Social media icons

The power of social media is growing at an unbelievable rate and the smallest of interactions has serious impact upon brands and businesses. We can all think of an instance when you saw a brand respond to a user’s post or inquiry, and it either surprised and delighted or completely horrified you. We’re going to dig into the former and reveal how fewer, quality interactions on social media can reap great rewards from a broader audience.

A recent example of small social interactions done with great intent is from Google. An older British woman submitted a Google query in the politest of ways. Her grandson came upon her search and posted a picture of it on Twitter tweet because of its sweet nature:

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Rebranding banner

For small businesses, developing a brand means working from scratch to piece together a cohesive and inspiring representation of their business. Once a business is up and running, it can be daunting to think of rebranding. You put a ton of time, effort, and resources into perfecting your brand, its imagery, and tone of voice. Yet, given how quickly audiences and industries are evolving, in order to stay relevant, businesses of all sizes must continually innovate and rebrand.

There is good news, though! Rebrands do not equal starting from scratch and forgetting everything you designed for your initial brand. A rebrand does not mean your business is failing, but rather indicates that your business is aware of its competition, market, and audience preferences and wants to stay up with the times. It can also incorporate slight changes, instead of total overall, such as realigning your brand promises.

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Social media icons

In this fast moving world, it’s a major accomplishment to launch a small business. There can be years of preparation and when your business is finally open to the public, it’s a huge feat. Yet keeping the momentum going and growing your business takes another level of focus and strategy. For small businesses, your funds are precious, so making the most of your free or limited-cost options is essential. Enter social media. Social media of all kinds should be your best friend. There are platforms for all industries and it is free marketing and PR for your business. You can become a social media ninja and watch your business boom from a few tactical moves.

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Famous brand logos

As you well know, your business logo is much more than an image or a colorful compilation of words. It communicates the value, purpose, and integrity of your brand and plays a significant part in how people perceive your business. Whether you have an established logo or are at the beginning phases of creating your first one, there are a few design considerations you should make in order to craft a compelling and memorable logo.

First things first, do your research and know your audience.

Knowing who you are trying to engage and what kinds of images, colors, and language they respond to is critical for crafting a logo that is recognizable and distinct from your competition. Your competitors and other industry leaders are a great resource for determining what you want your brand to look and feel like. Take note of what stands out to you. Which symbols and color combinations evoke the feelings you want your logo to generate?

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Speech bubbles vector

All day, every day, our lives are filled with words. They’re communicated to us in verbal or written form and have a huge impact on our decisions and opinions. That’s why when you talk about your business, having an acute understanding of your audience and what they want to hear is essential to building brand awareness and sales. This applies to the written word as well. You probably put more written words in to the universe each day than verbal, and those are forever searchable courtesy of the Internet. Speaking and writing with intention and authority on your business is something that takes planning and practice.

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Megaphone with voice images

Whether you realize it or not, your brand has a tone of voice. You may have a hard time identifying it, but you can bet your customers are aware of it. The good news is that you can control and shape this tone – but you better act sooner rather than later.

The Value of Your Voice

The term “tone of voice” typically conjures up thoughts about spoken words and how we speak in certain situations. However, in the case of marketing and branding, it refers to written words – or the words a brand uses on websites, emails, advertisements, social media, and packaging.

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Red cupcake with sprinkles and sparkler

We’ve touched on the importance of your brand, and identified the key components to creating one that is memorable, but today we’re going to hone in on brand imagery. Think of brand imagery as the frosting to your cake; it lures people with its outward appearance and enhances the flavor profile of the cake. A red velvet cupcake is great, but a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting is infinitely better. Get the gist?

Your brand imagery should show the personality of your brand to its audience. When a company has strong brand imagery, you can identify its ads or promotions instantaneously. Coca Cola, Target, Google, and Apple were the first companies that came to mind when I brainstormed this topic. Each has a distinct look, feel, and message to its imagery, and I never hesitate to associate their names with their product promotions because it is so obvious.

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Word of mouth is one of the most effective (and least expensive) ways to get more exposure, more awareness, and ultimately more customers for your business. Even with the most costly advertising campaign, you won’t see a return on your investment if it doesn’t get people talking to each other and sharing with their social networks.

But how can you as a marketer or a small business owner guarantee that your content or your campaign will catch on? Well, there are no guarantees in marketing, but you can certainly set yourself up for success by taking advantage of some wisdom accumulated by the experts. One such expert is professor and author Jonah Berger, who specializes in viral marketing, trends, and social media. We recently had the opportunity to hear Jonah speak, and picked up a great framework for thinking about creating viral content. We’ll take a closer look at these principles, which Jonah calls STEPPS in his recent book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

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If you are a regular reader of our blog, it’s not news to you that effective visual content is key to success on social media. What you might not know however, is just how important it is to expert marketers who are tasked with telling brand stories. Luckily, there’s an infographic for that.

EMarketer recently reported on research from the CMO Council and Libris which uncovered some very compelling data about the way marketers are using visuals in marketing today. The survey of senior marketers throughout North America looked at the importance of a variety of content types for brand storytelling, among them photos, videos, and illustrations. They asked whether they found the content type critical, important, unimportant, or if they were not sure.

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