The Benefit of Strong Logo Design for Your Brand

Logo design

A killer logo is critical to the success of your brand and organization. After all, you want your brand to be clear, recognizable, and persuasive so you can attract clients and build your business. Pulling together the right design elements into a logo can elevate your brand — and your sales.

Curious to learn more? Keep reading to understand why you need to prioritize logo design when building your brand!

Strong Logo Design Makes a Strong First Impression

First impressions are everything, right? And you want to make the best one possible when you’re establishing a brand. That’s where a dynamic logo can set you apart from the crowd.

With a logo, you need a design that plays into your consumers’ expectations for your brand. Think about what kind of tone you want to communicate. What colors, shapes, and icons can come together into a fresh and appealing logo?

By having a strong logo, you’ll make the right impression on potential customers. People have busy schedules and a lot of interests competing for their attention, so you need to hook them right away. They’ll be more likely to check out what you have to offer within your brand if they are wowed from the start.

How do you make that first impression? You hire experienced designers who can listen to your expectations and craft the perfect business logo design.

Hiring the right design team is a big piece of the branding puzzle since you need designers who can capture your brand with well-chosen design elements and a little originality. Work with your graphic designer to help them understand the mission of your organization so that you can make that strong first impression.

The Right Shapes Can Work Wonders

Recent studies suggest that the shape of a logo impacts the way a customer understands an organization. What does that mean? It means that when it comes to graphic design for logos, you’ll need to choose your shapes wisely.

Think about how you want your audience to perceive your brand. Do you want them to see you as friendly and service-oriented, or efficient and commanding? Do the research to know who your target audience is, and find ways to incorporate the visual qualities best suited to that audience.

It’s also important to determine what visual qualities work best. These will depend on your goals. An experienced graphic designer can choose the right tools for the job, and then walk you through the design theory behind their choices.

When it comes to shapes, curves and rounded lines tend to create a sense of warmth and approachability. So if your brand serves people in a very direct way, curves can be a wise choice within your brand identity.

Sharper lines and edges suggest professionalism as well as brand strength. A simple, more sever design might communicate that your brand is forward-thinking and cutting edge. Keep the corners sharp and the details minimal.

If you and your designer do opt for text, talk it over with them. Make sure you’re clear on the visual difference between serif and sans-serif fonts. They project very different images, so know which one serves your brand identity better!

You’ll Communicate Your Brand Clearly

Your brand logo needs to communicate your product or service clearly. If it doesn’t, you risk losing potential customers to your competitors.

If you’re real estate agent, for instance, it makes sense that your logo would communicate a sense of orderliness and structure — or maybe even an image of a house. With logo design, the goal is for someone who hasn’t seen your mission statement or anything else to be able to have some sense of what your brand represents.

A good rule of thumb is to show your logo design to other people for feedback. These can be friends, family, coworkers, or strangers. A good designer will be open to feedback and work with you to make sure that you’re satisfied.

Logos Make You Instantly Recognizable

You want a logo that people will recognize in any context. This is a challenging goal to achieve, but it is possible through excellent design work. And excellent design work means that even a simple shape or abstraction can speak volumes about who you are and what you do.

In today’s competitive world, consumers have grown distrustful of advertising that says too much. Advertisements that make false claims or seems too good to be true actually can damage a brand. This means that heavy-handed, text-heavy logos are falling out of favor.

Clean and comfortable logos are the better way to go. Brands like Nike have stayed relevant in part because of their memorable designs. Everyone knows the Swoosh, and there’s nothing aggressive about it.

Paying for a logo design might seem like a big upfront investment, but it’s one that pays off in the long run. And don’t think you can design something on your own if you don’t have a design background. It’s better to hire the right designer so that your logo looks professional and not amateurish!

When you’re developing your brand logo design, aim to create something that people will recognize whether it’s on a poster, website, or article of clothing. Brand recognition is huge, and you don’t want your brand to get lost in the shuffle.

Logos Help With Social Media Marketing

It’s important to leverage social media to showcase your brand, too. The days of relying on print materials are gone, so upping your digital game is crucial to your brand’s success. Set up social media accounts and use your brand as your profile picture whenever possible.

So much of social media is visual, so logos offer an easy way to engage new clients. With the average person spending over 5 hours on their phones each day, people are encountering so much visual content — and at a rapid speed. Make sure that your brand logo is active on a number of social media platforms as part of your marketing strategy.

Assign your savviest employee to handle the responsibilities, and make sure to document the metrics so you can see how your audience responds to your logo. If you notice that your logo is not translating into an audience or new sales, look into making some revisions.

You’ll Build Visual Consistency

From a branding standpoint, nothing is worse than an inconsistent public image. If the text and colors on print materials differ from those on Instagram, you’ll confuse your audience. And if the text is serif in one place and sans-serif in another, you won’t be building brand consistency.

With a logo, you create a clean symbol that you can include in any branding materials, whether digital or print. Think of it as a stamp or seal. Everything else you write or design should complement and enhance your logo.

And make sure that your logo works well in black and white. While most digital platforms will allow you to use color, be prepared for other formats — like print media — where you may be limited to grayscale. Design a logo that has enough contrast and clarity to translate to black and white formats effectively.

Ultimately, consistency is the key. Since part of your goal is to draw in new customers, keeping your logo uniform and clear is an essential step to creating a strong brand. Your brand will be more memorable and easier to recognize in a crowded field of competitors.

You’ll Build Brand Loyalty

You want your customers to come back, right? If customers have a good experience with your product or service, they’re more likely to do that. That’s why you want them to make a strong visual association with your brand — and a logo can help you do that!

Aim for a design that is timeless and not gimmicky. Designs that are based on trends will feel stale quickly. Things like drop-shadows, gradients, and handwritten text might seem like fun design choices at the moment, but you might be sick of these trends a year from now.

If your design has staying power, your clients may be more interested in sticking around, too. A logo that changes frequently could suggest that your brand is unreliable.

The Bottom Line

Good logo design has the capacity to elevate your organization’s visibility and sales. With some research and collaboration, you can build a brand that people will know and want to come back to. Make sure logo design is the next thing you pursue to strengthen your brand.

When you’re ready to craft the perfect logo, contact us and we can work with you to realize your vision!

How to Create an Editorial Content Calendar for Your Dealership

editorial content

90% of searchers haven’t made up their mind when they search on Google. That means you have an opportunity to turn those searches into viable leads. With search engine optimization (SEO), you can gain a higher ranking. Before you boost your ranking, however, you’re going to need a lot of content. Get started by creating an organized, well-thought-out editorial content calendar!

With an editorial content calendar guiding you, you can remain on schedule and on track for success.

Here’s everything you need to know about creating an editorial calendar. With these tips, you can stay on track with your marketing initiatives throughout the year. Get started with these tips.

Why You Need a Content Calendar

In order to rank above the competition, you need unique, high-quality content. Google’s SEO algorithm prioritizes content that’s relevant to user intent. By learning what your customers need, you can create content that appeals to their interests.

Then, you can create an editorial content calendar to remain organized.

A content calendar can also help you recognize opportunities to connect with your audience. For example, let’s say you’ve created a blog post that’s full of interesting data. You can turn that blog post into:

  • A video
  • An infographic
  • A still image or gif

One piece of content can become four different opportunities for you to connect with prospects. Then, you need to determine where you’re sharing that content.

For example, let’s say you post an article on your blog Monday. Then, you can send a weekly email that features your new blog post on Wednesday. Finally, you can post a gif to social media on Friday to attract more people to your blog.

Strategize

Creating an editorial content calendar allows you to develop a strategy for your content. Learning how to create an editorial calendar will help you remain organized with:

  • The content you’re creating
  • The topics you’re covering
  • Where you’re sharing your content
  • What form your content will appear in

Organizing your content using an editorial calendar will help you increase productivity and efficiency. In addition to saving time, you can also use your calendar to create content based on your marketing objectives.

Is your goal to generate more leads from your content this year? Your content calendar can help you test different types of content throughout the week. Then, you can use data to determine which topics and forms of content helped achieve your goal.

Researching blog posts and keywords will also benefit your SEO strategy. By focusing on SEO, you can attract more people to your site. Then, you can use compelling call-to-action language to convert them into customers.

You can create content to support other active campaigns, too. For example, you might have new products you’re releasing. Maybe you’re making a big change to your brand.

Planning your content ahead of time will help you make sure everything is aligned. That way, one tactic can support the other to benefit your entire strategy.

How to Create an Editorial Calendar

As many as 63% of businesses don’t have an actual content strategy. Making the effort to create an editorial content calendar will help you focus on content creation. By posting content regularly, you can increase your chances of reaching new customers.

Here are five tips to help you learn how to create an editorial calendar for your business.

1. Know Your Goals

First, determine your goals and objectives. For example, you might want to focus your marketing efforts on:

  • Driving more traffic to your website
  • Boosting brand awareness, recognition, and reach
  • Strengthening your SEO strategy
  • Building brand loyalty with customers to increase retention
  • Gaining more leads and conversions
  • Attracting new customers to increase sales

Once you determine your goals, you can determine what type of content will help you achieve those goals.

For example, let’s say you want to boost brand awareness. You can create company culture videos or vlogs to keep people informed about your business. Video content is a great way to help people connect with your brand.

If you want to generate more leads and conversions, try posting a product demo or tutorial instead!

2. Research Topics

Next, start making a rough list of ideas for content. Make sure your ideas align with your business goals.

For example, if you want to generate leads, create ebooks for site visitors to download. You can have them complete a form on your website that requires their email. The informative ebook can become an incentive for them to provide their contact information.

If you want to improve your SEO, create content that targets specific keywords.

For more sales, create content that focuses on the benefits of your products or services, such as case studies or webinars.

3. Know Your Audience

In order to create content that attracts customers, you need to understand your target audience. What type of content are they interested in? Which headlines catch their attention?

Feel free to see what your competitors are doing. Which pieces of content generate the most shares?

You can use Google Keyword Planner or Google Trends as a place to start.

Once you know what your target audience likes, you can start creating your own content.

4. Start Writing

Start brainstorming ideas and writing content. Make sure to optimize your content using specific keywords. Then, start writing.

Once you have a few pieces of content, start organizing your editorial content calendar. Try to post at least one piece of content a week to start. Then, determine how you can split that first piece of content into new forms.

Recycling your content will help you discover new ways to connect with your audience.

For example, you can convert a few blog posts into a larger ebook. Then, you can make that ebook a downloadable piece of content to generate leads.

5. Monitor and Optimize

Once you start using your editorial calendar, take a look at the progress. Use Google Analytics to determine which pieces of content are attracting the most visitors and leads.

Monitoring your content will help you recognize new opportunities.

Which topics do people enjoy reading? Which forms of content do they share? Make a note of where you succeed.

Then, use that data to improve your overall content marketing strategy.

Stay On Track: How to Create an Editorial Content Calendar for Your Dealership

Ready to get organized and on track? By learning how to create an editorial content calendar, you can attract more people to your dealership with ease!

Need help getting started? Contact us today to discuss your business goals!

Why Your Business Needs an Inbound Marketing Strategy

Seo

Let’s bring it in! Inbound marketing (also known as content marketing) allows you to increase traffic to your company’s website. Once you attract visitors, you can engage and delight them with your content.

When done right, an inbound marketing strategy allows you to turn website visitors into paying customers.

Better yet, you can encourage those customers to come back for more through brand loyalty. 

In fact, inbound marketing through content costs 62% less than outbound marketing and produces three times as many leads.

Still on the fence? Keep reading to learn the six benefits of developing your inbound marketing strategy.

1. Inbound is More Effective Than Outbound

Outbound marketing strategies such as flyers and billboards aren’t going anywhere. While they can help you increase brand awareness, these tactics aren’t always effective.

Think about it. Flyers go out to anyone within a certain location. That means you’re not targeting your ideal customer. 

Then, you have to hope the message sinks in. Even with a strong call-to-action (CTA), there’s no guarantee people take action. If they do, how do you know that lead came from that flyer?

Sometimes, outbound marketing strategies come off as interruptive and annoying.

Think about the last time you watched Hulu or a show on TV. The commercials distract from the show you’re watching, just to make a sale. 

Since you can’t always match an outbound campaign to the right audience, some of the ads end up irrelevant to the people who see them. 

An inbound marketing strategy, on the other hand, allows you to choose a more effective route.

Instead of interrupting someone’s experience, inbound marketing strives to help make the consumer’s life easier. By creating content your audience wants and needs, you’re showing customers you’re an informative resource. This also creates a more authentic experience for your customers. 

The precise targeting also ensures companies avoid wasting their marketing budget. 

Instead, you can find your ideal customer and show them your expertise through your inbound marketing strategy.  

2. Target Throughout the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey moves from awareness to consideration to decision. Before your website visitors becoming paying customers, they go through all three steps of this journey. 

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can guide people along their buyer’s journey. 

With a billboard, you only have one chance (and a few seconds) to make an impact. With inbound marketing, you can target potential customers along every stage of their journey. 

For example, let’s say someone visits your website. Maybe they put an item in their cart, then leave. With remarketing, you can show them digital ads of that same product.

Then, you can remind them to return to your website to complete their purchase.

In this example, the prospect starts with awareness—they know about your product. They consider buying your product, but instead abandon their cart. With remarketing, you can spark awareness again, then help the consumer to the decision-making step.

If you don’t have an e-commerce site, the useful content on your website can also guide site visitors along the buyer’s journey. Blog posts and case studies can answer questions, inform consumers, and direct them toward the decision to call your company.

Either way, you’re directing a site visitor straight towards a sale. 

3. Continuously Build Your Audience

With inbound marketing, the goal is to attract prospects and convert them into leads. Once they’re interested, you want to close the sale and turn a lead into a customer. Finally, you want to delight customers so they help promote your product. 

Inbound marketing uses a number of tactics to help you build this audience. 

During the “Attract” stage, you can use blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and advertising. 

Then, you can use a form or chatbot on your landing page to convert visitors.

Email marketing and CRM integration can Close the deal. Then, surveys and referral programs can Delight customers into becoming promoters. 

4. Personalization Pays Off

34% of consumers are more likely to make an unplanned purchase if a brand personalizes content.

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can split your audience into buyer personas. These personas make it easier for you to personalize content per their interests.

Traditional marketing uses a “one message fits all” approach. With inbound marketing, you can focus on customers at a more personal level. This makes it easier for you to build trust with your prospects and turn them into customers.

5. Save Time and Money

Don’t waste time with leads that don’t have any interest in your business.

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can focus on the people already searching for your product or service online. These are people who want to buy already.

Inbound marketing allows you to attract these prospects to your website.

Instead of wasting time pushing a product or service they don’t need, you can attract people who already want what you offer. This makes it easier for you to attract qualified leads using content that aligns with your audience’s needs.

Inbound marketing also uses automation. You can automate tasks to save yourself time and money. These tasks include email marketing, social media posts, monitoring, and reporting. 

When you save time and money marketing, you can spend more time and money on what matters: your business. As a result, you’re able to increase your ROI and compete with bigger companies in the industry. 

6. Measure the Success

You can’t accurately measure a flyer or billboard’s success to boost brand awareness.

With inbound marketing tactics, however, all the data you need is a click away. You can generate reports and measure the success of your campaigns. Then, you can make informed decisions for improving campaigns in the future.

With inbound marketing, you can also set goals and milestones. If you’re falling short, you have the data in hand to show you want needs improving. 

Bring It In: 6 Reasons You Need an Inbound Marketing Strategy

It’s time to bring in new business. With an inbound marketing strategy, you can attract, convert, and delight your customers. Then, you can optimize your campaigns for continuous success. 

Stand out from the competition. Contact us today to grow your company using an inbound marketing strategy!

Marketing Basics for Business

marketing

Marketing for a business in today’s world is, without a doubt, more demanding than ever before. The days of merely listing a company name and number in the phone book are over. Nowadays, it is almost expected of companies to market themselves everywhere. Whether that be by word of mouth, on television, social media, advertising out in public, or all over the Internet. To create a thriving business and client-base, it’s important to make sure your business is well marketed. Below are a handful of tips to start promoting and marketing your business.

Establishing Identity

A crucial element to stand out in a marketplace among your competition is finding a unique identity. A common way for people to recognize a company is by the company’s logo and color scheme. 

Deciding exactly what your company stands for is the first step. Making your company’s core beliefs and mission as clear as possible is necessary. You need to show why consumers should choose you over competitors. Allowing your brand to develop a personality can help consumers easily relate to you and remember your company.

Knowing Your Audience

You should be creating different content for your audience. This should be based on whether they are old or new customers, or if they’re not sure. Taking the time to get to know and understand the demographics, interests, and niche of the market that you are trying to appeal to is crucial for success. You want to make sure that the content that is being created is targeted toward the appropriate audience. Remaining relevant and valuable to your audience is important to remember.

