Category Archives: Business

7 Big Tips from Social Media Marketing World

Last week I had the opportunity to travel with a colleague to sunny San Diego to attend Social Media Marketing World. Many of the big names in the social media industry were there including Guy Kawasaki, Mari Smith, and Chris Brogan. Our goal was to learn about the latest and hottest trends, and to understand from these experts how we can maximize the return on investment in social media marketing — both for ourselves and for you as you market to pet owners. What did I learn? Lots, including you’re never too old to learn how to use this powerful marketing tool. Full disclosure, depending on who you talk to, I’m either a Baby Boomer or Generation Xer.  So, for those that can relate to that let me share some key points that stuck with me proving you’re never too old mature to learn a few things about the latest trends in social media.

1. Video continues to grow as a powerful tool.

YouTube is still big. In fact, YouTube is the second biggest search tool after Google. In 2015, 56% of marketers want to improve their knowledge of YouTube, and two thirds of marketers plan to increase their use of it. However, both Facebook and Twitter have seen the power of video and Facebook is now degrading YouTube video exposure in their newsfeed. Still, you should create some videos of your practice to share on YouTube. It will help with search engine results and it will be interesting for existing clients and potential ones. You should consider at least one professionally shot video but then don’t be afraid to whip out your smartphone and have some fun.

2. Native video is now the best content to post to Facebook.

Video is now automatically played in the News Feed, which helps entice people to stop and watch. Facebook now even allows you to embed your videos into your blog posts, similarly to how you can embed with YouTube. Twitter has also entered the ring with the announcement of their new Video on Twitter feature in February. Now, instead of just 140 characters, you can share 30 seconds about whatever content you want to share. This is a great opportunity for you to tell your story more effectively and also allows you to show your personality and become more human for your clients. 72% of marketers plan on increasing their use of video in 2015, so whether you hire a camera crew or whip out your smartphone, it’s time to make video a priority in your marketing strategy.

3. Podcasting is growing.

Although still small in comparison to other tools, with only about 10% of marketers surveyed participating, podcasting is growing and 42% of marketers plan to learn more about this option in 2015.

4. Metrics are key.

It’s not just about posting on Facebook and hoping good things will happen. Measuring effectiveness and ROI in on the rise. Nearly half (42%) of marketers are now able to measure and report on social ROI. A surprising 78% of marketers say they are now able to show that social media increases traffic to their websites.

5. Facebook is still BIG.

Even though Facebook has changed their algorithms for businesses to get their content seen, 51% of marketers still say that it’s the most important social channel. In fact, the use of Facebook for marketing is actually growing, with 62% of marketers saying that they are increasing their use of Facebook in 2015.

6. Blogging is great for SEO.

Blogging on your website is a great way to boost SEO results and build a loyal customer following. The struggle is time and creativity. One great tip is to look at your sent email files. What are people asking you? Share that with everyone! Never waste a good conversation by having it in private. CLICK TO TWEET

7. Customer service is the new marketing.

Customer experience is the new marketing, and by 2020 it will likely be the single most important factor in a purchasing decision — ahead of product and price. You may wonder what that has to do with social media, right? Facebook and Twitter have provided an easy platform for customers to voice their opinions of products, services, and companies. You need to use these same tools to “hug your haters,” as Jay Baer says. Use social media as an effective venue to embrace complaints and turn bad news into a powerful business opportunity. There was a lot more great information I learned at this conference, but these were the highlights for me. The influence and impact of social media is growing and it should be an important part of your overall marketing plan. And remember, age is not a factor.

Elements of an Effective Brand Identity

If you’ve been in marketing very long you have probably heard the phrase: Your logo is not your brand.
That concept is pretty easy to understand but it’s often difficult for marketers to wrap their head around all the other elements that make up the construction of a brand identity framework. So, in this post, we’ll look at terms like logo, brand, and brand identity and list the 8 essential elements you need to develop your own brand identity.

What is brand identity?

Let’s start by differentiating between “brand” and “brand identity”.  Seth Godin has a excellent brand definition to help on this point:

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

So a brand is somewhat intangible – like an experience. But the elements that help define the brand can be broken down into various pieces:

  • Logo
  • Typography
  • Personality (think tone and style)
  • Customer service
  • Product quality
  • Corporate responsibility

A good place to start the process of developing your brand is to build a Brand Essence statement. This is a single phrase that captures what your company is about in a unique and inspirational way. It can be a great tool to build and visualize your key positioning statements. Often it becomes the company tagline.

Brand identity is a subset of the overall brand and is the visual component of the brand. It is the face of the brand the consumer sees. This includes logos, typography, colours, and messaging. These elements need to match the organizations tone and style designed as part of the overall brand strategy designed to attract and retain customers in a particular market.

