Here you'll find the Palettes and Patterns to help make the best creative digital art decisions.

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5 Color Palettes to Inspire Your Branding


Brand your business with amazing color combinations to ensure a positive reaction from your potential customers. Consider the fundamentals of color perceptions, which we will mention ahead, and get your colors on!

 

When you brand your business with pleasing color palettes, you make your target feel comfortable enough to do business with you! It starts from the moment your create your logo whether you decide to use color pantones or hex codes. A Logo Creator for example, gives you template options which you can work on if you don’t feel like starting from zero. Color your brand with your personality and your values!

 

Colors Impact People Emotionally

 

Color schemes have a psychological impact you need to consider while you build a brand. This is why picking your colors is such an important task! You can create the perception you’re after in order to attract the specific market you want. People are very visual, so colors can impact them emotionally. To understand this better, let’s take a look at general meaning behind the most commonly used colors:

color scheme

 

Get Inspired with These Color Combinations

 

We have gathered the best color combinations for different business industries so you don’t have to break your head coming up with a harmonious mix. First, determine your brand’s personality by asking yourself:

 

  • Is my brand masculine or feminine?
  • Is my brand playful or serious?
  • Is my brand luxurious or affordable?
  • Is my brand modern or classic?
  • Is my brand youthful or mature?

 

This will help you decide which colors best represent your business personality and which will attract the kind of customers you want. Now let’s get to it by industry and get some color palette ideas that are on point!

 

Colors of Technology

color combination

 

Most tech businesses want to look innovative and bold, like they will be the next big thing. Because you are trying to appear innovative, don’t be afraid to step out of the typical blue or green. You can use other great colors like purple, yellow, orange, etc.

color of technology

 

As you build your tech business, colors are an entirely personal decision. You should be informed on color psychology plus your brand's personality in order to make a more informed decision. Consider things like, is your business related to social media? Is it an app?

 

Colors of Healthcare

color combination

 

You trust healthcare businesses with your life and this is why their branding should evoke that feeling of security. Because these kinds of businesses have a huge responsibility with the community, their image should be professional, authoritative, and peaceful at the same time. Most healthcare businesses rely on mainly blue tones, but you can definitely get inspired by these colors and try something fresh!

colors of healthcare

 

Colors of Legal

color combination

 

Legal businesses should have a minimalist logo. Most legal businesses choose sober colors to appear professional and keep it basic. They usually decide to use only one or two colors.

colors of legal

 

Colors of Marketing

color combination

 

Marketing brands usually want to appear as young, modern, and creative! They want to dazzle their clients while still keeping it professional. The challenge for these kinds of businesses is to have branding colors that are both cool while classic. I mean, they still need to be taken seriously. Among the industry, most leaders opt to use purples and they see their brands as feminine.

colors of marketing

 

 

Colors of Real Estate

color combination

The real estate competition is fierce! Clients need a brand that they sense they can rely on. If your business is in real estate, just like in healthcare or legal businesses you want your colors to say: trust me. This is why most businesses go with a blue color. Remember you can use awesome color combinations to give your customers the whole message! Try these:

colors of real state

 

Using a Logo Maker

 

Inspired by a huge library of templates in combination with helpful information on color perceptions, you can design your logo easily using the best colors for it! The rest of your branding is a piece of cake once you have your logo and your branding colors (fonts are huge too by the way). If you decide to create your logo design with an online tool, look for one that allows you to input your exact hex codes for your brand colors.

 

So now you know! Start creating that unique experience for your customers with a totally fabulous color palette!

 

Authors Bio:
Valeria Santalla is a multi-disciplinary marketer and content writer that loves to create branding assets for local business. She currently collaborates at Placeit.net, one of the largest logo maker and design template libraries on the internet.
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What Recent Google Algorithm Updates Mean for Your SEO Efforts


search engine optimization

Do Google algorithm updates lead to sleepless nights for your SEO reseller team? Does your agency spend a lot of time trying to understand the impact of Google's most recent update? This article is meant to help agency owners and their teams cut through a lot of confusion surrounding algorithm updates. Although some Google algorithm updates target content quality and others link quality, they all share one thing in common: the desire to show relevant search results to users of Google's search engine. Google knows that if they fail to provide high-quality search results, users will simply seek out alternative options. Although Bing and Yahoo do not appear to be much of a threat at this point, Amazon and Facebook could easily sneak up on Google if they let down their guard. Because Google understands that so much rides on providing quality search results, they release a number of core updates each year and as many as 300 smaller updates to tweak their algorithm. The next time Google releases a new algorithm update, we recommend that you view that update as a tweak to provide more relevant search results. Below, we will outline three timeless principles you can follow for all of your clients' campaigns regardless of what Google throws at you.

 

Searcher Intent Is The Foundation

 

We recommend you spend a good amount of time understanding the intent of the user during the search process. Google has answers to searchers' questions already pre-ordered, so they're simply waiting for users to ask a question. The two primary ways searchers ask questions is through voice search and keyboard searches. We will tackle each one separately and provide tips to optimize for each method of search. Voice search is quickly rising in popularity and many websites have not made changes to their site to optimize for voice search. Optimizing your clients' websites for voice search will put you one or even two steps ahead of the competition. The most important thing to understand about voice search is that queries are conversational in nature. Voice searchers tend to search as they talk and ask questions as they would to a normal person. For example, if a searcher was looking for a cell phone repair company in Tampa, they might say something like "Find a cell phone repair company near me"  or "Which cell phone repair companies are open right now?" Voice searchers are less likely to add a geographic modifier like keyboard searchers do. As a result, we recommend that you create an FAQ that answers common questions such as the ones above. We further recommend working answers into your blog posts and service pages where appropriate.

