ATX Web Designs Founder Featured in Forbes

ATX Web Designs Founder Featured in Forbes

Founder Daniel Griggs was recently featured in an article on the Forbes, Inc. website about the responsibility tech entrepreneurs have in supporting and creating social change.

In the article, Griggs describes his inspiration for creating the school bus tracking software Bus Kids Safe, as well as the lessons he learned along the way.

The Bus Kids Safe app uses GPS technology to allow parents and schools to track school buses in real time and get notifications about pick-up times, drop-off times and delays.

Griggs created the app after a nerve-wracking incident in which his son’s school bus was over an hour late to the stop. He said the process of creating, developing and marketing the app revealed several important lessons about how to use digital products to address pressing social issues:

  1. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes the most sustainable change is incremental change. Trying to progress too far too fast could actually be counterproductive. Bus Kids Safe took something that already existed (bus driver check-in processes) and digitized it instead of creating something new altogether.
  1. Borrow from other industries. Chances are, something that is working in one industry can be cross-applied to another industry. The solutions to some of our societal challenges may already exist and just need to be adapted to address specific problems. For example, GPS tracking of public transportation already exists — Bus Kids Safe just harnesses the technology for the education industry.
  1. Incentivize early adoption. You may have the greatest app in the world, but it cannot create social change if you don’t have users. Focus your marketing efforts and incentive programs on getting early subscribers for your app. This can create community buy-in and organic sharing of your product. The Bus Kids Safe technology is currently free for local schools and parents, motivating more districts to get on board.

It is the responsibility of tech leaders to use their power to create something better. Let’s start innovating!

The secret to keeping your social media ‘on brand’

The secret to keeping your social media ‘on brand’

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available, but to fully harness its potential, businesses need to establish a consistent brand.

Why is consistent branding important?

Staying “on brand” within and across social media platforms is crucial for creating brand recognition, credibility and loyalty. It signals to both potential and existing customers that your brand is established, dependable, trustworthy and engaged.

Social media is a fast-paced world that thrives on novelty, but studies have shown that consumers are also affected by familiarity bias, which means they favor the consistent and the familiar. Successful brands need to both keep their content fresh and engaging and create enough continuity in their messaging to give users the feeling of dependability and familiarity.

So what is the most effective way for a company to develop a strong brand and continue to stay on brand through growth and transition? The secret boils down to one word:

Strategy.

In an article featured in Small Business Trends, ATX Web Designs founder and CEO Daniel Griggs advised businesses to create a strategy and system for their social media posts.

While it can be time-consuming and even tedious at times to plan and schedule social media posts, this process will give you the most return on your investment. Creating a strategy and schedule for your social media posts allows you to think about the content you want to present, cross-promote, synchronize posts and make sure each piece of content matches with your brand and company vision.

Developing brand guidelines and a style guide is a must for maintaining brand consistency. There are many aspects beyond the actual content to consider when establishing these guidelines, such as

  • Tone and personality
  • Visual design
  • Multimedia
  • Font and color scheme
  • Logo
  • Offline and internal marketing

Utilizing a content calendar and post scheduler will help ensure that all these aspects of your social media content represent a consistent brand and are in line with your company’s greater vision.

There is no shortcut to creating and maintaining a cohesive online brand and presence. It requires pre-planning, strategy and commitment. Most of all it takes time. Building trust with your consumer base requires patience and consistent effort but the results will boost your credibility as well as your bottom line.

If you’d like to develop more brand cohesion throughout your website and mobile app, ATX Web Designs offers design and development services customized for your business.

Customer Acquisition in a Competitive Marketplace

Customer Acquisition in a Competitive Marketplace

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1539158073404{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”]Tell us your problem and we’ll provide you with a solution and strategy for FREE.[/vc_column_text]

    [vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Remember the days when you could open your business and customers would flock to you because you had a great product or service?

    We don’t either.

    While it’s not quite hand-to-hand combat in the marketplace, it is competitive. Here are four tactics to staying ahead of the game.

