As part an on-going effort to support local charities, the Vintage, with Love initiative calls on regular South Africans donate or buy vintage designer clothes during their sale which begins on Spring Day.To help social enterprises that work towards educating communities and promote bettering literacy levels, the Vintage with Love event will have clothes and accessories on sale this weekend. Proceeds go to charities. (Image: Vintage with Love, Facebook)Brand South Africa reporterProminent designer brand clothes, shoes and accessories are on sale at the popular fashion pop-up event Vintage, with Love from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 September 2017 in Cape Town. This is an event where buyers will make a difference because proceeds will go to charitable causes and social enterprises.The Vintage, with Love sale promises to offer fashionable clothes, shoes and accessories that have been donated but is in good condition.Brand South Africa has previously joined forces with Partners for Possibility (PFP), one of the beneficiaries of this event. According to Dorcas Dube, marketing and communications manager of PFP, since the first event Vintage, with Love has raised enough funds to fully sponsor two principals from under-resourced schools.PFP is a leadership development and principal support process run by Symphonia for South Africa. Since 2010, Symphonia for South Africa has been supporting and empowering school principals by partnering business leaders to teach skills and knowledge to lead change.In the PFP process for example, business leaders guide principals to mobilise communities around their schools and work on leveraging resources.Watch this video to learn more about Partners for Possibility:The eventVintage, with Love posted a few sale items on Facebook:How Vintage, with Love startedVintage, with Love was founded in 2013 by Leigh Ord, a trained teacher and the co-founder of the Charities Unlimited golf day, and Jacquie Myburgh Chemaly, a journalist and communications consultant who specialises in décor, design, fashion, and food.With the help of volunteers, the two have hosted several large pop-ups in Cape Town and Johannesburg.According to the website, Vintage, with Love is a platform for women everywhere to be a part of a project to raise money for reputed literacy programmes – by simply clearing out their wardrobes.“Vintage with Love is inviting generous women in Johannesburg, Cape Town and elsewhere in South Africa, as well as designers and boutiques, to donate their once loved fabulous fashion items to a good cause,” reads the website.ContactEmail: [email protected]: 079 521 9090Website: vintagewithlove.co.zaYou can also follow the team on Twitter or Facebook.Sources: Vintage with Love, Partners for Possibility and Vintage with Love, Facebook.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
MOST READ LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Manny Pacquiao’s knockout loss against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 did not bother him as much as the setback he suffered against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015.According to Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach, Pacquiao was never the same fighter in the aftermath of being stopped as a pro. But he explained that Pacquiao, who suffered stoppage defeats in the early days of his career, saw the knockout loss as just another part of the sport.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue “Manny Pacquiao knows that being knocked out is part of the sport and accepts it more than anyone else,” Roach told boxingscene.com. “It’s part of the sport, unfortunately, things happen and that night things did not go our way.”Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) is training under Roach, best friend Buboy Fernandez and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune for his defense of the World Boxing Association (WBA) “regular” welterweight title against Adrien Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionThe contest scheduled Jan. 19 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with Showtime Pay-Per-View carrying the bout.In the same Las Vegas venue in 2012, Pacquiao faced Marquez for the fourth time in their rivalry. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting New season—not ROY plum—on Perkins’ mind TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening In the sixth round, Pacquiao appeared to be on the verge of securing a stoppage win when Marquez, in the final seconds, clipped him with a perfect counter and the Filipino star was knocked unconscious.While there was always some talk of a fifth encounter, Marquez made a career decision to reject that option and eventually retired.“We were a a punch away from getting the same result on the other side. If Manny had not lost his balance, he would not have been beaten that way,” Roach recalled.“When they knocked me out the first time I was never the same, but Manny Pacquiao sees it as part of the sport and that’s why I think he’s so efficient.”In 2015 also in Las Vegas, undefeated five-division world champion Mayweather beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision in the bout billed as “The Fight of the Century.” —BOXINGSCENE.COMADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending Articles00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack SEO Topics: Originally published Jun 22, 2007 11:55:00 AM, updated October 01 2019 JULIET: ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, And for that name which is no part of thee Take all myself. I will leave to Juliet any thoughts about how appealing Romeo would be if he had a different name. But what I can tell you is that your domain name has a big effect on your ranking in Google and other search engines. Here are some of the reasons to look