37397222 - little boy saving money in piggy bank
Local Branding

Money Saving Ideas For Parents

Having children is the most rewarding, enriching, and exciting thing a person can do, It is also one of the most expensive.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is roughly $300,000, (and I doubt that even considers the costs of the latest iPhone they think they need by the time they are six). We all want to provide for our children but it is not always easy to make ends meet. However, there are ways we can save money and still enjoy the life we are creating for our families. Below you will find a few tips that will help.

Money Saving Ideas For Parents

Car seat

It has to to safe, not stylish   

Parents tend to think they have to have the best and latest of everything for their little ones. Manufactures know that and put every bell and whistle they can think of on their products. The fact is, your child is going to outgrow many of the things you purchase, long before you even try out all those options. Take car seats for example. Your child will go through at least three car seats (or more). Your car seat needs to be safe and installed correctly. Spend your time researching the car seat and not your money on options.For ideas on what you really need to travel with baby, visit sites like bottlesandbanter.com.

Stroller

Strollers

Did you know some strollers cost hundreds of dollars? They recline, lock, have reversible straps, umbrellas and come with HBO. (Okay, no HBO) Then they fold up and “fit” into the trunk of your car. When you get to the mall, doctor’s office, or the park with your screaming baby in their car seat, you struggle to get this stroller (which is much like a Volvo) out of the car and then fight to set it up. By now your child is having no more waiting and the minute you strap him in, he goes into a melt-down that makes every mother in the area wonder if he is being kidnapped. You push your child, his diaper bag, your purse and the Volvo into the mall, where the fit continues. You end up pushing all that back to the car with one hand and a worn out baby on your hip. The next time you venture out, you grab the $20.00 umbrella stroller that you keep in the backseat and just go.

Money saving ideas

Buy, Sell, Trade

Use consignment shops, shops that buy and sell baby clothes and save a bundle. It is shocking how fast a kid grows. They often outgrow something before they even wear it. Sell it at a shop like Once Upon A Child or on EBay. Take good care of the clothes your child wears. You can trade them if they are in good condition. Co-Op with other parents and have swap meets. Get the most out of your child’s clothes and the things they need.

Support Groups

Make arrangements with friends to trade off babysitting, mother’s day out and other things that cost you money. The group I was in even cooked double meals once a week and traded. That way we always had a meal in the freezer that we had not had the day before. Take turns taking the kids to dance class, practice, or the park. You save money and find a little time just for you.

For more ideas, visit www.femmefrugality.com. This site is a great go to site for just about anything parent/ money related! There are a lot of ways to save money listed on the internet. Use common sense and remember one rule.  Just because you did not have it as a child, does not mean your child needs it.

Law books
Legal Branding

Choosing The Right Colors For Your Law Firm Site

Chances are, when designing your law firm’s website, the colors of the site were not considered as a major factor.  Sure, you wanted something clean, professional, and polished, but that was probably the most you thought of it.  It is a scientific fact that people perceive feelings and attitudes about a place of business based on the colors presented to them. Colors carry powerful meanings and those messages are part of your brand. Take the website of Levinson Law Group, for example. This website features blue, gray, and a bit of gold. What do these colors say about the company?

What Does Color Mean?

Levinson Law Group’s logo features three words; “Strong, Compassionate, Reliable” This is part of their brand and company image. The primary colors of their site, back up their image.  Let’s look at what the colors mean:

  • Blue
    • Trust
    • Smart
    • Power
    • Stability
  • Gray
    • Security
    • Reliability
    • Solid
    • Intelligent
  • Gold
    • Of value
    • wealth

As you can see, the colors this company chose are perfect to answer the unspoken question, “Why hire us?”

Subtleties of Colors Add Meaning

Another site,Victims Lawyer.com features the same colors. The difference is subtle. Victims Lawyers.com feature more gray in the overall layout of the site. This means to the consumer, they are stressing the idea that the customer is secure with them. It is the same message presented in a different way to brand their company. While these legal professionals deal with many types of clients, they are award winning personal injury attorneys.  A client who has been hurt at the hands of, or due to the negligence of another person, is already at a disadvantage. If that company refuses to deal with them fairly (forcing them to hire an attorney) they have reason to be insecure. The attorney they hire will make them feel safe and secure. That begins with the mental image their brand presents.

