Web Design Trends for 2016

DropMock : Website Design Trends

Here we are, fast approaching the end of the first half of the year. The UK’s referendum’s of EU membership has happened and the nation have voted. But whether you’re in the remain or leave camp, we’re not here to discuss the outcome of the referendum, or how it’s likely to affect our future. We’re here to look at how websites are changing and how web design trends will change as 2016 progresses.

One thing is for sure, website design is a constantly evolving and dynamic thing. Web designers are always looking for ways to improve the look, the usability and the functionality of websites through the use of new and emerging technologies. Who can remember the loud, flashing sites of yesteryear or the basic pages filled with text of the early websites? Website design has changed, with technology being one of the key drivers in helping it to move forward.

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So which web design trends are heading up the list?

We’re already seeing several new web design trends, with the majority of web designers looking to follow best practices for both UX, and for mobile platforms. User experience is probably the number one focus of designers, so it’s more important than ever to create content that’s not just responsive and accessible, but that’s really simple to use. The aim is to enhance the user satisfaction, and to streamline and perfect the user experience.

So how do we do this?

Create compelling hero images

One of the main ways to capture the attention of your users is with a striking image. Combine a cleverly constructed HD image with a compelling call to action and you have a memorable and convincing way to increase conversions. Let’s face it, we’re all visual creatures. Vision is our strongest human sense, so putting an HD hero image on your website is one of the best ways to grab attention.

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While adding HD images may have proved problematic in the past, advances in bandwidth and data compression mean that load times won’t be affected, while you get your message across.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what a hero image is? It’s a large banner image which is displayed on your web page, usually to the front and centre of your page. It’s usually the first visual encountered by your visitors and, as such, aims to present an overview of your site’s most important and relevant content.

More imagery, less text

Images are taking over as providers of instant information. Therefore the inclusion of more and better quality images is one of the key web design trends of the moment. This means that we’re likely to see far more image-rich content on the homepage, with more text-rich content on the sub-pages. Apps and platforms that enable you to create professional looking but personalized images will come into their own here; especially if you’re not an expert in graphic design.

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Material design

There’s no longer a need to be limited to flat designs for your website. One of the latest web design trends, is to make use of Google’s Material design. This allows you to include built-in animations and graphical elements with the big advantage of looking the same across all platforms.

Of course, flat design will continue to remain popular, particularly as it scales well and is easy to read on mobile devices.

However the challenge for web designers and design agencies is to find designs that incorporate a balance of the two, in order to create modern looking, responsive and functional websites.

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Typography

Have you noticed how important typography is becoming? This year, one of the most important web design trends is the many examples of improved typography which not only stands out more, but which is becoming more colorful. In particular serifs and hand-writing fonts are becoming increasingly popular. One of the main reasons for this is that serifs improve legibility, while handwriting fonts are seen to be far more personal.

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Mobile UX

This year it’s all about increasing the user experience and that’s why designers are working to improve navigation, forms, images and mobile-specific features. Their aim is reduce the time it takes for a page to load, together with server load, to give a better user experience when you access the internet via a mobile device.

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Mobile layouts

We’re also finding that mobile layouts are continuing to adopt more minimalist themes in order to keep content visible on the mobile screen. Developers are also working on developing slideshows, images, buttons and menus that will not only look good on the small screen but which load much more quickly.

Tiles replaced by cards

While the popularity of Pinterest has helped to make tile-based web designs popular, more and more websites are now incorporating cards. These not only add functionality and interactivity, but the place the main focus on imagery, and offer a simple and straightforward way to view the site’s content.

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Less focus on ads and more focus on great content

The days of being inundated with ad after ad when you land on a homepage are in decline. New web designs are more image based, so expect a much more striking landing page, with good visuals, less text and much more visual appeal.

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As you can see from these website design trends, images and graphics are going to be a key part of website design, so it makes sense to find ways to incorporate professional looking images into your site. If you’d like to find out more about how DropMock can help you to create stunning images, get in touch with us now.