Website Creation and Maintenance

In today’s world, it is very important for a successful company to have a website. Think about it. People nowadays go straight to Google to learn about things that they want to know more about. Whether it’s to find new restaurants in the area, a place that sells a specific type of light bulb, or even to find a place for your child to go to daycare, the Internet is the fastest way to find the answers that people need. With a website, people can look up information anytime, anywhere, and not have to wait until regular business hours. Having a presence online makes it much more likely for customers to trust you. Making sure that the website has a modern, easy-to-navigate, and mobile-friendly layout will promote more frequent visits. This allows the opportunity for new customers to jump on board.

The website should be navigable enough to allow anyone that visits the website to be able to find any information that they might be looking for. This may include details about the business, products and/or services being sold, and even contact information. Providing this information in a clean and organized manner allows users to obtain a sense of how professional and credible your business might be. This allows customers to decide whether or not they’d like to learn more.

Social Media

Getting into the swing of social media and how to use it appropriately as a business or professional can be tricky. One mistake that businesses often make when starting on this journey is diving in too quickly, all at once. Starting with one simple Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profile to let consumers know that you exist is a great start. Getting your name out there on your social media platform of choice is a great way to introduce your business to so many potential new client opportunities. Hiring a social media manager may end up being a great option. This would ensure that posts are scheduled to be shared regularly (perhaps weekly, if possible). 

Social Media Content

What kind of content is necessary to share on social media? Every business takes a bit of a different route. One of the more popular options is using social media as a platform for customer service. Through the use of Twitter, customers can directly reach out to you. They can ask any questions or concerns that they might have, and feel like they’re speaking to an actual person. Not just some automated machine or bot. Social media may also be used for promotional purposes. Even so, it is very important to not overdo this side of things. The last thing you want is for people to feel overwhelmed with ads and promos that seem like spam. Having a nice balance of the content shared on a business social media page is very important for this marketing strategy to be successful.

These marketing tips are an easy way to build a client base (or grow your current one), engage customers, make your business more readily accessible, and to stay relevant. Although these are not the only options that are available to market your business, they are a great place to start!

Have any questions? Contact us today!

Desktop vs Mobile Advertising

People checking mobile and desktop devices

Smartphones are here to stay. 257 million Americans had a smartphone in 2018, and that number is only going to rise as the years go by. People do everything on their phones; text and call each other, browse social media, read books, and surf the internet. Finding a way to advertise to those users can go a long way to spreading brand awareness. But there are some key differences between internet advertising on a computer and advertising on a mobile device. Let’s go through desktop vs mobile advertising.

Real Estate

The biggest difference between mobile devices and a personal computer is the available space. With a computer, space is hardly ever an issue. Even with the smallest laptops, full-screen browsers offer plenty of space to display menus, banners, navigation tools, and columns for text. Mobile devices are another story. Even with a tablet, the available space for different compositions is limited. Keeping in mind how your website or ad will be displayed on a phone or tablet will help improve reactions to your brand.

Try to keep your call to actions simple on a mobile page. One link to a cart or a contact page is more than enough for a mobile page. Keep the text to one column and make sure it scales for mobile. There’s nothing quite as annoying as having to zoom in and out of a text, scrolling across the page, just to read it.

Optimization

While utilizing the available real estate and space you have for mobile, it is also vital you optimize your page for mobile users; or use a mobile-specific page. Many websites’ navigation relies on mouse hovering, holding your cursor over a link to show more menus. This doesn’t exist on mobile. There are no cursors, only fingers. Having a system that relies on something not there is only going to annoy and frustrate users.

Videos

Videos are another sticking point with mobile users. Many websites will load a video when users access the site. Maybe it’s a news story, maybe it’s an ad. Whatever it is, it must load. This isn’t a problem with a computer over Wi-Fi. Wireless internet is pretty fast nowadays, so bandwidth isn’t a big deal for some at home. Using mobile data, however, is not as quick. You have limited bandwidth on mobile and having a video load right out the gate may slow down site load times.

Adobe Flash is installed on close to 90% of computers, so designing an ad running on flash isn’t a terrible idea for desktop. But for mobile, flash isn’t nearly as popular. It runs only on a few versions of Android operating systems and is completely banned by iOS. That means if you have an ad based on flash, anyone using Apple products won’t see it.

Know Which Ads to Use

Knowing what types of ads to run when interacting with mobile users is crucial. Most people, while using a computer, are sitting down, focusing on the screen in front of them. Often, they’re working or doing something that needs a computer specifically. Longer ads work well here because they’re captive audiences. Mobile usage is different. Users are more likely to use their mobile devices in between activities that require their attention. Browsing social media on the train during their commute, texting a friend while in the waiting room of an appointment, shopping online while on their couch during a commercial break. Mobile devices have used a distraction for most, something to fill downtime with. Keeping your ads short for mobile is ideal. If it’s too long, people might get bored and move on.

Conclusion

There are some key differences between desktop and mobile marketing. Being aware of these differences and knowing how to utilize the advantages and avoid the disadvantages is important. Having a mobile-optimized site is ideal. This way you can take advantage of the benefits of both formats without having to tip-toe around the detractions of the other format. You can tailor ads for the focus you get from a computer user and use the higher interaction rates of mobile users. If you have any questions, contact us here!

Hashtags and Digital Marketing

Social media is an important part of our world. Utilizing the platform in your business is also an important task. But how do you use the hashtag in digital marketing? We first have to start with what a hashtag is. Hashtag is the name for the pound sign (#) in the social media world. It began being used as a “hashtag” by Chris Messina in 2007 on twitter. Its purpose is to group posts and other content into easily accessible pathways for users. It is called a “hashtag” rather than “pound sign” because “pound sign” in the UK refers to “£” rather than “#” which is called “hash,” “gate,” and sometimes “octothorpe.”

Today the hashtag is almost ubiquitous with social media, being embraced on almost every platform ranging from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook. The hashtag has entered the cultural zeitgeist, it’s been embraced, it’s been parodied, and it’s been used in everything from disaster relief to weddings to advertising. This means that the hashtag is incredibly useful for online advertising and social media engagement, but how do you use it? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out; here are some tips to utilizing hashtags in your digital marketing.

1. Find the right words for your brand

A Hashtag is a word or set of words that can easily group things. They act as a keyword that people can use to search for tweets and posts related to whatever it is they’re interested in. That means that the words you choose as your hashtag are vitally important to its response from social media. Using big words, more than a couple, or difficult to spell words could hamper engagement and response.

Picking a word related to your brand, product, or service is also important. Some companies have it easier here than others. For example, all Coca-Cola need to do is throw a #coke at the end of a tweet and they have an instant engagement platform. It’s simple, and it’s synonymous with their product to the point that any tweet containing it will immediately hearken back to Coca-Cola.

2. Engage with Trending topics

Engaging with the topics and trends that are popular at the moment is a great way to find expand your brand influence. Find a trending hashtag that relates to your brand or service and engages with it. Using these trending topics are a great way of spreading your brand to more customers. These topics are relevant to people’s lives at that moment, so if you can engage in a way that is also relevant or promote your product when they are thinking about the problem it solves, you can leave a lasting impact on them.

3. Keep it simple.

As stated above, keep your hashtag short, the more words, the harder it is to read. With multiple words, capitalizing each new word is a good way of signifying the breaks between words. This makes your hashtag easier to read and less confusing for the consumer. Keeping it simple also means limiting the number of hashtags in each post. One or two, maybe three, but the fewer number of hashtags in a post the better and more sharable it is. #Putting #a #hashtag #before #every #word #is #annoying #to #read, and will put consumers off. The simpler the hashtag and the post, the easier it is for people to share.

4. Incentivize.

Use your hashtags to promote a deal or giveaway your doing. Give people a reason to use your hashtag, and thus do your advertising for you. A solid discount on a service or a product for using the hashtag or engaging with your social media can a long way in getting a response.

5. Engage with your audience.

A hashtag gives you a way to connect with people talking about the same thing, so actually, talk with them. Listen to what they’re saying, respond and craft your next campaign to utilize the feedback you’re given here. Coming up with a hashtag and making a post is an easy part, now you get to do the leg work and respond to it. They’ll engage with you for a reason, maybe it’s just as simple as saying they like your product. Maybe they’ll tell you something you can do better. Be open and willing to adapt and you can go a long way.

Conclusion

Social media is a platform that grows by the day. It has its customs and language. Being able to utilize those things are an important part of making the most out of social media. Nothing is more ubiquitous with social media than the #hashtag. The hashtag is a part of modern culture and knowing how to use it to its fullest potential can give you a leg up in expanding your business and brand. Keep these things in mind the next time you start a social media campaign. If you have any questions, contact us here!

The Basics of Typography

typography

Words are an important part of our lives. We use them on a daily basis. We type them on computers, write them on paper, and speak them to each other. With all this being said, we can assume that words are also important in advertising. It’s almost important how you present these words. Here we are going to breakdown the basics of typography, and how to use it.

