Syrup Marketing - Branding, Design & Marketing Blog | Atlanta, GA
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An exciting development in WordPress is coming in version 5.0 slated to launch later in 2018. A brand new editor, named Gutenberg, is going to change the way we build and interact with WordPress sites.
We have commonly referred to the content editor within WordPress as a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get). Though it was more true of a statement than editors of past, what you are seeing in that editor can, and often does, look completely different than how it looks on your site. Gutenberg addresses that by allowing styles and markup to be consistent (or varied if the developer chooses) from editor to frontend.
Another limitation of the WYSIWYG editor is that it does not allow for complex markup. It does paragraphs, ordered and unordered bullets, horizontal rules and headers quite well. But, for example, if you wanted to have a section of a page have a background image with an overlay opacity, you had to move outside of the WYSIWYG editor and use custom fields. Custom fields are a way of attaching meta-data to a post. The way we’ve used Custom Fields at Syrup when building our clients’ sites has been by using Advanced Custom Fields PRO. We’ve constructed a flexible way of adding content to a page in a method we call ‘components’.
Our plan for later this year is to do away with our Advanced Custom Fields ‘components’ and move the same options to Gutenberg ‘blocks’. We have yet to completely prove the concept, but all signs are pointing to Gutenberg as the future of WordPress as a viable and “current” CMS. We will be jumping on board.
With the rollout of Gutenberg, you might be thinking, “Hey, my site wasn’t built with Gutenberg in mind. Is it going to break?” No, it’s not going to break. I’ve added the Gutenberg editor to a few development sites for our clients as a test and everything works as it had. Now, you may not be able to utilize all the amazingness that comes with the new editor, but you’ll see some of it – especially in blog posts and other “straight content” pages.
Klaire received this Instagram DM from Eno and fell more in love with the company (if that was even possible). Their intentionality is amazing here. Most brands ignore mentions if they can’t respond to Instagram stories right away, but she loves this approach.
Tricia uses Brandless often for online grocery orders and they send weekly emails highlighting different products. She particularly loved this email because of the top nav, the “pro tip” callout, and how the links at the bottom say “shop this aisle.” Check out the full email here.
Great brands don’t just create a brand… they implement it deeply. In this series, we’re taking a deeper dive into how you can amplify your brand. Today we start with vision.
Marines, sports teams, civil movements… these are all teams that excel, because they are unified around a common mission. Often companies get formed around a common vision. A vision of how the future can be different and better. People join the tribe early on based on that unified vision. But then things get messy, busy, complicated, and stressful. We start looking at cash flow, adoption rate, and conversions and the stress kicks in.
As an organization, we still tell our story to the outside world. We feel compelled to because we think that’s what will sell. But often we forget to create an internal atmosphere where the vision is the air – that is what gives our brand life.
Before you spend time convincing the world of your vision, convince yourself. Then convince your team. If your team believes, it will not be able to be contained within the walls of the organization.
A compelling vision makes hard work have a purpose. It creates unity. It creates energy. It creates alignment.
Mary kind of loves everything about this landing page from Emma because they made the infographic the entire landing page. It’s eye-catching and made her read all the way through, so we call that a win. Read the full infographic here.
Jordan-Ann says she might be totally late to the game by just now signing up for Morning Brew… But she loves this Thank You page. “It’s designed like an email, which sets my expectation for what I’ll receive and gives me clear instructions if I don’t get what I signed up for. Not to mention, content is witty and relatable.”
Kate came across this great collection of UX/UI case studies from Case Study Club. She says it’s a good resource for seeing what works and what doesn’t work from real-life examples… plus, it gives us tons of inspiration! Check them out here.
Changes we’ve seen in Facebook
Up until this point, Facebook has given advertisers an ever-increasing number of targeting options, providing an unmatched level of hyper-targeting. If you wanted to target soccer moms considering a full-size SUV purchase in the next year, you could do that. If you wanted to target big-city moms who are employees of a company with 10-49 employees in the finance industry, you could do that. But now, third-party data providers are getting the cold shoulder from Facebook, as Facebook begins phasing out the use of these sources as targeting options. And we can reasonably assume that this is just the beginning. A new age of Facebook advertising is coming and we need to be ready for whatever that may mean.
So, now what? How do you protect access to the targeting you’ve worked hard to refine & perfect once it becomes obsolete? We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to ensure you’re taking advantage of what you have now in order to prepare yourself for what may come.
1. Lead Ads
Get some lead ads in rotation using the current targeting while it’s still available! Use a light call to action, maybe offer an exclusive discount or something free, to get a substantial amount of names and emails that you know are inside that hyper-targeted audience… You now have a whole list of people to cultivate. Take that list and create lookalike audiences from it. You already know that all the people from the original list came from the targeting you believed best for your business and now you’re building multiple lists of potential leads from that one effort.
2. Custom Audiences
If you haven’t checked out all the possibilities for Facebook custom audiences, you need to. You probably know the basics about creating a remarketing audience or a customer file audience, but the ones you may not be familiar with are all the engagement options. You can create audiences from people who have spent time watching your videos or interacted with your events or even if they opened up that new lead form you just made! Don’t sleep on these options because they give you the ability to target already engaged people who are much more likely to convert than cold contacts.
3. Lookalike Audiences
Once you’ve got your custom audiences built, take it a step further. Build lookalikes from all your custom audiences – from website visitors and current customers to video viewers and page engagers. Experiment with different audience sizes for your lookalikes and find what works best.
So no, we may not be able to target coupon-using moms who purchase dairy products in the future. Change is coming, but change is a good thing. It forces us to get out of our comfort zone, get creative, and do what we do best: produce strong, compelling content and find a way to get it in front of the right people. So build as many audiences as you can while the targeting is still available, and then use that as a foundation for discovering new audiences. Let’s not forget that Facebook is a powerful tool with a complex algorithm. When you give it the right audiences to work with, it’ll work with you.
Klaire received this welcome email from Grammarly and loved it. “They pulled me in immediately by making it seem like they were making a grammar mistake in the subject (it’s like they knew I would HAVE to open it), then they made me laugh after I opened it. Great way to show they know their audience and to add a little bit of humor and fun.” See the full email here.
Sticking with emails we love, Bonnie‘s favorite is Tupelo Honey. For one, puns. Two, the textured background is such a nice touch. And three, love that they switch up who the email comes from depending on what the context is. If it’s a new dish, it comes from the chef; if it’s just general stuff or a giveaway, it comes from Tupelo Honey. See the full email here.
Klaire (and a few others on the team) is loving this video from Facebook. They remind us of what we’ve loved about Facebook in the past while giving us hope for the future and reasons to trust them more now.
If you are plugged into any one of the standard go-to business sources, you’ve likely come across conversations about Jeff Bezos’s 2018 Letter to Shareholders this past week. He has been publishing this letter every year since 1997, and in the same vein as Warren Buffett’s annual address, it’s become “must-read” material.
This year certainly delivers – it’s worth the 12-minute read.
There was one comment this year that resonated on a personal level with me.
“We don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon.”
When I left the world of working with Fortune 100 brands and started Syrup, I made myself a handful of promises — one of which was always number 1 or 2 on the list.
I promised myself I would never make another PowerPoint.
I’ve joked that in my previous work life it felt like you wouldn’t get paid if you didn’t meet your “PowerPoints created quota.”
Slides for clients
Slides for team meetings
Slides for new business pitches
Slides for new products
Slides for how-to’s
Slides for project plans
I replaced the “mighty” PowerPoint with the MIGHTY whiteboard marker. (I’m a loyalist to Expo.)
I’m not trying to hate too hard on PowerPoint; I just found that it was never as valuable as asking questions, listening, and unpacking solutions — and often a structured slideshow was a hindrance to those things.
I’ve also found time and time again the mighty Expo smokes a PowerPoint in the one area I believe to be the most important to ensuring a meaningful use of everyone’s time in a meeting: creating conversation.
PowerPoints are static.
Conversations are fluid.
PowerPoints present YOUR case.
Conversations are collaborative.
PowerPoints are orchestrated.
Conversations are flexible.
An Expo is the perfect tool to supplement a conversation. It’s fluid, flexible, and collaborative.
So next time you’re thinking about making a PowerPoint, consider conversation over presentation, and grab that good ol’ Expo – it’s never let me down.
Morgan is loving the Wella Bar website (and actually, the bars, too!). The movement throughout the site is subtle but catches your attention. They do a great job of drawing your attention to the products. They also tell their story really well – why they exist and what they stand for. See the entire site here.
Jordan-Ann found this FirstBank website through the Smyrna local businesses and loves it! Not only does it feel super relatable, but the design and flow of content keeps you wanting more. Additionally, they did a great job of incorporating the Client Login directly in the hero and the use of the hamburger menu to show the many services. On mobile, the navigation translates well. See the full site here.
Kate is loving how the movement of the dropdown/buttons in the hero of the new Infusionsoft website guides you to the next step – try it!
Tricia is checking out this article that shares a lot of really cool web design trends. These trends are focusing on vibrant color schemes, moving backgrounds, and custom illustrations for their sites. Check them out here!
Kraig is loving Amazon.com Founder & CEO, Jeffrey Bezos’ annual letter to shareholders. His favorite thought to ponder so far is around the Six page Narratives required before a meeting, and these quotes:
“One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. Their expectations are never static – they go up. It’s human nature. We didn’t ascend from our hunter-gatherer days by being satisfied. People have a voracious appetite for a better way, and yesterday’s ‘wow’ quickly becomes today’s ‘ordinary’.”
“How do you stay ahead of ever-rising customer expectations? There’s no single way to do it – it’s a combination of many things. But high standards (widely deployed and at all levels of detail) are certainly a big part of it.”
In the same way developing habits is key to personal development, a business develops habits as well. The question is whether that happens by default or by design.
Designing Healthy Business Habits
For those who design healthy habits, this is usually achieved by some form of continual BPI (Business Process Improvement). We are currently an EOS Company that focuses on being “lean”, for example. There are many points of view, and regardless the methodology, this focus is a great way for companies to design healthy business habits and continuously improve their business.
The keys to good business habit design I’ve found are cadence and a model. The former keeps everything moving and the latter is a strategic direction to make decisions towards. If you are engaged, work fast, and are adaptive, you shouldn’t need much else to design great habits.
So then it becomes a simple question – Design or Default?
As I mentioned above we are an EOS Company and are attending the conference next week in Minneapolis. It’s for companies who run on the EOS philosophy and therefore will be full of constantly improving businesses. I’m excited to see other small companies there and hear from their leaders how they’re getting better.