#GivingTuesday – Burlington Bytes Style

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Here at Burlington Bytes, we don’t just give out beautiful websites, steadfast support, and effective business promotion, we’re also proud and grateful to be able to give back to our community and the causes we care about. So in the spirit of #givingtuesday, here are the charitable causes and nonprofits that our employees are giving back to today, and–– in their own words–– why they chose them.

#GivingTuesday

Peter Jewett – Founder – Leeds, ME Food Pantry and the Huntington, VT Food Pantry
This year I’m continuing my annual holiday donations to the Leeds, ME Food Pantry, and the Huntington, VT Food Pantry. I grew up in Leeds and currently live in Huntington.  Both groups are operated solely by volunteers and put 100% of my donations towards getting food into the hands of the people that need it, typically by coordinating with area supermarkets to redirect expired or blemished product out of the waste stream.  Both allow families to pick up food during the week, and operate a program with their respective elementary schools to send food home with kids for the weekend. It’s astonishing to me that there are families in our country that don’t have enough to eat.

Jason Di Vece – Co-Founder – WRUV 90.1 FM
The radio voice of the University of Vermont and “Your Better Alternative.” WRUV is a rare bird. It’s a free format, community supported college radio station that relies on your support to remain ad free and fully funded. I’ve been volunteering there as a DJ and organizer for 5 years now, and the music you’ll hear left of the dial is truly unique. In a time when the public airwaves are dominated by corporate ownership and over played crap, it’s easy to forget how much music is really out there. Support creative freedom and independent thought. Give to WRUV

Andrew Stickney – CEO – Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is one of the nation’s most effective organizations in ending animal cruelty, puppy mills, fighting, and helping animals in need.  I’m giving to the Humane Society because they work to save and improve the conditions of animals that make our lives so rich and ask so little in return.  

Greg Schoppe – Production – Camp Ta-Kum-Ta
I’ve selected Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, which is a year-round camp that provides children with cancer and their families a way for experience some of the normal childhood experiences that might otherwise be impossible, due to their condition.  Camps like this help to improve the morale of children undergoing cancer treatments, which has a proven positive impact to outcomes.  Everyone knows someone who has suffered from Cancer, but it is particularly hard when it is a child dealing with this disease. Camp Ta-Kum-Ta helps make sure that the condition that robs them of their health, doesn’t also rob them of a childhood.

Ellie Miner – Digital Marketing – The Warmth Program
Staying warm through a Vermont winter is no easy feat, and it’s made that much harder when you can’t afford to keep your house warm. I chose to donate to the warmth program to support an organization that helps Vermonters with their heating bills so their homes can be a refuge from the cold, because nobody deserves to suffer through a Vermont winter without access to heat.

Scott Kliczewski – Digital Marketing – Lake Champlain Committee
This Giving Tuesday I chose to donate to the Lake Champlain Committee (LCC), a bi-state citizens’ organization dedicated to the health and accessibility of Lake Champlain. The LCC works to protect and restore water quality, safeguard natural habitats and preserve recreational areas in and around Lake Champlain. The preservation of Lake Champlain is extremely important to me as I spend countless hours around the lake swimming, biking, paddle boarding, camping and relaxing throughout the year. The protection and preservation of Lake Champlain should be front of mind for anyone who lives around and enjoys the lake!

Aaron Silber – Support – Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been instrumental in the fight to protect free speech, fair use, innovation, and privacy on and off the Internet. Their mission to defend digital freedom is more important now than ever. The EFF’s work has served to protect political activists, independent journalists, and average Internet users across the country.

Mitch Berriman – Digital Marketing – Vermont Public Radio
I’m choosing Vermont Public Radio (VPR) as my non-profit or charity to donate to for this Giving Tuesday. As someone who listens to podcasts on my way to and from work and while at work, it’s great to have VPR Vermont Public Radio streaming the latest about our community here in Vermont. VPR keeps me informed and updated on important developments in our state and helps me feel more connected to our community. The value of having a community voice over the airwaves can’t be overstated and in today’s world, it’s easy to reach the masses with important information to keep us all informed and better educated.

Sarah Cootey – Digital Marketing – All Breed Rescue
I’m choosing to donate to All Breed Rescue for Giving Tuesday. I had the pleasure of volunteering there last year and saw first hand how the organization changes the lives of dogs, volunteers and the dedicated staff that works there. Their efforts to rescue dogs from the south are truly inspiring, and I’m eager to help them this holiday season to continue providing nurturing homes to rescues of all breeds.

