MARKETING MIX: Social Media Mayhem Part 2

June 14, 2017

Since our blog “Social Media Mayhem” was such a big hit, we thought we would continue the conversation. By now hopefully you are convinced that social media is something that is critical in your overall marketing strategy. Last issue we talked about what social media networks you should be on, now let’s talk about how often you should be posting to each network.

There are a number of social media management tools that can help you manage your social media engagement–planning, submitting, scheduling and sending out for you, but before we get ahead of ourselves, first things first–before you even think about how often, you need to consider WHAT you have to post. What you have to say can lead to how often you can/should be saying it . . .

Content is still the overall key. Is what you have to say informative and of most value to your readers? Depending on how much information you have to share will aid in determining how often you should be sharing the information. Is it possible to make each new posting fresh and new? There are endless posts out there on the topic of how much and how often, but I always suggest starting out simple. As a general rule, and what I have found to be a very easy rule to follow, assuming you do not have a staff person or team dedicated to your social media marketing, start simple with at minimum:

FaceBook: 1-2 posts/day for a total of 5-10 posts/week
Twitter: 3-5 posts/day for a total of 15-25 posts/week (this does include retweets)
LinkedIn: 1 post/week, with an additional repost of each post per month for a total of 8 posts /month. Also encourage that you share and comment on other’s postings off LinkedIn to get them to share your posts
Instagram: 1-2 posts/day

Let me also add, these recommendations are bare bones, at social media’s MOST basic level. You must consider who is your target audience, how often your target audience utilizes social media, what is your product or service you have to offer and what value can you offer by sharing your product/service on social media, including what visual value can you provide. All these pieces factor into your social media puzzle and plan as well.

Once you get the hang of posting and how frequently to post, you will also want to closely track your postings to analyze each network’s effectiveness. Is your target audience responding positively to your postings? That is the beauty of social media. Once you post, you can almost instantly see the response rates and make necessary changes to mix it up before the next post.

We have a number of resources at Guild Creative to help with your social media strategy. Contact Kathryn at kathryn@guildcreative.com

WEBSITE INSIGHT: Access to Affiliated

June 14, 2017

We would like to introduce you to Affiliated Clinical Services (ACS)’s new website. After the completion of their new building, at an easily accessible location, Affiliated Clinical Services wanted to make their online resources easy and accessible as well. With the new building, also came a new logo, fresh color scheme and overall updated look and services approach. Affiliated wanted their website to reflect their new approach and appearance. We at Guild Creative could not agree more. When your logo, signage, colors, brochures, all have a similar look and feel and your messaging is consistent in all these resources as well, it significantly adds to your overall brand identity.

Our goal in revamping their website was to enhance their new brand identity and make the information on their new website easy to find and accessible to all who may need the help and resources ACS has to offer.

One key feature of the new ACS website we designed was their Diagnosis/Treatment form and Clinician Finder. ACS has a vast number of Clinicians to choose from. The Diagnosis/Treatment forms helps users narrow the search to quickly find the best-suited counselors. Easy access to each clinician’s bios helps patients learn more about the individual doctors or therapists as well.

Check out http://affiliatedclinical.com and let us know what you think about their new website. Contact Steve for ways to help update your website.   steve@guildcreative.com

DESIGNING DETAILS: Color and You

June 14, 2017

Don’t underestimate the power of color. Color plays a critical role in branding, helping to create a positive image, assisting in brand recall, conveying your message, and more. Color is a key component in your overall marketing message and plays one of the largest roles to help elicit strong feels, emotions and/or desired purchase behaviors.

The color you choose should help you stand out—set you apart from your competition. It should be relevant to your business, industry or product. It also should have a connection to your audience. These all factor into helping aid in your brand/image recall.

The true meaning of any color varies greatly, but this write up says it best. According to entrepreneur.com:

Blue: Like the sky and sea is serene, also perceived as trustworthy, dependable, fiscally responsible and secure.

Red: Red is an attention-getting color of passion, but it also makes the viewer think of a Stop sign or Warning. What response are you hoping to create? Red can be aggressive, energetic, and provocative; so while attention-grabbing, it may also evoke an unfavorable response.

Green: In general, green suggests health, freshness and growth. The gamut of green shading promotes from a deep, dark and lush green, the feeling of prestige to the lighter greens with a feeling of refreshing and calming.

Yellow: Yellow is most always associated with the sun. Suggesting optimism, positivism, light and warmth. The eye sees bright yellows before any other color, making them great for point-of-purchase displays.

Purple: Purple is a color of emotions. Purple being a blend of reds and blues, passion and tranquility, is often associated with royalty and/or spirituality, along with mystery and sophistication.

