Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Successful Home Page Is a Link Rich Page

Recently I read an article about the rise and success of link rich home pages over the past several years. After reading through it and processing the information, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the ideas that were brought forth from that article. It's especially useful for business owners since we rely heavily on our websites ranking and position in order to generate consistent traffic.

"Nobody starts their design with the objective, "We need our home page to be as complex as we can possibly make it." On the contrary, everybody wants to build simple designs. Yet, somewhere along the line, simplicity translated into "Provide as few links on the home page as possible."" - Jared Spool, User Interface Engineering

This quote sums things up well. It also targets exactly what we need to do to make a site successful for the end users. This is one of those cases where we need to ensure that our focus is on what is best for the site users. It's a complex negotiation between what you envision as the optimal website while at the same time ensuring that the end user has a website that will work well for them too.

Is your own home page link rich? Are you providing your site users with relevant, beneficial links that will potentially take them deeper into your site and further showcase your company's products and services? These are important questions to mull over when thinking about the function, style, and format of your website's home page.

News websites have long understood the need to provide multiple links on their home pages. The majority of news sites are loaded with links designed to deliver in-depth information to users. CNN, Fox, the Drudge Report, and many major newspaper sites have hundreds of links displayed on their home page. How many is too many? Take a look at the sites listed below and check out their standings.

Website / Google Page Rank / Alexa Ranking / 9 / 3 /10 / 16 / 9 / 28 / 8 / 74 / 8 / 40 / 9 / 42* / 7 / 1491 / 7 / 9

*The Bureau of Labor and Statistics website isn't a news site. However, it is a good example of a home page that is comprised almost entirely of links. While this site is very narrow in its appeal, it is heavily used as you can see from its rankings. The same holds true for Craigslist - its homepage is comprised completely of links.

Judging from the rankings shown above for these link rich sites, it's a good choice to include many links on your homepage. However, my advice would be to take a look at the manner in which links are displayed on these sites. With the exception of the BLS site and Craigslist, most of these sites display links in a tasteful, organized manner. So essentially what I'm saying is that you can still maintain the simplistic design approach while at the same time creating a 'link rich environment' which will perform well for the end users of the website.

This is also good reference material for you to use when discussing site creation with your web designer. Please feel free to use the information in this article to point out the need to create a great looking, link rich home page on your website. Hopefully this information will help them understand just how important it is for them to allow you to create a home page that will grab a user's attention and provide them with a wealth of information at the same time in an easy to use, easy to navigate format that is beneficial for your company.

Color Card Administrator is the parent company of and several other innovative Real Estate Business Cards website, we're eager to share with you what it is we do. Give us a call today at 858-522-9335 or email at for Print Business Cards. We look forward to discussing your comments, suggestions, or hearing any ideas for future article topics you may be interested in regarding online business cards design or business card management.

Seven Inexpensive Ways to Boost Employee Morale

In today's difficult economy many small businesses are operating on thin to non-existent profit margins. With it being difficult to just stay afloat, it's important to get creative when it comes to maintaining employee satisfaction. So with that in mind, here are several effective and affordable ways to make your business a place where your employees are dedicated to a common goal and happy to be working with you.

1. Say Thank You. Seriously. Make it a point to single out employees when they do a good job and say thank you. Be genuine and sincere. If you have a client or customer who thanks you for your services, be sure to pass that on to your employees too. Publicly recognize them for their role in satisfying that customer's needs. If a customer or client singles out a particular employee, send a thank you note to them at their home praising their good work and efforts. Send out a tweet or Facebook post acknowledging that employees contributions.

2. Be Accessible. Take breaks with your employees or eat lunch with them. Do more listening than talking. By spending time with your workforce, you will be able to glean more ways to take care of them in practical ways.

3. Use Gift Cards. Employees always welcome gas cards, grocery store cards, big box store cards, coffeehouse gift cards, and even movie tickets. These are nice, relatively inexpensive rewards to use when money is tight, yet you want to say thank you in a tangible way that they'll appreciate.

4. Support Community Involvement. Provide company time for employees to serve a meal at a local shelter, help out a local food pantry, adopt a family for a holiday, or raise money for a common charity. This not only serves as a great team building opportunity by engaging in something your employees are passionate about, it also creates a positive public image for your business.

