How to add your Instagram Stories to your website!

Oh yeah, you read that right! We came across a cool platform that’ll allow you to embed your Instagram stories onto your website. Although it isn’t free, we believe it’s well worth it, even with IGTV launching. Check out Snappd!

Snappd refreshes your stories ever 24 hours so your website is always up to date and in HD. They also provide analytics, SEO, and email support.

To sign up, click here.

Get it Together: Website Checklist for Beginners

If you’re reading this, it means your brand is ready to be seen and you’re in the driver’s seat. We’ve come up with a checklist for the entrepreneur that wants to build their own website. Please note, we highly recommend hiring a professional once you’ve gotten in the groove of things, have a solid income, and are aware of your analytics as web design isn’t as easy as it may seem.

Oh, and there is no such thing as a free website. There’s always a catch! Most of the time, it ends up being you not having full access to your website or its content. You will always end up paying for hosting, a domain, etc.

We hope that didn’t scare you… Let’s get started!

1. Domain Name (www.yourwebsite.com)

Your domain name is essential when building your website. It is your website’s digital address that your potential customers will use to connect to your site. Most domains are $12-20 for your first year depending on the keywords used. However, you’ll more than likely pay no more than $30 for the years to follow.

*Let’s say your brand becomes extremely popular -Fashion Nova for example- you’ll also pay more, per year, for your domain name because the number of views will add value to your domain name.

Purchasing a domain name is easy. Popular sites like GoDaddy and NameCheap are pretty user-friendly and can be synced with most host providers -we’ll get into that shortly- when developing your site.

Be creative with your domain name! There are a ton of domain endings that can be used. For example, our domain name is www.armni.media instead of www.armnimedia.com (boring!)

Please keep in mind that there is no way to get around paying yearly for your domain and we wouldn’t recommend it anyway.

 

2. Business Email

There’s nothing more professional than a business email address. It’s not easy to build trust over the internet. Seeing free email accounts being used for business can make potential customers give you the side-eye; creating unnecessary doubt.

We recommend using GSuite or ProtonMail. Below are the pros and cons of both:

GSuite – Google

$5-10/month per email address/inbox

Syncs with multiple platforms easily

Access to Google Drive, Docs, Forms, etc. included

Google Analytics

Google Search Console (ability to update/edit ‘being found on google’ and info tab)

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ProtonMail

$7/month for 5 email address in one inbox

Does not snyc with most platforms; has its own app

Based in Switzerland (higher security; two passwords needed to access inbox)

 

We’ve used both.

 

3. Website Building Software & Hosting

A website building software does exactly what it sounds like… builds your website. There are a few options out there for all levels of designers. The most popular ones are Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, and Weebly.

First things first, if you plan on selling anything, you need an eCommerce site. All of the platforms above are capable of providing such. However, depending on the type of product, your recommendations may vary.

If you’re someone that is simple and likes a modern, boxed look, Squarespace is where you want to be. For those of you with vivid imaginations, starting out, we recommend Wix or Weebly. Their website builders are mostly dragging and drop. They have a variety of buttons, shapes, dividers, plug-ins, etc. to add to your site. Keep in mind, most plug-ins -all platforms included- usually have an additional fee outside of your initial hosting fee.

WordPress is for the more advanced. You can purchase themes from sites like Creative Market. You’ll need to install them and some coding may be required. The cheaper the theme, the less editable it’ll be.

A host is the storage unit where your website content lives online. Whenever your website’s domain name is entered into someones web browser, the browser will fetch your website’s content from said host. The type of hosting you need will depend on how many visitors your site has. Similar to your domain name, the popularity can increase the cost of your hosting. However, if you’re starting out with any of the platforms mentioned above, your hosting will more than likely be bundled in your monthly or yearly payments. No matter how many visitors your site gets, they’ll let you know when to upgrade.

Hosting for WordPress is different and is considered Basic Hosting. You have a slightly more access compared to the Free Hosting options above. We recommend BlueHost for all websites and Pressable for eCommerce.