Key Elements

  1. Logo or Wordmark
    A logo is a graphic representation of a brand, whereas a wordmark is the company name set ins specific style. Think Nike for logo and Coca-Cola for wordmark. Your logo or wordmark (or both) is the core of your brand identity. You will need several variations of the logo to accommodate different uses. For example, both a colour and black and white version.
  2. Colours
    The corporate colour palette is often defined by the colours in the logo. These would make up your key colours and then you need to choose several colours that will complement those. To ensure consistency publish the pantone, CMYK or RGB values to these colour so that everyone that is involved in creating content can maintain the brand values.
  3. Typefaces
    Decide on a small number of fonts to be used across all content. These typefaces should complement the brand’s tone. Again, ensure rules are set for how these fonts will be applied.
  4. Typographic Treatments
    Beyond the font selection, you must create guidelines or editorial standards. These rules would govern the style of writing so that there is consistency among all contributors.
  5. Images and Graphic Elements
    Again, to match the brand elements consistently, create rules around image selection – colour palette, black and white, etc. Similarly, other graphic elements for website or content, such as icons, need guidelines established.

After you establish your brand essence and identity you’ll want to create a brand guide that will ensure consistency among anyone who represents your brand.  This document will help build a solid foundation for your ongoing marketing efforts.




More Thoughts On Consulting Firm

Possessing an online business has actually become an usual business endeavor for many households in the United States. Throughout a distressed economy, starting an online business appears to be a practical choice to generate extra income for your family. For numerous website owners, the procedure of marketing online can be as foreign as taking a trip to a worldwide nation. You might be considering the services of an SEO consulting firm if you are diving into the realm of website development and online marketing.

Business consulting refers usually to the arrangement of business consulting services, however, there many fields of expertises, such as information technology consulting, human resource consulting, and others, many of which overlap, and most of which are offered by the huge diversified consultancies noted below. Supposed ‘store’ consultancies, nevertheless, are smaller companies focusing on one or a few of such field of expertises.

Search Engine Optimization, likewise referred to as Search Engine Optimization, is an essential procedure in online marketing, and is a specialty niche industry that assists to promote your website while getting organic ranking in the search engines. When considering an SEO consulting firm, not all companies are created equal. You will certainly want to discover a firm that is especially well-informed about SEO, however, even more importantly, one that knows how to hear your issues and react properly. When sitting down with an SEO consulting firm representative, you will want to pay close attention to their communication styles. While they might be experts in SEO, and achieve extraordinary lead to natural positions and online search engine traffic, if the SEO company is not one that supplies excellent communication with you, your long-lasting relationship could be in jeopardy.

Interesting stuff!

When evaluating the SEO consulting firm’s style of communication, you will certainly wish to see how they handle questions such as those that are open-ended. Be sure to ask numerous open-ended questions during your conversations with your SEO consulting firm, and make sure that they are answering those questions appropriately.

Continuing On….

In addition, your SEO consulting firm representative ought to be exactly what we call an active quiet individual. In the realm of SEO consulting, many reps are eager to share their SEO knowledge and boast on their online search engine ranking results. In the realm of SEO consulting, silence is golden. And when seeking advice from you as a customer, the SEO firm’s representative must be willing to stop and listen to your issues, and have an interest in exactly what you’re thinking, seeing to it that you both have a clear understanding on the website concerns and perspectives, in addition to marketing objectives of the site.

Be sure to ask clarifying questions of your SEO consulting firm, and in the long term, you will have a better relationship with your firm. Establishing the best communication style at the beginning will cause a far better outcome for your website marketing – getting even much better results on your investment dollars for SEO services.

Surrounding Holding Company

The limited liability company is a wonderful device for businessmen and business owners to use in order to achieve a number of business goals such as creating income, getting a business line of credit, limiting threat in the marketplace and protecting personal assets. The limited liability company incorporates the liability advantages offered by a corporation and the tax advantages of a partnership, making it an excellent automobile of choice if you wish to own assets in the name of a company instead of your personal name.

The greatest advantage is the flexibility to purchase or offer businesses without disrupting it’s operations. The holding company structure makes sure that the legal business name, any licenses or grants acquired by it in the past, any brand names owned by it, any tax credits or other liabilities sustained by the business stay with the subsidiary company and does not include the parent holding company.

The Holding Company Discussion Continues…

The distinction in between a regular company and a holding company is that the sole purpose of a holding company is to merely have things such as realty, a stock portfolio, or another income producing asset. The only thing that a holding company does is own things, indicating that it does not run in the marketplace at all and is just utilized as a car for ownership functions.

If you are severe about your success with your financial investments, you could want to think about setting up a limited liability company that you can use as a holding company to safeguard your stock portfolio and trading account, and to trade under a company name rather of your personal name. It can likewise be a great idea to possess even more traditional investments such as land and real estate in the name of a holding company, so that you keep the exclusive right to administer access to those assets.

Most people will launch a regular company for the purposes of conducting business in order to produce an income and earn a profit, and this varies from a holding company due to the fact that you should already have a considerable asset base with which to money your holding company otherwise it defeats the purpose. Therefore, setting up a limited liability company for the specific purpose of utilizing it as a holding company is not the right choice for start-up entrepreneurs who are on a tight budget plan since asset protection is the main purpose.

This indicates that if you decide that setting up a holding company is the right choice for you, it will most likely not be the first company that you develop given that it is indicated that you currently have a large sum of money that you plan on investing in the name of that company. In order to maintain you monetary security and the security of your assets, a holding company can be an excellent device for owning specific assets such as realty in a protected method.