#GivingTuesday – Burlington Bytes Style

Blog News

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.

 

Sticker Promotion: Enter to Win $250!

Sticker Promotion: Enter to Win $250!

Blog News

The World’s Crappiest Social Media Promotion Ever

Burlington Bytes is crowdsourcing our latest promotion and challenging our fans, friends of fans, and friends of friends of fans to stick the Burlington Bytes logo sticker in the most creative places possible. If you snap a photo of the Burlington Bytes sticker placed somewhere creative then tag Burlington Bytes, you could win a whopping $250.00 and never work again for the rest of your life. If the $250.00 isn’t exciting enough for you, wait there’s more! Your sticker image may also be featured in the upcoming Burlington Bytes calendar… but stay tuned on that because if the calendar is anything like this promotion it might also fall completely flat on it’s face.

Follow the steps below and we look forward to wading through your not-so-safe-for-work submissions on Facebook & Instagram.

To Enter:

Step 1: Fill out the form at the bottom of this page and send us your physical mailing address.

Step 2: We’ll mail you Burlington Bytes logo stickers to use for the promotion. 

Step 3: Once you get those stickers, place said stickers in the most creative places you can think of. We’re hoping for some quintessential Vermontiness, like the back half of a Cow somewhere roaming around in a pasture but we’re also open to any outrageously, crude and wildly inappropriate but hilarious placements of stickers. Let’s just try and avoid being extremely offensive…

Step 4: Take a picture of your sticker placement, post it to Facebook or Instagram then tag Burlington Bytes (Burlington Bytes@burlingtonbytes) in the image.

Step 5: Once we’re tagged, our expert panel of sticker placement engineers, who are experts mind you, will review your submissions and pick a winning photo. If you win, we’ll mail you your $250.00 Visa or you can come pick it up or whatever. I don’t know, this wasn’t my idea.

Terms & Conditions Apply

Fill out this form to enter:

Terms & Conditions 

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE THE CHANCES OF WINNING.