Ben Stein – Production – ASPCA
I like the ASPCA for my charity.  They provide material support to animal rescue organizations across the country as well as developing and promoting animal welfare programs for shelters, and rescues nationwide.  They also provide emergency support for large-scale issues like massive animal hoarding cases, hurricane relief, and other natural disasters.  They’re basically the FEMA of the animal welfare world, only without the bureaucratic bloat.  

Casey Morrison – Production – Planetary Society
The Planetary Society is a non-profit organization that works to educate and empower the community by spreading scientific knowledge and encouraging critical thought. I choose to support the Planetary Society because I believe in a future built on a foundation of science and reason. I believe human achievement through scientific advancement is a great unifying force, and with more public awareness and a more scientifically literate community, we can move toward a brighter future.

Lilly Thompson – Support – Vermont Public Radio
With “fake news” becoming a real epidemic in our society over the last year or so, now is the time to support news outlets that are dedicated to keeping it real by serving hard facts. With Vermont Public Radio’s connections to NPR and BBC News, there isn’t a more well-rounded news source available to Vermonters. This is why I support VPR today with a donation and every day by tuning in on my commute to and from work.

Nick Romano – Production – Humane Society of Chittenden County
The Humane Society of Chittenden County is an organization whose mission is to foster compassionate treatment of animals and to prevent animal suffering. I want to support HSCC because of the 3 adopted four-legged friends running around at my home right now. Giving to HSCC means that more animals can find their forever home, and bring peace, happiness and licks to people all across Vermont.

Sam Reinhardt – Animal Welfare Institute
Recent reports show that elephant poaching in Kenya is on the decline, and the Animal Welfare Institute attributes this in large part to the aerial patrol efforts of the Kenya Wildlife Service. These patrols not only keep a lookout for poachers, but also survey wildlife, deliver supplies to rangers, and keep animals from wandering out of the national parks. For Giving Tuesday, the AWI is trying to raise $10,000 to purchase fuel, parts and equipment in support of that initiative. I hope that the AWI can reach their goal, and I’m happy I could help contribute to it.

Andrew Allen – Support – Dementia Discovery Fund
I choose to donate to the Dementia Discovery Fund in memory of my grandparents who recently passed away. I hope to see tremendous advancement in the treatment and cure of this terrible disease in my lifetime.

New Global HQ for Burlington Bytes

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Burlington Bytes is moving up in the world–– literally! We have recently traded in our basement office on Church Street for a sunny spot above ground at 164 College Street. We’re all adjusting pretty well to our new digs (especially the part about having natural light), so we thought we’d give you a digital written tour!

The view from our upstairs conference room

The view from our upstairs conference room

Lobby/Conference Room
The elevator (fancy we know) opens to a large space segmented by dividers. Like us, this area is multi-purpose. It’s our conference room, our lounge, and our waiting area. But most importantly, this is where you might find the office dogs hanging out.

Fancy Offices
Right off of the lobby, there are three small office rooms–– each of which comes with a view of the park and the Adirondacks in the distance. I guess this is where being the founders or CEO of our company really came in handy.

Support Room
Go down a flight of stairs and to the left, and you’ll find the Support room. Not only does this room house our support staff, it also is home to our project managers. This is where all your tricky website problems go to be solved. These all-star experts will plan, execute, and keep your website running smoothly and deal with any issues that might come up.

Production Room
Right next to the Support room is our Production room. It’s like Santa’s workshop, but for websites–– full of wonder and sarcastic comments from all our expert developers. But don’t let their sense of humor fool you–– they’re very serious about creating beautiful and user-friendly websites.

Digital Marketing Room
All the way in the back, there’s the Digital Marketing room. Once your website is up and running, the Digital Marketing Department will take it to the next level. Whether you want Google Adwords Advertising or SEO, they’ve got you covered!

Kitchen
Wedged in the corner between the Support room and the Production room is the kitchen. It’s arguably the most important room in the office since it’s the place where all our snacks live. Plus it has a super cool spiral staircase.

That brings us to the end of our tour! If you would like to come and see us in person to talk about how we can build, maintain, and promote your website, you’ll find us on College Street.

Driving Offline Purchases From Online Advertising

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We may be in a digital age of online sales and advertising, but many businesses still rely on in-person or over-the-phone transactions to drive a large percentage of sales. Maybe you have an up-and-coming bakery or small home-made furniture business, and you don’t see as much of a benefit to putting time or money into an online advertising. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a concrete, measurable benefit to online advertising, even if the majority of your business is done offline!

