Meet Phase - Why And How Do They Reinvent Digital Design Software?

Digital design and marketing have been in a love affair for many years - and are now practically inseparable. Marketers, designers and developers work hand in hand building web and mobile products. And the ultimate success is impossible without a close alignment and collaboration between all three.

There has been however a huge gap between the three parties. Designers draw pictures. Developers write tons of code.

And marketers? They often sit idle waiting for the former two working. And when finally they have a look at the product - it often turns out being not exactly what the consumers wanted. It may look “right” - but it’s not how it works. Repeat the process.

Reason? - Our Design Tools Are Inadequate

Our design tools were built to create print images. Back in the times when feedback loop was fast and a single “product” took just hours, not days and weeks to create.

Modern, digital products no longer work this way. Developers need to know exactly how the product works and “feels” - not just how it looks. Designers must not write code and transform into the mystical “unicorns” - it’s not what they do best. And marketers must understand and be able to market the products before they’re even finished.

Phase - Reinventing Digital Design.

We got a chance to chat with Vlad, a co-founder of Phase - the new digital design tool that got announced last month. Phase aims to bridge that gap in the creation of digital products.

Vlad, so could you please tell us more about what Phase is?

Phase is a digital design tool. It enables you to create advanced interactions visually, without any limitations or writing code. We want to destroy the division between developers and designers, allowing the latter to create whole working digital products themselves.

Why is it so different?

All the previous design tools tried to “patch” some isolated problems in our design process. The result is that designers must now use 2, 3 or even 5 separate tools in their workflow.

In the dynamic digital world, it’s no longer enough to just design an image. Designers are tasked with designing how exactly the products must work. Code is one way to do that. Code is powerful and flexible - so let’s write code? In the creative process, however - code slows everything down. A lot.

Phase is all visual, and lets designers design fully working products. Phase 1.0 is going to let you import Sketch files and create advanced interactions. In the future versions, we will build full app previews, visual version control, real data, and export to code API (any platform and language/framework).  

So when is Phase getting released?

Phase 1.0 is going to see the world early this summer. We’ve now opened the beta waitlist. If you want to lay your hands on Phase beta - welcome to sign up on our website.

Finally, what are the people that stand behind Phase?

We are a small team still: six people, coming from five different countries and three continents. What unites us is the passion for design and software.

Thank you, Vlad! We’ll be looking forward to the release of Phase and further news on the product.

10 Influencer Marketing Strategies that you should know in 2018 [Infographic]

Among many brands and marketers, influencer marketing is a preferred form of marketing. According to Linqia, nearly 39% of marketers are planning to increase their budgets for influencer marketing in 2018. This clearly indicates that marketers have realized the importance of influencer marketing.Read more

Five Marketing Must-haves For an Online Start-up

We can’t deny the impact technology has had on our professional life since the last decade, the most significant of the technological advancement being the internet and its impact. With the strain on our economies these days, which doesn’t seem to be getting better, people now more than ever are looking for financial security and to do that, they’re starting their businesses especially that are online. Online businesses are easier to manage especially because people are looking to start them on the side while keeping their jobs. However, there are few things one needs to keep in mind before starting an online business so here are five marketing must-haves for an online start-up.Read more

6 Easy Ways To Engage Readers on Your Small Business Website

Bold and unique!

It’s how your website should be, according to leading digital marketeers. As we all know from experience, it’s easier said than done.

As a small business owner, you’re maintaining your website while actively running your business. We understand that good organization and multitasking are a vital part of your everyday routine.

To help you improve engagement and increase the number of visits on your website while keeping up with your everyday responsibilities and goals, we’ve synthesized these 6 easy ways for you to take on gradually and at your own pace.Read more

How to improve your AMP pages by using Google Search console

The recent statistic shows that there are over 1.3 billion websites hosted on the internet today. And, this number is increasing every single day. What this means is that more and more information is being transferred via the information superhighway or the internet.

Due to this increase in the volume of information, the problem of the slow internet is also arising. The demand for higher speed has led to an invention of 2G, 3G, and so on.