5. Free Drinks or Ice Cream. Open up the office soda machine and give out free drinks occasionally. Make arrangements on a hot summer day to have an ice cream truck stop at your business, have your employees choose their favorite item, and you pick up the tab.

6. Free Food. Announce that you're bringing in coffee and bagels or donuts for your staff the next morning. Find out what bagel or donut is their favorite so you will have it for them. You can do the same with lunch by bringing in pizza or other take out foods.

7. Fun and Games. Put a foosball table, pool table, or air hockey table in the break room. Let people have fun with them during breaks and lunch. Challenge one of your employees once in a while (hopefully you'll win a few games).

These are a few inexpensive ways to build morale and keep your employees motivated during tough times. It's important to foster a culture that shows you're going the extra mile for them. Don't's not the dollar amount that matters, but the thought you put into it that will have the greatest effect on your employees.

Color Card Administrator is the parent company of and several other innovative Real Estate Business Cards website, we're eager to share with you what it is we do. Give us a call today at 858-522-9335 or email at for Online Business Cards. We look forward to discussing your comments, suggestions, or hearing any ideas for future article topics you may be interested in regarding business cards design or business card management. Be part of the professional business cards company.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Keeping Your Readers Interested

Creating Copy that Engages: Keeping you readers interested in your content is critical to the success of your company's website, marketing materials, and newsletters. If you lose your readers' interest after the first paragraph on a webpage, you are not going to get the click-throughs to your "money pages" (those pages where customers order products or services) and you are basically throwing all of the money that you spent on site development and management out the window. To catch and keep your reader's attention, and inevitably direct them to your money pages, you need to develop content that is powerful, useful, creative, and practical to your target demographic.

Crafting Content for Your Target Demographic: One of the first mistakes of content development is that the information written about is simply not interesting to the site's target demographic. For example, if your website's focus is on selling remote control vehicles, you don't want to invest in articles about doll collecting. While this seems like an obvious point, it is often overlooked. When a visitor lands on your page from a keyword search or an in-text link, they expect to find subject matter about a very specific topic. If that topic is not covered in your post or article, they will leave your page after reading nothing more than the page title or headers.

To craft enticing prose for your target demographic you first need to identify what they are looking for when surfing the Internet. You will then want to base your efforts on keywords that are commonly used by your target demographic to find information on your site's topic or theme. By focusing your content on those keywords you will be able to create articles and blog posts that interest your target audience and it will improve the chances that they will navigate their way through your site using your in-text links to money pages or by using menu links to other site pages.

Powerful Content Creates Interest: Powerful content creates a dialogue or reaction from your readers. This is not your average stock information page - it's a well-researched and well-written page that takes a position on an issue or that challenges the norms of a specific industry standard. The purpose of powerful content pages is to create controversy in an attempt to attract more people to your website. To achieve this goal you will need to set up your pages as a blog or interactive page where people can post their comments, views, and responses. To increase the value of these power pages you will want to include in-text links to your money pages or target pages where you want to direct your visitors.

Useful Content Keeps Your Reader's Coming Back for More: While attracting a reader once can lead to a sale/conversion, you are much more likely to make a sale on your website or through your newsletter if the same reader returns to your website multiple times. One way you can accomplish this is to develop useful articles that the reader can use as a reference for a specific application, activity, or project. For example, "how to" articles are generating huge revenues on many sites right now simply because they provide useful information in a step by step format. This format keeps the reader's interest because in order to complete the given task, they have to read the entire article. If you are able to create useful content on a regular basis, you can set up a library that will attract both new visitors and return visitors.

Creative Content Entertains While Educating: An article or blog post that is entertaining is another strategy that you can use to keep your readers interested. Creative content is fun to write; however, not everyone has a knack for it. It is because of this that your creative content needs to be handled by a writer who is skilled in entertaining, but informative, writing styles. In addition to using creative prose you can also enhance the readability of your web pages by integrating interactive features such as streaming elements, video, and widgets. These elements will keep your readers engaged in your article or web page by giving them a way to interact with it and to manipulate it to meet their needs.

