Top 5 Tips to Create a Consistent Brand

Modern-day consumers are becoming used to evaluating and making buying decisions using online means. Take a look at your buying habits, for instance. How many times have you checked reviews of different products before walking into a store and deciding to buy one? This is how vital branding is on the part of your business.

What is branding, then? Branding deals with the perception that customers have on your business. This includes your character, personality, and values. Branding is not just all about what customers see in your office or storefront. It also includes your customer service, signage and print materials, website and online presence, and team interactions.

Here are the top 5 tips for creating a consistent brand for your business.
1. Do some research work. Who are your competitors? What does their site feel, look, and sound like? Should yours be in line with your competition or stand out from them? What makes you stand out from your competitors? Your target market and their needs will guide you in the right direction that you must take.

2. Understand who you serve and who you are. What do your customers care about or need the most? As a business owner, you must always put your customers first. Always cater to their needs. From your site alone, make sure that your contact information is easy to find. Ask yourself if your website is filled with technical terms or is just too long. Is your content well-arranged, making it easy to read? Does it tell a story about you and what you sell to make it helpful to your potential customers? Do you show testimonials? Are your pricing and packing easy to see and understand? Would your customers know what they are getting from you?

3. Define your vision and mission statement. All communication and actions that you do should go back to your vision and mission statement. Moreover, your brand should be a reflection of your future goals. For instance, if your vision is to recreate the industry by standing out, it would not help if your website has very formal text, comes in shades of gray colors, and is flooded with substantial technical terms. This is just far from your vision.

4. Copy and design. Visual appeal is compelling, most notably to your business. In creating your logo, make sure that it is recognizable. Choose colors that would reflect your voice and values. Your website should be easy to use and navigate. Your text should be well laid out that it is easy to read and digest. Your copy should be professional. It must demonstrate your experience in a language that all can understand. Your text should be free from grammatical errors and typos.

5. Consider social media as an extension to your brand. This should include the content, feel, and look of your brand as a whole. Make use of social media platforms to extend your reach while making sure that responses become timely. All of these things help reflect your dedication to quality information and customer service that is created in line with your business vision.

Essential Things to Consider Before Hiring an Advertising Agency

If you want to succeed and compete in the world of business, you need more than just producing quality products and services. As a business owner, you have to understand that you will never receive some money from customers if they do not have any idea that your company exists. The current market, for instance, is filled with subpart products that still get some spotlight all because they got in the market first or because their brand is recognized. This is why hiring an advertising agency comes in handy. Hiring the right advertising agency makes all the difference in the world in your capacity to earn a profit or lose it. Before you decide to utilize their services, you have to take note of a few things first.

• What can an advertising agency do for you?
Most of the time, some companies confuse the roles that adverting and sales play. For instance, they hire an advertising company to market their products and do a campaign for them. Once sales do not quickly show, they go blaming the company. This is wrong. The goal of an ad company is to match the product or service to the right customer that requires such product or service.

• Create long-term goals
The success of your ad campaign is often dependent on your vision as a company. Just think of this vision as your goal in life, for instance. It often begins with an initial idea then followed by a vision to make it happen. A vision frames all the work required to create a cohesive strategy. If you are short-sighted, negative consequences are bound to happen to your business. For instance, you might end a plan before it begins showing successful numbers.

• Determine your budget
To maximize using your funds without thinking about additional expenses that will appear in the middle of the job, you have to determine your budget first. As much as possible, a vision and a scope must be created that can be tracked down using proper metrics, data, and milestones. All these will not just keep your budget in check but also keep your timeline on schedule.

• Branding
An advertising agency can assist in figuring out your branding. However, they should not be the only one that gets to do all the work for you. As a business owner, you need to figure out the overall idea that you want your brand to represent and to which target market. Trying various methods will just not do it. You are just wasting your funds, effort, and time if you do so. You are also confusing your customers leading to getting a bad reputation or leaving out your potential customers. While you get to decide on the vision that you want for your brand, the advertising agency that you hire will take charge in executing it.

• Consistency between media platforms
In executing your advertising campaign, you want to be able to achieve consistency across media platforms. This helps you achieve branding push and a strong message that will be made consistent no matter how your customers access such information. Having consistency can be advantageous for both internal and external operations.

How Profitable Is SMS Marketing for Your Business?