Orange: Cheerful orange evokes exuberance, fun and vitality. Research indicates its lighter shades appeal to an upscale market. Peach tones work well with health care, restaurants and beauty salons.

Black: Black is serious, bold, powerful and classic. It creates drama and connotes sophistication. Black works well for expensive products, but can also make a product look too bold and heavy.

The color palette you can choose from is nearly endless. We have just provided you here with a quick snap shot of the main primary colors to consider in both your logo and branding, but there are so many more to consider.

What message is your color sending to your buyers? Keep your colors and messages true. Talk with Steve our design and color expert. steve@guildcreative.com

Make Mine Mobile

August 10, 2016

responsive-design

If you think your website does not need to be “responsive” to fit on mobile devices, we suggest you ought to rethink that thought. Better yet, read this article right now. In today’s business age, your site absolutely must be mobile ready. And here is why . . .

If you think that you don’t need your website to be mobile friendly because you simply do not have mobile users visiting your site, then think about this statistic: According to Smart Insights, “mobile digital media time in the U.S. is now significantly higher at 51 percent compared to desktop (42 percent)”.

So if your customers are searching for you, your product or service on a mobile device and they can’t find you, you have just lost out to your competitors whose mobile/responsive site can be found.

Still don’t think your customers are searching for you mobilely? Well statistics show that more than half of your customers are already there.

Another important factor to consider is that if your site is not mobile ready, Google will not register your site in their search results. You will loose critical ranking with Google. In addition, companies that have optimized their site for mobile users will be rewarded by having their ranking improved. Either way, without a mobile-ready site, you lose.

At Guild Creative, we recently launched two updated websites we helped make mobile ready.

http://weirfinancial.com

Weir Financial wanted their site to be mobile friendly making it easier to help inform and educate viewers on important investment and planning information. They have now put a number of financial resources and information into the hands of their new mobile users.

http://www.cretexseals.com

The goal behind updating the Cretex Specialty Products website was to provide their customers in the field with tools to better research their products and services. Many on-site contractors are using mobile devices to bring the office with them wherever they are. Cretex wanted to provide access to the products and specs that would be helpful while on the job. We enhanced the website with larger product images, quick key functions to open spec sheets, and an interactive graphic for product resources.

Two terrific companies to work with and we enjoyed creating a responsive website solution to meet both their own and customer needs.

Responsive sites are where it’s at—and where your site should be at as well! Call Guild to get your site responsive and mobile ready–262-677-4696

Social Media Mayhem

August 10, 2016

socialmedia-gal

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, instagram, snapchat, Tumblr, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, blogs . . . the list of social media opportunities are endless. Which ones, how often, where, when, how do you get started. Is your head already spinning? No worries, we have a few suggestions to help ease your mind and make social media marketing sound much easier.

First, let’s look at what social media you should be using—no, you do not need to be on every network. In fact, unless you have a dedicated social media marketing team, it is not at all possible. You will be spreading yourself too thin and your marketing will simply not be at all effective. Take a look at the social networks that work best for your business. Know the target audience that uses each network—are they your target audience? Eliminate the ones that do not fit best with your target and we move on from there.

Now that you know what networks to focus in on, next step is to make social media a focus of your overall marketing strategy. It is important that you, your marketing team, and overall company embrace social media and make a commitment to engage in social media communications marketing. Social media is a key consideration in the new inbound marketing strategy. By using the social aspect of these media networks, you are reaching out to your consumers, engaging your customers to start conversations, providing information to help make purchase decisions, and building a relationship with your customers. Just as with any relationship, it takes time, it takes commitment and dedication, and an effort to keep the conversations going and stay connected.

We have a number of resources at Guild Creative to help take the guesswork out of developing your social media strategy. Email Kathryn for help.   kathryn@guildcreative.com

What’s Your Brand Identity?

August 10, 2016

quesitonmark-guy

Last issue we discussed designing your logo. A follow-up to that important development aspect of your business is the topic of brand development. Logo design and brand identity development go hand-in-hand. They both provide the face, look, and feel for your product and overall company. Your logo and brand identity is the first impression you give your customers and it is what they will remember about you.

In today’s world of information overload, it’s imperative that your identity design is a distinct representation of your business and its products or services, and helps you stand out from your competition. Your logo and brand identity should reflect trust, credibility and have a lasting value.

It is also important when creating your brand identity, that not only must your brand help identify who you or your company is, but you also want your brand to be “identifiable” with your target audience. So, you must remember to create your brand identity with your customers in mind as well.