into buying a premium domain name.1) Look bigger than you are. Even a small business can look big on the Internet if you have the right domain name. If you are a local marketing firm, you look like you know what you are doing if your URL is www. LeadMarketing .com instead of www. MyCambridgeMarketing-Online .net And, usually a premium domain is far less expensive than many other marketing activities.2) Get more traffic. With the right domain name, you can get more traffic to your website in two ways. First, some people will just type in your domain into the browser address bar and see what happens. If you own the domain, your website will be what comes up! Second, if you have good keywords in your domain, it is much easier to get ranked on the first page of search results, driving more traffic to your website. Google and other search engines assume that if you have keywords for a search in your domain, then that website is a good search result that has relevant content, and that means you get ranked higher.3) Upstage your competition. What better way to stand out from your competition than to have a website with the best URL for your industry? How would you feel if your competitor all a sudden ended up with the perfect domain name?4) Acquire an asset. Most marketing expenses are impossible to recover any portion of the cost. The nice thing about premium domains is that they are an asset you can always sell later. And recently, most domains have been increasing in value, so you might even end up making money on your investment. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results.Now that we have covered some of the ways that a premium domain can benefit your business, let’s discuss how you can evaluate a domain to decide how valuable it will be. Here are some of the things to think about so you can choose the best name for your company.1) Generic keywords are good. Most businesses really can’t spend the money to build a brand around their company name, this is especially true for small businesses. So, if you can buy www. computers .com, you should do it, since it will be better for you than www. gateway .com.2) Avoid punctuation and extraneous words. Adding a dash into a URL makes it harder to type and look less professional, so avoid it if possible. Also, adding generic words like “my” or “best” or “the” or “online” to the start or end of your URL is not a good idea. They don’t add any value.3) Try to get a .com domain. Unless you are a nonprofit or outside the US, most people assume your business will have a .com domain extension and will usually have trouble remembering your URL if it ends in .net or something else. Domains ending in .com have always been in higher demand and command higher prices than any others.Now that you understand the value in having a premium domain and how to pick a good domain, maybe you should think about buying one? If you are interested in buying a premium domain, there are a number of services to do so. At HubSpot we have used BuyDomains.com before and we have found BuyDomains to be a great place to buy a premium domain.Have you bought a premium domain? Have you found it to be a useful tool for your business? Leave a comment below and let me know.
This guest post is written by Paul Gillin , writer, speaker, and online marketing consultant. Catch Paul speaking at the Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston, MA this October. Register with the code HUB200 and get $200 off the ticket price. If you follow social media marketing closely, you’ve probably heard the story of Fiskars , the Finnish maker of fine cutting tools that has used a private social network to dramatically boost specialty store sales. What’s less well-known is how customer communities have transformed the way this 300-year-old company does business.I wrote about Fiskars’ remarkable community of crafting enthusiasts called the Fiskateers in the introduction to my latest book, Secrets of Social Media Marketing. The company has leveraged this group to take its message to the under-utilized channel of small retailers. Reaching these merchants would have been prohibitively expensive if done by a core marketing team. So Fiskars let its customers do the talking. The result: a threefold increase in year-over-year sales.I recently caught up with Suzanne Fanning, Director of Communications at Fiskars Americas, to see how the program was going. In a word, very well. What I hadn’t understood from earlier interviews was the degree to which quality customer feedback comes to pervade everything the company does. The Fiskateers demonstrate why social media should be thought of as much more than just a marketing program.Some basics: Prospective Fiskateers must fill out an application form to gain entry. While the company rarely turns down applicants, this requirement gives members a feeling of belonging. Once you’re a Fiskateer, you’re special to Fiskars.And boy, are you special! When my wife, a hopeless crafting enthusiast, heard about this program, she immediately applied. A few months later, the company invited her to a local member meeting. Some 30 Fiskateers spent an entire day swapping techniques, trying out new tools and generally bonding with each other. Dana came home that day laden down with hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise. It’s safe to say she will be a Fiskars customer for life, and she’s not shy to share her enthusiasm.More Than a WebsiteThe company does plenty of live events at the local and national level to connect members with each other and with Fiskars. Its overarching goal isn’t to sell more scissors as much as to “have that emotional bond with consumers,” Fanning told me. “Customers didn’t have that bond with Fiskars the company, but scrapbooking and crafting is a very personal and intimate thing. We wanted to tap into that and say “We understand. We get you.”The meeting Dana attended was hosted by two Fiskars representatives, one from communications and the other from engineering. In fact, nearly every meeting of the Fiskateers now involves someone on the product development side. The value of the Fiskateers as a driver of product innovation was the great unexpected dividend of the whole program, Fanning said.At first, people on the business side resisted the idea of bringing customers into the product development process. There are competitive concerns, and frankly, engineers aren’t known for inclusiveness.Once the dialogue began, however, that resistance quickly melted. “We started with small projects to make Fiskateers feel like they were giving input and quickly they realized we were getting fabulous insight,” Fanning said. “They really wanted a voice in our company.”Speak, Customer!That voice of the customer now pervades nearly everything Fiskars does. Fiskateers are polled for advice early in the development process and the group has even taken responsibility for naming some new products. Engineers, who initially doubted the value of the community, renamed themselves the “Fiskaneers.”Fiskars now channels most of its first-line market research through the group, saving money and time. It no longer conducts expensive focus groups. Research has shown that the Fiskateers almost perfectly reflect the larger community of crafting enthusiasts.Fanning remembers one product manager who approached her looking for ideas for new shapes to head to the company’s line of cutting templates. Fanning posted the request to the Fiskateers and gathered 70 good ideas within 12 hours.Next LevelWith a hit on its hands, Fiskars is running with it. Some Fiskateers have been qualified as official product demonstrators. A new website now lets members submit and rate ideas for new products. Product managers hold live chat sessions to get feedback. Vendors of sewing machines and magnifying glasses devices have offered to buy advertising on the site.The lesson: social media is about much more than marketing. Anyone who touches or serves customers in any way can benefit from a closer relationship with those people. Recent McKinsey research revealed that a majority of companies that have bought into Web 2.0 marketing are finding benefits in other areas of their organization. Many say social media is changing the way they do business. Just like it has at Fiskars.Not every company can create a community like the Fiskateers, but then again, Fiskars never expected its program to be such a runaway success. Instead of looking for people who were passionate about cutting tools, it focused its energy on people who cared about what you could do with cutting tools. The results were more than a pleasant surprise. The company originally expected to recruit no more than about 200 Fiskateers. It will soon welcome its 6,000th member. Paul Gillin is a writer, speaker and online marketing consultant who specializes in social media. He’s a veteran technology journalist and the author of two books: The New Influencers (2007) and Secrets of Social Media Marketing (2008). Fiskars is an example of the kind of new media success stories the Inbound Marketing Summit will showcase. Discounted Inbound Marketing Summit Pass Marketing thought leaders will converge on Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, October 7-8. Reserve your place at the conference now . Use the code HUB200 to get $200 off the ticket price. Topics: Social Media Originally published Sep 9, 2009 8:15:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
TechCrunch Disrupt , CEO, DailyBooth , a conference that gathers web innovators in social media, mobile devices, and smart applications, hosted a compelling panel about the shift from traditional print to online media. and learn how to manage your company brand effectively using social media. Video: How to Use Social Media to Manage Your Company Brand Online Here are 3 key secrets revealed about addictive digital platforms: GE has always been known as one of the traditional marketing giants that garners the use of customary marketing techniques. However, Judy Hu, GE’s Global Executive Director for Advertising and Branding, explains that using social media can help “extend the brand and make it iconic. [GE] wants to build their brand and get their key message across to everyone.” Digital platforms can help small and large businesses alike expand their company to different demographics and distinguish their corporate image. Download the free video , CEO, Chatroulette , Global Executive Director, GE 3. Digital platforms cultivate brand building. GE’s crowd-sourcing effort 1. Users define content creation 2. Visual content is universal. The grounds of the discussion revolved around the transformation from conventional methods of reaching consumers to modern platforms that actually interact with users. Gone are the days where static media effectively delivered messages to consumers. Social media sites have dominated the playing field, where consumers choose what they want to view and who they want to engage with. Digital platforms such as YouTube and DailyBooth make it super-easy to upload videos and pictures and share them with friends. These can soon become addictive and viral as people consume content and pass it along further. Businesses can take advantage of this by opening up content creation to users, such as Brian Pokorny . , Founder, 4chan Brian Pokorny Christopher Poole content consumption. explains that “…you can talk in different ways through just visual imagery. Text is less of the focus now with both videos and photos, which can transcend languages, borders, and cultures.” Three of the panelists founded sites where visual imagery was dominant, and demonstrated the effectiveness of such sites in reducing boundaries