The marketing department of a company is one of the essential elements in running a business. It is responsible for bringing in profit to your business. It takes care of a range of marketing activities for the products or services that you offer. One of the most common methods that are utilized across companies is SMS marketing. Bulk SMS marketing is very cost-effective on the part of the company. It is one of the most natural forms of advertising and promotion on the part of your business.

In this modern day and age, you seldom see individuals who carry a cellphone with them. A cellphone or smartphone is one of the things that people cannot live without. They carry it with them anywhere they go from their bags and purses to their pockets. That is why SMS marketing appeals the most to a bigger target market. Mobile communication has been proven to be the most convenient and the easiest compared with other means of communication. When you plan to send SMS by bulk, you can choose from a wide range of options as offered by the bulk SMS provider.

What follows are some of the reasons why SMS marketing can profit your business.
1. Speed. Every business wants to speed up the different processes that take place in the company. The use of SMS marketing is a very high process in terms of speed. In just a short period of time, your messages can be delivered straight to your target market. This makes you one step higher as competition in this cut-throat world of business is high.

2. Short, but the best messages. With SMS messages, you have to meet the limited character requirements per message that you must send to your prospects. You cannot always put a detailed description of the message. However, prospects tend to read short messages more. They have more impact on them thereby leading you to get more profits and sales in return.

3. Cost-effective. In terms of costs, sending bulk SMS messages is cheaper than conventional marketing methods. Even if the cost of sending messages is cheaper, you can still do so to a great number of people. You get better return of investments with SMS marketing.

4. Enhanced customer engagement. Customer engagement is increased with SMS marketing. When your customers become more engaged, this means that they are more eager and interested to get to know your products or services.

5. High return on investment. Any business, big or small, relies on the use of effective marketing campaigns. In return, they expect to get more profits. Because bulk SMS services require less investment on your part, the returns that you will be getting are amazing. That is why you get a higher return on investment with bulk SMS marketing.

Indeed, bulk SMS marketing is profitable for your business. It is not surprising why a lot of companies are using this strategy to gain more presence and get more profits in the current market. Aside from being profitable, SMS marketing is also very effective and powerful as a marketing campaign in general.

Improving the Purchasing Activities of Your Company

Your purchasing activities as a company have some impact on how your business is running and how your finances are managed. Whether your company is big or small, it is crucial that you improve your purchasing activities in one way or another. Here are some tips to improve them.

• Purchasing process must only be done by authorized personnel.
You have a serious problem as a business owner if you allow any person in your company to buy office supplies even in small quantities once they need them. As much as possible, all purchases must be funneled through and authorized by a purchasing individual or team. This allows you to take control of the process. Moreover, you can also maximize your purchasing power.

• Buying in bulk helps you save more.
While buying in bulk can help your company save more, you have to make sure to know how to use your money effectively. At the same time, you have to assess if what you purchase is required and can be used at a reasonable duration of time. When you buy products in unrealistic quantities to save money without really having use for them, you are just wasting money in return.

As a company, you should make a sales projection. This will serve as a basis for pricing and production. As much as possible, a small test quantity should be run until the sales projection becomes actual sales. As long as what you are buying is required and can be used at a reasonable time table, buying in bulk will help you save more.

• Don’t be led but remember lead.
Avoid purchasing supplies if there are conditions of the sales that are objectionable. Get clarification if there are aspects of the contract that are not clear. Do not strike out or sign a section of the agreement that you find objectionable. Have a sales representative initial any changes with you. To have a written record of things that are not found in the contract, an addendum is required.

• At least once a year, analyze all of your patterns of purchasing.
When it comes to your buying habits, ensure that your purchasing patterns are the most effective ones. When buying supplies or anything for your business, make sure that you look at the prices, quality, and delivery. As much as possible, you should get the best of these three things. Determine if your purchases are delivered on time. Assess if the quality of the items is acceptable. Check if you are buying in the right quantities depending on your yearly usage.

• Do not be lured into unsolicited phone sales calls.
These are often referred to as scams that can cost your business millions every year. Most of the time, the company calling you will offer products with poor quality and high prices. The pressure from the other line is very high from being friendly and sneaky to being pushy and aggressive. It becomes effortless for them to catch you off guard and make a sale. You might not know it, but one of your employees may already have approved for a product that your business does not need or want.

