be optimised so that they can be shared on different forums. For instance, Twitter and Facebook have different content standards, and therefore you may need to do some editing to get a format that can play on both. Secondly, if the video is pre-recorded you need to make sure that it can be shared. Emotions and story structure have a lot to do with viewers deciding to share a video. If viewers do not share your video, then your content is not going to reach your target audience. Therefore, you need to find a way to engage people and create emotions authentic enough that they are spurred to share. Thirdly, remember that it is more important to be shared than it is to be viral! Your aim is not primarily to create a video that gets spread across the masses, but instead to create one that reaches your target audience. You may not reach a billion people, but if you get 700 views and... read more

Web Design Trends

The latest web design trends Web design evolves on an ongoing basis; just take a look at the GIFs and banners from the nineties, to get confirmation that the web demands you stay up-to-date at all times. Lately, responsive web design has been at the forefront of design concepts, as well as mobile ready web designs. Here are just a few web design trends that you will want to pay attention to when working on your website. One new design trend that is completely opposite to traditional web design is the long scroll. The old thinking was that everything important had to be kept before the ‘fold’, but these days everyone is ready to scroll because of mobile surfing. Therefore, creating a long scroll is a great way to entice browsers to engage with your brand via this storytelling technique. You can still have sections to create a multi-page site, but allow viewers to scroll first before skipping around. Simple, Effective Design Sometimes referred to as the hamburger menu, this website design is stark, naked, and effective. Google first pioneered the idea of keeping a website simple, but it is still working today. Offer a simple statement, and a click to allow users to enter the website with an enticing headline such as ‘reveal the truth’, or something that ties into your brand image. Nine times out of ten, people will not only be intrigued, but they will click. While you’re thinking about keeping things simple, also think about hidden navigation menus. These are becoming more and more popular because they help to clean up the screen and eliminate clutter,... read more

CMS Platforms for Your Website

Top Ten CMS Platforms for Your Website If you’re new to the world of website creation, CMS platforms are simply content management systems, i.e. they manage whatever is on your website. Probably one of the best known of these systems is WordPress. Not everyone will want to set up their own website so they might hire a professional to do it for them, although something like WordPress is simple to operate. Most web developers will have a favourite system, because they don’t want to learn how to operate a new CMS platform when they launch a new website. Designers and developers want something that is powerful, and relatively easy to use, particularly if they are building sites for a number of different clients. Below are the top 10 CMS platforms, starting with WordPress. WordPress WordPress is a free platform, and has all kinds of helpful plugins, which means you can use it as an eCommerce site. Many of these plugins are free. WordPress makes it easy to customise a site, but apart from the user forum, there’s not a lot of help if you have a problem. On the other hand, many developers and webmasters find WordPress the best system for their needs, and there are plenty of free and low cost themes – good if you are setting the site up yourself. Drupal Drupal is also a free platform and has a large, helpful online community. One of the drawbacks is little choice when it comes to themes, and custom themes can be expensive. A lot of companies like Drupal and will use it for their clients. Some... read more

Great Content Marketing

The Importance of Great Content Marketing If you want to be effective at marketing your product or business services, then great content marketing is essential. To be effective, content marketing should, according to experts such as Seth Godin, be relevant, valuable, and also consistent. It is pointless offering potential clients great content one week, and indifferent fluff the next. The key to successful content marketing is providing your readers with something they want. If you are consistent in your delivery of quality information, rather than just a hard sell, you will grow your customer base. Relevant When a person enters a word or phrase into a search engine, they are looking for something that is relevant to what they want, whether that is information or products. Delivering relevant content on a consistent and regular basis takes time and patience. It is your job both to see which search terms people use in connection with your products or services, and to take notice of what your competition is offering. When someone hits on a link (and remember most Internet users do not go past the first two or three pages of search results) they are looking for something specific and relevant to their needs. If you’ve done your homework, then delivering relevant content should be a breeze. Valuable Great content is valuable; it offers something that the client wants, something that is not necessarily trying to sell a product or service, but offers interesting information in connection to their needs. If you deliver information that is relevant to what a person wants, and is therefore valuable to them, then you’re... read more

