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Belo Medical Group knew what it was doing when it recruited the very de rigeur advertising agency Gigil Group to develop their latest campaign. Known for its viral attention-grabbing video ads that more closely resemble arthouse shorts, the leading aesthetic clinic knew that whatever Gigil came up with would elicit strong reactions. And elicit strong reactions they did—except of course, as we all know, for all the wrong reasons.

As soon as it was posted on Belo’s social media accounts on August 10, the #PandemicEffect commercial was universally panned online. Many felt the ad was in poor taste, as the real #PandemicEffect was less about failing to feel beautiful and more on losing jobs and loved ones. Others denounced the ad’s decision to uphold outdated beauty standards and portraying women with plus-sized bodies and body hair as ugly.

In response, Belo quickly deleted the video ad in less than 24 hours. Still, the damage has been done. The overwhelmingly revolted reaction to the commercial brings about a learning opportunity: not just for the creative team involved but for all of us marketing and advertising professionals. What does the #PandemicEffect snafu teach us about effective marketing strategy and how to carefully craft a campaign message?

Empowering messaging trumps scare tactics.

The science backs it up: studies find that ads that evoke pleasant feelings consistently resonate with consumers more than negative, neutral, or information-based commercials do. In fact, positive-based messaging can strike a chord in consumers and is most likely to translate into positive beliefs and attitudes towards the brand. It may be tempting to go for scare-tacting messaging in order to elicit a strong reaction, but positive ads in the long term are still the best ploy for a brand to strengthen and maintain its relevance.

There’s a need to keep up with the times.

Times and cultural norms have changed, and the way people talk about beauty nowadays has become more inclusive and empowering as opposed to the oppressive standards of yore. The Belo ad might have benefitted from lengthy focus group discussions or even social listening, at least just to get a handle on how their desired customers discuss beauty online.

Think long term.

A great example of a campaign that had a perfect handle on how women feel about beauty is Dove’s 2013 “Real Beauty Sketches” digital ad. The company ran with an empowering message on how women are more beautiful than they perceive themselves, and the results speak for themselves: the ad won the Titanium Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and achieved 4.6 billion media impressions. But more important is the campaign’s lasting impact on the brand: nowadays, when people think of Dove the brand, they equate it to inclusive beauty that empowers and encourages.

How would you have improved Belo’s #PandemicEffect video ad? Chime in the comments below!

Your very first internship doesn’t have to just be a college requirement—it can also serve as an exciting avenue to learn and (if you play your cards right) even land your first job! We spoke to two former Brevo interns (now happily employed at the agency) on how their first internship opened their eyes and impacted their career paths.

And just in case you missed it, catch PART 1 of our Brevo ex-intern testimonials here!

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Carissa, 22

Graphic Designer

Former Intern, Batch 2018

I’ll be honest: when I applied for an internship, Brevo was the only company who responded to my application LOL! I was hoping to intern for a small promising company that wasn’t too far from my college dorm. I didn’t want to intern for a really big agency because I heard about how cutthroat they could be.

Second: I hate a lengthy commute. I will absolutely get lost in Manila’s streets if I interned for a company that’s far away! Finally, Brevo’s Jobstreet profile said that most of their employees were young—inside, I was like “YES, MY PEOPLE!”

Brevo replied to my application really quickly. I remember getting a response three days later, and going through my interview on Friday. The following week, I started my internship. 

It was a really new experience to me, having to work with people I don't know in a place I'm not familiar with. Thankfully, Brevo welcomed me and helped me get settled quickly and comfortably. It was also super chill—I never had to work overtime, and everyone was really helpful whenever I needed guidance.

Looking back, I didn’t really face any big challenges in my internship! Oh, except for one thing: THE ELEVATOR. Our old office building had extremely long lines in the morning, so I had to leave for work like an hour earlier. Queuing for the elevator sometimes took me more than 20 minutes (!!!), so I learned to pack my own lunch with me or have it delivered so I didn’t have to deal with the insane lines. 

After my internship ended, Imran said he’d keep a seat warm for me, so I started working as a full-time graphic designer a month after graduating. I liked how, pretty quickly, I’ve established good friendships with my Brevo co-workers. I liked that I didn’t have to start all over again when I started working for realz. Most of all, I’m glad that Brevo cultivated a work space for me where I can truly be myself. 

Brevo has grown in a lot of ways since I joined three years ago. We moved to a bigger office space that fits us all, we won more clients, welcomed more team members, and drank more booze! But one thing that hasn’t changed is Brevo’s strength—still thriving despite the pandemic. We always manage to make things work out.

Follow Carissa on Instagram!

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Gio, 24

Graphic Designer

Former Intern, Batch 2018

Back in my college days, I was looking for an advertising agency where I can apply as an intern. I asked my friends if they know any agencies with art intern openings, and Carissa told me about Brevo. So I submitted my portfolio and sent it out.

I soon saw how Brevo prioritized a proper work-life balance and how it fostered a chill work environment. My co-workers helped me grow as a designer, but we still managed to have a lot of fun. We watched movies after office hours, went drinking at the end of the day, and even raced around in office chairs! It was nice, and I loved every part of it.

Before, I used to struggle with my own creative process. I sometimes got stuck at the beginning. Thankfully, my co-designers shared their own creative processes and what they’d do to overcome their creative block. They’d guide me with the things I get stuck at, giving me a new insight of how I can come up with better ideas.

I really did like my Brevo internship experience. I learned so much from the other designers, so I wanted to stay here in Brevo and continue growing. On the last day of my internship, Imran asked me if I wanted to be a full-time graphic designer after my graduation. I gladly accepted. It’s been three years and I still continue to grow in Brevo as a designer and enjoy the fun!

Follow Gio on Instagram!

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Looking to start off your career the exciting way? Consider interning for us—just send your resume and portfolio to hello@brevo.co now!

