DIGITAL CREATION FOR ART & CRAFT ENTERPRISES
DIGITAL CREATION FOR ART & CRAFT ENTERPRISES
Digital creation, digital content, ICT Tools, internationalization, digital strategies
At the end of this module you will be able to:
1. Understand the main factors that influence artisansâ ability to make use of the ICT tools effectively and independently identify and use different sources to develop your own ICT knowledge
2. Apply basic design principles and independently use different tools to create a simple website, text and image-based promotional materials such as posters, leaflets, word clouds, mind maps, etc.
3. Make use of the main online marketing tools at a basic level for internationalization purposes
This module is meant to help you develop a new mind set so you can boost your inner creator and equip you with a set of basic hands on tools to start with and build on. The first module provides information on the key aspects that influence success in creatively using ICT tools. The second part presents a few tools that you can use to transform your ideas into reality. Finally, the third section provides insights on the most important aspects of online marketing for internationalization.
Information and data literacy
Evaluating and managing data, information and digital content
Evaluating and managing data, information and digital content
Browsing, searching and filtering data on the net
Artisans can gain new perspectives on digital content creation to do business and advertise their products or services online. Positioning strategies and search strategies are particular important when a new craftsman enters into the e-market.
Browsing consists of looking through a set of data with or without a defined purpose. As concerns internet, it usually involves the world wide web.
âąBrowsing relates to search strategies, such as applying advanced options in a search engine.
âąBefore starting to use the Internet it is important to make sure that you have an anti-virus software installed on your computer. See intermediate course on Safety and problem shooting of your devices to better expand your knowledge about it.
Billions are the websites across the whole World Wide Web that offer a load of information. However, it can be quite stressful to find what you were exactly looking for. This is when a search engine comes in help. If you type keywords into a search engine, it will look for pages across the Web that contain those words and thereby it will display the results depending on their importance, using algorithms.
It is highly important for craftsmen turning their research questions into a research strategy. Implementing strong quality search strategies is always going to be beneficial: it makes you understand marketing characteristics and market potential but also customer requirements. In addition, strategic keyword rankings will not make you waste your time with long and unfruitful researches anymore.
A web search engine is a software system that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as search engine results pages (SERPs). The information may be a mix of web pages, images, and other types of files. Search engines also maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler.
What Is the best search engine?
Besides Google and Bing, that are the most know search engines, there are other search engines such as: Yahoo, Ask.com, AOL.com, Baidu (most popular search engine in China), Wolframalpha, DuckDuckGo. There is no one search engine that works better than all the others. Searching on Google is easy and often if someone asks how to do something or what something is, another person will suggest to âgoogle itâ. Letâs try to search, for example, the word âcraftsâ on Google. It gives us 901,000,000 results in 0.50 seconds (when this unit is written). If we press F5 to repeat the search, different quantities may appear, both for the number of results and for the time used to display them.
But what if the search does not return what we were looking for? How to narrow down search results on Internet?
Filtering data on the net
To sort out through websites and filter our searches we can use different searching strategies such as:
Using specific keywords:
When you search for specific online contents you should use relevant and unique words otherwise you will come across a lot of unnecessary data. Be as specific as you can in wording.
Not to use common words and punctuation:
Terms like âaâ and âtheâ are called âstop wordsâ and are often overlooked as well as the punctuation. Outside from special occasions and exceptions, punctuations are not taken into account when finding results.Â
Most of the search engines do not make a distinction between uppercase and lowercase, even within quotation marks.
Search by file type:
You can use filetype: .XXX, for example filetype: pdf if you want to search for a file type in a certain web.
Searching for any word and then include with a minus sign (-) before those words that you wish to exclude. For example, lets imagine that in your search for âpotteryâ you are not looking for definitions. Lets try to search the word âpotteryâ on Google without operators. It gives us 438.000.000 results in 0.55 seconds. But we have lots of results but not what we were looking for. Now do it again with Â«pottery -definition -definitionsÂ» in Google. If you are asking why we are expliciting the operator-word âdefinitionâ both in singular and in plural that is because excluding research works only with the word you insert. Now we have that all results including the words âdefinitionâ and âdefinitionsâ will be omitted. Once this is done, the results returned by the search are slightly different from the previous ones, and probably will suit better to what we wanted to find.