 

Optimizing for keyboard search requires that you understand which keywords bring users to your website. Jumping into Google Search Console or utilizing third-party tools such as ahrefs.com or SEMRush will provide you with the keyword research you need. If you have an AdWords account, you can also use Keyword Planner to find new keywords or simply use the keywords that are converting well in AdWords.

 

For most businesses, keyword research is fairly straightforward as users typically type in the service they're looking for coupled with the geographic location they live in. For example, if someone is searching for a home improvement company in Sacramento, they typically type in "Home improvement companies Sacramento" or "Sacramento home improvement company."   Although it can be difficult to add these phrases to your marketing copy as they are quite awkward, keywords of this nature can be added to your site’s title tags. Once keyword research is completed, utilize these newfound keywords in your marketing copy and future blog posts.

 

Create Cornerstone Content

 

As you are creating these new blog posts, please follow the tips below to maximize the potential rankings impact of each blog post. The most important thing to understand is that reader expectations have changed over the past five years. Readers used to be content with 500-word blog posts. That is no longer the case. Google rewards blog posts in excess of 2,000 words in length with page one rankings. The screenshot below shows the average number of words for content with page one rankings.

 

graph

 

Long-form content outperforms shorter blog post for a myriad of reasons including the ability to add substantially more keywords and the ability to go into greater depth. A typical blog reader comes to your website looking for solutions to a problem they're facing in which your company specializes. If your blog post provides a detailed step-by-step solution to that problem, you will be rewarded with higher rankings and improve time on page. Google uses the amount of time a user spends reading a blog post as a quality indicator. Content that provides incredible levels of detail that users need to reference continually as they solve the problem garners the most time on page for obvious reasons. In the past, many agencies believed that their clients did not want to provide this level of content as they were giving away valuable information for free. Any lost business will pale in comparison to increasing website traffic and new customers. Many visitors to a blog will read one, two, or more of your blogs before deciding to do business with you. Because you spent time helping them with no expectation of return, you position yourself as a thought leader and someone who puts the customer first. Those that give the most tend to receive the most.

 

Understanding the Role of Artificial Intelligence

 

Google now utilizes machine learning to further aid in their quest to provide unmatched search results to their users. Machine learning helps Google sort through the incredible amount of data created on the web each day. It parses through that data to look for patterns that help provide high-quality search results. Follow the three tips below to help Google's RankBrain understand that your website provides valuable information for searchers.

  1. Link building: Now that you created great content, is important to attract links from other websites to your blog posts and other important pages on your website. Google views links as votes for that content and for other resource pages on your website. This is an area where many SEO agencies struggle. Many do not have relationships with other websites. If you find that your agency is in this situation, we recommend that you partner with a white label SEO agency who has a wide variety of relationships with websites in several verticals.
  2. Keyword research: Focus on medium-tail keywords as they tend to convert at a higher rate than shorter keywords. RankBrain prefers longer keywords due to their high specificity.
  3. Content quality: Create user-centric blog content, white papers, and other forms of content that help potential customers grow their business and solve difficult problems.

Following the tips above will help you create a more consistent approach for your SEO clients and eliminate the strategic lurching that can often occur when new algorithm updates drop. The tips above will act as true north for your clients' SEO efforts. The next time an algorithm update drops, view it as a refinement of past updates centered around an effort to create better search results rather than a seemingly incongruent update that seems random in nature.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post; we hope that you will apply what you read here now and in the future.

 

BIO

Adam Stetzer holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and has published on the topics of Internet marketing, absenteeism, employee and customer satisfaction, productivity and safety, and culture. He has founded several technology firms, and is currently CEO at HubShout, a white label SEO reseller firm. In his 25 year career he has worked with companies such as General Electric, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Verizon, AT&T, Ford, LendingTree, American Express and ChevronTexaco. Adam has advised over 1,000 small business owners and blogs frequently.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamstetzer/
Adam Stetzer head shot

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The 5 Ingredients Finally Unveiled To Make Your Viral Content


viral content

The virality of content is a curious phenomenon. Sometimes you write a simple article or you turn a video. You publish it and a few days later, your content triggered hundreds of shares.

Without knowing why, you have created viral content. Many entrepreneurs and marketers would like to know the secret of virality.

It's true anyway!

Which entrepreneur would not want to have more exposure for his brand, ideas or products quickly? In fact, virality is simply the best way to quickly gain visibility and traffic without necessarily paying for it or being an SEO wizard.

The 5 ingredients to make viral content

1) The social value: Share what motivates your audience

Social value is the idea that people who discuss a subject, in public or on social networks, do so because they want to appear interesting, intelligent or "cool". If the mere fact of talking about a product or idea makes us look like someone interesting to others, then chances are we'll talk about it around us. It is the social value, the value we place on the information we share with others. In fact, this desire to share our thoughts and experiences is at the root of the phenomenal success of social networks.