in today’s global marketplace. Learn how to use social media to manage your company brand. Andrey Ternovskiy and Judy Hu Originally published May 25, 2010 7:33:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Nov 18, 2011 3:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Up until recently, the value of a LinkedIn Company Page was minimal. But ever since LinkedIn enabled company updates for pages , they’ve become monumentally more valuable for marketers. Upon investigation of various LinkedIn Company Pages, though, it turns out that very few companies are actually leveraging this awesome new feature.To be honest, it’s very difficult to find many examples of companies using LinkedIn Company Pages to their fullest potential . This a huge missed opportunity for businesses, especially given that because many businesses aren’t leveraging features likes company updates, the clutter on LinkedIn is significantly less dense than on other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. This means that a business that takes advantage of company updates and other page features can leverage a great opportunity to stand out from its competitors. Below, we’ve identified 11 reasons why your LinkedIn Company Page is probably failling so you can get to work on building a much better and more effective LinkedIn company presence . 11 Reasons Your LinkedIn Company Page Sucks 1. It Has No Followers: As with any social media presence , building up a solid base of followers is key. Before company updates became a LinkedIn feature, followers were practically useless. Now, without followers, your company updates will be useless. Spend some time generating new followers for your LinkedIn Company Page by promoting your presence there: add follow buttons to your website and blog, write a blog post about your presence, and tell followers on your other social networks to follow you on LinkedIn, too. 2. It’s Completely Bare: Good luck attracting new LinkedIn company followers with a blank, boring page. At the very least, your page should include basic information about your company. Be sure to edit your page overview, complete your profile, and fine-tune your company description. 3. You’re Not Using Company Updates to Share Content: As we mentioned earlier, it’s astounding how many company pages aren’t leveraging company updates yet, considering it’s arguably the most critical marketing component of a company page. Enable company updates for your page and start sharing useful information and content; interesting discussion topics; and any other company updates you want to share with your followers. Maintaining a regularly updated and engaging page is the best way to organically attract new followers for your page.
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Calls to Action Originally published Jan 12, 2012 1:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Last week, we rounded up some of the most impressive landing pages out there and broke down why they rock from both a user’s perspective and a marketer’s perspective. But before visitors even get to your landing page, they’re usually beckoned by a call-to-action. And it better be pretty awesome to get them to click.We’ve discussed the elements of an effective call-to-action before, so now it’s time to find real life examples of awesome calls-to-action (CTA) that can inspire your own designs. Take a look at what some popular B2B, B2C, and ecommerce brands are doing to entice their visitors to click through to landing pages, shopping carts, or just to interact in a more meaningful way with their site.GoDaddyGoDaddy is a web and email hosting company that also sells domain names and other related services.Why it’s effective: The best calls-to-action are easy to find and have a focused objective. The objective of this particular page is to get a user to purchase a domain name they’ve selected, and this GoDaddy CTA uses one of the most fundamental best practices to achieving visibility: using a button color that starkly contrasts the rest of the site’s design scheme. Upon visiting this page, the bright green draws the visitor’s eye right to that registration button.But GoDaddy goes beyond the basics and implements one other trick to hammer home the point of the page to its visitors. The ‘Continue to Registration’ button follows visitors all the way down the page, acting as a constant reminder that your next step is to click that button and register the domain name you’ve selected. This is wise because, if you’ve ever purchased a domain from GoDaddy, the upsell opportunities present on this page exist later on in the checkout process.Because of the design of this call-to-action, visitors to this page experience no confusion: they are here to register their domain name, and they can do so by clicking that green button.JetsetterJetsetter made an appearance on our list of the best landing pages, but hey, when you’re good, you’re good. They continue to be an invitation-only travel community offering access to exclusive travel deals.Why it’s effective: Many calls-to-action suffer poor conversion rates because, despite following design best practices, the writing doesn’t clearly display the value of clicking through to the next page. This ‘Plan a trip like this’ CTA rocks because it so simply displays that oft-sought after value. After someone reads the very brief and artfully written description of enjoying wine and olive oil on the Italian coast, this CTA capitalizes on the positive feelings surrounding taking such a trip, and gives the visitor the opportunity to do just that — plan that trip.Another wonderful but easily overlooked detail in this CTA is the language on the button; the inclusion of the word ‘like’ implies that the trip doesn’t need to be exactly the same as the one described above, but can be customized to fit the visitor’s