Emily Cagle Communications — website design and blog

On the back of the success of my popular ebook, The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media, the Emily Cagle Communications website and blog provides a wonderful case study for using social media marketing for your business.

Emily Cagle is a marketing and communications consultant who enlisted Octane’s services shortly after reading my ebook and then putting some of the things I wrote about into practice. We’ve both worked together to produce a website and blog we can both be very proud of.

As I mention over on the Social Media Marketing Technology blog:

“It must come as little surprise to know that both Emily & I are thrilled with the end result, which you can read more about in my case study on the Emily Cagle Communications website. But this is only the beginning. We’ve both been working on planning a long-term social media strategy, making the most of the key technologies out there, like Facebook and Twitter to help promote her business.”

Emily Cagle Communications

If you’d like to know more about the specifics of the project, and Emily’s thoughts, take a look at the Emily Cagle case study, as well as visuals on the portfolio page.

Customer interaction from social media ‘requires SPICE’

Marketers who are new to using social media for customer interaction have been given the abbreviation SPICE to help them maximize their use of the medium. In a Fresh Business Thinking article, Wayne Smallman created the abbreviation, which he said stands for Support, Publicize, Integrate, Control and Enhance.

Social media websites and networks can be used to support and publicize a company, while firms should also take care to integrate social media within marketing, Mr Smallman explained.

Ford Test Drive Social Media, Avoid Head-on Legal Crash

Ford Test Drive Social Media, Avoid Head-on Legal Crash In an attempt to avert a “potential PR nightmare” Ford Motor Company read the social media signs and avoided a head-on legal crash, where their reputation would have felt the full force of the collision.

Sure, it’s a given Ford would have won the legal battle, had things gone that way. But in winning the battle, Ford would have risked losing the social media war. And on the web, the survivability of a brand is all to do with winning the hearts and the minds of the very people you’re appealing to.

Beginners guide to social marketing

The number one benefit of social media marketing is the lower cost of entry, when compared to more traditional marketing techniques. Essentially, you are building on the back of your own network of contacts and clients, using that social network to further your campaign.

The tools most associated with social media (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace etc) are, for the most part, free. However, social media marketing is still marketing. You will still need the more traditional spread of tools to measure and analyze your activities.

Octane’s new look website and blog

Finally, the new Octane website and blog are live and in the wild. It’s taken plenty of planning, designing, coding and time, but I think the end result has been worth the wait.

So why the major overhaul of the Octane website?

I wanted a totally fresh start. But more importantly, I wanted the Octane website to be the hub of operations for all of the other stuff I’m doing.

Octane is my business, but many more people know me for my popular tech’ opinion blog, Blah, Blah! Technology. And more recently, I’ve enjoyed great success with my free ebook, The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media.

The one thing I don’t lack is content, so the purpose of the Octane website is to pull together those sources of trusted and valued information and knowledge into one place, so people can learn more about the things I offer.

Right now, you’ll find two columns of links in the footer of certain service pages, like social media and internet marketing, the Octane blog and the home page itself. However, over the course on the next month, I’ll be integrating specific articles from the other two blogs directly into service pages.

How much would a website like Octane’s cost?

Good question! A guestimate of cost would be around the £1,300.00 (Net) mark, which would include:

  • Design & Artwork — 8 hours / £360.00
  • Web Design & Development (incl. custom programming) — 12 hours / £540.00
  • WordPress, installation and setup — 8 hours / £360.00
  • Hosting, Email and FTP — one-off £20 account set up and then £30 each year thereafter.

It’s taken me months to complete this re-design, but that’s because I’ve been fitting all of this work in between my client work, which actually pays!

What do you see as the key benefits of having a new website?

First of all, the re-design is a fresh look. Totally new. Secondly, as mentioned previously, I’m turning the Octane website into a hub for all of my other stuff. But there are other benefits, too.

  1. A far cleaner, clearer design and layout means it’s much easier to manage and update the website and the blog.
  2. A better layout also means that articles and pages are easier to read and find.
  3. Having a business blog is a great way to raise awareness, engage with customers and expose people to your brand and your expertise.

Key points

Keeping the pace — the fact is, if I want to attract new clients, I need to demonstrate the strength and depth of my talents, and that’s what this new website does.

Room to grow — sometimes, you just out-grow a website, and fixing what you have simply isn’t practical. The previous design had served its purpose and something new, bigger and better was needed.

Having more to say — you can’t fit a pint of water into a half pint glass, can you? And that’s the problem I faced. So the challenge was making everything easy to find and read.

What’s next for the Octane website and blog?

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of work involved, not least the actual effort in creating the website and blog. Over the long-term, the value rests in keeping the website and the blog up to date. The typical schedule of activities would include:

  • Updates to service pages, with links to new and related blog articles.
  • New blog articles, based on a variety of different themes.
  • Adding new case studies, linking to related blog articles.
  • Adding new images to the portfolio page, also linking to case studies and related blog articles.

Right now, these are the very services I’m offering my clients who’re wanting to embrace and make the most of social media for their businesses.

I’d like to think there’s a good 1-2 years in this new website design, with maybe 2-3 years in the underlying structure, before I’d consider another major overhaul.

In the here & now, the timing of the new design is to coincide with the impending launch of a client website, and planned marketing efforts of my own.

Work has been good for me this year, with no real slow down, which is excellent. But I don’t want to sit back and become complacent! I always want more work.

If you’d like to know more about how Octane can help you business, feel free to contact me right now, or call 0870 755 0004 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm