Welcome to the Modern Earth Blog!

Insights into the Online World

Modern Earth Open House - September 13th, 2013 - Web Design Winnipeg CanadaThe web is a powerful marketing tool — sometimes frighteningly so!  It can be hard to know how to leverage and track your business’ online presence, even if you already have a website.

Fear not! This Friday the 13th, we’re here to help.

Attend the Modern Earth Open House to find out how you can take control of your online marketing fears! We are bringing back our popular Digital Dim Sum sessions for a limited number of people and will provide assistance with getting set up on a social media platform of your choice.

Modern Earth Open House - September 13th, 2013 - Web Design Winnipeg CanadaJoin Susan Hurrell, our Director of Online Marketing for one of two 30-minute sessions on marketing and leveraging your online presence.  Seats are limited—don’t miss out!

4:00 – Don’t be afraid of the BlogMonster
4:40 – Social Media Wildcards
5:20 – Don’t be afraid of the BlogMonster
6:00 – Social Media Wildcards

Modern Earth Open House - September 13th, 2013 - Web Design Winnipeg CanadaYou’ll also get the chance to meet and mingle with the Earthlings; learn how they can help you leverage the web as a tool for the success of your business and build your online presence.

Our annual Open House will be hosted at 449 Provencher Blvd on Friday, September 13th from 3pm to 7pm; refreshments and finger-food will be provided.  Don’t let your Cyberphobia get the best of you; RSVP to the open house online or by calling our office at 204.885.2469 today!

Ever wonder how often you should update your website? The answer is simple. Your site needs a “face lift” when it no longer helps you achieve your business goals. Websites are like fashion, the look and feel of websites change rapidly and so does the technology used to build them, and the things they can do to help engage your customer with your service, your products and your brand.

If you are wondering if you should update your site, let me give you a few things to think about:

  1. Does your website clearly explain what your business does? Businesses change and evolve to stay competitive and often add new services or products. You need to ensure that you are telling the whole story about what your business is currently offering.
  2. Do you have consistent branding? Does your site match your other marketing materials – brochures, trade show booth, business cards? A consistent visual presence helps people remember you better!
  3. Have you checked out your competitor’s site? Stay familiar with what your competition is doing. You have 5 seconds to keep a visitor on your site before they decide to move on. If you go onto a competitors site and think, “wow” or “that’s neat” then you may want to look at updating your site. When you are on your competitor’s site, does it remind you of your site? Your look and feel should always set you apart.
  4. Does your site a strong call to action? What do you want from your customers - should they be ordering online, calling you for consultation, requesting information via email? Your call to action should let people know the best way to contact you or make an online purchase or register for a class or webinar or sign up for your newsletter or …… do whatever it is that you want them to do to bring them closer to your business.

If you are not sure if it is time to update your site, we would be happy to provide you will a free consultation to evaluate your site and see what else is possible. We will review your needs, talk about your target market, branding and your competitors. We want to help you understand the process and walk you through any recommendations that we make so you understand all the options open to you.

That’s our job – to help your business be successful. Call us at 204-885-2469 or email sales@modernearth.net – let’s get things moving forward before the busy-ness of fall is here!

Apr272012

You've heard about it – you’ve seen it on Facebook. It’s the hot new trend in social sharing. Just when you thought it couldn’t get more interesting, balancing the mix of Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook, here comes the new kid on the block – Pinterest – an image sharing site that has increased in unique visitor traffic by 155% between Dec 2011 and Jan 2012.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest - Visual Social Media - Modern Earth Web Design - Online Marketing - Winnipeg ManitobaPinterest is a visual social network that allows you, the user to share and discover by "pinning" images to your own "pinboards" (collections around a common theme) or by seeing and “repinning” what others have pinned to their pinboards. You can upload images from your computer, or pin things you find on the web using the Pinterest bookmarklet, the Pin it Button, or just uploading the image url. You can add video, and you can write keyword rich captions, though I don’t know how long it takes their search index to add things in. (more testing!)

