Marketing 101: Persistent Branding

Published on Mar 31, 2011   //  Marketing Tips

There are many different schools of thought when it comes to advertising techniques. Ask one professional and he’ll tell you do things one way. Ask another professional and she might tell you to do things an entirely different way. So, who’s right?

A great example of this can be found on video sharing sites like YouTube.

With some videos, you’ll find that they have decided to include the website name or some other branding as a “watermark” throughout the length of the video. This can be useful in keeping the brand front and center. You might also see this in movie trailers where they have the movie name and release date in the “black bar” portions either above or below the main action.

With other videos, you’ll find that they have decided only to include any explicit mention of the website or company either at the beginning or the end of the video. There could be a set “pre-roll” or “credit” portion to the video, keeping the focus on the core content that fits in between. Give value to your viewers and they’ll remember you.

So, which school of thought is the right one? Some may say that the first one does a great job of keeping branding as a key message, but others may say that it can be pretentious and annoying. What do you think? How do you feel about persistent branding?

WordPress Wednesday: Flexi Quote Rotator

Published on Mar 30, 2011   //  WordPress

A blog is meant to provide all sorts of dynamic content, so it makes sense that there are many WordPress plugins that facilitate the inclusion of dynamic content. One of these is the Flexi Quote Rotator from Stellar Web Works.

Based on the Quote Rotator plugin by Luke Howell, this plugin allows you to automatically add quotations to any WordPress post or page. The key is that the quotes are automatically rotated through a series of lines that you provide to it.

This could be useful for inspirational quotes at the top of a blog, for example, but an even better application would be in the context of a business website. By using this plugin, you can randomly rotate through several customer testimonials, giving a fresh perspective each time a visitor refreshes the page.

Check out sww.co.nz for more information, including installation instructions and a FAQ. Then, proceed to the WordPress Plugin Directory to access the free download link.

Business 101: Updating Your Listings

Published on Mar 29, 2011   //  Business Topics

It’s far too easy to develop tunnel vision when thinking about how your business is perceived by the public. It’s easy to focus solely on your own website, your own Facebook page, and your own Twitter account. However, you have a much bigger reach than that.

For instance, it is very important that you take a look at your business listing in Google Maps. When someone looks you up by business name, Google provides a “more info” page complete with address, phone number, category, description, photos, reviews, and more. It is up to you to make sure that this information stays up to date.

When you arrive on the page for your business, you’ll notice a link near the top with “Business owner?” as the anchor text. Click on this and you will go through a verification process to demonstrate that you indeed own that business. After that, you can edit information as needed.

Similarly, you should pay attention to other areas where your business may be listed like the online yellow pages, Yelp, UrbanSpoon, and so on. People aren’t going to come to you if they can’t find you.

Great Gadgets: Barnes & Noble Nook Color

Published on Mar 28, 2011   //  Gadgets

Just because you want to get an Android tablet doesn’t mean that you need to invest in something like the Samsung Galaxy Tab. There are cheaper alternatives if you’re willing to go off the beaten path.

One such example is the Barnes & Noble Nook Color. For most consumers, this is really nothing more than an e-book reader, not unlike the Kobo Reader and the Amazon Kindle. However, for braver technology enthusiasts, this e-reader has more to offer. If you “root” the device, which is similar to “jailbreaking” an iPhone, you can run a full build of Google Android.

There are many tutorials available online (including video tutorials), but users have been able to successfully load everything up to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Now, there is also the rumor that Barnes and Noble may officially release Android 2.2 Froyo for the Nook Color.

If this indeed happens, it means that the e-reader will gain official support for “exciting new applications, email and many other requested features.” No, the Nook Color is nowhere near as powerful as the Motorola Xoom, for instance, but it is also much less expensive at $249.

BlueFur Customer of the Week: Republicans Abroad

Published on Mar 27, 2011   //  BlueFur Customer of the Week

Before we get started with today’s blog post, it’s worth noting that we here at BlueFur are not officially aligned or affiliated with any political party. We simply support the democratic process and encourage all of you to ensure your voice gets heard.

As such, if you happen to be a Republican living in Canada, you may be interested to hear about Republicans Abroad. This organization aims to promote voter registration and the casting of absentee ballots by Americans in Canada. With the 2012 Presidential election just over the horizon, this information could prove very useful.

Not surprisingly, the organization also promotes Republican principles. If you would like to become a member of Republicans Abroad, you can check out the membership enrollment form on their website. In the interest of fairness, it’s quite possible that a Democratic Party equivalent also exists.

Do you use BlueFur to host your websites? Let us know and we can feature you in a future blog post. Send an email message to blogfeature@bluefur.com with your name, website URL, and a brief description of what you’d like to see highlighted.

Showcase Saturday: Bangkoo E-Commerce Theme

Published on Mar 26, 2011   //  Showcase Saturday

WordPress is an amazing content management system and it’s even better not only because it is completely free to download and use, but there is also a huge community of users online who are glad to lend a helping hand.

You can also use WordPress for so much more than just regular blogging. For instance, you can make use of the Bangkoo Theme if you want to use WordPress to power an e-commerce site. The theme has been designed with a furniture store in mind, but it could be easily adapted to fit other kinds of online storefronts.

Among the key features are a slider design toward the top of the page, helping you to highlight featured products to your prospective customers. You’ll also notice the flexible design, the WP3 menu, header integration, two footer areas, and blog integration as well.

Go to Tokokoo.com to check out the demo version of the Bangkoo e-commerce theme for WordPress. It is also available as a free download through that link and it offers a one-click installation.

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