Proud Sponsor for #upStartBelfast at Digital DNA

St George’s Market Belfast – 8th June 2016 Blue Monkee Digital will be the proud sponsor of The Start Up Event at Digital DNA Belfast where startup companies pitch for a £50,000 prize! upStart Belfast has been created to reward digital startups with an amazing prize that gives them professional advice and support as they develop their business. We have worked with many startups over the years and realise how important it is to have a strong digital strategy from the outset to grow your audience and establish your brand online. We will be happy to talk to any of the entries, or any new startups for that matter, at the event to give you advice on how the best strategies work and the essentials you need to have in place to be a success online. THE PRIZE The Winner will be rewarded with a £50,000 package of financial and support prizes that will include: Cash Prize of £5,000 Dream Builder by Wonka Lab in California (A £15,000 value) One day in London  with the Deloitte Ventures team for a strategy session Six month accountancy support from Deloitte Exhibition space and two VIP passes to Digital DNA 2017 Access to the Digital DNA Trade Mission to San Francisco & Palo Alto in March 2017 Opportunity to deliver a Halo Brief – an email enabled 90 sec elevator pitch delivered to the Halo Investor Network - check it out here Startacus Platform - Business Case Study Opportunity to take up a place on the StartPlanetNI Accelerator Programme – subject to T&C’s A one day master class in Agile Product Development with... read more

How to keep your website secure

Keep your website secure from hackers Most people who are new to the world of online selling find that building a new website is the most complex part about getting into e-commerce. The second tricky part, however, follows closely behind: keeping a website safe and secure. Regardless of how big or small your business is, security is a huge issue online. If a hacker gets into your website they can access a lot of sensitive data, and send out malicious files to your clients, which could end in disaster for you. This is why it is important to know the basic rules of website safety. Regular Updates First of all, you need to make sure that you keep all your software updated. When an update comes out it is likely that the software development has fixed a security bug, so choosing not to update leaves you very vulnerable. By applying updates as soon as they become available you increase the strength of your site and your business. Most of the time hackers are looking for easy ways into your site, so if you don’t give them any easy pathways they will usually move on to someone else who is simpler to hack. At Blue Monkee we keep our clients websites updated through automatic and manual updating. “Password” is Not a Strong Password Next, you need to make sure that all of your accounts are properly secured with tough passwords. Hackers can try to enter your website through many venues, so you need to make sure that your email, cPanel, and all FTP accounts have strong passwords associated with them.... read more

Advantages of using WordPress

What are the advantages of using WordPress? If you are trying to figure out how to launch a new website you may want to start by looking at WordPress. WordPress is a common choice for a variety of web designers from beginners to experts and is both a trusted and the sensible choice, if for no other reason than it’s free and easy to use. Another great advantage is the fact that it can be easy to rank high in search engine results because of simple layouts that can be easily optimised. The very design of the website revolves around being search engine friendly, and the templates make it easy for anyone to follow that design. These are just a few advantages of using WordPress, but if you need more convincing, keep reading. Building a Professional Looking Site As mentioned, you can use WordPress for free which makes it a great tool to get started with. This allows you to get used to the software before you actually start your own site. Then you can play with the web design software from WordPress, that is free to download. Once you start paying for hosting you can use a lot of cool WordPress plugins that will instantly make your website pop into life. The plugins alone make it possible for your website to become one of the leading sites in your niche, and within a reasonable amount of time. If you want to look professional you can easily pull it off with the templates and plugins. Another great reason to use WordPress is the freedom to create your own individualised,... read more