Newsflash: an internship is so much more than just a university requirement! For many, it’s your first taste of how the real world works. Out you go under the comfortable confines of school and org work, and in you venture into the hustle and bustle of real-life work. It’s an exciting opportunity to put the concepts and ideas you’ve learned in class into practice, as well as to network and make meaningful professional connections along the way.

Also up for grabs in the internship sweepstakes: your first post-college job? If you play your cards right, then you’ve got it! Need convincing? We speak with four Brevo interns-turned-employees about their first internships and how it has enriched their current flourishing careers.

The following interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Toots, 23

Copywriter

Former Intern, Batch 2019

Back in June 2019, I was looking for an internship to fulfill my college requirements. Thankfully, my brother used to be co-workers with Brevo’s senior designer Gab, who shared an open call for graphic design and copy interns. This caught my brother’s attention, and not so long after, I applied.

I consider Brevo to be my introduction into the world of advertising. Before my internship, I had zero knowledge about writing copy. Most of my experience with writing had to do with making thought pieces for Young STAR or feature articles for The GUIDON. I wanted to expand my horizons and try something new.

Previously, I heard a lot of bad things about agency life, especially regarding the workload, the hours, and the horrible clients. I’m happy to say these were things I never experienced in Brevo! I saw it for myself how this agency valued proper work hours as much as they valued having fun.

This is what I loved most about my internship experience: it changed my perception of agency life and taught me a lot about what an ideal agency can be. Moreover, I loved being exposed to a group of hardworking, extremely creative, and crazy fun people!

I did face a few challenges in my internship, especially when it came to getting into the copywriter mindset. Coming in, I barely had any idea on how to write proper copy. This made me feel incompetent and a bit like an impostor at times, but I kept reminding myself that I chose to intern in Brevo to learn and hone this specific skill.

What really helped me overcome these feelings were Brevo’s Bootcamps, a series of short-but-fun tasks that really challenged me to think outside the box. Apart from that, everyone in the office was so accommodating and inspirational, and all this really helped me become the copywriter I am today.

I remember Bettina, one of my supervisors, told me that Brevo wanted to recruit me as part of the team as soon as I graduate, and I kept that in mind. After grieving my last few days of school (and my youth), I shot my shot and DM’d Carissa on Instagram to ask if there were any job openings.

A month later, I had my interview with (Brevo’s CEO) Imran, which honestly felt more like a catch-up than a job interview. Lo and behold, by August I spent my days on my desk writing copy for a leading cake company. The rest was history!

If we’re talking numbers, quite a lot has changed in Brevo since I’ve joined as an intern. I’m happy to see new faces and new talents in the team, even if it’s just through my computer screen. I’m very proud of the agency’s efforts to expand and still maintain the same warm company culture from my intern. Most especially, years later, I still love seeing my concepts and copy come to life once our artists apply their magic. 

Follow Toots on Instagram!

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Kylle, 21

Part-Time Web Developer

Former Intern, Batch 2020

During my junior year as a Computer Science undergrad, I was looking for a company to intern in for my practicum semester. My best friend, a previous Brevo intern, recommended the agency to me and said many nice things about their work culture. Although they didn’t really have any openings for tech-related positions, I took a chance and sent in my resume.

After my first interview with Imran, I could tell that Brevo was different from the other companies I interviewed for. During our meeting, we talked about not just the value I could bring to the Brevo team, but also what value this internship would bring me.

Thanks to the pandemic, I had to complete my internship from home. Admittedly, I was pretty disappointed at first. But after getting to know the Brevo team through my laptop screen and countless Skype messages, I felt right at home. I loved how everyone was very welcoming and fun, proving that the warm work culture I heard so much about existed beyond the four walls of a physical office.

I did face a few challenges as an intern. As I haven’t met any of my coworkers in person, I found it challenging to coordinate with everyone for my daily tasks. At the time, Brevo didn’t have a resident web developer, so I was hesitant in asking anyone for help for the longest time. Eventually though, I fell in love with learning on my own pace and terms, which made me comfortable enough to talk to my co-workers and ask how I could help them too.

Towards the end of my internship, I saw that my load for the next semester was pretty light and that I’d have an ample amount of free time. So I took my chance and asked Imran if they were open to hiring me as a part-time web developer for the next few months. Although they generally didn't hire part-timers, he told me it was something he and my other supervisors were already considering! And that’s how I got my first real job.

It didn’t take much convincing for me to believe each Brevo team member had their own unique and charming quirks. The cherry on top is really how easily we seem to work together even during the new normal. I fell in love with the company’s innate system of collaboration during the lockdown, and how they provided clients with well-thought-out, top-tier creative work. I was stuck in a technical mindset care of my course, so being surrounded with all this creativity while I practiced web dev is incredibly refreshing.

Follow Kylle on Instagram!

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Looking for an unforgettable creativity-filled first internship? Shoot your shot and send your resume and portfolio to hello@brevo.co now!

All work and no play makes for a dull company, which is why every now and then, we at Brevo like to throw parties. Even now, we try to find the time to come together and rock out—we just happen to do it digitally.

Virtual video conference parties can be fun, but they’re not exactly easy to put together. It’s difficult to replicate the feel of a physical gathering, and we have to acknowledge the reality of Zoom fatigue. Still, it’s all we got, and it’s important for coworkers to meet virtually for recreational purposes! 

When you get right down to it, connecting through the internet allows us to come together, build strong bonds, and make meaningful attachments. So we put together a list of best practices that can make your virtual gathering a night to remember.

1. A Theme Makes the Dream Work

A theme-less party is like a burger without toppings—it’s fine, but why settle for plain? Your party needs a theme, a concept, an idea that people can get behind. The theme can dictate your virtual party’s general vibe.