How to Rank YouTube Videos in Google

DropMock : Rank YouTube Videos in Google

We’re sure that you’re well aware of the impact that YouTube can have on your business. However, it’s also highly likely that, despite having uploaded several videos, you’re still struggling to get views. The key to successful YouTube marketing is to get your videos to rank in Google searches. Once ranked, you’re more likely to receive the views you’d hoped for. However, while the solution is easy, implementing it can be more difficult – so here’s our top tips for how to rank YouTube videos in Google.

  1. Create great content

If you’re under the impression that YouTube is a shopping site, unfortunately you’re mistaken. People use YouTube to find answers to problems, learn new skills, watch funny videos and generally just waste a bit of time. This means that you need to think about the kind of content you’re uploading, and what will attract the most views. Great content includes:

  • Tutorial videos – show your viewers how to use your product, or how your product or service can be of benefit to them
  • How-to videos – think about questions people may have about your service or product and then answer them in how-to videos
  • Review videos – get someone to review your product or create useful reviews of your own

Whenever someone types a question into Google – it always throws up a couple of YouTube videos as an answer – check it out for yourself.

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  1. Think about the length of your video

Have you ever clicked on a YouTube video, discovered that it lasts 45 minutes or more, and so clicked off looking for something shorter? While you do want to create better and more engaging content, don’t make it too long. However to rise through the Google rankings, the longer you can keep a user watching your video, the better your videos will rank. To improve your YouTube ranking make sure that your video is at least two minutes long and make it something people would want to share.

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  1. Optimise your video file

While YouTube is smart, it can’t see the content of your videos; it simply looks at the name of your raw video file. Therefore, before you upload it to YouTube, you need to optimise your video file.

  • Name the file after your Number 1 and Number 2 keywords
  • Use tags that are related to the content
  • Add a brief description of your video into the comments field

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  1. Link it to your website

If you’re using YouTube to market your business, every video you upload should be linked to your website. You don’t want to waste this opportunity to drive your viewers to your website where they can see what you have on offer. The whole point of YouTube marketing is to direct your viewers to the platform where you can make a sale – so don’t miss your chance to do it.

Once you’ve added the link to your website, optimise the rest of your video description.

  • Make your content at least 200 words long
  • Don’t use duplicate content from your other videos – make it unique
  • Use synonym and one off keywords, but don’t overuse them

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  1. Make sure your channel page showcases your brand

One of the key ways to rank YouTube videos is to create an interesting channel page. Don’t forget to include a profile picture and a header in line with your brand, and always fill in the description. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make a header or images for your channel, you’ll find that DropMock can help you to create professional looking images without the need for a graphic designer.

A complete YouTube channel page will get you noticed more easily by Google, so make sure you add the following:

  • Links to all your social media pages and your website
  • Add in channel images to help users identify your content, and don’t forget to optimise your images.
  • Subscribe to similar channels. YouTube likes to see what you’re looking at
  • Complete the description making sure you add in lots of relevant synonym keywords

All these are just simple tweaks that will go a long way to help you to rank YouTube videos, and ensure that you get the most out of your YouTube marketing strategy.

 

5 Mistakes To Avoid On Your Business Facebook

DropMock : Mistakes To Avoid On Facebook

If you’re finding it a challenge to build a Facebook fan base and engage your followers, rest assured that you’re not the only one. No matter what kind of business you run, it takes time to build an active Facebook community, and encourage them to spread the word to their colleagues, family and friends. Therefore it makes sense to learn as much as you can about using Facebook as a marketing medium, including learning about the mistakes made by other users. So without further ado, here’s 5 mistakes to avoid on your business Facebook page.

1. Forgetting to focus on your audience

Facebook is not a place to focus on promoting your products and services, but a place to focus on your followers and building a community. It’s a place to be genuine and authentic. If your followers get the feeling that your main focus is your business and not them, pretty soon they’ll abandon you. Look for ways to nurture your hard-built community, rather than simply bombard them with what you have to sell. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make your Facebook content relevant to your customers’ lives.

Tips: Start a thread where followers post photos with your products. Always answer any customer questions promptly, and ask followers to give their thoughts on an aspect of your business.

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2. Not reflecting your corporate identity

Ensure that your Facebook page reflects the visions, goals and ethos of your business. Don’t forget your page is part of your company, and needs to be kept in line with your brand. While it’s perfectly acceptable for your page to be casual and fun, it should always remain professional too. Your customers want to know that YOU take your business seriously.