  1. Eligibility: The World’s Crappiest Social Media Promotion Ever contest is open only to those who sign up at https://www.burlingtonbytes.com/news/sticker-promotion-enter-win-250/ and who are at least eighteen years old  as of the date of entry.The Campaign is only open to legal residents of the United States, and is void where prohibited by law. Employees of Burlington Bytes LLC (“Burlington Bytes”), its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and suppliers, (collectively the “Employees”), and immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of Employees are not eligible to participate in the Campaign. The Campaign is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.
  2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, the Contestant (“You”) agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and You represent and warrant that You meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, You agree to accept the decisions of Burlington Bytes, in its sole and absolute discretion, as final and binding as it relates to the content of this Campaign.  You agree to abide by all applicable laws, rules, regulations and refrain from any illegal conduct (including defacing or trespassing upon the property of any third party)  in connection with your participation in the Campaign.
  3. Campaign Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on March 25th, 2017 and ending April 25th, 2017. All online entries must be received by April 25th, 2017.
  4. How to Enter: The Campaign must be entered by submitting an entry using the online form provided at https://www.burlingtonbytes.com/news/sticker-promotion-enter-win-250/. The entry must fulfill all Campaign requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are incomplete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of Burlington Bytes.
  5. Prizes: The Winner(s) of the Campaign (the “Winner”) will receive $250 in cold hard cash money. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award, and based on the faith and credit in the US gov’t – which is no small variance. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by Burlington Bytes. No prize substitution shall be permitted except at Burlington Bytes discretion. Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of Winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by Winner is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Burlington Bytes to use Winner’s contest entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.
  6. Odds: The odds of winning depend solely on the skill of the entrant and the mood of the selection committee tasked with picking a winner.
  7. Winner Selection and Notification: Winner will be selected by selection committee vote under the supervision of the Burlington Bytes’ office dog, Savannah. Winner will be notified by email, mail, or Facebook within five (5) days following selection of Winner. Burlington Bytes LLC shall have no liability for Winner’s failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for Winner’s provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If Winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 5 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and release as required, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate Winner selected. Receipt by Winner of the prize offered in this Campaign is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY WINNER (AT BURLINGTON BYTES LLC‘S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE CAMPAIGN, AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.
  8. Rights Granted by You: By entering this content (e.g., photo, video, text, etc.), You understand and agree that Burlington Bytes LLC, anyone acting on behalf of Burlington Bytes, and Burlington Byte’s licensees, successors, and assigns, shall have the right, where permitted by law, to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use in any media now known or hereafter developed, in perpetuity and throughout the World, without limitation, your entry, name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image, statements about the Campaign, and biographical information for news, publicity, information, trade, advertising, public relations, and promotional purposes. without any further compensation, notice, review, or consent. By entering this content, You represent and warrant that your entry is an original work of authorship, and does not violate any third party’s proprietary or intellectual property rights. If your entry infringes upon the intellectual property right of another, You will be disqualified at the sole discretion of Burlington Bytes. If the content of your entry is claimed to constitute infringement of any proprietary or intellectual proprietary rights of any third party, You shall, at your sole expense, defend or settle against such claims. You shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Burlington Bytes from and against any suit, proceeding, claims, liability, loss, damage, costs or expense, which Burlington Bytes LLC may incur, suffer, or be required to pay arising out of such infringement or suspected infringement of any third party’s right.
  9. Terms & Conditions: Burlington Bytes reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Campaign should virus, bug, non-authorized human intervention, fraud, or other cause beyond Burlington Byte’s control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, or proper conduct of the Campaign. In such case, Burlington Bytes may select the Winner from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Burlington Bytes LLC.  Burlington Bytes reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Campaign or website or violates these Terms & Conditions. Burlington Bytes LLC has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the Campaign, to void votes for any reason.Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Campaign may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such attempt be made, Burlington Bytes reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Not to mention, your family will be incredibly disappointed in you.
  10. Limitation of Liability: By entering, You agree to release and hold harmless Burlington Bytes and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers, and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim, or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from: (i) such entrant’s participation in the Campaign and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof; (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunction of any computer, cable, network, hardware, or software, or other mechanical equipment; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions, telephone, or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.
  11. Disputes: THIS Campaign IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF VERMONT, WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this Campaign, participant agrees that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Campaign, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Chittenden County, Vermont having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances shall participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to, punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Campaign). Participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.
  12. Privacy Policy: Subject to the terms and conditions of Section 8, information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on the Burlington Bytes LLC  website. To read the Privacy Policy,  click here.
  13. Winners List: To obtain a copy of the Winner’s name or a copy of these Official Rules, please first recognize that you are “that person”, then, mail your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Burlington Bytes LLC 2 Church Street, Burlington Vermont 05401. Requests must be received no later than May 31st, 2017.
  14. Sponsor: The Sponsor of the Campaign is Burlington Bytes LLC, 2 Church Street Burlington Vermont, 05401
  15. Facebook: The Campaign hosted by Burlington Bytes LLC is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.
  16. By submitting entry to this contest, You, the Contestant, have affirmatively reviewed, accepted, and agreed to all of the Official Rules.

 

Burlington Bytes Builds Blockade

Blog Design Tips WordPress

logo
What has our Burlington Bytes development team been up to these days? They’ve recently released a visual page builder that assists with your WordPress formatting needs. We’re proud to introduce you to Blockade, a plugin that let’s you take control of your WordPress content.

Blockade doesn’t replace the current WordPress visual editor TinyMCE. Instead it integrates with it, giving you the ability to apply more advanced formatting and design to the pages of your WordPress site to make it look more professional without breaking the plugins you know and love in the process. It enhances your existing workflow instead of replacing it entirely.

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 2.45.06 PM

Let’s break down the key functions that can improve your WordPress experience:

  • Add single use HTML to a page
  • Align images, video and text
  • Create columns and add buttons
  • Insert short codes and widgets with an intuitive live preview
  • Manage backgrounds and callouts
  • Develop pages that are responsive, clean and modern

How did Blockade originate? This plugin has been in development since 2015 and was originally used in-house for clients who wanted a visual page builder that was lightweight and easy to use and customize. It’s in open BETA and currently being tested by active users. There have been over 850 downloads to date and counting!

