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Danipa Joins Google Apps Authorized Reseller Program

KITCHENER, ON, Jan. 6, 2014 – Danipa Business Systems Inc. today announced it has become a Google Apps for Business Authorized Reseller.

“The Google Apps Reseller program will help us enhance the value of Google Apps for businesses in Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas,” said Patrick Aboagye, President & CEO of Danipa. “Google Apps for Business offers a broad set of powerful APIs that enable us to deliver innovative cloud-based solutions for our customers at reduced IT cost.”

Google Apps brings simple, powerful communication and collaboration tools to organizations of any size – all hosted by Google to streamline setup, minimize maintenance, and reduce IT costs.

With Gmail (including Google email security and retention, powered by Google Vault), Google Calendar, and Google Sites, users can stay connected and work together with ease. With Google Docs and Google Drive, which include word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and website creation tools, users can share files and collaborate in real-time, keeping versions organized and available wherever and whenever users work.

The Google Apps Reseller program includes value-added resellers, consultants, managed software providers, and independent software vendors that sell, service and customize Google Apps for Business for their customers. Danipa received training, support and deployment services from Google, as well as access to APIs for integrating Google Apps into their customers’ business operations.

Danipa is able to retain a close relationship with their customers by providing additional service and support. The businesses receiving Google Apps will benefit from the additional attention to their specific needs.

For more information on Danipa’s program please visit www.danipa.com/google-apps-for-business and to learn more about the Google Apps Reseller program, please visit www.google.com/a/partners.

ABOUT DANIPA BUSINESS SYSTEMS INC.

Danipa is a web design, development and Internet marketing company based in Kitchener, Ontario that develops online solutions for businesses worldwide. We have been providing cloud-based solutions for businesses in the Kitchener-Waterloo area for over 7 years and have expertise in web design, development and the setup up of Google Apps, Google Analytics, Google AdWords and Google Webmaster Tools.

Google, Google Apps, Gmail, Google Talk, Google Drive, Google Vault, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Video are trademarks of Google Inc.

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Get noticed with Google AdWords this Holiday Season!

Danipa is excited to be able to offer a new promotion for clients who create a new Google AdWords account prior to December 31, 2013.

Now when you spend $100 you get $300 in free advertising! This offer is perfect for those who want to ramp up their Holiday Marketing!

Here’s how it works:

For a limited time period, Danipa is offering a $300 promotional coupon; when you spend $100 within 14 days of creating your first AdWords account:

  • Signup and request $300 promotional AdWords coupon!
  • We will notify you after reviewing your application if you qualify.
  • Apply the promotional coupon to your AdWords account.
  • Your account would be credited with $300 if you spend $100 within 30 days of your first AdWords campaign.

Don’t have time to create a new account? Danipa can set up and monitor your account for the first month for only $100!

AdWords is a great way to reach thousands of potential customers, at exactly the right moment, when they are actively searching for your type of business!

AdWords advertising will benefit your business because of the following reasons:

  • Create more than one ad for multiple targeting.
  • You can create more than one ad within a campaign for multiple targeting. This allows you to see better performing ads over a time period and optimize non-performing ones.
  • Advertise globally — or locally.
  • Your AdWords campaign can be setup so that your ads appear to people just in your town or Province, or all around the country or even the entire world.
  • Get targeted traffic.
  • Your ads appear next to search results when a user searches for words of your choice.
  • If you are a florist in Kitchener you can choose to show an ad next to the search “Kitchener flower delivery”.
  • Pay only for clicks.
  • You pay only when someone shows interest in you by clicking on your ad.
  • Control your costs.
  • You decide how much to pay per click, and determine your budget. You can set your daily ad budget and change it whenever you want.
  • Enjoy Powerful reporting
  • AdWords lets you know your results at all times. The detailed reports can tell you what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can improve your campaign.

Watch this informative video for more details!

New Website for New Hamburg Photographer Suzanne Leakey

It was a pleasure to work with Suzanne Leakey to create a new website that serves as a showcase for her amazing Portfolio of Family Photography, Model Photography, and Commercial Photography. Suzanne needed a website that showed off how amazing her images were and we are very happy with how the website turned out! The home page is very simple on purpose, so that the user is gets to experience her work.

Home Page of suzanneleakey.com

Suzanne works with clients from throughout South Western Ontario, including Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford and more! Visit Suzanne’s website and check out her work today!

New Website for the Criminal Lawyers at 30 Queen Street

At Danipa, we are always excited to work with people when they are creating a brand new website! For the Criminal Lawyers at 30 Queen Street in Kitchener, Ontario, we developed an online solution that gives them the opportunity to highlight lawyers and answer questions via the new blog. For this project we created a new logo, new website and integrated a WP blog theme.

1. Home Page features a scrolling screen showcasing the lawyers

Criminal Lawyers Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

2. Profile Page that highlights the Biography of each Criminal Lawyer and includes a custom contact form and Google Map integration for each profile.

Profile Page_Criminal Defence Attorney Terry Mackean

 

 

3. Services Page features a drop down feature that showcases the types of criminal charges that they can assist clients with.

Criminal Lawyers Services

 

Please feel free to visit the website directly at www.30queenlaw.com.

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Best Tips for Choosing a Domain Name for your Business

We often get clients who are in the initial stages of starting a business or who are starting a new marketing campaign and realize that they need help choosing an appropriate domain name. Several years ago we went over the different options available for choosing a domain for your business in this blog post, it is one of our most popular blog posts and since it has been quite awhile since our last post on domains, we are updating the content for 2013!

We always stress the importance of choosing a domain name that is both simple and easy to remember and that is also in line with what you are going to be using the website for. A good domain name will be an important part of your marketing strategy if integrated properly. Listed below are some of the most important tips for choosing a domain name that will be the perfect match for your company.

Brainstorm your keywords
Brainstorm Keywords

If using your company name is not the preferred option and you are looking for something different, take the time to sit down and brainstorm about 5-6 keywords or phrases that describe the business that you do.

Once you are happy with your keywords, visit a domain registration site (Like www.danipa.com/domains) and begin the search for available domains.

Prepare to be disappointed! You might think that your name is unique but chances are that someone has already thought of it and purchased the domain name.  Don’t give up and mix and match using your keywords, eventually you will find an available name!