Steven Sweat logos

A third example is Syndicate Legal. The blue and gray scheme of this site are almost blended. This give the message that they are equally dedicated to obtaining your trust and representing your case. They do not favor blue over gray because they are equally important. However, you will notice a little green in the main page of this site. It is an understated detail that speaks volumes. Green represents money and growth. A client looking for an attorney to seek damages for him, may think he will recover more if he uses this attorney, simply because their mind reacts well to the splash of green on the site.

Woodland HIlls

Common Colors For Legal Websites

It is easy to understand why the understated colors of blue and gray work well with legal websites. But as in the above examples, an accent color drives your point home.  Just as using green works to represent money and gold suggest value and wealth, using other colors allow the law office to mold their brand to their specific target audience.

Red is an accent color you will find on most sites.  Red means power, strength, energy, and passion.  A criminal defence attorney may accent more heavily in red. This is a statement that they are willing to fight.

Yellow is the color of happiness, This is a good accent color for legal professionals in family law, for example.  Often you will see the color orange. Orange is an equal combination of red (power) and yellow (happiness). This is for the law offices that stress finding a solution that works for everyone.

Every industry uses the science of color technology.  From hospitals, to schools and prisons, the colors serve a specific purpose. Law offices are no exception. The colors used will an impact on your business. So choose wisely and let your website work for you.

Branding
Digital Branding

Social Media Branding Can Help Build Your Business

Branding is a huge part of growing your business.  Though the tag word “branding” is relatively new, the concept of branding has always been around. Branding is simply creating your image and personality in the market place. It is marketing. It is public relations. If you are in business, your product or service is your brand. How well you cultivate and grow it determines it’s success.

Media is important in any form of branding. In the past few years E-Commerce has taken off. Our advancing technology, and love of instant gratification makes E-Commerce a requirement for today’s consumer. Social media plays a big part in modern business communication and relationships. Therefore, it stands to reason that our social media branding is a critical piece of our corporate puzzle.

Social Media Branding TipsTo Build Your Business

Below you will find some social media tips that every business should incorporate into their business, immediately.

Facebook marketing

  • Choose Your Platform Carefully

    There are a lot of social media platforms out there and it can become overwhelming trying to decide which platform will work best for you.  Facebook has evolved to the “yellow pages” of the internet. When a customer, associate, or potential partner looks for you, they will usually start with Facebook.  That does not mean Facebook is the only platform for you or even the best platform for you. It means, you need to establish a Facebook site, even if Facebook is not your top choice of social media platforms.  Do your research and determine your main social media outlet. Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are very popular with the younger crowd. Business to business companies do better with Linkedin. Facebook cast a wide shadow. Select your platform or even a couple of platforms and begin your branding.

  • Be Consistent

    Consistency is important throughout the world of social media. Whether you are on Facebook or Instagram, the logo, font, colors, and look is the same. This look identifies your brand. If you pulled up the Facebook account for Coca-Cola, you expect the red and white Coca-Cola logo. If you pulled up a twitter account for Coca-Cola and the logo was in purple, you would question the legitimacy of the page. You establish your logo, colors, fonts and look and stick with it forever.

Logo

  • Interact

    Every person who comes by is a potential client, vendor, or supporter.  Follow-up with everyone. Do not put it off. Treat every request, question or reply with urgency. Connect with and follow big names. Connecting to their sites and exposure to their traffic matters.

  • Keep Up!  

    Nothing will kill your site faster than ignoring it. (Remember we are an instant gratification society). When we go to your website, we expect new material to read. We want blogs, stories, specials, videos, special events, even a few laughs. Posting once a week will not get it done, Even if you have to hire a part-time blogger or make it part of a team effort, keep your sites fresh so your guests will return and share.

Inforgrapjhic

  • Entertain With Infographics

    People do not want to read your pages, they want your pages to entertain them. Infographics are a hot trend in getting information out in graphic form. Infographics are essential in social media branding.

  • Social Media For Better Freelancing.

    It is all about using the platform. Which hashtags to use, who to follow, and how to build up a following. This is a great resource for using these valuable, built-in tools.

  • Be A Social Media Professional

    What is acceptable and what is not acceptable in the world of social media? There is an unspoken code of ethics. Here are some great tips on how to keep your platform on an upper level.

  • Social Media Funding

    While the platforms (like Facebook) do not cost money, marketing does. Unless you are a pro at design, marketing, writing, graphics, and data collection, money is needed. This is a resource to help you identify where to locate the money for social media funding and the best ways to invest your branding funds on social media.

