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News and views

Here's a selection of our latest articles on marketing, design and digital issues, and our latest news. If you would like to add an opinion or join the debate please do leave a comment. If you would like to find out more please click the link to the author.

New Content Managed Website for Global Recruiters IDPP

New Content Managed Website for Global Recruiters IDPP

We’re very pleased to announce the launch of a new logo and bespoke Content Managed WordPress website for global recruitment agency IDPP. A client for over 10 years, IDPP approached us with a brief to create a fresh, modern identity for the business, one that emphasised their international offering and a brand that conveyed their approach as their client’s resources partners.

With a new website that allowed maximum control over all content, a live feed of vacancies and the ability for contractors to upload their CV’s and apply for these positions directly, the new site is a great example of the type of solutions we can create for our clients.

For more information about the project please take a look at our Portfolio page and if you would like to discuss your requirements for a new logo or website do give us a call for a chat.

20 things we?「どィび「ve done

To mark our 20th anniversary, we’ve looked back in time and pulled out some of the projects we’ve completed, or been involved in, and have been publishing, through our social media channels on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, snippets on each one.

Nice things people have said about us

Nice things people have said about us

We value our clients. They ARE our business! Our team have always worked hard to build and maintain relationships and we want to be sure all our clients get not only what they want, but what they need to help their business. We also value results and continuing relationships whilst we are still adding value.  

So we went and asked some of our contacts and clients for something we could use to help mark this milestone and we’ve had some great feedback! 

Here’s what they say about working with us.

“Preview guided and assisted hennessyHR with re-branding as well as creating and developing our website. Preview were passionate about ensuring every detail was as it should be and we are delighted with the results. hennessyHR would recommend Preview without hesitation to other companies wishing to re-brand or re-launch their website”

Lucille Hennesy, Hennessy HR

“NetSense have been providing Preview with IT support for a couple of years and I am proud of the working relationship that we have. The work they do is outstanding and I do not hesitate to recommend them to any of our clients who are looking for marketing, branding or website development”.

James Newbury, Netsense

“Having set Management Inspirations Limited up in 2004, I met Nick Broom shortly afterwards who very clearly explained to me the value of great branding. By 2005 Preview had created a focused brand for my company together with business cards and letterheads. It soon became clear that a meaningful brand creates professionalism, respect, identity and status. I continue to use and recommend Preview to this day – a strong brand that creates strong brands. Congratulations on the first 20 years”.

Robert Carpenter FCA FIoD FRSA, Management Inspirations

“Preview have been an absolute pleasure to work with over the years. Their attentiveness to our requirements and brand has produced excellent design which has undoubtedly given Ski France an image which we have been able to build upon ever since”.

Phillip Morris-Simpson, Ski France

“Gatwick Diamond Business have worked with Preview over recent years starting with the creation of the branding & style for the successful Gatwick Diamond Business Awards. Preview recently worked on the design for some corporate branding on our company car and we were delighted with the results. I would not hesitate to recommend them as we have always been pleased with the results”.

Jeremy Taylor, Gatwick Diamond Business Association

“I wanted to thank the team at Preview for helping us with our brand, stationery, brochures and website over the last 15 years. I have found you guys keen, attentive and quick to respond to my requests. Great work. Well done. Highly recommended!”

Akwasi Duodu, Sterling and Law

“I have been working with Nick and the Preview team since 2007; they have always adopted a professional and ethical approach that is always combined with business understanding and that essential creativity needed to deliver true value and differentiation for their customers. Preview are a reliable, and responsive organisation that puts the customer first; customer service is their highest priority.  I've recommended Preview to a number of organisations in the past and will happily continue to do so in the future.  I know they will not let me down.” 

Phil Thomson, Advantage Consulting

“Time constraints meant we had to heavily rely on Preview to work on our website re-design based on the limited information we provided, they excelled and were also able to work within our time frame – would highly recommend.”

Scott Horne, Lakeside Films

"IMA International has a long history of Preview working on redesigning our website through to designing our annual training and consultancy brochure and course factsheets.  We, and importantly our customers are very happy with these products. Best wishes for your 20th anniversary Preview!"

Chris Grose,  IMA International

"As secretary of REMA I have known the Preview team for well over two years and in this time they have always provided me with a flawless service. On several occasions they have delivered to tight deadlines at very short notice whilst staying within their original cost estimates. The individuals with whom I have become acquainted with have always been polite, friendly and very eager to help and as a result I look forward to continuing to use Previews excellent services for many years to come."

Andy Pledge, REMA

So, if you are thinking of getting your website working, giving your marketing a makeover, or your branding bolstered – please send us a brief, or come and talk to us – we’d love to work with you.

Preview celebrates 20 year anniversary

Preview celebrates 20 year anniversary

Wow, twenty years, already!?

Time really does fly when you are having fun! It seems barely possible that it was way back in 1994 that I was setting up and now Preview is celebrating its 20th year in business.

It’s certainly been a journey; full of highs and lows, challenges and changes, but, to reach a milestone like this is something of which I am truly proud.

When Preview started there really wasn’t much known or publicised about this thing called the Internet, mobile phones were barely mobile, and faxes were still de rigeur.

