• Developing the right voice and tone for your company’s brand

    On: October 9, 2020
    In: Branding, Marketing
    Views: 1013

    I found this interesting blog from Devin Delfino on how to set the right tone and voice for your brand. It’s not easy. If you want to build a strong brand, tone matters since it dictates how the audience will feel about your message both in intent and character. Here is a reference guide:

    How to develop tone of voice for your brand
    Gather your company’s goals and values and audit previous content. To develop the right tone for your brand, you will need to know a few key details:

    • What the company is trying to accomplish — both overall and through a given piece of communication
    • The tone that the brand has used previously
    • The company’s core values

    Reviewing previously published communications and ask for impressions from your audience can also help you gauge where you stand. Combined, this information will give you a good idea about the kind of goals you want to accomplish, which will help shape the tone.

    Understand your target audience
    Tone can easily be mistreated if you do not have a firm grasp of who your audience is, to combat this problem consider conducting research on your company’s ideal audience, and what appeals to them.
    You should know your target demographics, age range, where they live, common interests and how they like to communicate. Keep in mind things may change depending on the platform you are using to communicate, whether it is social media, a blog, an e-newsletter, etc.

    Think about the four dimensions of tone of voice

    1. Funny vs. serious
    2. Formal vs. casual
    3. Respectful vs. irreverent
    4. Enthusiastic vs. matter of fact

    These are useful tools for understanding where your brand’s current tone falls, as well as for getting a visual representation of what tone you want to use going forward.

    Create tone-of-voice guidelines
    Once you gathered the above information, it is time to put that idea into practice, typically as part of a brand style guide.

    The “tone” section should include basic guidance like what a good tone sounds like versus what the company is trying to avoid, and providing examples for the reader in several contexts, like content marketing posts or social media. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for people to stick to the desired tone.

    Keep your tone of voice up to date
    As with brand voice, tone is something that may not be static throughout the life of a business. It is vital to make sure that as the company changes, so too does the tone. That way, everyone who may have a hand in creating communications from the company is on the same page about what the brand voice and tone should sound like without deviating or slipping back into an outdated or otherwise undesirable place.

    Common tone-of-voice mistakes
    There are many opportunities to get “tone” wrong, especially if you do not take a balanced approach:

    • Mistake 1: Being inconsistent
      Tonal inconsistencies can create questions and even mistrust within your audience. It is vital to create a tone guide for your brand.
    • Mistake 2: Offending the intended audience
      Companies that go for the irreverent and funny sides, for example, can take things too far if they do not define how far is too far.
    • Mistake 3: Creating a forgettable tone
      Just like you can go too far at the opposite ends of the scales, choosing “neutral” positions could also backfire. Tone is meant to provoke an emotional response in the reader and failing to do so means being forgettable and irrelevant.
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  • Why SEO is important for your business

    On: July 14, 2020
    In: Branding, Marketing, News
    Views: 1145

    What is SEO and how can it help your business?  SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and basically makes your website more visible to consumers searching for your service on the internet which translates to receiving more traffic and more opportunities to turn prospects into customers.

    Here is what you need to know and why it is vital for your business.

    • Keywords are words and/or phases that prospects use to find online content when conducting research. When researching keywords for your website look for ones that have high search rates and include short and long-tail keywords and local keywords.  Use keywords to optimize your titles and URLs
    • Content – this is the component that reaches and engages audiences. Content can come in a variety of ways such as videos, logs, infographics, podcasts, white papers, and social media posts.
    • Off Page SEO- external optimization that occurs away from your website with backlink building. Backlinks from external site help build authority.  They can be linked to guest bloggers, shared infographics, and influencers,
    • Local SEO- make sure you claim local directory listings so prospects can find you easily on their mobile phones. Main sites include Google My Business and Yahoo business, but there are many more that you should create pages for.

    The main goal of SEO is to increase traffic to your website. This happens when you increase your visibility and page rankings.  Most people only look at the first ranking page.  SEO can help your business build better relationships with the internet audience – improve customer experience with great content, responsive rates, increase your authority ranking, drive traffic to your site and give you the upper hand on your competition.  In short, you need SEO to convert prospects into customers!

    Frey Creative Marketing can help your business incorporate a SEO plan for your website. Call us at 520-745-8221.

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  • Using Video in your Marketing Plan

    On: June 5, 2020
    In: Marketing, Photography, Social Media
    Views: 1436

    According to research, videos receive an over whelming 80% of views compared to their counterparts and are quickly becoming the highest form of all internet traffic.  More marketers are starting to take advantage of this engaging medium.