Tip: Use a header and logo that clearly identifies your brand.

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3. Not being creative enough

Facebook users like to be entertained and engaged so you’re missing an opportunity if you’re playing ‘too safe’ with your content. If you’re not experimenting with different kinds of posts you’ll find that it’s more difficult to capture the attention of your followers. They don’t want to see the same kind of content each time they visit, so try mixing it up a little with a combination of photos, videos, infographics and other visuals.

Tip: Don’t forget that DropMock makes it easy to create visually appealing content at the touch of a button.

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4. Not investing in Facebook Ads

Many businesses shy away from paying to promote their business on Facebook. They rely solely on their business Facebook page to bring in the customers. To widen your reach, it’s worth investing in Facebook Ads, as Facebook offers a powerful platform which can be used to both extend your customer base, and to target potential customers.

Tip: Ads can also be targeted to predefined demographics in order to bring in the type of customer you want.

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5. Not using Facebook tools

If you’re relying on whatever Facebook offers for free, you’re severely limiting your reach; especially as there are many third-party tools available which integrate perfectly with Facebook. Using Facebook tools can help you to attract more customers with features such as customisable quizzes and voting contests. Other tools give you the ability to schedule your posts so that you’re not constantly tied to updating your page.

Tip: Try Facebook tools such as HootSuite, which enables you to manage more than one page and schedule your posts. If you want to add quizzes and contests, AgoraPulse is easy to use.

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And finally, to make your business Facebook successful you need to learn all you can about building communities, engaging with your followers and keeping them in the fold. Only then will you be able to reap the benefits of having a business Facebook page.

5 Top Tips for Using LinkedIn

DropMock : Tips for Using LinkedIn

You’ve hundreds of friends on Facebook. You’re constantly posting on Pinterest. You’ve mastered the art of creating scintillating 140-character tweets. And yet, you’ve not yet delved into the world of LinkedIn.

For many people, LinkedIn is a bit of a mystery. You’ve heard about it. You may even have set up a profile, and yet you still don’t really know the benefits of using it. However, did you know that there’s over 19 million LinkedIn users in the UK, an increase of 9 million in two years, and over 300 registered users worldwide? Quite a staggering statistic isn’t it? The truth is, if you can create a good LinkedIn profile, you open yourself up to all kinds of career and business opportunities.

While there’s no doubt that LinkedIn is an excellent medium for networking and keeping in touch with current and former business colleagues, it’s also a great way to engage with the business community as whole, and to promote your business. With that in mind, here’s our top 5 tips for using LinkedIn.

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1. Create a findable and visually appealing LinkedIn profile

The first thing others see will be your profile, so it makes sense to make it as interesting and as visually appealing as possible. You’ll need a professional-looking headshot, plus a succinct and compelling headline. Your headline should include keywords for your industry and should be as creative and readable as you can make it.

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2. Showcase the things that don’t fit naturally into your CV or resume

Rather than just add job titles, take the time to complete all the description areas. Here you’ll have the opportunity to list any contract work, upload examples of your work, and list any other skills that you feel would be relevant. Consider adding clips from YouTube videos you may have made, Wikipedia pages you’ve created, or images and graphics to show your skills. Using DropMock can help you to create exciting visuals which can tell your story at a glance.

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3. Profile complete? It’s time to connect with others

Connecting with your existing professional and personal contacts should be your first priority. Once you’ve established your basic network, it’s time to start connecting with others. Whenever you meet a new person, and you’d like to stay in touch, send them a LinkedIn request.

You’ll also find that you’ll receive invitations from people you don’t know, so check out their profile to see if a connection with them would be beneficial. Try to avoid connecting with anyone and everyone, and put some thought into your LinkedIn requests, rather than just sending generic messages. And don’t forget, that others have their own ways of using the site. Generally speaking, the more connections a person has, the more open they’re likely to be to LinkedIn requests.

4. Do a bit of detective work

Once you’ve built up a network it’s time to do a little detective work. However, this only usually works once you’ve got an established set of good connections. ‘Snooping’ gives you the opportunity to find out more about other companies or people by approaching members of your network for their opinions, insights into company culture and vacant positions. You can even ask them to make introductions to other LinkedIn members on your behalf.