As an internet provider can’t limit the flow of information on the internet, the only thing they can do is upgrade the technology for a better internet speed. Despite all the efforts, there are still the issues of slow internet faced by many people all over the world.

For e-commerce businesses, a slow internet is equivalent to the loss of dollars. It’s crucial for an e-commerce business for their pages to load fast for a better conversion. Today, more than 50% of shipping conducted on the internet is done using a mobile device. Therefore, any e-tailer hoping to be successful will need to ensure a smooth customer experience when viewing products on a mobile phone. Due to the problem of the slow page load, the Google and Twitter came up with AMP pages.

The full form of AMP pages is Accelerated Mobile Pages. In simple words, AMP pages are simply the stripped-down form of HTML. These pages are designed to be super lightweight for significantly improving the page load speed.

Talking about social media platforms this project is kind of a response to the Facebook Instant Article introduced by Facebook. One of the great things about AMP pages is that it’s an open source, which means all kinds of designs are open to changes.

Why AMP Pages load faster than normal pages?

The AMP pages are also known as the diet HTML pages. There is a restriction to use certain HTML tags like forms when preparing AMP pages. Furthermore, the full version of CSS is now allowed to use in AMP pages.

The users are asked to use a streamlined version of CSS while creating AMPs. And, the use of Javascript is completely banned in AMPs. The off-shelf JavaScript library is provided to the users who want to use some Javascript.

The whole idea of AMP is readability and pure speed. The images on the AMPs are also not loaded until and unless the user scroll and view the images.

Factors to consider before using Google Console for optimizing AMPs

Currently, the AMPs are only for mobile searches. According to the statistic, around 125 million American consumers use smartphones, and the usage of the smartphone is rapidly increasing over the period of time.

The use of AMPs will help to improve Google ranking in mobile search. However, it’s important for webmasters to optimize their AMPs. We will discuss how to use Google Console for optimizing AMPs in the next section of this article.

Let’s first discuss the factors to consider before using Google Console for optimizing AMPs.

  • The AMPs must be designed, according to the AMP HTML guidelines.
  • In case you have both AMP and non-AMP webpage version, you must use “<link rel="amphtml" href="" />” for letting Google know about AMP versions.
  • Validate your AMPs.
  • Make use of structured data markup to observe a better visibility on Search Engine Ranking Position (SERPs).

How to use Google Console for enhancing AMPs?

After you’re done with taking care of the factors that I’ve mentioned below, you’re all ready to use the power of Google Console for enhancing AMPs. Here are some of the ways to use Google Console for enhancing AMPs.

  1. Make use of AMP-experiment for optimizing AMPs

The first way to use Google Console is to make use of AMP-experiment <amp-experiment>. This feature offered by Google Console can be used by the webmasters for testing AMPs on the basis of user experience.

There are plenty of ways offered to the users for using AMP-experiment. The users can add more than 1 URLs for the experiment purpose. And, there are ways for users to test several components as well with the AMP-experiment feature. (

This experiment allows the users to collect data while diverting the traffic they receive.

  • <amp-pixel>: This behaves similar to the pixel that is used for the tracking purpose. It can be used by the user for the purpose of counting the page views.
  • <amp-analytics>: This is a pixel that helps in getting the hold of analytics data that are associated with the AMP document.

In order to carry out an experiment on AMPs, the user should first configure the experiment. The user is required to use the tag <amp-experiment> for specifying experiment behaviors. The JSON configuration comes into play for specifying experiment behaviors.

Here are some of the attributes that can be specified with JSON configuration.

  • This allows the users to know whether it is a compulsion to assign users to experiment variables or not. The JSON configuration allows you to know if it is necessary or not to always use same users for the experiment purpose or not for the specific attributes.
  • The users can know the amount of traffic required to be sent to specific experiment variants.

In addition to these features, the users also have an option to make use of VARIANT substitution for seeking out the variants that are assigned to the specific users. This substitution can be extremely useful, especially when there is a need of multiple experiments.

  1. Make use of AMP-analytics

The second way to use Google Console for optimizing AMPS is by making the use of AMP-analytics. The amp-analytics components make it possible for the users to keep track of the user interactions in the forms of traffic, page impressions, and so on.

