Tips, Tricks + Lists for DIY Marketers


6 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017


The label of “hottest” advertising or marketing strategy is bestowed upon different methods depending on the day. in our technological age, the category of marketing can’t-misses is even more elastic. Although traditional media still have their place among advertising tools, this year’s trends are firmly entrenched in technology.


From 360 videos to virtual reality, major companies are jumping on board the immersion-technology bandwagon. Luxury car makers are partial to 360 videos, which put viewers in the driver’s seat of their concept vehicles. Others prefer to create virtual reality messaging, which is one of the most costly options available.

Live Action

Even if you haven’t tried out Facebook Live, chances are you’ve seen live feeds in your notifications from business pages you follow. Instagram and Spapchat also have “in-the-moment” features that allow users and their followers to experience the same thing in real time.

Political Affiliations

It used to be that companies stayed away from taking stances on political issues, hoping to appeal to all potential customers. No more. Many major businesses are either taking a conservative stand on social values or speaking out on issues like equality. These are calculated risks, to be sure. Companies that go this route will appeal to consumers who agree but risk alienating those who don’t.

Extreme High Tech

When it comes to creating a niche for themselves, businesses that have the resources to create high-tech opportunities will likely fare better. For example, MasterCard has partnered with Samsung to establish a buying system for replenishing groceries in internet-connected smart refrigerators.

Media Skepticism

The term “fake news” has been bandied about since the recent election, and it’s easier than ever to focus on information that only supports a particular world view. In light of this, it is more important than ever that businesses create authentic messaging that resonates with consumers and portrays accurate, useful information.

Shift Away from Numbers

For the past six years or so, the focus of digital marketing was on statistics. Companies only gauged ROI based on website hits, unique visitors and other analytics measurements. Though those stats will continue to be important, company owners in 2017 are placing more significance on meaningful measurements such as customer engagement, customer quality and customer retention.

Though you likely aren’t ready to jump on all these marketing trends this year, it’s a great idea to explore all the options. Doing so will enable you to stay abreast of the latest techniques so that you are always ahead of the game, not trailing the field. We’re here to help with the process.


15 Mar 2017

5 Tips for Formatting Your Blog Posts

How your blog is formatted matters! Blogs provide an informational point of contact for your website. But did you know there are post-formatting tricks that can make your words more inviting and engaging to readers? We’ve gathered five great tips that will help you grab visitors’ interest and keep them reading until the very last period. Use Subheaders Case in point. Like the smaller bold headline to label this section of text. That’s what a subheader does; it creates a…

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08 Mar 2017

What Is an SSL Certificate and Why Do I Need One?

An SSL Certificate is a must-have! As a result of the many high-profile security breaches for large companies, the majority of online users expect the sites they visit to be secure and protected. It’s easy to believe that only big businesses and websites need to have a security certificate, but that’s just not the case. For a minimal cost, you can purchase an SSL certificate that tells online users that you care about their privacy and protection. What is an…

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01 Mar 2017

3 Reasons Why You Need Dynamic Portfolios on Your Website

  No matter what the nature of your business, whether it’s a nonprofit organization, a service company or a seller of products, having an online portfolio is vital to your success. It’s not just about showcasing your work, though that is important. It’s also about establishing your business from the outset as one that creates tangible, high-quality products or services. Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons to add a portfolio to your website or to reassess…

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27 Feb 2017

Marketing Materials Refined for Consistency

Marketing Materials Juliette’s House child abuse intervention center does important work in the community. That means it needs many printed and electronic materials to share its message in the full range of formats. In brochures and name tags and print ads, the agency reaches out the residents with its message of caring. After 237 Marketing + Web reworked the organization’s logo, we also refined several marketing materials. These changes were made to promote consistency, which improves the public’s recognition of the agency. The…

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15 Feb 2017

7 Rules for Killer Calls to Action

Most companies are in business to make money. Even those that aren’t, such as nonprofits, still have a service to promote. That’s why having a top-notch website is so important; it is the best tool available for educating potential clients and converting them into loyal customers. Action is Needed We’ve talked before about the importance of offering actionable items on your website pages. These may be simple calls to action, such as “contact us” buttons to click, or they could…