 

4. Website Template (Design/Theme)

A website template is a pre-made design. Gives you the professional look without the cost. There are tons of free templates -also known as themes- out there but the best ones usually cost. Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace have pre-made designs just a click away. For the WordPress users, you’ll need to check out WooThemes or Creative Market.

*HIGH-QUALITY PHOTOS ARE A MUST!! If you need some stock photos in the meantime, visit Pixabay and Unsplash.*

 

5. Site Analytics

Knowing how your customers are moving around your site, what link(s) brought them to your site, etc. will make is important. Google Analytics is the most common; however, some website builders provide this information as well.

Keep in mind that these are our opinions. You’re free to do whatever you feel is best. Best wishes!

Finesse your InstaStory with these tips

Instagram has been focusing on its Story feature a lot recently. It’s a great way to post without filling up your timeline or page layout with things that you really didn’t want to stay for very long. Here are some tips to spice up your views and interactions on your InstaStory.

Tag your location: whether you’re at Starbucks or hiking somewhere in California, there’s a location for it on Instagram. This is a great way to let your followers know where you’re located. It’s also helpful for tourists that may be visiting your city.

Mention another page: if you’re like us and have two pages for your business, you can tag them! Let your followers know that it’s more wonders that they’re missing out on.

Add a GIF: this is one of the newer features. It’s a great tool to add some flavor to your post. Some of our favorite GIFs are sparkles and new blog post icons.

Add a hashtag: another gem. Hashtags are the only way you can truly have a trend on the internet specific to your brand. Anyone can make one and with the feature to follow hashtags, your followers can keep up with you and your brand anywhere on the internet. Your followers can also add in their posts and they’ll be visible under your hashtag.

Use the pen tool: another way to personalize your story. If you like your digital handwriting, you can draw, both, photos and videos with your finger. Instagram currently offers a marker, highlighter, neon strip and chalk brush.

Use the text/color background feature: there are 5 text styles to choose from. Mix and match or keep them the same! If you do not have the Swipe Up feature -you need 10k+ followers- then this is one way to include a link. It will not be clickable though.

Keep these things in mind when creating your logo

Designing your logo can be challenging. You want to make sure it’s perfect! With that being said, we’ve come up with a small checklist to consider when designing your company’s logo.

Logo Design Checklist

• What message am I trying to convey with my logo?
• What audience am I trying to reach?
• Do my colors match the message/vibe that I’m going for?
• Can my logo design be transferred to anything; labels, shirts, flyers, water bottles, etc.

When considering your design, try not to overwhelm yourself. Think of all the logos you see on a daily basis. Some, you see so much that you’ve stopped paying them any attention and that’s what your goal should be!

Brands like Gucci, Nike, McDonald’s, etc. have a simple design but pack a mean punch. The term “less is more” is very true when it comes to logo design. Too many images and/or pictures take away from the message you may be trying to convey and can also be an eyesore. Most printing companies will reject your request or charge a higher price just to produce your image-based logo. This also goes for text-based logos with multiple colors.

Keep this in mind, your logo will have to put on something at some point and you will have to pay someone to use their printer and ink.

Honorary mention: Stay AWAY from glitter or sparkles in your logo!! We cannot stress this enough. It’s perfectly fine to have a variation of your logo design include some glitter but your primary logo design should, honestly, be black unless you have specific company colors. You want your design to be transferable to any and everything! Sparkle costs more to get printed as well.

Get your Instagram engagement up with these tips

Is it just us or have you noticed a slight decrease in your Instagram interactions? Turns out, Instagram has been updating and downgrading their algorithm all year. According to Later.com, it is now estimated that only 10% of your followers see your posts. Here are a few tips that’ll help you and your brand stay afloat during this insta-storm:

 

  • Utilize your Insta-Story: Most of Instagram’s latest updates have to do with the Story. With features like polls, location tagging, mentions, text styles, gifs, etc. consumers are more than likely to visit your page. The algorithm takes into account if anyone replies or shares your story to make it as interactive as possible.

  • Quick Engagement: Timeliness is key. When are you followers online? The quicker your posts get interactions, the better position your posts will land on people’s timelines.