LinkedIn is a great medium for letting others know that you’re hiring or looking for expertise in a particular area. What’s more, if you’re looking to hire an applicant and someone in your network already knows them, you can do a bit of investigation to find out more about them.

Just remember that, unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn users tend not to check their account on a daily basis, so if you have another way to contact them, it will help you to speed up your request.

5. Keep active

To get the most out of LinkedIn, don’t just log in when you want something specific. It’s far better to remain active on a regular basis. Keep your profile up-to-date, share links and always let people know when you’ve achieved something in the business world or have something new to offer.
For more information on how to use LinkedIn to your best advantage, the LinkedIn blog is a valuable resource.

7 quick social media marketing tips

DropMock: Social media marketing tips

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Are you considering using social media to market your business? Have you already set up a Facebook or Twitter account, but you’re not sure how to make the most of it? If so, read on for 7 quick social media marketing tips to help you to grow your online presence.

  1. Create a social media marketing plan

Before you start any marketing via social media platforms take time to pull together a social media marketing plan. Creating a strategy will set you up for success and limit the amount of mistakes you make. If you’re really struggling to develop a strategy yourself, maybe it’s time to call in some expert help.

  1. Carry out a social media audit

Prior to creating a new social media profile, take a look at what you’re currently presenting to the world. Is your brand, logo and online presence consistent? Does it represent your message well? Assess your existing social media profiles to see whether they’re still relevant to the image you want to portray.

  1. Engage with your audience

Simply having a presence on social media is not enough. If there is nothing to engage your audience, pretty soon they’ll stop visiting your pages, or unsubscribe from your account completely. You need to be proactive, listen to your followers, and publish engaging posts on a regular basis.

  1. Choose the time you post

While it’s not an exact science, when it comes to the best time to publish your posts, data analytics company, SumAll, suggests that there are optimum times to publish on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumbler.

  1. Ensure you deliver the right message to the right platform

Each of the social media platforms perform a different role and draw different audiences. Therefore understanding these roles and audiences is a key factor in putting together and executing an effective marketing plan. For example, perhaps Instagram or Pinterest is not the best place to promote your accountancy firm, but would be the ideal choice for a creative company.

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In general, Twitter users like to see attached images, while users of Facebook will read posts accompanied by photographs. Therefore, being able to create good quality images via tools such as DropMock, is of utmost importance. Testing each of your social media platforms will help you to see which kind of posts your audience prefer.

  1. Don’t rely on organic search-engine optimisation alone

If you’re relying on organic search-engine optimisation as the only means to gain traffic, you may find that you’re not getting the results you expected. While this method has the advantage of being free, if you want to get ahead, sometimes you have to pay for results. Pay-per-click strategies using Google Adwords are likely to yield instant results; plus all the major social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, offer opportunities to purchase ad space.

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  1. If you’re a business, you should be on LinkedIn

If you want to gain credibility in the business world, signing up to LinkedIn is a must. Not only will it give you the credibility you need, but it will connect you with a network of professionals and offer opportunities for sales via a proven marketing platform.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our 7 quick social media marketing tips and that they help you to grow your online presence. For more hint tips and updates from the Dropmock Team please join our Newsletter for regular updates.

 

Are You Using Twitter To Market Your Brand?

DropMock: Using Twitter to market your brand

Are you using Twitter to market your brand? Read on to discover how using DropMock can improve your brand awareness in a more professional and memorable way.

While you may think that Twitter’s been set up for celebrities to bombard us with inane chatter about their personal lives, this social network offers far more, particularly as a means to promote your business. Set up by US bloggers 10 years ago, the popularity of Twitter can’t be denied. It’s a way to get your message across in a sharp and succinct way plus, despite the fact that the text is limited to 140 characters, you can include links to a whole host of extra information. Put simply, Twitter gives you a whole new way to communicate with your customers and market your brand.

What is Twitter?
For those of you who’ve heard of Twitter but don’t really have a clue what it’s all about; Twitter is a communication tool that enables you to send short messages, known as Tweets, to people who subscribe to you, i.e. your followers. As Twitter is a community, to become part of that community, you’ll need to find people to follow and become a follower yourself. Being a follower allows you to read, respond to and easily share things that others tweet, with your followers. This act of sharing is known as retweeting, and is one of the ways to build your own followers and your online community.