Google Adwords Problems

Common Google Adwords Problems and When to Talk to a Professional Google Adwords are meant to help you advertise your business and attract new clients. Some people find that their campaign works well, and they see an increase in interest and in paying customers. For other businesses, their Adwords campaign doesn’t seem to be working to their advantage. While there are some things you can do to make a campaign more effective, there are also some circumstances where you may need to consult a professional. Setting Up Your Campaign – Keyword Research If you are a beginner with Google Adwords, the first thing that you need to do is to set yourself a budget. The idea is that you bid on certain keywords, and establish how much you are willing to pay when someone clicks on your advert (known as PPC or pay per click). Research shows that for every dozen keywords that you bid on, at least ten of them will not produce results. What this means is that most of the money for your campaign is yielding you absolutely nothing. Where people go wrong in setting up their campaign is generally in their use of keywords. If the words you choose are too generic, then you are not going to get people clicking on your link and arriving at your site. Keyword research takes time, but if you don’t do it, you could be paying Google a lot of money with little to show for it. If you are unsure about how keywords function, or how they are used in relation to advertising, you might want to... read more

Choosing Web Hosting

What is web hosting? The great majority of people are aware of the basic principles involved with the creation of a small business, such as establishing a relevant name for that business, renting a space for said business and then moving in and decorating it in an appropriate manner for the services and/or products that said business is offering. Web hosting is much the same in this regard. A registrant will establish a domain name that is both relevant and very easy to remember and then lease server space and start to upload their webpage. After this has been done, anyone who has internet access will be able to begin browsing this new website. Web hosting services store the files that make up your website in web servers that are connected to a fast network. Anything that relates to the management of such servers as well as its software, support, speed, security and bandwidth falls under the purview of “web hosting”. The great majority of people are aware of the basic principles involved with the creation of a small business, such as establishing a relevant name for that business, renting a space for said business and then moving in and decorating it in an appropriate manner for the services and/or products that said business is offering. Web hosting is much the same in this regard. A registrant will establish a domain name that is both relevant and very easy to remember and then lease server space and start to upload their webpage. After this has been done, anyone who has internet access will be able to begin browsing this... read more

Belfast Adwords Agency

Benefits of Using a Belfast Adwords Agency Just in case you weren’t aware, Google is the most important and well-known search engine in the world. People in many different countries will use Google to search the Internet, whether that search is for knowledge or purchasing goods. Adwords are used in what is known as a pay per click campaign, and the foremost company offering this approach is Google. The fact is that many companies attempt to launch their business, or a particular campaign, using pay per click advertising. What this means is that business owners will bid on certain keywords, saying how much they will pay Google if a visitor clicks on their advertisement using that particular word as a search term. Knowledge Many new companies will attempt to use an Adwords campaign without a clear understanding of the nature of keywords, and their importance in getting a website or business picked up by the search engines. If you don’t have a clear understanding of search engine optimisation (how to use certain keywords that visitors might use as search terms), then your PPC campaign will probably fail. There has been a lot of research in this area and experts agree that nine out of ten searches lead to nothing, which means you could spend a lot of money on your campaign with no visible results. The Professionals If you really want your ad campaign to work, and you are new to how business is conducted on the Internet, then you’ll benefit from professional help. Professional companies will help you to understand how keywords and Adwords campaigns work. They will... read more

Essential Upgrade Maintenance Work

SYNOPSIS Our main webserver, eris.uksrv.co.uk, is going to be upgraded to new, more powerful hardware, with more features and improved security. This work will require some downtime. You may also need to update your email settings. Please read the following document carefully, as it provides information essential for the continued smooth operation of your email services. OVERVIEW At Blue Monkee we are always updating and upgrading the software and hardware that powers your hosting. Usually this goes on unnoticed in the background but sometimes we have to upgrade major parts of our infrastructure, causing disruption to live services. On 8TH MARCH 2016 we will be upgrading the server hardware for eris.uksrv.co.uk – this server hosts many clients websites The hardware will be swapped at some point early in the day, between 06:00hrs and 09:00hrs. This operation normally takes us around 2 hours hours, during which time your cpanel services, including web and email, will be unavailable. Email received during this period will be queued by our incoming mail handlers. Any customers who’s websites are transactional should put them into maintenance mode from midnight 8th March. This is because database copying will commence at some point in the early hours. If we encounter any difficulties during the work, we will post updates to our status blog. We will also post an update when the work is completed and transactional websites can be re-activated. WHAT YOU NEED TO DO Enable SSL : After the upgrade is complete the server will only accept FTP and email connections that are protected using TLS (the new name for SSL). All modern FTP and email... read more