Preview has adapted and changed to the different communication channels available, and we’ve achieved some fantastic projects over the years, thanks to a loyal and hardworking team, self-belief and humility.

We will be taking a glance back at projects and milestones over the past 20 years this month, so please look out for updates on our social channels and join in with the conversation and our celebration! 

Thank you so much to all our great customers, colleagues and friends who’ve travelled with this vehicle called Preview through the years, and here’s to the next stage in our journey. We are ready.

Now, where’s that cake knife?

New website for Public Administration International

New website for Public Administration International

We're pleased to announce the launch of our new website for Public Administration International, London based specialists in management consultancy and development services. 

Built around a popular CMS framework, the new site allow's the team at PAI to manage all of the site content, add news and opportunities for consultants, feature these on the site homepage, and includes a forum for past course participants to discuss their experiences.

The highlight of the website is the extensive 2014 schedule of study programmes, which includes categorisation by course type and the ability for users to book their place on individually listed courses using an intuitive, four stage booking form.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about how we can give you the ability to manage all your own website content with a newly designed and development website in 2014.

New brand and signage for Cassino

New brand and signage for Cassino

Cassino Slots and Bookmakers is a small chain of amusement arcades situated across the South coast, with venues located in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis. Found at sea front and town center locations, each Cassino site provides customers with a wide range of slot machines, live betting, roulette and combination betting opportunities to cash in.

In order to reinforce the company’s reputation as an established, high quality chain of arcades where customers can enjoy a range of entertainment, and to encourage new clientele, Cassino approached us to develop a new brand identity in the form of a refreshed logo and a suite of images that would represent each of their attractions. The brand and images needed to be displayed on the exterior walls and windows of each location and a new main sign was also required.

Our creative team refreshed the logo to include a modern yet recognizable font, developed the brand colour palette and produced a range of stylized graphics suitable for large format, high-resolution reproduction. Using PVL’s in-house equipment and team of fitters we produced and installed a number of large printed di-bond, weather resistant panels featuring the new imagery at each location. With the assistance of our friends at an established sign company we also manufactured an LED backlit, Perspex and aluminum sign featuring the new logo for above the main entrance at the Bognor sea front site.

Now a highlight amongst the shops, takeaways and bars of Bognor sea front, Cassino’s new suite of brand images, marketing messages and eye catching signage stand out on the front of the building, encouraging tourists and regulars in to enjoy the games on offer.

Christina Casey, Director of Cassino Slots and Bookmakers, said, “We are very happy with the new signage and branding that Preview have developed for us. The new signage has given the Arcade a modern, fresh look.”

New Website for Sterling and Law plc

New Website for Sterling and Law plc

Sterling and Law Group plc is a firm of professional independent financial consultants established in 1997. With their head office in London and consultants across the south of England they have built up a reputation as valued advisers with a focus and commitment to their clients.

Having worked with Sterling and Law for a number of years on developing and managing their brand, stationery and creating a range of printed marketing material we were very pleased to be asked to design, develop and host a new website for them. Their current site was out of date, difficult to manage and lacked the visual impact of their printed collateral, so they needed a new, modern, refreshed online presence that reflected their brand values, encouraged users to contact them and allowed content to be regularly updated and added. 

Following approval of a detailed brief we produced design concepts for a high quality, modern and professional website and also took the opportunity to refresh their logo before proceeding with development of a WordPress based site on our own servers. On completion of the page templates we dedicated some time to ensuring our client was able to populate all the pages using standard and custom written admin functionality, before launching the site within the agreed project schedule.

Managing Director Akwasi Duodu said “I wanted to thank the team at Preview for helping us with our new website. It is a major step forward from the old one –everyone who sees it is immediately impressed. I found you guys keen, attentive and quick to respond to my requests. Great work. Well done. Highly recommended!”

What is a landing page?

What is a landing page?

It is a page where clients are directed after a click and is specifically designed to provide information that the customer was looking for. It does NOT form part of the body of the main website (you cannot navigate to it) so it’s ‘hidden’ from normal view. So why shouldn’t you just send people to a standard web page?

Perhaps your clients searched on a specific term in Google, or clicked on a Google Ad Word? Or you might have included a landing page link in the body of an email or a social media post. So at this point, it is good to give highly relevant, specific information which the client is actively seeking rather than send them to a generic web page. 

Some important things about landing pages:

  • They contain very specific information which relates to the customer’s journey and their action. 
  • They are often ‘stand-alone’ and don’t have the standard navigation buttons of the main website
  • They nearly always include a ‘sign-up’ form to capture further information 
  • They always have an easy ‘call to action’ so a client can follow through quickly. 
  • They often include offers which might be time limited to encourage action

One thing is for sure – the landing page should look like you are still within the same website and there should be a way to find the original website even if it is discrete.

Landing pages should be simple and you should think of them as being single message. They should include: 

  • Logo and website styling
  • Compelling headline
  • A few bullet point confirming the visitor is on the right page, and what the offer is (the reason someone clicked here)
  • A few bullet points about the benefits of the offer
  • Sign up form with privacy policy 
  • Single call to action (often time specific)
  • T&Cs of offer

There is compelling evidence to show that landing pages have a MUCH higher conversion rate than moving people to a standard website form (they navigate away). It is also true that ‘single action’ landing pages have higher conversion rates than those with multiple actions or messages.

If you want to try out some landing pages for your next email campaign or social media posts – tell us what you are after and we’ll design something to get those enquiries rolling in.

?「どィ?Help?「どィャカwe need another photo!?「どィャ

?「どィ?Help?「どィャカwe need another photo!?「どィャ

Have you noticed how rapidly the online world has become a highly visual environment? Whether it’s your website, LinkedIn Company Page, Facebook posts, e-newsletter or a press release – we always seem to need more photos.

But should you be content with buying good quality stock images or commission your own photo-shoot or professional photographer to supply some beautiful bespoke images?

Here’s our top five reasons why we think you should commission your own.

1. Stock photography has become very easy to spot

As the world has become more literate and able to search for images online, so the value of stock photos has dropped. Websites with glowing people in pale blue shirts in a pristine glass office sitting at a white table with equally white smiles just looks all too familiar nowadays and doesn’t differentiate you.

2. Your own photos reflect your personality

Pictures of you, your staff, your premises – going about your daily business and interacting normally can say a lot about you and the way you do things. You don’t need to ‘stage’ too many poses, a good photographer will enjoy taking natural activity shots and they look a lot better.

Also – we strongly recommend that you get professional shots for your LinkedIn and other social media profiles. 

3. You can your own add branding and styling to your own photos

Some stock photos prevent changing the photo in any way under their licence arrangement. But when you use your own, you can super-impose other elements such as styling, colour, tints, logo, and words – making the image all part of your branding.

4. Wide format shots need commissioning

You’ll probably have noticed that most social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) require a wide format, landscape ‘cover photo’. And on websites, it is now common to have wide ‘banner photos’ in the centre of the screen, depicting specific services or target audiences. These need to be shot on a wide angle lens. Whilst you can manipulate some photos to achieve this wide format look, it is far better if you have commissioned a landscape photo at the outset as the dimensions (foreground, background and subject) will all be well proportioned 

5. It isn’t as expensive as you might think

If you commission a photographer for a day and give a clear brief as to the type of shots you want but ALSO how they will be used (e.g. LinkedIn Cover Page / website banner / profile pictures) you can achieve an awful lot in a day. You should also clarify how you would like to incorporate the brand styling at the post-production stage and we recommend that it is worth spending another half day or so for post-production. Prices start from about £500 and it is well worth the investment. 

So if you want to be really proud of your photos / images across all of your marketing materials, we recommend that you invest in commissioning your own photography and post-production.

It is a bit like buying new clothes – you spend a bit more for a high quality label and it always gets the compliments and admiration that they deserve. 

We can certainly help you select a great photographer, advise you on the shots and provide ‘art direction’ on the day to help manage the relationship between yourselves and the photographer. Clients who have used this service are delighted with the results and come back to us time and time again for the same service. 

Go on…you’re worth it.

5 ways to improve your calls-to-action

5 ways to improve your calls-to-action

Whether you do email marketing, manage web / landing pages, use social media, or use Pay Per Click advertising - you’ll need compelling ‘calls-to-action’.

And with so many people browsing on mobile phones or tablets - have you thought about how to design for that quick thumb / finger tap action? It’s the way forward.

Don’t be shy

People are browsing on your webpage, reading your email or reviewing your Google Adwords for a reason. They are considering whether this is relevant for them. If it is - they’ll want to take action so you need to make it easy for them to do it NOW (grabbing them while they’re in the mood and still on your page). It isn’t rude or ‘in your face’ - it is simply what people expect.

So here are some tips for those fun calls to action:

Colour coded, well designed buttons

Whenever you possibly can, convert your calls-to-action into ‘buttons’ for easy finger tapping on a mobile device. Consider colour coding them so that repeat visitors will learn your system and will make decisions more quickly.

Buttons might include:

  • Buy now
  • Get a quote
  • Keep me posted
  • Call me back
  • Ask a question
  • Try us out

Don’t be boring

‘Click here’ or ‘Submit’ are a bit dated nowadays. You can reflect your personality and perhaps add a little humour. It’s worth getting your buttons properly designed too for maximum impact. 

Keep them short

The good news is that if you are now going to adopt the ‘button’ approach, this will mean you have to keep to a low word count. But if you are using a clickable link – around 80 characters should be plenty!

Start with a verb

Verbs are ‘actions’ and so you need to tell them what to do e.g. “Discover top tips from the professionals…” or “Download your free guide now”. You will probably want to avoid adverbs as these dilute the message, however, the ones that do work well are ‘now’, ‘fast’, ‘today’, ‘here’.

Use numbers

We recognise numbers as adding gravitas to the message e.g. “Join more than 50 companies who’ve benefited from this course” so find a number that has relevance to your target audience and think about how to add it to your call to action.

Preview has worked with many clients to build powerful email campaigns that sell. Find out more about how we can help.