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2016 In Review: Changes, Growth, & Smart Websites
We’re now going into our fourth year as a business, and a lot has changed since our small beginnings. We’ve had big wins, and we’ve had some losses—and both have helped us grow. Overall, it was a big year for the industry, both locally and internationally.
What’s in a name?
We officially changed our name from Hello Websites to Hello Digital Marketing a few months ago, and we have plans for that name. We felt that the old name didn’t fully encompass our range of skills. It also typecast us as a one-trick-pony web shop.
Even though our strongest skill is web design, we’re also digital marketing experts, and websites are just the first part of digital marketing. Everything, from social media content to search engine optimization, falls under the digital landscape.
We’ve built up our team.
This year, we added another digital marketing specialist, Patrick, to the team. Steph started as a web design intern before the summer, and we liked her so much, we kept her on the team. Matt replaced our previous web developer in November, and has been a fantastic addition. We also have a student intern, Jacob, who’s been helping with web development as well.
Even better, some of our employees earned certifications in Inbound Marketing, Facebook Advertising, Growth-Driven Design, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics. We’re armed and ready for all things digital.
We’ve smartened up.
As mentioned, we explored growth-driven design this year, along with the idea that websites should be evolving and adapting to meet the user’s needs. That’s when we came up with Smart Websites.
In a nutshell, Smart Websites are all about launching a website quickly, with the minimum-required features, and then growing it out based on user feedback and data collection. This means you don’t need redesigns every couple of years—instead, you just keep working on it, like you would if you would with any other aspect of your business.
We’ve worked with some pretty cool brands.
We’re really grateful to have worked with some of Manitoba’s largest and most recognized brands in 2016. Some stand-out examples include Richardson International, Festival du Voyageur, Appelt’s Diamonds, and World of Water, to name a few.
The industry is never boring.
Sadly, a few agencies in the city closed. We’re not sure why, but it tells us the local industry is shifting, and we’re watching closely as it develops.
Yes, 2016 was a big year for us locally, but were bigger shifts in the larger digital industry. Here are some noteworthy changes:
- Meercat and Vine, two video-based social platforms, went offline.
- Live video exploded and will undoubtedly conquer in 2017.
- Virtual Reality came to us sooner than expected, and the industry is trying to keep up.
- Instagram “borrowed” some features from SnapChat, and regained its spot at the top.
- Facebook was busted for fudging some advertising numbers, causing people to call into question the validity of using Facebook as an ad platform.
- After the US election, Twitter’s validity was called into question due to an enormous number of fake accounts on the social platform.
- Facebook was under fire again after a fake news epidemic.
What we can learn from this:
- Don’t trust everything you see online—even from reliable sources.
- Your business should have a plan for live video in 2017.
- Digital is fickle—nothing lasts for long, so adapt and try to stay ahead.
One more thing…
Thank you to everyone who supported us in 2016. We’re happy to be a part of your lives, even if it’s in a small way. We look forward to another incredible year together.
Cheers to 2017.