Although the text itself is limited to 140 characters, you can include links to all kinds of other web content, including blog posts, website pages, documents and, of course, you can attach pictures or videos.

Using Twitter to present your brand

Your Twitter presence needs to have the same look and feel as your other online tools to that people can easily identify your business and your brand. Therefore, always choose an account name and images that are consistent. Don’t forget that your Twitter name will appear next to all your tweets, so make it something memorable and easy to type on mobile devices.

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Make your profile and header images really count

As you’re given the opportunity to upload two different images to represent your account, you’ll want to ensure that these are the best quality possible, and that they really say something about your company and its ethos. Your profile photo is square in shape and appears next to every tweet you send. Whether you want to use your company logo or something completely different is your choice, but make it something that links in with your brand and is easily recognisable. If you’re a small business, you may want to consider using a personal photo.

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Once you’ve chosen your profile photo, it’s time to add your header. This is where you can really tell the story of your business. Just like Facebook, your header photo covers the top of your profile page, and is the perfect opportunity to get the message out about your business. Creating an eye-catching header photo is easy using an online mockup tool such as DropMock. Plus it makes it possible to easily and quickly create new header photos if you want to promote a particular aspect of your business, such as a sale or your latest product.

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Adding images to your Tweets

We know it’s a bit of an over-used phrase, but a picture definitely is worth a thousand words. Therefore adding an image to a tweet means that you can expand your message way beyond the 140-character limit. And, of course, using DropMock means that you can create images that will get your message and brand across in a way that’s both professional and memorable.

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How Twitter can add a unique element to your marketing

If you’ve always wanted to add a blog to your website, but you’re not sure that you’ll be able to find the time to keep it regularly updated, or you’re worrying that it will be difficult to think of fresh content all the time, Twitter could be your answer. In the world of social media, Twitter is categorised as a microblogging tool. This means that you can send short posts to get across a particular aspect of your business, without having to write a full blog post.
Of course, if you already have a blog, you can use Twitter to promote your latest blog post to your followers; to give them a highlight of what the post is about, and to remind them to go and read it. What’s more, every tweet you send will go directly to all your followers!

Don’t forget to retweet

Twitter, like other Social Media, allows you to build and become part of an online community and, as such, the key to making the best use of Twitter for marketing purposes is to demonstrate that you’re an expert in your field. It’s not just about posting ‘clever’ tweets, but it’s about scanning tweets or using a Twitter search engine to find particular issues that you can help with. By offering snippets of advice for free, you’ll build trust and credibility and the people you help will be more likely to do business with you in the future.

If you’d like to know more about setting up a Twitter account for your business, and using Twitter to market your brand, Twitter itself has some very good information. Plus don’t forget to follow DropMock on Twitter for all our latest information and developments.

 

Online Mockup Software takes Marketing Graphics to Another Level

DropMock : Online Mockup Software

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We all know that we only get one chance to make a good impression – whether that’s in the way we present ourselves, or the way in which we present our business. And, with so much competition in the business world, getting your graphic design right is vital for optimal customer engagement. However, producing great graphics can sometimes prove difficult; especially if you’re not an expert in Photoshop or graphic design, and you don’t have the budget to employ a designer. And that’s where our mockup software can help, as it makes it possible for businesses of all kinds to produce professional and sharp looking graphics that can be used to spread your message and company ethos across a range of mediums. What’s more, using online mockup software like our DropMock mockup tool is easy, and allows you to create a professional mockup online via a simple 3 step process.
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Online mockup software tools can help you to build an engaging brand or message

Good design enables you to reach your audience in a memorable way. It helps you to get noticed. It helps to build customer engagement and to build your brand. Therefore, it’s important to target your audience in a way that’s not only attractive and functional, but professional too. Your brand should engage and connect on all levels, and communicate your ideas, your message and your products in a relevant and appealing way. However you choose to do this, the ultimate aim is to create a positive impression and avoid misunderstandings. On the other hand, a poorly designed logo, brochure or other marketing tool can have a negative effect and leave them with a poor impression of your company.