It’s also a chance to dress up! A Christmas or Halloween party will compel your guests to come correct in festive costumes or attire. And if the virtual party doesn’t fall on a particular holiday, that’s just more room to move around in! How about “Disco”? Or “Summer in the 90s”? Or “Mall Punk”? Organizers get a chance to go bananas with key words while guests get to make sense of the theme like a puzzle. 

Consider as well a collaborative effort where the whole team decides on a theme together—that can take the form of a poll or a brainstorm. Themes are like creative prompts for your guests, that allow them to express themselves in unique ways.

2. You Get A Freebie! And You Get A Freebie!

Y’know how party invitations are automatically more enticing if they say there’s an open bar? That still applies to online gatherings, believe it or not, even though the new normal doesn’t let drinks flow as freely. When a company sends physical favors to their employees for the party, like free food and booze (and non-alcoholic options too!), that’s them saying “Hey, we’re bringin’ the party to you.”

Remember: “eat, drink, and be merry” isn’t just a suggestion—it’s a sequence of steps. You gotta do the first two before you can have a good time.

3. Get It Right With Invites

Setting the rhythm of a party happens as soon as people show up. A few early birds come in, hosts get a chance to give their ice breakers a test drive, and people get to ease into the feeling of being in the group. More people enter the virtual room, turn their mics and cameras on, and find themselves in a conversation finding its footing. The last batch of people come in fashionably late, and by this point the gathering has settled into a kind of groove, with people talking and listening and acclimating to the atmosphere.

This isn’t something you can achieve when everybody comes in at the same time, all at once, which can be overwhelming. So here’s a tip from Business Insider: stagger your invites! Make an invitation plan that lets people attend gradually, in portions and increments.

4. Hands Up, They’re Playin’ Our Song

Speaking of rhythm! Nobody wants to show up at a party and be met with dead air, or the plain white noise of chatter. Ideally a playlist of bops is already doing its thing in the background. A solid party playlist can help build an atmosphere, and get your guests in the right mindset!

Ideally, you’ve got somebody manning the DJ booth equivalent of your chosen platform. There are also services that allow people to “pass the aux cord around,” so to speak, and people can take turns playing their favorite tunes.

5. Game Plan

It might be common sense at this point for anyone who’s ever held a Zoom party, but your gathering likely needs games. Putting games in your itinerary lets people know what to expect from the night. Not to mention prizes!

Games do a good job of helping wallflowers feel included too! Trivia nights, competitions, and song-and-dance presentations have a way of getting people out of their shells. Remember, the goal isn’t to turn your introverts into extroverts! It’s to bring people together.

This Valentine’s Month, we’re talking romance and relationships. Let’s begin by tackling an age-old question: can you work at the same company with your significant other? Is it possible to maintain both romantic and professional relationships with your lover-slash-colleague? To find out, Jeremiah Capacillo spoke with Brevo graphic designers Carissa Lucasia and Tim Leachon, aka the agency’s resident creative power couple.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Jeremiah: Hey guys! Okay, let’s start with the basics—how did the two of you meet and fall in love?

Tim: Carissa and I were actually both batchmates and coursemates at the College of Saint Benilde, we were both then taking up Multimedia Arts.

Carissa: We weren’t close for the first few years. We just knew each other from mutual friends and classes.

T: Later on, I followed Carissa on Twitter and we started chatting online.

C: A few pizza dates later and, well, here we are.

J: Carissa, you’ve been working as a graphic designer for Brevo since 2018. Tim, you joined the team as a designer in 2020. Did the two of you have any anxieties or worries about working together?

T: Nope, no anxieties for me so far. We’re used to working with each other since college, and we bring out the best in each other. I think if anything changed, [it’s] all in a positive way.

C: I’m gonna be honest, yes I was a bit anxious. I know myself, and I know that I’m a different person when I'm in a relationship, versus when I’m at work as a creative. I was also a bit worried that our personal life might overlap with my professional life, and I might not be able to handle it well. I was also thinking, what if there was a conflict of interest? Because Tim's my boyfriend, and suddenly he joined our agency. Will there be bias, or something? So we try to keep things as professional as possible now.

J: Did you guys put any boundaries in place to clearly delineate your work life and love life? Like just to make sure that there's no overlap? 

C: I told Tim before he started to minimize the PDA in our work group chat. [laughs] I know some people don't like that, and personally I also don't like PDA that much. So when we do PDA, we make it a point to keep it between ourselves.

J: So, how has your relationship changed ever since you both started working together?

T: I got to see a new side of Carissa. It’s nice to see her hard at work at an office setting, so my respect for her as a creative really grew.

C: For me, the time we spend together each day has increased significantly. I like it because for example, I no longer have to check up on Tim to see if he’s eaten lunch, stuff like that. I also love seeing the ways Tim grows, like in terms of skills and time management, etc.

J: Okay! So next question: has working together made you see your SO in a new light?

C: For me, yes. I saw how much more creative Tim could be, and I saw how easily he gets along with people. Before we worked together, I didn’t really see how he worked with his former officemates. But even back then, he already got along really well with the Brevo team. So when he joined our agency, I fully saw just how well he can get along with new people.

J: Tim, how about you?

T: Well, I saw how different Carissa’s work environment was from where I used to work, and it made me appreciate how much hard work goes into producing actual design studio work. She inspired me to work even harder, seeing that she works way better than...

C: [laughs] Than who?

T: No I mean….as compared to my previous work environment, which was super chill.

C: Ahhh, okay.

T: So comparing that to how hard Carissa has to work daily, it inspired me to be more creative and work even harder.

J: Have you guys learned anything from each other since you started working together?

C: Hmm, what have I learned from Tim? [laughs] I guess I learned some technical stuff from him. At his previous job, he used to work on animation and video editing. So now, when I work on animation, I ask him for help. He helps me with exporting stuff, hotkeys, and other technical things.

