Author Archives: Bennett Syverson

The Advantages of WordPress Websites

wordpress-logo

Any expert will tell you that a successful website must continuously provide fresh, relevant, and clear content to its target audience(s). Choosing which content management software to use to deliver that content is another matter entirely.  Let’s take a shortcut to the number one CMS in the world right now: WordPress. According to a recent survey, 25% of all websites are now using WordPress. Oh, and I should mention that it’s free. There are no subscriptions, renewals, or fees of any kind.

Advantage: WordPress.

In case you’re not “in the know,” WordPress is supported by a community of dedicated coder volunteers. These volunteers work cooperatively to develop the CMS using open source code. Whenever an update is released, it is first made available as a beta and then tested throughout the community for usability and security purposes. As you can imagine, this type of testing produces a large amount of documentation. This “help” documentation is made available publicly online and addresses almost every aspect of customizing WordPress.

Advantage: WordPress.

When we design a website for our clients, we choose WordPress because it offers a variety of design themes and plug-ins to choose from. Each has attributes that can be customized to fit your brand standards and style. Fonts, colors, photos, even the way the slide show runs, are all editable. You are also able to offer a variety of features on your website, including but not limited to a calendar, contact form, news feed, and GIS mapping.

Advantage: WordPress

Search engine optimization (SEO) is made simple with WordPress as it uses very clean coding which helps boost SEO performance. After your website is built, you can make content updates yourself, which will save you time and money as you won’t have to funnel these types of simple requests through a web developer. The software gives you the ability to generate tags, link to social media and partner organizations, and add videos, photos, and news. You can also post case studies and updates of newly announced projects, expansions, or regional news that benefits your target industries or explains how you overcame an incentive, funding or workforce challenge.

Avantage: WordPress

At the end of the day, you are the ones tasked with business retention efforts, requests for information, marketing, promotions, seeking funding for your organization, and finding incentives. That’s a lot of work. Using an open source program such as WordPress can help make running your website an easier, more enjoyable task, freeing up time for you to focus on other important tasks. Additionally, in today’s world, you need a great website, and WordPress makes the idea of owning and operating a world class website less of a dream and more of a reality for many economic development organizations through affordability, flexibility, and second to none quality.

Advantage: You

Ady Advantage uses WordPress to build websites for our economic development clients as it is a highly respected platform that gives us the ability to showcase their community’s unique benefits in a clear, memorable, and state-of-the-art way. Call Benny Syverson today at 608-663-9218 with questions or to request a proposal.

The Advantages of WordPress Websites

wordpress-logo

Any expert will tell you that a successful website must continuously provide fresh, relevant, and clear content to its target audience(s). Choosing which content management software to use to deliver that content is another matter entirely.  Let’s take a shortcut to the number one CMS in the world right now: WordPress. According to a recent survey, 25% of all websites are now using WordPress. Oh, and I should mention that it’s free. There are no subscriptions, renewals, or fees of any kind.

Advantage: WordPress

In case you’re not “in the know,” WordPress is supported by a community of dedicated coder volunteers. These volunteers work cooperatively to develop the CMS using open source code. Whenever an update is released, it is first made available as a beta and then tested throughout the community for usability and security purposes. As you can imagine, this type of testing produces a large amount of documentation. This “help” documentation is made available publicly online and addresses almost every aspect of customizing WordPress.

Advantage: WordPress

When we design a website for our clients, we choose WordPress because it offers a variety of design themes and plug-ins to choose from. Each has attributes that can be customized to fit your brand standards and style. Fonts, colors, photos, even the way the slide show runs, are all editable. You are also able to offer a variety of features on your website, including but not limited to a calendar, contact form, and news feed.

Advantage: WordPress

SEO optimization is made simple with WordPress. After your website is built, you can make content updates yourself, which will save you time and money as you won’t have to funnel these types of simple requests through a web developer. The software gives you the ability to generate tags, link to social media and partner organizations, and add videos, photos, and news. WordPress also uses very clean coding which helps boost your SEO performance.

Advantage: WordPress

At the end of the day, you are the ones tasked with quality certifications, workforce development, business retention, and sales growth and diversification. That’s a lot of work. Using an open source program such as WordPress can help make running your website an easier, more enjoyable task, freeing up time for you to focus on other important components of your business. Additionally, in today’s world, you need a great website, and WordPress makes the idea of owning and operating a world class website less of a dream and more of a reality for many companies through affordability, flexibility, and second to none quality.

Advantage: You

Ady Advantage uses WordPress to design and build websites for our manufacturing clients as it is a highly respected platform that gives us the ability to showcase their expertise and communicate their abilities in a meaningful and state of the art way. Call Benny Syverson today at 608-663-9218 with questions or to request a proposal.

Want to grow your business? Use a marketing plan to help break through the clutter

Race to the finish

If you’ve been reading our blogs regularly, you’ve likely identified your growth strategies (if not, call us and we can help you determine these!). No matter what strategy you’ve chosen, one of your goals is probably to increase the sales of your product or service. In the past, you may have relied mainly on your operational excellence to differentiate yourself from your competitors. If you want to be more market-oriented, this will require using differentiation as a tool. And differentiation requires a marketing plan, competitive advantages, strategy, etc.