By following these tips, your social media presence will grow steadily. Given the right attention to detail, your marketing/branding program should succeed. Learn what to do and what to avoid to make your social media a top site in your industry.

Extra Resource: Read this article to learn some social media etiquette tips for professionals.

grow your brand online
Digital Branding

Thoughts for Growing Your Brand Online

One of the most crucial steps of building a business is growing the brand online. It is something that oftentimes gets overlooked, but which can be very harmful to ignore. All of the most successful businesses have found their success largely through efforts made to get their brand name out into the general public and by creating a loyalty to that brand name.

dollar_shave_clubThink of some of the more recent successes in this area such as the Dollar Shave Club razor service. This company started remarkably small, but their genius in online brand promotion led to them competing with companies who had a monopoly on the razor business for years. Through social media, finding their audience, and catering to their audience, they were able to get their brand name out there and make a successful business.

Here are some of the strategies that successful businesses use to grow their online brand.

Heavily Researching the Target Audience

research
There can never be too much time spent on researching who it will want and need the services that your business provides. It is crucial to get a thorough understanding of who your target customers are, what they like, and what type of advertisement they will respond best to.

  • Do they need a serious and professional approach?
  • Will they respond to humor?
  • Or, like Dollar Shave Club, are your customers frustrated consumers of an overpriced product that is expensive just because of its color?

Find out what sentiments and motivations drive your target audience and use this to inform your advertisement.
Boost Your Social Media

boostOne of the most effective ways to grab your audience’s attention is by using video advertisement on social media. Facebook in particular provides a perfect platform for advertising through videos. Videos will automatically play as consumers scroll through their feed, so it is almost guaranteed that they will watch at least a portion of your video.

Consider adding subtitles to your videos as well so that even without clicking on the video, potential customers will get an idea of what your brand is.

Equally important is to spend a significant amount of time and effort in responding to any comments that your audience puts on your videos or posts on social media. This will give personal credibility to your brand that will make it stand out. Another great way to boost your social media rankings is to buy PBN links from an internet marketing such as PlacementSEO.
Create a Blog

blog reading
Consumers are more likely to look at a blog than a business’s official website. In addition, browsers tend to boost sites that are frequently updated with fresh material. Attract more attention to your website by linking to a blog, and be creative!

Think about what your audience might be interested in, even if it isn’t directly related to your brand and business and write an article or two per week to keep people coming back.
The most important thing is to not underestimate the power of your brand. It is always worth investing the extra time and money to create a loyal clientele on the internet by using these and other methods to make your brand stand out.

Salesforce CRM
Digital Branding

How to Create the Right CRM Strategy to Meet Your Business Goals

Since time immemorial, the need to maintain a trustworthy and healthy relationship with the customers has always existed, and so the idea of a customer relationship management is not something new according to NetSuite CRM. Over the recent years, new strategies for CRM have evolved into more technology and automation oriented practices because of the changing dynamics of doing business. The reasons why CRM presently needs to be well planned and more robust is because now, more than ever before, business is becoming customer centric.

 

One thing that you need to keep in mind is that deciding on the most appropriate and responsive CRM strategy requires much more than just selecting the right software for CRM. Below are a few tips to help guiding you in creating the right CRM strategy that can serve your business needs.

  • A blue print of what you must achieve will assist you to know what new strategies you must adopt for your business. The same principle also applies to the CRM you need because simply starting without a goal in mind can be counter-productive. Having a set of goals and how you plan to achieve them is critical to the adoption of such a system. Break down all your objectives in smaller units which are flexible and easy to execute.

  • One size fits all does not work with contemporary customers, and so to get the best services to them, you must categorize your customers. You should separate your loyal customers from the rest of the pack to make your CRM efficient.

  • To gather all pertinent information about your customers, you should synchronize various sources of information apart from those generated by your CRM. Areas from which you can gather information include back office systems like human resources, manufacturing, accounting, and any other inventory that can provide a 360-degree appraisal of customer behavior. Integrating all the information from various sources and deploying them for the growth of your enterprise is the most efficient way of managing a CRM strategy.

  • The system will not work well without the input of your employees, so you must communicate with them while guiding them through the most crucial aspects of your CRM. Every step of your objectives and the future plans you have must be clearly communicated. It is important to give them sufficient training while also living the doors open for suggestions that can improve the system.