To avoid competitors purchasing similar domains it is also advisable to purchase domains in different extensions (e.g .com, .ca, .org, .net).

Keep it Simple

You want your customers to easily associate your domain name with your business or brand. If a domain requires a lot of attention to type correctly then you lose part of its marketing value almost immediately! Avoid Hyphens and numbers as they make it hard to verbally promote your website. This is important if you advertise through radio or over the phone. You do not want your customers to be unable to find your website simply because they have spelled it incorrectly.

Double Check

Once you have found the perfect domain name, take some time to check if it is available in social media accounts. If your name is already in use on Twitter, Facebook or other social media accounts than your brand recognition across channels will diminish. You should also take the time to see if there is a trademark or copyright on the name. Be very careful when registering names that have a copyright on them, or that are very similar to a trademarked name. You can be setting yourself up for a hassle if the licensee decides that you have infringed upon their trademark.

Pro Tips

1. Keep it simple and easy to remember
2. Avoid Hyphen’s, dashes and numbers
3. Use your company or brand name if possible
4. Avoid Slang terms – Not everyone understands what you mean!
5. Check if social media accounts are available to match the name
6. Register your name for more than one year
7. Choose automatic renewal – Never forget to renew!
8. Keep it short – Long names are easy to mistype!

In short, it is important to take the time to choose a domain name that will satisfy your needs for years to come. By taking the time to research available names you can be confident that your small investment will pay off in the long term in marketing and branding!

Get started with our easy to use domain name registration system. Buy your domain name today!

E-Coupons and How They Can Boost your Business’s Success

You’ve probably heard of “recession-proof” businesses- those that thrive, or at least don’t dive, when the economy tanks out on us. Liquor sales (no shock there) is one of those industries, along with the less crucial ones like health care, production and distribution of food staples, funerary services etc. However, there’s one facet of the market that’s not only safe from the economy’s occasional swan dives, it actually thrives- coupons and couponing. So if there’s a silver lining to be found bordering the dark cloud of recession, it’s that right now is a great time to attract customers with coupons.

Modern Couponing and How to Use It

This being the aforementioned age of everything digital, the frontiers of couponing (soon to be a major, very dull, motion picture) are being defined on the internet. The net is even redefining the concept of coupons. E-mail distribution, printable coupons from a website, coupons with codes that can only be scanned via apps, click-able banners, online-only coupons, social networking and share-able offers, etc.

Canadian_Money_HandThe biggest e-players, though, are the “social coupon” sites like Wrazz, Gizmodo, Goldstar, Living Social, and their reigning godfather- Groupon. It’s no secret that they’re changing the economic landscape, with customers numbering in the tens (probably hundreds) of millions, collectively spending billions. Perhaps more appealing, marketing researchers found that social coupon sites were most popular with young, educated, above average income-earning women- a very lucrative market. As a member of that demographic, except for the income thing, I can certainly attest to my own use of them.

As such, consider using one of these services. If you feel like your business isn’t the kind of undertaking that would profit from a social coupon outlet, think outside the box. Groupons have been offered for- plastic surgery and circumcision; a professional, $100 tucking-you-into-bed service; Jeffrey Dahmer’s neighborhood tours, etc. Those sites, Groupon in particular, have established a reputation for odd and non-traditional sorts of coupon offers- so think it over.

What Your Coupon Should Look and Work

The popularity of e-coupons means that there are a lot of them out there. A very deep observation, I know. That means they work but it also means that the coupon-o-sphere is packed. And that means- your coupon has to stand out. You want it eye-catching but not distracting and informative but not cluttered. Including a good photo or illustration is almost never a bad idea for livening up your coupon.


CouponAs for the clutter- make your offer clear and bold with a specifically-defined benefit- “Get —– 20% Off!” “Buy Two —– Get One Free!”, or whatever that offer is. Don’t be afraid of white space. People are far more likely to look at an internalize a little text in a decent amount of space than they are a lot of text in less space. Once your coupon is clear, concise and catchy, define its boundaries. Always be clear and absolute about the terms: say exactly when the coupon expires (and if it’s an actual coupon for a good deal, it should expire); clarify that the coupon is limited to however many people at once; only —— customer(s) per coupon; “Deal does not include alcoholic beverages”, and the like.

Create Loyalty and Then Reward It

If it’s possible for you to do so- track your coupons and those who use it. Have customers who take advantage of your coupon give you their information for future deals. If you put your deal up on a number of sites and/or media, track where those coupons that come in for redemption were found. And obviously, focus more heavily on those sources for future campaigns. Coupons are meant to draw business but should be designed to keep it, too.

For the all-important customer-retention, consider coupons that are just available to current, loyal customers. Have coupons that are only redeemable from your Facebook page and/or send offers to your customers by e-mail or snail mail. Send out a note to people that you will be opening your doors an hour early for loyal, appreciate patrons, with coffee and muffins and everything there is 20% for that hour, etc.

Drawbacks and Concerns

QueueThis may not sound like a drawback, but beware the possibility that your coupon campaign draws too many customers. It’s not hard to find example on the web of a small business that offers some ambitious deal, gets 500-1000 takers and finds themselves overwhelmed by customer-demand they can’t meet- which is going to lose business long term. Not to mention the obvious drawback of offering a product or service for less money- you’re getting less money from people who use that coupon.

Be absolutely sure your bottom line can handle the hit it’s going to take if dozens, hundreds or thousands of customers take you up on your offer.

Do the research and do the math before you offer a coupon. And if an e-coupon campaign seems like the best way to go, begin with a very conservative run. Remember that not only will you very possibly be dealing with a great number of new customers, they’re going to be paying less for your product or service and your social coupon partner is going to take a bite out of that already-diminished profit. If you have clear-eyed exectations, however, an e-coupon campaign can positively change the landscape of your business, as it has for so many others.

About the Author:

Annie Harrington is a small business owner and freelance writer. In her free time she enjoys writing about small business, business in general, couponing and anything else she finds interesting.

Don’t get lost in space!

White SpaceWhite space, so named because of its common use in graphic design (which usually uses white paper), is essential in creating a design aesthetic that is clear, concise, and appealing to the viewer. But make no mistake about it—white space is not to be confused with blank space at all. In fact, white space isn’t even always white. It is, however, always empty, always clean, always in demand.