Keeping Your Readers Interested: Internet success is elusive, but not unobtainable. The key is quality content created by skilled writers. It needs to be developed around topics that make sense for your target demographic. It needs to be powerful, it needs to be creative, and it needs to be useful. While many online success strategies have come and gone, the utilization of quality content is one strategy that remains a viable, productive strategy for search engine optimization and site performance enhancement.

Color Card Administrator is the parent company of and several other innovative Real Estate Business Cards website, we're eager to share with you what it is we do. Give us a call today at 858-522-9335 or email at for Online Business Cards. We look forward to discussing your comments, suggestions, or hearing any ideas for future article topics you may be interested in regarding business cards design or business card management. Be part of the professional business cards company.

Stock Photos, Custom Photos, or a Blend of Both?

Over the past few years, the stock photography market has exploded and expanded exponentially. Iconic stock giants such as Getty Images, Corbis (privately owned by Bill Gates), Alamy, and Jupitermedia, Inc. (parent company of Jupiter Images) dominate high end publications and websites. Unfortunately, most of the images available from the companies listed above are simply too expensive for most small businesses to purchase for their web use, advertising campaigns, and media related ventures. Many times you'll see images owned by these companies used in highly publicized magazines and websites such as Time, Sports Illustrated, CNN, and many others. So, how do small businesses locate quality stock images that they can use effectively to promote their business and/or products?

The answer lies within the microstock websites. This emerging group of sites (such as iStockPhoto, BigStockPhoto, and Dreamstime) allow customers to purchase high quality images at much lower prices. Each site has certain licensing options and distribution restrictions for images, but most of the time a customer can purchase the desired image and the necessary license for a relatively low price.

For most companies, finding a good, applicable image isn't a problem. Just between the three stock sites listed above, there are over six million images. Yes, some of them are duplicates, with the same artist creating galleries on each site. However, there are still several million different images available.

A word of caution though when you are selecting an image to use - try to stay away from the most popular images. Why do I say that? Well, they are popular due to being sold and downloaded more times. Why do I caution you against using popular images? Because you don't want to create branding material for your company or product that is being used elsewhere. Your business is unique...your product is may not be in your best interest to use an image that has been sold hundreds or perhaps even thousands of times.

What am I talking about? Well, perhaps it's best to just use some visual examples. I came across this blog post which shows how three major electronics companies used the same image in various promotions. Check it out for yourself (link provided at the end of the article).

Better yet, here's a nightmare scenario that you would never want to have occur for your company. Can you imagine the constant explaining that Design Matters has to do regarding their (lack of) association with Vagisil? You see, they both used the same image of a young teen girl in their promotional materials. Unfortunately, the link to the Vagisil ad is no longer active. The Wall Street Journal also featured an article on this dilemma several years ago that is still worth reading (link provided at the end of the article).

These examples are the risk that you run when choosing to use stock photography for your business. I am certainly not telling you to abandon the use of stock photography for your business! Please don't misunderstand. However, I am recommending that you proceed with caution. There are very valid risks to consider. The customer's perception of your business is on the line. David Ogilvy said, "Always give your product a first-class ticket through life." This incredibly important concept is applicable to not only a product, a brochure, or your website - but your business as a whole. Is purchasing an image for a buck or two really the best route to take? It can be if you navigate your way through the process wisely.

  • Choose a photo that matches up with your purpose. Don't just choose one to "fill space." Rather than use a potentially risky or dull photo, fill that space with great content. Or, at times...empty space might be the best option. Space is good.
  • Be Creative in Your Choice. Instead of using a picture of a man or woman, (who isn't employed by your company), perhaps a graphic of some sort will convey the same message just as effectively. Or better yet, hire a photographer to take pictures of your actual employees. It may be slightly more expensive to choose this route, but the end result will certainly be more genuine. An example that comes to mind for me was a Sear's sales flyer that I received in the mail not too long ago. It completely missed the mark with me. I flipped through it until about page 3. On that page, I finally realized that every person in every picture had well placed smudges on their faces. (The flyer was geared toward outdoors/construction clothing and accessories.) I even saw painters with paint on their hands and face...however, their painting clothes were spotless. I also wondered why the "architect or engineer" in the picture seemed to have a big muddy smudge on his cheek when there wasn't any mud around in that particular picture...he was standing on a nice, dry concrete slab. The pictures were a complete bust for me. I didn't look at anything in the catalog with the mindset of "hey...I wonder what's on sale"; instead, I was just looking at the ridiculous pictures. In my opinion, the whole catalog was a ridiculous attempt to get me to purchase something...and it didn't work.
  • Always remember your message. Do the images you're choosing really help you convey your message to potential customers?