By adding a plus (+) just before a search you are telling Google to show you exactly that term excluding synonyms, acronyms and so on.
The asterisk works like a wildcard. When you put it in front of a word and within a sentence you are telling Google to look for the exact phrase that you are asking but that you can exchange the word of the asterisk for another.
Digital content creation
Developing digital content
Developing digital content
The term Digital Communication refers to any (communication or marketing) action that is oriented to promote products and/or services via social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram etc. but also via entrepreneursâ websites.
Digital content creation is fundamental for any digital strategy. Every piece of content you create should be carefully created and designed to coherently represent your mission and values as a brand. After you have identified your target audience, there are several steps that can help to improve the quality and impact of the digital content creation process:
-the content and structure of your website should follow three basic criteria: usability, user-friendliness and accessibility; Donât forget that there are different types of public for your enterprise: beneficiaries, sponsors, institutional audiences and general public, and your website will have to address all different kind of public, attracting their attention;
-use photos and multimedia: supplement your written contents with photos, infographic and video. You should use good photos and videos of your daily life activities instead of stock photos in order to convey a more reliable message;
- contact details (email, phone numbers/whatsapp, fax, address, skype, facebook, youtube, etc.) and navigating menus, must be easily accessible and donât forget that you will loose your user if it takes him/her more that 3 clicks to get to the information;
- Colours, typeface, logo and website of your craft enterprise say who you are and what you stand for;
- Write often: make sure that your website is constantly updated and lively, otherwise people will think that you are not really âactiveâ;
Creating a website is pointless if nobody sees it. Implement a SEO (search engine optimization) program.
-Â Â Â Metatags: Metatags are located in the HTML source code of a web page and they are used to provide general positioning information about our website. Such information is used by search engines, portals, directories to list your website.
-Â Â Â Image metadata: Make sure you make the most of any positioning opportunity by using < alt > or < title > tags to include/reinforce keywords.
-Â Â Â Internal Linking: To ensure that your website gets fully indexed make sure that the spiders have an easy path through your website. Text links are the best choice as the anchor text (the actual words used to link to a specific page). You can also create a sitemap to internal pages and link it from your homepage to increase indexing.
-Â Â Â Site Structure: As we said, it is extremely important to define website structure properly according to our target needs, but we also have to take into consideration search engines need. You must "think like a search engine spider". Spider or Bots read your web page like you would read a book using text links and digital contents. Therefore, it is extremely important that your site is spider adapted and that no broken links or flash are used for relevant digital contents.
-Â Â Â Appropriate Keywords: It is one of the most important step of the process as if you donât do it properly it will give you traffic that is not relevant for you. Keyword density or frequency should be around 2-6% of total text, but if you just keep your texts natural and readable you will be ok. Make sure your keywords are not too technical and they include those terms that your target user would use to find your services.
There are a lot of programs (such as Artisteer, Dreamweaver) and platforms (such as Wordpress, Wix, Sitebuilder.com) that you can use to create your own website and there is a wide range of free templates available online. Here is a short guide to install Wordpress:
1: Download WordPress: Download and unzip the WordPress package from http://wordpress.org/download/.
2: Upload WordPress to Hosting Account via FTP.
3: Run the Installation: Open a new browser window and go to the installation page to run the installation script. Depending on where you installed the script, you will find it at either of the following URLs:
You should now see a welcome page of WordPress installation process.
4:Create WP tables in your Database by entering the database name, user, name, password, database hosts, tables_prefix (you can leave wp_) and click Submit.
5: Complete the Installation: Fill in the fields in the installation page:
Password (needs to be entered twice)
Email address (use a valid email as login information will be sent to this
Select that you want to have the search engines indexing the site
Click on Install Now, and you should be taken to the final screen, showing the
following message: Success! WordPress has been installed. And your website is ready for you to customize it. Enjoy!
Effective use of ICT tools and apps
Effective use of ICT tools and apps
In the current social media globalization, it is more than obvious that social media like Facebook, Twitter,Â MySpace, Skype etc., are used extensively for the purpose of communication. One of the most important advantages of the use of social media is the online sharing of knowledge and information among different groups of people. Indeed, they reach the most diverse public in terms of age, gender, social characteristics and occupations. Sharing different content on each of your social media networks to expand your brands reach and add scale to campaigns. The content you share on each site should be unique to give your followers a reason to follow you on more than one network. It is also important to select the most appropriate social networks for your companys visibility.
Here a list with the most famous social networks and their functionality:
Â· When it comes to build your online branding, Facebook could be one of the valuable tools at your disposal for potential buyers.Â Remember that 94% of FBs users access this social network with the mobile app, so it is useful to optimize your content for mobile users.
Facebook offers a wide variety of options to be used as a marketing tool:
- Sharing resources: users can share text, image or videos, making them automatically visible to all their contacts;
-Interaction: it is also possible for users to interact with the information that others have published through comments or predetermined reactions;
-Create groups: groups allow interaction between users with a specific intention. They can be open, closed or secret;
-Events: They are virtual spaces aimed at sharing specific information about events. They can be open, closed or secret.
Here the YouTube Tutorial âHow to create a Facebook business page - step by step instructionsâ:
Â· Gmail is Googles email service and it keeps you updated with real-time message notifications and stores your important emails and data. Sending an email from an account in Gmail is very simple, the platform saves the contacts, creating a book easily accessible from the inbox. Its security protocols defend us from junk or malicious emails.
To create a Gmail account you just need to go to the Google Account creation pageÂ and sign up for Gmail to create a Google Account. You can use the username and password to sign in to Gmail and other Google products like YouTube, Google Play, and Google Drive. Follow the steps on the screen to set up your account. And finally use the account you created to sign in to Gmail.
Here a Youtube Tutorial to create a gmail account:
Â· Twitter is an online social network that allows users to send and read short messages of 140 characters called âtweetsâ. If you are a small business owner, Twitter could be an excellent platform for your business with its 300 million active users. One reason that encourages small businesses to promote their product or service on Twitter is that it costs very little to promote a product on this platform.
Here a Tutorial for twitter for business:
Â· YouTube is a free service to share videos on the internet. The use of YouTube is very simple, you just have to sign up in YouTube or use your Gmail account and upload your video from your own computer. You can also create your YouTube channel which is a fantastic resource to communicate online via digital contents. Active users can write comments to videos they like and do not like. This platform has allowed many people to express themselves, and even some stars to make themselves known and leave the anonymity. It is extremely important to give visibility to your crafts products. You can either publish videos of creation processes or of final products developed.
Here a tutorial for Youtube for business:
Â· WhatsApp is an application that allows you to send and receive text and multimedia messages to your contacts at very low prices or for free. Messages are sent over the Internet, either using our data plan or the Wi-Fi connection. The only limit is that the contacts to whom we send messages must also have WhatsApp installed. When it comes to promote a service it is better to send emails or texts rather than call users. No one appreciates phone calls from unknown numbers for marketing promotions. CustomersÂ are likely to respond to personal messages. For example, Colgate invited people to send photos of their smile via Whatsapp to a phone number displayed on the toothpaste pack. For medium and large business, Whatsapp powers your communication with customers all over the world. In addition to sending and receiving text messages, some interesting functions that could interest you as an entrepreneur are:
-Â Â Â Create a business account, chat with customers, reply to questions and advertise your creations real-time.
-Â Â Â Create chat groups with your customers to promote new creations, sales, offers etc.
-Â Â Â Send photos, videos, voice messages
-Â Â Â Use your image status to publicize your brand image and write an impressive and clear message
Instagram is a social networking app for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. Users share images with people who are connected via a followers list. Instagram is a social networking app for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. Users share images with people who are connected via a followers list. Instagram is all about encouraging creative originality, so for craft artisans, can be a very interesting tool to disseminate their creations.