Why should you give it a try?

Greg Schoppe, the lead developer of Blockade explains, “Blockade is meant to help WordPress users get the power that a modern CMS needs out of a page builder, without sacrificing the features that make WordPress great. I like to think of it as the difference between Wordpad and Microsoft Word. You get the same tools in the same familiar interface, but with much more power under the hood.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.21.02 AM

Blockade is free to use and open source. You can download it here: https://www.wpblockade.com/. Try it out to bring your WordPress website to the next level, and let us know what you think!

A Beginner’s Guide to Working with Social Media Influencers

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Working with social media influencers has become arguably one of the most effective and organic methods of reaching one’s audience in recent years. It is, however, a trend many have yet to adopt. Smaller businesses in particular either don’t have the budget or knowledge to use influencers to their advantage. 

So what exactly is a social media influencer?

According to Pixlee:

  • A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.

Think of them like a celebrity endorser only they appear more relatable and more genuine because they are everyday people. Influencers can range in age from children to the elderly and they span across every industry imaginable.

Why work with them?

The following infographic by MediaKix gives a pretty clear idea why:

Influencer-Marketing-Statistics-2016-Infographic1

Where can you find influencers?

  • A great place to start is on social platforms themselves such as Instagram and Twitter. You will want to search trending hashtags within  your industry and look for people who are involved in the conversations. Do you have a an engaged following? Are people replying to their comments and reposting their content? All important things to consider.

 

  • Another place to start is on Google, simply type in “nutrition social media influencers” and Google will do the rest. You will of course want to take the time to go through each profile you find to make sure they are actually credible enough to partner with.

 

  • If you are working with a larger budget paying for a third party tool can be the most effective way. Tools like Upfluence  and Experticity  can partner you with influencers directly through their site. These influencers have already signed off on being contacted and are actively seeking partnerships.

What are your partnership options?

  • Collaborative post: Work with an influencer to create content together that can be posted both on their platforms and your own. This works like brand sponsored content.

 

  • Long Term Ambassador Roles: This is like a long term partnership in which you would create multiple posts or content opportunities with this person. It is not a “one off”, this method requires a larger budget but can be more effective long term because it makes the influencers involvement with the brand more authentic.

 

  •  Event Activation: This requires you to put on an event with one or multiple influencers. It is an opportunity to bring multiple influencers together and their audience outside of the digital space. This builds a stronger relationship with consumers because it allows them to interact with your brand offline.

 

  •  Influencer Takeover: This can span from 24 hours to a week long, during this time you would allow an influencer to take over your social media as the name suggests. Popular tactics can include Q & A sessions, posting to your platforms directly, live streaming, and exclusive behind the scenes content with your brand and the influencer.

 

  • The PR Approach: reach out for an interview or full profile piece on the influencer.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 3.42.40 PMSephora sponsored YouTube video by online vlogger and social influencer Summer Mckeen

How should you reach out?

Email

The easiest and most effective way to reach out to an influencer is to email them directly. Most if not all will have an email listed on their website or in their Instagram/Twitter bio. It is best to use their business email if specified.


Sample Email 

Hi _____,

I’m [name] I work at [name of business] and we are looking to get involved with influencers in the [industry name] industry. Our goal is to promote [name of product/business] and raise overall awareness.

We would love to partner with you to create content for our social channels in order to tap into new audiences. As it stands we are open to working in collaboration with you to share your voice on our platforms. 

Let me know if this is something you may be interested in and we can discuss further details.

Thank you for your time.

Best,

[Your Name]


Phone

If they list their phone number it is fair game to reach out with a phone call. However, there may be a lot of back and forth via the phone so if you are on deadline email may serve as a better option.

What are the next steps?