What’s new for PPC in 2016

The Pay Per Click marketing industry made a lot of headway last year as digital ads continued to get more sophisticated. However, it’s poised to make even more progress this year. Here is a quick guide to walk you through what’s new for PPC in 2016. More and More Mobile Advertising It should go without saying that mobile advertising will continue to increase in scope and range. In today’s climate when everyone has a smartphone, mobile advertising is a requirement, but the way it is used will become more honed and specific. In 2016 expect to see yet more apps and built-for-mobile websites. Digital marketers need to plan for this eventuality by creating short, concise ad copy and using click to call ads. Companies that want to get the edge may need to start testing their mobile ads separately. Ad Targeting Will Continue To Carve Out Customers It seems like every year ad targeting becomes more and more sophisticated, and 2016 looks like it will bring even greater advances. Consumers can already be targeted based on their behaviour online, demographic, age and more, but now advertisers are going to shift towards targeting them without relying on just keywords. Sales data and offline action is going to get more integrated, to create better mobile ad targeting possibilities for this year’s savvy marketers. Offline to online retargeting will become a much more common practice. Social Media Is Still Hot In almost every form of marketing social media is a hot topic, and the same is true for PPC. Facebook and Twitter have both already managed to challenge Google in the targeted... read more

Quality Content essential for digital marketing performance

Importance of Quality Content for SEO in 2016 There are a lot of different ways to optimise a website, but in 2016 if you want to stay on top of the game, top quality content is still going to be the most important feature that you can use. However, unlike in the past when low-quality content would slip through the search engines’ nets, there is no margin for error in 2016. Google and other search engines are sharpening their algorithms and the focus on content now has to be the users, and not just keywords. It also has to be satisfying content that will actually help the reader. Anything deemed unsatisfying or not ‘quality content’ will actually hurt a website ranking. Focus on the User Of course, at the same time content will still need to be optimised for a web page, just on a different level. In a sense though, this area of SEO should come second to user focus. A golden rule of thumb is to do nothing blatantly when it comes to SEO. SEO copywriting in itself has acquired something a dirty name, but it is not the copywriting that is dirty, just some of the tactics that have been abused. Proper SEO content is focused on the needs of the user and their intent. It requires thought to predict what a browser needs to read, and careful choices to offer something to the overall searchability of the page. In the past Google sent people to websites based simply on what they had typed into the search box, but this is changing. The new algorithms are... read more

Digital Marketing in 2016

5 Trends for Digital Marketing in 2016 Digital marketing is the most popular and most effective form of advertising in existence. Since the advent of the internet, the world has changed the way it communicates, and therefore it only makes sense that marketing experts have had to change the way they communicate with customers. As digital marketing becomes more advanced, new trends emerge. Here are the top five trends for digital marketing in 2016. Don’t be Annoying First of all, in your face marketing is slowly going to cease and desist. Consumers don’t want blaring ads and most have now installed ad blockers. The simple truth is that consumers do not want anything annoying to them, and if it’s annoying, then it’s not relevant, and marketers are missing the point. The goal for advertising in 2016 will be to blend naturally into browsing, so that users find it relevant and positive instead of annoying and time-consuming. Engage through Personalisation Secondly, marketing will start to concentrate more on the customer experience model. Buyers now have the upper hand because there are so many products and services available to them online in seconds. Therefore, marketers need to be prepared to engage with their customers and learn their behaviours, so that they reach out to them on a personal basis. Customers want a great customer experience or they will simply go somewhere else. Strategise your Social Media Use Thirdly, the focus on digital marketing on social media platforms is going to shift from a strategy to a channel. Social media is not a form of marketing that’s enough on its own to... read more

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