 

2) Content

It's not just the titles that will help your content become viral, the content itself has a say.

Let's take an example.

You sell organic products and you would like to be a little more visible on the Internet?

For example, you could write an ultra-comprehensive blog post about the dangers of pesticides and share it on your social profiles. It is likely to be shared by others, because from the outside, it implies that they 1) care about their health and that of others and 2) care about the environment and the food brands they consume.

3) Emotion: Caring is sharing

This concept is simple and you surely know it. We share and discuss things that involve strong emotions. Whether positive or negative, it does not matter. Moreover, one of the emotions that sticks to our TV screens and triggers the word of mouth in a crazy way is fear.

Fear is selling. And that's true. Why do you think the media is constantly talking about the misfortune of others or the attacks? Because it makes talking! Because we read and share this kind of articles. For the greatest happiness of the media.

It's not just negative emotions that make you sell and trigger a monster word of mouth. Joy or hopes are emotions that trigger sharing.

4) The public: Become your own PR representative

People tend to mimic what others do. Rather than choosing ourselves, we prefer to emulate or be influenced by the choice of others. This is called social proof.

But you can’t imitate what you can’t observe. The idea here is to make your products or ideas more observable to others, making them easier to imitate, and therefore more likely to become popular. We want our products / ideas to do their advertising on their own.

Have you ever seen how many people use a Mac in a Starbucks?

There are many!

For several years, Apple has placed its logo on its laptops so that the user sees it when opening it.

The problem was that the logo was presented backwards for others when someone was using it, which posed a problem of recognizing the logo and could even harm the image of Apple. Steve Jobs, as a good marketer, made the decision to place the logo in such a way that it is visible to the public and not to the user. Today, in public places, the luminous apple is recognizable on all Apple computers. The visibility of a consumer choice by a large number of people triggers a well-known human behavior: imitation. If a lot of people use the Mac, then it's probably a good idea, and we should use one too.

How can this apply on your social networks?

On Facebook or Instagram, you can make your content more observable by the public via advertising. For example, if you have a Facebook page, you can boost your publications from $ 5 and show your content potentially in front of more than 1000 people. Or you can softwre related to Automatic Viral Alternative. Based on my experience, it works!

Keep in mind: can people see you using your product? How can you design your product so that it does its advertising itself (ex: MacBook)? Do you use an unconventional logo, sound or color for the public that could be highlighted?

5) The practical value: produce useful content for others!

Why would someone want to share your content if it does not add value?

This value is the utility. If we can talk about a product or content that can help others (i.e save money, save time, improve our health, etc.), then we will talk about it around us. It's something natural.

How to do on social media?

Here again, it's easy to set up. Your product is super useful and can improve people's lives. How to make people know it? The answer (and it's still the same): Create useful content. Why not make a video that explains the usefulness of your product or its new features? It's more and more common on social networks.

Hopefully the 5 tips above can help you to produce viral content.

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The Do’s and Don'ts of Creating Efficient Infographics


infographics

Even though we are surrounded by data, it's not easy to remember or comprehend isolated numbers. However, when put in a story, it becomes more relatable and easier to remember. This is one of the major reasons why infographics have become so popular among marketers around the globe. However, with the surge in use, it is highly important that you strategize your infographic carefully in order for you to drive traffic, generate leads, and build awareness. Here are some things you should and should not do when it comes to infographic creation.

 

Do keep it simple

 

You need to break down your message in a way that will make it easy for your customers to understand. make strong accurate sentences then use data to support what you say. Always remember less is more when it comes to infographic. Use contrasting colors to make it easy for your readers to understand everything immediately. this is more so if you need your customers to focus on specific data.

 

Don't use too much information in one chart

 

If you format your data poorly or keep it an organized, then it won't get you very far. If you want your data to be effective, you need to put more focus on the categories that makes the point. Arrange your data in a category that makes it easy for your customers to grasp everything in an easy way.

 

Do you use captivating titles

 

Don't use boring titles that leave nothing to the imagination. If you give everything to your customers on the first sentence, there will be no point for them to read further. Use enticing headlines that will lead your prospects into valuable information. Use concrete metaphors to visually impact your customers. Include data that supports your point and make it detailed enough to convince them. This way, it will be easy for them to remember, recognize, and share it. Don't use weird formatting because customers get bored very easily. You should also use the right infographic tools so you can make your design and distribution very easy.

 

Do make your messages believable

 

Use everything you can from expert support, to customer quotes and testimonials in order to make your messages believable. You should also use good data so that your customer will trust you and come back for more information. Never show numbers without context because good stories tend to be emotional and your message will get across as long as you make your customers feel something. You can use your data to start conversations or incite curiosity so your customers want to know more. If you are content has the context or emotion, your readers will not know how to perceive it whether negatively or positively. Effective use of infographics and chat could dramatically improve your marketing campaign significantly.

 

Conclusion

 

These are some of the dos and don'ts of infographics. As long as you know what you're doing, they can change your marketing campaign significantly. Using the right infographic tools such as Visme. Visme has many free infographic tools that you can use. The right tools go a long way because you will be able to create amazing infographics.

