Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are now followed by Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to charitable giving. Made popular by social media, this philanthropic effort is gaining wide popularity and participation by businesses and non-profit organizations alike. For 2016, Giving Tuesday falls on November 29th. Read on to learn how non-profits and businesses can get involved.

 

What Is Giving Tuesday?

In 2012, New York’s 92nd Street Y, a Jewish cultural and community organization, partnered with the United Nations Foundation to begin Giving Tuesday as a global day of giving. Three years later the day is growing in popularity and becoming more recognizable.  As the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving approaches there are ways to get involved.
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Bryan Giese, Project Manager at Signalfire, will be a volunteer escort for a Korean War veteran on the September 17th Stars and Stripes Honor Flight to Washington DC. Volunteers who escort Stars and Stripes Honor Flight veterans, also called Guardians, go through a stringent process and are required to cover their own expenses—including air fare.

“I applied to be a Guardian three years ago,” says Signalfire’s Giese, “at the time, I doubted the chance would come.”

All of that changed over the summer when Giese received a voicemail from Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. (more…)

 

10 Things Your Marketing Outfitters Want You to Know Before Developing a Great Website

1.) Websites Are Born

Successful websites are born. Websites need care, attention, and a steady diet of content to make it on the web. We strongly advise against building a website and just letting it sit.

2.) Build Your Website Right, The First Time

No half-baked plans or development shortcuts with Signalfire. It might take us a bit longer and our budget might be a bit higher, but we build websites for the long haul.

3.) The Cost to Develop A Website Is More Than Programming

Developing a website is more than programming costs. There are four main segments in planning your website budget. Domain name, hosting, development, and maintenance. Read about them here.

4.) Content is Everything

Great website content powers successful websites. Clients are responsible for writing the content. If you need help writing content, we can help. While you know your business best our writers can sit with you to create fantastic written content.

5.) The Power of Photography

Impactful websites also need stunning photography. If you don’t have photography, we can recommend some great photographers. Stock photos will work in a pinch. Don’t just pull images from Google Image Search. You will get a lovely cease and desist letter from the image owner or a bill from the photographer. Yes, they win in court.

6.) SEO Is Not a One-Time Thing

Being successful with search engines is a priority for every website owner. Good search performance takes time, a lot of content, and keeping your website up to date. Nothing happens overnight.

7.) Live and Die By Metrics

Learn to love data. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console will give you in-depth insight into the customers coming to your website. This is where the real search engine performance happens.

8.) Your Computer Versus My Computer

No two web browsers are alike which means your website will display slightly differently across different browsers and operating systems. From the wide variety of devices to the even wider variety of user options, understanding that few users will see the website exactly the same way is important.

9.) Murphy’s Law

When you have a website, stuff happens. Hosting will go down. Your website might get hacked. You will lose your password. Please stay calm. It will happen to everyone at some point. Signalfire can help address stuff when it happens.

10.) Even Websites Have a Shelf Life

A website will be ready for a redesign in about two (2) to three (3) years. In about that much time, enough will have changes for mobile devices, browsers, and user behavior that a redesign will make sense. Plan for it by making a list of websites you like and websites you don’t. Assemble a list of features and functions that might become crucial to your marketing efforts. Most importantly — never stop updating your website.

Looking for more help to get ready for your website development? We’ve created several worksheets to help. Otherwise, request a quote from Signalfire.

Small Business Website Development Worksheet

Small Business Website Development Worksheet

E-Commerce Project Worksheet

E-Commerce Website Planning Worksheet

Building a Website Involves More Than Just Development

When planning website development, don’t overlook the details that fall outside traditional website development costs.

There are a lot of considerations when building a website. Most small businesses and non-profits immediately look to the programming and design as the only elements that impact budget. There are additional considerations that can have a huge impact on the development process. Considering details such as choosing a domain name or selecting the right maintenance plan can give you a more realistic outlook for budgeting.

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Newest edition showcases over 250 members and countless activities in Door County’s largest city.

Signalfire is proud to announce the publication of the 2016 Activity Guide for Sturgeon Bay, Door County. Working in conjunction with the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center in the heart of one of Wisconsin’s busiest tourism regions, the 2016 Activity Guide contains useful travel and destination information for Door County’s largest and busiest city.

“This represents the tenth year Signalfire has coordinated with Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center in developing this activity guide,” says Signalfire owner Matthew Olson. “We’re thrilled to be part of SBVC’s team in promoting such a dynamic city.”

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Delavan Website Launch

Aram Public Library in Delavan announces the launch of a newly designed logo and interactive website. Both logo and website were designed by Signalfire, an award winning creative agency also located in Delavan. A colorful logo will begin to be distributed in the coming weeks. The website features a design friendly to mobile phones and tablets as well as easy access to Aram’s many inter-library programs.