needs. This spirit of customization continues by offering a button that lets visitors see the bio of the person who planned that particular trip. And if you’re worried the bio would distract visitors from following through with the marketer’s intended action, no worries; the bio page provides another travel-planning CTA!IntuitIntuit is a software company that provides financial software and services for businesses and consumers.Why it’s effective: It looks like orange is a popular CTA button color, eh? Well, Intuit’s intuitions (har har) are good, because that button stands out from the rest of its site’s design and calls the attention of the viewer to the free trial. The effectiveness of this tactic is compounded, as the language on the button aligns with the language in the headline.The headline is also action oriented, making it clear what you can do on the page. The three bullet points then clearly explain the value of the free trial so visitors want to click, and there’s one image aligned with each point of value — another call-to-action best practice.One creative trick Intuit is also employing is the use of extra white space around the call-to-action. This tactic, along with the fact that it’s the biggest CTA on the page, helps draw attention to the free trial and simultaneously attract and instruct visitors on what they should do next.YaptaContinuing the travel theme, Yapta helps people track changes in flight and hotel prices and get refunds on airline tickets.Why it’s effective: When it’s not clear what actions can be performed on a page and there’s no perceived connection between the CTA copy and CTA buttons, site visitors quickly go rogue trying to find what they’re looking for. These calls-to-action solve for that common contextualization problem. Notice how the copy, images, and buttons all work together to guide the visitor:The parenthetical phrases provide a chronology – Am I in the pre-purchase or post-purchase stage?The images give a theme – Am I here for flights, hotels, or a refund?The copy explains – What can I do on this site to track flights, hotels, and refunds?The buttons instruct – Click through to find what you’re looking for.Every call-to-action aligns with the proper stage in the sales process, and makes it very clear what actions can and should be performed on this page. Yapta gets bonus points for keeping these calls-to-action above the fold and using the contrasting colors orange and grey to draw attention to the right places.ZyngaZynga is a developer of browser-based games intended for social networking sites.Why it’s effective: In the game of most prominently positioned call-to-action, Zynga wins by a landslide. And it also get an honorable mention for successfully shirking some call-to-action best practices, namely that this is not the traditionally de-cluttered CTA for which many marketers strive in order to decrease bounce rate. But, they know their audience, and I’d venture a guess that this type of imagery is not distracting to gamers. Either way, Zynga makes up for any distraction by making it crystal clear what action they want visitors to perform. Here’s how:The ‘Join The Fun’ button is the last thing to load on the page, so your eye naturally settles on that area of the page.The white backlight behind ‘Times Square’ is the brightest part of the page, drawing your attention to the CTA button.The Times Square text effect brings the text towards the visitor, again, right by the CTA button.If you’re worried the ‘I Love Play’ button in the top right would be a distraction, don’t worry; it’s not clickable!Like Intuit, Zynga is also making use of lots of white space around this image (not pictured) to emphasize this ‘Join The Fun’ CTA. And finally, notice how small the social media follow buttons are underneath this banner. While Zynga’s call-to-action isn’t what we traditionally encounter, it does effectively display an important CTA best practice: have a defined purpose for your visitor, build your page around that purpose, and make it easy for your visitor to execute that purpose.What call-to-action best practices do you find are most integral for awesome conversion rates?Image credit: torley
Originally published Apr 6, 2012 2:39:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Design How many ebooks does your marketing team have in its content arsenal? With the rise of tablet and e-reader popularity, ebooks are only growing in popularity. According to a newly released report by Pew Internet , in mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an ebook in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%. While we’ve always considered ebooks to be one of the best lead-gen content assets at a marketer’s disposal, the fact that on-the-go content is only carving out more of a place in today’s increasingly mobile world makes them an even smarter choice as a marketing offer .As a piece of long-form content, a lot of work must go into the creation of a well-crafted ebook . So today, let’s focus on design. How do you design an ebook that is reader-friendly, engaging, and at the same time supports your marketing goals? Let’s discuss the 11 essential elements that make up an effective marketing ebook design. Importance of a Brand Style Guide First, a note about the role design should play in your content strategy. If ebook creation is (or you plan it to be) a big part of your content strategy, it’s wise to first spend some time establishing a consistent brand style guide to which all your marketing content — not just your ebooks, but also your presentations and other marketing collateral — adheres. This will give your publications a more professional, branded look which translates to a sense of credibility. Of course, the content itself is a huge contributing factor to the credibility and value of a publication, but even if you have