White space works to draw attention to the more complex elements on the page that it’s meant to contrast. The world of advertising has fully embraced the trend—we’re seeing it in print advertising, television commercials, and individual business correspondence. It’s appearing on banners, business cards, and is often used in custom poster printing, including advertising jewelry, restaurants, and sporting equipment.

This strategy of simplicity works for a variety of reasons. First, it allows a consumer the opportunity to immediately digest the product or text being presented to them. Often, especially in the case of television, the product name is not immediately presented to the audience. Instead, a viewer is faced with a simple product and allowed time to contemplate its complexities. I’m thinking specifically about an ad for “Wonderful Pistachios” that aired during the 2013 Super Bowl, in which singer Psy sings a version of “Gangnam Style” tailored to the pistachio. The commercial is set against a white background and features humans dressed as nuts in black leggings and tan and neon green shells. Psy’s outfit mirrors theirs, but includes a suit jacket instead of a shell. It isn’t until the end that the viewer is even presented with the product’s official packaging—and yet, we know.

We know because good companies assist the consumer in brand recognition. Often, this happens by way of strategic use of white space. In the mid 90’s, Hallmark launched a campaign designed to get people to flip over a greeting card to identify the brand. Consumers found a nearly centered black and white Hallmark logo surrounded by white space. The design was replicated in print advertisements and eventually requested as an ad design by magazines. The simplicity spoke to consumers and advertisers alike.

White space is so crucial because it forms a lasting impression in the mind of the viewer. In their simplicity, ads that utilize white space are more memorable to viewers.  Ultimately, these individuals are presented with less material but leave a scenario with more information. Their attention has been focused on the most important details of a product—and the sleek, modern way in which they’ve been presented leaves a lasting impression.

Finally, the abundant use of white space in artwork creates a look that establishes an immediate sense of mood in an advertisement while minimizing printing costs. And, the more simplistic the design, the more timeless it becomes. Think about something as simple as a personalized birthday banner—given the use of white space, you can communicate a simple message in a meaningful and memorable way, a birthday banner that wishes Grandma a happy 70th and Junior a happy 5th.. And best of all? Everyone will keep their focus on Grandma, not your cluttered design.

Put your new found knowledge to the test. Go here and see if you can tell what makes it or breaks it for these designs.

About the Author:

Annie Harrington is a small business owner and freelance writer. In her free time she enjoys writing helpful articles so that other small business owners can positively impact their brand image. When she’s not writing she is either taking photos or designing custom banners with Vistaprint.

Common Graphic Design Mistakes

Is your site easy on the eyes? Is your logo a no-go? Maybe it’s time to find a graphic designer to help put things right. They’re all over the web and the classifieds, offering styles for every taste and services to fit every wallet.

Freebies, advice, templates, and webhosting sites abound. You took all those art classes back in the day. And now you feel inspired by the DIY genie to grace your website with a logo of your own making. After all, who knows you better than you do? You are your brand.

What have you got to lose—business, image, and professional identity?

Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pencils_hb.jpgOkay, brave one. Graphic design is not for the faint of heart. Even the pros fall prey to the pitfalls of overconfidence and bad layout. Go ahead and take your best shot. Just remember one thing when grappling with graphic design conundrums: give us a little KISS—keep it simple, stupid.

Here’s a list of common graphic design mistakes:

  • A hodgepodge of fonts—too many fonts spoil the message. Give us a page that’s easy to read. Pick a font and marry it. For headlines, use italics or bold face and larger type size. Research fonts common to your business sector and don’t venture too far off the grid.
  • Not enough white space on the page. Enough said.
  • Font size too small—unless your target demographic is 25 years old or younger, give a creative shout out to the visually challenged. That’s around 40% of people over 30. If they can’t read your message, they won’t linger long enough to find out what you’re selling.
  • Dark background, light font—hard to read. Black pages with yellow type aggravate eyestrain. Purple background with pink type—really?
  • So much info, so little space—use headlines and bullet points to break it up. Write your memoir on your laptop, not on your website. What do you want us to buy—your credentials, product, or service? We don’t need your family history for that.
  • A kaleidoscope of colors—an assault to the senses. Choose brand colors that suit your business or the type of service you offer. This is called brand synergy. Color is a power tool in the right hands. Look for guides on the psychological effects of different colors.
  • Fuzzy messaging—what do you want to say? Be clear. Have a goal and stick to it. Strong copy that’s meant to sell will take us where you want us to go, like the shopping cart. Check out a direct response copywriting course.
  • Don’t get too cute with colors and type unless your target audience is toddlers and their moms. Fancy fonts, curly-cues, and hearts do not project a professional message.
  • Logo doesn’t translate to grayscale: you want your logo to look good in color and in black and white. What if someone wants to print a page from your site, and your logo turns to mush? You may need help from a pro.
  • Low quality photos & images—now’s the time to invest in visuals that will translate into various media without compromising their quality. Get the best photos in the highest resolution you can afford.
  • Organic rather than homogenous—use the same logo design and color scheme when planning your site, business cards, envelopes, stationery, plates, napkins, and coffee mugs. Think: what would Martha Stewart do?
  • Wonky Line Spacing—can lead to unintended consequences, occasionally an innocent word turns lewd and obscene because the letters are too close, or the type goes askew. If it’s your logo or ad, it’s not even funny.
  • Chaotic mix of graphics, drawings, and photos on one page—we can’t get away from your site fast enough.  It’s not art. It’s clutter.
  • Too may photos on one page—looks like you threw a stack of photos on the coffee table and forgot to put them back in the box. Don’t be lazy.
  • You let your graphic designer or webmaster call the shots? A recipe for disaster. Collaborate, don’t delegate. It’s your business identity, your bottom line that hangs in the balance, which brings to mind:
  • Avoid clichés. You have a unique product or service to offer the world—express it through graphic design that intrigues, excites, and energizes. Look for a fresh take, not the same old, same old. Bon mots from Tom Peters: “Remember my mantra… distinct or extinct.”

Keeping these common mistakes in mind, you may want to pay special attention to the planning stages of your brand. If you find yourself falling into one of these patterns, it might be time to bring in the big guns, and hire a professional who will work with you to get the perfect design. After all, what’s more important than your brand, and how people receive it?

