Photos Speak the Loudest

Photos Speak the Loudest

Content Marketing

The Importance of Good Photography in Marketing

attention span

How do you put visual content to work for your company? How do you capture your audience’s attention? As a marketer of your business the quality of your content is becoming increasingly more important. The average audience’s attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to a short 7 seconds. So more and more our audience is scanning our materials and the main information they are gathering are the images. So, it is important that you have good quality images.

There is no doubt about it that we are in the age where we want information fast and easy as possible. As posted in The Power of Visual Content, your audience doesn’t want info-heavy, fact-heavy pages, articles or posts. Let icons, infographics and photos support your identity and story tell, as well as, bringing a higher emotional experience.

Since you get one short chance to make a first impression, make sure your photography doesn’t poorly affect your marketing. Great quality photos catch the readers attention while providing them a more personal experience. You can easily do this via web, social media and in your print marketing.

Tidbit: Think of your images as your brand.

 

its-all-about-images-infographic_cutoff

  • Articles with relevant images average 94% more total views than articles without images.
  • A press release with photos gets nearly 15% more online views than a text-only press release.
  • 60% of consumers who use online search say they prefer to contact a business whose listing includes an image.
  • Nearly 70% of e-commerce shoppers say the product image is very important when making their purchase decision.
  • Check out the full infographic by MDG Advertising here!

So, how do you get good visuals? Hire a photographer. Professional photographers will truly capture your brand. However, small businesses starting out and bloggers may not have the budget for a professional, here are some websites that offer images that go beyond the “stock photo”.

  1. Twenty20
    twenty20
  2. Adobe Stock
    adobe-stock
  3. PhotoPin
    photopin
The Viral Video: Marketing Campaigns Worth Watching

The Viral Video: Marketing Campaigns Worth Watching

Branding Content Social Media Video

Videos have always been apart of marketing, first with commercials and more lately with the viral video. Because of the Internet and age of social media taking over, when a business has a great video it has the potential to reach thousands, millions, and shoot… even billions! So it is no surprise that almost every business I have talked to has wanted a video as part of their marketing strategy.

I agree, videos are a great resource tool for online marketing, they help with social media reach, website interaction and, they help get people talking and sharing about your company. What I found though, is right after we made a great video, every company wanted more and more videos.

So my advice to small businesses for video marketing is: 

Don’t over do it!
I have created the first video for a client and then they get addicted, next things I know they want a video for everything. The problem with that is unless you are making amazing videos and have a large audience, the more videos you make the more you can watch your amount of views go down each time. Videos are great, but don’t forget your other tools and resources. Keep your customer interested by switching it up.

Make it Amazing!
I am sure you have seen marketing videos that you didn’t even finish watching, why? Because they were boring. If your business wants to go in the direction of video, spend the time and resources to make it great. Focus on quality editing, script writing, and production. It will be worth it in the long run if you want to make an impact with your brand.

Keep it short and personal!
We as people have a limited attention span, keep it short, like 1-3 minutes, to keep the viewer interested. (If you have lots to say, have follow up videos) Since you are a small business, talk to the viewer through an employee or community member; make sure it has a personal connection for them.

You don’t have to go viral!
It needs to be great, it needs to be viewed, but especially for small businesses, it does not have to go viral. A simple video can work to up your online marketing goals.

Top Viral Marketing Campaigns

I collected a few; hopefully they can spark your video imagination.

Dove does everything right!

St. Joseph High School takes the admissions video and makes it fun. This video is a major inspiration for the high school admissions video I am currently working on. Stay tuned.

GoldieBlox created a fun video that matches their brand identity and product message, “to get girls building” watch their success here.

Smirnoff Raw Tea Partay rap video is an oldie, but a goodie.

Nike Women’s #BetterForIt campaign really listed to their customer and made it personal.

Here is another blog by reelse (the video Marketer’s Guide), with an greater list of Vine and Instagram favorite marketing videos throughout 2015.

Tidbit: Make them laugh!