A Pin (therefore the name Pinterest) is simply any image or video that someone chooses to save to Pinterest. For businesses, more important than the image itself is the link: every pin links back to the original source, so Pinterest can be a great source of referral traffic. If you plan to use Pinterest to market your business, you should create a Pinterest business account, rather than a personal account. If you already have a personal Pinterest account, you can convert it to a business account. You will just need to fill in some additional information about your business and accept the business-specific terms of service. Pinterest is perhaps best known for its âinspo boardsâ where users turn to, well, get inspired. From decor ideas to motivational quotes, providing pinners with a visual dose of inspiration is always a safe bet.
Etsy is an e-commerce website specialised in selling handmade or vintage items (jewelry, clothing, home dĂ© dĂ©cor, furniture etc). Creating a shop on Etsy is free, however, each listing that is posted in the shop costs $0.20. Each listing will remain on the shops page for a maximum of 4 months, or until someone buys the product. The prices of products are set by the shop owner, but Etsy claims 5% of the final sale price of each listing. On the Etsy homepage, potential buyers can type a "product description" into the search bar. When a buyer views a product, they can choose to view the positive percentage feedback of each seller to determine the reliability of the shop. Once a buyer finds a product they would like to buy, they click "Add to Cart", and that product is added to their virtual "Shopping Cart". The buyer may then either continue shopping, or purchase the selected item. In order to purchase items, buyers do not have to have an account with Etsy, and can instead register with a Facebook or Google account.
Digital internationalization strategies
Digital internationalization strategies
E-commerce is rapidly involving business owners. Craft artisans have been looking for their place in international markets due to surplus of production, local competitors and specialization on a product. If you would like to focus on trading and exporting your products and services worldwide, you need to have a solid international project in mind.
Marketplaces are real virtual squares that tend to control an increasingly important share of online demand. You can open a space on a global marketplace like Amazon which allows immediate access to all the main European markets or you can turn to specialized operators in no-European countries such as Tmall of the Alibaba Group, one of the main showcase for Chinese consumers.
When you are about to start importing/exporting you donât have to think to the farthest market possible because there might be any sort of issues, cultural issues as well.Â There are some elements you should be aware of before internationalize your enterprise:
-Â Â Â Conditions of sales, import restrictions or duties that could prevent competitiveness
-Â Â Â Payment systems
-Â Â Â Logistics
-Â Â Â Customer care and pre and post sales assistance services
ICT as a facilitator of online internationalization
ICT as a facilitator of online internationalization
International online marketing strategies vary across business models, but the basics remain the same.
From search engine optimization to content marketing, accessing a global audience requires solid methods to guarantee that you are making the most of your efforts. Here are three best practices to keep in mind when you are marketing to international consumers over the web.
1. Use Analytics to Find Your Audience
Google Analytics is one of the most used web analytics service that tracks real time traffic of your website. It could be a very useful tool to target your customers -local and international- and where they live in order to tailor and determine which country to focus on.
2.Know and Respect Regional Laws and Regulations
Before launching your website, you must make sure that it meets all the requirements of e-commerce legislation. If your website is already active on the internet, it is important to review the page. Beware of product laws that pertain to your business, any online tax laws that may affect you, and restrictions on promotional offers and contests. For example, crafts to be imported or exported have to be out of banned goods list in importing country and have to be out of banned goods in exporting country as well.Â
3. Internationalize Your Website
In an online world, your website is your home base especially in international online marketing. Translating your website into English is the most common approach for small and mid-sized companies looking to enhance their possibilities. But having an English website is not the same as global developing: only 26.8% of internet users speak English as first language. The majority of potential customers are not native English speakers. If you are thinking about how to manage foreign audience, website multilanguage localization is a long-term instrument in your business.
Ecommerce solutions for internationalization
It is necessary to choose a valid platform for the management of content and business procedures. Here is a selection of the best products to launch your business online:
This tool created by the giant Microsoft allows anyone to create their website easily and completely personalized, even without computer skills. A complete tool that also includes, among other features, a database publisher, web server management, optimization for search engines (SEO).
