» The Mobile Revolution is Upon Us: Part 2

 

 

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire. You can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

 

 

In part 1 ofThe Mobile Revolution is Upon Us,” we focused on smartphone’s rapid growth, and how mobile is becoming the top search driver for many small businesses. In part 2, we will examine how to mobilize your business!

Get Started with Mobile

Now that you know the impact that mobile will have on your business today and in the future, are you ready to mobilize your website?

Good news! Despite what you may think, mobilizing a website does not have to be expensive or time consuming. Our goal at WeddingWire is for local business’ to stay on top of the latest technology, and we aim to ensure your business will run as efficiently as possible across every type of mobile device. Recently, WeddingWire launched a new Go Mobile tool, allowing businesses to create a custom mobile site in seconds!

Go Mobile Features:

  • Creates a mobilized version of your site with all your business information
  • Automatically identifies traffic coming from mobile devices
  • Fully customizable pictures and styling
  • One tap to contact, call or map your business
  • Optimized across iPhone, Android and other mobile devices and tablets
  • Automatic synchronization of your business information
  • Separate tablet version also customizable and automatically synced

As you can see, mobile is the future! Clients are viewing your website, conducting local searches, and planning their special day on-the-go.  Add “going mobile” to your business’ to do list this year, or let WeddingWire help you Go Mobile in just a few minutes. Either way, it is important to make sure your business considers a mobile friendly website and marketing strategy soon!

The last five years have been the social revolution.  We like to say that the next five years will be the mobile revolution!

» Developing a Great Brand

All businesses need a great brand. Whether you have been in business for 20 years, or are new to the industry, establishing a strong brand is key to developing your business and growing your client base and notoriety in your area.

Entrepreneur recently posted a great article on The Basics of Branding, and how to establish a strong brand for your company.

Key take-away’s to gain brand awareness and maximize exposure for your business:

  • Get a great logo: Place it on all your marketing materials. Ultimately, you would like people to see just your logo, and know it is associated with your business!
  • Write down your brand messaging: Determine your key messages that you want to communicate about your brand, and be sure to deliver on those messages at each event and consistently with every team member.
  • Integrate your brand: Branding should be reflected in every aspect of your business, from conversations with potential clients, to email signatures, phone calls and promotional materials.
  • Create a “voice” for your company that reflects the brand: Your voice should be applied on all written communication and incorporated into the visual imagery on all materials, online and off.
  • Develop a tagline: Write a memorable, meaningful and conscience statement that captures the essence of your brand.
  • Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials: Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just consistent!
  • Be true to your brand: Clients will not look to you for other events, or recommend your services to other engaged couples, if you do not deliver on your brand promise.
  • Be consistent: Simple, but very true: if you cannot be consistent with your branding, it will not be successful!

How is your business’ branding? How have you worked to develop a strong, recognizable brand?

» The Mobile Revolution is Upon Us: Part 1

 

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire. You can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

 

 

By 2014, more people will access the web from mobile devices than from all desktops and laptops combined. Consumers are turning to mobile devices for everything from searching for businesses and reviews, to processing payments and contacting vendors directly. Now is the time to mobilize all aspects of your business, from your website to your emails.  You have to make sure to create a great mobile experience for potential clients when they are on-the-go!

How often have you been out of arms reach of your phone in the past day? Likely, not at all!  Mobile devices are unique as they constantly tether us to technology. To effectively run your business, you must be “online” all hours of the day to respond to inbound requests about your services, manage current clients, and stay in touch with employees and other vendors. With constant access to Internet, consumers are searching for local services on their mobile devices in increasing numbers, yet shockingly, only 1% of small businesses have optimized their websites for mobile viewingIt is time to mobilize all aspects of your business, but let’s first examine how quickly mobile is growing.

Smartphone Growth

Impact on the Web and Search

Mobile is becoming the top search driver for many small businesses. However, over 61% of small businesses don’t have a mobile search strategy and are therefore missing out on consumers trying to find them via a mobile device. Don’t let your business fall behind!

Check back soon for the second part of the series, focusing on how to get started with mobilizing your business website, and WeddingWire’s Go Mobile feature!

» Join Us in Celebrating – WeddingWire Turns 5!

WeddingWire is growing up so fast; we can’t believe it’s already been 5 years and we’ve accomplished so much, thanks to Wedding Pros like you! We have so much to share with you in celebration of this great milestone. Stay tuned for:

  • WeddingWire Through the Years – a trip down memory lane with an infographic of our favorite milestones and memories over the past 5 years
  • When We Were Five – a spotlight on WeddingWire’s stellar Executive Team, here’s a sneak preview: (Can you guess who’s who?)

  • WeddingWire Turns 5: Top Lessons Learned – a webinar, featuring CMO Sonny Ganguly, highlighting the main lessons we have learned as a young startup company and how it can help your business
  • And much more fun and surprises!

But, for now it’s time to cut the cake and pop the bubbly in celebration of our big day. We look forward to celebrating with you!

» Top Tools to Help You Work Less!

On Tuesday, WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, presented ‘Top Tools to Help You Work Less’ as part of our monthly webinar series. Each one hour webinar for upgraded WeddingWire Pros is designed to inform you about the latest industry trends and give you the tools you need to grow your business. This week Sonny helped listeners learn:

  • Top online tools to help businesses stay organized, engaged with audiences and working effectively
  • Website tips, small business insight and analytics, social media management tools, and more to market your business’ services and maximize online exposure

All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for upgraded Pros. Register for May’s webinar, ‘WeddingWire Turns 5: Our Lessons Learned‘ today!