The best way to be free from these threats is to hang up simply. If something sounds fishy, then it probably is.

Is Facebook Still The Best For Online Marketers?

Is Facebook Still The Best For Online Marketers?

Marketing is essential to success in any business. And of course, having a good marketing strategy would make that all possible. But what would be the best online marketing channel for your business?

Facebook as the largest social network continues as the most engaging online marketing center for many marketers up to this day. It’s undeniable that Facebook has an exceptional platform in the marketing history. And still remains the best and the most effective social media marketing platform out there.

If you have doubts about why you should invest your dollars in Facebook advertising, read below for reasons Facebook marketing is a good investment for your business.

Everyone is on Facebook

Obviously, Facebook is one of the most popular websites with 1.8 billion active users and 1.2 billion people use Facebook apps each day. This clearly means Facebook ads generates a highly valuable possibility for businesses to get upfront potential clients who are on Facebook.

Another thing to consider about the Facebook user is that they range from all age groups. The most popular age group on Facebook is 18-29-year-olds with an 88% user rate.

Facebook Advertising

This is not a traditional advertising! Facebook Advertising is actually an advertising on the next level. You can custom-targeted audience this will enable marketers to upload a list of contacts such as phone numbers and emails so you can target them with certain ads.

In addition, Facebook is rich with data and you can make an effective ad campaign on a frugal budget.

Facebook Ads are Easy to Track

It’s important to track success in any campaign. This will allow you to measure the number of sales generated and leads directly from your Facebook ad campaign.

Facebook Live

A video is surely the champion of customer engagement and sharing. Facebook Live started within the last year and has taken the internet by storm. This allows users to record live videos and share them with friends.

This can be used as an advantage for businesses in several ways.

  • Gives a behind-the-scenes experience to customers.
  • Promote events and answer questions.
  • Show sneak peak of your new products.

Facebook Pages

If you are business owner it’s best to have a Facebook page. Having one will give you a lot of benefits and their no reason why you shouldn’t.

First things first, you need to know that you can’t use your personal profile in promoting your business, Facebook won’t allow that. There are 5 reasons why you should have a Facebook page for your business.

  1. You can determine your audience.
  2. It helps you draw more followers and increases your customers.
  3. It’s a great way to get more traffic to your website.
  4. This is a good way to let your customers get to know you.
  5. The best way to increase awareness and bring people to your brand.

There is no doubt that Facebook is here to stay. It’s surprising that what started as a simple platform to stay in touch with friends has turned into a platform that connects not only people but also brands all over the world.

How To Use Content Marketing For Your Business This 2018

How To Use Content Marketing For Your Business This 2018

Content Marketing is a marketing strategy that creates and shares online content (videos, blogs and other relevant material).  It does not visibly advertise a brand but aims to stir interest in products or services of the site owner.

Social media and content marketing operate together. Various social media platforms publish and circulate content to target audience. The objective of content marketing is to engage with your audience and let them know that you can meet their needs.

“Medium”, an online publishing site, urges you to know your audience first.

“Find the right environment for your brand and product. Understand who is your customer and come up with creative content, so that this customer will be engaged with you and also motivate others to be engaged with your brand or product.”

Provide value to your audience

As time pass, the dynamics of content marketing and the endeavor to be valuable has advanced dramatically.

“We at no limit we empower ourselves and our partners to create and distribute creative and unique content across the marketing channels they have,” Medium explains.

Instead of being insistent, content marketing remains true to its real intention.  Virtual Measures, a digital marketing authority, reports that in 2018, it has returned to basics.

“The focused remains on forging meaningful connections with humans. We’re about connecting with a human with a specific need at a specific point in their customer journey, and then meeting that need.”

Establishing human connections is the catalyst to reach and get hold of your audience. Virtual Measures believes that this idea influenced how content marketing will succeed or not:

“If our strategies and practices are informed by this simple idea, people are landing on and engaging with our content in a measurable way. They’re subscribing, downloading, clicking through to the next thing, buying in, buying. We push this behavior to better lead our prospects to their customer journey.”

Follow best practices

This principle will help you lead your audience. Virtual Measure reminds you to follow the best content marketing practices:

  • Don’t Sell, Inform

Keep in mind the basic rule of content marketing: “It is not about you.” Your focus is to connect with your audience from the start. Remember that you are not selling or doing conventional marketing. According to Virtual Measures, content marketing strive first to establish your brands as reliable and worth doing business with,”

A Tweeter user, Rand Fishkin, elaborates about it in his tweet,

“The best way to sell something – don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy.”