One thing’s for sure – there’s no room for mediocre design in today’s fast paced marketing world, and tools such as DropMock can make the whole process so much easier.

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Put in its most simple form, a mockup tool is a specially designed tool or app that can be utilised to create a ‘mockup’ of a design, or to evaluate an idea. With our mockup software you have the ability to simply drop your own photos and images into one of our professionally shot scenarios, complete with graphics if required. And, with literally hundreds of scenes to choose from, no matter what kind of business you’re in, there’s sure to be something to suit.

Once produced, it’s then just a simple case of uploading your finished product, allowing you to showcase and promote your brand via your website, social media or a range of other mediums.

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One big advantage of using online mockup software is that it frees up your time to concentrate on your business. It does away with the tedious processes normally associated with product design and the manipulation of graphics, and allows you to produce stunning visuals at the touch of a button. It’s a fuss-free way to showcase your products, your website and your business without having to go to the expense of employing  someone to do it for you. And, perhaps most importantly of all, it can save you money by enabling you to see the finished article, thus allowing you to tweak and adjust the design and images, before committing to print or publication.

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If you’ve ever struggled with creating professional looking graphics, you’re going to be amazed by how easy our new mockup tool can be. In fact, we suspect that you’re going to become a little addicted to trying out new combinations. The process is so simple and yet produces such professional and effective results, we predict you’re going to want to DropMock everything!

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Perfect Instagram Marketing Tool – Dropmock

DropMock: The Perfect Instagram Marketing Tool

Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply wave a magic wand to get your brand and products in front of more people? And wouldn’t it be great if this exposure could help you to grow a strong following of customers who really relate to your brand? If you’re looking for magic of this kind, then you need to get on board with Instagram. Here is how you can use DropMock as the perfect Instagram marketing tool.

Instagram has overtaken Twitter as the social media of choice and, with over 300 million monthly users, you’re missing a trick if you haven’t got an Instagram presence. In fact, there’s an increasing number of brands actively seeking out unique ways in which to interact with the Instagram community, and to find the people who are the best fit for their particular ethos.

However, it’s not just about the number of people who use Instagram, it’s about the type of people. And, the good news for you is that, according to a recent study by Iconosquare, 70% of Instagram uses are shoppers! Furthermore, 62% of Instagram users follow a brand just because they like what they see. So by posting the right kind of images, you’re going to get your brand and your marketing message in front of receptive people, without any need for hard sell sales pitches.

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Get your message across with a picture

We all know the saying ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ but, in the case of Instagram, this really is true and, certainly, business analysts believe that it’s this emphasis on images that have led to its growing popularity and success. Therefore it really makes sense to think long and hard about the perfect Instagram marketing tool that can produce quality images that you post. It’s time to get creative so that your images speak to your potential customers without crossing the barrier into the world of hard sell.

Promote your products and brand with creative, professional images

There’s no doubt about it – photographs are a powerful medium, but you should always remember that you don’t simply want to turn your Instagram account into an online catalogue or sales pitch. That’s a sure fire way to lose followers. The secret is to share images that are unique, that grab attention, and that represent the personality of your brand. In this way, your images will help you to establish a relationship with your followers, and put your brand in their mind when they’re ready to shop.

Some tips for creating Instagram worthy images

To make sure that your images stand out:

  • Avoid awkward cropping or blurred images
  • Bear in mind that Instagram’s format is for square images within a 612 x 612 frame
  • Always use high quality images

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With over 70 million images being posted on a daily basis, you’re probably wondering how you can get your images to stand out from the crowd. Well, you can use the in-app filters provided by Instagram. These will enhance the colours and moods of your photos. Or you can use DropMock mockup software to create visually stunning images by combining your own images and text with one of the hundreds of professionally shot scenes. This online mockup software allows you to produce unique lifestyle photos that will capture the essence and culture of your brand, without all the hard sell. The ability to add text onto your images also gives you the opportunity to include any promotions, and is the perfect way to draw your followers’ attention to sales and discounts.

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So as you can see, DropMock is the perfect Instagram marketing  tool to help you to create the meaningful and professional images you need to market your brand through Instagram. There is a magic wand after all!