Another interesting possibility (at least to me) is to make direct contact with a stock photographer. Let's say you find an image that you like, but it just isn't quite right. It's close, but not 100% on target. I say that you should contact the photographer or designer directly. Ask them if they might be able to create just the image you are looking for. Many times, you can have this accomplished and it will still be relatively affordable. Most of the stock photographers and designers that I know are more than willing to work with a customer to create an image that is perfect for their particular needs. Also, most of them are generally fair in their pricing for such custom requests. The other bonus with going this route is you can generally eliminate the possibility of someone else having the same image.

I think it's well worth the extra dollars spent. This is by far the route that I would choose over anything else. I see myself using the stock sites to locate an artist or photographer whose style fits well into the advertising or promotional concept that I am building. I like working with people…not just using people's work. I would much rather contact them and establish a relationship with them that will result in photographs or designs that will give my business or product that "first-class ticket through life."

Color Card Administrator is the parent company of and several other innovative Real Estate Business Cards website, we're eager to share with you what it is we do. Give us a call today at 858-522-9335 or email at for Print Business Cards. We look forward to discussing your comments, suggestions, or hearing any ideas for future article topics you may be interested in regarding online business cards design or business card management.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Creative Brilliance and Logo Design

David Ogilvy, who's widely considered the father of modern advertising, focused heavily on creative brilliance - the BIG IDEA (which he always wrote in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS) was of extreme importance to him. In his opinion creativity and originality were useless unless they brought results for clients with whom he did business. When presenting something in an ad, it had to be functional and relevant. "Unless your advertising is based on a BIG IDEA, it will pass like a ship in the night", he preached over and over again.

Thankfully, his emphasis on the BIG IDEA doesn't need to translate into complexity. Simplicity, especially in the area of logo design is something we can still adhere to while following Mr. Ogilvy's advice. So, with that in mind, I'd like to offer a few thoughts for those of you who are just starting the process of thinking through a logo design for your new company.

There are many logos that can be highlighted as examples of accomplishing the BIG IDEA while remaining simple at the same time. There are many global companies who adhere successfully to this:



Adobe Systems

Caterpillar (CAT)

Citi Group


Electronic Arts




All of these companies have simple, yet incredibly effective logos that identify their companies. These companies are industry leaders and well known around the world simply through their logos. Several of these companies have created incredible revenue streams just through the marketing of their logos. Many of these companies sell apparel and other merchandise that displays their logos, which in turn generates millions of dollars in additional revenue for their companies. They are simple, yet extraordinarily successful logos.

Logo designs for some recent corporations would easily fall under the same, simplistic design parameter. Some examples would include such company logos as:




Monster Worldwide


Yum! Brands


Several of these companies are focused solely on the Internet. Google, Yahoo!, GoDaddy, and Monster Worldwide are primarily web based companies. However, their branding and logos are universally recognized symbols for them. Yum! Brands is an internationally recognized company. Not only is their logo simple and easily recognizable, but so are the restaurants it owns: Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Long John Silver's. Aflac's logo is simply a combination of their name and the primary character of every advertisement...the duck. However, every time someone sees it, they immediately recall the last advertisement they saw, they say "Aflac" in their best duck voice, and they recall the type of insurance services they provide. Their logo is simple, yet exceptionally valuable to their mission as a company. Their logo is the pinnacle of creative brilliance and sums up the BIG IDEA for Aflac. In fact, every one of these logos functions the same way for each of these companies. Their logo completely fulfills the mission of their BIG IDEA.

As we mentioned earlier, most of these companies generate millions of dollars in additional revenue for their companies by simply selling items that display their logos. Think about NASCAR, the NFL, and the myriad of other places where advertising reigns supreme; these companies are all present there. They have created an additional product by simply creating a recognizable symbol for their company that people want to purchase. The consumer is interested in attaching themselves to a company and identifying with them through the usage of their logo on apparel, stickers, and additional products.