This feature is quite useful for collecting specific metrics that may make an impact on events. The AMP-analytics is supported by multiple analytics providers.

In case the users decide to make use of multiple amp-analytics for configuring data sets and endpoints, the AMP controls and shares all the specified data to the analytics providers. This is the script that is used below the <head> tag. <script async custom-element="amp-analytics" src=""></script>

However, you must keep one important thing in your mind. It’s a must to use your own account number, not the account number of a placeholder while utilizing the feature of amp-analytics.

With the help of JSON configuration, it’s also possible for users to include various events in their experiments. The Javascript is missing in JSON format, which may increase the chance of making mistakes.

The AMP-analytics is a very dynamic platform. It offers the users with useful new developments and features for acquiring insights to add to the AMPs performance. For the purpose of improving the user performance, it’s recommended for the users to include a tab AMP roadmap.

The inclusion of the tab AMP roadmap allows the users to keep track of the latest developments.

  1. Test the AMPs validity with the help of AMP Plug Validator

The final way to use Google Console is via the use of AMP Plug Validator. This feature is necessary for the validation of AMPs. You can keep track of the performance of AMPs with the use of AMP Plug Validator.

Keeping track of the AMPs performance helps in ensuring that your pages are loaded as fast as possible. If there are faulty HTML pages, the AMP Plug Validator shows the prompt message, which offers the tips to resolve the issues.

Here is the step-by-step instruction to use AMP Plug Validator via Google Chrome.

  • Open Google Chrome at first and load AMPs.
  • Go to Developer’s tool and choose console
  • Make #development=1 to the URL and refresh the page

After doing this, the console will automatically show the status of your AMP pages. The console will automatically show the error message in case there is an error on the page.

Here are the validation indicators provided by the console.

  • If there are errors within AMPs, the console shows the red signal.
  • The green signal is shown by the console when the AMPs are free of errors.
  • If the current page is not AMP, but there is an AMP, the console shows blue signal and redirects the user to AMP.

The use of these features allows you to keep track of errors and it also provides tips to resolve the issues.

Final Thoughts

The task of optimizing AMP pages with Google Console is not really a difficult task, and you might have understood it by now. However, it does take some work to optimize AMP pages via Google Search Console.

According to the statistic, there are over 199k websites that are actively using AMP pages. According to the study, the majority of the publishers using AMP pages have experienced higher view-ability rates after the use of AMP pages.

Make use of the AMP pages; optimize them via Google Search Console and experience the amazing power of this technology. Just use the features that I have mentioned to begin with. I hope this article has helped you out.

2018 UX Events You Should Attend

Professionals looking to stay on top of the latest trends benefit from attending conferences that feature case studies, hands-on training, and interaction with their peers. Many events offer discounts for early registration, so it’s always a good idea to plan well in advance. Here’s a list of the best choices for 2018, along with advice for convincing your boss they’re worth the investment.Read more

The truth about Data Driven Marketing

Today, no one underestimates the importance of data in the marketing world. Data is the key to learning more about your customers, acquiring necessary information to improve the customer journey, and a polestar for making better business decisions.

Even though being a data-driven marketer is at the top of everyone’s list, it doesn’t mean it’s easy or that it comes naturally to all organizations.

To find out what the most common challenges organizations face, and how marketers are dealing with them, the team at Campaign Monitor partnered with Ascend2 to survey B2C marketers. We then used the responses to create this telling infographic.

The Eye-Opening Truth About Data-Driven Marketing - Infographic by Campaign Monitor

Source: The Eye-Opening Truth About Data-Driven Marketing by Campaign Monitor

SEO and Content Marketing - the perfect combination?

Digital marketing has become the prime marketing strategy in this decade due to the incredible developments in the technologies that accompany its usage, particularly with the Internet. And in the field of digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Content Marketing have been gaining traction as perhaps one of the most-crucial parts of any strategy for many years now.

