8 tips for integrating video into your content marketing strategy

If you’re under the impression that content marketing is confined to the written blog posts on your website, think again. It’s more important now than ever before to integrate video into your content marketing strategy. Don’t believe me? These video marketing statistics speak for themselves. A few notable takeaways: Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. 55% of people play close attention when consuming video—more than all other types of content. Including video on landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%. If you’ve been toying around with the idea of including more video content in your marketing strategy, look no further. These eight tips will help you incorporate video effectively and ensure you see positive results. Here’s how you can integrate video into your content marketing strategy
— Integrating video into your content marketing strategy takes more than just uploading a video to YouTube. Careful planning and execution will ensure your video projects see the results you want. Everyone loves a good ROI. Illustration by OrangeCrush1. Determine scope The first step to implementing any change is setting goals. Do some research and determine exactly how much video you’d like to integrate into your strategy. You should decide what type of video content you’re creating, how often you plan on creating video content, and how much you wish to invest in creating video projects. It may be useful to hire a videographer to help with video production in order to achieve a high-quality end result to share with your audience. 2. Start small It’s important to come out of the gate strong, but a poor launch could mean the end for the integration of video to your content marketing tactics. Begin with video content that will suit the largest audience and the least common denominator. A short video advertisement or a welcome to your product or service is typically a great start and shouldn’t require too much effort or money. 3. Post videos on your website One of the best practices for your landing page is to include video to immediately engage visitors. Your website is designed to be the hub of your online operations. As I mentioned earlier, it can increase conversion rates by 80% resulting in more leads or sales for your company. Additionally, visitors to your site may be hoping to find product demonstrations or...

12 Bold & Modern Free Fonts

Are you looking for strong, memorable fonts that can instantly add some style to your website? Then look no further. Typography is one of the most essential parts of a website’s design, and it’s essential that you get the perfect fonts for your project. These twelve fonts aren’t just striking and elegant – they’re also free. Try them out and see if they can enhance your website. Peace Sans This friendly font is perfect for any website that wants to boldly grab attention while still giving off a warm tone. Peace Sans is all about clean curves and smooth lettering. Plus, it supports glyphs from over seven alphabets, so sites from around the world can make use of it. AXIS Axis is exactly what you see here – an all caps, simple, and straightforward font. No frills, and no nonsense, just a bold sans serif font. This one would look great in logos, banners, and other branding images. Try it out! Neoneon Now this is neat. Here’s an outlined neon typeface that would look just perfect on a poster or banner. With a few Photoshop effects, you could turn this font into a glowing masterpiece! National Park Typeface Have you ever noticed the distinctive style of signage at national parks? Those signs are carved with a router bit, giving them that unique look. Now you can emulate the style with this font, which comes in four different weights. Ailerons Tall and thin, Ailerons is an elegant display font designed for headers, large images, and any project where you need a huge typeface. Each letter design is unique, sleek, and gorgeous. Cooper Hewitt This professional sans serif font feels reminiscent of a modern newspaper’s typeface. Cooper Hewitt was made from scratch, and every curve and line within it is carefully designed. Download it in OpenType, Windows-compatible, or web font version. Kolikö Kolikö is a simple and clean typeface, beautifully designed with a lot of friendly energy. It comes with three styles: thin, regular and bold. Your headers will look fantastic no matter which you choose! Modeka Modeka’s lightweight design and tall, angular appearance somewhat resembles that of technology fonts. But Modeka is versatile – it would look great in a project going for a high-tech vibe, yet in no way feels out of place in nature imagery. See for yourself if Modeka suits your design. Higher This stand-out font will make an instant impression on...