Did I mention that you have to be invited by someone you know who is already in Pinterest – or request an invite directly from Pinterest? Not sure why - but you have to ask to play in their sandbox. Do it. Worth it. So many pretty pictures.

You can search, you can browse, you can follow friends (or strangers), and you can comment on the images. You can repin the images others have posted – the equivalent of “liking” I guess, and then they become part of your collection of pins too. You can also use the integrated Facebook “like” button to show off what you like on Pinterest. (pesky cross pollination).

But can you use it for business? You bet.

If your work life involves anything visual - even if that means stretching the definition of visual a bit – you can market yourself on Pinterest. For hair stylists, florists, jewelry makers, artists, fashion designers, crafters, cake decorators, even photographers, the uses are obvious – I would recommend watermarking your images with your copyright and your url to keep your ownership identity high – you can’t stop people from “stealing” your images, but you can slow them down. And Pinterest encourages “Sharing” – for enjoyment, vs. stealing outright for commercial use.

Less traditionally visual businesses might need to be creative and use some imagination, but I’m sure that there is a Pinterest angle for just about everybody. We can help by working with you to design a comprehensive social media strategy and action plan. Call us!

Why does Pinterest matter?

It builds traffic – increases blog subscribers - build brand and url awareness (but without direct SEO benefit as the links are nofollow!) – and puts your visual collateral in front of a growing and voracious audience – which is inextricably tied to other major social media channels. It gives you something to talk about via social media. You get fans. Friends. Likes. And ultimately, site traffic to your primary web domain. FTW!

I’ll be doing a webinar on May 31th at 11:30 am CST on how to use Pinterest for business. Seats are limited - but I’m prepared to do it twice if there are enough people interested. Reserve your spot now by emailing marketing@modernearth.net – and I’ll get back to you with login information.

In the meantime, explore Pinterest and start thinking about how you can make best use of this dynamic new social sharing platform. Take a look around – pin something, and repin something. You can get lost in it – because a pinned picture is worth a thousand words (and a handful of website visitors).

Dan Belhassen - Demystifying Social Media in Arborg - Modern Earth Web Design - SEO - Social Media Winnipeg ManitobaAs part of our support and celebration of Small Business Week, I took a road trip up to Arborg Manitoba to speak with members of the Interlake business community. My goal? To once again “Demystify Social Media” for over 60 business community leaders, over a tasty buffet lunch at the Arborg-Bifrost Community Centre.

Demystifying Social Media in Arborg - Modern Earth Web Design - SEO - Social Media Winnipeg ManitobaWe had an excellent workshop in Arborg with nearly 70 small business owners participating/attending! On behalf of the Manitoba Marketing Network Board, I told our Arborg partner’s (East Interlake Community Futures, Arborg & District Chamber and Arborg Bifrost CDC) that you were very pleased with their event coordination and promotion efforts towards attracting such a large number of business owners. Our new partners are very excited to host MMN for a Gimli Roundtable event in the future. We promoted a future Gimli Roundtable event to the audience and it was well received.

It was great to answer your questions and I appreciate your comments! Thank you to the Manitoba Marketing Network for organizing this event for a very important regional business hub.

Demystifying Social Media in Arborg - Modern Earth Web Design - SEO - Social Media Winnipeg ManitobaThe rise of Social Media as a professional marketing toolkit has become a hot topic amongst small business people in recent months – we are doing more and more public speaking events on that topic, as well as hands on training for our clients – both in person and via webinar style coaching sessions. Strategic Social Media interaction can be a vital part of your business’s marketing mix. It doesn’t replace a well designed custom web site, with high quality content and proper search optimization. Winnipeg businesses are learning the importance and power of strategic social media use – not just for the kids anymore (if it ever was).

If your business needs some hands on coaching to help create a high impact social media strategy, or help in setting up your social media platforms, Modern Earth is here to help – affordably. Call or email us today!

The web is a powerful marketing tool, but it is a landscape fraught with pitfalls and distractions. What can you do to ensure that your online marketing efforts will bring you traffic and be profitable?