Typography is a term that refers to the style, arrangement, or appearance of typeset. It is the font, the bolds, the italics, the size of the text, and the layout you choose.

Readability is the most important part of any print or web media. And choosing the right background, the right font, and the right font color are all vital to this. Avoid textured or busy backgrounds. These are both distracting and make the text hard to read. Keep the contrast between the background and text high, as the more contrast there is, the easier it is to read. Also, keep good spacing on your page, don’t bunch up your text as it makes it harder and more frustrating to read. Too small of text can be frustrating for readers and may end up driving people away from your copy. Finally, use contrast throughout your page. The contrast between colors, but also contrast between sizes and images on the page. Larger text is a good way to direct attention to certain topics of the page.

Font

Choosing the right font is an important decision to make. There are two different types of fonts. Serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have little tails on the letters, and stroke lengths change through letters. An example of serif fonts is Times New Roman.

Sans Serif, or “without” serifs, fonts do not have the tails on letters, and stroke lengths are consistent throughout the letters. An example of sans serif is Arial.

Serif fonts are considered by consumers to be more traditional. They represent the structure and a sense of establishment. Sans serif fonts, however, represent more modern sensibilities. They represent a more casual setting.

Differences between Serif and Sans Serif font
Display vs Text

The next two distinctions between fonts are the differences between display and text fonts

Display fonts are meant to draw attention to themselves. They’re bold and guide the eye across the advertisement. They might be stylized, they might not be, but most are not supposed to be read for more than a few words. Think about any Coca-Cola ad you’ve ever seen. The Coca-Cola logo is iconic, whenever you see that cursive you think of coke. Whenever you think about coke you see that cursive.

Text fonts are the opposite of display fonts. This font is used for continuous reading, it’s simple and easy on the eyes. We see it so much that we take it from granted. We see text fonts in newspapers, magazines, books, webpages, even this blog. It goes unnoticed because it’s simple, easy on the eyes, and your eyes move easily across the page from word to word.

Finding the right balance between display fonts and text fonts is crucial for any ad, webpage, or piece of media. If you overuse display fonts, you run the risk of annoying the reader and pushing them away from your ad. If you underuse the display font, then you run the risk of people never reading the ad in the first place. Too much copy and people will get bored and move on. Too little copy and people might not know what you’re selling.

Differences between Display and Text Font

 

Conclusion

Typography is an important part of any design. There are a lot of fonts out there, and a lot of choices that aren’t easy to make. Hopefully, this blog has given you some more information on this vast sea of choices. Whether you go with serif text, sans serif, or plaster your company in the flashiest display font you can find. Any questions about typography? Or want to get into touch about getting the design just right? Contact us here.

Everything You Need To Know About Landing Pages

landing pages
You’ve sent out your email campaign, paid to put your ads on every webpage google could find, what’s next? Your website? Well ideally you want your customers to find you, but how will they find whatever specific product or discount or service you’ve just spent so much money on advertising. The answer is landing pages.

WHAT ARE LANDING PAGES?

Landing pages are web pages that allow you to capture a visitor’s information through a conversion form. A good landing page will target a particular audience, like that email campaign you just did. Creating landing pages allows you to target a particular audience, offer them something of value, and convert a higher percentage of your audience into leads. Landing pages can also capture information about who’s visiting your page and what brought them there.
Landing pages also give your offers places to live. Any special offers you might be running have a specific spot where visitors can trade their information for the offer. This allows you to gain some new customers, information about your demographics, and new leads to maybe sell to. The new leads give you fuel for other marketing campaigns. Maybe they didn’t bite on the original campaign, but they were engaged enough to respond, so another campaign might do the trick. Landing pages also give you information on what your consumer base is engaging with, as well as insights as to the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD LANDING PAGE?

HEADLINE:

The headline of a landing page is the first thing visitors see when they arrive at the web page. Headlines should be clear and concise, summing up what the offer is in simple, plain words.

COPY:

The copy of the landing page should be simple and short. It should clearly express what the value of the offer or product is in a plain and compelling way to attract the customer. Keeping it short is essential. Having a quick turnover from access to the conversion of the customer is ideal.

KEYWORDS:

Your page title, headline, headings, and copy should have keywords to optimize for search engines.

SOCIAL SHARING:

You should enable links to your social media and links that allow the visitor to share your offer on their own social media. This should go without saying, but you want them to share your products around for you.

HIDDEN NAVIGATION:

You should hide your site’s navigation on landing pages, or at least minimize it. This will reduce irritation for your customer, focusing the page on the specific product or offer the page is promoting. It will also decrease distractions for the visitor, and stop them from easily leaving the page.

CONVERSION FORM:

A simple form that allows your visitor to trade their information for the offered product. Keep it simple, name, email, maybe a phone number if you absolutely need it.

IMAGE:

A good quality image that gives visitors a tangible idea of what they’ll receive. Give them a reason to want to sign up, something to want.

THANK YOU PAGES AND RESPONSES:

After they sign up for your product, send them to a thank you page. If they give an email, send them a response email with either the offer or if it’s a service something of that sort. Be sure to give them a reassurance that you’ll be in contact with them soon.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS:

The more conversions on your page, the better. While this may seem simple, it is important that every offer you have has a landing page. This allows you to track the numbers of separate campaigns you’re doing and how successful they are. Minimize the distractions. Earlier I mentioned that you should do away with the navigation links of your website, and that’s to reduce the distractions. The entire point of a landing page is to get the visitor to sign up for your product, reducing the complexity and extra links on your page will help to achieve that. Keep the page “above the fold.” That is don’t make the visitor scroll on your page. Keep everything on a single page that sells everything at once. This makes it simpler for the visitor to sign the conversion form and the simpler the better here. Have any questions? Contact us here!

Website Building Process for Business

website building

Building a website is a vital part of any business in today’s world. The internet is an everyday tool almost everyone in the world uses, and having a website enables you to engage with an ever-growing customer base. There are a lot of options out there to build a website, and whether you go to a code your own, go to website building service, or hire a professional developer/designer, the choice isn’t an easy one.

Website Building Sites

If you’ve watched many videos on YouTube or listened to any Podcasts in the last few years, then you’ve probably seen ads for services like Squarespace or Wix. These sites offer the ability to create your own professional looking websites through their company. These are website building sites. They are straightforward, easy to use, and give people the ability to create websites without years of education in coding. You pay these services, and they give you some templates for websites and online stores. Like anything though, there are pros and cons to everything. So let’s look at some of the most popular website builders out there:

 

Wix

Wix is one of the most popular and highly rated website building sites out there. It comes in a multitude of different price packages for whatever your needs might be ranging from free to $500/month. Some of the features that Wix offers are mobile optimization, an online store option, domain name, and social media integration. Wix has an easy to use and intuitive editor with over 300 different templates, giving you a wide array of personalization capabilities. One of its best points is the drag-and-drop editor that allows you to essentially point and click your way to a beautiful website.

One of the biggest downsides of Wix, however, is that it’s not the most SEO friendly platform out there. Poor SEO can really slow down the organic growth of your platform. The ease of its user interface is also something that can eventually hamper Wix since it can make large changes difficult to do. It also makes customizing your site in your own unique way difficult, do to the cookie-cutter nature of these services. Wix also makes it difficult to export your website data if you ever want to change services, and for any decent-sized company, the more expensive premium packages are the only ones worth considering.

Pricing for Wix :

Free: Free

Combo: $14.50/month

Unlimited: $17.50/month

Business Basic: $25/month

 

Squarespace

Squarespace is a big competitor of Wix. While both offer very similar services, they each have their own fans. Squarespace really excels at making visually aesthetic and beautiful websites. With gorgeous templates, you can really make a memorable impression on anyone who visits. Squarespace also has the drag-and-drop feature that makes website building simple and intuitive. The backend design, or the user interface for its customers, is also beautiful, which gives off a polished and measured feel to it. Squarespace offers 24/7 customer support that is helpful and always there should any problem arise.

The biggest slight against Squarespace is that it is not very customizable. Beyond the templates offered by the service, there is very few, if any customizable options to really give your website a personal touch. Like any template service, Squarespace suffers from the fact that everyone uses the same set of designs. While the websites themselves can really look beautiful, they also look just like any other Squarespace website, so making a website that really sticks out can be a challenge. One of Squarespace’s biggest selling points is its eCommerce options, and while they’re solid, there are a lot of better options out there can be used. If you want a website to sell your merchandise, Squarespace probably shouldn’t be your first stop.