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Using The Right Colours For Your Advertising Signs


When it comes to selecting a suitable colour for your advertising signs there has to be consistency with your brand. But what colours should you go for when designing an advert that conveys your brand image and the product or service you are trying to promote?

 

Choosing the colour for your adverts not only depends on your brand image but also the audience you are trying to reach. It is important to remember that different colours mean different things in different cultures.

 

Like it or not, you will also have to bear in mind the traditional gender preferences for different colours. Colours that are thought of as ‘masculine’ are generally darker colours such as black, brown, blue, green whilst ‘feminine’ colours include pink, light red, light orange and yellow.

 

Factors Affecting Your Colour Choice

 

The colour you ultimately choose for your sign depends on the following factors:

 

  • Consistency with your brand
  • Target demographic (age, gender location)
  • The surrounding environment
  • The type of product/service that is being sold
  • How far away the sign will be from the people viewing it

 

 

Understanding the Role of Culture in Colour

 

Although consistency with your brand and demographics are fairly straight forward for most organisations, understanding what colours mean in different cultures is more of a challenge.

 

Imagine using the colour yellow for a gift shop in Latin America where the colour in that region represents death or having a sign with someone’s name written in red in China is taboo.

 

Once you have considered all of the above factors then you can decide on the look and feel of your advert in regards to colour of both the background and any text elements of your sign.

 

Real Examples of Sign Colour Contrast

 

Take a look at the below examples of signs, the number below the text represents how visible the text is on certain backgrounds. We have shown some of the best colour combinations, but it isn’t hard to imagine how orange text on a red background would clash and be hard to read.

colors for advertising signs colors for advertising signs colors for advertising signs colors for advertising signs

 

As can be seen the background and text font has a huge bearing on how people perceive the sign. The yellow background with red text gives out a sales image and the white background with grey text conveys are more important message. The red background with yellow text could indicate a warning.

 

The Psychology of Colour Choice

 

Choosing the right combination of colours is an art in itself.

 

But what are the psychology behind the colour of signs?

 

Setting aside cultural, gender and age differences, why do different colours indicate different things? Why can the choice of colour for an organisations logo or advert make or break an organisation?

 

The answer comes down to how we relate colour to certain things. Red and yellow in a restaurant can indicate fun and liveliness whilst a black and dark green restaurant could indicate expensive and high class.

 

Regardless of the type of large format print you want, the colours in addition to the design can make or break your business so plan for it carefully. Once the sign is out and the message is conveyed, it is difficult to make amends.

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Best Ways To Start Business When You Are A Teen


teenage business

Teenage business

Teens are often considered to be little children. Parents treat them as dependents. However, there are things that teens can do to ensure that they save enough money for themselves. College is certainly not cheap. A student needs to make sure that they have enough money to cater to their needs while at college. With a job, a teen can make enough money to help them survive their first year in college. Remember that just because you are a teen it does not mean that the taxes and other rules of business operation do not apply. This article will ensure that you understand what it takes to start a teenage business and the ways to start your own business.

Etsy

For teens with a creative mind, it is easy for them to take advantage of these characteristics and create something that can be sold. One can make jewelry, candles, edible goods, jam, swag, and even paper goods. These are great because the payment-processing fee at Esty is small and it requires a small listing. The best part is that they offer you payment collection and a complete storefront. To ensure you make maximum profit from the teenage business, you need to find a source of low-cost materials so that the price you charge will cover the production costs and time spent.

Tutor

Instead of looking for speedypaper review, do the essay yourself. That will help you learn as much as you can about the dos and don’ts of essay writing. It will be easier for you to tutor other high school students and help them succeed in their education, at a fee. This is also an excellent way for you to study enough to pass all your exams. Actually, you do not just have to tutor them on their academics, you can teach computer, piano and other instruments or SATs.

Social media consultant

All teenagers today have grown in the internet age. This gives them some serious advantage over the adults. When it comes to understanding the web, search engines, networking and blogging, no one understands it better than teenagers. There are companies who pay good money for people who have expertise in this area. You can make good money as a social media consultant.  If you are unsure about what you need to do, you can always read a blog or a book about it. You can also sign up for a course with Udemy. It is a job you can also do while in college because it is flexible and can be done from anywhere.

Baby sitting

This is one of the great ways to start earning money, especially if you have younger siblings. If you are good at it, you can earn money. The best part about this job is that you do not need to have any start capital. To have an added advantage, you can get some CPR training and a certificate in childcare so you can get all the calls.

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How to Create a Killer Marketing Strategy To Sell Your Art


marketing strategy

One of the biggest challenges in transforming your passion for art into a business is marketing your work. As a creative soul, you are not necessarily naturally talented when it comes to promoting and selling your work. In fact, many creative find this area particularly challenging as it requires skills which are pretty much the opposite of the artistic and creative skill-set.

The good news, however, is that you can learn these skills and teach yourself to be stronger at marketing. Here is a step-by-step guide to developing a marketing strategy for artists, to let you successfully market and sell your art even if this area is not your forte.

  1. Set Goals and Objectives

The first step in developing a marketing strategy for your art is to define your goals and objectives. This will be the foundation of your strategy, because everything you plan to do follows from what you are looking to achieve.

