Gulf Coast Local Blog


7 Reasons Your Company Needs a Mobile App
Mobile App for Businesses

With 87% of Americans using the internet and 80% of people online owning a smart phone, a mobile marketing strategy for businesses shouldn’t be ignored. However, there’s more to an effective mobile strategy than a mobile-friendly website. As the digital universe expands, so do marketing strategies, and that’s one reason why many businesses are seeing tremendous results through customizing their own mobile app. 


You may be thinking mobile apps are only useful for the big time players, brands like Amazon and Target, but have you not noticed that even your local coffee shop now has an app for its customers? Why do they bother, you might ask? Because they’ve recognized the value that mobile apps can bring to the table. Mobile apps have become very affordable for small businesses, and the advantages of incorporating a mobile app into your marketing arsenal are very enticing.


Imagine you run a golf course in Gulf Shores, Alabama. How awesome would it be to allow your golfers to record their scores and see the golf range through a map in the mobile app?

Golf Course Mobile App
What if you’re in the mortgage business and you develop a free app that has a mortgage calculator on it for real estate agents and potential homebuyers to use? That would certainly get people talking about your company. 

If you’re still unsure how a mobile app could benefit your business, here’s our list of the top seven reasons why small to midsize businesses should build their own mobile platform.

1. Increases your exposure 

A company can incentivize those who have downloaded the app to share it with their friends on social media in order to get referral points. Our minds have a way of gravitating towards the familiar, so the more the catchy icon is seen on a user’s phone as they scroll past it or in the App Store or Google Play, the more likely they will be to choose you when the need arises. 

2. Differentiates your business from your competitors

Do your competitors offer apps to help their customers? If they do, then it’s time for you to take it up a notch! If they don’t, then this is an excellent time for you to stand out by offering such a service.

3. Increases customer loyalty

By providing a personalized experience, businesses can interact with their customers efficiently which effectively generates repeat business. You can drive repeat business through rewarding customers for their patronage. Apps allow you to send push notifications to remind customers of deals, specials and events. Loyalty solutions can also consist of having digital stamp cards, digital coupons, and other loyalty reward programs. No more paper stamp cards (which everyone loses)!

Customer rewards

4. Generates more revenue

Depending on your industry, certain businesses see a big increase through in-app purchases by offering revenue generating solutions such as mobile food ordering, shopping carts or a reservation system.

5. Encourages customer engagement

Apps allow you to set up push notifications that can target specific user demographics, even based on their location. For example, customers will receive a coupon if they’re near your business. Additionally, you can send in-app messages to those who have the app. 

6. Reaches your customers where they are

People are using their phones all day long and the customer relationship is becoming more and more digital in nature. Self-service technologies through the internet are becoming how businesses interact with their customers, and a mobile app is essentially the path of least resistance.

Push notifications

7. Takes advantage of affordability

Mobile apps used to only be reserved for the type of businesses that could fork out $50,000 to have one developed. Those days are gone. Now every business can have one through advances in app development technology.


In summary, some of the most valued mobile app uses are: 


• Promoting Events: Showcasing key info on events & promotions, tracking attendees, and posting comments.
• Ordering Food: Seamless ordering with in-app payments.
• Geo-targeting Customers with GPS Coupons: Allowing users to check in at your location to unlock coupons or use geo-fencing when they’re in your area.
• Rewarding Loyalty: Providing highly customizable mobile stamp cards.
• Selling Merchandise: Selling products and taking payments right through the app.
• Taking Reservations: Offering mobile booking features which allow users to set up appointments through the app.
• Referring Friends: Incentivizing easy app-sharing by email, social media, or text.


BIS Designs, a local marketing company, now offers mobile apps for small to medium sized businesses all along the Gulf Coast, from Pensacola, Florida to Biloxi, Mississippi. We believe a multi-channel marketing platform is needed for businesses to effectively market themselves to get positive results. Our mobile apps can provide your customers with a wide range of services that can generate more revenue and increase your brand visibility. Contact us today for a free marketing consultation to see how a mobile app can benefit your business!


SEO Interview with Phillip Long and Sean Williams
If you're a business owner, you'll want to watch this interview between Phillip Long, CEO, and Sean Williams, SEO specialist, to learn more about search engine optimization. 

Top 6 Tactics to Convert Visitors into Customers on a Landing Page

A landing page can be your business’ biggest advocate. By creating high-converting and SEO-optimized landing pages, these pages can effectively run your business while you’re away by having the convincing power to appeal to your customers in your absence.

In marketing terms, a landing page is any web page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on that is focused on a main objective, or website conversion goal.