Pricing for Squarespace:

Personal: $12/month

Business: $18/month

Online Store (Basic):$26

Online Store (Advanced): $40

 

WordPress

WordPress is probably the oldest website building sites on the market, and arguably the most popular. A primarily free blogging website, WordPress offers people the opportunity to post their own thoughts giving them a platform. Since 2003, they have expanded, like its competitors, into a website builder that thrives on template designs and user-friendly interfaces. With a simple design which allows its users to easily and freely edit their websites, WordPress has made a name this market. There are also a wide variety of 3rd party plugins that allow going beyond WordPress’s offering.

Although the service has been around for over a decade and a half, its offerings are somewhat limited, and the user interface, while intuitive, can be frustrating at times. The templates are also limited and offer minimal customization for personal branding.

Pricing for WordPress:

Free: Free

Blogger: $3/month

Personal: $5/month

Premium: $8/month

Business: $25/month

eCommerce: $45/month

 

Professional Design

The last option you have is to go to a professional designer or firm. This can be expensive, probably much more expensive than using one of the previously mentioned services. Though it is more expensive, there are some definite upsides to it as well. Firstly, you get the ability to personalize your website to a greater degree than any of the template-driven services. This allows you to have a more unique website, a more unique user experience for your visitors. A professional developer can create a user experience tailored to your target clientele. That alone can help drive sales or other business-related conversions.

While many of these website builder services have some SEO, going through a firm or a professional will open up a wider array of options to optimize your traffic. It’s a design firm’s job to understand these processes and how to apply them. A professional will tailor a website perfectly to what your business needs.

While cost is always going to be a major downside of hiring professionals, another downside is the time to launch. With any of the aforementioned services all you need to do is point and you have yourself a website. Hiring a professional is going to take time to prepare everything. Your time from hire to launch might be a couple weeks in this situation. The tradeoff for this, though, is that your website is entirely unique to your business and a lot more complete than using a builder yourself.

Conclusion

Ultimately, every website is a commercial decision. Whether you’re a hobbyist trying to display what you’ve made, or a Fortune 500 trying to expand their brand, having a website is important. So is how you make it. This should be a business decision. You’re the only one who knows what your business needs and what it can afford to do. Make sure you consider all the facts and do your own research to find what option fits you best.

Have any questions about the website building process? Contact us today!

The Basics of Color Theory in Design

Blue and teal color splash

The Basics of Color Theory in Design

Color is the first thing we perceive. If something moves past you in a blur, it’s not the shape that leaves an impact, it’s the color of the object. As such, color is a cornerstone from which you should build any logo, branding, or design. Colors can leave lasting impacts and memories for consumers, and can even be associated with products or companies on color alone. When you think of McDonald’s, you think of the golden arches. When you see a red can of soda, you think Coke, just as you think Pepsi when you see blue. Color is an important part of perception and making sure the colors you choose are aesthetically pleasing to the eye is just as important. This post will show you some of the fundamentals of color theory, how to use these theories, and practical applications.

The Color Wheel

Like any concept, the best place to start is at the very beginning. For the color theory that would be the color wheel.

The color wheel is an illustrative guide of color hues around a circle. There are twelve hues, or pure colors, that make up this wheel, separated into three different categories: Primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors. The primary colors are Red, Yellow and Blue. These three colors form the basis of all other colors. Secondary colors are green, orange, and purple, and are made when you add one primary color to another primary color, creating a new color. For example, red + yellow is orange, Red + Blue is purple, and blue + yellow is green. Tertiary colors are the six colors you get when a secondary color is added to a primary color. There are six of these colors, creatively named red-orange, red-purple, etc.

The color wheel can be broken down further into two different categories, warm colors and cool colors. Warm colors are your reds, yellows, and oranges. These colors evoke feelings of happiness, comfort, and energy. Cool colors are your greens, blues, and purples. These colors promote such feelings of calm and tranquility, harmony and nature. They can also invoke feelings of sadness and depression, so a balance between cool and warm colors should be carefully considered when making any design.

Color Theory Schemes

Since we’ve mastered the color wheel, it’s time to look at the basics of color theory and design; color schemes. An important item to consider when designing should be that it is aesthetically pleasing. This can be done by using color schemes. Color schemes are choices in a color that create a uniform style and appeal.

Here is a rundown on a few of the most prevalent schemes you’ll see:

Complimentary Colors:

Here the colors are sitting directly across from each other on the color wheel: such as Red-green, Blue-orange, yellow-purple.

This scheme really makes images pop because of the contrast between the colors emphasizing each other. Be wary of overuse, though, as this scheme can be harsh and exhausting after extended use. Think of all the red and green you’re sick of by the end of the Christmas season.

Split-Complimentary Colors:

color theory

This is similar to complementary colors, this takes colors directly opposite of each other on the color wheel. This is different, however since they use the two colors directly adjacent to the complimentary color. Think yellow with red-purple and blue-purple. Since the colors are not directly complimentary the contrast is not as harsh, meaning it is softer on the eye, but still does a good job of accenting the colors.

Analogous and Accented Analogous Colors:

color theory

Analogous colors are three colors that are all directly next to each other on the color wheel. This scheme is best used with one color being the primary focus with a second that supports it and the third to accent the other two. This scheme gives a pleasing aesthetic that is uniform and can be used to direct attention and action on a website for example.

color theory

Accented is the same as analogous colors, using three directly next to each other, but here you add the complementary color of the primary hue of the three to accent and add contrast to the theme.

Triadic and Tetradic Colors:

Triadic are three colors that are evenly spread around the color wheel from each other. These colors do a good job of creating contrast and tend to be very dynamic and bright. But these three colors also do a good job generating harmony together.

color theory

Tetradic is four colors, two sets of complementary colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel forming a rectangle. Here you want to be careful of the balance between warm and cool colors to avoid clashing.

Emotion

Color theory can also be used to evoke certain emotions. Much like how cool and warm colors have certain feelings associated with them. Check out this handy guide on what emotions certain colors can evoke.

Application

After designing your logo, you now have to get that logo out there and make sure that the colors you painstakingly picked are replicated on all the platforms you use. This is important since printing on the surface, producing on TV or the internet and mixing paint on a canvas can all change the perception of the colors of your logos.

So far, we have talked about the RYB color wheel, which is how we perceive color in the world. But how does a computer replicate that color through ones and zeroes, or a printer match that color without having 600 cartages of ink on hand? They do this through two different color models, the RGB (Red Green Blue) and the CYMK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key [black]) models respectively.

RBG Model

The RGB model is an additive color mixing model. It uses three colors to create more colors by mixing light waves together, these lights being red, green and blue. If you have ever seen a pixel of a TV or a computer monitor then you’ve seen the three lights. Computers can make new colors by changing the intensity of the different colored lights, mixing them together and making new colors. This works on the that the way we perceive color in nature is the reflection of light waves off of objects. This model instead projects those light waves onto our eyes, making similar colors.

CMYK Model

color theory

The CMYK model is essentially the opposite of the RGB model and is the most widely used model in color printing. Instead of projecting the light onto our eyes, this model relies on the reflection off of the paint or ink. This model is a subtractive one, instead of an additive one, much like the RYB model. The colors absorb certain wavelengths of light, meaning the color reflected from the surface is without that wavelength and thus without that color. Cyan, for example, does a good job of subtracting red light, so thus the reflected color is blue and green mixed together. CMYK is a similar model to RYB, but the cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black) of this model offers a wider array of printing color.

These models do a good job of replicating colors, but they are both different, so alterations are possible. Colors will not appear exactly the same even within the same model. Sometimes changing based on the manufacturer or even the age of some screens or ink. To have a consistent design across all platforms, you must be cognizant of all of these differences and prepare accordingly.

Conclusion on Color Theory

Understanding the basics of color theory can go a long way when designing anything. Knowing how colors work, how they interact with each other, and how to apply those designs can leave an impact on all who see it. Color theory is a fundamental part of life and thus should be a fundamental part of any design, logo or brand.

Have any questions about color theory or design? Contact us here. 

SEO Optimization Tips for Spring

seo optimization

SEO Optimization for Spring

Since website performance and SEO optimization is affected by things such as bad links, sloppy code, and poor content, it is a great time to do a semi-annual tidying to eliminate any problems. What does something like this do for search engine optimization efforts? Here are a few ways to be sure any essential SEO areas that tend to collect internet ‘dirt’ is cleaned.

Analyze with Analytics

Using analytic software such as Google Analytics and run a full array of reports normally monitored, especially important ones like site and page errors. Error reports are the most significant and probably the lengthiest. As much it may seem like doing such work could be put off – don’t do it! Every error detected by analytics tools is one more that is affecting website efficiency.

Inspect your site.

