This is the first in our 5 part series on how to leverage sharing for your business. Check back next week for an in-depth look at how to create and curate content for your brand.

Part 1 : Why Sharing Matters

Sharing is fundamental to our existence. We learn as toddlers that sharing and making friends go hand-in-hand. In an age of social media, the businesses who share well rise to the top. However, social media and sharing online is more than letting someone play with your toys. It’s part art, part science. It’s creating an intimate bond with your audience, without over-sharing or falling victim to TMI (too much information).

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In terms of sexiness, forms might rank at the bottom of the list when it comes to the various elements that make up the web. For many designers, they’re the black sheep of a web site. However, forms play a critical role in how people interact and exchange information on the web. A poorly designed form can create an incredibly frustrating experience as well as prohibit users from completing transactions that could generate potential leads or profits.

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Meet Karly

Karly Tingey

We are proud to introduce the newest addition to the Flint Digital team, Karly Tingey. Karly is originally from Ogden. She moved to town last summer for a design internship and we liked her so much we decided to have her stick around full time. As our resident fashionista, Karly can be found after-hours drawing, shopping, or dying her hair the latest color of the week.

Follow @karlyfries


Here at Flint, we focus heavily on email marketing and in the last year this has increased drastically by volume as we push farther with great vendors like Mailchimp and the enterprise-level product, Exact Target (a Salesforce Product). I feel proud, personally, that we’ve been able to direct key marketing campaigns into email and that this channel has been performing effectively.

For example, in August we sent email to previous customers of Hell Bent Steel based on promoting a single product that has been down this year. As a result, the product had its best month of 2013 by about 26%. Another client, who is one of our favorite Park City real estate agents, is at 30+ closings this year, up from only 6 last year, and regularly receives positive comments that her emails have been a major driving force as her list approaches nearly 1000 subscribers. This is a great for an agent in our relatively small market.

We try to look at helpful digital marketing tips daily and this great infographic came through this morning from the Marketo blog (reproduced below, using their code for sharing). Also to note- we share what we think are good digital marketing tips via our Twitter stream. If you like our tips, feel free to follow us on twitter.

Marketo is another of the many online digital marketing tools, email senders, and tracking platforms that has a good reputation. My favorite thing about Marketo is that they provide great insight in their blog, practice what they preach by pushing blog updates via email and other channels, and their 150+ page comprehensive guide to email marketing is arguably the best guide to email marketing we’ve seen.

Marketo prefaced their infographic with this stat: “Brands still prefer to communicate via email, and consumers still want to receive them. In fact, in a recent study 77% of consumers said they preferred to receive marketing through email.” This is a great statement that seems to be accurate.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We regularly practice and endorse the procedures outlined in this info-graphic:

 

Email Marketing Cheat Sheet Infographic

This infographic is brought to you by Email Marketing Software by Marketo


Solving for X

Throughout school, I had very little inclination for mathematics. This should be of no surprise, as I’d bet that much like myself, many a design school alum sought refuge far-away from the dark halls of trig and econ in the safety of warmly lit color theory and drawing 101 classrooms; where cigarette and coffee breaks were not only expected, but served in great supply. Stereotypes aside, designers are visual people, and rightfully so. While most could care less about minutia like kerning and leading, it’s what get’s us out of bed in the morning and separates the good from the great.

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It’s easy to loose sight of social media in a digital marketing campaign by either overly-focusing on it or by blowing it off. Here are 3 comprehensive steps you can take to keep this in check and get a solid footing.

In general, your digital marketing campaign needs to be holistic. Each piece fits together like a jigsaw puzzle and complements each other: you can’t achieve the big picture without each piece in sync with each other.

Social media is one of those crucial pieces. Social media almost always has strong ROI even if you can’t directly put math behind its impact. You have to pay attention to it, and if you’re not then you’re leaving money on the table.

In a later blog post we’ll talk about “how to efficiently social media market” so it takes up minimal amounts of you or your staff’s time & energy.