J: So, time for the million-dollar question: do you think you can work in the same office as your SO? 

T: Yes.

C: Yeees.

T: Big yes.

C: As long as you both set clear boundaries, and you’re both okay with working together.

J: Do you have any advice for couples who find themselves with the opportunity to work together in the same office? 

T: Just don't mix up personal issues and work. It really affects your work process, and most likely you’ll end up not being able to focus on your tasks.

C: Very true. I'm not really the best at giving advice, but I agree with Tim—you really have to be able to separate your personal issues from your professional life. Like, you don't always have to be all work work work, or all love love love. There has to be a balance between the two. Also, enjoy the time that you have together!

Every December, a few days before Christmas Day, my creative agency Brevo ceases all operations for a two-to-three week period during the holidays. For the past three years, this is what we’ve always done each year, and what we will continue to do moving forward.

There are a few factors that led me to this decision. One, agency life is very hectic and fast-paced. Especially for creative people—I think they need to be able to step back and breathe every now and then. On a personal level, it allows them to spend quality time with family and friends over the break. 

I honestly just think it makes for healthier and more productive employees. A lot of people want to skip the holidays, and I just don't think that's a good thing. A break lets them recharge and come back with a fresh outlook for the next year. 

This isn’t easy, considering that the Christmas period is usually the busiest time of the year. When you work in an agency, and especially when you work with FMCG clients, the holidays are a crucial sales period. And they require an agency to be constantly churning out content, especially during a period where consumers are more likely to shop more.

When I was in the US, I had a meeting with a client today who told me: "We'll probably get two days off on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then we're back to work." And the same thing happened to me in the UK—me and my co-employees would bargain with each other as we arranged our holiday working schedule.

For Brevo, I didn't want to have that type of environment. I considered all factors, and saw that the positives far outweighed the negatives. Personally, I think it has even made our agency more productive. And just being able to press that off switch for the holidays has done wonders in recharging one's creativity.

It isn't a common practice, and less so for the advertising industry. Still, I looked at it from a human perspective. It's always good to take time off, and letting employees know this is incredibly important. Our yearly shutdown shows my employees that the company is human, and that we encourage them to spend quality time with their loved ones. In turn, they hopefully develop a loyalty to Brevo and our culture, and how we operate. No matter how busy we get, we make it a point to not compromise our holiday break.

I remember bringing it up with one of our clients in our first year working together, and they were admittedly very surprised. But what was encouraging for me was by the second year, they started asking me when our Christmas break will take place so they can plan around it. I knew then that I had made the right decision. 

We make it a point to reassure our clients that whatever needs to be done will be done before we go, and we have a plan for when we come back, and that it's like they won't miss a beat with us. And once they saw that, the clients all came on board. Now, we let our clients know the date of our shutdown beforehand, and thankfully everyone understands and respects it.

To date, Brevo hasn't missed a deadline due to our year-end shutdown. I credit that to much planning, especially from the accounts team. We plot our last day a couple of months ahead, and we start to plan accordingly in terms of projects and what we need to discuss with clients ahead of time. We plan out deadlines, and decide on what can be postponed to next year. Thankfully, our clients have always understood that. We haven't had any pushback from their end.

We're also selective when it comes to taking on projects during the holidays. If there's a particular project that will compromise our agency shutdown, we just wouldn't take it on. The long-term benefits to team morale and mental health far outweigh the short-term financial success. If you don't draw a line in the sand somewhere, then that line will always be moved. And that's something I always like to stand by.

Honestly, I would say to all CEOs out there: treat your team as you would want to be treated yourself. If you're that type of CEO that is constantly working, you need to understand that not everybody might be driven by the same things that you are, and you need to consider  how your employees can benefit from time with their families.

At Brevo, I can just say that the results have spoken for themselves. We've had success in terms of year-on-year growth, with a minimum growth of 100 percent year-on-year in terms of revenue since we started. Since year 1, we've observed our Christmas break religiously, and our clients and employees have reacted positively to it—and more importantly, our bottomline has grown at least double every year.

For me, the proof is in the pudding, and I think a holiday break is something all companies should be taking on. And let’s not limit it to the holiday season, a healthy work-life balance is very important to the success of a business. I would say the results have been great for us, and I think they would for other companies, too.

website design ideas

Finding the right website design ideas to deploy is an essential part of succeeding in today’s digital marketplace. 

Though we are taught not to judge a book by its cover, your customers will still judge your business by the first impression they get from your website. This is why putting time into thoroughly researching website design ideas is so important. 

It takes an average visitor only 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website

If their experience is bad, they leave. For those who stay past the 50 milliseconds, 38% will ultimately exit if the content or layout is unattractive.

Website visitors only want to interact with a website that is attractive, user-friendly, fast, and informative.

This is partially why selecting the right website design ideas that appeal to today’s online consumers can be so challenging. 

Many companies fail at first attempts. Perhaps you have spent endless hours staring at a blank canvas or whiteboards. Or perhaps you’ve worked with designers that just don’t get your brand identity. 

Let’s look at 10 website design ideas that will get the creative juices flowing and help you better develop a stunning website your customers will love -- websites that get visitors far past the 50 milliseconds hurdle.

Inside of getting granular with our assessment of website design ideas, we’ve chosen to take a bird’s eye view of design, breaking down websites by their design types. 

Here is a quick snapshot of the website design ideas we will cover: 

  1. Panoramic hero banners
  2. Massive product images
  3. Background videos
  4. Walkthrough videos
  5. Parallax scrolling effects
  6. Color changes
  7. Animations
  8. Minimalism
  9. Typography
  10. One-page design

Below, we’ve put together a manager’s guide on how to execute these projects. 

Alternatively, you can jump ahead to the list of website design ideas here. 