Start the process with a crawl of your site to collect the data you’ll need. Use a crawler such as Deep Crawler (which is especially helpful for sites on Angular, the front-end platform) or Screaming Frog. Crawlers help you identify all manner of metadata and site errors, as well as the server header status for each page. Each of these data points will identify an area that needs attention.

Review Your SEO Optimization

Since it can be somewhat difficult to systematically review websites for SEO, content, and other aspects, adding this job to the twice-yearly cleaning can help make sure it actually happens. Be sure content is correct and complete; review upcoming content ideas to be sure of current relevancy. Discover the latest trends in SEO and coding; update any techniques or HTML to benefit the overall website.

Site Errors

The annoying truth of the matter is that site errors need to be fixed. Many will be simple such as dead links or URLs with typos; others may be quite important. SEO reports can point out errors such as pages missing header tags, nonworking links, and other such information. Troubleshooting site speed may show other types of problems that unknowingly exist. It may be tedious; however, it is necessary to fix page issues regularly. This will improve site speed and result in fewer problem pages on the website.

Social Profiles

Check those important social media pages to be sure that they work, especially for any unknown issues. Be sure links from main websites to different social pages are not broken, out of place, or have been forgotten. Such problems should be corrected quickly, as this can potentially affect website traffic both to social sites and back to the corresponding website.

Claim Your Local Listings

Just like with social media, the more local listing sites you’re on, the better. Find out where your company should be online and start claiming your businesses profiles. Most, if not all of these sites are free and require very little effort to claim. Once you’ve done so, start filling out the profiles with relevant and useful information including products/services, location(s) and contact information. Be sure to save all the credentials for these listings as you may need to update them over time as new products/services come out, you change locations or need to change contact information.

It probably seems like a lot to go through twice a year; however, doing so can keep any website and its search engine optimization efforts functioning smoothly and reaching planned goals with very few concerns.

Have any question about SEO Optimization? Contact us here! 

4 Facebook Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

facebook marketing

Facebook Marketing

Facebook marketing has become essential for any business to have a strong social media presence in the digital world. With over 2 billion monthly active users, there’s no reason to leave this section of your audience potential untapped.

To get started, here are 4 of our favorite tips for your small business to succeed on Facebook.

Post to Facebook at non-peak times

Every time someone visits Facebook, they could have on average 1,500 potential stories to see from friends, people they follow, and Pages. A majority of these posts published during the day with peak times between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. ET.

Engage your fans by asking questions

One of the most popular post types on Facebook? Questions.

It’s one of the recommended strategies by Post Planner, and anecdotally it makes a lot of sense for getting more comments, likes, and interactions from the community. The thinking goes that as Facebook notices people engaging with your content, future content stands a better chance of reaching more people.

Facebook Advertising

Social networks aren’t always the first thing companies think while building local marketing strategies, but Facebook advertising is an exception.

It’s an inexpensive way to advertise your business to the target audience. Like Google, Facebook also knows to buy and click patterns of all their one billion-plus users. They are experts in putting the ads in front of a relevant local audience.

Visual Content is King

Facebook marketing has turned into a very visual realm. Pictures and especially video are gaining more reach on average than text-based posts.

As humans, we are much better at remembering pictures than words. When you post a text-heavy post, your customers will only remember 10% after a couple days. But if you add in a picture, they’ll remember 65%. Your posts will have much more impact if you included a relevant image or graphic with it.

Have any questions about Facebook marketing or your strategies on other social platforms? Contact us here!

How To Reuse Content For Your Business

reuse content

How To Reuse Content For Your Business

Content is a great way to convert visitors, but it’s hard to consistently come up with new and engaging content. But there’s still hope. You can bring in more traffic, and convert more leads by simply repurposing your existing content. Here are some of our tips on how to reuse content for your business.

Turn Written Content Into Infographics

Transforming a long blog post, short articles, or text post into a visually appealing infographic is a great way for you to get your audience to better engage with your content. Actually, it’s been found that an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a text article!

It’s less time for a reader to process your information visually with pictures and graphics than just text. Breaking down your current content into more visual posts will help you get more bang for your content buck. Plus, it will get you more engagement from your audience. Parts of the graphic can also be repurposed as multiple image posts for Instagram or Facebook.

Turn Videos into Blog posts and Vice Versa

After you’ve created a video, you don’t need to just upload it and move on. Take the script you created for the video, or write a transcript, and use it as a basis for a blog post!

Or on the flip side, taking key points from a blog post and turning it into an informational video is a creative way to reuse written copy.

Blog Posts into Newsletter

To really get the most bang for your blog post, consider promoting your blog posts in a weekly tips newsletter. You hopefully have a solid list of email subscribers, but even the most dedicated of fans won’t catch every post you write. That’s where your newsletter comes in!

A friendly tips-oriented newsletter can showcase your best blog posts of the week, providing an extra nudge to get users on your site and reading your cream of the crop content.

Webinar into Video Content

Turning one of your webinars into reportable social media videos is a great way to extend the life of your content.

Webinars are a great way to engage with members of your audience, but not everyone can make it to your webinar when you host it. Instead of letting the footage gather dust, you can save, edit, or upload the footage to Youtube to give it life. You can either post the whole webinar, or you can edit it down to multiple short videos on specific topics.

This way no one misses out on your information. Plus, it can be used as an assist to drive visitors to your website.

Turn Longer Posts Into a Series

Why create one long post that no one will read when you can create a series of shorter posts?

If you have a longer blog post, consider dividing it up into a themed series of posts. The posts can help drive engagement, while the shorter lengths allow your audience to fully engage with the posts.

Having any questions on how your business can reuse content? Contact us here. 

Tips for Killer Emails

emails

In today’s market, emails are one of the most effective ways to pique the interest of consumers.

But how do you make sure that your emails are effective? Here are some of our favorite tips for increasing the effectiveness of your email marketing.

1. Think About The Format

All your emails should be optimized for mobile. No matter the device someone reads your email on it should automatically adjust itself to fit their screen.

Luckily, optimizing for mobile is easier than ever before. The majority of emailing list providers automatically provide you with optimized mailing campaigns.

2. A Great Subject Line Equals A Great Open Rate

That fancy template you chose and great copy you wrote won’t matter one bit if people don’t open the message. Increase your open rates by writing intriguing yet concise and direct subject lines. You want to let your audience know what to expect in the email plus entice them to actually open it.

3. Clear CTA

The aim of most email marketing campaigns is to increase traffic to a site, sometimes a specific landing page. No clicks mean no customers, it’s that simple. Always try to include visually striking buttons with text that give readers more than one opportunity to interact with your content.

4. Watch Your Language

If your email is caught in a spam filter, your messages will never reach potential customers. You should avoid any sales-oriented language, using all caps, too many exclamation marks, and hyperbolic phrases like “BUY NOW!”. Poorly formatted HTML in your emails can also hurt how they’re handled. Every spam filter is different, so an email might pass through one filter but get flagged by another. The best way to keep your email out of the spam folder is to test it by sending it to yourself on different email accounts.

5. Add a Personal Touch

Personalization goes a long way. What a lot of marketers fail to grasp is that customers don’t want to be seen as a nameless face. They want to be acknowledged as unique human beings. This is relatively easy to do because all you have to do is indulge in some personalization.

Rather than sending out the same emails to everyone, use the feedback you’re getting to segment your email list. That way you can make sure customers feel like you’re reading their minds. Some people choose to invest in systems that will allow you to add people’s names to the subject line and body of the messages, but this approach is not for everybody. You can segment your mailing list, for example, by geography, age or purchase history and then send messages written specifically for each group.

6. Send Clean Emails

When sending your emails, you need to make your content is visually clean. To increase their readability and deliverability they need to be free from spelling errors, broken links, images, and aesthetically pleasing to your audience.

You should also use shorter paragraphs and ensuring that keywords and phrases relevant to your readers stand out. Including bullet points to help people skim the content and take in the vital points is a great idea to present your content in a clean and concise way. When using images within your email, be sure that they are relevant to your content and they have the correct keywords in their alt-text.

Have any questions about email marketing? Contact us here! 

How To Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

search engine ranking

How To Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

Here are important factors when trying to improve your search engine ranking.

Keywords are key

The first step to choose the search term or phrase you want your page, blog post, or website to show up for. If you’re writing a blog post on the best ways to grill a burger, you’ll need to find out what people are actually searching for to find that answer.

What makes a good keyword?

The answer is both broad and targeted keywords. Search engines will associate specific keywords with their more general phrases. When you use both on your site, it will help the site become an authority on the subjects you discuss.

A general term may yield a higher search rate than more specific terms, but search engine ranking for a target keyword phrase will give you a higher conversion rate.

Where to include the word?