Modern Earth Web Design has partnered with the University of Winnipeg Department of Continuing Education and Lanoie.com to provide a series of courses called Digital Dim Sum. Check out our course list below - and see what whets your appetite for learning how to maximize your online marketing, increase your Google Analytics knowledge or use of social media to promote your business!

Philip Giles - VP Business Development - Modern Earth Web Design - Online Marketing - Winnipeg ManitobaJoin Philip Giles, VP of Business Development for Modern Earth, for the first of our Digital Dim Sum courses on September 10th from 9am to 12pm at the University of Winnipeg.  Philip will take you through the theory and practice of online marketing - with a focus on identifying where the true Return on Investment (ROI) is, and how to maximize it using digital tools.

In this course, Philip will cover topics such as:

  • Basic Business Sense
  • History of Marketing on the Web
  • Current Trends
  • Website ROI
  • Content marketing
  • Couponing & Discounting
  • Social Media
  • Wrap Up & Questions

Register today - seating is limited! Reserve your seat for only $49 by calling the University of Winnipeg Continuing Education department at 204-982-6633.

Hope we'll see you there!

Social Media and Elections - Online Marketing - Modern Earth Web Design - Winnipeg ManitobaYesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of talking with CTV Winnipeg's Jeff Keele about the power of social media to encourage younger people to vote in the coming provincial election - and get more involved in Canada’s political landscape as a whole.  Recently we have seen the political landscape, in both Canada and the United States, shifting its focus into online marketing - especially using tools such as social media to boost their causes.

This year’s federal election saw just more than 60% of Canadians at the ballot box - only a small increase from 2008’s record setting low.

One of the lowest demographics for voter turnout overall is youth, between 18 and 30 years old. A number of organizations, such as the University of Manitoba, want to change that by finding ways to use social media to encourage young people to vote. Initiatives such as "Vote Any Way" on facebook, take aim at engaging young people in choosing their next government at all levels.

See the clip from last night’s CTV News at 6, "CTV's Jeff Keele on new strategy aimed at getting young people to vote," for more information, and make sure you’re ready to vote in October!

There’s more to the marketing environment in Manitoba than you might expect – especially with respect to online marketing.

Beyond just using tools like Twitter and Facebook for customer service and lead generation, there’s a movement to create global business networks through these new tools – whether it’s from a B2C (business to consumer) direction, or a B2B (business to business) angle. Fast communication, near-instant response, and the ability to build and keep up with large networks of engaged people is encouraging a much higher level of attentiveness and agility in many businesses across the globe.

Thanks to an opportunity I recently had to participate in a book review program for The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Smarter, Faster, and More Social, I asked fellow Winnipeg-based marketer, and Globe and Mail columnist Ryan Caligiuri to talk briefly about the changes he’s seen in business marketing over the past few years.

Ryan’s been in the marketing community here for a number of years – before Imaginet, he worked for Protegra, another Winnipeg business. Though we’ve been following each other on Twitter for some time, we met recently at TEDx Manitoba, where Modern Earth covered the event with a tweet team of Susan Hurrell and myself. Ryan was among the many enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers who helped make the event what it was, and demonstrated a clear love of collaborative work – which is exactly what social media teaches us.

Ryan expresses, very eloquently in the video on YouTube, that we’re just starting to see the real effects and benefits of social media in businesses.

Watch on YouTube - The NOW Revolution Book Giveaway Winner - Ryan Caligiuri

You can find Ryan on Twitter, by following @RyanCaligiuri.

Thanks for stopping in, Ryan, and taking the time to talk!

Today I had the pleasure of delivering a presentation to a class in one of Red River College's creative communications programs.

I spoke about trends in online marketing, the power of owning your platform as a business online. It was a great chance to talk about some of the choices businesses can make in how they present themselves, and how those choices can affect the public perception of the business.

Participating directly in the classroom environment is always different from developing online learning material. Modern Earth invests a lot of energy in education - through online learning, and partnerships with organisations such as LERN.

Helping to raise awareness of new trends in the educational setting was a great experience – one I hope to repeat soon!