  • Interacting: You must interact with your followers. If you’re actively responding to comments, direct messages and even commenting/liking on other pages, Instagram’s algorithm will pick that up. This will also keep people on your page longer. Give your followers something to look at or teach them something!

  • Hashtags: This always seems to be mentioned last but it’s as important as all of the other tips above. Hashtags are the quickest way to brand your company. Only use relevant hashtags and keep them simple. Need some help? Click here.

  • New Features: One thing we noticed is our story always ends up on our city’s story when we use any new story features. Having your story make it to your local story is a plus! You get eyes from your neighbors and tourists.

5 Companies Killing the Branding Game

Have you found yourself buying something just because the logo caught your eye? Well, you’re not alone! We’ve made a list of our top 5 companies that we think are currently killing the branding game. These companies clearly understand the term, “more is less.”

 

Milk Makeup

Definitely a fav! Milk’s brand concept is sleek, modern and simple. It’s not all over the place; it makes us feel like the company has their sh*t together. We think it’s best to be as simple as possible when branding for the beauty industry because nowadays when consumers are shopping, they’re gravitating towards companies that are organic (free), honest and that honestly look pretty.

 

American Apparel

A gem in the branding world. AP is known for it’s “brandless” apparel. For their logo, they went with a simple font, Helvetica, for their logo and throughout their marketing. Even if you’ve never been inside a store, most of them are closed, you still know what to expect. Another ‘less is more’ brand.

 

Bubly Sparkling Water

This brand is new on the scene; however, it caught our eye almost immediately. Although we aren’t fans of sparkling water, the logo and commercials are pretty convincing. Sparkling wine, water, whatever more than likely has bubblesss! We love that Bubly incorporated the bubble shape/sphere throughout their logo and product design. Subtle marketing is key.

 

E.L.F. Cosmetics

Eyes Lips and Face Cosmetics is a branding hall of famer. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re the most affordable beauty brand out now. Almost all of their products are packaged in a black container with their text-only logo on top. There are times when they switch up the colorways but that’s about it. You always know when a makeup brush is from E.L.F. Consistency and simplicity never fails!

 

Apple

We had to. Who doesn’t have, at least two, Apple device in their home? Whether it’s your phone and an old iPod you haven’t touched in years, it counts! One of the greatest ‘less is more’ brands. From their actual products to the packaging; Apple is straight-to-the-point.

 

There are tons more brands we could list but these are just some of our favorites! If you’re in the middle of branding your own company, check out our Branding Checklist!

Get the most our of your Facebook Ads

We’ve all thought about it, that ‘Boost Post’ button on Facebook is pretty tempting. However, Facebook Ads is much more powerful than a boosted post. The most common misperception is you do not need to spend a lot of money. This usually comes from constantly seeing the $5 ‘Boost Post’ button. WRONG.

You must spend money to make money!

Here’s a rule of thumb: minimum budget should be, at least, one sale of the product/service you’re promoting.

There’s no “one size fits all” option for Facebook Ads. It’s best to work backward. What is your goal? What outcome are you looking for with your ad? Some examples:

• Sales

• New Customers/Clients

• Brand Awareness

• Event Promo

Once you’ve got that figured out, you’re already ahead of the game. Next is understanding the basics of Facebook Ads and how they work. Ads are bid-based unless set otherwise, which means at a prime time during the day, your ad, along with many others, will bid against each other for a spot on everyone’s timeline. As most auctions go, the prize -or in this case, slot- goes to the highest bidder. This does not mean put your life savings into this. A strong ad that runs over a long period of time/that can be re-used with a healthy budget is much better than multiple ads.

Facebook spends your money based on what you have set up as your target audience. Your target audience should be intuitive, based on interests and behaviors that people would actually have on Facebook. Keep in mind, you pay more for the more competitive targets, i.e. teenagers and young adults.

A $20 ad spent on revenue-generating action (not just engagement) is not enough to determine if an ad campaign was successful or not. If you spend low and get “no results,” don’t blame Facebook. Healthy budgets = Realistic results

The next step is to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does my ad give enough context to make the viewer interact?
  2. Is my offer enticing?
  3. Would I personally click my ad if it showed up on my timeline?

We hope this helps!