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14 Feb 2017

Juliette’s House Logo Gets Makeover

Before and After Juliette's House is a McMinnville-based nonprofit organization that seeks to help children and families affected by child abuse. It focuses on providing safe and familiar places for children to be interviewed for investigations, and it also offers prevention and assessment services. The Juliette’s House logo features a friendly yellow house with a chimney and a tree growing nearby. The agency’s name is written on the house shape in irregular letters, evoking the idea that a child drew…

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09 Feb 2017

The Pros, Cons and Best Practices of Popup Windows

It didn’t get a lot of fanfare when the plan was announced in August, but on Jan. 10 of this year, Google altered its algorithm so that sites that use certain types of popup windows could be penalized on search result rankings. This is not to say that sites with strong content and regularly updated information will drop to page 10 if they employ a popup. It just means that sites with intrusive popup windows may not rank as highly.…

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03 Feb 2017

Website Colors and Their Effect on Conversion

When it comes to website design, there are hundreds of little details that must be addressed in order to create an aesthetically pleasing, functional site. With all the big-picture decisions on the table, it is easy to overlook elements that seem inconsequential. But those tiny choices can ultimately have a major impact on the success of your site, especially when it comes to boosting conversions. The Importance of Color Take color, for instance. All companies should have their own color…

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17 Jan 2017

The Dos and Don’ts of Headline Writing

If you managed to carve out some time to write a great blog post or create an informative video, you don’t want your efforts to go unnoticed because you wrote a lackluster headline. Compelling headlines can be the difference between 10 clicks and 10,000 clicks, so it behooves you to take the time to craft a good one. Here is our list of dos and don’ts to help you fine-tune your online headline writing skills. Absolutely Do Not … Write…

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13 Jan 2017

Find the Best Web Hosting Partner for Your WordPress Site

Web hosting is a commonly overlooked part of the equation when companies are setting up their websites. Too often, owners just go with the most obvious or least expensive option, without putting thought into what will work best with a WordPress site. Sure, there are a lot of choices out there, but not all of them are a logical fit for the WordPress platform or for your specific needs. To help, we’ve created this primer to guide you through the…

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10 Jan 2017

Make Interaction Simple with Careful Contact Placement

Pop quiz! Quick: What is the top reason people visit your website? If you answered “information,” you get partial credit. The top reason online users go to specific websites is to find contact information. They may be looking to see where in their city your company is located or whether you have a Twitter feed they can follow. In either case, making contact with you in some way is their main goal. This is great news! It means members of…

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10 Jan 2017

Community Home Builders Materials Get New Life

Community Home Builders is a McMinnville-based non-profit organization that builds homes for low- and moderate-income families. The future homeowners work as part of the building crew not only on their own projects, but also on homes for other families. In the end, community members get affordable, long-term housing that already boasts value in sweat equity. In 2010, Community Home Builders celebrated 20 years of creating quality neighborhoods for residents in several Yamhill County cities. In all, these neighborhoods provided shelter…

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27 Dec 2016

New Year Social Media Challenge: Acquire a New Outreach Tool

The final week of the year, when we are locked in a post-holiday stupor but still trying to gear up for New Year’s Eve, many people tend to hibernate and wait it out. But what if you put that week to good use by learning a new skill that could help you in the coming year? We’d like to challenge nonprofit organizations and businesses to spend the final week of 2016 exploring a burgeoning outreach tool. In fact, throughout 2017,…

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14 Dec 2016

Holiday Characters and How They Became Famous

Wintertime and the holidays are represented by a cast of familiar characters, each with its own backstory and symbolism. But did you know that Santa originally dressed in green clothes instead of red or that a grumpy Frenchman was the origin of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale? The familiar faces we have come to associate with Christmas and winter were born decades ago and have morphed into their current versions. In many cases, the transition was led by advertising. In others,…

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13 Dec 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas Reimagined