8 Dead Web Trends We’Re Better Off Without

A lot of very smart people have said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Other people say that nostalgia bait…ahem…“retrospectives” get a lot of clicks. They’re both right, and I thought it might be both fun and educational to take a look at some of the dead UI conventions of yesteryear. It’s good to remember why they ever lived, and how and why they died. It gives us insight into how best practices were born, and why they are the “best” practices we have. It gives us context for building the future of the web. And besides, the industry gets newbies every year, and they should know some of this stuff, too. I’m glad they don’t have to suffer what we suffered, but they should know what we suffered. Friends, countrymen, Romans: we come here not to mourn these UI conventions and browser features, but to bury them. <blink> Shhh… shhhh… it’s okay. It’s okay. It’s dead, and it can’t hurt you anymore. For everyone who didn’t have a visceral reaction just now, the <blink> tag made things do just that: blink. Off and on, there and not there. It’s almost like it was designed to hurt your eyes. Invented during the height of the early Browser Wars, the tag was an early example of browser-specific tags, and was meant to give Netscape Navigator an edge over the then-nascent Internet Explorer. I’m not saying that this decision killed Netscape Navigator, or that NN deserved to die because of it, but that’s exactly what I’m saying. (Screenshot not provided for obvious reasons.) Flash Menus I was guilty as hell of this one. That’s right, in the beginning, I couldn’t get the hand of animated navigation menus (read: menus having a hover state) built with JavaScript. Or DHTML, as it was called in Dreamweaver. So I used Macromedia Flash to create super fancy menus with animated buttons, and embedded them into every website header I made. I was hardly the only one. For a while, Flash-based menu templates were a cottage industry on their own. Hot tip: Never, EVER make a website menu that you can’t change by just editing a text file. The maintenance cost alone was a massive headache, and search engines never did get the hang of crawling through Flash files. Thank God for :hover. Frames, the Original AJAX That’s right, kids. Before we used JavaScript to load all of our data in progressive web apps, the browser did all the work, and...

What is digital marketing?

In the most basic of terms, digital marketing is simply marketing that’s happening on digital channels. (Pretty obvious, right?) But what does that mean? How does digital marketing differ from traditional marketing? And why is it something you should be considering for your business? Here’s everything you need to know. What is digital marketing? Why is digital marketing important for your business? How do you get started with digital marketing? Digital marketing basics: 4 Ws and an H: WHY do you want to use digital marketing? WHO are you targeting? WHAT content will you be creating? WHERE will you distribute your content online? HOW will you bring to life your content effectively? What is digital marketing?
— The retail landscape has been transformed by digital marketing and the likes of Amazon. Billboard design by LittleFox“Digital marketing” is basically any form of marketing that uses digital tools and channels. For decades, marketing teams were churning out the same old recipe of TV copies, print ads and billboards to tell customers about their companies’ products and services and to convince them to spend their money. Then the internet came along in the 1990s and the number of websites exploded. The new channels that have popped up, like Facebook in 2004 and Google in 2007, have created a whole new arena for marketing. In the early days, the approach to digital marketing was the same as the traditional marketing approach, just using the new channels: talk about your products on your own website, run some banner ads on other popular websites and online publications (just like print ads in magazines) and then sell your products or services in the same way you’ve always sold them. With time, marketers realized that digital offered a whole new way of interacting with and selling to customers and that demanded a much different approach (more on this in a minute). Another change is that marketing departments used to have a digital team that was separate from the traditional team working on TV and print. Today, everything in marketing is digital and it needs to be fully integrated into your company’s overall marketing strategy and organization. Why is digital marketing important for your business?
— You don’t need to be a digital expert to know that your customers are spending a lot of time (and money) online these days. Like, a LOT. They’re...

Website Builder Tools: Finding the Right One and Using it to Full Potential

            Website building tools have been around for quite a few years. During that time most have become more powerful, flexible, and efficient. The past year has witnessed some dramatic improvements in website-building technology. These improvements have been in response to technological advances in general. We talk feature advances in real-time front-end design and faster page loading. Also, search engine optimization analytics, mobile-friendly sites, and more. Most of the top builders, like those described here, are easy to work with. They are far more capable of allowing web designers to transform their ideas into realities – 100%. We’re certain that at least one of the 7 top page/website builders presented here will meet your needs. 1. Elementor           Don’t have time to find the best website builder on the market? Skip Google search and go straight to Elementor, easily the #1 WordPress page builder out there today. With more than 2 million worldwide installs, Elementor’s popularity rapidly rose in the brief time it has been around. Elementor may well be the most efficient website building tool available. It has successfully turned page building into an intuitive visual drag and drop, i.e., WYSIWYG. Every one of its design elements is customizable, and code-free – though you can extend its use with coding if you wish. What’s more, it’s not subject to those pesky theme constraints and limitations that slow down the design process. If you can visualize it, you can build it by working your magic with the power of the design panel. Build your own headers & footers, create dynamic content, integrate WordPress custom fields, design a blog piece by piece, add popups, parallax, much more. It’s a web designers’ playground. Whatchawaitinfor? 2. Mobirise Website Builder           Mobirise is a drag and drop tool that’s easy to learn and simple to operate. The fact that it’s an offline tool provides some additional advantages. You have complete control over how you use it, you’re not tied to any platform, and you can host your site anywhere. A host of attractive and modern-looking website blocks and templates (more than 1,500 in all) together with Mobirise’s huge library...