    Here are types of videos for consideration to promote your product or service:

    • The live video- live streaming is popular with companies that host webinars, especially this year. It is a great opportunity to teach and/or show your service to others.
    • Social media video- posting a video as part of your social media campaign has proven to give you better results than with a static ad. This video form is also a great way to promote your event while you are there.
    • Training videos – viewers enjoy this type of video because they can re-watch it as many times as they need to understand how to accomplish the task at hand. If you have a product that is complex, these videos will help teach the consumer how it works.
    • Brand videos – these can include testimonials from customers touting your product or service; showcasing your company and values; employee training videos
    • Video stories – used by over 77% of marketers on social media they are short and candid videos of stories related to your business

    There are plenty of options to choose from as well as tools and information to create high quality video content for your business for a reasonable cost.  What are you waiting for?

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  • Making your welcome email, welcoming!

    On: October 1, 2018
    In: Email marketing, Marketing, News, Online marketing
    Views: 1526

    We all know the importance of making a first impression whether it is your store, your staff and your advertising.  One of the elements a lot of businesses are using is email to reach new and repeat customers, but how often have you thought about the type of experience you are giving these people with your emails?  My guess is probably not much.

    The open rates for welcome emails are usually over 50% which is much higher than for typical email correspondence.  For this reason alone, it is imperative you take the time to make this first impression a lasting and good one!

    Here are some things you need to include:

    • Make customers feel good about signing up with you starting with the subject line (welcome to xxx), let them know they are part of a community of people who have joined your e-newsletter and make them feel safe by restating that you will not sell their information to a 3rd
    • List a preview of what they can expect from your emails such as type of content and how often you plan to send. If you’ve made an offer that required them to sign up, include a download or coupon of that offer.  One of the main reasons people sign up for your email list is to receive a special offer.
    • Make sure your emails are getting through and not going into spam. You can accomplish this by using the Spam Checker if you use a program like Constant Contact.
    • Personalize your emails to set you apart from competitors and use copy to engage your customers so the messages don’t look automated. Make sure the copy and words represent your brand.
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  • The Power of Video Streaming

    On: September 1, 2018
    In: Marketing, News, Online marketing
    Views: 993

    Video streaming is becoming standard fare for consumers and is giving traditional TV watching a run for its money.  Here are the latest stats on streamers from Nielsen:

    • 93% of streamers are watching traditional TV
    • Streamers aged 25-54 consumed 2 hours and 30 minutes of over-the-top (OTT) content per day. (OTT is the term used for the delivery of film and TV content via the internet, without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-tv service like a Comcast)
    • 47% of those streamers above only watch traditional TV while 46% consumed a mix of traditional TV and streaming
    • 59% of US homes are streaming enabled

    Streaming devices attract a young, affluent audience.  Homeowners that are 35 years old or less are 34% more likely to own a streaming device.  They are also 32% more likely to have children and 17% more likely to have a college degree.   If your target market includes this audience, your marketing plan should consist of a video streaming component.

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  • How to tell if your digital advertising is working?

    On: June 8, 2018
    In: Marketing, Online marketing
    Views: 1136

    Digital advertising is a very cost effective way to improve your brand’s awareness and drive traffic to your website that can be turned into sales. How do you measure the success of your campaign? The following are key metrics that you should be paying attention to:

    1. Set your goals upfront to enable you to focus on the right metrics that will indicate success.
    2. Monitor upticks in web traffic that indicate that you have been successful in attracting users through the combination of messaging and ad creative. In addition to paid search, monitor the increases in branded search and direct visits that coincide with campaign launches.
    3. Click through rates measure the number of times your ad is clicked compared to the number of times it has been shown to users. For example, if your ad is shown to 100 people and 1 person clicks on it, you have a click through rate of 1%. CTR can help you determine the effectiveness of your targeting and creative. Low CTRs might mean the creative isn’t resonating or the audience is the wrong target. 2% is an average CTR rate.
    4. Conversion rate tracks the rate that users take a desired conversion action on your website (purchase a product, make an appointment, request a phone call). Make sure you have conversion tracking set up on your website to monitor accurately. An average conversion rate is 2.5%
    5. Return on investment – in order to attribute ROI to specific campaigns, you need to be tracking ad clicks all the way through to the close of the sale.

    By reviewing the above numbers, you will have a better understanding of which campaigns are performing well and those that need to be improved to bring you better results.

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  • How to set your Advertising Budget

    On: May 7, 2018
    In: Marketing
    Views: 1121

    As I meet with new clients, I find that people have no idea how much money to invest in their advertising. The good news is that there are several methods to determine how much money you need to put aside for your ad budget.

    Here are some methods to use:

    1. Research where your competitors are advertising if you want to be competitive within your industry. Are they using multi-media components or focusing on one medium?
    2. Percentage of Sales Method (my preference) uses a percentage of past sales and projections for a basis of your calculation. You may choose anywhere from 2% to 5% of your sales as your annual advertising budget.
    3. Percentage of Total Budget – if you are a new business you may need to devote more of your budget to marketing. Many businesses delegate between 20-30% of their total annual budget to advertising during the first and second year. If you are purchasing an existing business that is already established, you should consider putting aside 7-10% of your total budget for advertising.