These aspects play two distinct roles in the digital marketing stream. SEO – which is often regarded as the framework of any online strategy – as long been sought after and worked for as it is the key to attain brand awareness, online visibility, and increase in website traffic. While it involves extensive work on making sure that a particular website is able to increase its ranking in SERPs (search engine results pages), the outcome is often worth it as a business’ website becomes more reputable and more known in the keywords that they are associated with.

Content marketing, on the other hand, is one of the ways for companies to achieve a higher level of engagement and loyalty from their audience and present customers, and as a way to establish themselves as a leader and intellectual in their industry in the eyes of both their target market and of the fellow players in the industry.

But will they be able to work hand-in-hand to give your company the best of what they can offer? Find out with this infographic by CJG Digital Marketing.


Embedded from CJG Digital Marketing

To embed in your own web use this code:

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Try These 7 Ideas To Boost Your Visual Marketing Game

Marketing has revolutionized itself in the past decade and continues to do so even now. The Internet has waved its magic wand and changed the fate of marketing forever. From traditional door-to-door marketing to working behind the computers to reach the audience, marketing has come a long way. Digital marketing has changed the way consumers get introduced to a new product and their buying behaviour.

The digital marketing era began with simple HTML websites making its way to the audience. The restrictions during that time were lack of access to internet and devices. For a marketer, it was finding the type of content that would intrigue the already limited audience.

This changed drastically in the 2000s when social media made its entry into the digital world. This started with Orkut, one of Google’s erstwhile, once-popular babies who unfortunately succumbed in front of the huge Facebook wave that hit the digital world. This, however, provided marketers with a huge opportunity to reach the masses.

Along with social media marketing, another potential platform with huge opportunity was blooming on the horizon – Blog. It offered room for direct subtle promotions through educational and informative content that added value to the customers/prospects as well. Techniques such as SEO, AdWords, and PPC boosted the blog promotion to reach people across the world.

Although digital marketing is reaching its saturation level in terms of new platforms, there is still huge potential with regards to the type of content that is being generated. Marketers are always looking for new methods to make the content interesting for the internet population. Text-based content such as articles, blogs and websites are still the core of marketing. But it is found that visual marketing is gaining immense popularity among users. 2017 saw a huge upsurge in visual marketing, and for good reasons. Facebook posts with images received 2.3 times more engagement than those without images. Tweets with images received 150% more retweets. Safe to say, images play a huge role in increasing your marketing efforts. So, what can we do differently with visual marketing that can boost your brand visibility and reputation?

Here are some of the ideas to create an effective visual marketing strategy

  • Build a blog with text AND image!

Blogs are a great way to reach the audience. It is popular, powerful and fun! But blogs may not find its true potential if it gets limited to only few audience. There should be an X-factor that prompts readers to share them in their circle. Images can offer that. Statistics say that blogs with images produce 650% higher engagement that textual blogs. It is evident that something about images adds better clarity and retention of the message. It could be the basic fact that visuals are more powerful than words.

When using images, marketers need to keep a few things in mind. The image quality should be premium and should not be compromised. Use images that are related to the topic you are communicating. Otherwise, it just turns into fillers. Last but not least, ensure copyrights of the image you use. Any copyright violation could seriously damage the reputation of your platform.

  • Visuals make readers stay

You open a link to a text content, found a 2000-word “how to” article. You are really interested to learn it. But after 200-300 words, your focus and interest start going downhill. You still manage to stay but drop off after 500 words, especially if the article is boring. You see another link with on the same “how to”, opened the link, found an infographic with nice visual elements and summarize everything about the topic in beautifully crafted 200 words. It is colourful, precisely explains the point and doesn’t eat up your time. Which one would you prefer? Which one served your purpose?

It is not always necessary to explain everything using words. Visual representation, if done the right way can be a powerful marketing tool. The only thing to keep in mind is to keep the core message and clarity intact while you try to trim down words or get creative.

  • Memes

Most people use social media and internet for entertainment. Even if not, a little humour and poor joke (PJs as the new-gen say!) can lighten up things and enhance the overall user experience. Memes are one of the great ways to do it. This piece of content is already viral on social media, usually as a short video or an unusual image with an equally strange caption. After realizing its popularity, social media platforms have specific algorithms to promote the content to redefine their customer experience. Marketers have an excellent opportunity to ride on this wave to catch some fish.