About the Author:

Angie Picardo is a staff writer for NerdWallet. Her mission is to help consumers stay financially savvy, and save some money with the best online savings account.

5 Reasons to use Socia Media for Business Marketing

As a business owner or manager, I know that using social media to market your brand can feel weary. Although confusing and overwhelming at times, social media can be a very powerful tool for your business. If you are on the fence about bringing your business to social media, these 5 benefits might just convince you to join.

Cost

In the past, marketing was a huge part of a business’s budget. Marketing is still a huge part of business, but the form has shifted. Social media is a great way to market your business, and it’s free! It levels the playing field between businesses and opens everyone up to a large audience. Social media allows you to invest more time than money into your marketing campaign.

Customer Relationship

Social media allows you to create relationships with customers by directly interacting with them. Customers will be encouraged to respond to posts, and keeping the conversation about your business going through different social media feeds will keep them aware of it. Not only do your customers most likely use social media actively every day, they also take it with them everywhere via smartphone. In addition to this, customers can share information from your page onto their page. This is the new form of recommendations, customers share what businesses they like with their friends on social media, which encourages their friends to give your business a try as well.

Keep up on Competitors

Using social media for your business will allow you browse through other competitors pages. You can see what customers are saying to them, products, and other information that might not be readily available to you by visiting their store or website. Especially locally, this kind of information allows you to be even more competitive with pricing and quality because you can directly address the concerns your competitor’s customers have.

Email Marketing

You no longer need to wait for customers to sign up for an email list in order for you to share newsletters, discounts, or other information with them. You can now share this information with your whole audience, as well as new customers who might be browsing the page for information. Email doesn’t have to go out the window all the way you can use social media and attract customers with a “Join Mailing List” button making it even easier for them to join and stay in the know.

Build your Brand

 

Social media allows you to really grow and confirm your brand. Businesses now have voices, giving you the ability to accurately build the image you want for your company. Respond to local events, news, and reviews in a tactful, timely manner. Your image and brand can really show itself on social media, and give customers an idea of the experience they will have using your business. Social media can help give you that boost to make your brand memorable to customers.

Social MediaIf you want a cheap, fast, accessible way to reach your business’s audience and customer base turn to social media. Just remember to keep your pages positive and respond to customers tactfully, since these profiles become the face of your business. Good luck and have fun!

 

 

About the Author

Annie Harrington is a small business owner and freelance writer. In her free time she enjoys writing about ways other business owners can positively impact their brand image with custom poster printing and other printed material.

How to Bridge the Gap between Print and Digital Advertising

 

The year is 2013 and the modern medium for all kinds of communication and advertising has shifted from the physical to digital.  As a result it’s easy for business owners to assume that printed materials like personalized banners and custom posters have lost all their value, but that’s not necessarily the case. Printed advertising still impacts customers and does so in a way that digital advertising cannot.  Because printed advertising is tangible it makes a physical difference in the lives of those who see and encounter it. For business owners the ultimate advertising strategy is to bridge the print and digital divide, and here’s how.

Define an Advertising Goal

Before you can create an effective advertisement you need to have a clear advertising goal. In other words, what do you want people to do once they see your ad? if you’re interested in making more sales then sales are your goal. If you’re interested in having more people join your mailing list then getting people to sign up for the list is your goal. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, but you have to have one before you can do anything else!

Pave the Way

Once you have a goal set you can better direct customers so they can reach the goal. A good approach is clear instruction and incentives. Make it easy to reach the goal and provide a clear reward for doing so. Simply saying “Buy This” or “Sign up for this List” won’t work. People already own enough things and more than likely don’t want or need another email cluttering up their inbox. If you can give a good answer to the question “what’s in it for me?” chances are good you’ll get a great response from your advertising campaign.

Eye Catching Advertisements

Whether you’re designing digital or in print ads they must be eye catching. Utilize bright colours, bold fonts and simple, but interesting logos to get the bang for your buck. If you’re going to be using a lot of colours make sure they’re consistent across the board. You want your customers to relate each of your ads to the other every time they see it. This way you can make various ads that still positively impact the campaign.

Put the Above Advice into Action 

 

 

Part of directing customers and making it easy for them to reach your goal is by utilizing what they already have with them.

Bar Code Sign Today smart phones are everywhere and they’re all able to read QR codes. If you don’t know what a QR code is, it’s best explained like this. QR codes are a square, graphical barcode people can scan with their cell phone. Once scanned the phone is directed to do something (like visit a website). Using QR codes is a great way to make it easy for customers to view your ad and reach the goal. For added incentive attach discounts or bonuses to the QR codes.

Conclusion

Although digital is quickly taking over, print is here to stay. For the time being print advertising is still an important part of any advertising campaign. Without it you’ll miss a large segment of the market and miss out on the extra business. However, it’s important to use things (like QR codes) to bridge the gap from the physical, to the digital.

Guest Post Author Annie Harrington

Annie Harrington is a small business owner, writer, and amateur photographer. In her free time she enjoys writing about ways other business owners can positively impact their brand image and increase sales.

March Madness Business Card Design Sale

Spring is just around the corner and to celebrate we are launching a HUGE sale!

Until March 29th, purchase our Business Card Design Package for $119 and you get 500 Business Cards FREE!

Our Business Card Design Package includes the creation of 2 Unique design concepts, up to three rounds of revisions and all of your artwork is provided in a print ready format!

Often the first promotional material that potential customers will see, a well designed Business card can help you leave an impression when you it’s important. Put a Spring in your step and start networking your way to success with professionally designed Business Cards!

Business Card Design Special

For a limited time only, receive 500 Business Cards FREE! Need more than 500? Not a problem! Take advantage of our add on promotion and order 500 additional cards for only $25!
This promotion can also be used when purchasing our Stationery Design combo package.

Want to see some of our work? Check out our Graphic Design Portfolio on Pinterest!

Ready to get started? Visit our Graphic Design Page to purchase your Business Card Design package today! You can also contact us by phone or email with any questions!

*Delivery is included for clients in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and the GTA. Clients outside of this area may incur a delivery charge.