Typically, it is a standalone page not available to access from the navigation menu. It’s created to fulfill a single purpose to get visitors to take a particular action on the page.

Example goals for landing pages include:
Capture email addresses for future leads
Get attendants to an event or seminar
Promote a special offer
Make an announcement
Build your brand 
Make a profit

We believe that every marketing promotion needs its own landing page.


Since landing pages are separate from your website’s visible pages, they are the perfect platform to send all campaign traffic. This separation makes testing and measuring through web analytics incredibly easier to track.

Here are the top 6 tactics for landing pages that experts across the globe value as instrumental in turning ordinary website visitors into actual customers:

1. Find the perfect headline.

Headlines serve the most important purpose on a landing page: to convince a visitor to stay.  There’s a famous quote by advertising legend David Ogilvy that says, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” Since your headline is the first thing people see when they land on your site, it’s imperative to make a good impression. That’s why we always suggest A/B or split testing to figure out which one will get higher engagement.

Some elements you can test for are: (This is something we love to do!)
A short versus long headline
A headline that states benefits versus features
The color scheme of the headline
Headline transposed over a background image versus negative space

Landing Page Vivino
Source: Vivino

This wine news and review site uses an appealing solution-oriented strategy in their captivating headline.


2. Create a compelling, clearly stated value proposition.

A unique value proposition (UVP) should be the first thing your visitors see when they land on your landing page. It is not a slogan. It’s a promise you’re telling customers about what your product/service will do for them while also conveying how it is better than the competition. It can be a single statement or 2-3 lines that hit home with your target audience. 

Landing Page Karma

Source: Karma Mobility, Inc.

 The unique value this brand offers is clearly stated in the byline letting viewers know they can get online anywhere with their product with affordable data plans.


3. Reinforce your value with an effective Call to Action (CTA)

Even though you now have a compelling UVP and an impactful headline, visitors often still need that extra push, and a CTA form or button can be exactly what gets them on board. An effective CTA should be prominently placed, not too small, and placed above the fold so visitors won’t need to go searching for it. 

Our client Magnolia Dental was looking for web design services in Mobile, Alabama and their home page illustrates how sometimes depending on your service, it’s beneficial to use multiple calls to action on one page. 

 Magnolia Dental Call to Action


4. Include benefits and/or features in digestible chunks. 

Because web visitors are scanners by nature, your text should be simple and minimal, using images as much as possible while ensuring the relevant features or benefits are succinctly highlighted. 

Landing Page H. Bloom
Source: H. Bloom

This flower company does a lovely job in illustrating the simple process for their subscription service.

5. Provide social proof 

Potential customers want to know they’re making a good choice in choosing your business. Social proof can help seal the deal by reinforcing trust and establishing credibility. This can often create an emotional response, ultimately turning visitors into customers. Examples of social proof can include:
Testimonials from clients (with images and names)
Social media share buttons (showing the number of shares)
Logos from well-respected businesses that use you
Business or product reviews
Trust seals, i.e. BBB, VeriSign, TRUSTe (see image below)

One client of ours in Daphne, Alabama does a great job of providing social proof on their landing page for a new program they’ve launched. The Mar-Kee Group uses testimonials, video demos, and social media icons that play well with their call to action sign-up forms and buttons.

6. Make sure the message matches the promotion

This is especially important when using PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads as the link associated with your Google ad will need to direct users to a page built specifically for that service or promotion being offered. 

Landing Page Promotion
Source: Frank & Oak

If someone who clicked on an ad in Google that advertised a “30% off your next purchase promotion” but ended up on the home page, they likely would get inundated with way more information than they wanted, get a bit overwhelmed that they didn’t see that coupon, and leave the site out of frustration.


By no means do landing pages need to include all of these elements, and in some cases, the more minimal a landing page is the more results a site can see. Figuring out what kind of landing page your marketing campaign needs will depend on many factors. Above all else, research into what types of personas make up your target audience should be the first step. This article is meant as a general overview, as there are many more components to a successful landing page that are not mentioned here, such as the need for an integrative design (see BEOPLAY’s experiential design) or adding video, which can lead to 86% more conversions.


At BIS Designs, our goal is to create a website and subsequent landing pages that will support your goals and accurately reflect your brand for businesses not just in Baldwin County and Mobile County, but also extending to Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pensacola, Florida. From our pre-project meeting to content development and design, we keep your website goals at the forefront of everything we do. Through combining search engine optimization, social media marketing and cutting edge web design, our integrative approach for your business provides successful results. Contact us today to hear more about our new comprehensive packages!


January Newsletter: How to Close More Sales in 2017

 Read Our January 2017 Newsletter Here!