Start by identifying your goals for your business. You goals should be the broad, overall things that you want to achieve. This could be to make a certain amount of money (either a set figure or enough to be financially sustainable, for example), to create a profile as an artist (locally, nationally or internationally), something else, or all of the above.

From there you can work out your objectives, which are the smaller, more concrete things which will bring you closer to achieving your goal. For example, if your goal is to create a public profile as a well-known artist within your area, an objective may be to attract a certain number of followers on social media.

  1. Define Your Audience

An important part of any marketing strategy is your audience. Every business’ audience will be different, and you need to know what yours is, as this defines the marketing methods and tactics you should use.

In order to define your audience think about your ideal customer: this is the person that is most likely to buy your product for the price you are willing to sell it. Your ideal customer will have an interest in your art, and the financial means to be able to buy it. Think about who this person is, down to factors like age, gender, profession and locality.

From there, explore the lifestyle and habits that person is likely to have: do they spend time on social media and if so what platforms? Are they likely to pick up flyers at community events or read the notice board at local cafes or other businesses and which ones? All of this will help you know how to market to them.

  1. Know Your Brand

As important as knowing your customer is, it is equally critical to know who you are. Every business has a brand, and if you are marketing yourself as an independent artist, you are that brand! Your brand expresses who you are as an artist, and how you want people to see you. This is really up to you to decide: your brand could be professional, playful, fun, quirky, traditional, classic, or something else. Whatever you decide, everything you do in your marketing should reflect this essence.

  1. Pick Your eCommerce Platform

These days the easiest way to sell your art is online. You may also choose to sell your art in person, either in combination with online sales or exclusively in store. However, assuming that you do want to sell your art online, you have a few options. There are a number of sites such as UGallery, Saatchi Art and Artfinder, which specialise in selling art from independent artists directly to the public. There are also sites like Ipicasso which specialise in niche types of paintings, as well as more general ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy.

Another option is to create your own website and sell your art through there. This option involves more work, both in terms of setting up and maintaining the website, and also in marketing in order to drive traffic to your site (compared to other platforms which already have potential customers using that site). However, the advantage of using your own site is that you will receive 100% of the profits rather than giving a percentage to an ecommerce platform, as well as having full control over the process.

  1. Roll Out Marketing Tactics

Whether selling your art through an online art marketplace, a general ecommerce site, or your own website, you need to promote your work and yourself through marketing tactics in order to attract attention from potential customers. Social media marketing is a highly effective marketing technique for artists, especially Instagram. Because this is a visual medium, it is a great way to show your art to a whole new audience, and build a following which could turn into a customer base.

There are also a number of “ghost marketing” tactics which you can use to subtly drive traffic to your site or ecommerce listing. Ghost marketing’s strategies include SEO (search engine optimisation), digital PR and content marketing. It is a good idea to pick one marketing tactic to start and focus on this. From there, you can skill up in other areas and roll out additional strategies as your business grows.

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7 Ways to Boost Your Brand Identity Online


brand

Before you can take steps to boost your online brand, you need to know what you want it to be. Your brand identity is akin to your personal identity.

 

The characteristics and traits that differentiate you from others constitute your personal identity. Your brand identity is made up of the look and feel of how your company presents itself including your:

 

  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Jingle
  • Slogan
  • Typography
  • Packaging
  • Content

 

Your brand identity includes any visual or audio representations that others recognize as your company.

Be Consistent

Brands that consistently and honestly promote their message are powerful. Think about some of the most famous brands. What is it about them makes them recognizable to you?

 

Is it their logo like McDonald's golden arches? Or their slogan like Verizon's "Can you hear me now"? What do you think of when you hear "Good to the last drop?" That's right, Maxwell House coffee.

 

How did these major brands gain such recognition? By consistently and repeatedly exposing the public to their visual, audio, and content-related brand identity.

 

The more consistent you are in your branding, the more familiar your target market will become with your business.

Create a Brand Book

Once your company has established your brand identity and chosen your logo, tone, typography, and design styles, you want to be sure all employees and departments consistently speak in one voice.

 

Creating a professional brand book will keep your entire team on point with your brands message. Also, being able to align your business strategy with your brand position is facilitated by the creation of a brand book.

 

It also saves time for companies of all sizes if you add staff to your team or replace a designer. New employees can get up-to-speed very quickly by referring to your brand guidelines.

Speak with One Voice

Your brand is also reflected in what you do and don’t say on social media. Part of your brand identity is to know your target audience and to speak to them on all relevant platforms in the same voice.

 

Spend more time on the social media platforms where your target audience hangs out. For example, if you are selling clothes for teenage girls, your social media focus should be on Instagram and Tumblr as opposed to Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Be sure that the type of language you use, like your captions on Instagram or your Facebook posts, speak directly to your audience.

 

All content you publish and share, such as blog posts or social media stories, should reflect your brand and be consistent.

 

Whether your brand voice is humorous, makes use of colloquialisms, or is more fact-based and diplomatic, as long as you "speak" consistently and authentically, your audience will feel a connection to you and be more likely to trust your brand.

Use an Emotional Appeal

Did you know that most purchase decisions are based on emotion? For brands who are trying to get more buyers, understanding this concept can help.

