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A new website may feel like a big investment, both in time and money, but it is essentially the face of your brand, and therefore, totally worth it.

If your website has not been updated in the past three years, it is likely time for a refresh. Web systems are constantly being upgraded, design styles change and, most importantly, users expect so much more from a website these days. Making sure the user is having a positive experience when they are on your website should be your top priority.

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Have you converted your website over to HTTPS yet? If not, you could be in for a not-so-great surprise this month. Google has announced that Chrome browsers will now show a red "Not Secure" alert on non-HTTPS websites whenever users try to fill out a form on the site (including Contact Us forms). It will also show for all visitors visiting the website in incognito mode. This warning previously only appeared on non-HTTPS websites if a users tried to enter a credit card or username and password. By rolling it out to all forms on all non-HTTPS websites, Google is firmly pushing website owners into the HTTPS camp. This is all part of a larger effort from Google to make websites more secure.

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Did you know that millennials have $200 billion in buying power? We were shocked too. With about 80 million millennials in the United States alone, it has become vital to ensure you are effectively marketing your brand to this audience. Don't get us wrong - you shouldn't give Generation X'ers or Baby Boomers the boot, but enhancing your strategy to focus on a few important avenues is a must!

1. Core Values
Millennials like to align themselves with companies that share the same values and are making a difference. It is important to find the right cause to support to ensure you are capturing and maintaining the interests of your millennial consumers. Promoting your core values throughout your marketing strategy is important, whether that be on your website, through social media or in brand videos.

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Twitter announced this week that they're testing out an expanded character limit. Now, instead of the 140-character limit, people can tweet their thoughts in up to 280 characters. The feature has been made available only for a select group of users and Twitter has made clear that they're considering this a test rather than a formal roll-out. In addition, they've replaced the character count in the Twitter compose screen with a circle that gradually fills in as you approach the limit. 

Our Take:

  • Twitter's 140-character limit enforces brevity — one of the platforms biggest differentiator.
  • While 280 characters is still rather limited, we think a smaller requirement forces businesses and individuals on the platform to be creative and get right to the point.

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As we head into the last few months of the year, the countdown is on to develop your marketing strategy for the new year. No pressure or anything, but this is important stuff! Here are some do's and don'ts to help you build and execute a winning marketing strategy — next year and beyond.

Do review your website. It is a good practice to review your website every year, so now is a great time to go through it page by page. If there are housekeeping items that need to be done or major updates you're thinking of implementing, make a wish list for your website management company.

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It's hard to believe that we are about to head into the fourth quarter of 2017. While this has different implications for different businesses, there are a few universal marketing tips to help you end the year strong.

1. Connect with your customers. While you probably already do this on a regular basis through emails, phone calls, etc., it is very important to stay on their radar right now. Whether you are a retail business that relies on holiday sales, or a service industry that wants to retain customers for 2018, reach out to your current customers.

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Instagram users may have noticed a new feature to their story capability recently. As a user, you used to be restricted to only add content from the past 24 hours – not anymore! The new enhancement allows users to post content from the last week.

Our Take:

  • While there have been ways to work the system, this does allow the user more control over the content they post to their stories.
  • This new feature makes it faster to find photos from the past week to share via stories.

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What do you do at Addison Clark?
I'm the Creative Director...making it all look good!

What's your favorite thing about your job?
I enjoy brainstorming ideas in a huddle around my desk. It's awesome to be able to put ideas into a design in real time.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?
Facebook, because I have found so many friends from "back in the day". Oh, and the puppy and baby pictures.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Broken branding. Consistency is key!

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Got a minute? Check out our quick update on what's new in the industry!

Mobile Facebook users can now choose to take a break from anyone in their friend group. This was originally a feature that users could utilize when they switched their relationship status from "in a relationship" to "single", but now feel free to take a break from any fellow Facebook friends. You can find this update by clicking your current "friend" status on the mobile Facebook page of any of your friends.

Our Take:

  • While this is a small update, we believe Facebook will continue to make these enhancements to both the mobile and desktop sites to give users more control over their news feeds.
  • So far we haven't seen this feature available on the desktop version of Facebook yet. 

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What do you do at Addison Clark?
I am an Account Manager at Addison Clark, which means I manage and track marketing efforts for a variety of clients.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I really enjoy talking and getting to know new people! Once I break out of my shell, I can’t stop talking!

What is your favorite social media platform and why?
Instagram is my absolute favorite because I love seeing how others captured their memories and love sharing mine.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve would have to be someone chewing with their mouth open.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy spending as much time with family, friends and my dog as possible. Rumor has it that my family throws the most cookouts in the history of forever – so I am always planning for the next family get together!

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