Setting the stage: Some preliminary thoughts on generating website design ideas

While there are acceptable practices that websites should follow, every website is unique. An online business property should expose originality for the business behind it and the target audience that will use it.

Good website designers understand that what works for a restaurant company will not work for a financial advisory firm. 

Before diving into the following pool of website design ideas, it's important for us to note here that no project important as website design creation should be developed in a silo away from your marketing, sales, product development and advertising strategies. 

These departments will all ultimately work in unison with your online property.

Defining business goals and objectives

You should begin by identifying your business goals and objectives. What are your short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals?

A clear grasp of your business goals and objectives will help inform KPIs for your website. These KPIs will in turn drive the website design process. 

However, the website goals of an e-commerce business are different from those of a news outlet. Similarly, the website goals of a financial advisor are different from those of a restaurant.

At Brevo, we recommend that business goals follow the SMART approach -- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound -- to translate accurately to your website KPIs.

Every website must have KPIs for measuring success. What does success look like for your business? More subscribers to your mailing list? More orders? Increase in downloads? Increased traffic? More onboarding sessions?

A website designed to maximize traffic (as the primary goal) will look different from a website designed to maximize downloads or onboarding sessions.

Therefore, before exploring our website design ideas, define your website’s goals, objectives, and the KPIs you will use to measure success.   

Defining your target audience and buyer persona

A website directed at young college students will be different from the one directed towards young professionals in the financial industry. What the former considers as attractive may repel the other. 

We already said that a website should be attractive and user-friendly, but attractive and friendly to whom? The ‘whom’ makes all the difference. 

Without a good grasp of your target audience you may be acting against those you should attract. 

One of the earliest steps in the website design process is to clearly define your target audience. 

Here, we need to consider demographics, psychographics, behavioral patterns, geographic and sociographic factors. 

Once you have a handle on your target audience, create your buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. 

For example, suppose you target professionals in the finance industry (target audience). In this case, a buyer persona can be: Lucy, 34, female, reads Bloomberg first thing in the morning, works 70 hours in a week, finds it hard to spend time with her kids, etc.

The buyer persona gives flesh and blood to your target audience. Identify your personas’ pain points and define how your product or service solves their problem. 

You need to keep this buyer persona in mind when exploring website design ideas. 

How will this or that element appeal to Lucy? Will Lucy find this or that element useful? Those are the kind of questions that must be in your mind. 

Understanding your buyer’s journey

The buyer’s journey defines the step your buyer persona will take to become a loyal customer. The standard buyer’s journey moves from awareness to consideration to decision. 

At the awareness stage, the potential buyer becomes aware of your brand. 

The consideration stage is where the potential buyer evaluates your product and service offerings and compares your brand to competitors. 

At the decision stage, the potential buyer has chosen your brand. He is ready to become a paying customer.

There is a buyer’s journey for every buyer persona. 

What path will Lucy take to purchase your home cleaning service, for example? Where will the awareness take place? When is she looking for home cleaning solutions on Google? Does she find them through a recommendation from a friend? A Facebook ad? 

An essential part of your buyer’s journey is identifying when and where your buyer persona will land on your website. 

Will it be at the awareness stage, consideration stage, or decision stage? Where will this buyer persona land on your website? Your homepage, pathway page, or information page? 

You must design your website with your buyer’s journey in mind. 

Create a site structure

The first impact of your buyer’s journey is the site structure.

The site structure details the architecture of your website - how everything is linked to everything else.

Every website begins with a homepage. The rest of the structure depends on your buyer’s journey.

Start by creating your site structure on a whiteboard or in a notebook. Once you create a good site structure, choosing the best website design ideas will become easier.

Create an SEO plan

Before you start creating the website’s individual pages, ensure you have an SEO strategy that will guide the whole process. A solid SEO plan will include on-page and off-page/technical SEO. 

As you define your site structure, start identifying the SEO tips you would implement at every level of your site structure -- from the homepage to product pages to blog posts. 

10 actionable website design ideas

Now that we have reviewed how to execute a website project, let’s start by examining 10 actionable website design ideas that will help you create stunning websites that best fit your target audience and buyer personas. 

1. Panoramic Hero Banners

First on our list of website design ideas is the use of panoramic hero banners. 

These days, there is a noticeable uptick in the popularity of hero banners on websites’ homepages. 

Hero banners are big and bold, creating a visual impact that attracts website users. They also have clear calls to action that are useful for website visitors at the decision stage.

Good hero banners combined with great copywriting can turn your homepage into a direct customer acquisition tool. They help a brand communicate its unique selling proposition (USP) at the very forefront of the website -- the homepage. 

Here is an example of a good hero banner from Apple. There is a large image of the iPhone 12 Pro and a link to learn more about the phone, as well as another link to the store. 

When you get on this website, you instantly know what it is all about -- the iPhone 12 Pro text is large enough for anyone to see. 

It has enough text to communicate some features of the phone, but not too much to weaken the simplicity and appeal.

The homepage of Google Chrome is another good example. 

The bold text face and logo quickly identifies the brand behind the website. The CTA (call to action) is simple and straightforward, with a visual hierarchy that shows its importance.

Adding an image that shows Google Chrome at work is a great marketing idea that other SaaS companies can easily adopt.

2. Massive product images

If you sell a product that is at the heart of your brand, your website should reflect this emphasis. 

The days of using small product images with a large chunk of text are over. 

This is because website creators have discovered that images can create a more significant emotional impact than a block of text. 

Research by Brain Rules shows that when a relevant image accompanies a piece of text, people retain 65% of the information. They only remember 10% when there is no image.

On the ETQ-Amsterdam homepage, there is a massive product image that is instantly appealing. 

ETQ is a footwear e-commerce store. The image of the footwear dominates the page, putting the focus on the brand’s product. There are even more footwear images below and only a minimal amount of text.

Because of the nature of the business, ETQ uses an image carousel rather than a hero banner. From image to image, there are massive pictures that put the product at the center of the brand.

3. Background videos

Videos on a landing page increase conversions by 80% or more and boost the chances of a page 1 ranking by 53%. 

The average clickthrough-rate (CTR) for websites with videos (4.8%) is higher than those without videos (2.9%). 

As a result, many website creators now use videos as the background of a website’s homepage. Background videos are visually appealing and engaging. They are also difficult to ignore.

If done well, background videos can increase the time a visitor spends on your website.

For example, art studio Nowness uses a documentary as a background video on its website. It also happens to be an excellent showcase of the kind of art production work they do.

Using six-minute videos like this will quickly capture the attention of your visitors. 

After spending six minutes on the website, the chances of them further browsing the website will only increase.

4. Walkthrough videos

Next are walkthrough videos. These are instructional videos that explain how to use a product or service. 

Because videos are engaging and interactive, website designers use walkthrough videos to accompany the text on their websites. 

Showing someone how to do something is better than telling them how. 

Or, in popular parlance, “show don’t tell.”

Overflow is a SaaS product for creating interactive user flow diagrams to tell a story. 

There is a walkthrough video on Overflow’s homepage that shows visitors how the software works and what they can accomplish with it. 

Grammarly also uses a walkthrough video to show how their editing software works in real-time.

Including walkthrough videos can help you increase engagement with website visitors and possibly boost conversion rates. 

The logic is simple: We buy what we understand.

5. Parallax scrolling effects

Parallax scrolling is a technique where different elements of a website move at different speeds. 

The most common use of parallax scrolling is when the background image moves at a slower speed than the foreground when you are scrolling through a website. 

Parallax scrolling adds depth and movement to the visitor’s experience, creating more engagement and immersion. 

The Great Agency, a branding and marketing agency, uses parallax scrolling on its website. 

The first screenshot is above the fold. 

But as you scroll downwards, the foreground begins to give way to the background.

6. Color changes

Color changes are another way to transition from one part of a website to the other. 

As the visitor moves around your site, the color changes. 

This color change adds to the attractiveness of the site. 

Nick Jones is an interface prototyper and designer. And Narrow Design is Nick Jone’s portfolio website. 

Nick does a great job using color change transitions as visitors move from one section to another in his site.

7. Animations

In truth, these days animation should always be present on a website design ideas list. 

From our experience, animations greatly help improve the dynamism of a website.

For example, Your Plan, Your Planet is a sustainability program sponsored and organized by Google. 

On the homepage of this website, there are hover animations, CSS3, and storytelling animations. 

All of these elements greatly add value to the user experience by creating a more dynamic introduction to your brand. 

Species in Pieces is designed for the protection of endangered species. 

Here, the site uses transition animations and micro animations to deliver a unique and dynamic experience for users.

Animations like this are so effective because they send signals to the brain that a function has been applied.

They also add visual cues that aid the browsing/reading experience.

8. Minimalism

Minimalism is a growing trend in website design. A minimalist web design seeks to simplify the user interface by removing all superfluous elements. 

When ideally executed, minimalism removes clutter on the website to improve the user experience.

A minimalist website is easy to navigate and SEO-friendly. They also load faster and hardly break down.

Movie Mark is a digital growth marketing agency that designs and implements marketing strategies for clients. 

Their website uses a minimalist approach that allows the company to better focus on their core USPs.

Evoulve, a company that turns emerging technologies into marketable products, is an excellent example of minimalist website design.

Overall, such minimalist websites are easy for website visitors to use and recall.

9. Typography

Typography combines elements like font, color, size, and layout to increase clarity and visual appeal of a site. 

The typography of a website can also convey certain messages and elicit certain emotions better than other website designs. 

Ultimately, this is an excellent way to create visual hierarchy and improve users’ experience.

The website of Pittori Di Cinema, a cinema painting company is an excellent example of large typography. 

The large typography makes the homepage eye-catching and places the focus on the content. The use of large typefaces makes the content attention-grabbing and dramatic.

Visage, a graphics design SaaS platform, uses typography to highlight important content and create a visual hierarchy on its website. 

There is a deliberate attempt to improve the users’ experience from alignment to font type and size. 

10. One-page design

One-page websites are becoming more trendy. 

Designers love one-page websites because they are mobile-friendly and load faster. 

In addition to hassle-free surfing, it’s also easy to tell a brand story through a one-page website.

Viesus is an image enhancement software that uses a one-page website to communicate its brand story. 

Just take a look at how clear they can communicate their brand values in just one scroll.

Use these website design ideas for your business

It’s now time to create a concept from one of these website design ideas that will work best for your business. 

Brevo is a creative marketing agency that helps businesses and organizations create stunning websites that produce results. 

Contact us to discuss which website design ideas will work best for you. 

Need something like this? Work with us hello@brevo.co

social media management for hotels

For some types of businesses, being on social media is as essential as having a website

Hotels are definitely part of this group. But like all marketing activities, social media management for hotels requires planning, execution and constant revision.

In this article, we're going to break down the process of creating an effective social media strategy into easy-to-follow steps that you can apply regardless of the platforms you’re using, whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or Pinterest.

There are two distinct phases: planning and execution.

Let’s jump in to learn more about how to build social media management for hotels. 

Planning out social media management for hotels

There are three preliminary steps within a well-planned social media strategy for the hotel industry. 

1. (Re)define audience and experience

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many operators to redefine the type of guests they want to attract. 

In a scenario where international tourism may decrease by up to 80% in 2020, many hotels will have had to rely on domestic travellers to survive.

As a result, a different type of guest may be looking for a different type of experience. 

All these changes will have an impact on your brand voice and the social media content you’re going to publish, so it’s important to define them before moving forward.