The power of exercising creative brilliance and generating the BIG IDEA for your company logo is so amazingly important. This is the reason that virtually everyone recommends seeking professional help in designing a great logo for your company or new product. There are two very poignant quotes from David Ogilvy that sum up the importance of designing your logo correctly. Ogilvy said, "It takes a BIG IDEA to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product," and "Unless your advertising contains a BIG IDEA, it will pass like a ship in the night."

So, what's your BIG IDEA and how are you implementing it into your logo design?

Color Card Administrator is the parent company of and several other innovative Real Estate Business Cards website, we're eager to share with you what it is we do. Give us a call today at 858-522-9335 or email at for Online Business Cards. We look forward to discussing your comments, suggestions, or hearing any ideas for future article topics you may be interested in regarding business cards design or business card management. Be part of the professional business cards company.

Are You Creating the Right Stuff for Your Clients?

This is a funny video and it conjures up various feelings in everyone who watches it. However, it also highlights some major flaws in true, reliable, customer service. As a business owner, are you truly meeting the needs of your customers? There are tons of blog posts and articles on the Internet from business men and women going on and on about nightmare clients and their sometimes ridiculous demands. Many of them are valid rants. However, there are also many of them that may be the direct result of failures on the part of the business owner. This shouldn't be a shocking revelation, but business owners and upper management aren't always innocent. Failure is a part of every occupation, every business, and every person. To deny it would be ridiculous. Knowledge and implementation of knowledge is what reduces the frequency of those failures. As people who are heavily invested in the success of our own companies, we need to make sure that we are doing all we can to properly meet the needs of clients (our customers).

How is your company using the Internet to its advantage?

"The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow." ~Bill Gates

Using Mr. Gates' quote as a focal point, what part of the 'village' are you gearing your products and services to? This is an essential element to consider when creating your marketing and advertising plans. Make sure that your website operates in a way that your customers will "get it" and understand why they should choose to use your services or purchase your products. If customers can interact with your site in a positive way, then your website will be successful.

What's being said about your business on the Internet? Have you looked at Yelp and other review sites to see how people gauge their interaction with your company, your employees or how they perceive the value of your products/services? If you're not checking for those "word of mouth" referrals or unfortunate negative reviews, then you're missing a critical component of being able to provide the "right stuff" to your customers. If you're not listening to them and unwilling to take a look at your internal policies/procedures and quality control standards, then you should just stop reading this article right now.

David Ogilvy, who is considered by many to be the father of modern advertising, always stressed the importance of the "BIG IDEA". He always capitalized those two words in order to make them stand out. Are you doing your best to ensure that your company's customer service, reputation, and quality standards are an integral part of America's economic, political, and social life? What is the BIG IDEA that drives your business? By listening to your clients, understanding their wants and needs, and adapting, you are better able to refine your customer service procedures and better produce the products and services your customers desire. In doing this, you'll be able to convey your company's BIG IDEA in an easier, more effective way.

This isn't an easy task. There isn't one tried and true formula to achieve this - it's more of a mindset and method of operating. In some ways this might seem a bit obtuse and nebulous. The beauty of it though is that this method of operating is one of the major facets of what you'll see when you study the successful models of companies such as Amazon, Dropbox, Google, and others who do a great job of listening and interacting with their customers.

Color Card Administrator is the parent company of and several other innovative Real Estate Business Cards website, we're eager to share with you what it is we do. Give us a call today at 858-522-9335 or email at for Cheap Business Cards. We look forward to discussing your comments, suggestions, or hearing any ideas for future article topics you may be interested in regarding online business cards design or business card management.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Six Popular Image File Formats: What Are They and How Are They Best Used?

As a business owner, your focused on your company's products, services, and finding ways to grow and sustain your business. Your focus isn't generally on image file formats and what's needed in order to properly reproduce your company's logo, letterhead, brochures, and business cards. But, if you're a small business owner, you wear multiple hats and have the "joyous" task of managing not only the growth and success of your business, but all of the little, technical items associated with getting items printed for your company. And, you're probably the head of your own "Online/IT Department" too.

So, in order to help you become more proficient with the IT hat that you wear, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to some basic file format information concerning images (for your logo/letterhead/business cards/etc).