  • All departments of your business must be synchronized and integrated into the system because a CRM system that stands alone cannot be effective. Deploying the system is a continuous process that requires constant evaluation. You should be prepared to change anything that is a hindrance to the growth of the business, and only retain or implement what works best for you. You cannot readily pinpoint the shortcomings of the system, so you must be flexible to any changes that might be needed.

In a modern business setup where excellent customer service counts for everything, it is important to have a workable and robust CRM strategy.

3 Brands That Made Incredible Comebacks
Digital Branding

3 Brands That Made Incredible Comebacks

Every popular brand takes its fair share of bumps and bruises. Sometimes, a big financial loss or a scandal can ruin a brand beyond repair. It can be hard to believe that even some of the most popular brands that exist today were close to going extinct. In times of turmoil, the brands that come out on top are the ones that know how to adapt, take calculated risks, and reinvent themselves. Here are three brands that made incredible comebacks.

Marvel

Marvel

Marvel has a long history of being a leader in the comic-book industry but in the 90’s the market for comic-book market tanked and Marvel’s future seemed uncertain. In 1993, writer Neil Gaiman gave a speech to 3,000 retailers and told them that the comic book market was a bubble. Gaiman stated that the comic book market rose only because collectors were furiously buying comics in hopes that they would become valuable. Gaiman likened this to tulip mania in the 17th century when the value of tulip bulbs quickly skyrocketed and collapsed.

In 1996, after undergoing turmoil in the boardroom a year before, the company went broke. Marvel then decided to start focusing on the movie industry. Marvel struggled for years trying to convince Hollywood execs to put their superheros on the big screen. They saw a small success with Blade and then Spider-Man and X-Men went on to become massive successes but Marvel was only seeing a small percentage of the earnings.

In 2003, Marvel decided to start producing its own movies. Marvel struck a deal with Merrill Lynch that featured intellectual property such as Captain America and Thor as collateral. Merrill Lynch lent Marvel $525 million over a period of seven years. The company used that capital to spend on 10 movies and began having great success with movies like Iron Man (gross: $585 million), Iron Man 3 ($1 billion), and even the offbeat film Guardians of the Galaxy ($750 million). In 2009, Disney bought Marvel for $4.3 billion.

Delta

Delta

Delta is one of the country’s largest airlines but the Atlanta, GA-based company ran into trouble in 2005 when it filed for bankruptcy. Delta stated that the rise in prices of jet fuel and steep competition from budget airlines like Southwest and JetBlue were the cause. However, less than four years later Delta bounced back.

To get back on track, Delta started working from the inside out by making changes within its management and employee ranks. Director Gerald Grinstein, who stepped in as CEO in 2004 renegotiated union contracts and made an agreement with the pilots to take a pay cut (while cutting his own pay 25%). Grinstein was also able to cut a deal with several creditors which prevented a takeover by US Airways. These efforts helped, but Delta wasn’t done. Delta flew in employees for team-building events to boost morale and convinced its creditors to turn over 15% of the company to its employees. Delta succeeded in getting their creditors to see how important it was to have employee support.

Delta then recruited Glen W. Hauenstein from Italian airline Alitalia to bring Delta to underserved regions such as Tel Aviv, Kiev, and Nice, France. To save money on buying long haul jets, Hauenstein instead retrofitted existing aircraft to save fuel and reduce drag which provided them with more range. Then, in 2008 Delta merged with Northwest Airlines which helped cut costs and gave Delta access to Northwest’s Asian network while Northwest gained access to Delta’s strength in Latin America and Europe.

Converse

Converse

In 1917, Converse’s shoe “The All-Star” became the first mass-produced sneaker for basketball. In 1932, Converse signed hoops star Charles “Chuck” Taylor to sell the shoe. After the NBA began in 1946, The All-Star became the most popular shoes in the league.

However, in the 1980s competition from Reebok, Puma, Adidas, and Nike became to heat up. Converse’s market share fell to 2.3% in 1998 and Nike bought the company in 2003. It seemed to many like the converse brand was a thing of the past.

However, Nike creatively embraced the ‘old-school” feel that Converse had and began marketing their shoes to new demographics. Special editions of the Chuck Taylors featuring the Ramones and Kurt Cobain were born. Converse also went high-end by having designer John Varvatos create a premium line of Chuck Taylors. New life was given to the brand by transitioning away from basketball, focusing on fashion, and creating a lifestyle around the iconic shoe.