Another free tool, but in this case recommended to create pages with flash elements, such as banners or custom buttons for advertising campaigns. It is very easy to use it.
Among the main E-commerce Open Source store-management software programmes we have:
It is the most popular open source e-commerce solution
It is the favourite of big businesses thanks to its flexibility and scalability to suit businesses of all sizes. A very complete tool for creating multistores.
Another favourite program among open source solutions, although it has been losing clients compared to the previous two, due to its design limitations.
A good e-commerce tool under the SaaS formula, with free and premium versions, with comprehensive management of your orders.
One of the most comprehensive tools on the market, which has been recognized by Gartner Group as the best international platform in SaaS mode. It includes all modules required for the different areas of business: from email marketing, CRM, ERP, project manager, e-commerce, POS management, business intelligence. It allows you to be connected to your business from anywhere, from all types of devices.
How to store data to be used anywhere?
Nowadays sharing on the net is vital and eventually your data is going to end up in the cloud at some point, so you better know how it works to collaborate more efficiently with colleagues, improve your security, discover new opportunities and ensure that you stay competitive. You can share link to folders with photos, videos, documents, etc. You can use it as a common workplace for a group of people giving them access to create and edit files within a designated folder. Cloud storage is a data storage service in which the digital data are virtually stored in logical pools.
Here is a list of valuable cloud solutions that you can use in your daily life activities:
Google Drive. Google Drive is a simple and intuitive file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software. It is directly connected to Google Docs to create Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentation and much more. In Google Drive you have 15 GB of free space.
Apart from Google Drive there are other cloud-based services such as:
Dropbox is a multiplatform file hosting service in the cloud, operated by the Dropbox company. It allows users to store and synchronize files online and between computers and share files and folders with other users and tablets or smartphones. https://www.dropbox.com/
It is a cloud-based service that allows transferring files simply indicating the recipients email address. You do not have to create and account, that is why it is one of the easiest way to share file using cloud services. It offers unlimited uploads as well as the possibility of sharing files of up to 2 GB in size. Do not forget that files are kept on the server for up to 7 days and then they are removed automatically. No encryption or password is used.
OneDrive is a Microsoft service that lets you easily backup, store and share photos, videos, documents, and more â anywhere, on any device. All You need is a Microsoft account and license to use safely this service. https://account.microsoft.com/ACCOUNT/ONEDRIVE
MEGA is a cloud storage and file hosting service offered primarily through web-based apps. Mega mobile apps are also available for Windows Phone, Android and iOS.https://mega.nz
It is a simple and free service that lets you put all your photos, documents, music, and video in a single place so you can access them anywhere and share them everywhere. It requires registration. It is free, but it has a Pro version.
Other cloud base solutions are Zippyshare (https://www.zippyshare.com/) and reep.io (https://reep.io/) from which you can share online temporarily
It is a free Social Media Management tool which simultaneously publish your posts in all your social media at once.
It is a free online Graphic Design software to Create beautiful designs and share them with your team. It works online, you just need to create an account.
It is a free and online Search Engine Analysis tool that allows the user to see how often specific keywords, subjects and phrases have been queried over a specific period of time.
SEOProfiler: It is a web application for SEO monitoring that helps you to get higher rankings on Google and other search engines
MailChimp: A marketing automation platform and email marketing service. It serves to create newsletters and email campaigns.
OpenCart: It is an online resource shopping cart solution which helps you in selling online.
PrestaShop: Easy-to-use platform to build your online store for free.
Asana: Free Online Project Management tool to manage your team work. There is a free version with basic functions.
Evernote: Free Note Taking, Organizing and Archiving App that keeps your notes organized.
Appointlet: Online Appointment Scheduling software with free trial available. It will help you keep track of your appointments and possible sales.
Doodle: Doodle is an online calendar tool for time management and meetings scheduling. No registration is required.
Training Fiche PPT: