Chicago Family Business Council (CFBC) offers a wealth of programming and support to help business leaders succeed. It’s fitting, then, that the website we recently created for CFBC is also chock-full of resources.
As a strategic partner for the organization, whose membership includes owners and key leaders of family-owned and other closely held businesses, we’ve worked with CFBC for years on its marketing efforts. When CFBC became an independent nonprofit organization and formed an affiliation with DePaul University earlier this year, the group needed a new website to go along with its new identity. CFBC had a long wish list for the site, but one overarching goal: making the website a dynamic, helpful resource for its members.
We handled the copywriting, design and coding for the new site, creating a user-friendly finished product filled with the information members need. Key features include a password-protected section where members can access sensitive documents and other information, a robust directory with member bios and photos, detailed information on joining CFBC, and an easy way to register for upcoming events. The website is built as a content management system, which means CFBC can update the site easily.
What do you think of CFBC’s new look? Let us know in the comments below.
“The President of the College will speak to Law Students Tuesday about Health Care issues.”
Many people would breeze through that sentence without a second glance. As grammar guardians, though, my fellow editors and I read it and wince.
Improper capitalization is one of the most common grammar mistakes we see at The Simons Group. For some reason, people love to hit the caps lock when it comes to certain words and phrases (although we almost never see the opposite problem, where writers lowercase words that should be capitalized).
In general, the only words you need to capitalize in a sentence are the first word and proper nouns, or nouns that denote a specific person, place or thing (Alexandra, France, Ford Motor Co.). Yet some argue that capitalization underscores a term’s importance, while others claim certain words and phrases just “look right” when they’re capitalized. The truth is, though, that willy-nilly capitalization makes your writing confusing — and writers who pepper their prose with uppercase words run the risk of sounding like a lost chapter from “The Canterbury Tales.”
Below are some of the most frequent marketing-related capitalization mix-ups. Master these, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping your caps where they belong. (more…)
Signing up for your e-newsletter, requesting a product quote, snagging your latest white paper – no matter what visitors want to do on your website, chances are good they need to complete a form first. But what’s a company to do when no one’s filling out that form?
We recently worked with a client to make some improvements to his website, and his customer inquiry form was one of our major targets. The company wanted more site visitors to submit the form to request product information, which is the first step in its sales process for new customers.
We recommended a few tweaks, including linking to the form from the site’s home page. The site also featured different, lengthy versions of the form for each product line, and we suggested creating a streamlined universal form to make the process easier for visitors. Within a couple of weeks of implementing the changes, our client saw a marked increase in the number of visitors filling out and submitting the customer inquiry form.
The lesson? A few simple changes can yield big results when it comes to optimizing your website forms. If you’re not getting the response you want from your form, consider these three common pitfalls: (more…)
Every project begins with the first step – and it’s tough to overstate that first step’s importance.
Many marketers are all too familiar with the perils of diving into a new initiative unprepared. Companies pull the trigger too early on projects for lots of reasons – they’re pressed for time, they figure the details will fall into place as they go along, they don’t understand the elements critical to the project’s success. Whatever the reason, the results can be bleak: astronomical costs, blown deadlines and squabbling team members.
Never fear, though. Taking the time to prep goes a long way toward avoiding these mid-project woes. To start your initiative on the right foot, consider these factors first. (more…)
“Show, don’t tell.” It’s a rule writers know by heart; specifics make your writing more persuasive and compelling. And that lesson doesn’t just apply to copywriting – details count when it comes to keywords, too.
Keywords generally fall into two categories: short-tail and long-tail, also known as broad and narrow keywords. Short-tail keywords are single words or short phrases that generally describe a topic, such as “Web design.” Long-tail keywords are longer phrases (typically between three and six words) that provide more specifics, such as “Chicago website design.” (more…)
Bar codes aren’t just for the grocery store anymore. The marketing world is going crazy for QR codes – if you’ve seen a direct mailer, a business card, an ad or even a company T-shirt recently, chances are you’ve come across one. (more…)
I have a confession to make: I can’t stop using Pinterest. Since I signed up, I barely go on Facebook anymore. Instead, I spend hours filling my pinboards with photos of cute dresses, Crock-Pot® recipes and kitchen cabinets made from reclaimed wood. It’s become an obsession.
According to recent stats, my Pinterest addiction is totally normal. The startup hit the 10 million user mark faster than any social media site in history, digital business analytics source comScore reports, and is rapidly approaching 20 million users. (more…)
Remember counting down the days until your birthday as a kid? Exciting things awaited, like the cake with your favorite cartoon character, the party with all your classmates, maybe even a new bike from your parents. For 24 hours, you were on top of the world.
While you may have eaten your last slice of Bugs Bunny-themed dessert, there’s still plenty of room for birthday celebration at your business. (more…)
When it comes to websites, small is in. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, most people spend more time cruising the Internet on their phones than they do making calls. Companies are responding by creating mobile versions of their websites, making it easy to check your credit card balance, order dinner or book a vacation from your phone.
So, should your business create a mobile site? If so, what should the site include and, more importantly, how much will it cost? Read on for our crash course on all things mobile. (more…)
When we create a new website for a client, one of the first questions we ask is whether the company wants a content management system (CMS) site or a non-CMS (also called a traditional HTML) site. The right choice depends on a number of factors, including the client’s budget and how much control the company needs over the site once it’s completed. While a growing number of our clients are requesting CMS sites, some still prefer to go the traditional route.
Not sure what the difference is? You’re in the right place. We’ve put together a primer on the basics of CMS and non-CMS sites to help you find the right fit for your company. (more…)