**Promotion runs until 5pm on March 29th, 2013

Improve Your Business Presence with Vinyl Banners and Custom Posters

There are so many ways a business can advertise these days it’s almost difficult to keep track of. While the majority of the new methods are online, there are still some traditional methods that work. One of these traditional methods is vinyl banners or custom posters.

Traditional SignsIt used to be that vinyl banners for business advertising looked cheap. Most applications of the vinyl banner were a black or white background with big, bold, and blocky letters. These signs usual indicated things like “GRAND OPENING”, “SALE”, or “GOING OUT OF BUSINESS”. Not only were the vinyl banners of the past simple, they were also tacky looking. But times have changed. With the advent of modern digital printing the vinyl banner has received a fresh breath of life and a second chance to make an impact.

The Perks and Uses of Vinyl Banners and Posters

These inexpensive, durable banners not only cost less than the typical permanent sign they’re also highly mobile and easy to transport. Consider how difficult it would be for the owner of a food truck to move between locations with a large, bulky sign made from metal or fragile plastic and you’ll quickly realize the value of the vinyl sign. Not only are these signs easy to move from place to place, they’re also able to be printed digitally. This feature allows business owners, or individuals, to include full color photographs and other eye catching artwork that was never possible before.

Convention and Conference Banners – Ever been to a crowded conference and wish you had a map? Well placed vinyl banners can help ease confusion and direct convention attendees to the right areas of the convention center. Having banners placed strategically around to announce meeting times, restroom locations, and other niceties is like having a personal guide available 24/7. They are also useful to explain prices and other details at sales tables which frees up sales


Street Advertising – One of the best ways to monetize a business banner is through street advertising. Although many would like to, a lot of small business don’t have the money to invest in permanent metal signs. This is where the vinyl banner has its strength. Because they only cost a couple of dollars to make these signs can be produced on a weekly basis to advertise sales and other specials the business is running. If you’re planning to start a business or open a new location a “NOW OPEN” or “COMING SOON” sign is a must have! But don’t just use big bold lettering and a white background. Include your full color logo and a website address as well.people to focus on selling, rather than answering redundant questions. Other uses include stage or podium backdrops, displaying a speaker or conference theme, or the ever popular company logo and motto.

Tabletop BannersTrade Shows – Any company or person attending a trade show as a vendor needs to have signage! It is an absolute must. Without adequate signage you run the risk of not being found by those who are interested in what you or your business has to offer. This type of banner is well-suited for the trade show environment because they are easy to transport (just roll it up and ship it), they’re durable and can last for many years to come. Improve your tradeshow presence with multiple posters that explain the products you’re offering. Full color printing allows for no detail to go unseen.

Things to Consider when Ordering

If the banners will be indoors you don’t need to worry too much about upgrading to an outdoor safe vinyl. However, if you plan to use them both indoor and outdoor, or think they may be used outdoors at some point, you’ll want to invest the little extra it costs to get outdoor safe vinyl. Generally speaking it’s a little thicker and withstands the elements, especially the wind, a lot better.

Always order solvent-based inks! Some printers use dye-based or pigment-based inks by default which is a less scratch and UV-resistant ink than their solvent-based counterpart. These inks will fade quickly when exposed to bright light like the sun. If you plan to keep your banners or posters in service for more than a few days than UV-resistant inks are highly recommended.

Lastly, if you need help creating an eye catching poster many sites allow you to design posters online. If you need a more customized banner, consult a local design firm and order the banner yourself.

About the Author:

Annie Harrington is a small business owner and freelance writer. In her free time she enjoys writing about ways business owners can positively impact their brand image with unique printed material like custom decals.

Using Off-Line and Online Tools to Promote Your Business

As the Internet continues to evolve, search engine companies, including Google, focus their attention on delivering the best search results to the online user. Through various techniques, Google and its competitors attempt to push popular and legitimate businesses that meet the search query to the top ranks of their results. For a company to achieve a high ranking in a search query, it must build a strong brand online and off-line to enhance favorable SEO signals.

Online and off-line website promotion must include branding signals designed specifically for search engine optimization. These signals might include a physical & virtual business location, accreditation’s, public relations, building a loyal customer base, developing a strong business reputation, providing visual content, developing other business deliverables, generating referral leads, and offering expertise.

Online/Off-Line Business Location

If your business includes an online website or physical location, it is important to push your company brand. Promoting a physical location for your business requires an effective company listing on various sites including Google Maps, Foursquare, Yelp and others. The more ways online users can find your physical location using the Internet, including address and telephone verification, the more traffic you will drive to your business. If you have a physical location, your website should never appear it as a generic site that is void of any actual office or way to contact/visit.

A Dedicated Staff

TeamIf your physical or internet business is in need of hiring new staff, consider posting all of your available jobs online. Search engines use this information to support the legitimacy of your business. Job listings can be posted on a variety of sites including Career Builder, Simply Hired, Indeed, and others. Additionally, you and your staff can list your company in the work experience portion of many sites including Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Business Accreditation’s

Acquiring business accreditation’s, including joining trade associations and receiving awards, will help your business develop trust in the marketplace. With your business profile located on websites and in online directories will help build confidence in your customers, clients, suppliers and associates. When accreditation’s are achieved in your business, make sure the information about your company is posted in trade association directories and other organizations including the Better Business Bureau.

Public Relations

Magazines, newspapers and online blogs work well as major channels for spreading positive information about your company. Write and post quality press releases on all of your new products and services. Publicly announce all your nominations for business awards, and discuss all the recent events within your organization, including the promotional advancements of employees and management. Publicly celebrate your business milestones including the company anniversaries, moving to new locations and any other pertinent news. If your business expands, it is important to post a press release detailing the expansion.

Solid Customer Base

Building a solid, loyal customer base is essential to the success of your company. At your physical location, you can easily create promotions to entice and excite your customer base concerning your offered services or the sales of your products. You can promote online customer loyalty in a variety of ways including through internet sales, email newsletter subscriptions with e-coupons and other exciting promotions. To continually develop a loyal base, connect to social media sites and become active in providing and accepting Facebook “Likes” and Twitter “Follows”.

Strong Business Reputation

ExpertiseAs an online or off-line company owner, it is imperative to build a strong business reputation. At your physical location, you can use the services of the Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau to ensure you have positive records that concern your local business. Online, you can rely on effective services like solid positive reviews on Google Maps, Amazon.com, and ripoffreport.com.