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  • How to Close More Sales in 2017
  • How to Create a Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan
  • Introduction to Video Marketing
  • New Nintendo Classic

BIS Designs Announces New Premium Website Hosting Packages to Enhance Customer Support

Robertsdale, AL (December 13, 2016) – BIS Designs, experienced web design and digital marketing firm on the Gulf Coast, launches new premium website hosting packages to assist clients with website edits. This will allow businesses the option of having the BIS Designs team make necessary updates to their website as needed.

Businesses will now have an option to receive unlimited website support and maintenance including updates to website content and adding/deleting/managing website pages. For organizations with a lesser demand, there are other options available such as packages with six or twelve hours of website edits per year.

In addition to the above features, every package will receive reliable hosting and security maintenance of their current website.

Phillip Long, CEO of BIS Designs, stated, “We’re excited to be able to offer this to our clients. Now, we’ll be able to better meet the needs of our busy and growing clients.”

To learn more about BIS Designs, call 251.410.7601 or visit

About BIS Designs
BIS Designs provides web design and digital marketing services to hundreds of small and medium businesses in the local market. With the solid understanding that marketing is vital to the success of your business, BIS Designs is de-bunking the “if you build it, they will come” myth by providing the highest quality web design and digital marketing solutions available. Headquartered in Robertsdale, Alabama, BIS Designs has been serving Gulf Coast businesses for over 6 years. Learn more at

About BIS Technology Group
BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: information technology, web design & digital marketing, office equipment and business consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to grow to their full potential while minimizing risks. BIS is located in Robertsdale, AL. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit

Intro to Video Marketing for Your Business
Video marketing

By now, you’ve probably heard that video marketing is all the rage. It’s evidently more impactful and can engage many more people on social media networks than a post with an image alone could. You may be saying, “Yeah, that sounds great, but I don’t have the time and the resources to make a video!” Well, don’t throw the idea away just yet.

What if we told you that within just a few hours, you could have enough video content for almost a whole year to dole out each month? There are many styles of videos for marketing and some will take much longer to make. However, a simple Q& A style video can be done relatively quickly and provides numerous beneficial results to your marketing. 

by addressing topics you believe are important to your audience, your business value is increased and deeper relationships are developed as you’re looked at as a trusted expert in your field.


Before you take your first stab at making a video, keep in mind the following pointers to get the most out of your work:

1. Grab attention early.

Ideally within 1st 10 seconds or less, appeal to the viewers’ emotions by addressing particular pain points, concerns, or other impassioned viewpoints.

2. Establish a clear Call to Action (CTA).

Determine what your ultimate goal is for the video, i.e. visiting your website, sharing the video, etc. and incorporate that into a straightforward CTA usually toward the end of the video, such as “Learn more at (insert url).” 

3. Don’t forget about the post text.

What you write about in the text for the video post is very important and should be used as the bait & hook to the video. Be sure to not spam it with hashtags.

4. Set it to autoplay with subtitles.

One study found that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. The video needs to be able to attract attention without sound, meaning an aesthetically pleasing background and camera quality is important, but so is the need for subtitles. Facebook offers this as an option now. Contact us if you want more specifics! 

5. Know how to measure your success.

Depending on the platform the video is posted on, make sure you know how to read the metrics, i.e. the number of shares, the amount of engagement, and the number of clicks to your site.

6. Follow the golden rules.

Make sure you have a good audio (lavaliere wireless microphone), a clear and aesthetically pleasing, but not distracting background, and that you’re discussing something that you are passionate about.

7. Upload the video individually into the social networks rather than sharing a YouTube link.

While it would certainly be easier to share the same link across all channels, Facebook’s algorithm favors videos placed directly onto their platform more than links. Doing it this way will create greater organic reach, especially on Facebook. 

8. Optimize for search.

The text you include in your post about the video won’t be searchable, but the headline and descriptions you post with your video will. Try to include those keywords or phrases you think viewers would be searching for to help them find your content, and include a couple relevant hashtags on platforms like Twitter and Instagram to boost search results.

Now for the director & producer in you, here’s a list of ideas for topics:


1. Share a how-to video.

It’s important to keep the video short, so if it’s a visual “How-To”, use the speed-up feature in your video editing software to shorten the duration. 

2. Answer questions.

Give brief answers to a few of the main questions you know your audience is interested in. This is a great way to establish your business’s expert credibility.

3. Take viewers behind the scenes.

This is a powerful brand-building tool as users on social media follow companies typically because they have an affinity for the business and want to learn more about what the brand really is and what it stands for. Show viewers how something works or how something is made and this can lead to major increases in brand loyalty.

