Our Blog

Foursquare Aims to Change Local Search

Kerrie Luginbill

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 8.33.39 AM

Yesterday, Foursquare, a location-based social networking application, announced that it is making some big changes. In its announcement, Foursquare claims that it is moving toward a more unique and personalized local search capability for users.

"[Local search] doesn't get you, and, as a result, everyone gets the same one-size-fits-all results. Why should two very different people get the same recommendations when they visit Paris? Or the same list of places when they’re looking for a bar? We’re about to change that."

The biggest changes Foursquare has planned for its immediate future include:

Introduction of its new check-in app, Swarm. When current Foursquare users download Swarm, it will automatically synch up to your Foursquare account. Swarm offers much of the same functionality that Foursquare's check-in system offered - however, now you have the ability to turn on neighborhood sharing and create plans with friends. Neighborhood sharing shows you what peo...

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3 Design Tips for Small Businesses and Startups

Heather Haaland

If you have a small business, are a startup or are thinking about starting a business in the future, here are a few design considerations:

1. Create a brand identity. A complete brand identity includes a logo, consistent fonts, a color palette and design elements that will be carried throughout all marketing materials. Anyone can can start up a business, but in order to be successful, you need customers and clients. Your customers and clients, as well as prospective customers and clients, will start to recognize and build loyalty with your brand - as long as they can recognize it.

2. Create brand awareness. Once you have a logo and your business cards, what’s next?
Now it’s time to utilize your consistent brand elements to develop out your marketing strategy by incorporating various elements within the marketing mix. Each business’ marketing mix will differ based on its target demographic, goals and budget. Awareness is developed through a variety of marketing tacti...

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Online Marketing: Are Digital Coupons Effective?

Kerrie Luginbill

Creating an effective online marketing strategy can be challenging due to the number of options and opportunities there are in the digital world. From social networking sites like Facebook to review sites like Yelp, each platform serves up different ways to market to your customers - and almost all of them are beginning to incorporate a way to provide discounted services or products to your customers.

So, we are left wondering... are digital coupons effective?

They can be, when done correctly.

Benefits of coupons:

Encourage existing customers to return
Drive in new customers
Promote a new product, service or package
Test drive a new product or service
Use coupons to track ROI by requiring codes for each platform and then comparing which drives the most sales
Provide an incentive over the competition

...

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Mobile Marketing Strategies for Your Business

Catherine Woessner

If you haven’t incorporated mobile marketing strategies into your business' marketing, now is the time.

As the use of cellphones (specifically, smartphones) continues to grow, it is increasingly important for small business owners to adopt mobile marketing practices. Mobile marketing lets you connect with customers and reach out to prospects on the device they use the most: their smartphones and tablets.

To keep up with the growing number of smartphone users, your business should consider the following when marketing your business:

Making your website more mobile friendly

Design your website so that it can be seen from any size smartphone screen (this is referred to as responsive). You want readers to have a great experience on your site no matter what size screen they are seeing it on. When your site is being viewed on a much smaller screen, make sure readers can get to your most important content easily. Users are generally busy or distracted when using...

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4 Things We Do Before Breakfast

Kayti Christian

do before breakfast

Jenna Goudreau from Business Insider recently published an article, "12 Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast," on Inc.com.

The article, a response to Laura Vanderkam’s book “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” is so great that we want to share how Old Town Media implements some of these habits into our workflow.

Out of the 12 things Gourdreau mentions, here are four our staff likes to practice:

1. "They exercise before it falls off the to-do list. The top morning activity of the rich and powerful seems to be exercise, be it lifting weights at home or going to the gym."

At Old Town Media, our staff tries to stay as active and healthy as possible. In the summer, you can find some of our staff members riding bikes to work or centering themselves in an early morning yoga class. And while we spend many hours of the day sitting at desks, our office is across the street from City P...

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Choosing a Payment Gateway

Miles Kailburn

Ecommerce

Choosing a payment gateway for your business can be a little overwhelming.  There are simple options like Paypal and Google Checkout that take just a couple minutes to setup and then there are more robust solutions from service providers like authorize.net and stripe.com.

The rates fall into two categories.  Providers like Paypal and stripe.com charge approximately 2.9% per transaction + 30 cents.  The motivating factor in these solutions is that there are no monthly fees which make it an economical choice for startups, season events or lower revenue stream clients.

Solutions like authorize.net charge between $25-$45 a month plus your per transaction fees ranging from 1.8%-2.8% percent.  The rates actually depend on what card the customer is paying you with.  Debit cards run at the lower end of the spectrum whereas a Capital One Mileage card would run closer to the 2.8% side of things.  authorize.net is provided as a direct serv...

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Our Website Process: Part 2

Vallene Kailburn

phase2

Phase 2: Client gives Old Town Media signed project agreement and deposit

Here are some key things to be aware of in the project agreement for any website project with any company:

Ownership of Files: In our agreement, it clearly states that you, the client, owns all site files once the site is done and paid for. This is very important.
Timeline: We always give a detailed project timeline of rough dates to keep the project on task.  An important thing to note about the project timeline is that those dates creep up quickly and you be ready to invest the time necessary to get the project completed. Please note that if you, the client, misses a due date the overall project timeline adjusts to that new date. The project does not continue on the same timeline if a due date is missed on either side.
Fees: In our project agreement, 50% of payment is due before work begins and the remaining balance is due before the site files are put live. People often ask why...

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Our Website Process: Part 1

Vallene Kailburn

Our Process

Understanding everything that goes into a website project comes natively to someone like us who builds websites everyday, but not necessarily to someone who has never gone through building a website before. We decided to expand upon our process and do a weekly series explaining in detail each phase of the website project to help anyone who is curious about what it takes to build a site from start to finish.

Phase 1: Needs Analysis / Proposal

What we do in this phase is actually sit down with the potential client and get to know each other. We, as the web company, want to learn about your business, your workflow, your business model and get to know you as a person to make sure this will be a good long term working relationship. From there we take what we heard and write that up into a detailed website proposal. A website proposal should have pages that will be developed, project notes so you know exactly what you will be receiving as well as a project breakdown of each ph...

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How to Claim Your Google Listing: Step by Step Picture Tutorial

Kayti Christian

google listing

Google, also known as "King of the Internet," is crucial in the success of your business.

Whether your business is brand new or you are reanalyzing your marketing efforts, claiming your business on Google My Business is the first and ultimate step you should take.

Unless you are new to the internet, you probably know what a Google listing looks like (hint: it's the large map that pops up when you type a business name into Google).

It is also the listing that pops up on your smart phone and gives you the option to Call and Get Directions via GPS. Without actually creating a Google listing though, your business may not appear on the map and customers will not know you exist without visiting your website - scary. 

So, to avoid making a huge marketing mistake by ignoring Google My Business, here is a picture tutorial to help you claim your business in less than 10 minutes.

Step 1: Start by going to www.google.com/business. Unless you already have a gmail acco...

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Take Advantage of LinkedIn Using the New “How You Rank” Tool

Catherine Woessner

Last month LinkedIn introduced a new feature allowing you to see how your profile compares to others in your network.

As part of Who’s Viewed Your Profile, the new “How You Rank” tool allows you to compare your profile to others in your network based on profile views. By viewing the top profiles in your network, you can optimize your profile views and generate ideas for adding new content.

For example, when searching for a job using LinkedIn, reach out to companies that you are interested in. A recruiter is more likely to view your profile if they notice you have taken an interest in theirs. Reach out by simply viewing the company's LinkedIn profile and by submitting your resume and/or LinkedIn profile. For students and recent graduates using LinkedIn, you can build your professional network and create opportunities for growth by connecting with alumni, employees and companies you would like to work for.

Business owners looking to use the "How You Rank" tab ...

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