» Google’s New Search Results

Yesterday, WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, presented ‘Google’s New Search Results’ as part of our monthly webinar series. Each one hour webinar for upgraded WeddingWire Pros is designed to inform you about the latest industry trends and give you the tools you need to grow your business. This week Sonny helped listeners learn:

  • Details about recent Google search algorithm changes
  • Why Google+ does or doesn’t matter
  • How to optimize your business’ content and social interaction
  • What you need to do to ensure potential clients easily find them online

All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for upgraded Pros. Stay tuned for our next webinar in March!

» Top 5 Free Online Tools to Help Run Your Business

At WeddingWire, we are always looking for new and effective tools to help companies run as smoothly as possible. From finances to surveys, see below for some of our favorite free tools to help you stay organized, engaged with your audience and on top of your business!

Mint.com

Mint.com is a great online tool for financial management. You can sync your expenses, bank accounts, credit cards, loans and more to keep track of your spending, funds and budgets. Mint automatically categorizes your transactions and keeps you updated on how you are spending, as well as providing assistance to set your budget and savings goals.

Evernote

Evernote is a virtual notepad service that enables you to save, organize and share notes, images and ideas for future use. You can keep your notes in organized categories,  and they can be shared  with others. You quickly and easily can access Evernote from your computer, internet browser, and mobile application from your smartphone or tablet.

HootSuite

HootSuite is a tool designed to help you manage your social networks including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Simultaneously, you can track your followers, mentions and personal accounts all in one place, in real time. Multiple team members can manage the social media accounts, without having to share passwords and login information. You can also tweet and post directly from HootSuite, so no need to go back and forth between your accounts or miss any important mentions! HootSuite conveniently allows you to schedule outgoing messages, so you don’t always have to be online to be posting relevant information and connecting with your audience.

Prezi

Prezi is a dynamic web-based powerpoint presentation tool designed to create a more engaging presentation experience. Self described as “a cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides,” this tool is perfect for a creative presentation. You are able to add in multimedia features to highlight your business or show video from a recent event which adds color and personality to your presentation. Prezi is an “idea” based blank canvas, so you are not limited to traditional slides. The tool compiles all your ideas, which enables you to organize and control the direction of the slideshow.

SurveyMonkey

Looking for quick feedback on a recent event or interested in conducting business research from your clients? SurveyMonkey is an easy to use tool that enables you to create quick, customized surveys online that you can distribute and track results in real time. SurveyMonkey also provides convenient tools to help you analyze your results such as charts and filters.

 

Have you used any of these tools for your business? Are there any other free online tools that you would suggest? We would love to hear from you!

» Washington Post Live’s What Works Recap

We wanted to share a few photos and thoughts from today’s Washington Post Live panel discussion, Ideas and Innovation, featuring DARPA Director Dr. Regina Dugan, Google VP of Research and Special Initiatives Alfred Spector, WeddingWire CEO Timothy Chi,  and Moderator, Mary Jordan (Editor, Washington Post Live). The three discussed a range of topics applicable to small and large businesses alike and how urgency often inspires greater innovation. Jordan posed the question, what one phrase or mantra do you keep on your desk and try to keep in mind during your day. The answers?

 “We don’t encourage failure. We discourage the fear of failure.”

–  Dr. Regina Dugan,  Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

“Try very hard to say ‘yes’.”

– Alfred Spector, Google

“And if you’re going to fail, fail fast.”

–  Timothy Chi, WeddingWire

 

While there were many takeaways from such an intelligent and experienced panel of speakers, some key things to consider and apply to your business:

1. Urgency inspires greater innovation.

2. A team increases the likelihood of success.

3. Innovation isn’t always a linear process.

 

Photos thanks to Ralph Alswang Photography

 

» American Competitiveness: What Works

Join us on Tuesday, February 14 as WeddingWire’s CEO, Timothy Chi, participates in Washington Post Live’s (the live journalism division of The Washington Post) 4-day summit (Feb. 13-16), American Competitiveness: What Works.  Tim will be among local and national innovators, leaders and executives from Google, JetBlue and Honest Tea, discussing forward-thinking in American Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, and Workforce, Veterans and Reservists.

If you’re in the area, start your Valentine’s Day with us at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium to observe Tim’s panel discussion, Ideas and Innovation, with Dr. Regina Dugan (Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), Alfred Spector (VP of Research and Special Initiatives, Google) and Moderator, Mary Jordan (Editor, Washington Post Live). If you can’t make it in person, we encourage you to join the conversation via live stream, available here on Tuesday.

Click here for more information and to register. Registration is free but, space is limited.

» Do You Pinterest? Optimize Your Pins

Pinterest has been spreading the nation like wildfire, allowing users to ‘pin’ photos and inspiration of their favorite recipes, clothing, hair, designs, and more! Many brides (and hopeful-brides) have been using Pinterest as a new way to organize inspiration for their weddings!

Take advantage of this new social vertical to spread photos and links from your website and blog. It is important to keep a few SEO (Search Engine Optimization) considerations in mind. Here are three areas to make sure you are optimizing your photos on Pinterest for SEO:

Description – When you set up your profile, consider including some of your relavent keywords and details in your Pinterest description, make sure to include your category (i.e. Photographer, Florist, DJ) and the word “weddings” if this is your primary business! This way, when potential clients are searching (on Google or Pinterest) you can increase your chances of showing up as a result.

Boards – Choose the title of your ‘Pin Boards’ carefully! This is another area to include keywords, consider doing so both in the title and description of the boards where you organize your types of photos.

Images – Ensure you are using the proper direct links to the photo from your website or blog so that you get the added benefits when your photos go viral and those who share your images are properly directed back to your site.
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