Meet with your team and go over your current marketing budget and plan. Think of areas where influencers could add value to your business and decide if they can be incorporated into your new campaigns. Once a decision has been made spend time doing research looking for relevant and successful influencers. With the right research and planning, using social media influencers to market your business could add real value and set you apart from the competition.

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Comment and let us know what your experiences have been working with influencers!

Facebook Video Gets a Makeover

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Exciting news came down the pipeline from Facebook this week in regards to video advertising. We will be seeing a number of changes to this feature including – fading sound while scrolling, Vertical videos, watch and scroll, and a video/TV App. All of these improvements will allow for increased engagement with video ads and allow for a more user friendly experience.

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For the Digital Marketing Team at Burlington Bytes, Vertical videos are soon to be a big part of our advertising recommendations. Vertical videos, although widely categorized by creatives as being of lower quality, are surprisingly popular amongst consumers. Similar to Snapchat and Instagram, this view is appearing to become the “norm” for avid social users. Another obvious reason that this view is favored by consumers is the fact that we hold our phones vertically a vast majority of the time. Not to mention research found in a  Future in Focus study showed that nearly 80% of social media use now occurs on mobile devices – 61% on smartphones alone. Having been in beta since last August, Facebook is confident this new format will see favor from consumers.

As we move more towards video dominated platforms, Facebooks switch to vertical video is a clear step in that direction.  In recent months, Facebook has been pushing its live video feature, as well as incorporating video-sharing into both the Facebook mobile apps and Instagram. We expect to continue to see new features rolling out over the next several months.

 

 

 

Make Your Website Seen in 2017

Make Your Website Seen in 2017

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In a fast paced world of digital advertising, businesses often overlook a major piece of the online marketing puzzle: SEO. Search engine optimization isn’t just about making sure your website is easily interpreted and indexed by Google and other search engines, but it’s also about making sure your visitors can interpret the information you put in front of them.

No matter how much search engine algorithms change over time, websites are always going to compete for the coveted “above the fold” positions. Let’s take a look at how now more than ever, SEO is crucial for crafting a successful online presence for your business.

1- New Technology Evolves, so Does the Way We Optimize

With voice search assistants like Siri and Alexa gaining traction, you’ll want to be sure a conversational tone is used to create easily digestible content that jives with the evolving ways people search for information. When adding content to your site, don’t force it. Sound natural and make it easy for costumers to find what they’re looking for. What kinds of questions would a consumer be asking to find your business or learn more about your service? This is what we need to be asking as we optimize for the different ways people search both textually and verbally.

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2- Keep Content Fresh and Consistent

Search engines love to see fresh content appearing on websites. Updating content on a regular basis and keeping it relevant to your business will boost the potential of it being seen by potential customers. Relevant keyword rich blogs posted a few times a month on your site can have a strong impact. Think about the goal of a search engine: to put the most relevant content in front of a user based on their inquiry. With this in mind as content is crafted, you’ll strengthen your organic search traffic.

3- Social Media is Your Friend

Your website isn’t the only place customers are visiting to learn about your business. For optimal visibility, don’t forget to promote your brand on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and others. They provide outlets for engaging with customers through promotions and eye-catching content or videos, giving them a larger insight into what your products or services are all about.

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4- Stick to the Basics

All hale header tags! They will always be beneficial when optimized with relevant keywords that help search engines crawl your site. The same goes for meta titles and meta descriptions. We can never rule out natural link building either, getting other reputable and related websites to link back to your site. This helps to boost its overall domain authority. The stronger it is, the more likely it is to show above the fold when relevant queries are typed into a search engine. A great tactic to do so is to craft a link building strategy that reaches out to possible vendors, contractors or directories that would list or mention your website and business.

5.-Mobile Matters

With mobile traffic increasing on a daily basis, search engines are now putting more emphasis on indexing mobile-friendly websites. Don’t forget to take into consideration how potential clients will be engaging with your website from various devices. The more responsive your site is, the more efficient it is at providing the best possible experience for customers.

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Keep these tips in mind as you craft your organic search strategies for the New Year. If you want your website seen in 2017, these tactics should be on your radar.

 

Written by: Sarah Cootey