It’s important to include your keyword in all of the necessary locations to ensure your page ranks for the word. First, your page title should contain your keyword. You should include it and make the title interesting enough that people will want to click on the title to read your blog post or webpage. An engaging title can help you pull in your audience and turn them into customers with your engaging content.

Including your keyword in a header will not only help you organize your page but will help it rank. This organization is helpful not only for people in skimming blog-post articles but it’s also helpful in showing Google exactly what your blog post is about. Therefore, be sure to use your exact keyword phrase at least once in your sub-headers.

Next, if your blog post contains images, you can use them to cement how Google will crawl your page about your post’s topic. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can change the image name and the alt tag.

To change the image name, simply change the name of the image on your computer before uploading. Instead of a file called “2831274.jpg,” you can rename it something like “juicyburger1.jpg.”

The “alt tag” is something you designate after you upload the photo to your website. Without getting too technical, the alt tag is simply the text that the web browser will show if the photo can’t load for some reason.

Research your competition

Good content is better than none, but bad content is worse

Now that you know what your competition looks like, it’s time to create the content that is going to blow those folks out of the water. This is perhaps the most difficult part, but it’s the most important. Your content needs to be engaging for the reader, and written so that your audience and Google can understand it.

Links for Search Engine Ranking

-Internal

If you aren’t talking about your best content, why should anyone else care? For this reason, it’s important that your best SEO content is linked to internally by other pages on your website.

Yes, this means you may need to go back and edit some older posts to include links to the new, incredible content.

-External

Okay, finally we’re finally at the big one: external links.

External links are links from websites other than your own. Google relies heavily on external links to determine how good a post is. And this makes sense, doesn’t it? You can talk about yourself and your own skills all day long, but no one will believe you. But as soon as other people begin bragging about you, others take notice.

While producing incredible content may get you some links, the truth is, you are going to have to do some “link building.” This means reaching out to other website owners in the space to ask for links.

Have any questions on how to improve your search engine ranking? Contact us here.

 

The Pros and Cons of TV Advertising

TV Advertising

TV advertising reaches a larger audience than the newspaper or radio. They allow you to display your message with sight, sound, and motion. TV, in all its forms, is the world’s favorite video. On average, TV accounts for 90% of the average viewer’s video time. But with growing costs and production time, is creating advertisements for TV profitable for business’ in today’s climate?

Today we’re discussing the pros and cons of TV advertising.

Pros of TV Advertising

TV advertising has a large reach

TV reaches a much larger audience than local newspapers and radio stations, and it does so during a short period of time. As long as the advertisement is able to gain the attention of the targeted viewers, you will be able to make an immediate and lasting impression. It tells the viewer that you are serious about what you are offering. It also gives a viewer some video evidence that you can offer a superior product or service compared to the competition

TV advertising has a big impact

TV advertising often reaches consumers when they’re at their most attentive and alert. When you air a television advertisement, you often have a captive audience. The average American spends four or more hours a day watching television, according to the Nielsen Company. The chance of a viewer channel spinning during their program of choice is low because they don’t want to miss anything, and even some On Demand viewing options disable the ability to fast forward through limited commercial breaks.

TV advertising is multisensory

By putting your brand, service, or product there, you’re able to convey a message with sight, sound, and motion that can leave a lasting impact. TV ads allow you to show and tell a wide audience about your business, product, or service. You can show how your product or service works, demonstrate the benefits of ownership, and show how it’s packaged so prospective customers will know what to look for at the point of sale.

TV advertising helps you establish a brand identity

How your message is presented to the public is a way to add some personality to your brand. They give you a chance to be creative and attach a personality to your company or product. TV ads give you an opportunity to be creative and to give your business a real sense of personality. That’s a great way to connect with customers and to build a loyal clientele that keeps coming back for more

Cons

TV advertising can’t be changed easily

Unlike display ads, social media posts, or even print ads, you can’t hop in and change a TV ad without shooting a new ad or at least contacting the network. If you do choose to change anything, it’ll cost you more money. Also, changing a TV ad isn’t just expensive; it’s also a slow and time-consuming process. Re-shooting and producing an updated video can take days or weeks, making it impractical to adjust your TV ad strategy on the fly. And even if you do manage to make changes to a TV ad campaign, the people who view your ads might notice the changes and find them confusing.

TV advertising can get expensive

No other advertising medium will eat up your budget as quickly as television. Even if you’re buying late-night cable TV spots, air time can run into thousands of dollars. You’ll also have to deal with production costs, including hiring scriptwriters, actors, editors, and other professionals. An ad agency can coordinate this process and even help you design an entire ad campaign, but they’ll charge you by the hour to do so. And since TV ads are far more effective when they’re viewed repeatedly, you’re going to have to buy multiple ads.

TV advertising makes it hard to target

One challenge, of course, is the fact that even niche cable TV channels still appeal to relatively broad audiences: stay-at-home moms, for example, or retirees. Also keep in mind, however, that TV advertisers have a hard time knowing exactly who sees their ads at any given time. This lack of feedback gave rise to the old adage that half of all advertising works but nobody knows which half! This doesn’t mean TV advertising is completely ineffective; it has its time and place. But if your business wants to reach very specific audience groups or access detailed analytical feedback, consider using online advertising instead.

Pros Vs Cons

People decide if they are interested within 10 seconds of seeing a video. So it’s up to you to decide if the pros of Tv advertising outweigh the cons. In advertising, that leaves no time for anything else. Ads on TV need to be compelling from the start. Fortunately, there is a solution for catching your audience’s attention: professional video production. Professional video is a great way to create rich content for your business. We have all the skills necessary to turn your video dreams into a reality. Contact us here.

How To Improve Your Content Marketing

Typewriter

Content Marketing

Content is everywhere. From viewing street signs to reading articles on the internet, content is a major part of our day-to-day lives. Anyone can start a blog and create content, but great content marketing is about creating stellar content with a purpose and strategy.

One of the most important ways to lure in potential clients or customers is to make sure your content is catchy, consistent, and entertaining. Here’s how:

Catch Their Eye

8 out of 10 people won’t read an article/blog if the title isn’t appealing to them. So, focus on creating a catchy, relatable title. Some ideas include: stating an unknown fact that will entice the reader or create a list-style subject line. List-style articles make it easier for people to skim.

Less Content is More

When writing, make sure to keep sentences and paragraphs short. Most people skim over what they read in order to save time. It’s important to be consistent, so keep paragraphs to a 3-4 sentence maximum. Another option is to use bullet points. This way, readers can jump right to what they want to read.

Don’t be boring!

If you want your readers to stay interested, you need to write conversationally. Nothing is worse than reading something boring and awkwardly formal. If you write as though you’re addressing a good friend, people are more likely to be absorbed in your writing.

Educate your prospects.

A blog is essentially a publishing platform for your business. It allows you to speak directly to your prospective customers and educate them about what your business does. Educating is far more powerful, more trustworthy and more relevant to website visitors than pure selling or even traditional marketing content. Education means that you have thought about their situation and can anticipate the questions they may have. It also means that you understand who they are.

Why blogging?

By publishing blog articles, you create relevant content for your site. For some businesses, it’s very difficult to actually update website content and a blog platform provides you with a solution to that problem.

Publishing content on your blog enables you to attract organic traffic to your site. These are new visitors who are finding you because of your content and not because they are searching directly for your business and your company name. In so doing, you are expanding the circle of awareness and opportunity for your business.

Remember that generating blog momentum takes time and commitment. The sooner you start, the sooner you see results. Plan on a minimum of 24 to 50 articles before you can expect to see the traffic build-up.

Why are Videos Important?

In the marketing and advertising world, content is key. Video has recently become one of the most prevalent ways to pique an audience’s interest. Therefore, it’s only fitting to create a type of video that immediately appeals to consumers.

Since the average attention span is decreasing rapidly, it’s crucial to keep all forms of content short, sweet, and to the point. The shorter the content, the easier it is for people to remember it.

Short-form videos have the power to get right down to the point, which first catches viewers’ attention, and ultimately leaves them wanting more.

Another perk of the short-form video is that smaller file sizes are easier to upload. In the end, that saves you time!

How to Create Them

Reevio, a web-based video-making platform, allows you to create and edit professional-quality videos or animations. It has the largest library of templates of any online video software. Additionally, Promo by Slidely lets you create customized marketing videos that include music and logos.

All in all, short videos are the best way to grab attention online. The best part? Shorter equal less work for you!

Have any questions about improving your marketing ventures? Contact us here. 

A Great Process Equals A Great Design

process

Great Process. Great Design.

Having a great process when designing is important to produce great work. You will have a smoother path from the beginning to the end. Everybody’s process is different, but there are some key points that you should remember: Research, brainstorm, creating a mood board, sketch, putting your design ideas into the computer, and refine.

Research

Researching before you jump into your design is important because it will provide you with an arsenal of inspiration and information to pull from for your designs. The more inspiration you have to pull from, the better. Your research process could be gathering images or written information. Putting together a visual library will help you get started. Some good places to look are designspiration.net and Pinterest. Designspiration.net has a wealth of images and designs from professionals to students of design in almost any subject you are looking for. Pinterest is great for keeping track of what is trending. Even using Google to find images works just as well. This is for you to help you in your process. You might learn something in your research and it may help you in another project or design in the future.

Brainstorm

This is when you take all the information you’ve gathered. You can make word webs or lists of keywords to get some general ideas out. This can help you think outside the box. See where your word web will take you. Brainstorming should be done quickly. Don’t dwell on something for so long and talk yourself out of an idea. At this point, no idea is a bad idea and you’re going more for quantity than quality. If you find yourself hitting a block go for a walk or take a break and clear your mind. Don’t feel pressured at this stage. After you’ve finished your idea generation talk it over with someone and see if they have any additional ideas to add to what you already have.

Mood Boards

Mood boards are helpful in that you can create a visual feeling and make sure you are on the same page as the person you are designing for. A mood board is a collection of images and typography to establish a feeling for your design. It can be structured into a grid or expressive. These boards can be made by hand using found materials or made digitally. Whatever way works best for you. There is no wrong way to put together a mood board if it is conveying a mood. You can reference your mood board throughout your process to make sure you are keeping on track. Making more than one with different moods can help you narrow down what direction you would like to go in.

Sketching

Sketching is important in design. This is a visual way to get your ideas out. At this point, it’s helpful to get out the good, the bad, and the okay at best. I find that if I can get my cliché ideas out of the way first I can move on to more creative ones. Just like with brainstorming you are going for rapid ideation and quantity over quality. You’ll worry about quality later in the process. I also prefer to do a lot of sketching or thumbnail sketches, which are ideas sketched out roughly. They don’t have to be finished, just enough to get the idea across. Don’t be afraid to draw from your brainstorms and research. Use different materials, such as pens, pencils, markers, even crayons. These may help to generate unique ideas and styles.

Computer

Putting your ideas into the computer is where you really start to see your ideas come alive. Take your best ideas and digitize them. Here they will begin to take shape into something more substantial. Sometimes what you think looks good on paper doesn’t quite work on the screen. That’s okay. You can try one of your other ideas. Something to keep in mind is that the design process isn’t always a straight path, sometimes you have to take a step back to get the most of your designs. When working on the computer, I find that working with several different unique designs and working on them helps to create variety to choose from.

Options

If you are designing for someone they are going to like options. Also, this is where you can push your designs. Don’t be afraid to break them and try something different. As long as you are saving copies you can always go back. Take risks. If you are working in Adobe Illustrator, you can create multiple artboards to test out your variations and in Adobe InDesign you can create new pages. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, especially if you can find people who are in your intended audience for the piece. This will help you create a better design.

Criticism

Criticism doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You also have to use your best judgment for what is a good critique and a not so good critique. If you are designing for print, print it out and mark it up. Your colors will be darker on paper and you can catch little things that just don’t look right. A computer screen is lit from the back making everything brighter and more vibrant.
Once a single design has been decided upon, you can make revisions and refine it. Really nitpick. You want your design to communicate clearly and concisely. This is when you will finalize your design and present it.

These key points will help you stay on track on your designing journey and make it a smooth process from beginning to end. Remember to research, brainstorm, create a mood board, sketch, put your ideas on the computer, and refine. Don’t be afraid to take risks. The most important part of the process is to have fun with your designs.

Have any questions about designs or marketing? Contact us here. 

3 Ways To Improve Your Selfie Game!

Guy in red shirt taking a selfie.

The first “selfie” was taken in 1839 by an American photographer, Robert Cornelius. I won’t go into details, but the process of creating a photograph used to be a difficult, time-consuming task. Nowadays, taking a stunning selfie is a lot easier, but there’s still room for improvement.

Whether you’re looking to improve your Instagram feed or Facebook timeline, here are three tips on taking a great selfie!

Lighting

Poor lighting can make the most attractive person look bad. If possible, find a window to stand next to. Natural, soft light is the best to show off your features. Avoid harsh lighting, like the sun at noon, because this will create bad shadows. Also, try not to use your flash because it produces an unflattering light.

Selfie Angle

The angle is almost as important as lighting, and it’s a close second. Lower angles will almost always make the smallest person appear they have a double chin. Make sure to hold the camera at least at eye level and extend your head/chin up slightly. Holding the camera a little above your head can slim down your face.

Facial Expressions

Be yourself and be natural! The whole point of a selfie is to show who you are. Try smiling naturally. A smile isn’t solely visible on your lips but also in your eyes and face. Be confident and don’t be scared to take more than one picture.

(bonus tip!) Rules are meant to be broken. Be creative while taking your selfies!

If you’re interested in learning more about photography, marketing, or anything else we do contact us here!

killer selfie
“Killer” Selfie with some of the Killerspots Team!

 

What Instagram In-App Payments Could Mean for Business

Instagram In-App Payments

An Instagram in-app payments feature was just added early this month.

This new feature allows social media users to make purchases on Instagram. How? Users can add a credit/debit card to their account, with a pin for security. After they set-up and verify the accounts, users can make purchases through their Instagram account.

Instagram hasn’t stated when it plans to roll out this service.

Weaving commerce more deeply into social media apps offers potentially huge rewards for companies behind the apps, as well as those with products to sell.

Instagram says that more than 80 percent of its 800 million-plus users follow a business on the social network. With numbers like that, the Facebook-owned company will be keen to build out its shopping services to draw in more advertisers and boost revenue even further.

What does this mean for businesses?

You’re able to show your product and store where your customers already are.

One of the biggest challenges businesses face is getting your customer to your store and check out.

While Instagram already offers shopping opportunities via tagged items shown in an image, making a purchase currently involves navigating a pop-out page and completing various steps, including entering payment details for each new merchant.

Instagram in-app payments are now erasing that hurdle for businesses. Your customers won’t even need to leave Instagram to purchase the product you’re showing on your feed. The more steps involved in the buying process, the more likely a customer is going to fall out of the funnel.

It might not seem like Instagram is the place for businesses to communicate with their audience, but Instagram reports that over 200 million Instagrammers actively visit a business profile every day.

How will Instagram in-app payments work?

One of the first equipped is a dinner reservation app Resy. Some of its clients’ Instagram Pages now offer this native payment for the booking. And in the future, Instagram says you can expect direct payments for things like movie tickets through the app.

A tap through to the terms of service reveals that Instagram Payments are backed by Facebook’s Payments rules.

With its polished pictures and a plethora of brands, shopping through Instagram could prove popular and give businesses a big new reason to advertise on the app. If they can get higher conversion rates because people don’t quit in the middle of checkout as they fill in their payment info, brands might prefer to push people to buy via Instagram.

The whole point of Instagram not allowing links in captions is to keep you in a smooth, uninterrupted browsing flow. Getting booted out to the web to buy something broke that. Instagram Payments could make impulse buys much quicker, enticing more businesses to get on board. Even if Instagram takes no cut of the revenue, brands are likely to boost ad spend to get their shoppable posts seen by more people if the native payments mean more of them actually complete a purchase.

How can businesses utilize Instagram in-app payments?

Whenever a new trend or update comes to social accounts, your first thought should always be “How can this benefit my account?”?

Once Instagram opens up the payment option to the general public, you’ll be able to enable your audience with the ability to purchase your products and services directly on Instagram.

Until then, there are things you can do to prepare for the upcoming update.

Make sure you have an Instagram Business account

Business accounts provide businesses a lot more flexibility when it comes to managing your account and presence on Instagram.

They allow you to have an office location and hours in a separate section from a regular Instagram bio. Business accounts also have access to helpful analytics and promotional tools.

You’re also able to boost specific posts that will help you reach a wider audience.

Make sure your site is mobile-optimized.

Since you’re wanting to drive your audience to purchase from you online, the first step is to drive them to your site and store. Instagram is a mobile app, so visitors will be accessing your site from their phone or another mobile device.

Giving them a poor first impression will seriously hurt your chances of ever nurturing them into a customer.

Looking to the Future

Overall, the Instagram in-app payments update is very exciting for businesses and customers alike. Instagram is helping streamline the buyer’s journey through their app, and we’re excited to see how this will pan out.

Do you have any questions about marketing on Instagram or other social sites? Contact us here!