WEBSITE DESIGN & ONLINE MARKETING

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Getting your business ready for Christmas

Written by Hamish Braddick on October 28th, 2010.      0 comments

Christmas is pretty much around the corner now so it's a great idea for you to start preparing your business and website so you can make the most of the busy sales period.

We have a few tips to help you stay ahead of competition:

1. Research the competition

It pays to spend some time finding out about your competition. What are they doing? What products are they pushing? What extras are they offering? This will give you an idea about what everyone else is doing and maybe give you a chance to think of something that others haven't already thought of doing. Even looking at similar companies overseas to see what they have come up with can be really insightful – you might be able to localise something someone has done successfully.

2. Make sure you spend a bit of time on your website as a customer

Go through the motions and check that everything works - and even better if you can get a friend to do it. Set them objectives and watch them use your website and get their feedback. There is nothing worse than having someone visit your website and go through the process of making a purchase decision and then getting an error. Check all your processes and pages so you can rest easy knowing that there won't be any last minute hiccups.

3. Use email newsletters

Email newsletters are a great way to inform your customers about special Christmas offers and new product releases. Even if you don't have an ecommerce site, you can run specials on your services and tell people about it via newsletters. Therefore, if you don't already have a newsletter, it's well worth investing in one before the holiday period so you can take full advantage of all the benefits it can offer. Make sure that you also give every website visitor the chance to sign up to the newsletter even if they don't purchase your products or services – have a clear area on your homepage where they can sign up for updates from you.

If you'd like to enquire about Zeald's Email Marketing package, drop us a line and we'll give you all the info you need to know.

4. Introduce special offers

Once you have a newsletter in place, you can use it to create all sorts of great Christmas related offers. Maybe a countdown to Christmas with an offer each day – like a 12 days till Christmas campaign or if your products or services have mass appeal, you could even try approaching one day sale websites such as Grab One or 1-day sale to ramp up sales.

Also create urgency by letting them know the last day for ordering their presents to have it delivered it in time for Christmas. This will remind them to get in before the rush and it will make it easy for you to handle the delivery schedules.

5. Use social media

Remember to use social media and blogs to promote your offers. Social media is a great free tool you can use to grow your community so you can effectively promote your products and services.

6. Give your store or premises a festive make over

It doesn't have to be drastic, even a few subtle additions can give it a bit of the holiday cheer. Same goes for your website, have a few festive images and maybe update your logo to create a bit of a holiday theme.

7. Add vouchers

If you don't already have vouchers available, it's a great time to introduce them to your store and your website. Lots of people struggle to think of the perfect present so vouchers are a popular option for Christmas.

8. Free shipping

If you have an ecommerce or ecommerce+ site, free shipping around holiday time will give your visitors an incentive to order from you. If you don't want to offer this on small purchases you can set a certain value, maybe free shipping on orders more than $50 or $100. This might even motivate your users to spend more to qualify for the perk.

9. Gift wrapping

Gift wrapping and Christmas card could add a nice touch to your ecommerce business as well. You can do it for free or maybe include a small Christmas card along with the gift and charge a small amount. But think about the bigger picture and the fact that you could be giving yourself the edge with a small perk like this.

10. Think about the late shoppers

There will always be people that will leave Christmas shopping right till the end so offer some form of last minute pick up or an urgent delivery system.

11. Offer gift ideas on your website

Create gift idea sections such as 'by gender', 'by type' and 'by price' making it easy for your website visitors to find what they are looking for. You could even have categories like 'for chocolate lovers' or 'for someone that has everything'. That way you will increase the chance of your website visitor finding the right product on your website.

12. Extend your return period

Holiday period can be very busy and and some people do buy gifts well ahead of time so add a nice touch and extend your return or exchange period. This will help make your visitor feel more at ease when purchasing online or even in your store.

 

Producing video for your website

Written by Hamish Braddick on October 4th, 2010.      0 comments

It is a common perception that having video on your website means that you have to hire a professional to come in and do it for you. That's not always true - depending on the purpose of the video and what you are trying to achieve with the video, you can get away with producing it yourself.

Online video is rapidly growing in demand and popularity, and there is a lack of good video content - only few businesses are doing it and even fewer are doing it well, mainly because people think it is hard and are perhaps scared of it. But video is becoming a great and easy way to improve your website results. Read our article on the benefits of online video.