Learnability in UX Design

Building a learnable website is much tougher than it sounds. One thinks one’s design is clear and comprehensible; however, a design that might be obvious for you, might be perceived totally different by a user with a different set of experiences. Therefore, the goal is to design a clear user path that visitors can quickly pick up and understand. Why Learnability Matters Learnability has a strong correlation with usability. It is vital for users to quickly understand the layout and purpose of an application. Especially for web applications, providing an easy to learn interface is important. It is much more convenient to design an easy to understand mobile app compared with a web application; a mobile screen just doesn’t allow to provide a complex interface or let the user accomplish difficult tasks. The speed of adoption is not the only criteria why learnability matters. A website that looks familiar and provides an understandable interface will result in a lower bounce rate. This is especially useful for websites that try to boost their conversion rate. A complex design scares users and they will resort to other tools that provide a clear interface. In the end, the goal of every website is to convert an occasional user into a repeated user and engage the user for interaction. Learnability by Example We can find loads of examples on the internet where learnability has been applied in the right way. Let’s take a look at the key elements of learnability in design… Small Hints A few days ago, I moved to Berlin and I had to fill in a form for calculating the cost for my European health insurance. Unfortunately, the form is only available in German, however, due to the great combination of visuals and text, I could perfectly understand what information they required. This is a great example of how an icon can reflect a possible answer. Other small hints like a tooltip or default text can give a user an initial idea about how the interface can be used and what options are available. Let’s take the Twitter “Compose new Tweet” modal as an example. The design asks the user to tell what is happening. The initial response of a new user would be to input what just happened into the field. Besides that, when the user hovers one of the icons below the text field, a tooltip will appear telling the user what action the icon allows. In short, no space is wasted on adding...

The basics of hand-lettering: a tutorial for beginners

Everyday and everywhere, you are surrounded by letters and written messages. From logotypes to posters, billboards, t-shirts or book covers, letters not only tell a story but evoke certain emotions as well. What if, instead of using an already existing font, you could draw beautiful hand-lettering that’s full of personality? by Andrea Stan aka MkyEven if you’ve already dipped your toes into the infinite universe of hand-lettering, or you’ve thought about trying it out but weren’t sure where to start, you are in the right place! We’re going to take a look at the essentials that you need to start this wonderful journey of hand-lettering. I’ve been hand-lettering for a little over a year, and it all started when a weekly challenge popped up on Instagram and I decided to enroll. I previously played around with calligraphy, but I wasn’t really sure what the difference between that and hand lettering was. I had zero experience, never taken a class, never watched someone do it live. I just thought it would be fun—and it was! Since then, I’ve been lettering almost daily, and learning this skill has been one of the best things I’ve ever done! By the end of this article, you’ll know the basics of hand-lettering and have the confidence to create your own pieces! What is hand-lettering?
— Many people out there confuse hand-lettering, calligraphy, typesetting and type design and use the term “type” or “typography” to refer to all of these. Example of a pretty typeface designed by Jessica Hische Type design Type design is the process of making typefaces which all of us can use. A type designer creates systems of letters, making sure that all letters of the alphabet work together in endless combinations. Typesetting simply means arranging type that’s been created by a type designer in a given layout. This might be as simple as a black and white newspaper or as complex as a typography-driven brochure. Back in the day, this was done by hand. Today, we do it all on a computer. Dynamic and unique typesetting by the famous Russian designer Alexey BrodovitchCalligraphy Calligraphy is flawless, gorgeous handwriting. After many years of practice, calligraphers use muscle memory to perfect their style so that the next time they gets commissioned to create a wedding invitation, for example, they can perfectly write all the copy on the first try. Although hand lettering often...

