Why Does Your Website Need SPEED?

GTmetrix analyzing Branding and Marketing
GTmetrix tells you what is good about your website load speed and where you need improvement,

Fast! Websites have to load FAST!

Why is it so important to have your website load quickly?

Many people will click away if they don’t see it right away.

Maybe even more importantly, part of Google’s algorithm is connected to how fast your pages load.

What makes it load slowly? There can be a whole host of things (including your host) but it’s often the photos or your formatting.

One of the sessions I attended at WordCamp Columbus was led by Tom Cottrill who presented on “Satisfying the Need for Speed – Making WordPress as Fast as Possible.”

You can see what my website needs to fix!!
You can see what my website needs to fix!!

One  diagnostic resource that he mentioned that  I found especially helpful was GTmetrix because you can enter your website, then it will tell you how fast the site loads and diagnose what needs to be fixed.

There was lots of great data and examples.

Another suggestion that Tom had was for those who have sites with lots of photos.  Tom suggests you consider using Optimizilla to change the size of the images or maybe even host your images on a CDN – a Content Delivery Network. He suggested AmazonS3 , CloudFlare  or JetMax.

By hosting your visuals outside your site, your visuals will get pulled into your website which will allow it to load much more quickly than actually hosting them in your media library.

First Comes Marketing Strategy

30 models of marketing strategySo often I’ll get a request from a company representative for a price on execution of a piece of marketing. A Facebook page. A website. Maybe a PDF brochure or a prospecting email.

All of these items are fine on their own. Marketing Tactics. A marketing tool that helps support marketing results.

But alone, without being in support of a goal, the tactic simply doesn’t work.

Marketing Strategy Must Come First!

If you don’t have your strategy planned out, you will just do things and wonder why it doesn’t have the intended results.

So what is strategy? Many people ask me that. Personally I like to talk about the 4 M’s of marketing. It’s not the same as the 4P’s of marketing.

Today I wanted to link to a website that has many different marketing strategies. Ways to approach the marketing. No one way is correct and the others wrong, but it helps to understand the concepts behind these strategies.

I share this link to Marketing Strategies because it’s a great starting point. This page has 30 different methods, concepts and models of marketing strategies.  Notice each one of these models and concepts are not talking about your social media tactics in your Instagram or Snapchat account, or the color of your logo or how you’ll blast out this email content? No, these strategies are talking about the foundation of the marketing… the why, not the how.

There is definitely a difference between strategy and tactics.

Marketing and Branding can be a Thousand Little Things – But It Goes Beyond That!

Filming my segment of Grow Your Business Cleveland marketing branding thousand
Filming my segment of Grow Your Business Cleveland

Often when I talk about making a difference with your marketing, it’s focused on the BIG PICTURE. Going after the right target market. Finding a strong compelling message that repeatable and memorable. Using cost effective media that helps to influences your target market. Or measuring your marketing efforts for the maximum sales impact.

Marketing and branding can be a thousand little things, all in support of the big picture. It can be the way you answer the phone, return calls promptly or smile when you shake someone’s hand. Or not. Failing to take care of the little things can impact the big things.

Often it is the little things that people remember. Kindness. Sincerity. Optimism. Actually, maybe those are the big things. Bigger than marketing.

Last spring I got to participate in a program that involved interns. We all know that internships can make all the difference in launching a career and I’m heartened when I see a good program in action.

I’m reminded of this again when I watched the recent recap of an internship experience of several Spring Interns that I had the opportunity to meet as part of a business professional series that I participated in for Grow Your Business Cleveland. Watching this video gave me the same optimistic feeling I had the day we worked on and filmed my portion of the video. Being around interns who are the beginning of their career is refreshing.

The interns made me feel relaxed and confident. They had great ideas for elaborating about different areas of my segment and I enjoyed working with them to create my tips. The video also reminded me that video plays in important role in telling your business story. It seems to bring the story to life much more than just a photo or the written word.

Video is just one of the thousand little things that contribute to the overall marketing program. But working with people who are kind, sincere and optimistic takes it over the top. Thanks for this experience!

Microsoft to Buy LinkedIn

Microsoft to buy LinkedInThe big news from a branding and marketing standpoint this morning is that Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for $26 Billion.

I think that the “Business Social Media” platform is about to have some major changes, even though the press release insists that everything will remain independent.

LinkedIn boasts 400 million members worldwide and MicroSoft is claiming mobile and cloud. Obviously LinkedIn has what Microsoft has wanted for a long time: a strong social media platform that is filled with business people around the world.

A joint company conference call today, at 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time/11:45 a.m. Eastern Time will be available via webcast at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Investor to find out more.

Finding the Right Color

When I worked in the toy industry (both at Hasbro and at Little Tikes) finding the right color of the toy was critical. And equally important was the communication between all the people who had a hand in bringing that product to market.

Beyond the designers, there were graphic designers, packaging printers, retail merchandisers, advertising executives, licensing partners (think cookie jars, sleeping bags and party favors), and countless others who need to know the actual color of a the product.

Getting it all to match on a package logo, a t-shirt, a ball cap – the color matters!

So how can you figure out what color you need to specify if you are working with an existing palette? Here’s a handy website tool from Pantone that will allow you or your designer to get a quick handle on the color you need.
right color finder pantone color finder

Some designers use the eyedropper technique. That works well for printed materials but it is helpful to have swatches that can be attached to the product when setting a standard and providing to a company who may be licensing your brand, logo or product for use with their product and brand.

Even if you aren’t a designer with an eyedropper tool on your software, you can install a tool in Google Chrome and to easily match a color on your website or another photo. This will work wonders when you’re having trouble finding the right color that matches your other marketing elements. You’ll have to use Google Chrome (not Firefox or Safari) as your browser to install this too.

color pick eyedropper tool