Visual Content

You can promote your business on the internet using promotional or instructional videos that help your clients or customers find answers to the questions they have about the services or products you provide. YouTube and Vimeo offer free ways to gain instant visibility to promote your business brand online.

Business Deliverables

Business DeliverablesAn additional way to make your presence known on the internet is to develop quality online brochures or post attractive company photos. Additionally, you can create professional looking presentations that highlight and promote your products and services.

Referral Leads

Develop and design your own blog using a WordPress blogging site using a Custom WordPress themes to post information, questions or answers on your own website, or on another weblog. Make sure that every time you leave any information at a visiting blog, you provide a link back to your website. This will ensure additional traffic on your site.

Expertise

ExpertiseActively participating in online forum discussions on topics that are relevant to your company website is an free and easy way to help build your brand. Sharing your knowledge of the industry with others will have them coming to you for answers in the future. This will build a strong loyal base and help promote the sales and services you provide.

About The Author
Olga Ionel is a creative writer at ThemeFuse.com – a top provider of WordPress themes. She is passionate about studying online marketing industry and sharing informative tips.

Top Three Tips To Get Your New Website Noticed

Launching your new website is an exciting time for business owners.  You finally have a website that will showcase your services and products to the world and with those businesses in mind, we have put together the three top tips that lead to long term future success.

Promote Your New Site EVERYWHERE!

Just because you have a new site does not mean that your clients, new customers or even search engines will know about it.  You need to promote your site across all mediums. Take some time to craft a well written press release,  announcement or email that can be sent to your email contacts, media accounts and customer lists.  Highlight the new features and tell them what the new website will do for them and why you are so excited about it.

Your website should also be featured here:

Business Cards
Brochures / Flyers
Your Email Signature
Letterhead
Invoices
Social Media Accounts – Link to your new website with targeted Posts

Content

Keeping your content fresh and up-to-date is very important.  Visitors will return to your site if they know that your content is relevant and of good use. Every new page that you create is another opportunity for your website to be found.  Carefully consider what content you are creating and make sure that you include Keywords that your customers would search for on Google.  By writing original content that is relevant, interesting and of use to readers you increase the chance that your article will be shared and linked.

Increasing your ranking takes time and perseverance.  All of the effort that you put into marketing and maintaining your new site will pay off in the long term with increased traffic and potential sales.  If you do not have the time to promote your website, or to create new content consider hiring a professional to manage your website.

BackLinks

Boosting the visibility of your website is all about building links that go to your site.  Search engines follow links to navigate around the Internet and by taking the time to link your site to other sites, you greatly increase the chance that a search engine will find your site naturally.  

Take some time to Google “Online Business Directories” and then enter your business directories on those sites.  If you are a member of a consumer organization like your local Chamber of Commerce or Trade organization, make sure that your website is added to your listing.  If you work with other businesses, make sure that you ask them for a link on their website.  This is especially relevant if your products are being featured on their website or if you cross promote each other.

Danipa offers several packages for SEO and Maintenance services and we would be more than happy to discuss the options.  Just give us a call!

The Importance of Cohesive Design in Print Advertising

In an increasingly digital world it’s easy for anyone, especially businesses, to lose sight of the value of tangible print advertising. Nine times out of ten advertising will be the largest portion of any marketing strategy’s budget. And as such it’s important to maximize the return on investment for every dollar you spend.

One great way to guarantee a good return on investment with print advertising is to create a cohesive message or theme. People are fickle and even the slightest amount of confusion in an advertising campaign could be just enough to cause them to spend their money elsewhere. Today I’d like to share a few ways to create a cohesive print advertising campaign.

Photo credit: toddmadan from morguefile.com

Forms of Print Advertising
Print advertising is any advertisement that is physically printed onto a tangible media, and because of this the field of print advertising is extremely large. A few examples of common print advertisements are mailers and custom banners, as well as newspaper and magazine ads.

Creating Cohesion in Print Advertising
Although the different forms of print advertising are unique in terms of their deployment and target audience, having a similar message, or theme, across the board will help to reduce audience confusion and build a strong brand identity for your business.

In order to produce print advertisements that are cohesive you’ll want to take into consideration the colours, styles, patterns, and logo placement of your ads before deploying any advertising campaign. The colours and styles you use in your advertisements can help tie together different ads regardless of their content.

This means you don’t need to have the same information or images (aside from your logo) on every advertisement, but you will want to use the same colours and styles to make the content look similar across every ad. This builds a unity and helps potential customers begin to recognize your ads. (see picture above)

Rodger Roeser of Justice & Young Advertising and Public Relations in Cincinnati, Ohio, says it takes 17 exposures to an advertisement before it registers to the viewer. For this reason having a cohesive advertising plan is important because it allows multiple ads to work together to achieve the necessary views.

Imagine if you ran an ad in a local newspaper, on a local billboard, and mailed out fliers, each with different colours and styles. Every time a potential customer saw one of your ads they’re registering it differently than they would if you had a cohesive theme. Now if you did the same advertising campaign using like colours and styles people can begin to register them as being similar, and related.

Deploying the Print Advertising
After implementing similar colours and styles into your print advertising campaign it’s time to deploy it. When deploying any print advertising campaign you’ll want to take into consideration how potential customers will see your ads. If you plan to utilize things like mailers or fliers I suggest targeting them to specific postal codes. This will help you in deciding where to place other advertisements such as custom banners or which billboards to rent space on. Place ads where they have the most relevance. For example, an ad promoting noise reducing headphones will be most effective in places that have a lot of noise like subways and busses.

Effects of Successful Cohesion in Print Advertising
A cohesive print advertising plan is a powerful tool for businesses to use. The value of print advertising is not lost in a day and age where digital reigns supreme, but it does require some creativity to remain relevant. A cohesive advertisement campaign will help to build brand identity and keep the products or services your business offers at the forefront of the market and in the minds of potential customers.

About the Author:

Annie Harrington is a small business owner, writer, and amateur photographer. In her free time she enjoys writing about ways other business owners can positively impact their brand image with unique printed material like custom banners and custom poster printing.

New Features unveiled on Danipa’s Website!