7 Spring Cleaning Essentials for Web Designers

It’s the first day of Spring! As you look to clean up other parts of your life (e.g. your home, your refrigerator, your yard) make the cleanup of your web design business a priority as well. If you’re anything like me, you set aside time later in the week or month, promising yourself that you’ll finally take care of “business stuff”. And if you’re also like me, you often have to postpone those business maintenance tasks because new paid work opportunities come in. (Or you’re just exhausted and want a break from looking at your screen.) But there’s no time like the present, so if you can spare it, give yourself at least one day off from work to tackle this spring cleaning checklist. Not only will it give you time to zero in on the areas that often go neglected in your business, but you’ll come out of it feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work. 1. Clean Your Workspace There are some people that thrive in organized chaos. However, if your workspace is piled high with stuff you don’t need, stuff that distracts you, or stuff that’s literally getting in your way as you try to work on your computer, you need to clean your physical workspace. When you’re done, think about doing something new for your workspace, something that makes you feel excited about sitting down to work. A new piece of artwork over your desk? A book about web design you’ve been meaning to read? A postcard from a client thanking you for a job well done? Then, put it somewhere that you’ll see it every day. This is what I’ve done with my own workspace: 2. Declutter the Desktop It doesn’t matter how many folders you put on your desktop to keep things organized. Image files, templates, PDFs, workflow documentation — these loose documents and folders sitting on your desktop are a distraction. Worse, if you don’t move them off of it, you’re putting your business at risk for data loss (if you’re not otherwise backing it all up). To keep your desktop clutter-free, give your files and folders a new home — one that’s in a secure, cloud-based organizational system. Google Drive and Dropbox are free to start with and easy to use. 3. Review Your Folders If you’re still storing files on your computer (and not just your desktop), now is the time to migrate them to your cloud storage. Then, once you have all files in a centralized location (which is also great for security and collaboration purposes...

Glitch art design: an inside look on the history and best uses of a modern trend

Velcro, popsicles and fermentation all have something in common: they’re products of happy accidents. The same goes for glitch art: an unintentional distortion made by a digital crash has led to an entire, mind-bending sub-genre of graphic design. Glitch art is a great opportunity for brands. Not only is the form visually stunning, the inherent provocative nature of glitch art creates a memorable image behind a product. Although this DIY-focused, haphazard-looking art form seems to operate without guidelines, it’s important to understand where it all came from and ways to begin if you’re new to working with glitches. Glitch art by VladanlandWhat is glitch art?
— Glitch art is a visual style characterized by using digital or analog errors for aesthetic purposes, whether that be intentional (that is, “faking glitch” and obtaining a similar aesthetic through design) or by accident (a true manifestation inside of the system without human intervention). by jestyr37These beautiful happy accidents have proven that electronic technologies are still open mediums for expression and creativity and have consequently created another avenue for designers to reimagine products, logos, typography and much more. Terrence Morash, creative director of Shutterstock explains: “There’s a controlled imperfection to [glitch art], and it’s a reminder of the technical elements of design. It visualizes technology as having a combination of textures and patterns but without perfection.” There’s a controlled imperfection to [glitch art], and it’s a reminder of the technical elements of design. It visualizes technology as having a combination of textures and patterns but without perfection. - Terrence Morash, creative director of Shutterstock The history of glitch art The term “glitch” itself originates with engineers and astronauts to explain faults within the technology they were working with: spaceship and rocket hardware. But the visual aesthetic can be traced much further back, to the beginning of the 20th century through distorted forms in cubist paintings, abstract short films and pixel-like rug designs akin to 8-bit video game landscapes. Many antique rugs feature abstract, distorted patterns that seem to predict the glitch movement of later centuries. Via Paradise Oriental RugsFast forward to the...

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