One of the major reasons why meme game backfires for most brands is that they use it for overt promotion and not adding any value. Grammarly is one of the brands that use the meme game just fine! Look at their Instagram page or Pinterest page and you will know what I am talking about. The memes are creative, funny but at the core messaging resonates with the brand image – enhance your written communication! So instead of using unrelated memes, blend it with your brand and see the difference it makes to your visual marketing!

  • Videos

Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

These statistics provide some mind-blowing numbers that will help you to understand the monumental effect videos have on internet users and marketers. It won’t be exaggerating to say that videos ruled internet in 2017. Amidst overloaded content, videos are a refreshing change. It catches a user’s attention soon, increases the engagement and retention rate and also offer stronger emotional connectivity. Not to mention the fact that it significantly complements your SEO efforts and brings more traffic.

We all know of the phrase ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’, hence if video is a series of pictures, how many words might video be worth? Well, research by Dr James McQuivey found that video could be worth a minimum of 1.8 million words per minute – if one picture is a thousand words, and video is filmed at 30 frames per second, then a single second of video is word 30,000 words. 30,000 words x 60 seconds = 1.8 million words per minute.

Marketers should focus on creating content that the user actually wants to see. Rather than overt promotion, it could talk about the vision and emotions attached to your brand. This will build credibility for your brand and make the audience trust you. The content need not be serious all the time. It’s all about how you connect with your audience

  • Data visualization

Let me get one thing straight! Nobody wants to deal with a lot of numbers, except numbers on currency (I am joking. Probably not!). Anyway, the point is, if you throw statistics and numbers at a reader as it is, that is probably going to exhaust them. Instead, visuals are a great way of presenting them. Numbers can be made interesting and understandable using charts, diagrams and creative infographics, especially if you are a research firm or financial entity. This way, you will be able to connect with users effectively.

  • Optimization for SEO

Okay! You have done all the hard work. You have purchased the best stock photos for your website, created some amazing visual graphics and all set to go. Yet, you are not getting the desired result. That’s because your images are not optimized for SEO. To leverage the full potential of images, use the target keywords in the image title, file name, description and alt-text. Adjust the file size without compromising on the quality for easy loading. Also, ensure that it is mobile-friendly as most people these days access the internet through mobile. This way, your visual game would be top-notch and you will reap maximum benefits.

  • Mix up the content

Finally, you don’t have to stick to one single way of visual content. Just like you can follow the same menu every day, an audience will get bored with the same style of content. So opt for multiple types of content. Play around with videos, gif, meme, blogs, infographics or if you want to invent something new, go for it! Who knows, it might just be the next big thing! Just make sure your audience is having fun and you got this.


There are millions and millions of content on the internet. The majority are useless and do not add any value to the readers. Only a strong marketing strategy built on a stronger content strategy can make your brand stand out from the noise. Visual marketing can play a key role here. Social media platforms that focus on visual content such as Instagram, Pinterest and even Twitter are creating huge revenue. This shows how engaged people are with visual media. With YouTube streaming millions of videos every day and gifs and memes being shared, almost maniacally, visual content is definitely a key player in the overall digital marketing success.

Content marketing is the king and visual content marketing has already taken the internet by storm. With a huge number of views, engagements and shares for visual content on social media, the party’s just begun! 2018 will see more marketers trying to leverage visual content and more users waiting for entertainment. Those who utilize this marketing technique tactfully and wisely will surely gain huge benefits.

So if you are yet to explore visual marketing, start using it and have fun! If you are already using it, fine-tune your skills and revise your strategies to suit the market and the audience.

Author Bio:
Stevan Mcgrath is a digital marketing professional who possesses expertise in brand design and development. Stevan is passionate about utilizing his diverse skill sets for new and innovative online marketing strategies. He has worked as a freelancer and a contributor to ProvenSEO. Despite having a wide influential reach, he seeks client satisfaction as his topmost priority. He also writes blog posts on recent digital marketing trends. To know his work and more details you can follow him on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google+.

2018 Email Marketing Will Continue to Engage Consumers

Why Email Marketing?

Research show that more than 34% of the people worldwide are active email users which account for 2.5 billion population. It is predicted to increase to 2.8 billion in the next 2 years. The Group's statistics also states that of all the email transactions that happen on a day, 109 billion are business emails. Hence supporting the numbers and from my personal experience being on both ends of the business, I can say email marketing is both a dynamic and substantial means of reaching out and connecting with people. Email has been undeniably one of the biggest parts of our lives in terms of communication. It is still one of the most cost-effective ways of engaging your consumers. It still is one of the traditional platforms that continues to hold its importance in creating brand awareness and converting people into members, customers or supporters.

With social media gaining importance over the past few years the competition remains high as marketers review and optimise their strategies to improve email ROI.

So having established the importance of Email marketing we now look forward to some of the major trends that are likely to sustain and improve this approach in the coming year.

Email Marketing Trends to look forward to in 2018 and help improve your approach:

  1. Mobile Friendly

As per statistics more and more emails are now being read on mobile than on desktop email clients. We now live in a smartphone society and I myself like millions of others is an ardent consumer of content on the move and mobiles are just the kind of device that is handy and practical. Be it checking emails or social media notifications, this medium of marketing is definitely something to optimize on. The emails should be optimized to suit the mobile interface as slow loading emails that are not compatible with mobiles will risk the chances of lower user engagement. Thus lesser number of clickthroughs.

Many mobile visitors end up on the websites from articles and we may end up seeing more articles ending up with email subscriptions to increase conversions. The design of screens on mobile devices has to be visual friendly, easy to read and preferably designed in a manner easy to scan through quickly for reading on the move.

  1. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to have an impact 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation by which the European Union intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). It becomes enforceable from 25 May 2018. This is the biggest change that will affect email marketing strategies in 2018. For a long time obtaining email addresses, phone numbers and other personal contact details via competitions and promotion has been skills used to increase the contact databases, which were used later for email re-engagement campaigns that the user had not initially and explicitly consented to. But now re-consent needs to be given to store and use personal data.

Steps to be taken by marketers in 2018 to comply with GDPR changes

  • Legal and fair processing of data.
  • Data collection should be done for required, distinct and legitimate purposes.
  • Data is adequate, trustworthy and preserved for only as long as it is required
  • The Data should be handled in a way such that strict confidentiality and integrity of all the personal information is maintained.
  1. Personalization and Segmentation holds the key
  • Personalization of emails has worked since times when emails started being addressed by the first names of the recipients. So when it comes to personalizing the emails it still is better to stick to the basics like addressing email with the consumer's first names. But to add to this you might as well consider the concept of dynamic content in your emails. Dynamic content refers to the HTML within your content which changes according to the needs of the recipient. This works together with segmentation (location-based emails and lists) and together they provide the consumer with an email that is perfectly tailored to their needs.
  • Also important to note is the targeted list of recipients should be carefully analyzed as you do not want to end up in the inboxes where your emails will be deleted or marked read without actually reading it. It hurts your domain reputation and possible chances of connecting with potential customers.
  • Personally, I have always preferred emails from a personalized account more than receiving emails from a "no-reply" email address. It gives me a sense of engaging with a real person.
  • If you’re being marked as spam, your domain reputation is at risk, and there are threats of you becoming blacklisted by email providers. Analyze whether the spam complaints are caused by a new source, bad forms, or you are misinterpreting the expectations of your list. Till you figure out, slow down or completely stop sending emails.
    Beware that your emails might also be landing up in the junk folder and going unnoticed as has happened with me. So that needs taking care as well.
  • Graymail refers to bulk email messages that aren’t technically spam because the recipients gave you their information, but in reality, they get your emails and don’t touch them. Engagement rates crash if recipients don’t open your first email, so if they continue ignoring you, the probability of them ever opening your messages is definitely decreasing.
    Stop sending graymail, and try to take the feedback and understand what message the customer is trying to send you across by not opening your email.

Author Bio:
Nicolas Finet is the Co-founder of – an online solutions company which helps customers to find the best marketing agencies. Follow him on Twitter @nifinet!