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Dear small businesses, We need to talk about branding

Dear small businesses, We need to talk about branding

How can I persuade you that branding is important? Give me two minutes and I promise you start to understand why branding is important. And hopefully, you’ll want to learn further why branding is essential – especially for new small businesses.

Do you have a plumbing business, a beauty product, a pop-up restaurant owner or another type of business? Whatever business you do have addressing the phrasing might help… would I catch your attention if I changed the word ‘branding’ to ‘reputation’. Your reputation is important to you, right? The impression you leave is key to branding. If you want to be successful, that first impression must serve two purposes: it must explain what makes your company unique and it must present you in a favourable way.

That’s where branding comes in.

If you’re still not convinced – read on to learn why branding should not be ignored…

Branding is marketing

Why? Branding is a crucial element in your branding. Your brand is built through the channels and mediums you choose, as well as the demographics you target, right?. Avoid having a marketing focus that is too limited or you run the risk of being “pigeonholed” and losing the capacity to enter new markets. On the other hand, a marketing approach that is too wide may prevent you from leaving a distinct impression on customers.

If you’re branding in the right way – you’re also marketing your business in the right way too. For instance, if you are creating a Facebook ad, you want the different elements of your paid ad to reflect your brand.

That includes…

  • Tone of voice – how you write to your target audience in the headlines and description
  • Images you use – does your images reflect your brand and purpose of the ad?
  • Call-to-actions – you’ll also want call-to-actions to reflect your brand and ad purpose
  • Fonts – any fonts you apply to your images should be consistent with your brand
  • Colours – you should have primary, secondary and accent colours under your branding

Branding supports any advertising you do. Branding is part of your marketing efforts.

As a small business owner, you need to consider the areas of branding that needs improvement. Remember, what I said earlier about reputation? First impressions are important to obtain customers and to grow your business.

That leads me on to the next part…

Branding Improves recognition & trust

A logo is one of the key elements of a brand since it serves as the “face” of a company and is what consumers are most likely to recognise. Professional logo designs are straightforward enough to be memorable while being potent enough to convey the appropriate message about your business. However, branding goes far beyond your logo – it’s the content you put in front of your customer (or clients). That’s your logo, marketing material (business cards, flyers, brochures, etc), your website, email marketing campaigns, paid ad campaigns and not forgetting your social media platforms.

Your tone, wording and other visual assets should all be distinctive and recognisable. People will remember you and connect everything you do when your branding is aligned to your content output. Imagine if your branding comprised of the colours dark red and light grey, but your email marketing campaign included bright red and dark grey? Similar, yes, but those ‘similar’ colours are not part of your brand – dark red and light grey are. The more consistent you are with your branding, the more trustworthy your brand will appear to your target audience.

Now that you’ve gone through that, let’s talk about what trust and recognition can do for your business…

Branding generates leads & revenue

With good reputation, your brand will foster leads and more revenue with the right branding in place. But first, let’s go back to trust. As you read above, branding may help your brand generate interest with a great logo or consistent content output. It’s crucial to remember, though, that a great brand also inspires confidence in both the market and your customers. Developing a strong brand can influence how customers view the value of your goods and services, and their propensity to make a purchase from you.

By incorporating your company’s brand strategy into all of your marketing efforts, you may strengthen your brand’s credibility with consumers and gain a competitive advantage and market awareness. The procedures are interrelated. And as a result, the likelihood of an easy purchase increases as your target audience start to trust the products and services offered by your business!

In a nutshell, because customers develop an emotional connection with a brand when it personalises their experience and that can only be down with applying branding to your marketing strategy. Branding is important in helping businesses increase sales. Customer loyalty is increased by a strong brand identification, and this increases sales for your business.

branding also provides customer retention

This one is super important. Your marketing strategies become increasingly more effective at generating sales leads when your brand becomes sufficiently well-known within your target market. It’s crucial to understand that branding helps retain current clients because it keeps them interested in your company’s image and promotional materials. Customer retention is impacted by this customer experience.

When you successfully implement a brand strategy, you can control the experience and journey of your customers, keeping them interested and engaged so that they frequently choose to do business with your brand. After their initial engagement with your brand, a loyal client base drives them back to the buying funnel.

It is crucial to build a brand with customer retention in mind. As they tell their larger social circle about their interactions with your brand, devoted customers can become your finest brand ambassadors. Most potential prospects trust personal referrals more than any other form of marketing. In light of this, it is clear how crucial it is for your brand to not just stand out from the competition but also to fulfil its value promises.

The more satisfied a customer is with your brand, the more likely they are to tell other potential customers about your goods and services. A referral campaign would also be quite successful in this situation. Such marketing initiatives support the development of credibility and trust, as well as the strengthening of client connections and loyalty to encourage repeat business.

Summary

We said earlier to replace ‘branding’ with ‘reputation’, but really, branding is all about business and marketing.

Did you find this content useful? Why not share it on Twitter, LinkedIn or somewhere else?

If you’re a small business looking to improve your branding, in any way, we can help you close the gaps and move your branding in the right decision. Contact our team and we’ll help you to develop your brand.

How email marketing can grow your small business

How email marketing can grow your small business

Let’s get down to it. You’re interested in implementing email marketing campaigns into your marketing strategy, but you don’t know what to do or how to do it. First, you’ll need an email marketing strategy for your business. If you’re invested in learning yourself – make sure you know the basic principles of email marketing first. We all start somewhere. If you’re still unsure how to begin your email marketing strategy, we can always guide you into the right direction or give you ahead start. Now let’s promote your business growth with email marketing.

Quality over Quantity – everytime!

Before we get started, I need to make something very clear. Nobody likes weekly email marketing. It doesn’t work unless you’re offering something incredibly special or valuable. Take Black Friday deals for example, or even a competition of a lifetime. Avoid overselling your brand, campaigns or offers. Why? It devalues your brand and may lead to more of your customer’s unsubscribing to your email list. Don’t. Do. It.

If you’re going for gold, quality email campaigns will deliver more engagement than quantity. Write emails that your readers truly want to read instead. Make sure your promotions contain content that will benefit your subscribers. Asking your subscribers what kind of content they want to receive when they join up for your email list is a terrific approach to make sure you’re meeting their expectations.

“What If I don’t have enough subscribers?”

There’s an easy way around this. If you don’t have enough people in your email list, you put into place a strategy that will get more customers to sign-up to your email list.

Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and ask yourself these five questions…

  • How can my customers currently sign-up to my email list?
  • Is there enough sign-up forms on my website?
  • What is stopping my customers from signing up? e.g. website form not working, placement of the forms, etc.
  • Can I offer my customers an incentive to encourage my customer to exchange their personal information?
  • Is there an automated email in place to help my customers understand what I can offer them?

When you find the ‘pain points’ from asking yourself the questions listed above, you’ll then get a better idea of how to start building your email marketing strategy. Give your customers as many opportunities as you can to sign up for your emails. Our recommended advice is to make sure you have sign-up forms on your homepage, contact page, service or product pages, significant landing pages, your footer and don’t forget to place a sign-up CTA.

If you run an online store, make sure to give customers the option to opt-in to emails while they are already providing their email addresses to complete orders on the checkout page. Having a sign-up clipboard is just as effective for brick and mortar businesses. Simply ask your customers if they would like to get news and promotions from your company at the time of purchase!

Mobile Matters in Email marketing

Every business is different, but one thing is true – most of your customers are using mobile and you want your email marketing to reflect that. When you’re creating your email campaign to your target audience, you will most definitely be using a desktop or a laptop to create that email. But most of your target audience will most likely be using their mobiles to read emails. So, not to state the obvious, you’ll need to consider the execution of your email during the design stage by making sure it accommodates for mobile users.

According to a a study by Return Path, a normal desktop inbox shows roughly 60 characters of an email’s subject line whereas mobile devices only display 25 to 30 characters. Return Path also stated that subject lines with 49 or less characters had a 12.5% higher open rate than those with 50 or more characters, and those with fewer characters had a 75% higher click-through rate.

It could be argued that mobile is setting trends on how you should deliver your content. Why have a long subject line when you can say the same thing with less? Remember, your target audience is consumed by their daily routine and the shareable content they see online. You need to grab their attention. A shorter headline for your email is far more likely to attract your subscriber than a longer one. You should spend just as much time on your headline than anything else, after all, it’s the first thing your subscriber will see in their inbox – even before all that content you produced. Ask yourself, how can I summarise this email but also entice them to click?

Segmentation improves results in email marketing

If you have less than 250 subscribers, creating different email marketing campaigns may not be the right time for you to segment your emails. However, you’ll always to input as much data as possible about your subscriber. That’s because in the future, you can segment emails to different type of customers.

Here are the different ways you can segment your customers…

Example: I am a party planner that caters for children parties, baby showers, engagements and wedding receptions.

  • I can segment and create a list for old clients (over two years) and new clients, so I can offer promotions or updates to my older clients that may have forgotten about me.
  • As I have different services, I have segmented and grouped my existing customers into different categories under the services they have purchased. This gives me a better idea of what content I should deliver to them.
  • I created one of my sign-up forms with the question “are you a parent or an expecting parent?” and this has allowed me to segment those subscribers into two different groups – children parties and baby showers.
  • I want to create an email about a new feature that I’ve added to my wedding reception service. As I’ve set up and segmented my subscribers that have showed interest in my wedding reception service – I can send my email straight to them and not my other type of customers.