Conclusion

Bringing a brand off of life support is no easy task. In our fast-moving economy, it’s fairly easy for consumers to love you one day and quickly forget about you after a few bad business moves. Every brand on this list was facing the reality of shutting its doors but by adapting to their environment, thinking outside of the box, and making strategic moves they were able to come out ahead and return to the top of their game.

8 Steps to Building a Successful Brand
Digital Branding

8 Steps to Building a Successful Brand

When a customer hands over their hard-earned money for your product or service they are making a commitment to your brand. Having a strong brand means that customers know, like, and trust your business. Strong brands are rewarded with high customer approval. Successful companies know this and invest heavily in building and improving their brands. Your brand doesn’t just exist in your marketing message. It lives in every interaction your business makes with customers. The five steps below will give you a head start on creating a successful brand.

Purpose

Purpose

With the advent of the internet, consumers have a lot of options when it comes to

selecting products and services. Just having a catchy slogan or a slick logo won’t get you very far. Your brand has to stand for something. You have to know why your business does what it does and you need to make sure that all of your customers are aware of this as well. Your purpose is the absolute, innermost core reason of why your business exists. When customers can align with your purpose they will buy into your brand at a cellular level

In Simon SInek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” TED talk he shared that what separates great companies from good ones is the fact that great companies lead with their purpose in everything that they do. For example, Apple’s core message is to “Think Different” in everything that you do. They promote this message through selling products that are beautifully designed and exquisitely minimalistic. This is what allows them to stand out from the pack.

Emotion

emotion

Contrary to popular belief. We don’t buy based on logic. We buy based on emotion. Emotion is the reason why people spend thousands of dollars on designer handbags when a similar sized bag from Wal-Mart or Target could hold their personal items just fine. When someone chooses to spend this type of money on a handbag they aren’t buying a bag. They’re buying status. To make a successful brand you must create this type of emotion in your customers.

Community

Community

Humans aren’t meant to live alone. We thrive in communities. Powerful brands build communities that empower their customers and give them a direct line of communication to their audience. Now, any business can use social media to create a community with their customers. In a Business News Daily article, Manta CEO John Swanciger said that a brand’s top priority for social media should be community building.

Big brands know the importance of building a community. Take H&R Block for example. They created a section of their website, titled “Get Answers” that allowed users to ask tax questions and get quick answers from professionals. The community empowers user to share and learn all on the H&R block website. The company promoted this new feature with their “Get It Right” campaign on social media which gave them a 15% increase in business vs. the year before when no social media was involved in their marketing.

Consistency

Consistency

Many businesses make the mistake of branding themselves inconsistently across different platforms. They may take one marketing angle on their website, a different one on their Facebook page, and continue this pattern across several platforms. Usually, this is done to try and connect with several different audiences but this usually has an adverse effect. Inconsistent branding confuses customers and creates a disconnect. To create a strong brand, you must maintain a consistent image and message throughout your entire business, including your website, marketing, logo, social media channels, etc. Being consistent allows consumers to become familiar with you, and later trust you.

Value

Value

If you don’t provide value to your customers, they will quickly run to your competitors. Why should a customer choose you over anyone else? What can you offer that is head and shoulders above all others? You don’t have to be great at everything. Start with focusing on being great at one thing and do it better than your competitors. Offer outstanding customer service. Take a customized approach with your clients. Reward your customers for their loyalty.

You can’t mention customer service without bringing up Zappos. CEO Tony Hsieh has made it his goal to provide legendary customer service. In a Forbes.com article, it was revealed that to understand customer service, Hsieh gave each of his employees $100 and asked them to buy two pairs of shoes from Zappos.com – one to return and one to keep. He then asked the employees to share their experience with the team. Zappos invests heavily in customer service over marketing. They want to create more personal connections with customers by tracking and observing customer behavior. Although Zappos spends a lot of money on customer analytics they understand that there is a human touch that is essential in customer service that can’t be quantified.

Wrapping Up

Building a successful brand isn’t an easy task. Brands become extraordinary not by gaining customers, but by creating fans. Every brand mentioned above offers something unique that makes it stand out from all of it’s competitors. When you’re bold, honest, and transparent in your marketplace you’re rewarded with customer approval.