4. Tell a story.

By creating a story with a beginning, middle, and end that fits into a 30-second video, you’re bound to easily connect with viewers. Telling stories about real people is ideal, but even telling a story about your customers, your business, or a cause you want to raise awareness on are dynamic tools to build and sustain loyal relationships.

Are you ready yet?

If you’re pressed for time, but feel video marketing is an excellent strategy you want to give a try, start out with the Answering Questions format. 

  • Develop a list of 10 questions that your clients and prospects most frequently ask you about your business. 
  • Then brainstorm another list of 10 questions that you think your clients and prospects need to know, but rarely ask.
  • Rehearse the answers so you can keep the videos short and sweet, ideally within the 60 sec range. This way, you don’t even have to worry about editing except for the start and finish. Doing them all at once can be filmed in just a few hours. 

If you schedule a day on your calendar that you can sit down and record 20 videos back to back, you can have 10 months of videos ready to go that get posted online every two weeks. Pretty efficient, right?

Once you have a video created, cross promote it on your blog, post it on YouTube so the link can be embedded into an email newsletter campaign, and add it as a video post to your social media networks.


BIS Designs is more than happy to come to your location or schedule time in our studio to record video tutorials, testimonials, or any such video as described above. Our comprehensive marketing services can integrate your video marketing with your website, social media, and print marketing endeavors, all the while ensuring your videos are efficiently optimized to help your search engine rankings. Contact our Designs team to learn more about our video marketing services and how we can increase your brand’s recognition, reinforce your business’s credibility, and boost both your search rankings and social engagement


December Newsletter: Your Keyboard May Be Making You Sick

 Read Our December 2016 Newsletter Here!

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  • 3 Ways You Can Generate New Business with LinkedIn
  • Your Keyboard May Be Making You Sick!
  • Sitting at Your Desk All the Time Is Unhealthy
  • 6 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017

  • Be the Adult in the Office

  • Stop Wasting Company Money

  • Play Music for Better Collaboration

6 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017
Digital Marketing Trends


At the end of each year, we like to pull together the marketing community’s top digital marketing trends to look out for in the upcoming year. By keeping our finger on the pulse, we hope to be able to provide our clients with valuable insights that will sustain their growth and keep them ahead of the curve.

So what’s the meter showing? There are many advances on the horizon that will impact marketing in a big way in years to come, such as virtual and augmented reality devices, applications and games, but we’re going to keep this article’s focus on practical strategies that can be implemented right away should our clients request it.

As you embrace the idea of a new marketing strategy for 2017, here are the top digital marketing trends to consider and hopefully capitalize on:

Cross-Device Marketing Optimization
Longer Sales Funnels/Increased Content Marketing
Live Video Streaming, e.g. Facebook Live
Big Data: Consumer Behavior Analytics
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
BLE Beacons

Cross-Device Marketing Optimization 

Most companies understand by now the value of having responsive website designs that are mobile friendly. The key term here is cross-device or multi-platform. The majority of web users are still using multiple devices for their web searches. When purchasing something online, often users will want to see the details on bigger screens such as their desktops or laptops. This means we need to adopt strategies that engage the “multichannel majority” and not just our smart phones.

Longer Sales Funnels

Understanding the sales funnel is crucial to developing successful marketing campaigns. A big trend that we’re seeing is that companies are investing in marketing pursuits that provide a high level of value upfront, long before asking for an email address or moving into the Calls to Action that prompt users along the sales process. By providing valuable content will ultimately establish a strong level of trust, which is needed for someone to choose you over a competitor. This may take longer than the traditional sales funnel, however, the rewards will come in easier sales when you do ask your visitors to purchase from you.  They will already have developed a sense of trust because you’ve established yourself as an authority on certain subjects.

Live Video Streaming, i.e. Facebook Live

Your fans and social media followers want an immersive experience that connects them with your particular brand. No longer can you rely on static blog posts or images alone to impact your audience.  Whether Facebook Live, the Twitter-owned Periscope, or Google’s YouTube, mobile live-streaming has a captivating power that can spread a company’s message into the far reaches of social networks.  Curious on how to get this started for your business? We’ll guide you through it!

Big Data: Consumer Behavior Analytics 

Website analytics is by no means new, but the full potential of this kind of reporting and analysis is continually emerging. As consumer decision behavior is growing in complexity, companies will soon start using web analytics for more than the 20% the majority of us access today. The Affinity and In-Segment reports in Google Analytics is just one hidden gem that can demystify the types of customer personas that makeup your intended audience. The more we know about what makes our target audience tick, the more successful we’ll be at marketing to them.

