Art Division may sound like a particularly creative regiment of the US military, but no, it’s actually a thriving team of UK-based techies and marketers with one overall goal: help businesses manage their online marketing better than their competition. We recently spoke with Nelly Berova, director and owner of Art Division. Specializing in online marketing, SEO, web design and development, Nelly and her team go wild for everything on the web. But… will she go wild for these somewhat offbeat questions? Read on and find out.
1. How far have you gone to spread the word about a business? How far would you go?
We always try to take the extra mile for our clients to the extent that we promote them at networking events or actively introduce them to other clients or suppliers who may buy from them. We are here to market them and expose their business to a wider audience. Online is our field, but if we see an opportunity elsewhere we will always take it.
2. Is there a common thread among businesses that need marketing help?
Before you can market your business, you really need to know what it’s all about. A common thread we’ve found is that a business comes to us for marketing help but they don’t have a clear idea of what their USP is, or where they stand in relation to their competitors. Some don’t even have a logo. So before we start a campaign, we always encourage the business to clearly think about what they are all about, where they’ve been, and where they’re going.
3. Why can’t a company just put themselves on Facebook and Twitter and call it a day? Even, like, saying “It’s a day!” as they finish signing up. Isn’t that marketing?
That’s not marketing. That’s just putting a toe in the pool! Social media marketing is about engagement, so a company needs to really think about the public persona they want to present. It’s also a great chance to build an audience, see what clients are talking about, and join conversations. It requires regular steady work, just like any other kind of marketing.
4. When designing a website, are there trends that you follow like a fashion designer? Or is there an equivalent of a dark blue suit–always in style.
There are definitely trends, especially with images, scrolling and moving all over the place. But you should aim for classics. Style and function have to work together, so never let your fancy imagery get in the way of clear navigation. The site’s going to be used, not just looked at.
5. Your company surely thrives on creativity. How do you avoid groupthink in the office?
Brainstorm, then flesh out the ideas. Don’ be afraid to go back to the start. And using the De Bono coloured hat approach can work well.
6. I’m sure Art Division needs its own networking. Do you guys practice what you preach when it comes to marketing yourselves?
We do try to practice what we preach. We blog constantly, spend a lot of time on social, and we put in the work on our website. We’re also members of our local business community and you’ll always find us at their networking events looking for connections.
7. Would all businesses benefit from a blog on their site?
Every business should blog! A content strategy is crucial for any business today, and a blog is a perfect place to start. The company blog is great for networking, being heard as an expert in your field, putting company news out there, and commenting on what is going on in your industry. It’s also a great way to create the fresh relevant content that Google is looking for when it indexes the millions of sites on the web.
8. How much do you have to cater to Google when designing a site? Like, in catering terms, wings and a veggie tray or puffy salmon things and a more exotic veggie tray?
When designing a site, cater to your visitors first, and Google second. A smorgasbord that has something for search engines and real live people alike.
9. Is SEO’s (Search Engine Optimization) grip on online marketing loosening a tad? Or will we forever be bound to keywords like Scooby and his precious snacks?
Some of the strategies used in SEO have changed forever. Since the Panda and Penguin updates link building has moved on. But as long as people out there on the web are using search engines – and they definitely are, then some form of SEO will always be practiced. Keywords are still central to online marketing, because they are part of the journey your customers and clients are making to your site.
10. How often should a company revamp/change its website? Is there a sweet spot? Every three years? Five?
Your website will date. You should really refresh it every two years, but three will work too. If you leave it for five things will start to look and feel very clunky.
Nelly Berova lives in London, is surprisingly good at pool, and unabashedly enjoys the musical stylings of Lady Gaga. Thanks, Nelly!