When you’re planning a shot, specifically in the case of food photography, framing is very important. However, usage is just as important of a consideration, because images can be used for print ads (portrait layout), social media (landscape and square), menus or websites (varies). Once you are aware of how the images will be used, the next step is figuring out how to frame your shots to accommodate not only cropping, but space for additional graphic design work (ads). To that end, it’s important to know how common social media sizes relate to your camera’s natural ratio.
I recently learned about KickOffLabs and their live Google Hangout landing page review sessions. I decided to check it and toss in my recently redesigned NovelRank Buy Box tool and more specifically, the trial landing page I built for advertising traffic.
For the purposes of this post, I’ve saved the page as it existed at the time of the review. Here is a summary of the feedback I received from KickOffLabs:
- Remove Testimonials call-to-action button confusion and migrate the testimonials higher in the page.
- Update the testimonial images to be real-people faces.
- Remove the ‘My Test Batch’ naming field (this was a UX (User eXperience) revelation from them using it) as unnecessary.
- Make the call-to-action lower in the page focus on the form.
- “Speak to me like I’m a golden retriever.” Update the language to better answer the question, “Who is this for and what does it give me?”
- Provide social sharing after submitting the trial batch and an incentive for doing so.
- Don’t auto-redirect users on the trial completion page.
As a developer and theme designer, this was all work I would do. For most people, templates that accomplish all this already are very desirable and that’s where KickOffLabs‘ services come into play, so definitely check them out.
I took the advice to heart and have redesigned the page a little. You can look at all of the improvements right now: http://buybox.novelrank.com/trial. Any further feedback is welcome in the comments below!
Update: May 28, 2015
Some additional feedback that has also been addressed:
- Increase font-size of the primary use case for the site
- Change ‘Start Batch’ to something friendlier
- Ensure the batch is delivered quickly, regardless of the current system usage
Facebook now offers the ability to promote a post on a Facebook page to your audience for either $5 or $10. The main idea is to pay to increase exposure to the post. This is done by making sure it shows up in the news feed of individuals who ‘Like’ your page as well as increase exposure to their friends if they interact with your post. Pay a little, get a little more exposure to your existing fan base. Here’s what happened for me.
I ran two promoted posts with the exact same content on two pages I run: NovelRank and Dice Candies. They have 900+ and 400+ Likes, respectively. The latter has a very regular amount of user engagement and thus has a much higher exposure and interaction rate for posts. That being said, here were the results.
Since promoted posts are live for up to 72 hours and this was tested starting early Saturday morning, the promoted post was able to get the attention of a weekend Facebook audience, which is typically less active than during the week.
My first print coverage (online and video too) for my latest book, My Zombie Body, was just published in the Boulder Daily Camera. I ran out and picked up a copy of the print edition as well on this very cold day, and I’m super thrilled with the result. There was a lot of information passed on to the writer, and I really like the direction he took with the overall article. Special thanks also to the photographer/videographer.
Here’s the article: Broomfield author takes zombie adventure to the streets
After a successful launch promotion (2000+ downloads of the novella), I wanted to talk more about book marketing. First and foremost, the version downloaded during the promotion had a special note before and after the story. The note was a personal note from me recommending a few different methods for the reader to reciprocate if they enjoyed the story. This included purchasing a copy, adding a review on Amazon or other online bookseller, and spreading the word to other fans. If the fans enjoyed the story, they will want to reciprocate, and the only way to get that message across is within the book itself.
This weekend I launched a new website: M&M’s Made it Better. This site was conceived over a year ago based on a simple idea: M&M’s make me happy, and their effect is likely the same for others. So, I decided to create a simple advertising campaign that allowed me to: Practice photography with a light tent, design a creative yet simple concept, and spend as little money as possible. In total, I spent ~$40 for extra supplies.
If you are running a website, an e-commerce store, or any sort of business, you need an online presence in social networks. This comes as no surprise to anyone. However, besides being aware of your brand on these sites, responding to customer complaints, and reinforcing positive feedback, Twitter also allows you to reach out to new customers, one at a time. Does that sound like a lot of work? Yup. If it means you sell one more item or sign-up one more user, is it worth it? Absolutely.
Every customer counts when you are starting off!