Category Archives: Marketing

Nine elements for a smart home page design

Elements of good Web designI read a comment recently: “People don’t look at websites, they use websites.” As a web designer, I often find myself very concerned with the overall visual appearance of a website: Is it clean enough? Do the fonts look nice? Is it attractive?

While these things are important, I often have to remind myself that this quote is absolutely correct. Websites are not (usually) pieces of art to be admired; websites exist primarily to connect to users or visitors with a product, service or some kind of information they’re interested in acquiring. The most important thing a website should do is Continue reading

Pinterest introduces Place Pins

Pinterest_Place_pin_sandpoint

Many businesses in our hometown of Sandpoint – as in other vacation destinations – depend on travelers. This week brought some exciting news particularly for lodging, restaurant and retail businesses that cater to tourists: Pinterest introduced Place Pins to make its website more useful for travel.

Now users can create better pinboards for trip planning and highlight hotspots in their particular neighborhood, which they can also share on other social networks or via email! Pinterest users can access these map boards from anywhere on their smartphone or tablet, too, which means they can find new places on the go and even get directions. Pin locations include information about retailers and restaurants, their addresses and phone numbers. Continue reading

Reports of print media’s death (sort of) exaggerated

w14coversWe’re winding up our biggest publishing season of the year, having just finished the autumn production of the three magazines we publish: Schweitzer Magazine, released in October; Sandpoint Magazine on Nov. 1; and, just now shipped to the printer, Flyfisher magazine.

We’re happy with the final products in all three cases, and the feedback on each so far has been excellent. That is our goal, of course: to produce compelling publications people want to read. If we succeed with that, then we deliver premium exposure for our advertisers.

But marketers who know how digital media have overtaken the print media should ask: Are magazines and newspapers still a smart place to advertise? Continue reading

Social media: Are you doing it wrong?

WrongWay_sxc.hu_795594_46981410Your goal with social media shouldn’t be to simply “Get 250 new likes on Facebook” or “Get 700 new followers on Pinterest.” But rather, your goal should always be “Increase my visibility and sell more products/services.” Important questions to ask yourself: What are you going to do with all of the people who liked your page on Facebook? What is the real goal of maintaining my social media presence?

You can spend months posting cute cat photos on your Facebook wall and running ads to reach your goal of 500 likes and then ask yourself: was it actually worth all this time and effort? Continue reading

Social media roaring ahead in 2013

Here’s a 4-minute long update on social media trends and statistics from Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, and Hult International Business School. A few key takeaways:

  • Social media has become the No. 1 activity on the web
  • 92% of children under age of 2 have a “digital shadow”
  • 54% of people on Twitter recommend products in their tweets
  • 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations; only 14% trust advertisements
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business

Is your business on social media? Do you know what people are saying online about your brand? One thing for sure: Whether or not YOU are  engaged, YOUR CUSTOMERS almost certainly are.

P.S. Guess how I found this video today? Via Twitter!

A little backstory on ‘Eats & Drinks’

Eats-DrinksThe new Summer 2013 Eats & Drinks Pocket Guide is out and in distribution around town. This is a product we developed about six years ago in response to a need by both visitors to town looking for good places to eat, and the restaurants who want to connect to those hungry folks.

It’s our attempt to give restaurants a way to leverage their advertising dollars by providing multi-platform but targeted marketing vehicles. (It doesn’t hurt that we all here enjoy the active and rich culinary scene Sandpoint’s terrific restaurateurs produce for our town.) Interestingly though, the Pocket Guide arose not because restaurants were asking us for it but rather as a direct response to the local hotels where we distribute Sandpoint Magazine, after several told us Continue reading

How Instagram is Killing Vine

A few weeks ago at a press event at Facebook’s headquarters, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced a new feature called “Video On Instagram.” It allows users to create 15-second videos on their smart phones, edit using 13 new filters, and share the results on different social networks. It’s part of a new trend among marketers to use “micro” video clips of only a few seconds, and is effectively the Instagram response to Twitter’s new Vine micro-video appraising the question as to which service is superior? Continue reading

Google Launches Local Search Results Carousel

By Katie Kosaya


Google users and the local businesses in the US are already noticing the new Carousel design for the Google local search results. The Carousel makes online browsing a more visual experience, it works especially well with the local results for restaurants, hotels, and points of interest. A typical search to see this new design would be something like “Sandpoint Idaho restaurants” as you can see on the image above. Google will put the Carousel feature at the top of the page, including a logo or photo, pricing and cuisine. A click on these restaurants will bring up Continue reading

Are those QR codes effective, or not?

QR Code

Go ahead, scan. We bet you’ll skip it.

QR codes, those scrambled-egg bar codes that appear on advertisements or packaging for smart phone users to scan and see a web page, are getting the heave-ho by many marketers.

As they take up valuable real estate in an ad (and are pretty ugly to boot) it’s good to ask: Are QR codes actually effective?

The latest Comscore stats say Continue reading

5 Steps to Get Started with Social Media

by Katie Kosaya


Social media for small businesses is mainly about building brand awareness and encouraging engagement with leads and customers, but it should have a direct impact on your bottom line, too. Social media presence can help you achieve greater brand awareness, better online reputation, improved customer service/experience.

Remember a few rules: 1) Social media is not “free” because to make it effective you (or someone you hire) must devote time. 2) It won’t bring you immediate results, but like all marketing it will make returns over time. 3) Social media marketing efforts are inadequate in isolation. It can’t make up for a bad product or service.

Ready to get started? Here’s our 5 steps to get started with social media. Continue reading