We have a few steps for you to consider when making a video:

1. Plan the content

Have a plan in place for the purpose of each of your videos. Some great examples include:

  • Video testimonials - Your customers endorsing your products and services can build trust and credibility
  • Video tutorial on how to use your products - How to use and get the best out of your products. If you have a blog, you could do regular features on different products. For example, Belly Beyond, an e-business dedicated for mums and babies have a dedicated blog for their videos and use it to run tutorials on products.
  • A video explanation of your service - Great for conveying a complex service and making it easy for your prospects to understand what you do.
  • A video tour of your facilities - Great for showing prospects around your accommodation, day spa, sports club etc.
  • Video reviews of your product - Get in an expert or do it yourself. Publish regular reviews of your products such as wine, movies, books, games etc.
  • Make it social - Get your customers to share with each other through video - for example, Giapo.
  • Expert interviews - Get opinions and advice from the experts in your field. This can be someone within your company as well.
Be clear on what you are trying to achieve with the video and plan the content as much as possible. It pays to keep the videos short and sweet - instead of one long tutorial on a topic, break it down into smaller 2-5minute, regular parts so your users can take it in bit by bit over time.

2. Make it unique and memorable

Make your video something memorable. It can be something funny, maybe something a bit bizarre, it can be a useful post on something that adds value or maybe even a controversial topic - but make it very easy to follow so the user can absorb the information quickly. For example:
  • An interesting environment and background - For example, The Wine Vault guys often review their wines in a great cosy environment, getting drunk and talking about wine :-)
  • Experts having a debate
  • Make sure you the video to remove any unnecessary pauses
  • Use scripts to ensure that you say the right things and don't forget anything. This will also ensure that the content will not include anything you shouldn't really be talking about.
Give users a reason to subscribe to your video over your competitors channel. If you do this people will be more interested in watching the video and passing it onto their friends.

2. Set up a YouTube channel

You really want to embed the video on your website and make it very easy for your users to watch. You want the video to load very quickly and you want it to play smoothly and without hassle. The best way to do this is to use a third party to host your video such as Youtube, that everyone is familiar with. 

YouTube is the most popular video hosting site which is free for users. To start using this for your business, set up a channel with all the business details and also explain what the channel will be used for. Once this is set up you can upload your videos to this channel as soon as they are ready.

Hosting your video on YouTube can also help with market your video because:

  1. Google rewards pages with multimedia rich content - for a Google search, Google likes to serve up interesting and rich content (i.e., not just text, but images and videos). Website pages with video included on them are often favoured over a plain text result.
  2. Google including direct links to video in the search results. This means that you will not only have your website (with video) featured highly on the search results but your video itself (on YouTube) will feature in the search results.
  3. YouTube itself is the second largest search engine after Google. If you don't have a video on YouTube it will not be found.

Once your video is on the YouTube channel, you can embed the videos on your Zeald website and also promote it using social media.

3. Choose a champion

When looking for a champion, you might want to choose someone from your business that is comfortable with talking in front of a camera. But you may find that someone who is an expert in your field and is passionate comes across very well on video. Don't limit yourself to just one speaker - you can use multiple people if you are getting different opinions on a topic or even covering different areas of expertise.

4. Get a camera

There are plenty of options for cameras that can take videos in the market at the moment and most of them have inbuilt microphones so the audio is recorded through them.

For a more formal recording where you have a dedicated environment, you can use a heavier camera that produces high quality video. It's a good idea to invest in a tripod too because that will make it easier to film for long periods of time (especially if you want a few takes to begin with), rather than someone holding the camera in the right angle for a while. Plus it will make the video a bit more professional and you can do away with the camera man.

For an impromptu interview type video, even hand held smart phones like iPhones and Android handsets can do the job. They can be great if you are filming something off the cuff as they can add a certain rawness which will add to the effect. Just make sure that there is plenty of light and no loud background noises if you are using a phone to film.

5. Keep it human

Sometimes a video with a certain rawness can come across more human and personal that a highly polished commercial video. People know it is not an actor, that it is a real person from your company, it is coming directly from the expert.... and it has a personal feel, builds trust and credibility. And it doesn't look like a commercial advert. But in saying that....

6. Bad video warning

As mentioned earlier, depending on the purpose of the video, the quality of the video can have a big impact especially if you are using the video to showcase your products or something that requires better quality. The video ultimately becomes a reflection of your business and a badly made video with bad sound quality and unclear video can actually be harmful as it reflects negatively on your business. Make sure the video is high quality and adds to the online experience of your visitors, not put them off.

Consider using a professional

Doing video yourself also means that it can take up time, resource and there is a cost involved in getting all the right equipment. Of course if you are looking at doing many videos for your blog with different topics regularly it is still worth it for you to do it yourself. But if you are using a video as a one off resource to load onto your home page or somewhere on your website to explain your products, services or as great video testimonials - something that usually won't change for a few months, it pays to use a professional. You might find that this option is much easier and you can achieve really great results (even the raw effect) when working with a professional.  Please refer to our directory of video specialists.

Just do it.

Pick up the camera and give it a go today..... you might find that it is easier than you think.

 

Website Specialists Directory

Written by Hamish Braddick on October 4th, 2010.      0 comments

Clients often ask us about suppliers for various website related services. Because we work in these circles, we often come across them or have used them ourselves. The list below are just some suppliers that we think stand out in their field and suit our small to medium business clients. 

Important note. We have not tested all the suppliers listed here, so we cannot vouch for the quality of their product or service. We encourage you to do your own research and due diligence to ensure that these are the right suppliers for you.


Business Applications

Unleashed Inventory Software

Unleashed is an online inventory management software that connects with your Zeald ecommerce website and Xero accounting system. The Unleashed integration provides accurate and up-to-date inventory records across your website and offline store with accurate accounting data through Xero; all in realtime, and online.
Website. www.unleashedsoftware.com
Email. solution.support@unleashedsoftware.com 
Phone. +64 9 447 1334 

Pocketvine.com

Pocketvine is a mobile marketing and customer insight platform delivered as an online SaaS (Software as a Service) application that enables businesses to engage with their customers using their mobiles.  The user interface is simple and intuitive to use, allowing you to manage multiple campaigns yourself.
Website. www.pocketvine.com
Email. sales@pocketvine.com
Phone. +64 9 379 2450


Social Media Management

 

Language Translation

Blue South

Wherever your market, whatever your technology, Blue South can meet your language translations needs - on time; on budget; professionally. They can translate everything from Software to User Manuals, Product Data Sheets, Marketing Materials and Websites.
Contact. Ruth Sullivan
Website. www.bluesouth.com.au


Web Video

Media Mechanika

Media Mechanika is an online video content specialist with an affinity for New Zealand’s mechanical, industrial, engineering and manufacturing businesses. Director/producer and company principal, Adam Jones has 15 years experience in telling great stories for business. He has won numerous awards for his storytelling. Finding the angle that gives your business cut through is what Media Mechanika love doing.
Contact. Adam Jones
Phone. +64 21 658 976
Email. adam@mediamechanika.com
Location. Auckland
Website. mediamechanika.com

Subzero Group

Are you looking for an experienced, creative partner, who can deliver stunning results within your budget and timeline? Subzero is a creative studio, based in Albany, Auckland. We provide design, commercial photography and video production for print, digital and online media.
Contact. Viivi Ronkko
Website. www.subzerovideo.co.nz
Location. Albany, Auckland

 

Real TV

For the past 10 years we've been making high-end award winning television and digital media for other production companies. Now we've formed 'Real', we're making the same quality television and digital media under our own company's name - using this value to answer your company's needs.
Contact. Kim Goodhart
Location. Ponsonby, Auckland
Website. www.real-tv.co.nz

 

Virtual Studios

Virtual Studios have an automated service, known as Website Telly, that allows you to turn your still photos into your own video online. They also have templates you can use to create your own video by uploading a raw video file in the following formats: AVI, MPG, MPEG, WMV, SIU, MOV, MP4. Like YouTube, the video is hosted with Virtual Studios on their servers.
Website. http://www.websitetelly.com

 

Silverline Media

Silverline is an Auckland Video Production company. They specialise in budget video production.  They will also host (US hosting) videos they produce.
Website. www.silverlinemedia.tv

Street TV

Street TV offer business video production services.  They specialise in video projects where the service provider needs to personally connect with interested parties as an essential step in advancing through the sales process.
Contact. Peter Webster
Location. Auckland
Website. www.street-tv.co.nz

 

Film Construction

Film Construction is an Australasian company that makes creative and award-winning television commercials and digital video content. Once upon a time we had one director, one producer, and a vintage Italian coffee machine. Today, over 14 years later, we have an eclectic collection of 10 very talented directors, offices in Auckland, Sydney, and Queenstown, and a room full of awards.
Contact. Andy Patrick
Phone. +64 9 373 2895; +64 22 134 1152
Location. 22 Minnie Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland, New Zealand
Website. www.filmconstruction.com

ClickHD Online Videos

ClickHD Online Videos create great first impressions for your business via videos.  Led by a BBC Trained Director, ClickHD are web video specialists that help you connect with your target market.  Through our marketing and scripting expertise we provide a one-stop shop for businesses, making the process simple and hassle-free.  From establishing the videos objectives and scripting writing, through to filming, editing and distribution,  we work with businesses to establish a video marketing strategy that's right for them and their budget. Check out our website or give us a call to see how we can help you market more effectively with Web Video. 
Contact. Patrick McDonald
Phone. +64 9 4756460; +64 27 840 4577
Location. 8 Sandford St, Campbells Bay, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
Website. www.clickhd.co.nz

Digital Masters

Founded by Television Producer Andy Tyler 30 years ago, Digital Masters has proved to be a survivor in an industry where many fall. Fine tuned over the years, Digital Masters is about a  small group of people, people who love what they do and have the tools to do it well. People who are as comfortable and understanding with 'first time' clients as they are with major corporates and old hands. With all clients it comes down to the same things - a complete grasp of the medium they work in, creativity and thinking that is 'outside the square', and good old fashioned honesty, service and value.
Contact. Andy Tyler
Phone. +64 9 30 30 453
Email. andy@digitalmasters.co.nz; 021 412 911
Location. 130 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland
Website. www.digitalmasters.co.nz


Animated Video

Showboat

Showboat blends strong, modern design with laser-sharp storytelling to create powerful & engaging animated videos that promote businesses of every size, shape and flavour. We use the endless possibilities of motion graphics to speak directly to your audience, creating an emotional connection that’s impossible with static content. It’s rocks versus rockets. The Showboat team has produced work for a huge range of clients – from high-profile international organisations to ambitious local start-ups. We bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the table every time. We’re perfectionists. No matter the size, every job gets our complete attention – ensuring we deliver the sharpest, slickest product possible – with a Showboat shine.  Mention Zeald and get a 10% discount.
Contact. Nate Martin
Phone. +64 3 470 5394; +64 21 252 3288
Email. nate.movingpixel@gmail.com
Location480 Moray Place, Dunedin 9056
Website. www.showboat.co.nz

Video hosting

Zeald does not provide video hosting services, for two reasons; firstly the Zeald servers are not configured to give a satisfactory video playback performance.  Secondly the load that streaming video would put on the Zeald servers could compromise all Zeald sites. So it's best to use one of the options below:

YouTube

YouTube is the most well-known free video hosting company, which is owned by Google. You can upload video of any format and YouTube will convert the media. YouTube is also the second largest search engine behind Google.
Website. www.youtube.com

Vimeo

Vimeo is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share and view videos. It makes an excellent alternative to Youtube. While it may not have as many followers as Youtube, its followers are very loyal with a "designer or indie film focus"
Website. www.vimeo.com

e-cast

e-cast are an Auckland based video hosting and multi-media company - they provide high quality New Zealand based video hosting featuring true streaming video. However, they do have a hosting fee.
Website. www.e-cast.co.nz

BrightCove

Brightcove are a U.S. based video hosting company.  They could be considered the commercial version of YouTube so the videos are expected to be higher quality than YouTube.
Website. www.brightcove.com


Audio hosting

SoundCloud

SoundCloud lets you move music fast & easy. The platform takes the daily hassle out of receiving, sharing & distributing music for artists, record labels & other music professionals.
Website. www.soundcloud.com


Photography

Images in Space

Images in Space specialise in commercial product photography.  They can also do product effects e.g. 'Image Spin'
Website. www.imagesinspace.co.nz

 

George Passmore Photography

George Passmore is a commercial photographer, specialising in Advertising & Marketing campaigns, Portraiture and Design.
Website. www.georgepassmore.com


Flash animation

Note: Apple devices such as the i-phone and i-pad cannot display flash animation.  We recommend you consider carefully whether flash is an appropriate choice for your website

Infinity Web Creative

Design and develop across all digital mediums including websites, iPhone/iPad apps, web based applications, interactive kiosks, and rich internet application.
Website. www.infinityweb.co.nz

 

Catherine Chi

Freelance Developer
Websitewww.catherinechi.com


Convert PDF's to animated flash page turner

Issuu

Provide a free ad supported version or try Issuu Pro 14 day free trial   
Zeald client examples. Charlton Jewellers (paid version), NZ kayak magazine & localmatters.co.nz
Website. issuu.com/business/features

Zinio

Zinio is managed by Mercury Digital in New Zealand, based in Auckland. Zinio take publishers’ print files, and create a digital version of each magazine, host on the Zinio newsstand, and manage the ecommerce via the Zinio site. Publishers own the content, set their own pricing levels, and opt to enable sales of back issues, single issues, and or subscriptions. Links from publishers masthead sites can go directly to each titles offer page on Zinio. See the NZ House & Garden offer page as an example. Readers who purchase magazines through Zinio have the option of reading them on the device of their choice, and NZ titles are currently supported on PC, Mac, iPad, and Android Tablets.

Costs include.

  1. Production of each issue (by negotiation)

  2. Delivery per issue per reader US$0.25

  3. Credit Card transaction costs are passed through to publisher at cost (typically 2.5-4% depending on card company)

  4. We remit a negotiated percentage of nett sales with each publisher.

Website. nz.zinio.com

Zmags

Sell annual accounts, each licence represents an edition. The editions can be any amount of pages an include any supported feature with no extra costs. Catalogues, newsletters, brochures, flyers, DM’s, magazines, in fact any type of collateral will work with this software. The contracts with Zmags are 1 year contracts and the costs are based upon how many publications you would do over the year. It is accessed on line with a username and password. From here you are able to upload the specific PDF’s and add a number of features.
Website. www.zmags.com/products

 
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About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest website design and digital marketing agency in New Zealand and has recently made moves into Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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