Bug Bytes is a weekly roundup of the Web’s best links, blog posts, and news articles related to web design, application development, and online marketing. Continue the conversation and share your thoughts on these stories in the comments below – we’d love to hear your own insights!
Beyonce’s current website has everything a music artist would need – embedded music videos, links to buy albums, press releases, etc; however, as her career has evolved, Beyonce has become much more than a music artist, and apparently, she feels her site doesn’t reflect this personal evolution. Beyonce has recently approached the ad agencies on Madison Avenue to have them pitch ideas on how to update her presence online to better incorporate her films, fragrances, clothing line and endorsement deals. Adding pressure to the agencies, Ms. Knowles will be a hands-on client looking for a new site that is “daring and forward-thinking”.
Insight: Sometimes, brands view a website as an item on a checklist that is finished upon launch; however, the central role of the web in today’s world demands a consistent (if not constant) appraisal of a brand’s web presence. As technology and globalization shift markets, a brand’s position within the market can alter, and its web presence needs to adjust accordingly.
This Smashing Magazine article explains how web developers and designers can use up to 30 new elements to mark up code for the web and applications. HTML5 semantics allow for better site optimization, global accessibility, and improved functionality. While some of the older presentational elements and/or attributes are no longer needed (align, center and frame), there are some elements that have been redefined to become semantic (small, i, b). In addition, with new elements such as <audio> and <video>, developers can now draw their audio and video files from different sources, streamlining the upload process and cutting down on page load times.
Insight: These new elements offer numerous benefits, including allowing users with any browser type (including IE6-8) to acquire content. Likewise, as opposed to using divs to create the overall structures of web pages, this approach to semantics use will give more meaning to marking up websites . Ultimately, with a better defined use of elements, HTML5 enthusiasts will be able to make their sites more efficient, interactive, and accessible.
While a well-established social networking platform, LinkedIn has often been under-utilized by businesses seeking to build connections and encourage communications success. In response, Social Media Examiner has put together some basic tips for making sure that one’s company page is enabling successful engagement. The author’s recommendations include: create a complete overview page, actively pursue followers, provide added value updates, network with other companies/groups, and consistently monitor/focus platform efforts.
Insight: As with many social media tip sheets, focus remains on the basics, as these simple efforts often represent the biggest missed opportunities. Regardless of whether using LinkedIn, or another networking platform, companies should be dedicated to presenting a complete and consistent voice with which potential followers and connections can interact. In the end, failure to maintain one’s social media efforts can be more harmful than having no presence at all.
On the Harvard Business Review blog network, author Jason Gurwin explains that while a mobile app can prove to be tactically valuable, it should not be considered a strategy in-and-of itself. According to a report from analytics firm Distimo, 91 of the top 100 brands boast having a mobile app (which is up by 40 from a year and a half ago). However, many of these apps fall short in providing any real customer value, focusing instead on serving as advertising alone. In response, Mr. Gurwin reminds us of a couple of important tenants: understand how the mobile app will align with your other marketing efforts and “Make it something that you would want to use.”
Insight: While it may be tempting to adopt the mindset of “If I build it, they’ll download it.”, one should not fall victim to launching a low-on-value app into the already saturated marketplace. Before investing in app creation, take the time to understand the needs of your customers, and align your promotional goals with those desires. By starting strategically, you will increase your opportunities for mobile app success, leveraging the full value of your overarching marketing efforts.
Recognizing social media platforms as sources for both “personal connection and dialogue”, Mashable Business has profiled five companies that have successfully crafted their networking voices. While each has a unique approach and profile, all have achieved consistent brand presentation and subsequent customer engagement. These accolades have been bestowed upon: Tory Burch, DKNY PR Girl, Kate Spade, Lucky Magazine, and Esquire Magazine.
Insight: All of the praised brands are notably part of the fashion and style industry. While these selections may reflect the writer’s taste and partiality, they also attest to the category’s ability to infuse personality and unique taste into anything and everything. Likewise, although social media is finding success across almost every demographic, these brands will find particular value amongst affluent young adults, who spend both time and money on conversation-driving technology.