    Understanding Customer Acquisition

    Customer Acquisition are the activities you use to attract new clients. It is now a skill that all serious business owners must have. People have many choices when it comes to products, service and delivery, so you must being strategic is key to thriving in business. Knowing who your ideal customer is and having a strategy to draw them into your business is key for long term success.

    Market Potential

    If you have a business plan, whether it be on your computer or on the back of napkin, is helpful to remember who your ideal client is. Not only do you need to understand who they are and what they want, but their potential to buy from you. Understanding the total number of how many people will buy your product or service is critical to the success of your business and the Customer Acquisition process.

    Performing a little market research will help you identify your market’s potential. Companies have done research that shows how many people there are, what percentage of them will buy your type of product – even for the most unusual of products.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1539158179795{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”]Tell us your problem and we’ll provide you with a solution and strategy for FREE..[/vc_column_text]

      [vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Attracting Customers, step by step

      Opening the door to your business is only part of the solution. Developing a comprehensive approach to attracting and acquiring customers is the next step. While you can have the most complex of approaches, the simpler you make it the more easily you will actually fit it into your schedule.

      1. Establishing a Measuring System – to understand success, you must measure it. Calculate key metrics today of how many customers you have, what their average sale is, and the percentage of prospects that you convert to sales (conversion rate). These simple metrics will get you started in understanding your current state and where you want to go from here.
      2. Plan and Track a Campaign for New Customers – Whether it’s an email campaign, Facebook ad, or other approach, you want to calculate the number of new PROSPECTS you get, like phone inquiries or new email signups you recieve.
      3. Conversion Rate – Track how many of those new PROSPECTS actually become CUSTOMERS and buy something from you. This is your Conversion rate, or how many people were converted to a sale.
      4. Welcome System and Package – People respond to appreciation – and free stuff. For new customers, make sure they get additional information, a discount, or something of value that shows they are appreciated. This is easy to automate on your website or email campaign.
      5. Track the Results – Calculate how many new PROSPECTS, CUSTOMERS, and SALES you had during the campaign period. It will help you see if you improved – and how you can tweak it for the future.

      Once you get good at running campaigns, tracking results, and recording sales, you can get creative. Offer new programs to frequent buyers, long-term customers and other customer groups.

      Next Steps

      Sound overwhelming? It’s not. It’s just getting over that first hill of learning how to do it. Once you get good at it, you’ll have a defensive strategy to help your business thrive for the long term.

      While today’s technology makes it easy to set up and run campaigns, running multiple campaigns, with ads across social media can be confusing. That’s where you may need help from a full service agency. After all, your competitors are trying to steal your customers, so a defensive strategy may be the only strategy for the long term![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1539158283441{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”]Tell us your problem and we’ll provide you with a solution and strategy for FREE..[/vc_column_text]

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        4 Ways To Start Marketing Your Local Business Free and Get More Leads

        4 Ways To Start Marketing Your Local Business Free and Get More Leads

        [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1539157120896{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”]We’ll tell you exactly how to get more leads for your local business for FREE.[/vc_column_text]

          [vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]If you have a local business, you probably want local customers. A referral from Guam may not help you if you have a pizza restaurant in Oklahoma. How can you get local leads that grow your business without spending a fortune?

          1. Re-evaluate your target market.

          With today’s booming economy, you neighborhood may be changing as new homes are built that attract new people to your area. Does your customer base seem to be changing lately? Are different people walking through the door? They may be the first of many new customers that want to know more about you.

          • Re-evaluate your “ideal customer”. Is it different than it was 1, 3 or 5 years ago? Are there more people or different age groups?
          • Double check your pricing. Is your new customer more affluent? You don’t have to raise your prices because your costs went up. If your customers can afford it, you may have some room to increase your bottom line.
          • Look at sales. Does your product selection need to change to keep up with new clientele? It may be time to change it up to meet customer demand.

          Marketing is all about location, location, location – but it’s also about, customer, customer, customer. Re-evaluate your target audience and discover what their current needs are.