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In my line of work, I get asked a lot of random questions and I receive all kinds of one-off requests. To stay on top of things and make sure I have an answer or a solution, I refer to several online tools and resources to guide me. Here are a few of my favorites that I visit when I need a little extra help.

HTML

I never did coding in school; everything I know about HTML I learned on the job. Sometimes I just forget what the code is for an unordered list or a table. Good thing I have these sites for reference. I like W3 Schools because I can search the site easily to find the article I’m looking for. They also have a practice space, where they show you the code, you can edit it, and then you can see what it looks like on the front. CodeAcademy is great for teaching the basics of HTML and CSS. It takes some time to sit down and learn, but it’s great for practicing.

W3 Schools
CodeAcademy

Email

I pretty much love MailChimp and everything they do. I’m looking forward to see their new redesign! They have a wonderful collection of resources that provide guides to email marketing for various industries. What I love is how much industry knowledge they’ve collected, so you can compare your performance to other businesses like yours instead of the whole internet. I have referred to a few of their guides, including MailChimp for Music, How to Use Google Analytics for MailChimp, and the Love What You Do coloring book.

MailChimp Resources

Analytics

For some people, opening up a Google Analytics report is like going into that Area 51 building where they stashed the Arc of the Covenant, and trying to find it with a flashlight. Good luck with that. Not me. I love Google Analytics. I get it; I speak it. Most of this knowledge has come from spending immense amounts of time in there for various clients, looking for various solutions to problems or questions, and also referring frequently to Google’s Analytics Help Center. The best way to approach analytics is to have a mission and work backwards. Instead of trying to create some custom report with tons of data, try and narrow it down to a question, like “How much money are my local customers spending on my site?” Then we go to audience, sort by location, and switch to ecommerce view. Done and done. However, if you don’t know how to slice and dice the data to find what you’re looking for, there’s Dashboard Junkie. They put together pre-made templates that you can copy into any analytics account and it will populate your data. They have dashboards for SEO, Ecommerce, Mobile Audiences, and more. I have gotten a lot of inspiration from this resource.

Dashboard Junkie

Adwords

I used to get asked about what terms a business should bid on, or they would come to me with some obscure keyword and see if we could try and compete for it. Using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, it’s easy to look up broad, phrase, and exact match keywords, see similar terms and estimate search volume. Looking at this information, I can see whether the keyword in question is worth going after. Google’s data can tell me if it’s going to be an expensive term based on the competition level and if there’s even enough search volume to support a market share. It’s always worth a look when I’m editing a campaign.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool


Alex Deckard Wins Northface Contest

Alex Deckard always seems to have plenty of tricks up his sleeve…

This spring Alex launched Park City Mountain Biking. When he’s not at Flint Digital, he’s busy updating the music situation on his rdio account, documenting his Strava rides (at 12 in the last 4 weeks; the rest of us are somewhere around ~2?), or he’s busy making and selling t-shirts and stickers off his web site.

When he’s not doing that, he’s busy lusting over photo equipment, taking photos & video, and sometimes riding his 1983 Honda Goldwing…

Click here to check out The North Face’s instagram post announcing the win…

Congrats, Alex…


The surge of mobile usage on websites to 50% has caused many website owners to take a serious look at their mobile strategy. Central to this strategy is understanding how to present your content and online catalog for mobile users. Terms like mobile optimized and responsive design are buzzwords that are often misconstrued. When thinking about mobile think in terms of these three options for your mobile strategy: Mobile Friendly, Mobile Optimized and Responsive.

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The viewport meta tag remains a mystery to most. However, it’s really quite simple. Back before smartphones were the norm, sites were built around 1000px. The 1000px width was a safe bet for designers and offered a consistent presentation for most screen sizes. Enter the mobile boom, and the 1000px standard gets thrown out the window. Suddenly the average browser width has been drastically reduced and you are now having to consider screen sizes from 320px on up. Thus the viewport tag was created.

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