2. Define clear long-term objectives

Although the ultimate reason why you are on social media is to increase your revenue, your long-term goals are also to reinforce your brand message and to stay top of mind with those who can’t or won’t travel at the moment.

Plant the seeds now and manage to keep them engaged. Your hotel will then likely be the first one they’ll think about when they start travelling again.

3. Build a crack social media team

Social media management for hotels can be a fast-paced activity: posting and engaging consistently with your followers is key. 

If you stop frequently -- usually because you’ve run out of ideas or you can’t find the right picture -- your business will look inconsistent and disorganized, with the added risk of losing engagement and followers.

Having a well-organized social media team will help make execution seamless. 

If you’re running a small hotel operation, the idea of ‘building a social media team’ may sound pretentious. But this can simply mean being clear about who is doing what, whether it’s a team of one or a team of 10. 

When building your team, there are two main task areas. 

One is management. Social media managers should have a good knowledge of the hotel's brand voice and values. They are usually responsible for the editorial supervision and for taking the last decision about what can be published or not. They also set goals and benchmarks, measure results, and reply to requests or comments.

The other area is the content creation process, which consists of: 

As you work on these three preliminary steps, it’s important that you create a written document with your findings and be ready to revise it at least once every quarter. 

This will serve as a compass as you move forward and execute your social media management for hotels strategy.

Executing a documented social media strategy 

1. Adopt a plan-ahead mindset

In the previous section we mentioned what many consider the single most important piece of a documented social media strategy: the editorial calendar. 

Although you will occasionally post about unexpected relevant travel-related events as they happen, for the most part you should schedule your updates at least two or three weeks in advance.

If you diligently keep an editorial calendar -- which can be documented on a simple spreadsheet -- you will never run out of ideas and can also have an overview of the type of updates you publish. 

This allows the social media manager to keep oversight and ensure a good balance between different topics, moods and types of posts.

A well-documented editorial calendar should also have a column where we can specify what picture goes with each post. 

Ask any experienced social media manager, and they will tell you that consistently finding high-quality relevant pictures is one of the hardest things in social media management for hotels. 

And, like all difficult things, it tends to be skipped and procrastinated until the last minute.

Finally, don’t forget to update the calendar with the posts you effectively published. 

If anything, this is the step all social media managers need to work towards. 

2. Show off what you got

Once you have a calendar template, it’s time to brainstorm ideas to fill it. The goal here is to show off all the things that your hotel can offer to your guests.

Some of them will be obvious: rooms, stunning views, a central location, special offers, facilities such as a dining room, bar, spa, and gym.

All these are low-hanging fruits, which means your competitors are also posting about them on their social media channels. 

If you want to be different, you will have to dig deeper and be more creative. Here is a short list of less obvious topics to add to your publishing calendar.   

Your local community: Your social media channels are an excellent place to talk about local events and to show commitment to your local community. This will be even more relevant if you’re mainly targeting guests from the same region rather than from abroad.

Safety measures: Now more than ever, your guests expect cleaning and sanitation in your hotel to be first-class. Hanging a ‘Clean and Safe’ certification at the door surely helps, but posting pictures that show how you’re taking the health and safety of your staff and guests seriously, is even better. When it comes to safety, transparency and a lot of details are always appreciated.

Covid-19 policies: Another important aspect of social media management for hotels during the current health emergency is to inform guests about your safety policy regarding protective masks, dining and room service. Ideally, you will have a resource page on your website that you update regularly and publish regular posts on social media with a link to it.

Life at the hotel: Cleaning and sanitation are a specific example of ‘Behind-the-scenes’ content, which tends to be quite engaging. There’s definitely more to explore in this category. By getting your staff onboard, you could show snapshots of a typical day at the reservation desks or in the kitchen, or how room service is organized.

Showcase all customer-facing departments: Getting the hotel personnel involved in your social media activity will create even more opportunities for interesting content. For example, they could use their expertise to give useful advice to followers stuck at home. We suggest creating posts or videos where:  

Pay attention to pictures and copy: ‘Content is king’ also applies to social media content, which is mainly made up of pictures and text. Here are some basic best practices to follow in order to post high-quality content: 

Engage with followers: Social media management for hotels should create conversations, not one-way broadcasts. Engagement is the soul of social media and should be your goal in every piece of content. Be creative, use interesting pictures, questions, suggestions, and calls to action. And try to respond to every post that merits answering. 

Deal with reviews: Every business has a love/hate relationship with online reviews. They love them when they’re positive, hate them when they’re negative, and hate them even more when they seem exaggerated or unfair. 

The main rule: Always do your best to respond to comments made on social media. Research from Harvard Business Review actually shows that hotels get more and better reviews when they do that.

Here’s a quick list of some tried and tested dos and don’ts for dealing with reviews on social media:

Measure results: One thing that separates brands that are on social media 'because you have to' from those with a clear objective is that the latter periodically look at key performance indicators (KPI), measure results and revise their strategy accordingly.

Simply put, KPIs are the signs telling you what in your social media strategy is working and what is not. These could be:

Measuring results is an important step, but make sure you keep it simple. Social media metrics are a huge topic and it's all too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of KPIs.

Hiring the right team to build social media management for hotels

If planning and executing a social media strategy for your hotel seems too daunting, why not leave it to the experts? 

With Brevo, you can have a team of social media professionals take care of the whole social media management for hotels process, from developing editorial calendars to providing creative ideas and knowledge of photo banks.

Need something like this? Work with us hello@brevo.co

Have you been resisting the urge to leave home and head to a cafe and catch up with your friends? If so, kudos for helping flatten the curve! Of course, steering clear of restaurants and pubs may be the wise choice, but it can also affect your social life. What other socially distant option do we have to see our friends but the dreaded Zoom call?

Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to spice up our con-call catch-ups without triggering workplace Zoom PTSD. Below, we list down a few activities to make video-call night with friends something to look forward to!

Teleparty

Missing weekend movie marathons with the gang? Or maybe you all just want to rewatch Game of Thrones together to remember what the point was? Here’s something to tide you over: Teleparty is a free Google Chrome extension that allows you to stream shows and films in sync with your friends. Available for Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO, it even comes with a little group chat box so you can all comment on the plot in real time.

Check out Netflix Party here.

Among Us

Following in the footsteps of Monopoly (aka the ultimate friendship wrecker), Among Us is essentially a game based on deceit: the better you are at lying, the more likely you are to win. Set in a spaceship setting, the goal is to return back home to Earth with your space crew alive. The twist? There’s an alien imposter aboard your ship determined to kill off the crew—and it’s up to you and your friends to find out who among you is the traitor.

Check out Among Us here.

Skribbl

If Pictionary is your friend group’s go-to for game night, you might just enjoy an online game of Skribbl. Unleash your inner Picasso as you attempt to doodle a variety of words and concepts, and have your friends guess what you’re drawing. The person with the most correct guesses wins! Sounds like a piece of cake? Think again: have you ever wondered how to draw the word “forgiveness?”

Check out Skribbl here.

JeopardyLabs

If you’ve been looking for a fun twist to your humdrum group trivia night, and/or have been wanting to channel your inner Alex Trebek, here’s your chance! JeopardyLabs gives you free access to a wide database of over two million Jeopardy games, with topics ranging from history, pop culture, to world capitals. The best part? You can even create your own personalized Jeopardy game—perfect for when you want to test your buddies on how well they remember your group’s inside jokes.

Check out JeopardyLabs here.

Drink Talk Learn

An ingenious twist to your typical drinking game: a drunk PowerPoint party. Created by four engineering students from the University of Waterloo, Drink Talk Learn’s rules are simple: Create and present a three-minute PowerPoint presentation about, well, anything. If you go over the time limit, you have to finish your drink and resume your lecture. The viral game is more than an excuse to break out the alcohol—it’s also a great way to learn new things and share your passions. And let’s face it, we might as well put those months of Zoom presentation skills to use, right?

Learn more about Drink Talk Learn here.

Despite the pandemic, your friendships can still stay strong. With these online games, enjoy quality time with your buds the fun-filled (and most importantly, socially-distant) way!

Who knew that the silver screen can sub in for your trusted career counselor? Long a favorite trope of Hollywood, office-based comedies are not only hilarious and entertaining—if you pay close enough attention, you’ll find that they’re filled with incredibly insightful lessons about surviving and thriving in the workplace.

Below, we list down a few of our favorite office movies and the career truths we’ve learned from them. Let us know your favorite picks in the comments!

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Synopsis: Fresh out of university, the young and naive Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) enters the fast-paced world of fashion magazines as an assistant to the high-powered Runway editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). As she learns how to meet Miranda’s increasingly demanding standards, Andy is forced to confront just how far she’s willing to go  and what she’s willing to sacrifice to climb the career ladder.

Takeaway: You are not your job.

Underneath the chic costumes and the hilariously bitchy quips, The Devil Wears Prada is at its core a film about work-life balance. In a world where we tend to get carried away in the hustle of the rat race, sometimes it’s good to remind yourself of your personal values and the things that truly matter. Remember: your job doesn’t define your worth.

Morning Glory (2010)

Synopsis: Aspiring television producer Becky (Rachel McAdams) finally gets her big break as the head producer of DayBreak, a struggling morning talk show. Armed with guts and a fresh perspective, she soon breathes new life into the show with millennial-forward talking points and out-of-the-box viral segments.

Takeaway: Think outside the box.

Don’t be afraid to bring new ideas to the table! To achieve true success, sometimes you have to work beyond the limits of how things are done and explore how it can be done. Feeling stuck in a career slump? Try approaching your workload from a totally different point-of-view.

Working Girl (1988)

Synopsis: When ambitious secretary Tess (Melanie Griffith) finds out that her boss Katherine (Sigourney Weaver) has been stealing her ingenious business ideas, she decides to take matters into her own hands. With a new business-ready makeover, she sets out to impersonate the out-of-town Katherine and land a merger that could fast-track her career.

Takeaway: Take initiative.

You know what they say: a rolling stone gathers no moss. It won’t bode well for anyone to just sit back and wait for success to come to your feet—instead, actively find ways to achieve your career goals. Of course, breaking into your boss’ apartment and helping yourself to her closet of designer clothes is totally illegal, but you get our drift.

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Synopsis: Fed up with the constant stream of abuse they’re forced to put up with, financial executive Nick (Jason Bateman), dental assistant Dale (Charlie Day), and account manager Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) hire a hitman to assassinate their bosses. Hilarious hijinks ensue.

Takeaway: Find a strong support system.

We’re obviously not suggesting you attempt to murder your misbehaving boss—felonies are always an absolute no-no. But when the going gets tough, it helps to have a few friends in the office to commiserate with. Surround yourself with positive-minded coworkers who support and uplift you. They’ll come in handy the next time you flunk a presentation or miss a deadline.

The Intern (2015)

Synopsis: Feeling bored and restless during retirement, 70-year-old Ben (Robert de Niro) applies as a “senior” intern to Jules (Anne Hathaway), the 30-year-old CEO of a fast-growing e-commerce company. The two soon forge a strong friendship, bonding over how they both find themselves in unexpected positions of success career-wise.

Takeaway: Don’t limit yourself.

Think you’re too young to establish your own company, or too inexperienced to land your dream job? Think again. Remember: you’re only as good as you believe you are. Start taking more chances and open yourself to opportunities you never would have considered for yourself. Sometimes, the best career boost you can get is to start believing in yourself.

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