Over the last several months we have been working hard to upgrade several key features on our website and we have successfully launched all of the new features!

Check out the new features below:

Portfolio
We’ve completely redesigned our portfolio page to allow for larger screenshots of featured projects and new detail pages for each of the projects. You can click on any of the images to visit the individual detail page to learn more about individual projects!  Each of the featured projects contains a link to the clients site so that you can view it live or visit the Portfolio page here!


Blog

At Danipa we love to blog!  Our blog features useful articles that help you with your Online Business.  We’ve updated our blog menus shown on the right side of your screen, so that users can easily navigate to the articles that they like! Visit the Blog to view it live!


Live Support

We want to be able to support you throughout your entire visit at www.danipa.com! That’s why we’ve added a new “Live Support” option to our website.  Simply click on the live support button to initiate a conversation with a Customer Service rep and we will answer any questions that you have!  Live Support is generally available from 9:00am to 5:00pm EST Monday – Friday.  If we are not online, simply leave a message and we will respond as soon as we return!


Domain Registration, Transfer & Management

Registering a Domain is not new to danipa.com, however, we have updated our design so that you can have a seamless experience throughout the site!  Your entire order process is conducted  on our site and with a high level of encryption, so that your information is kept private and secure. Register your Domain today!


Have questions? Please feel free to contact us directly by clicking on the Live support button or visit our Contact Us Page!

Google ends Free Business Email Services for New Subscribers

On Thursday December 6th, 2012 Google quietly announced the end of its free basic version of email services for Businesses in a Blog post.  Previously, businesses had been able to set up 10 email addresses based on their domain using the online suite of business applications, including Google Drive, e-mail, calendar and storage.
Google has been reducing free accounts since it first started offering accounts with up to 200 emails, they first reduced it to 100 users, then 50 users, and then finally reduced to 10 users in April of 2011.

New Google business accounts will now be charged $50 per user. However, existing users will see NO CHANGE.  The new “Premium Version” includes 24/7 phone support, 25 GB inbox (Which is huge), and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Reports have shown that over 5 Million businesses have taken advantage of the free cloud based services and this move to eliminate free services is widely seen as an attempt to capitalize on its popularity with small businesses and increase its bottom line.

What do you think of this move? Did your business take advantage of the free email prior to this change? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kitchener – Waterloo Chamber of Commerce “Business after Five” Networking Event

We were excited to have a booth at the latest Greater KW Chamber of Commerce’s networking event, recently held at Bingeman’s. Patrick Aboagye (CEO) & Danielle Reynolds (VP Sales & Marketing) were on hand to chat about Website Development and other online solutions that Danipa offers!


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See more photo’s from the event on the Chambers Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/GKWCC

 

Visit Danipa at the Chamber’s “Business After Five” event!

If you live or work in Kitchener-Waterloo or surrounding area’s, please take some time on December 5th, 2012 to visit our booth at the Greater Kitchener – Waterloo Chamber of Commerce’s Networking Event!  It’s taking place at Bingeman’s in the Embassy Room.  There should be a lot of good food and networking opportunities!

We look forward to connecting with you there!

 

Social Media Management for your Business

Are you too busy to keep up with your Social Media accounts?  Danipa offers cost efficient social media management programs!  We work with you to develop a monthly outline of projected posts, develop promotions (Facebook Only Contests etc.) and connect with your targeted audience.  We update your page with your latest promotions, events or content that is provided by you.

We make sure that you know what is happening in your accounts by compiling detailed weekly reporting for your reference. Danipa uses several top of the line Brand Monitoring systems to ensure that you are kept up to date on the latest activities within your Social Media Accounts.

  • Minimum of 3 Custom Posts to each Social Media account
  • Daily management of your Social Media Accounts
  • Daily administration of your accounts; deleting spam, forwarding important inquiries to you, respond to comments
  • Respond to comments & inquiries
  • Engaging and communicating with your fan base
  • Monitoring brand chatter
  • Assistance with content creation/distribution with information provided by you via email
  • Recommend strategies for audience growth, implement the strategy!
  • Weekly Detailed Reporting sent via Email in PDF or CSV
Report Details
  • Number of new and total “Likes” or “Followers”
  • Number of new messages (Received & Sent)
  • Number of Brand mentions across channels
  • Number of Unique users who mention your brand
  • Number of “Impressions”
  • Number of Link Clicks, Mentions, Retweets & Shares
  • Detailed Twitter & Facebook follower details
Our plans start at $299/Month.
Contact us today for your personal one on one consultation.

LinkedIn introduces new look for Company Pages

LinkedIn has introduced some changes to their company pages. Using LinkedIn is a great way to connect with other business professionals and to share targeted information to that network.  If you are not using LinkedIn…you should be!

The new look gives you the opportunity to create a better looking corporate brand on LinkedIn, the changes moved the former design away from a text heavy towards a more attractive and visually appealing look.

Banner Image

Similar to Facebook’s recent update, you can now upload a 646px by 220px image to the top part of your page, making the page visually much more appealing.

 

Top 5 Worst Smartphones

More and more products are being introduced to the mobile market and there are still those which did not make the cut! 
Below is a list of 5 worst smartphones that this generation has ever had.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
Yes, it lets you enjoy mobile internet, but you will not want to continue because of the poor resolution that the screen projects! The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play was expected to come out as a phone that could be used primarily for entertainment and gaming.  But because of the times it consumes loading, it does not serve the purpose well.  It also has very poor storage and that means that you cannot have a large collection of games!  Plus, the screen is to small for a person to be really entertained.
Motorola Titanium

The Motorola Titanium is cheap but the price and it shows in the lack of quality features.  You are better off investing in something better than this item.  This phone lets you enjoy mobile internet but the entire resolution of the pages that you view are below standard.  Another downside of the phone is the poor quality camera (3Mp) that has no flash.  You also cannot store much data because of the poor 150 MHz processor.
The ability for Widgets to change size is also not available on this model, a feature seen on almost all other Motorola models.  There are also notes that a person would like to be able to highlight on the home screen but simply cannot do with this phone. For a phone that claims to cater to business people, this is not a satisfactory option.
Kyocera Echo

