We are all suckers for before and after transformations no matter what the subject.
Because before and after photographs engage. They grab attention offering potential and possibility and show us what can be done
Take a look at these before and after photos
Cheap > Expensive
Amateur > Professional
Drab > Fab
Trash > Treasure
Without one word of copy we have told a story in each set of photos – so important in the micro attention span of today’s website users. We have offered a level of engagement to someone who has an outdated website and maybe looking for a re-design, someone who has a faded tattoo and even someone looking to create a piece of art from trash. Granted it is an odd mix to have on a single page but you get the picture.
This engagement factor can lead to
- A better understanding of a product which in turn can improve sales conversions
- Impart a level of expertise
- An improved connection with your visitors
- The increased possibility of your content being shared on social media and all the upsides associated with that – increased traffic, better organic search engine placement, more quality back links etc.
- Repeat visits to a website – visitors experiencing good interesting content on a site are more likely to return to it in the future
No matter what type of business you are in, before and after photographs are an excellent addition to your marketing efforts.
Including Before and After Photos in Your Marketing Mix
For products or services that result in a visual change – think web design, interior design, weight loss, fashion, makeup … the before and after photos are obvious – a screenshot of a website before and after re-design, a face with and without makeup, a sofa with and without pillows.
But say your business or service offers no real visual elements. How can before and after photos help and how do you go about creating them?
Here you can create scenarios which represent a situation with and without your product or service comparing Good (with service/product) vs Bad (without).
For example your are accountant who specializes in working with small businesses- how about a photograph of a shoe box messily filled with old receipts and invoices with the business owner pulling their hair out and another photo showing a neatly organized ledger and completed tax return with the business owner with a well groomed hair-do. A little creative thought can go a long way in dreaming up good before and after scenarios.
Creative in Chicago started life on the Blogger platform in September 2010. It that time it has seen amazing growth with monthly traffic regularly reaching 60K hits and a good steady revenue from advertising. While Blogger is a fantastic platform it does have it’s limitations and it was time to take to the site to the next level and convert it to a self hosted WordPress site. With over 340 posts this was no mean feat!
There were two really critical elements to the project.
- Maintain all the equity built up with the search engines and across social media platforms. It was important that the urls’s of all the pages remained the same so anyone clicking on a link would be delivered to the correct page and not be met with the dreaded “NOT FOUND” screen.
- A staggering 60% of the visits to the site come from mobile devices so it was imperative that mobile users have the best experience possible.
It was also time to give the site a fresh new look so the project also included a redesign element.
The home page now offers a featured project and fantastic photographs are displayed throughout.
And the site has been carefully organized into categories which all give a photo overview and excerpt of each post.
and are easily accessible through a well thought out drop down navigation which converts nicely into a mobile friendly tool for mobile users
The site was launched with zero loss of performance – the traffic is steady and strong and advertising revenues constant.
We have worked with Peter Meder & Company, a Chicago executive headhunting company, for over six years now. The original site we created had served them well, but was created before the popularity of smartphones … as a result it did not offer site visitors an optimum “mobile experience”.
The new site, launched today, gives the company a brand new look which is more up to date and visitors can now have a good experience from whatever device they are using to access the site, desktop to phone. Check it out at http://pmedercompany.com/
Launched back in February The Body Wipe Company are already adding to their product range. Their latest offering is a make-up removing wipe – Face Print, which nicely compliments their Body Wipe range. We have updated their eCommerce site with the new products and an eye grabbing banner on the home page.
We have been working with Restore North Shore, a Chicago remodeling company, for over five years now and in that time have built their entire visual brand – logo, business stationery, website, signage and even t-shirts. We recently created two new pieces to compliment their existing collateral, a folder and note card. The folder will be used for presenting new bids and the note card was deliberately left blank inside so it can be multi purpose…anything from a thank-you card to an introduction card.
“A good web site is never complete – it is a user interface that evolves over time with changes to better serve your visitors.”
Is your web site built to adapt as your business transforms?
All of the websites we create are robust enough to accommodate this need to change, whether it is something as simple as updating a logo, adding a new service or taking advantage of new internet technology.
Here an example of what I mean.
Interior Designs 2 Go
This site we created for Interior Design 2 Go has undergone design and “call to action” tweaks and “under the hood” tinkering
This is what the site looked like when it was first launched.
and here it is today.
It has a new logo, accent color, home page layout and does a better job at illustrating the service being offered.
As if it not enough to be creative in my day job, my many of my hobbies revolve around creative pursuits too. Many of them appear on Creative In Chicago, my personal blog. A few years back I shared a post on how coloring can be a great stress buster… now you see adult coloring books all over the place.
I have embraced the trend and designed my own adult coloring book and you can download it for free!
The book is a collection of 20 designs which were a real pleasure to create.
Here is a peep at a few of them
I recently built an eCommerce website using WooCommerce and a functionality my client was looking for, was the ability to receive a simple text message that they had a new order. WooCommerce automatically sends out an email when a new order is generated but my client didn’t want to be a slave to checking their inbox…a fair enough request I thought!
My first approach was to use a SMS plugin but it appeared there was no free way to achieve this simplest of tasks. So I got creative!
Creating a text alert for a new order from WooCommerce without using a plugin
- Start by creating a unique email address through your hosting provider. It can be as obscure as you like e.g firstname.lastname@example.org…the only emails this account will receive will be from WooCommerce.
- Log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Emails > New Order. Add your newly generated email address.
- Log into your newly created email account. The email account I used was powered by SmarterMail and through their settings I was able to set up an Event with an Action that would trigger whenever the inbox received a new message – ie an order had been generated. The way you do this will depend upon the email provider but SmarterMail makes the process very easy. The clever part comes in the configuration of the Action. All cell phone numbers have an email address associated with them, all you need to determine what it is. is the cell phone number itself and the cell phone carrier.
e.g a cell phone number of 123 456 78910 with verizon would have an associated email address of email@example.com.The Action should be configured to send a simple text message to the email address associated with the cell number
It has proved to be be a simple and effective way to receive text notifications of new orders
Launched today is a brand new e commerce website for Body Wipe Company
The site sells all sorts of body wipes including a brand concept in wipes – Tat Towels. These wipes are specifically designed to moisturize and enhance older tattoos making them POP!
The site has a hip look with no fluff. It was designed to keep the shopping experience as streamlined as possible, enabling shoppers to get in and out quickly, with minimum clicks and fuss. It even gives them multiple options when it come to payment – credit card, Paypal or even payment through Amazon. The site is of course mobile friendly.
Visit it at https://www.bodywipecompany.com/
We have been providing pro bono web design work for Burns Recovered Support Group for over 5 years now and were delighted to hear, that late last year, they had won some additional pro bono marketing efforts though “Creatathon” The end result was a fantastic new logo.
Just switching out the logo was not going to cut it so we gave the site a mini makeover. The color palette was updated to blue hues, the type face changed and the site generally given a more open feeling that was far more inline with the brand image.
Here is what Executive Director, Julie Peetz had to say
“We’ve had great feedback on the new look—the color scheme turned out great! I love the white space—it looks clean and fresh
Thank you so much!”