 

Your brand story should communicate feelings by appealing to the emotions of your target audience.

 

Even if someone in your target audience sees an online video, image, or post, and they are not ready at that moment to make a purchase, they will feel a connection to your brand.

 

If they consistently see the same or similar messaging that elicits an emotional response, when they are ready to make a purchase, guess whose brand they will remember? The one they feel an emotional connection to and the one they trust is the brand they will purchase from when ready.

Be Creative

When you are developing your brand strategy, be creative so that your online voice and content is unique, engaging, and compelling.

 

It is vital that your brand stand out from your competitors. So when deciding on your company logo, the fonts you use, the colors you choose, and your overall style, make sure they all resonate with your prospective customers.

 

To determine your correct voice and identity, study the demographics, preferences, and needs of your target market.

Understand Your Competition

For your target market to purchase from you and not your competitors, you should know who is competing with you in the same space and what they are doing to attract customers.

 

Do some research to find out where they are hanging out online and be sure you are there, too. Your goal is to do what your competitors are doing - only do it better.

 

Also, try to identify gaps in what your audience needs to see or hear and develop your brand strategy around what your competitors are not doing.

 

You want your brand to fulfill needs, be the solutions for any problems, and be memorable and recognizable.

Show Some Personality

Some companies decide to create a fun and humorous brand identity. If you are in a niche where being comedic is appropriate, give it a shot.

 

Some major brands create silly or outrageous online campaigns that work. A few examples are:

 

  • Charmin: Using cute and silly campaign strategies, like the hashtag #tweetfromtheseat, help to keep Charmin a leader in the toilet paper industry due to their creative marketing strategies.

 

  • Old Spice: Historically known as your dad’s aftershave, Old Spice chose to rebrand in unusual and humorous ways, including using sassy social media strategies to remain relevant and memorable.

 

  • Squatty Potty: This brand utilizes unusual and comedic marketing to promote a rather bizarre concept. But it works. After receiving financial backing from appearing on Shark Tank, Squatty Potty enjoys market dominance in a somewhat sensitive niche.

 

Creating and building a brand identity is a process, and it is often not a finite one. In the case of Old Spice, they needed to rebrand to remain competitive.

 

Continue to study your market and your competitors. Measure the success of your current branding initiatives and marketing strategies.

 

Make changes where needed and test branding strategies frequently to keep your brand in the minds of your target audience.

 

Image Pixabay CC0 License

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Every Business Needs a Style Guide


style guide

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Whether you’re a big believer in marketing, or you think that if you build it people will buy it, the fact is that your business is a brand. Your brand is like your business card, and it’s what people will experience long before they actually do business with you. It precedes you, and it’s something that you need to fine-tune constantly if you want to be able to stand out from the crowd.

 

To give you plenty of food for thought, we’ve put together a simple 5 minute read that will tell you everything you need to know about a commonly overlooked creative tool: the style guide. Have a read, sit back and reflect, and then put the hints and tips into action. Your brand will be all the better for it in no time at all.

 

A style guide saves you from wasting time discussing tangential ideas

The first thing to note about a style guide is that it will always save you time in the long run. People will probably think you’re indulging in a drawn out needlessly creative endeavor when you suggest creating a style guide, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

It will take some time to get it right, but that’s just the cost of building a brand that actually stands for something. Commit to finishing your guide no matter what, and always remember that it will save you plenty of time later on. It’s there as reference material for the lifetime of your business, and it will prove invaluable when it inevitably comes time to rebrand, or when you’re launching a new product or service. The more you put into it now, the more it will give back when you need it.

 

It will ensure you stay ‘on-brand’ at every creative turn

Staying true to your brand is easier said than done. When you’re in the thick of it and faced with half a dozen mounting deadlines it can be all too easy to churn out a logo that’s okay, and a tagline that you think is ‘good enough’. The problem is that once you launch them into the market they’re now the face of your brand. If they don’t fit with what you’ve done before then they’ll just confuse people.

 

You could always retract them, but then you just look like you’re chopping and changing the offering based on negative feedback. And that’s a surefire to lose your voice of authority and open yourself up to further criticism. Your audience doesn’t want to believe that you’re just telling them what they want to hear. They want to believe that you’re the authority, the thought leader, and the trendsetter that they’ve been waiting to buy into.

 

They connect your brand to your target audience

If you want to know why style guides matter, all you need to do is think about the last bad branding exercise you saw. It could be a website, fashion label, home collection, or anything that left you speechless. With so many different creative threads to play with, you’ll probably have been confused at how they could have got it so wrong.

 

The issue will, more than likely, have been that there was no style guide in place. The style guide is what you use to ensure there is uniformity and a common thread running through every aspect of a marketing campaign. It’s easy to copy and paste the same old tagline, but there’s a lot more to uniformity than that. You need to tailor each offering so that it’s suitable for every new platform and setting, but in a way that’s sensitive to the core of your brand. Which leads us nicely onto the next point on our list.

 

 

You can express your brand’s core ethos in a variety of different mediums

Your brand needs to have something at the center of it if it’s going to connect with the people you want to do business with. It’s an emotion that it evokes in people, and it will be far stronger than their memory of your latest tagline, sale, or discount offer.

