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Moo.com

Written by Sean Valant

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Moo.com loves to print.  Providing so much more than just the typical print services, Moo.com has taken their chosen craft and elevated it into a proper art form.  Sounds grandiose, but it’s true.  They print everything you’d expect them to: business cards, post cards, stickers, labels, et al.  Where the art form comes in is the way in which they’ve taken this basic foundation and evolved it in such a creative way.

One of the most ingenious cards that Moo prints are NFC (Near Field Communication) business cards.  NFC is a protocol by which a wireless conversation is conducted between two pieces of closely-held electronics.  This is facilitated by a small chip being implanted within the card.  Many debit cards already use this technology to authorize payment by simply holding the card near a receiver rather than actually swiping it through a traditional card reader.

The idea is that when you hold an NFC business card up to a compatible smartphone, it then causes the smartphone to do something.  The possibilities are virtually endless.  Perhaps you’d want the phone to simply visit your website, or maybe download your portfolio or load your FaceBook page.  You might have it download music or even just add your contact information into the internal address book.  The chips can be rewritten over and over again, even after you’ve handed them out!

NFC cards are unquestionably cool, but Moo.com can also meet all of your more basic printing needs.  From basic business cards up to their Luxe and Gloss business cards, as well as FaceBook cards and Mini cards. Moo.com was kind enough to offer 50 free business cards to you, the readers of this blog!  Visit this link in order to claim your free business cards, all you pay for is shipping!  While you’re there, ordering your free business cards, spend some time on their website exploring the vast array of products offered.  Tell them Snappy sent you!

Viewbix

Written by Sean Valant

Monday, November 26th, 2012

You’ve created an excellent video that introduces your product or service to the masses. That’s a big step and having a quality video can certainly assist is the success of your business. Likely the video is on YouTube and perhaps even getting a respectable number of hits. Is your video so incredibly unique or entertaining that it could even go viral? It’s great to be exposed to a larger audience, but there’s never any guarantee that exposure will equal conversions.  At the end of the day, a video is still just a video.

Rather than rolling the dice on the hopes of increasing your audience virally, another strategy would be to instead maximize the conversions you receive from your existing, organically-grown audience.  This is one of the ways in which Viewbix can help you.

Viewbix allows you to embed interactive apps directly into videos.  These videos can then be shared across websites, social networks and mobile devices, greatly increasing your ability to convert your viewers into customers.  You can embed virtually anything you can imagine into your videos: special coupons or a map to your physical store or office, even functionality like the ability to sign up for your mailing list.  Viewbix’s unique ability to embed these apps and additional content is not only very cool, but it also allows you to anticipate your potential customers’ needs relative to the information presented in your video and address them immediately which will result in a much lower percentage of abandonment.

Let’s say your company rents villas at a vacation destination.  You have a video showing the beautiful locale and the lush villas that are available for rent.  I am a potential customer watching your video and I think to myself that it looks like somewhere I’d like to visit.  I wonder what the weather will be like at this destination next week; no one likes a rainy vacation. So I browse over to my preferred weather website, and maybe I eventually make it back to your website or maybe I don’t, but the the pertinent fact here is that I’ve now left your website.  Once a potential customer browses away from your site, all bets are off.  If your video had the embedded ability to check the weather and book a villa right then and there within the video player itself, the chances of me taking that action rather than browsing to a different site and going off on my merry way would be greatly increased.

Viewbix allows for not only greater engagement, but also for literal calls-to-action that your viewers or potential customers can take immediately.  With all of that in mind, if your video does happen to go viral on top of your Viewbix efforts, the results can be staggering.

You can experience Viewbix yourself by heading over to Viewbix.com and watching the video on their front page which shows you exactly what Viewbix can do for your business.  While you’re there, click to get started with Viewbix today for free!

Yext

Written by Sean Valant

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

The Internet is very large, and constantly growing.  One of the by-products of our beloved Internet is that often times businesses of all sizes can lose control over exactly what information is out there and where it is displayed.

There are numerous sources from which a directory or local search engine can get data for it’s listings.  These are called “data aggregators.”  Generally speaking, there is very little control that can be exercised over these data aggregators.  A quick Google search for your business will likely return results that you didn’t even know existed, containing information that is either out-dated or incorrect.

This can best be illustrated with the following graphic by David Mihm from his article A Closer Look at the Local Search Data Providers:

Looks convoluted, right?  This is where Yext steps in and simplifies the entire situation.  What Yext offers to it’s PowerListings Customers is total control over the information displayed about their company throughout this entire “ecosystem.”  In other words, you tell Yext what you want displayed throughout the Internet and Yext does the rest.  The result changes the above image to something more along these lines:

Looks much cleaner, right?  Ultimately, Yext offers more control over the way your business is presented throughout the Internet.  Right now Yext is offering a free, no obligation business scan to HostGator Customers.  This business scan will show you where your business currently fits (or falls) within the above ecosystem.  There is no purchase requirement; this is a courtesy service to verify that your business is listed correctly in as many places as possible.

To receive your free business scan from Yext, simply visit the following URL and enter the basic information about your business: www.yext.com/pl/chur

For more information on Yext, visit http://yext.com

World Backup Day

Written by Sean Valant

Friday, March 30th, 2012

All hard drives will crash; there is no such thing as a crash-proof hard drive.  When (not if) this happens, how much data will be lost is a flip of the coin.  It could be 0%, or it could be 100%.  World Backup Day is March 31st. and encourages you to maintain current backups of your data: financial information or other important documents, digital media collection (music/movies/ebooks), and perhaps most importantly your memories (pictures/home movies).

One in ten laptops will be stolen in their lifetime; one is stolen every 53 seconds.  Fifty percent of all hard drives will crash within five years.  Couple those statistics with the fact that 89.1% of PC users do not perform regular backups.  This is essentially a recipe for massive data loss.  A recent study found that 90 percent of companies that experience data loss go out of business within two years, with 70% of companies going out of business following a major data loss.  These are significant numbers.

Are you able to place a dollar amount on your data?  Exactly how much value does it have?  For many people, their data is priceless.  If the only pictures of your children that you have are on a hard drive that crashes, they’re gone.  Forever.  Unless you have a small fortune to pay in hopes of having the data professionally recovered.  This situation though instantly becomes a non-issue the moment you have a safe backup of the data.  Ideally, you’ll maintain current backups of all important data locally and at a remote location.

Texas, where the HostGator offices are, has been hit by both hurricanes and wildfires in recent years.  If a computer and the external hard drive that contained the backups are both within a house that is destroyed, that data is gone.  This is a catastrophic circumstance regardless, but there are many ways to ensure that even under similar conditions your data will remain safe.  HostGator customers are encouraged to visit http://justcloud.com/hostgator for a free trial for cloud storage.  Come what may, with cloud storage you can be confident that your data remains safe.

Please visit http://www.worldbackupday.com for more information and tips on backing up your data.

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