A good brand-marketing manager will take all this into consideration and more to help you establish your niche, provide a differentiating factor, make you standout in the crowd, and make your brand memorable.  We know a great person at Guild Creative who can help you do just that! Contact steve@guildcreative.com

Just when you thought you had it all figured out, Google goes and changes things up on us once again…

June 9, 2016

Angry crazy modern designer in glasses with beard yelling and crumpling paper on his workplace

SEO & SEM

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was once the primary focus for increasing your website visibility. Now there is a new focus called Search Engine Marketing (SEM). According to Google, it is important to use both to help increase the awareness and visibility of your site.

When you search and hit enter, those search results do not show up on the first page by accident. There’s a good chance that there is someone behind the scenes (web designer, SEO specialist, marketer or small business owner) making sure their website shows up in the search rankings when their product or services match what the user is looking for.

However SEO alone is just not enough any longer. Now to increase the chances that your website will appear in the top query, you will want to be sure to add SEM into your website marketing mix.

So, are you one to ignore the ads at the top of your online searches or are you one to take the quick way out and see what those ads have to offer? More and more, viewers are choosing to click on the ads and the SEM results are increasing for those using Google Adwords or the Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. Finding the right balance for your particular business is what is most important. Let Guild Creative help you develop your best SEO and SEM strategy and increase your website rankings.

Your Logo and You 

June 9, 2016

Roofing business logo designmeridian-logo
What does your logo say about you? What should it be saying? Is your logo something people will remember? Think of the logos for the following brands: McDonald’s, Nike and Apple. We all know the golden arches, the Nike swoosh and the silver apple with the one missing bite. These brands all have a memorable logo. We don’t need to even see the name of the brand to know who they are.

Your logo is the face of your brand. It identifies who you are and the one element that will symbolize your brand more than anything else. It is what will help keep your name/your product/your company in front of your customers. You will put your logo on signs, business cards, letterhead, invoices—everywhere you can think to be sure you are seen and remembered. So it is so important to get the design of your logo right the first time. To create and select the perfect logo design, you will want to think about the following:

• Who is your target audience?
• Who are you competing with?
• How are you different from your competitors?
• What kind of feelings do you want your logo to encourage?
• What kind of qualities do you want your logo to display?
• Would you like a tagline included in your design?
• Do you like the idea of a symbolic logo, a typographical logo or a mixture of the two?

Key components of a good logo:
• Does it properly represent my business?
• Is it distinctive, simple and clean?
• Is it functional across all mediums?
• Does it speak my message?

Many online services offer to create a logo for you for a mere $99. But remember, “you get what you pay for” and it is worth investing in a high quality, customized logo to identify who you are and provide memorable features specific for your brand, your company. Contact Guild Creative to help create a distinctive design just for you.

Content is the Key

June 9, 2016

Our lives are so inundated with information and too many messages, we have learned to ignore the messages being thrown at us daily. Consumers having grown up in today’s information age, know that information is the key. We seek out the information that we are most interested in. The key here is that today’s consumers are “seeking out” information. So as a marketer it makes sense that you should be providing that key information consumers are seeking. Enter Content Marketing!

Today’s marketers are providing content to consumers with the purpose to attract and retain customers by offering information that is relevant and informative to positively encourage consumer behavior to make that purchase.

Rather than advertising that bombards us with messages to buy this or that, content marketing engages the consumer in conversation and encourages them to learn more without directly selling anything. You are selling the value proposition of your product by providing relevant information. If well written, you help the consumer make an informed decision to buy the product you are offering.

Good content marketing grabs attention by informing the consumer first and encourages them to behave (purchase) accordingly. Content is key and at Guild Creative, we help provide the content you need.

Questions To Answer Before The Website Design Process Can Begin

May 26, 2015

So, you’re ready to have a website created for your small business? That’s great! A professionally designed website can greatly increase the exposure of your product or service, provide potential customers with the information they are looking for to make an educated decision and become a beneficial sales tool that you can continually monitor and improve. A website is truly an investment that has the potential to grow your business exponentially.

But before we can put our heads together to create a design that beautifully showcases your brand, you will need to answer a few questions:

  • Why do you want to create a website for your small business?
  • What are you hoping the website will accomplish?
  • What are your marketing goals?

Once you have your general website goals established, we will want to dive into more marketing-related questions:

  • How do you define your products and services?
  • What makes your product or service different from your competitors?
  • Who is your target audience?

All of these questions help us learn more about you and your business which then helps us create a website that properly displays your company and achieves the goals you are looking for.

The most common question that is asked of us before the design process is, “How much is it going to cost?” Unfortunately, the answer is one that nobody likes to hear, “It depends.”

Every project is different. Some websites need four simple pages, other websites are more complex and require lots of time to code while others need a full branding strategy in additional to a company website. That being said, it is impossible to give a quote without first learning all of your online needs.

Making the decision to have a website created for your small business is an exciting one, but requires a little homework before the design process can begin. Once you have clearly defined your marketing goals and objectives, the website design process can kickoff.