Invitations 101: Selecting the Right Size for your Event

Design

When planning an event, whether it be your wedding, business party or a special birthday party, the invitation can say a lot. The last few clients that have needed invitations have had their colors, style, content all decided on before they even approached me. However, when it came to the question of what size they would like it designed, they have had no clue.

Choosing the appropriate invitation size is important and affects the design and cost. I ran across this very helpful chart from PaperSource that shows it all: dimensions and envelopes with their corresponding invite options.

Hope this helps when starting to plan your event!

To Use or Not to Use Website Builders

Design Websites

I talk to a lot of potential clients who are deciding between hiring a web designer or using a website builder. Most small businesses starting out there are a million things to consider, so I thought I would give my two cents on how to decide:

  1. Money Shouldn’t Matter – This may sound harsh or unrealistic, but if you are building a product you wouldn’t go the cheaper route, you would go the best route (at least you should) and I see a website as just that. Set aside money for the project because it is your business – just the online version. I am not saying you have to spend a ton of money, but research some designers and set aside a realistic budget for your web needs. The cheapest designer shouldn’t win the bid, do research and ask about their process. Some designers (including me) give cheaper rates to small businesses and non-profits.
  2. Not Everyone Is A Web Designer – I hear a lot of, “my cousin took a class so he can make one for me” and that scares me. First of all, web design is a skill, one learns it and masters it. Use a professional, if not, I promise you will be back to the drawing board shortly after your cousin gives you his version of a finished project.
  3. I Can Do It Myself – No you can’t… well, unless you are a designer, but if not then no you can’t. Website builders are helpful for this aspect and good for designers who don’t know code. I get hired to redesign so many sites after a client wanted to save money and make it their own.
  4. I Can Use A Template – I love that website builder sites give templates, but I hate when I see 5 photographers with the photographer template and the only difference is the name. If you venture to try it on your own, be creative! Take control and make it yours.
  5. Free Domain Is A Trick  – Most website builders offer you a free domain if you use their service, sounds great, right? But read the small print, in most cases, they end up owning that domain and may make you jump threw a few hoops and charge you to get it back. Even if you do go with a website builder, buy your domain at GoDaddy. This way if later on you want to hire a designer, they won’t have any issues making the switch. Usually will only cost you about $12/year.

Yes, website builders like Wix and SquareSpace are good tools, they make creating a website easy for anyone and come at very little cost. If you have some design skills and do the research, you can probably pull off a pretty good website from a website builder. But I recommend using or at least talking to a professional website designer before hand. Especially if you are starting a new business.

6 Rules for Choosing the Right Domain Name

6 Rules for Choosing the Right Domain Name

Websites

Choosing the right domain name should be taken as seriously as selecting the business name, as it is your identity on the web. You want to make sure it fits your business as well as is something that is easy to promote. Many think the first step to starting your website is design, but choosing the right domain name is equally important and sometimes the hardest part in site creation.

Follow these simple rules when thinking of the right domain name for your website.

  1. Keep It Simple
    Make sure it is easy to spell and simple to type, not keeping it simple could make it harder for customers to find your site. I just redesigned a website for a high school with the URL www.notredamepreaparatory.org, since preparatory is a harder word to spell we shortened the URL to www.ndpsaints.org, which keeps it simple and easy for the audience to remember.
  2. Keywords
    Everything about the internet should be search focused to help your business get exposure, but don’t only use keywords. Try adding keywords that describe your business or service to help you come up organically in search results. As for Tidbits, I chose www.tidbitsmarketing.com using the keyword marketing, to gain exposure to those searching for a marketing company, but still maintaining the branding of the company.
  3. Be Memorable
    Find a URL that stays in people’s minds, you don’t want them trying to find you, but not remembering your URL. Test it out to close friends to see what they think. See if they remember.
  4. Search
    Anytime I have a client thinking of a URL or business name, the first thing I do is a search for multiple reasons. First, to see if it is trademarked, copyrighted or being used. Second, to see what comes up with similar results – is my name coming up with the competition or is it bringing up unrelated material.
  5. Fulfill Expectations
    When someone hears your domain name they should first think what content would be found there. WebMD.com is obvious in the content, where as Monster.com has to do more SEO (search engine optimization) and branding for you to know what they do. When it comes to small, local businesses I encourage them to have their product or service in the name so they can get more results in search engines.
  6. Don’t Be Clever
    Thinking of hard-to-spell, clever words or complex ideas just makes it harder for people to remember your site. It should be best practice to use a name with one possible spelling or purchase the domains for all the ways to spell it. Flickr.com purchased Flicker.com because I am sure they were loosing traffic to those who spelt the URL correctly.