Burlington, Vermont

photo: http://gotravelaz.com/burlington/

Sounds Too Good To Be True
We know it sounds biased coming from a digitally-focused company, but hear us out! Allow us to introduce you to Store Sales Conversion Tracking. It may not boast a sexy name, but trust us when we say that the results more than make up for that. With a few easy steps, we can match a click on your online ads to purchases made in your retail or brick & mortar store.

Okay, I’ll Bite… How Does It Work?
All we need to start is a recent export of your customer list which can include customer name, email, phone number, date & time of purchase and purchase amount. We then import that data into your Google AdWords account and Google AdWords then uses Customer Match to match your customer’s purchase information to link their initial click on your ad to a purchase that they made in your store. Think of it as a big game of connect the dots, where the picture at the end shows you how effective your online advertising efforts are–– the more information you have about your customers, the more dots you can connect.

I’m Sold, Sign Me Up!
We thought you might say that. So now for the shameless sales pitch portion of this blog post: If you think Store Sales Conversion Tracking could be right for your business, give us a shout at 802-448-4001 or go here. We’ll work our magic and bring your offline business into the digital age!

Digital Marketing Team Takes on Facebook Collection Ads

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In case you don’t follow internet marketing news as closely as we do (what can we say, we’re nerds), we’re here to tell you that Facebook recently released a new ad format that the digital marketing team at Burlington Bytes is really excited about. They’re called Collection Ads, and they’ll change the way you see ads for products on Facebook.

Catch me up.
So what’s the big deal with these ads anyway? According to Facebook Business, people are loving videos, and they want to see products featured as they exist in real life. So Facebook released a new ad format that gives the people what they want! A collection ad features a larger photo or video at the top of the ad, and then smaller product images underneath. When a potential customer clicks the ad, it funnels them to a place where they can make a purchase, giving the user a streamlined and interactive experience with the ad.

Any Other Benefits?
Definitely. Not only will this ad format hopefully get more people to look at and click on an ad, it also gives more insight to the marketer about the path a customer or potential customer took when they interacted with the ad. Plus, by including images for multiple products, the potential for a click is higher than it would be with just a single image.

So What Is Burlington Bytes Doing About It?
As you read this, the internet marketing team is hard at work creating new collection ads for our clients. If you don’t believe us, here’s a couple examples of what we’ve been working on.

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Pretty cool, right? We think so. If you think so too, feel free to get in touch with us and ask about how Burlington Bytes can use our skills in Facebook ads to get more leads and drive sales for your business!

Burlington Bytes: Wilderness Edition

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As a website design and internet advertising firm, it’s pretty safe to say that we’re comfortable with technology. We love things like coding websites, fixing broken links, and optimizing Google AdWords campaigns–– all of which is done in the safety of the indoors. So when we traded in our office for a tent, and our computers for the great outdoors, things got interesting.

 

Friday, 1:30 pm – Let the Games Begin

Once we’d closed up the office for the day, we descended upon our campsites with enthusiasm and set to the task of putting up our tents. Unfortunately, our enthusiasm proved to be short-lived as we struggled with broken tent rods and tiny hard-to-read instructions.

Friday, 2:30 pm – Cataloging of Supplies

Getting everything we needed to survive a weekend in the woods was no easy feat, so everyone needed to pitch in and bring whatever camping supplies they had. We may have forgotten a few things, but we had most of the essentials covered–– a machete, a couple hammocks, and beer.

In hammocks

All you need to go camping is a hammock, right?

 

Friday, 5:30 pm – Chow Time

For our first meal in the wilderness, we decided to keep it simple. It was burgers and hot dogs over the campfire for the main course, and of course, s’mores for dessert. Then it came time to sit around the campfire and tell scary stories–– mostly about websites crashing.

8:30 am – A Slow Start

As the sunlight began to stream in through the skylights in our tents, and the birds chirped, another sound could be heard–– the collective groaning of people who had spent an entire night trying to sleep on the ground. Needless to say, we weren’t exactly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

11:30 am – Smile!

The time had come for us to do what we came to do–– attempt to take a decent picture of the whole company. Luckily we’re a pretty good-looking group, so getting a good photo was one of the easier things that we did that weekend.

Behind the scenes of our company photo

Behind the scenes of our company photo

We may not have ended the weekend having become burly mountain men and women that could survive in the woods for weeks on end with nothing but a hatchet, but we did survive a weekend without our computers, and we got some great photos out of it, so I would call that a win.