How-Apple-Creates-an-Irresistible-Brand-(and-How-You-Can-Too)
Digital Branding

How Apple Creates an Irresistible Brand (and How You Can Too)

It’s inevitable. Every year Apple releases a new iPhone and just like clockwork long lines of consumers flock to stand outside of Apple stores patiently waiting for the next new installment of the Apple legacy. It’s safe to assume that the release of the iPhone 7 will be no different.

Why would people put their lives on hold and stand in line for a phone? We’re not talking about a necessity like food or water, but a cell phone. You could simply wait a few days, walk into a store (sans the line) and buy one. Or, you could ditch the store altogether and order one online. But, no matter how convenient it is in the 21st century to buy an iPhone, there will still be a percentage of raving fans who will pitch a tent and camp out to get their hands on a new iPhone a few days before the general public.

Why Do We Line Up for iPhones?

Why-Do-We-Line-Up-for-iPhones

The most important point of all of this is that people aren’t waiting in line for a phone. They’re waiting in line to be a part of the Apple brand. Apple’s brand represents elegant design, sophistication, and classy minimalism. But, how does this happen and why don’t other brands evoke this response from consumers?

Bestselling author Simon Sinek sought to discover the answer to this question in his book “Start With Why”. According to his research, a company’s marketing can be broken down into three different layers:

  1. Why – This is what the business believes at its very core. This is what it stands for.
  2. How – This is how the company goes about fulfilling it’s “Why”
  3. What – This is how the business operates, or “What” it actually does

Simon discovered that most companies do their marketing in the wrong order. They start with “what” they do, then move onto “how” they do it, and don’t ever mention “why” they’re in business in the first place.

Apple starts out by making consumers aware of their why. Their “why” drives all of their marketing messaging. Simon broke this down in an example to make his point clear. Here’s what Apple’s marketing message would be if they took the same path as just about everyone else:

“We make great computers. They’re user-friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. Want to buy one?”
apple-macbook

These are all valid points but the message above fails to resonate with the consumer. It sounds like just about every other computer company. They have great computers, with great features and they cost X amount of dollars. This falls flat.

Instead, Apple starts with “why” which evokes emotion from the consumer and gets them excited about Apple’s brand.

“With everything we do, we aim to challenge the status quo. We aim to think differently. Our products are user-friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?”

Since Apple starts out with their core beliefs, they attract customers who share their beliefs, which causes people to get addicted to their brand. Sinek states that “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” Apple doesn’t sell computers and phones. They sell status, creativity, and a lifestyle.

How to Make Your Brand Irresistible

How-to-Make-Your-Brand-Irresistible

1. Start With the Core Purpose of Your Business

The first step is to align your core beliefs with your marketing. Think about your own business and how you extend your offerings to your consumers. How do you market your products and services? Is it aligned with your brand? People buy “the why” behind what you do so it’s important that your core beliefs are at the forefront of your marketing.

Before you do that you must drill down exactly what your “why” is.

For example, Tom’s is known as the “One for One Company” because they provide a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes they sell. Their why is that they want to help children across the world. What is your “why”?

2. Get your “Why” Into Your Marketing

Get-your-Why-Into-Your-Marketing

Whenever you craft a piece of marketing copy you’ll want to make sure that you’re installing your why into it. For example, here’s an example of the difference between starting with “Why” vs. “How”.

“In our new video course ‘The Top 10 Tips for Maximizing ROI on Your Facebook Ads’ we’ll show you how to create a profitable Facebook ad campaign and how to improve an existing one.” Click here to get your copy.

vs.

“Imagine your perfect customer – someone who loves your product, buys from you over and over again, and raves about your company to everyone. If you could click a button and have a line of these customers knocking on your door to buy your product, would you? In our new video course ‘The Top 10 Tips for Maximizing ROI on Your Facebook Ads’ we’ll show you what buttons to press. Click here to get your copy.

Do you feel the difference? The second piece of leads with the reason why people would want to maximize the ROI of their Facebook ads. People don’t want to actually create better Facebook ads. They want more customers and more specifically repeat customers.

3. Craft Your Buyer Persona

Have you taken the time to think about your buyer? Do you know exactly who buys your products? A lot of companies get so wrapped up in their own activity that they forget the most important part of their business: their customers. Without customers, there are no sales. Without sales, your business won’t last very long.

You don’t just want to know the demographics of your customer. You want to know what drives them to buy from you. Are you the “mom and pop” that has had loyal customers for years and always gives a personal touch to its customers? Do you provide incredible, individualized customer service and make yourself readily accessible when a customer has a complaint? Find what “makes you, you” and sell that to your customers.

Wrapping Up

Marketing this way may seem overwhelming at first but it’s actually very simple. If you need help figuring things out, go to your existing customers to find your “why”. When you start thinking from the inside out you’ll be well on your way to creating an infectious brand that your customers will love.

4 Tools for Driving More Traffic With Twitter
Digital Branding

4 Tools for Driving More Traffic With Twitter

According to a DMR report, Twitter has 100 million daily users, 300 million total users, and drives 120 million visitors to its website every month. With this kind of user base and traffic it’s no wonder why Twitter is a huge social channel for online marketers. Twitter allows people and brands to engage in conversations and share with just about anyone 140 characters at a time. Brands want to promote your marketing message to as many potential customers as possible. But, with all of the noise going on in the Twitterverse, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd and not have your voice heard. In this article you’ll discover four tools that will help you grow your follower count and engage with customers.

#1 Hootsuite: Automate Your Tweets

Hootsuite: Automate Your Tweets

Tweeting can take up a lot of your time. There are tools you can use to automate your tweets so that you keep your followers and audience engaged with your brand. Automating your tweets can also come in handy because your content will only reach a fraction of your followers the first time that you share it. Unlike other social networks, it’s a good idea to reshare the same content multiple times on Twitter. With automation and scheduling you can share content over and over without being labeled as a spammer.

Hootsuite makes managing your Twitter account much easier, effective, and efficient. It’s a free tool (basic package) and has over 10 million users. With Hootsuite you can schedule a few tweets for the day, or bulk upload hundreds of tweets at once (up to 350).

#2 Tweriod: Follower Analytics

Tweriod: Follower Analytics

Before you start automating your tweets you’ll want to make sure that you analyze your followers to discover their activity. You want to find out when your audience is the most active on Twitter. This step is necessary to make sure that you maximize engagement from all of your tweets. There are a number of tools that you can use to find peak periods on Twitter but one that is easy to use (and free) is Tweriod. Tweriod shows you when your followers are the most active on the platform so you can make sure that you’re tweeting at the best times.

#3 Tweepi: Gain Targeted Followers

Tweepi--Gain-Targeted-Followers

Learning how to automate and schedule your tweets is important for maximum efficiency but what if you have a brand new account and need more followers, or have an established account and want to grow your following?

To get more followers you’ll want to start off following other Twitter users so that they follow you back. But, you don’t just want to follow every Twitter user you can find. To increase the chances of them following you back you’ll want to find relevant users, i.e. users who are interested in your topic. But, manually searching phrases and hashtags on Twitter to find relevant users can be very inefficient and take up a lot of time.

Instead, you can use a tool like Tweepi to get more targeted Twitter followers in a fraction of the time it would take to do everything manually. With Tweepi you can find users based on another account’s followers, list members, another user’s friends, tweet search, or user search. A great way to get started on Tweepi is to select “Follow @ user’s followers” and type in the account of one of your competitors. The next page will show you all of that user’s followers and you can just start following them one-by-one!

#4 Rite Tag: Join the Right Conversations

Rite Tag: Join the Right Conversations

Hashtags make it easier for social media users to find, engage, and follow different conversations about promotions, events, and brands. Hashtags also allow brands to determine the effectiveness of their campaigns and marketing messages across the web. According to Twitter, tweets that use a hashtag followed by a related keyword or subject can increase engagement 1.5x for brands. Using generic hashtags like #electronics or #vote will give you results that are too broad and managing that many hashtags would be inefficient because you would be going through too many irrelevant conversations. When you find the right hashtag you’ll also want to make sure that you’re using that hashtag at the right time. Using a relevant hashtag during the wrong time can be as bad as using the wrong hashtag altogether. If you’re using the right hashtag at the wrong time, you’ll be broadcasting your marketing message to an audience that isn’t listening.

Rite Tag changes all of that,. With Rite Tag you can grade hashtags, find related hashtags, look up analytics of your hashtag usage, and schedule tweets. Hashtag grading will tell you whether your hashtag is good, great, overused, or underused while you’re composing a tweet. The related hashtags feature will allow you to input a keyword or subject into the Rite Tag website and find related hashtags (that are also graded) based on your search term.