People had a lot of expectations from this mobile. A lot even spared its physical properties to still objectively rate the unit.However, it turned out to be a flop  the moment it was released in the market. It is still bulky and there were no signs that the company put an effort to make it easy to bring at home.
Also, the entire dual screen had no impact on the problem of multitasking. It does not allow a person to fully utilize the screen and given that it has a lot of things to contribute it offers  a dilemma for  people especially in business.
HP Veer

The HP Veer has a substandard physical characteristic. It is so tiny that you can only maximize limited activities such as sending SMS.  It is not good for people who have poor eyesight because of the types of fonts that are available for viewing. Its display is only 2.6″ and  it does not give you much of a screen even when viewing your social networking accounts.  It is also not powerful when it comes to software. Its operating system is prone to viruses from downloading or uploading files to the Internet as it does not have strong software to prevent these things from happening.
Blackberry Bold 9900
The Blackberry Bold 9900 makes the list primarily due to its high cost and low feature set.  The amount of features included in this phone are just not worth the amount you have to pay.  Other reasons include the lack of  auto-focus for its camera, the short battery life and keyboard with its small keys.



About the Author


Daphne enjoys writing on all things technical for Broadband Expert.  Her daily routine consists of drinking coffee, keeping up on the latest news in technology, as well as blogging and guest posting.

AdWords Changes Policy regarding Sitelinks

Google recently sent out an email to AdWords customers notifying them of a change in policy regarding the use of “sitelinks” in ads. Sitelinks are additional links that show below the ad and are supposed to lead the potential customer to a unique section on your website.  Ads viewed on a mobile device can show up to two additional sitelinks and ads showing on a Desktop can show up to 6 additional links.  Sitelinks are generally used to let potential customers quickly see and visit other popular sections of your website.

Google says that they have noticed an increase in the amount of ads that use that same link for the landing page and are going to enforce the different link for each sitelink rule.

Read below an excerpt from the email that Google sent out to AdWords clients:


WHAT ARE SITELINKS
Sitelinks make your ads more valuable by showing additional direct links to specific web pages that you want to promote. Users get to specific destinations on your web site more quickly. And, on average, you’ll see a higher clickthrough rate for your ads. That makes sitelinks a great way to improve your campaign performance. To see images or learn more about sitelinks, please see this AdWords Help Center article (http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?answer=2375416).

EXISTING SITELINKS POLICY
To ensure that users have a good experience with ad sitelinks, our existing policy requires each sitelink in a campaign to link to a different landing page URL with unique content on the landing page. That means a user can expect a meaningfully different landing page experience for each sitelink.

ENFORCEMENT CHANGE
Recently, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of sitelinks created with the same landing pages or the same content. So in the coming month, we will begin more proactive enforcement of our existing policy. Initially, we’ll focus on new and recently changed sitelinks. As your ads are being served, our systems will verify that your sitelinks meet the policy standards. Sitelinks that don’t meet the standards will be restricted from appearing.

IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE
Having fewer eligible sitelinks could keep your ad from showing in the larger 2-line and 3-line formats, where more eligible sitelinks are required. Remember, larger formats are more visible and typically have higher average clickthrough rates (CTR). And if you don’t have enough eligible sitelinks in your campaign, then your ads may not display sitelinks at all.

FUTURE ENFORCEMENT
We realize that manually checking and fixing duplicates for your existing sitelinks and landing pages might take some time and coordination. So we’re delaying more proactive enforcement with existing sitelinks for a few months. But don’t wait until the last minute. And remember, any sitelink that you add or change will be subject to proactive enforcement right away.

SUGGESTIONS WITH EXISTING SITELINKS
To increase the chances of having more sitelinks shown with your ads, we recommend having 6-10 unique sitelinks in each of your campaigns.

If you already have campaigns with sitelinks, we’d suggest reviewing each campaign to verify that it has 6-10 unique sitelinks. You’d probably want to start with the campaigns that show sitelinks most often. Usually, this would be a campaign with keywords like your business name and its best-known products and services.

Here’s how you can work through this using the AdWords interface.
1. Log into the AdWords interface and click on the “Ad Extensions” tab.
2. Select “Sitelinks Extensions” from the drop down menu.
3. Sort your sitelink extensions by impressions or clicks by clicking on the column header.
4. Click on each sitelink in the top campaign and follow it through to its landing page (there’s no charge for these clicks).
5. Fix any duplicates you find in each campaign by hovering over the extension area and clicking the pencil icon.

QUESTIONS?
For more information about sitelinks policy, please visit the AdWords Help Center (http://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/bin/answer.py?answer=1054210).

You can also contact AdWords support with questions about this policy change or anything else related to AdWords (http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?answer=8206).

2012 Ghanaian – Canadian Achievement Awards

Danipa is a proud sponsor of the 2012 Ghanaian – Canadian Achievement Awards!  This event recognizes and honours individual Ghanaian-Canadian or groups that have excelled or achieved honour in their field.

This year it is taking place at Claireport Place Banquet & Convention Centre in Etobicoke on Sunday September 23. We are looking forward to meeting everyone, and look forward to a night filled with dancing, music and celebration!

Interested? Check out their Facebook page for more details!

Here is our ad for the program!

 

Turning your Website into a Positive Benefit!

This week we were excited to launch the new home on the web for the Okyerema International Foundation.  This worthy organization funds bursaries and scholarships for students in need in Ghana, West Africa.  The students that they help might otherwise not be able to afford access to education.Okyerema came to us with a basic website that listed the basic information related to their services, but did not give the viewer a realistic sense of the work that they do.  There are many businesses who may have a website that is basic, but who are not getting the full benefit of their online presence.  We wanted to show you this example of before & after shots so that you can see what a difference a well developed website can make!

Check out the BEFORE screen shot of the site below:

We worked with Okyerema to polish their online image and created an appealing new home that gives the viewer a more detailed idea of the great work that they do.

  • Created an appealing layout that integrated the organizations colours
  • Integrated PayPal donation links
  • Reviewed and edited content for a more user friendly look
  • Redesigned the navigation of the site so that it is appealing and easy to follow
  • Scrolling screen that highlights the foundations different services and draws the viewers eye to the site

Check out the new design below!

www.okyeremafoundation.org
Quite a difference!
Is your website less then appealing? Get in contact with us today and start looking forward to your new look!
Let us know what you think of the new design by commenting below!