    Whichever method you use, please remember that as your advertising becomes more effective and produces more revenue, you should re-evaluate your budget to continue to promote growth for your company.

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  • 7 Marketing Trends to Watch

    On: April 2, 2018
    In: Marketing, Online marketing, Social Media
    Views: 1376

    There is so much research and studies on all the latest and greatest marketing tools, it can be overwhelming to know which ones to pay attention to.

    Here is what we think are the ones to watch:

    1. Video Marketing – video keeps growing each year as companies continue to incorporate it into their customer experience. Video marketing is projected to account for 80% of total internet traffic by 2020 so jump on the bandwagon!
    2. Storytelling – we all love a good story so it is easy to see why brands are focusing on crafting stories as part of their digital marketing strategy. Marketers are switching from social media being a traffic generation channel to a customer engagement channel.
    3. Social Media Costs Rising – Advertisers much invest dollars on social media channels in order to have any traction. With more advertisers on each social media platform, the cost is rising and forcing advertisers to choose between adding to social media budgets and finding other channels to drive brand awareness.
    4. Chat bots – people no longer have to be waiting for customer service thanks to chat bots and their AI powered live chat tools. Expect to see more companies embrace this technology to improve their customer service.
    5. User Generated Content – you are more likely to trust another person’s opinion over a celebrity endorsement which is why adding testimonials and reviews to your website is a must.
    6. Interactive Content – your content strategy should include quizzes, polls and videos for interactive content.

    Sources: Smartinsights.com

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  • What are the top 4 marketing trends in 2018?

    On: January 18, 2018
    In: Marketing
    Views: 1264

    As marketers, we are always looking for a way to get an edge over the competition. It’s our job to analyze the trends and determine which ones have the best chance of providing companies successful results. Here are some trends we think you should be aware of and include when reviewing your marketing plan:

    1. Video – social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Periscope have pretty much paved the way for the live video streaming trend. Currently, streaming video accounts for 2/3rds of all internet traffic and that number will continue to grow. When your business uses live video, it gives you the opportunity to interact with your potential customer directly in real time. Also, you can save your videos and repurpose the content.
    2. Artificial Intelligence – AI tools are used to analyze consumer behavior and make decisions on how the information is used. AI robots allow your sales team to spend more time on projects that require actual human insight. An example of popular AI is the use of Chatbots. You have probably been to a website that has a customer service representative pop-up with an instant messaging feature that uses Chatbots. Determine if the use of AI will help you improve different areas of your business.
    3. Personalization – the best way to increase engagement and sales is to give customers a personalized shopping experience. Research shows that 75% of consumers have a preference for retailers that use personalization. In order to enhance this experience, you need to encourage people to create a customer profile on your website/mobile applications so you can monitor their browsing habits and prior purchases. Another method is to send personalized email messages to your subscribers. If you personalize the subject line of your emails, you can increase your open rate by 26%.
    4. Privacy issues – Last year millions were affected by security breaches. Consumers are highly concerned about their privacy while shopping online. You need to make sure your website states that you have privacy protection in place by including security badges, adding testimonials and making sure your site is easy to navigate with fast loading pages as well as the checkout pages are all secure.

    It is important to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends and look toward the future to predict consumer behavior. If you can identify and use trends to your current marketing strategy, you will definitely have an edge over your competition.

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  • Following the consumer journey 

    On: October 12, 2017
    In: Consumer Journey, Google analytics, Marketing, Online marketing
    Views: 2365

    The consumer journey is the digital path that a consumer takes while online from awareness to purchase.  By understanding the buying habits of your online target audience, determining how they find you online and the steps they take to actually purchasing or making a call to action, businesses can minimize their marketing effort and maximize their revenue.

    Where to start?

    Since consumer journeys are solely based on how they engage with your website, start be breaking down each online interaction to determine where there are drop offs.  People are most likely to enter your website through a search engine.  You want to make sure you have optimized your website with the proper key words that will be used when a consumer is looking for your product or service.  You will want to take advantage of Google Ad words to assist with searches.

    Next, you want to review what pages on your website people are going following their search.  Not every consumer journey starts on the home page.   Make sure all your pages provide an opportunity for further engagement otherwise the consumer will exit your website.

    The final step of the consumer journey is the checkout or call to action.  You need to understand how consumers interact with this page.  A complicated or unsecure site may result in an abandoned shopping cart.  Make sure you have assurances to your consumers against stolen identity, price increase protections, secure site icons, and return policies.

    Google Analytics is great way to study the traffic patterns and behavior on your website to determine what needs to be modified to enhance the consumer journey for your business.

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