Wrapping up

Getting heard on Twitter doesn’t have to be a difficult process. With a solid strategy and consistent action, you’ll be well on your way to growing your brand with Twitter. The tools above can give you just the boost you need to become a Twitter power user in no time.

6 Branding Mistakes You'll Want to Avoid
Digital Branding

6 Branding Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid

When it comes to creating an online marketing strategy for your business, you’ll want to begin with your brand. Strong brands are powerful, consistent, and focused. When people engage with a powerful brand they feel something. Good brands create familiarity in consumers, which leads to likability, trust, and then sales. Without having a clear, concise, and consistent brand image, you’re setting yourself up for an epic failure. However, many small businesses don’t think twice about their branding or brand themselves the wrong way. If you want more customers, and happier ones, you need to get started on your branding. This article will outline a few branding mistakes that you need to avoid.

Not Creating Clear Brand Guidelines

Not Creating Clear Brand Guidelines

You know that you need a brand, but you don’t know how to start. When you’re building a brand, you want to make sure that you have clear guidelines that cover everything relevant to your company. This includes your colors, logo, taglines, fonts, company voice, mission statement, etc. You’ll want to begin by compiling these guidelines with a style guide. Having clear guidelines will allow you to create a consistent brand image and create a clear marketing message in all of your communications. If your brand isn’t clear, it will create confusion in your audience, which will lead to them running off to your competitors.

Being Inconsistent

Inconsistency is definitely one of the most common branding mistakes made by small businesses. Have you ever seen a company that has a website, Facebook page, Instagram profile, Twitter account, etc. that all look different? This is inconsistent branding. Again, inconsistent branding leads to confusion and ultimately lost sales.

Not Protecting Your Brand’s Image

Not Protecting Your Brand’s Image

Building a brand isn’t easy. You want to make sure that it’s represented exactly the way you want. Putting in a lot of sweat equity to create a successful brand only to see a competitor creating a marketing message eerily similar to yours won’t give you a warm, fuzzy feeling. You want to make sure that you stay on the lookout for any misrepresentation of your brand that may come up in the marketplace.

It would be wise to create a Google Alert for any phrases associated with your brand so that you can get the jump on any issues that may occur. Also, make sure that you consult with legal representation to protect your brand or take any legal action, if necessary.

Sloppy Rebranding

Sometimes your brand has grown old and ineffective. In this case, you’ll need to rebrand. However, proceed with caution. No matter how hard you try, rebranding will cause you to alienate some of your existing customers. But, if you’re strategic in your rebranding process, it can prove to be a very profitable decision. When you do rebrand you’ll want to make sure that you keep all of your existing customer in the loop so that you don’t experience any unwanted backlash.

Being Too Vague

Having a vague brand is just as bad as inconsistent branding. The last thing you want someone to wonder when they come to your website, Facebook page, etc. is, “what do they actually do?” You want your brand to have a clear, simple, unambiguous value proposition.

For example. food delivery service Sprig offers healthy meals on-demand. Their value proposition is simple. “Delicious Meals. Honest Ingredients. Delivered Now”. This is an excellent value proposition. It explains everything about the company in very few words. When you’re creating your own value proposition, try to sum up exactly what your company does and/or stands for in one to two sentences. Also, use clear images and logos to solidify your message.

Being Too Complicated

Being Too Complicated

When branding, it’s important to remember that simplicity is key. Think of some of the biggest brands right now: Google, Apple, Amazon, Visa, etc.. These billion dollar companies all have something in common. Their brands are simple. We’re not just talking logos here. The most successful brands make an effort to get out of the way of their customer and make it as easy as possible for them to buy or use their products. Apple does this the best. It prides itself on minimalism and giving users a clear, simple interface without sacrificing beauty and design. You have to avoid adding too many features to your branding. Don’t confuse your customers. Have a clear service and/or product offering. Delve deep inside every aspect of your brand and constantly figure out ways to refine and streamline it.

Conclusion

This is definitely not a comprehensive list of the marketing mistakes that can be made when it comes to branding. You don’t have to have your entire brand figured out in one sitting. Proactively working on building your brand, avoiding any mistakes above, and taking notes from other successful companies will put you well on your way to crafting an irresistible brand.