You can also segment your subscribers in a different way. Your email list can be divided up and segmented based on their personal profile, such as gender, age and geography (so long as you are collecting and have consent to use this information). Plus, you can divide your audience based on how they behave, such as highly engaged mailing list subscribers, loyal customers, or prospects for win-back. The more specific you are, the better! With segmentation, you’ll also have the option to use personalisation to your email marketing. That means if you have inputted their first name into your database, you can use personalisation tools in your email marketing app, so when that person opens their inbox, their name will appear before the headline you created.

Did you find this content useful? Why not share it on Twitter, LinkedIn or somewhere else?

If you’re a small business needs guidance on email marketing, we can educate and provide your business with the tools to succeed in email marketing. You’ll work with a specialised email marketer who will get to know your business and what your goals are.

Contact our team and we’ll help you to develop your email campaigns.

looking for cheap logos for your business think again!

looking for cheap logos for your business? think again!

Thinking about grabbing yourself cheap logos? You may have considered saving your business cash to go for a quick Fiiver logo for your new business. Ever heard the saying, “If something is too good to be true, it probably is…” You aren’t guaranteed to receive a professional logo with ‘cheaper’ alternatives and if you’re really unlucky, copyright could be knocking on your door. Hopefully, we’ve caught you just in time before treading on potentially dark waters!

Here are our top three reasons why you should avoid cheap logo designs for your new business…

1# Lack of originality in cheap logos

First things, first. Using a cheap logo designer for your professional logo is usually risky business. Think of the terms, “you get what pay for ” or “buy cheap, buy twice”. As you know, in business you don’t want to cut too many corners. You want value AND quality! Creating a new logo design from scratch means considering how to perfectly capture and communicate the brand’s character. Unfortunately, logo designers that offer devilish low-cost logos will most likely be a copy and paste job. You may have hired a logo designer to create a logo for your new business, but you’ve actually ended up with someone else’s logo with your business name added to it. You’re a new business – you want originality embedded into your logo to remain competitive. Plus, if your logo designer has incorporated elements, which are copyrighted, into your logo… And let’s say your logo designer lives somewhere in the Philippines – you’ll have to deal with a copyright lawsuit, not the £25 per project logo designer. Nightmare, right? Conversely, hiring someone with graphic design skills, maybe your nephew or sister’s neighbour, could definitely result in a fresh, original and overall attractive ‘logo’, but most graphic designers do not have the commercial knowledge to create professional logos for your industry. experience and no commercial experience.

If you need a logo for your new business – invest in a professional logo designer with commercial experience. Nine times out of ten, you’ll want to avoid hiring someone that’s out of the country. Instead, hire a UK-based professional logo designer for peace of mind and clarity.

2# Great Design, No commercialism

A logo is more than a picture. It symbolises your industry, values, brand personality and much, much more. A well-designed professional logo establishes trust by demonstrating your professionalism and encourages people to stay. Your logo is often the first element your clients or customers see, which means a bad logo may potentially turn people away. A good, professional logo informs potential clients or customers about who you are, what you do and how you can help them. It shows people who have no prior knowledge or experience with your brand that you do excellent work. You can expect your commercially designed logo to win every battle in business as it’s been designed specifically for your business in mind. A professional logo designer with commercial experience will be conscious of the logo’s purpose, environment and placement. For example, professional logo designers will consider why your brand exists, what type of products or services are on offer, the type of target market, typical motivations of consumer groups and where the logo will be placed and advertised. Hiring someone to design cheap logos for your business may consider an element of your business, however, logo designers with commercial knowledge understand how important it is to ask these questions or even research themselves.

To recap, a logo that’s commercialised and well designed has multiple powers from just one glimpse. Good, professional logos can build your identity, foster trust, show professionalism, develop engagement, attract target markets, generate leads and even kill your competition.

3# bad product packaging with cheap logos

Have you ever ordered something from Amazon and the packaging of the product includes a logo that looks blurry compared to the rest of the text? Or perhaps you saw a business on Facebook and the logo looks like it was stretched? More often than not, cheap logos are cheap for a reason. You’ll be given one logo and you might not even receive the .Ai file! You’ll always want a transparent background if you’re only receiving one version of your logo. Unfortunately, one version of your business logo just isn’t enough for your marketing needs. For instance, you’ll be creating multiple online platforms that require display photos, cover photos and posts. You won’t always find the same coloured background to superimpose your logo onto and you might not have the design skills to change the background of your logo. Moreover, if your logo designer has designed your logo with a small canvas and you don’t have the .Ai file, your logo will be distorted and blurry for print. Cheap logos can be a nightmare for tradespeople that need a vehicle wrap or brands that want large printed signs at a trade exhibition. If you want your clients or customers to believe in your brand’s identity and its quality, your business needs to let go of cheap logos and designs.

Did you find this content useful? Why not share it on Twitter, LinkedIn or somewhere else?

If you’re a small business looking for a logo design, we can design a professional logo with our graphic design and commercial experience. You’ll work with a logo designer who will get to know your business. Contact our team and we’ll help you to develop your brand.