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Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are now followed by Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to charitable giving. Made popular by social media, this philanthropic effort is gaining wide popularity and participation by businesses and non-profit organizations alike. For 2015, Giving Tuesday falls on December 1st. Read on to learn how non-profits and businesses can get involved.

Save-the-date-blue2

What Is Giving Tuesday?

In 2012, New York’s 92nd Street Y, a Jewish cultural and community organization, partnered with the United Nations Foundation to begin Giving Tuesday as a global day of giving. Three years later the day is growing in popularity and becoming more recognizable.  As the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving approaches there are ways to get involved.
(more…)

Signalfire, a Delavan-based award winning creative digital and branding agency, has won two 2015 Telly Awards in collaboration with Drywater Productions and Lakeland Animal Shelter. The Telly Awards has honored the very best film and video productions, groundbreaking online video content, and outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs for 36 years.

Telly Award WinnerSignalfire was awarded the 2015 Award for Fundraising Promotion Online Video Online Webisodes, Segments, or Promotional Pieces- Charitable Not-for-Profit and the 2015 Award for Fundraising Promotion Online Video-Online Webisodes, Segments, or Promotional Pieces-Fund Raising. The video was entitled Lakeland Animal Shelter’s Extreme Shelter Makeover and was produced to promote the capital campaign for Lakeland Animal Shelter, located in Elkhorn, WI.

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Signalfire launches WCEDA website

Walworth County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) has launched a newly redesigned website created by Delavan-based digital marketing agency, Signalfire. WCEDA is the county’s lead economic development agency that works with the state, regional and local business development organizations to create customized solutions supporting economic growth.

WCEDA was created in 2003 with the mission statement: Walworth County Economic Development Alliance is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Walworth County residents by working with public and private sector partners to advance efforts that create jobs and build private sector investment in our communities.

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On Friday May 8th, Lakeland Animal Shelter unveiled a new video during the Second Chances Dinner, the non-profit organizations premier fundraising gala at The Abbey Resort. The eight-minute video was produced by Signalfire, a Delavan-based award winning digital marketing agency, and was shown to nearly 300 attendees. Signalfire was asked to produce the new video after the success of the Extreme Shelter Makeover promotional video, which launched earlier this spring.

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New Camp Edwards Website

Camp Edwards, a historic YMCA camp in East Troy, Wisconsin, has launched a newly redesigned website, www.CampEdwards.org, to better communicate with camp attendees, camp families, and organizations. Built with WordPress, one of the leading open source content management platforms, the Camp Edwards site boasts a variety of customized features that will showcase the amenities and staff that has been hosting campers since 1929.

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Signalfire concepts and produces fundraising video for new building project

Signalfire is proud to debut a new video appeal as part of Lakeland Animal Shelter’s Extreme Shelter Makeover campaign. The video outlines the critical situation Lakeland faces as their existing facility continues to strain under the rapidly increasing demand to shelter homeless or neglected animals in Walworth County. Lakeland is just under the halfway point of raising over $3 million needed and hopes the video will raise awareness of the situation.

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Mobile Responsive Website for Delavan Lake Condominium

Signalfire has launched a new mobile responsive website for The Delavan Club, a 132-unit condominium association nestled on the shores of Lake Delavan. The new website features easy online administration, event photo galleries, and a secure member area that contains an FAQ section, online reservation forms, a PDF library of important documents, and other critical owner news. The recently launched website will give unit owners easy access to critical news and information regarding their property association.

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Small business owners shouldn't be distracted in marketing efforts

How often has this happened to you? You’re focused on a specific plan when something grabs your attention. You try and fight it, but it happens so suddenly. Your whole plan gets tossed aside for something different. Something newer. A cute, distracting animal with a furry tail. A squirrel. Just like in the Pixar movie, UP, the squirrels can shatter your focus.

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Environmental non-profit organization launches new website

Non-Profit Organization Dedicated to Care and Enjoyment of Water Resources Will Use Website To Educate and Coordinate

The Lower Sugar River Watershed Association (LSRWA) launched a new interactive website, www.lsrwa.org. LSRWA is an organization dedicated to empowering citizens with experience and knowledge to become stewards of the land and water resources in the Lower Sugar River Watershed in Southwestern Wisconsin. (more…)

Here there be trolls

Why Should Small Business and Non-Profits Watch Social and Political Comments Closely

Everyone has an opinion. Few things have empowered expressing our opinions as much as social media and the web. With just a few taps of our phones, a couple clicks on a mouse, or even changing a profile picture, we announce to the world our stances on a host of social, economic, and political topics. It’s not contained by “business versus personal” accounts, but represented by each of your team. The question is: can it hurt your business or organization? In a word—YES.

Social media “activism” has spawned a whole new level of divisiveness on the web. Without the repercussions of physically facing or communicating directly with people and the false sense of “harmless” ease which updates can be made, social media has become a vast no man’s land of “if you’re not for us, you’re against us” sentiments. Like it or not, even your fledgling Facebook business page is smack in the center of the battlefield.

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