Google Analytics Affinity report 
Image: Kaushik, 2015

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Compiling user behavior facts from a global population–and in a timely manner–is an enormous feat beyond human ability. This is why the biggest research companies in the world use AI to establish patterns for this kind of pre-emptive marketing. The type of automation we see in establishing the ideal audience for Facebook ads, for example, is one way this is already being used. In the coming years, we believe this process will heavily increase, and we are bound to see major advances in customer behavior, user experiences (UX), and profitable outcomes for businesses.

BLE Beacons

Beacons are another hot new trend that is expected in increase heavily in 2017.  BLE Beacons are used within brick-and-mortar stores to “hypertarget” customers through new levels of proximity awareness. They are low-cost transmitters that use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to provide smart devices with valuable location-based information. Beacons can be installed throughout entire buildings and can be used in a variety of ways. These include: 

Sending coupons and notifications when someone is near a specific retail display.
Serving as a store guide by providing a virtual map of a store.
Educating visitors on specific exhibits as they tour a museum.
Alerting people of the arrival and departure times of specific bus routes or plane delays. 

Beacons are already being used by 85% of the top US retailers, and it’s estimated that 500 million beacons will be in use by 2021. 

With all of the fascinating advancements in technology and the pervasive infiltration of the IoT lifestyles, 2017 looks to be a year that will go down in history as marketing tactics take a giant leap forward and hit their stride.

If you’re ready to explore what makes your target audience tick, give us a call and let’s talk. Our web designers and analysts will work with you to create intriguing and conversion-inducing websites that will be consistently monitored and optimized for the best possible outcomes. Our goal at BIS Designs is your success. Let’s get you back on track! Schedule your free consultation & quote today. 

How to Boost Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales with Digital Marketing
Holiday campaign marketing


For many businesses, it’s already starting to look a lot like Christmas—and with good reason.

Combined sales from last year’s Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday neared $20 billion, including both brick-and-mortar stores and online shopping.

Online sales showed significant gains in 2015, but brick-and-mortar sales fell during this peak shopping period. Why? This is possibly due to businesses extending the holiday sales from Thanksgiving Day to the Cyber Monday finale. Online retailers typically have strong digital marketing strategies in place to promote their seasonal sales. Brick-and-mortar stores should also be taking advantage of how digital marketing can increase their foot traffic. 

Last year for the first time, sales on mobile devices edged desktop sales, and now more than ever that means businesses need to leverage their social media marketing efforts to take advantage of these trends.

From national chains to small boutiques and shops, every business can tap into the power of digital marketing to capture the attention of deal-seekers looking for Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials.

Timing, of course, is everything, and it’s not too early to start developing a social media marketing strategy. Last year, the first Black Friday ads emerged even before Halloween, potentially putting those businesses at the front of the line for early shoppers’ dollars.

So how can you maximize your sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? To take advantage of the growing trend of online sales, particularly on mobile devices, these four areas of your digital marketing strategy should not be overlooked.

Mobile Website: 

Last year, purchases made on mobile devices (most often smartphones) peaked at 37 percent on Thanksgiving Day, followed by 36 percent on Black Friday and 26 percent on Cyber Monday. 

Optimize your website to provide a convenient browsing or buying experience across computers and mobile devices, ensuring your website is mobile friendly with a responsive design layout. 

Landing Pages: 

Nearly 40 percent of shoppers start turning their attention to Christmas purchases before Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation. To capture those early deal-seekers, create your holiday deal landing pages now to give search engines plenty of time to index them. Starting early will also allow for planning how best to track each holiday campaign through web analytics. 

You can also offer email subscriptions that provide exclusive deals to customers who share their email address on your landing page—plus you’ll get the benefit of another way to communicate with them digitally.

Social Media: 

Put Facebook, Twitter and any other social media platform your company is active on to good use - it’s free after all! Turn up the activity level with the goal of engaging your customers even more. 

Offer contests, social media exclusive deals, giveaways and product promotions.
Respond promptly to any requests and keep the conversation going. 
Pay attention to what major retailers are hashtagging and follow suit.

Email Marketing: 

Don’t count out email just yet. Email marketing was responsible for driving up to 25 percent of online sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year. This is where capturing email subscribers on a special landing page can help. 

More than just pushing your holiday-related deals, create shopping-related content that provides great gift ideas or how to select gifts for specific people in your shoppers’ lists. 

Not only do these make great blog posts on your site that can be cross promoted on social media channels, but they can also be sent as email marketing messages to your subscribers.

Wondering how to get started or how to implement your social media marketing strategy? Our goal at BIS Designs is to build lasting relationships with customers and provide comprehensive and cohesive internet marketing solutions for companies of all sizes. Contact us today so we can help you develop your holiday marketing strategies and increase your sales.