quality content down pat, that doesn’t mean people still won’t judge an ebook by its cover ;)If you take a look at the ebooks HubSpot has launched in the past 6 months, for example, you’ll notice that they all have very consistent branding and design elements throughout. When you sit down with your marketing team and designer to decide on your brand style guide, establish rules for such design elements as fonts/sizes, color schemes, charts/graphs, borders for screenshots and images, headers, etc. Creating easy-to-follow guides and templates for your various marketing assets like ebooks, presentations, etc. will make it easy for you and your team to implement a consistent branding style throughout your marketing collateral. HubSpot, for example, has an ebook template created in InDesign to ensure our ebooks have a consistent look no matter who created them.Now let’s dive into the 11 essential design elements you should consider in your next ebook design. 11 Essential Elements of Effective Ebook Design 1) An Interesting, Descriptive Title Okay, so your title choice may not exactly be a design element, but choosing a title for any piece of content is definitely an art , and it shouldn’t be overlooked. The title is often the first thing someone judges before deciding whether to click on or read your ebook, especially when the content gets shared in social media. Choose a title that is both interesting and descriptive — that is, it should be indicative of what the reader will learn from reading the ebook.Unlike blog posts, ebooks are high-commitment pieces of content because of their length, so you need to make sure you’re demonstrating the value up front in a compelling way. For instance, one HubSpot ebook is titled 15 Business Blogging Mistakes & Easy Fixes with the subtitle, “How to Fix the Most Common Blogging Bloopers.” The main title is both descriptive and demonstrates value in itself, but the subtitle also makes it sound like an even more interesting read. 2) A Visual Cover So if we know that people will most definitely be judging your ebooks by their cover, you’ll want to make sure you create ones that are both visually appealing and coincide with your brand style guide. Consider how the visual revolution is playing out with sites like Pinterest cropping up and other social networks like Facebook and Google+ putting more of an emphasis on visual content , and the importance of enticing covers becomes even more evident. Make the title easy to read, include branding elements you decided on in your brand style guide, and feature an image. You’ll notice that HubSpot’s ebook covers , for example, follow the same layout and structure while each featuring a different relevant an interesting image. 3) Skill/Topic/Persona Tags Depending on your business and industry, you likely have a different buyer personas , whether you segment your target audience by demographics, skill level, topic interest, or something else. So if part of your strategy is to create content that is personalized for or targeted to these different audience segments, one helpful way to organize and differentiate between your content assets is through a tagging system. Incorporate your schema in your ebook design so your readers know which particular ebooks will be of interest to them, and which ebooks won’t. You can do this in a number of ways — through iconography, color schemes, or tags.HubSpot’s ebooks, for instance, are categorized by skill level — introductory, intermediate, or advanced — depending on the skill level of our readers. To identify which is which, we use a combination of color scheme and a category key to denote which ebooks are targeted for which skill level. If an ebook is intermediate level like our example here, the cover and color scheme throughout the book uses blue as the dominant color, and a page in the beginning of the book explains which type of audience would benefit from each skill level. Introductory content uses a charcoal color scheme, and advanced content uses an orange color scheme. We’ve also extended this tagging system to our blog. You’ll notice this particular blog post, for example, has also been tagged as ‘intermediate.’ 4) An Author Page Another design element you might want to include in your ebooks is an author page, particularly if you have multiple members of your team creating ebooks. For example, if the author of the ebook is an expert on that topic, an author page that highlights the author’s bio and relevancy to the topic is a great way to add credibility to the content. On your author page, include a brief bio of the author, a headshot, and if you choose to, a way for readers to get in touch with the author if they have questions, such as an email address, Twitter username, or phone number.As an added internal benefit, you might find that members of your team are more willing to spend time creating ebook content if they know their efforts will be recognized publicly through an author page. 5) A Table of Contents A staple for any book, both print or digital, be sure to include a table of contents in every ebook you publish. This not only gives readers a sense of how the ebook is organized, but it also makes it easy for them to reference individual chapters if they decide only certain ones are relevant to them or if they want to refer back to specific sections later. To make this even more user-friendly for your readers, some programs like InDesign make it possible for you to hyperlink chapters/sections, creating a sort of interactive table of contents and allowing readers to jump to a certain section of the ebook when they click on the corresponding link in the table of contents. 