Choosing the right file format for saving your images is of vital importance. There are six major image file formats used consistently in the design field - TIFF, GIF, JPG, BMP, WBMP, and PNG. Each format is well suited to a specific type of image, and by matching your image to the correct format, you should benefit from a fast-loading, high quality graphic. It's also important to understand how these file formats work in certain applications. So, enjoy checking out these six image file formats:

  • TIFF - The TIFF (Tagged Information File Format) is a file format used for storing images such as line art and photographs. It was originally developed by Aldus (now Adobe Systems) and Microsoft. This is a popular format for high color depth images and it is supported by many image-manipulation programs such as Pagemaker, QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, PhotoShop, Paint Shop Pro, etc. Tiff is extremely high in its image quality, providing excellent compatibility with publishing and printing companies. Tiff can be modified and resaved, with the images being used an endless number of times without losing any image data. In addition, the image is extremely usable since it doesn't require software post-processing during or after its download from a camera. It is a flexible and adaptable format.

  • GIF - TheGraphic Interface Formatis an image file format that was originally developed in 1987 by Unisys using the LZW compression algorithm. For years it has been a standard image format used on the web. However, it has seen its share of difficulties due to licensing restrictions and requirements placed on it by Unisys. In 1989, they also developed Gif89a which allowed animated images. While GIF has enjoyed a significant presence on the Internet, it is being phased out by the emergence of PNG.

  • JPG/JPEG - JPEG is a commonly used compression method for photographic images. The name "JPEG" stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the name of the committee that created the standard. The group was organized in 1986, issuing this standard in 1992 and finally approving it in 1994. The degree of compression may be adjusted to allow a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. Typically, JPEG achieves 10 to 1 compression with little perceivable loss in image quality. In addition to being a compression method, JPEG is often considered to be a file format. JPEG is the most common image format used by digital cameras and other photographic image capture devices. It is also the most common format for storing and transmitting photographic images on the World Wide Web.

  • BMP - The BMP file format, sometimes called bitmap or DIB file format (for device-independent bitmap), is an image file format used to store bitmap digital images, especially on Microsoft Windows and OS/2 operating systems. The simplicity of the BMP file format and its widespread familiarity in Windows and elsewhere makes it a very common format that image processing programs from many operating systems can read and write. Another reason for the widespread use of this format is due to it being well documented and free of patents. While most BMP files have a relatively large file size due to lack of any compression, many BMP files can be considerably compressed with lossless data compression algorithms such as ZIP since they contain redundant data.

  • WBMP - This is short for Wireless Bitmap, a graphic format optimized for mobile computing devices. This is a relatively new file format that only supports monochrome images at the moment. A WBMP image is identified using a TypeField value, which describes encoding information (such as pixel and palette organization, compression, and animation) and determines image characteristics according to WAP documentation. TypeField values are represented by an Image Type Identifier. Currently, there is only one type of WMBP specified; the Image Type Identifier label for this is 0. 0 has the following characteristics: No compression, One bit color (white=1, black=0), and One bit deep (monochrome). Any WAP device that supports WBMPs can only support type 0. WBMP is part of the Wireless Application Protocol, Wireless Application Environment Specification Version 1.1.
  • PNG - Portable Network Graphics is a bitmapped image format that employs lossless data compression similar to that of a GIF file. PNG was created to improve upon and replace the GIF format, as an image-file format not requiring a patent license. It was basically created in direct rebuttal of Unisys' licensing requirements for using the GIF format. PNG supports palette-based (palettes of 24-bit RGB colors), grayscale, or RGB images. PNG was designed for transferring images on the Internet, not professional graphics, and so does not support other color spaces (such as CMYK). PNG works very well for geometric or line drawings, lettering, cartoons, and other images with flat color and sharp borders, such as computer screenshots. PNG is mostly superior to GIF, as it is newer, supports more colors, and is free of patent restrictions. Unfortunately, PNG cannot be used for animation. However, it does offer highly sophisticated transparency and color support, among other features. In most cases where animation is not required, it is best to use PNG over GIF.