          2. Turn email into your heavy hitter

          Email marketing comes in high on our list of recommendations for small businesses and startups, because it works. Regardless of industry or organizational size, marketers across the board point to email marketing as the tactic that produces their highest return on marketing dollars invested. ExactTarget.com’s 50 Email Marketing Tips and Stats for 2014 reported that marketers received an average return of investment of $44.25 for every $1 spent on email marketing.

          The cost for email contact programs is nominal, ranging from $0 to $50 or more per month from email marketing platforms such as Constant Contact or Campaigner.  Consider monthly campaigns that advertise weekly specials or discounts your frequent customers will love and appreciate.

          Not only is email effective, it’s also desired. In study after study, consumers regularly say that email is their preferred channel for brand communications. The marketing gurus at MarketingProfs.com shared data from a Message Systems study that found for nearly one-third of all consumers, email is the communication channel they prefer when it comes to marketing.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1539157197544{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”]We’ll tell you exactly how to get more leads for your local business for FREE.[/vc_column_text]

            [vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]3. Optimize your Website

            Although many small-business owners claim that word of mouth is their best marketing, it probably shouldn’t be. When it comes to making big purchases, 81 percent of consumers go online before heading out to a store and may spend from two to three months gathering the information they need to make a decision, according to GE Capital Retail Bank’s second annual Major Purchase Shopper Study.

            Even when it comes to low-ticket items or the type of small businesses a consumer is likely to buy on a daily basis, the Internet, accessed via desktop, tablet or mobile, is often the starting point that leads to a buying decision. In fact, when it comes to mobile searches, more than half (55 percent) resulted in conversions within one hour, according to a Mobile Search Moments report, (which is also another great argument for investing in mobile-friendly web design).

            Whether your products or services would be classified as big ticket or extremely affordable, the conclusion is the same: small-business owners and entrepreneurs that do keyword research and build out their web sites in accordance with best practices in search engine optimization (SEO) will be rewarded by search engines with more favorable SERP (search engine result placement) in organic search results. In other words, they will get more website traffic because their business listings will be placed directly in the path of prospective buyers who are researching products or services, or who are looking for a business online.

            4. Be strategically social

            If you invest that $41 in sponsored posts on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can put your brand, products or services in front of thousands of members of your target audience each month. Even a small investment in social marketing can produce hundreds of new followers on social networks as well as increased web traffic, brand awareness and hopefully bottom line profits that can be traced back to initial engagement on social media.

            Because of their popularity with consumers (Facebook) and with business buyers (LinkedIn), social platforms have done small-business marketers a big favor. Not only do they allow you to set a limit on the amount spent to sponsor a post or page, they have also built tools which allow you to drill down into demographics in order to put these ads and posts directly on the feeds of individuals who meet your ideal buyer type criteria.

            If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, you can put these 4 tips into practice today to reach new (and old) customers, both face-to-face and online to grow your business.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1539157272451{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”]We’ll tell you exactly how to get more leads for your local business for FREE.[/vc_column_text]

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              How To Easily Turn Your Idea Into a Mobile App

              How To Easily Turn Your Idea Into a Mobile App

              We want to hear about your idea and give you some FREE advice on how to get it started immediately

                Mobile apps are a great idea, but they do require some work and attention to detail to make it a product that your ideal customer will love. Below are the steps you’ll need to get it off the ground.

                1. Define your idea.

                There are some key questions to ask to help refine your app idea. Below is a sample of questions to ask yourself, your team, and your app designer:

                • Is your app going to stand alone or be part of another application?
                • Is it going to be just one aspect of an already existing business or part of a separate startup company?
                • Do you want to keep your app forever?
                • Do you eventually want someone to buy the app solution and rights?
                • Is it a game?
                • Are users going to be able to connect with one another?
                • Does it have educational tools?

                These are just a few of the many questions to consider. But once you decide on a direction for your app, stick with it. Changing directions late in the game is hard – and expensive.