 

The problem with tackling different promotional mediums without a style guide is that most of the time a different person will have input into each platform. You may all be working for the same end goal, but unless there is central creative guide you can all refer back to then it’s unlikely you’ll end up pulling in the same direction.

 

Your customers will actually know what you stand for

Businesses like the The Word Point work in a very specialist niche, and so need to target a specific section of the online market. This means that they need to stand for something, and just as importantly, they need to ensure that their customers know they stand for it.

 

By compiling a style guide that focuses on precision, flexibility, and knowledgeable input they can build a creative framework around their brand. If you can do the same, you’ll be able to tell a potential audience of millions what your business stands for.

 

What should your style guide include?

The specifics will depend on the size of your brand, and what industry you work in, but there are a number of core features every style guide must have:

 

  • Your logo, along with alternative forms that are used in specific settings, or on specific platforms
  • Guidelines on the position, sizing, and background colors of all content pages and their contents
  • Base typography that will be used for all of your content
  • Your core color palette that can be referred to when designing new content
  • A list of things to be avoided at all costs as they are not in alignment with your brand’s ethos

 

Static or dynamic style guides?

A style guide has to be a dynamic document, but one that is governed by a certain set of creative rules:

 

  • Guides need to evolve with the times so that they reflect the changes businesses undergo as the years go by
  • They must adapt to the launch of new sections of the business, but do so in a way that brings the new ventures under the same core brand of the business
  • Style guides cannot be chopped and changed purely because a new idea doesn’t fit in with them. Think about whether the new idea has had anything like the degree of thought put into it as the style guide, and then decide which one you’re going to keep

 

Getting the balance right between process and creativity

The final thing to say is that a style guide is a great way to help you find the right balance between process and creativity. If you have a deadline, it can be all too easy to submit something that does the job and be done with it.

 

What the style guide does in these instances is keep your output honest so that you can see whether your new content actually adds anything to your brand. Often you’ll find that referring back to the style guide points you in a subtly different direction that makes all the difference to the finished article. Ideal if you want to enhance your brand every single day.

 

pauline farris

BIO: Pauline speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. She travelled the world to immerse herself in the new cultures and learn languages. Today she is proud to be a voting member of the American Translators Association and an active participant of the Leadership Council of its Portuguese Language Division.

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11 Branding Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Game


brands

Whether you have an existing company or are planning to start your own business, branding strategies are key to surviving a competitive market. Market conditions are constantly fluctuating as every industry continues to get more saturated with more competition. With that growth comes the challenge to make sure your brand and your company stand out and are capable of countering your rivals.

 

Branding initially seems like a simple idea, but it is anything but simple. Branding requires a bit of thought and intention, and more often than not, it can deliver high rewards. Branding is how you create a positive audience perception that establishes trust between you and your customer base. This trust is what keeps people coming back to your brand and that is what you, if not all, businesses desire.

 

Below, we have compiled a list of branding ideas that can keep your brand name ahead of the game.

 

  1. Upgrade Your Logo

 

When you are branding for your company or for a product, you are essentially trying to tell your company’s story, goals, and mission in little to no words and in a very concise and eye-catching design. You do not want people to feel unengaged or take your company as unprofessional because of a dull logo design.

 

Revisit your logo design to see if it is influential and effective at drawing positive attention. How does your logo look on packaging, on merchandise, and on letterheads? Does it look effective on a big billboard? What about on a laptop screen or a small cellphone screen? Could it still be clear if you put it on a moving vehicle? If not, your logo may need a bit of a refresher. Pinterest is a good place to find ways and inspiration on how to spruce up your logo. Play with your design. Maybe your logo is too busy and needs paring back. There is nothing wrong with making good use of white space in your designs. Perhaps, it needs a new color palette. For example, Colourlovers is a great place to find trendy color palettes that fit your brand personality but also draw the consumer’s eye.

 

As the market is always evolving, your logo should tweak and change with it. Whatever you do, your logo should represent the spirit of your brand so strongly that people know immediately who you are at the sight of your logo.

 

  1. Spread Your Logo Everywhere

 

logo

Once you have a logo that is fresh and unique, make sure to use a variety of ways for people to see and interact with it. If you are selling a product, your packaging should be something appealing and memorable. The first thing consumers are drawn to is the packaging and ensuring it matches the tone and personality of your product and company is important in keeping their trust.

 

Get your brand logo printed on business cards, brochures and postcards. First, it is a strong traditional move of professionalism to have business cards and brochures. Also, sometimes the best way to get your brand out there is by putting it right in people’s hands. Having something substantial to hold does bear quite a bit of meaning to people. Websites like MOO and Primoprint are online printing services that can help you get your logo out there.

 

Another great way to get your logo out there is to put your logo on the things you work with every day. Get your logo printed on your office supplies. Seeing your logo on letterheads, coffee mugs, mousepads, pens and pencils, notebooks and more show people that you are in support of your own brand. People are able to trust you when they see how much you back your own name. You should try to be your brand as often as you can because it instills a sense of confidence in yourself and in your brand. Sites like Artik and Avery can make custom office supplies and personalize your letterheads, among other things.

 

  1. Promotional Swag

 

It goes without saying that people really enjoy getting custom swag. As such, promotional products are another great way to spread your brand. T-shirts, keychains, magnets, glasses, water bottles are among some of the things you can get your logo on.