It's interesting to note each format's strengths and weaknesses. Overall, each of them definitely displays benefits in certain applications. The best way to approach these is to know ahead of time what the ultimate application and use for a certain image is going to be prior to creating it. As a business owner, it's important to find a reliable printer that can service your company's needs. CCA is able to accept and modify virtually any image file format in order to create a high resolution, quality image for use on your company's business cards. If you have any questions or concerns about your logo or business card file format, please feel free to give us a call or inquire on our website.

Color Card Administrator is the parent company of and several other innovative Real Estate Business Cards website, we're eager to share with you what it is we do. Give us a call today at 858-522-9335 or email at for Cheap Business Cards. We look forward to discussing your comments, suggestions, or hearing any ideas for future article topics you may be interested in regarding online business cards design or business card management.

The Power of Online Video for Your Company

Using video to promote your website, services, or products has become an integral component of online advertising. With the explosive popularity of sites such as YouTube (now considered the number search engine online), Vimeo, and others - it's time to embrace video and make it work on behalf of your company and your website.

Here are some amazing statistics about online video from 2010:

  • 172 million U.S. viewers watched an average of 14.6 hours of video

  • Over 40% of consumers watch online videos on a weekly basis - Over 70% watch monthly

  • YouTube serves over 1 billion videos per day

  • YouTube (owned by Google) is expected to hit $2 billion in revenue during 2011.

  • Viral video marketing campaigns increase clickthrough rates by 750%., November 2006

  • E-commerce sites that use product videos sell up to 45% more. says it sees a 45% higher conversion rate for customers who watch videos on its website. says it sells up to 30% more for products that it shows in videos instead of just static pictures. (Sources: ReelSEO, Internet Retailer)

Online video marketing first surged in 2007 and has been growing exponentially every year since. Over $3 billion was spent on online video advertising during 2010. With online video becoming such a major marketing player, it's an important advertising genre to consider embracing.

Here are a few basic concepts to keep in mind when considering the use of online video to promote your website, company, products, or services.

  1. If you're going to create video to showcase a product, your services, or just introduce your has to be creative and compelling. Your video needs to spark some type of emotion from the viewer. Whether it's humorous, intriguing, or somewhat controversial, you need this "hook" to create a clip that people will want to see and recommend to others to watch. The hook is at the core of any good viral campaign. Get creative and come up with a catchy plan!

  2. Online video offers another outlet to showcase your brand. Make sure that you include your site logo or company logo on any streaming video that is released. If you create and submit video to video sharing websites or other channels, then using branded video clips will further increase your website and company exposure to potential customers.

  3. Testimonials. These are incredibly popular and important. Again, they need to be genuine and not manufactured. By having real customers discuss why they chose your products or services and how it has been beneficial to them displays a great deal of credibility for your company. These are the videos that you will definitely want to promote on multiple social media sites!

  4. Be genuine and real. If you are going to create a video about your your real employees, in your office, doing real work. Don't "manufacture" a video that is fake and staged. People will see right through it.

  5. Use video as a platform for your products. Show people how they work. Detail how and why your product is superior to competitors and why people should purchase your products. Highlight the benefits that customers will receive by purchasing your products.

  6. If your business is service oriented, then show viewers how your services are performed. Explain to them what makes your services superior to competitors. Tell them why they should call or email you to procure your services.

  7. Webinars (Web Seminars). These are what I like to tag as "stage 2" videos. These are training videos that primarily work best for websites who sell products. These webinars should be created to train your customers on how to properly use your products. Most of the time, this type of video will be much more detailed and involved. However, they are extremely important as well. When a potential customer wants to purchase a product, yet they are unfamiliar on how to effectively use it, they will be reassured to know that you have online videos available to them for additional training.

  8. Once you have videos in place, continue to get creative. With the emergence and popularity of QR codes, you can now offer potential customers the ability to watch a video by scanning a QR code with their smartphone. Create and print new business cards for your company that feature a QR Code that card recipients can scan and then watch a video about your company, your products, or whatever you want them to view.

This certainly isn't an exhaustive list by any stretch. However, I hope it will compel you to think about the myriad of ways that online video can be beneficial to your company. With the constant expansion of Internet users each year, creative marketing is going to always be needed in order to succeed in the World Wide Web. Online video is emerging as one of the best and most effective ways to reach potential customers. So...grab on to it and use it creatively!

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