Once you have determined your competitive advantages, you need to communicate those to the decision-makers and decision-influencers at the companies you are – or want to be – selling to. But, how do you break through the clutter and differentiate yourself from your competitors? Chances are, you’re already spending money on marketing. If you don’t have one cohesive plan to manage all your marketing activities, you may find yourself spinning your wheels, redoing essential tasks and missing chances at new customers and sales. If this sounds familiar, you are probably not leveraging your message to maximum effect, and therefore not maximizing your sales.

A marketing plan can help you answer these questions:

  • What’s unique about you? You need to determine your competitive positioning in order to make your company stand out from the rest. What is unique about your company, product or service that will break through the clutter?
  • Who is the best decision-maker to see your benefit? You need to determine the best ways to reach your key decision makers and influencers. One size does not fit all. If they’re not on Facebook, for example, creating a Facebook ad campaign will not be effective.
  • Who are you trying to reach? Engineers? Purchasing managers? Millenials, GenXers or Baby Boomers? You need to tailor your messaging to your audience. Different audiences respond to different marketing messages, channels, and techniques.
  • What strategies and tactics will yield the best ROI? Determine how to allocate limited resources. No one has an unlimited marketing budget.
  • How well does your brand communicate your competitive advantages? Remember, branding is more than a logo. It may be time to review and update your branding to ensure it will drive, and not detract from, your success.
  • Are they order-takers or salespeople? A marketing plan can help galvanize your sales staff and drive buy-in, helping to ease the transition of implementing a new growth strategy.

The Ady Advantage team has research and marketing expertise geared toward the growth needs of small and medium manufacturers. We know how to brand, communicate and promote your business so that it resonates with your existing and prospective customers. We create actionable plans, including mini marketing plans, to move you towards your growth and sales goals. Whether it’s branding, a website, marketing materials, facility graphics or direct marketing campaigns, we can help you break through the clutter. Contact Janet Ady at 608-663-9218 for a free consultation to see how we might be able to help you.

Ghost towns, abandoned factories, and deserted parks

deserted main street

 

Ghost towns, abandoned factories, deserted parks and an eerie, visual quiet. Sounds like Chernobyl or a shuttered buggy factory, doesn’t it? It’s not; this is the type of photographic imagery I see all too often on economic development websites. Shots of downtowns with no one on the street, sidewalks or benches. Playground equipment and picnic tables all empty as if they were evacuated. Sculpture gardens unappreciated and ignored. CNC equipment, loading docks, and company entrances that have gone idle, no one working the equipment, nobody assembling the finished goods or running the bottling equipment. You can almost hear the crickets chirping. 

Economic development websites are supposed to present a place as a vibrant, competitive place on the move. You could call it the curse of knowledge: people are very familiar with their own towns, counties, communities and businesses. They know what kinds of activities go on in these locations. They know about the music festival, the tour that went through the local craft brewery, the minor league team that played the day before and the college graduation ceremony that takes place every year, so the tendency is to project their insight and personal experiences into the photography they are shooting and selecting. Unfortunately, your intended audience does not share this intimate knowledge. The effect of an abandoned location can be a little depressing.

The solution: add people. Not necessarily easy, I know, but worth the effort. The addition of people in these locations, doing what they would do, brings photographs to life, which brings your region and marketing materials to life. Photograph people in the community living life, doing what they love to do, filling orders and delivering the goods. At Ady Advantage, we do strategic planning, target market research, and offer site selection services. This research, strategy development and planning can lead to marketing plans, branding initiatives, websites and print collateral. Good, thoughtful photography is essential to making these marketing materials resonate with your target audience. It will add flavor and memorability to the materials you use to promote your region in a way a vacant amphitheater cannot.

active downtown

How do you get this Hollywood production underway? Contrary to what you might think, getting good photography doesn’t have to be a huge production. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Hire a photographer to gather these types of images as community events occur. This is one of those situations where quality trumps quantity. Investing in a smaller number of high-quality shots will have a better return than hundreds of poor pictures.
  • When the opportunity presents, take the photos yourself. You have a camera – it’s the one with the phone built in.
  • When conducting your business retention and expansion activities, ask your local companies if they have images you could use in your materials.
  • Describe what you’re looking for to the Chamber of Commerce so they may share their archives.
  • The local newspapers or television stations may have photos they would let you use.
  • Amateur photographers from your region may be posting their work on websites such as Flickr, Instagram and Facebook. Search them out, contact them, and ask for permission to use their images.
  • Remember to document where these photos came from, always ask permission, and, if requested, give credit to the photographer and/or the organization. 

By bringing life to these desolate images, you can showcase the best your region has to offer.

If it’s time to replace those outdated marketing materials, Ady Advantage can help. Through our marketing and branding services for EDOs, our experts can help you identify what’s unique and memorable about your region, craft your brand identity, and create marketing materials and websites that bring out your best. Contact Bennett Syverson for more information at 608-663-9218.