                2. Do market research.

                You don’t want to invest a ton of money into developing and app – and then find out someone else has cornered the market on it. Do your homework in advance and save time and money. For instance:

                • Who is the leading competitor in this area – local, national, international?
                • Has anyone announced in the news they will be launching a similar app?
                • What are the download rates for your competitors
                • How will you be different than your competition? Price? Capabilities?
                • Do you have a unique, SEO friendly name that customers will love?
                • What keywords do you need to appear in search rankings?
                • If it’s a PWA (progressive web app), how will users user get to the site where you’ll push the app to them?

                Unless you have the next one-off, market-exploding, never-heard-of-before app like Snapchat, you’ll be rewarded by taking time to do your research in advance.

                3. Identify your audience.

                The first thing you need to do is find out who will use your app. “My app is for everyone,” isn’t a valid response. You need to target a very specific group.

                Take a look at how teenagers in the United States feel about their smartphones – they live on them. This is the initial audience you’ll want, but then you’ll break this group down into smaller segments.

                Look for communities and subgroups who need an app to help them do something. How can your idea make someone else’s life easier? If you’re able to answer that question, you’re on the right track to validate your idea. Think about the apps that you use the most on a daily basis. Do you use mobile banking?

                Uber is another great example. They recognized a problem with car services and developed an app that gets users connected to a driver with way less friction. It shows the payoff of making sure which group your app is going to help.

                We want to hear about your idea and give you some FREE advice on how to get it started immediately

                  4. Create a Brand Identity.

                  This is the time to give your app a new name by giving it an easily recognizable name. Think about the colors, look, and feel that you’ll want on your mobile app design. You can consult with professional developers to help brand your app using their skills and knowledge. Your brand creates an identity, which may be the most crucial factor to the success of your app.

                  Consider your app icon, color scheme, look, feel, and tone that reflects the type of app that you want to build. All of these should appeal to the audience you’re targeting. For example, if your target market is teenage girls. Your app icon probably shouldn’t be a black skull and crossbones. Pink icons or flowers will speak to your audience.

                  The most important part of branding? Start early and get input. Sketch out a few designs, show them to people in your target market. Their input will be invaluable to creating a lasting brand identity.

                  5. Choose the right App Dev Team

                  App building is a full time job, not a side project for a few hours each week. It takes experts in

                  • Business – to define your business plan and manage operations
                  • Marketing – to promote your brand
                  • App Dev – to develop the technical features of your app and do future updates
                  • Leader – to make sure everyone is meeting targets and moving forward

                  It’s a rare person who has all of those skills, so finding and assembling the right team is critical to designing and bringing your app to market.

                  Staying focused and efficient will save you time, money and headaches now and in the future.

                  6. Run the numbers and manage the budget

                  Building an app is expensive. There’s no one size fits all answer for how much it will cost you to develop an app, but expect to spend $50,000 and six month or more developing your app idea. Bigger apps with more complex features could cost nearly $2 million and take years to build. Set a clear budget, get the right financing, and stay on track to get it done. Keep in mind, everything won’t always go smoothly. You’ve got to plan for some unexpected hiccups or speed bumps along the way.

                  The budget doesn’t just go to development, but for marketing, testing, legal fees and labor. Unless you have an extra six figures in your bank account, you should look to investors to offset the costs and invest in your business. Investors need a payoff too, often in the form of a percentage of your company and future returns. In short, there’s many business decisions to make in addition to technical and marketing decisions.

                  Getting to done

                  After reading the to-do list, if you’re still passionate about building your app, then it’s time to move forward. Start researching your market, identifying your ideal customer and considering the business aspects.

                  You will need a team who is well versed in app development with proven results and a full service app building company can support your app dream. Chose someone with a proven track record in the creation, building, and development of apps so you can focus on securing the financing from potential investors and marketing the app. You may find it’s extremely cost efficient for you to go through a full service agency who can bring your idea to life more quickly than creating part time over the next two years!

                  We want to hear about your idea and give you some FREE advice on how to get it started immediately