Once Christmas music starts permeating the air after Thanksgiving, you usually hear “The 12 Days of Christmas” on a permanent audio loop. There is something compelling about the tune, despite the repetitive lyrics and the questionable gift selection (when was it appropriate to suggest people as gifts?) That got us thinking about re-envisioning the concept with a marketing theme. It may not be as elegant as partridges and French hens, but we present our version here for your amusement anyway.…

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12 Dec 2016

3 Ways to Choose Creative and Useful Promotional Gifts

Promotional gifts can be a mixed bag. On one hand, no business owner wants to waste money on an object that might just be thrown away. But on the other hand, the right promotional item can help build customer relationships while also improving brand recognition. The holiday season is a prime time to present promotional gifts to your clientele, business partners and other people who support your company. But before you start exercising the company credit card, there are some points…

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05 Dec 2016

Mastering Holiday Cards Etiquette in the Business World

The tradition of sending holiday greeting cards to business associates, clients, partner companies and others is less common than it used to be, and that presents an opportunity for you! Written correspondence via snail mail is just unusual enough to make your business stand out if you choose to send cards during the holiday season. There are a few guidelines to help you make an impact with holiday cards in the business world. Card: Physical cards present a better image…

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05 Dec 2016

Crafting Perfect Overpromise Vital to Boosting Customer Experience

Many of the books in the “Business” section of the bookstore offer advice on creating positive customer experiences. One worthwhile selection, which features actionable steps toward improving client relationships, is Rick Barrera’s “Over Promise and Over Deliver.” The subtitle of Barrera’s book, which was published in 2004 and revised in 2009, is “How to Design and Delivery Extraordinary Customer Experiences.” These words offer their own promise to readers: that taking a proactive approach to achieving better customer experiences in the…

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29 Nov 2016

6 Customer Appreciation Gifts from Simple to Sublime

We can’t let the month of November pass by without writing about giving thanks to customers and clients for their loyal patronage. Although we have written previously (link to previous blog about acknowledging customers) about ways to show customer appreciation, we know that some of our clients prefer to send out small gifts during the holiday season to their best customers. These items can range from inexpensive thank-yous to more extravagant shows of appreciation, but the goal is always the…

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16 Nov 2016

Our Heroes: Retailers Who Prioritize Family Time Over Sales

Black Friday has been a holiday shopping tradition for decades. It’s considered the official opening day for the Christmas shopping season by both retailer and consumers. But in recent years, many stores have been opening their doors earlier and earlier, until finally some of them were open on Thanksgiving afternoon or evening. Although some shoppers enjoy the extra hours to get good deals, many people cried foul, saying Thanksgiving was for spending time with family and being grateful for one’s…

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10 Nov 2016

Collaboration: From Thanksgiving Celebrations to Your World

The Thanksgiving story of Pilgrims feasting with Wampanoeg Indians in 1621 to celebrate a good harvest and cooperation has been taught in elementary schools for decades. Although the accuracy of the tale and the history of the first Thanksgiving might be murkier than the age-old stories would have you believe, the concept of gratitude and collaboration still rings true. Both the Pilgrims and the native Indian tribes struggled after the arrival of Caucasians to the Americas. But both groups also…

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08 Nov 2016

Attention, Makers: 5 Easy Gifts for Winter and Holiday Appreciation

Business owners may be better at closing sales than they are at handicrafts, but we bet there are plenty of people on the payroll at your company who love to create. This blog post is for the makers out there, and we know we have some extremely creative people on our client list. We’ve compiled a group of five simple gifts that you can make and give to clients during winter months -- or any time of year -- to…

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02 Nov 2016

5 Fun Blogs That Inspire Greatness

  Now, we know that being assigned homework is no one’s favorite gift, but we believe the right inspirational blogs can be just the thing for fun and informative morning reading. We’ve taken a look around the Internet to find some of the most popular blogs that also happen to be entertaining reading. We even focused on blogs that were in some way inspiring, though it is your call whether entries will prompt you to take action or teach you…

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