 

 

The Power of Visual Content

The Power of Visual Content

Branding Content Design Websites

There is a rise in visual content demand because people don’t want to read info-heavy, fact-heavy pages, articles or posts. Businesses who choose to operate with visuals see an increase in brand engagement. And by simply adding more visual content to your marketing plan will increase the intake of the viewer allowing you to communicate quicker and with value, while having a higher chance of being shared. The world of infographics is still here and business who use them average 12% traffic growth and through just the use of a photo you can display your product without telling people about them.

Check out the 9 reasons to get on the Visual Content bandwagon below – need help creating visuals contact us, we love designing.

Visual Communication

 

What does your logo say about your business?

What does your logo say about your business?

Branding

what-your-companuy-logoWhen creating a logo for a business I gather a few things from the client: business type, business personality and businesses goals. But as a graphic designer I also focus on how the consumer will respond. I love this infographic below by 123Print that shows the study of logo color. So before thinking of your favorite color, learn what that color means.

Click here to contact me for a custom logo or view my downloadable logos here.

Make your Website Work: Responsive Design

Websites

Responsive DesignResponsive design is simply having your website appear well on every device, so when the user views your site on desktop, mobile or tablet, they see a compatible website. Since 25% of internet users only access the internet with a mobile device, it is important when designing or redesigning your site to focus on making it responsive. This not only helps user experience (which is important), but also saves you money and time. Responsive design allows for your website to function on future devices and screen sizes as they come on the market.

Want a responsive website? Contact me today!

Best Color Selection Tools

Branding

If you are in the process of choosing your color and already read my 5 Tips for Choosing A Color Scheme blog, then you are ready to dive into color selection. Since this task can be daunting, I have put together a list of my favorite tools for you to try:

  • Design Seeddesignseed – One of the best places for color inspiration. I love the design of this site and how they let you search by theme, on the downside it doesn’t let you start from a color you had in mind as if you exact color number hasn’t been created in a palette yet then you are out of luck. So searching for a color palette to go with a color you love is challenging, but when you just need a place to get ideas it is one of the best.
  • Kuler by Adobe – This tool is a little more advanced, but it is my favorite for when I have a color in mind and need inspiration. It gives you so many options for creating a palette, plus with your Creative Cloud account you can login and save palettes. For beginner use, drag the color wheel arms and play with the colors to create your desired palette. If you are working with a designer this is a great tool because you can save to image and show them a starting point of your ideas.

The list is small because I mainly use these two tools and love them.

5 Tips for Choosing A Color Scheme

Branding

 

A businesses color scheme plays a key role in brand identity and customer acceptance. If the business chooses a color combination that doesn’t correlate with their product or one that isn’t appealing to the eye, they may loose customers.

When deciding on color it is more complex than, I like turquoise, so everything with my business should be turquoise. First, the color of your business should reflect well on web, print and product.. It should also target the emotion of the customer; yes, there is a psychology of color in marketing and branding. Not that there are clear-cut universal reasons, as the article “The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding” discusses, but it is important to understand who your audience is and how they view color. So before you start branding or rebranding, make sure you follow these tips:

  1. Know Your Audience
    Who is your demographic? What colors resonate to your audience? What emotions do those colors represent? If you are a funeral home, you wouldn’t choose pink.
  2. Research
    What is your competition doing? Research local companies and those in other states, see the similarities and decide if you want to be an industry standard or stand out.
  3. Colors
    Most all business have under 5 colors in their branding, this is to keep things simple. I recommend staying with 3 and having one main, secondary and highlight color.
  4. Big Picture
    When choosing don’t think about your favorite color or what the colors of the season are, go with a palette that will be able to transcend through the years as your business will.