6) Chapter Title Pages Clearly distinguish one chapter to the next with chapter title pages. This gives readers a clear indication of their progress through the book and helps set the stage for the section they are about to read. It can also serve as a landing page for that interactive table of contents you may have set up in number 5. In our business blogging mistakes ebooks example, for instance, we organized the chapters by the 15 mistakes we highlight, and our chapter pages highlight which mistake the reader is going to learn about next. 7) Social Sharing Buttons We’ve talked before about the importance of including social sharing buttons on your marketing content. Sure, the landing page behind which you gate your ebook is a great place for these buttons, but why not also stamp them onto the pages of your ebooks as well? It makes sense, right? A potential reader might not feel comfortable sharing your ebook before they’ve read it and know they like the content, but while they’re reading it? That’s a different story.Add these buttons to each page of your ebook — either in the header or the footer — so readers can easily share the book with their social networks no matter how far through it they’ve read. Just be sure you’re sharing links to the ebook’s landing page — not thank-you page — if it’s gated content. HubSpot’s ebooks, for example, include social sharing buttons for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter on each page. For help in creating these social media buttons for your ebooks, check out this handy guide . 8) Visual Elements Break up your “big chunks of copy” and “large blocks of text” with visual elements to emphasize or explain certain points more visually. We’re talking anything from headers, bolded text, and bullet points to screenshots, images, charts, and graphs. Furthermore, leverage content visualizations when appropriate to help you explain concepts that are difficult to explain through text and lend themselves to more visual explanations, as we did in this blog post , which is actually an ebook excerpt! Just be sure to keep your visuals in line with your brand style guide, translating images, graphs, and charts to conform to your guidelines in terms of style and color scheme. 9) Product/Service Call-Outs While ebooks can be catered to achieve certain goals, the way most marketers use ebooks is to generate new leads at the top of the funnel. To achieve this goal, your ebook content should be majorly educational — not product focused — in nature. But does that mean you can’t or shouldn’t sneak in a few mentions of your product or service into them when appropriate? Absolutely not! In fact, when people are just starting to learn about your business in the awareness stage of the sales cycle, they probably know very little about the products and services you offer.Use educational ebooks as an opportunity to connect your thought leadership with product awareness. One way to do this in your ebook content is with subtle product mentions and call-outs when you mention a problem or need in your ebook that your products or services address. How much of these should you include? The key here is balance. Make sure the educational value of the ebook makes up for your product awareness plugs. For example, in HubSpot’s educational ebook How to Attract Customers With Twitter, we add to the section of the ebook that discusses scheduling tweets and monitoring responses by calling to attention to the social media publishing tool available in HubSpot’s software, our paid offering. This lets readers with little or no knowledge of HubSpot’s software connect HubSpot’s thought leadership and expertise with its paid software. 10) Printer/Mobile-Friendliness While your ebook is a digital publication, you’ll likely be offering it as a downloadable file such as a PDF, and despite what you might think, many of the people who download will actually prefer to print it out and read it on paper rather than on a screen. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your ebooks are printer-friendly. For example, avoid designs that leverage double-page, horizontal layouts that don’t translate well to print. The best way to know if your design is printer-friendly? Print it yourself!Furthermore, you’ll also want to make sure your ebook file is mobile-friendly. Does your ebook PDF view well on a smartphone and various e-readers/tablets? Test it out!If you’re considering making your ebook available for sale through ebook marketplaces like the Kindle Store, things get a little bit more complicated . You’ll need to conform to the specific ebook format of that particular store, and you’ll likely need to make chan ges to the style, design, and file of your ebook. In general, you’ll need to modify your ebook to embody a very simple design with few visuals and limited formatting. Publishing services like Lulu.com can make this process more easily manageable. 11) A Final Call-to-Action The last critical element that should be a part of your ebook design is — you guessed it — a final call-to-action! After a reader has completed the ebook, what action do you want them to take next? Tell them!Perhaps you’d like to encourage them to move from the awareness stage of the sales cycle onto the evaluation stage of the sales cycle. In this case, feature a call-to-action for a middle-of-the-funnel stage offer on the last page of your ebook, introducing it to the reader in a way that is relevant and logical. In our 15 Business Blogging Mistakes ebook , for instance, we encourage readers to start a free 30-day trial of HubSpot’s software , relating it to the content of the ebook by emphasizing that readers will be able to try out HubSpot’s business blogging tools to help them fix the blogging mistakes they learned they are guilty of making. Do your ebooks have a consistent design that reflects your business’ branding? What other design elements would you add? Image Credit: Jonah Larsson Don’t forget to share this post! 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