 

An interesting option is lapel pins. Vivipins is a great website where you can order customized lapel pins. Get your logo on these high-quality lapel pins and watch them end up on teenagers backpacks and bags as extra decor. You can also give them to your employees and co-workers as a sign of gratitude as well.

 

Custom swag is an effective way to create a network of people who help create interest in your brand. The people who were your logo will likely share it with other people. Thus, your consumer pool grows. Look at websites like Vistaprint  and Artik to create custom swag for your business.

 

  1. Create a Personalized URL

 

Make your website or brand standout by making a URL that features the name of your brand in the web address. It helps for marketing and search engine optimization so your website or brand name is likely to come up first when searched online rather than getting lost or overlooked.

 

  1. Identify Your Market Archetype

 

In fairytales, fables and parables, archetypes are the character types that we see so often that they become easily recognizable to us. Who knew the same concept would apply in marketing?

 

Now you do not necessarily need to blast this to all of your customers, but even on the marketing playing field, everyone fulfills a type of role. Identifying what role you play in the greater branding narrative, ensures that you create a compelling personality for your brand that users can identify no matter what.

 

  1. Grow Your Social Media Presence

social media

Social media’s importance to how people relate and connect with each other continues to grow each day. In the context of marketing, the very same still applies. You must understand which social media platform is important to your brand. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites all have different target audiences. Make sure you are connecting with the right audience for your brand.

 

Instagram is one of the ways brands connect with the younger generations. It can curate the best and most stunning images of your brand more than a paragraph of words can and create a spark of interest in an instant. Images give off moods and suggest a number of things to your audience. As such, you might consider investing in a social media manager or a photographer to capture the best images of your brand. Also, watermark your Instagram pictures with your logo. It will help people associate your high-quality images with your brand name.

 

If having multiple social media accounts is not doing enough for your brand, brand influencers are a good way to go. Brand influencers are social media stars who are connected to your industry. Research who your customers are following. Find the top names on social media, especially those who line up with your mission. An influencer can not only bring more exposure with their large following, but they can also help create a sense of personalization for your brand because if a person’s favorite social media star is using your brand then they gain a sense of trust in you.

 

Custom hashtags are also a great way to grow your social media footprint. Creating a unique hashtag that embraces your company’s mission is a great way to share your brand in an online language that everyone understands and knows how to share.

 

  1. Blogging

 

Blogging is a great way to better engage with an audience about your brand. Blogs usually have a very casual and personal tone, giving them a sense of individuality and personalization that maybe ads or professional articles lack. People flock to blogs because its seems like real people talking to real people. Starting a blog about your brand too will show your audience that you are a professional about your field, and it can unite text and visuals in a great engaging way.

 

  1. Create Brand Videos

 

videos

People have short attention spans so people are more likely to engage more with video content than to read a long post. The world of YouTube has quickly brought video culture to a high where being a youtuber is now a viable career. Not to mention how much of our entertainment consumption is done through videos. Videos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, it seems like the internet is just a constant loop of videos. Just think about how quickly and easily people are likely to send funny videos over their phones or share it. Now think of how well your brand might do if its brand video was handed the same exposure.

 

Visual media is an immediate form of connection that people can understand and translate faster than reading. Beautiful graphics, illustrations, and vibrant colors present your brand in an engaging way that is easy to access, understand and share.

 

  1. Stay On Trend

 

trends

One great way to stay on track with trends is to ask your customers questions. Issue surveys and get feedback. This shows that you value what your consumers think, and it keeps you updated on what they want to see from you next.

 

On that note, stay on top of what is trendy in the world. Content Gems is a website where you can research different topics and find relevant content based on your particular field of interest of your company. Similarly, Buzzsumo is also a place to discover what people are “buzzing” about online. You can also conduct research on this website to find what people are currently sharing or talking about. It is also a great place to see where your brand falls among trending topics. In another way GoogleAdWords allow you to see relative search keywords that can help you create ads or content that target particular niche markets.

 

  1. Branding Starts At Home

 

As much as your branding efforts has everything to do with your audience, your branding efforts start from within your company. Just as you want to build a trust with your audience, build a trust with your coworkers and employees. They are your first line of action when it comes to branding, and you want to ensure that they are all on the same page as you, ready to not only support your brand but also share their positive experiences with other people. Again, it looks good when real people who work for a company or brand really get behind it.

 

  1. Get Personal With Your Audience

 

People, consumers especially, like to feel valued and wanted. People can tell when they are being sent the same mass correspondence or when they are not being treated as an individual. Give any email correspondences a sense of individuality by signing off them with your name and your logo. People want to feel like they are talking to real people. Whenever it is possible, be personal, warm and friendly with your customers. Allow the opportunity for your customers to want to connect with you and trust you as a friend.

 

Conclusion

 

These are some unique and effective ways to show off your brand to the world. The methods mentioned above strive to not only empower your logo in a competitive market, but they also bring you closer to a strong, trusting audience. Earning and keeping your audience’s trust takes some time so be patient with yourself. It is important to pick the methods that fit best with what you are offering the world. There is no one right way to do it. However, you should always remember that you have plenty of options that work for whatever stage your brand might be at.

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