Content marketing provides content that is “educational, answering questions and solving problems.” Selling and non-stop bragging about your products or services instantly discourage your audience to stay longer. You waste your chance to initiate awareness and generate leads from your prospects.

  • Create Content for Target Audiences

Identifying your audience first is another primary rule. Make customized content for a specific audience. Write about the interests, wants and needs. This rule makes sense– it’s easier, more effective and proven to get your audience response.

  • Optimize Your Content for Search Engines

Follow the given guidelines to prepare your content. Virtual Measures reminds you to -“Make sure that your content is easy to deliver and discover without sacrificing quality and readability.”

  • Publish Content As Frequent As Possible

Deliver and distribute your content frequently and consistently to produce more positive results. Use a calendar that is easy to follow. Consider your audience, marketing goals and resources when implementing it. If you cannot do it on your own, learn to use some social media tools designed for this function.

  • Share Your Content Strategically

There are different ways to share and distribute your content, such as email, blogs, social media platforms such as Tweeter, LinkedIn , webcasts and webinars.

  • Measure Performance to Improve Your Content

Virtual Measures said that “measuring performance against benchmarks and setting up goals in Google Analytics or whatever data reporting tool you’re using allows you to demonstrate engagement, number of leads, and number of sales.”

Refine your strategy, but stick to your goal

Content marketing is not just a trend that fades; it is undoubtedly here to stay with you while your organization continues to grow and develop. Be persistent to connect with your audience, and follow its basic rules and you will not be lost.

Virtual Measures put it this way, “as you refine your strategy and redefine what successful content looks like to you and your organization, your content will become better and better at reaching and converting humans who have needs because it’ll be meeting their needs in real time.”

Are You Paying Your Employees Enough?

Are You Paying Your Employees Enough?

That feeling when you are compensated right for your service, efforts, skills, and expertise is a matter of fact satisfying. Well paid employees are even more work-driven, feels secure, important and valued. Therefore, every business owner should, at all times, remember that the backbone of their company and the most valuable asset is their employees.

Compensating employees suitably has its edge and advantages

  • Losing good employees to other companies with higher offers is lessened
  • The loyalty of your workforce is on you and your business because they know that you are a fair employer and when the time comes that others would try to woo them, they don’t easily give in.
  • Employees will be more productive
  • Operational efficiency of your company will be better because employees are happy
  • Growing and successful business

There are several factors on how an employer can compensate their employees enough and not monetarily.

Do a research

Review the industry that you participate in. Compare compensation package, salary increase and other benefits that are given by others. Balance your offer and you should always be on par with the competition. Recruiters are still on the hunt for talents, and you don’t want your company to be the picking field. Employees are also sometimes tempted to look for better offers, and if they see that you pay according to industry standards, they will stay.

Ask industry experts

It is a common practice to seek the help of recruiters, HR managers and other people that may know the prevailing rates in the business you are in. They’ll give you an idea regarding the amount you can offer and what other forms of benefits you can add to your current portfolio.

Take surveys

The better and unbiased way to know the sentiments of your employees is by conducting a survey. You may do it every so often. Results of the study will show what the employees think and feel about every matter such as salaries, benefits and whatnots. Keep an open mind when you do this since survey data and results will not always side with you. There will be demands and suggestions from employees that you cannot meet and you, as an employer, do not agree with. However, with proper negotiation and sensible decision making, stakeholders and the workforce can meet halfway.

It’s not all about money

Nonmonetary benefits can often lure employees to stay. If an employer offers a proper work-life balance package, then people tend to stay. Your people appreciate flexible schedules, family-oriented programs, health benefits, incentives and even extra paid leaves.

Some companies offer profit sharing, which is much appreciated by employees because they feel that the company earnings are being shared with them.

Always make sure that your salary and benefits package is always competitive because these are factors that may affect if your employee will stay or not. Remember that is more efficient to maintain an employee than train a new one because a minimal disruption in your operation will cost you exponentially.

The smooth process of your business is also dependent on how your employee feels about their job. Keep them happy, and you will have a prosperous relationship.

Watch this video from Capital Associated Industries for more info: