TIP #1: Email Marketing
Incorporating email marketing into your brand strategy requires more than simply writing eloquent copy, laying out a stylish design and blasting it off on a whim to your consumers. Without a thoughtful plan your emails will be in thrown in the trash bin faster than we can finish a bowl of our favorite chips and salsa. Start with what your consumers see first, the email subject line. We’ve curated a couple tips to help you avoid getting marked as spam.
tIP #1 - USE URGENCY
There are many tactics you can use to create a sense of urgency - FOMO, scarcity, deadline, etc, - but the primary goal is to make your email irresistible to open. People love deals, discounts and awesome opportunities…and they hate feeling left out. Try something like “Hurry! Only 3 days left for our 50% off sale,” or “Only three seats left for our amazing Thanksgiving travel deals.”
TIP #2 - ASK A QUESTION
If you know your target audience well, you should know what their needs are. For example, if your email list is made up of students who are nearing college graduation, it is most likely that the majority are scoping out their first career move. If you have a line up of great opportunities, answer the question they already have in their heads “Are you on the hunt for a killer job out of college? We got you.
TIP #3 - USE CURIOSITY
Tease your customers with the subject line. Give them a bit of information about what’s inside, not enough to give away the content, but just enough that they can’t help but click through. You can even take it a step further and only include part of the information in your email body, and make the remainder accessible with a link to your website (yay web traffic).
A couple examples of curiosity-provoking subject lines:
1) Nine Disgusting Facts About Thanksgiving
2) Where to Drink Beer Right Now
3) If you have a website, you need this tool!
TIP #4 - USE THEIR NAME
This one is as simple as the title makes it out to be. Insert their name somewhere in the email subject line. It makes it feel like the content was tailored just for them. People like to feel special and wanted in this day and age of information influx.
TIP #2: Brand Audits
Before you make any decisions with your marketing, social media and brand touch points, it is vital to do some research so you can make informed and strategic decisions. Your brand is the emotional reaction your audience feels when they see your logo or interact with your company. And while you think you may know what people think, doing the research to identify those feelings is often eye opening. We call this research, a brand audit. We created some tips to make sure you truly know your brand.
tIP #1 - DO YOUR RESEARCH
Start by looking at your mission, vision and selling propositions. Consider your target audience and how you are going to reach them. Clarify what you think your brand is before asking what others think. Evaluate your biggest competitors marketing and social media presence. Review your own marketing materials such as logos, brochures, business cards, etc. Check out your website to see where traffic is coming from and if it’s attracting your target market. Next review your social media to see what types of customers are engaging with your brand and are they the type of customer that matches your target audience?
TIP #2 - IDENTIFY STRENGTHS & DOCUMENT WEAKENESSES
It’s important to know what is working and not working for your brand and why. Survey customers, potential customers and employees to get a full understanding of how others perceive your brand. Survey customers to get feedback on what they think of the brand. Some examples of questions:
Survey potential customers to understand your brand awareness. Some example questions:
Next survey your employees. It is important that your employees fully understand the brand because they are the ones that create the customer experience. Survey them anonymously and ask questions such as:
TIP #3 - MAKE POSITIVE CHANGES
Now that you have gathered all this data, you are ready to create an action plan. The positive answers should be capitalized on and the negative perceptions, changed. Create a series of actionable targets with a timeline of expected results. Continue to monitor progress to make sure targets are being reached. A brand audit should be completed every few years because the landscape is always changing and you want to keep your brand fresh.
TIP #3: iPhone Photography
Capturing the perfect moment is easier than ever thanks in part to your iPhone. You no longer need a fancy camera to get quality photos or computer to make edits. You also have an entire photo album at the tip of your fingers. Like learning any new skill, iPhone photography does take a bit of practice and experimentation but even beginners can take great photos with minimal effort. Ready to get the perfect shot? Here’s some tips to help you get started.
tIP #1 - THE BASICS
Perspective: Experiment with your perspective. Many beginners shoot at chest level, try other perspectives to help your photo stand out. Don’t be afraid to get down low or reach up really high to get another angle. Try moving your horizon line out of center as well. While these changes might seem small, they will encourage you to shoot and think creatively.
HDR Mode: For landscapes, still-life shots and photos with strong shadows or low light, experiment with HDR mode available in the Camera app. HDR stands for high dynamic range, which is the ratio of light to dark in a photo. When a scene has a lot of detail, it can be hard for your iPhone’s camera to properly expose all the areas in the shot. For example, your sunset will have beautiful highlights but your mountain will be in shadow. HDR mode takes three photos, all at different exposure levels and combines them for a perfectly exposed shot.
Rule of Thirds: When taking any shot, you should start by using the rule of thirds. This basic principle means composing your shot so that points of interest are offset from the center. To help you out some more, you can enable the grid feature in Camera settings. Use the grid to position your subject matter at one of the four grid intersections for professionally composed photos.
TIP #2 - Turn off your flash
While the iPhone flash has improved over the years, it is still just an LED light. It’s not very powerful and can emit a strange hue onto your pictures. Try shooting in natural light instead and if you’re shooting at night, use the Camera app’s slider to boost light in the photo.
TIP #3 - burst mode
The easiest way to capture action shots is through burst mode. Burst mode allows you to take 10 shots per second. All you have to do is tap and hold your finger on the shutter and your iPhone takes care of the rest. This is great for shooting sports, children, furry friends and action shots.
TIP #4: Freelancing
Many agencies rely on freelancers to get projects done. If you’re a freelancer and looking to build your portfolio with agency work, here are some simple tips to follow:
tIP #1 - BE A PROFESSIONAL
It’s important to respond to calls and emails in a timely manner. Clients and agencies have deadlines. Be respectful of that. Do you remember that saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” This is a good rule of thumb for client meetings and showcasing work examples.
TIP #2 - COMMUNICATE
We understand you are busy. We are all busy. If you need more time to make a deadline, be clear about it. Saying something is better than saying nothing.
TIP #3 - DO WHAT YOU SAY
When you say you are going to call someone back, CALL THEM BACK. When you say you will be somewhere at a certain time, please be there. If something comes up, reference step two.
TIP #5: Google My Business
As more and more people turn to the internet for answers, it is so important to get your business online. One key tool that helps drive customer engagement is Google My Business. Google My Business is a free tool that identifies your business in searches. Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day, it isn’t a tool to be ignored.
tIP #1 - update & register account
Make sure to update your account or register it. This is one of the best ways for potential customers to find you. For instance, if someone were to search, “food near me,” they would find all the relevant businesses labeled within the sector in their search results with a map of locations.
TIP #2 - confirm business name & address
You have the ability to control how your business appears in searches and where you’re located on Google Maps. Google sends a card in the mail that confirms your location. You can update this info at any time if you move or rename your business.
TIP #3 - ask for reviews & respond
Gain customer interest and loyalty by encouraging your customers to leave reviews. Businesses with more positive reviews are more likely to be researched by potential customers. It is important to be responding to reviews, both positive and negative, appropriately and in a timely manner.
TIP #6: Instagram Stories
If you’re not using Instagram Stories for your business— it’s time to start. Instagram’s Stories feature was launched in August of 2016 and has since made a significant impression on Instagram users. According to Statistica, there are 500 million daily active Stories (January 2019) users worldwide. This feature makes it easy to promote products, tools, showcase live and more with your followers.
tIP #1 - RUN ADS
You’re already producing awesome content, why not run an ad? With an Instagram business account, you can run ads and target your ads by reach, video views, traffic, conversions, app installs and brand awareness. This is going to help you grow your page.
TIP #2 - INSIGHTS
While running the ad and after the ad is finished, check your insights to see how it is performing. Is it reaching the right audience? Is it getting the reaction you wanted? Use this info to build better content in the future.
TIP #3 - TRANSPARENCY
Have fun with your stories. Show behind-the-scenes of your team or products. Help users understand your brand’s personality and help humanize it. Let followers be a part of your everyday. Stories can be fun, write on them, add gifs, add music, add polls, etc. It is a great way to get your audience to engage with your brand.
TIP #7: Online Learning Tools
In times of uncertainty, it can be overwhelming to define your next step. Use this time to reflect and work on your practical skills. Maybe you have been wanting to learn Adobe After Effects? Download their 30-day free trial to test it out and watch videos on YouTube to learn more about the program — all are free to you. Whatever you decide to do with this time, take a moment to ask yourself, how it is going to benefit you? Make a list of your goals and the steps it will take for you to achieve them.
tIP #1 - practice
Practice makes perfect. If you’re a photographer, practice taking headshots. Take pictures of your dog, do some flat lays, play with lighting, just practice!
TIP #2 - be resourceful
TIP #3 - learn new things
YouTube is a great resource to learn anything for free. Almost anything you want to learn can be found through a YouTube search.
TIP #8: On-Camera Interviews
No matter the size of your company, gaining exposure during an on-camera interview is a great way to build brand reputation and showcase your business in a positive light. Being on camera can be intimidating, but with some prep before, it can be as easy as talking to a friend. We put together some tips to help you prepare for your next on-camera interview.
tIP #1 - key messages
Before the interview, make sure to write down any key topics you want your audience to take away. Deliver them as clearly as possible during your interview.
TIP #2 - what to wear
Look credible and don’t be a distraction. Keep patterns, hair, makeup and jewelry simple. Most importantly, don’t forget to wear a smile.
TIP #3 - practice
Most people get a little nervous when a camera is in front of them. Practice in a mirror before your interview or with a family member or friend.