Category Archives: 1:1 Marketing

Creating Fresh Content – Tips and Tricks for Superior Results

Content marketing plays a huge role in business strategies across all industries. From providing customers with the information they want to growing your presence on the web, content is the king that rules the online world. In a world that is filled with countless other businesses trying to accomplish the same goals, how do you stand out?

This post aims to help provide you with the resources, ideas and motivation to tackle the beast that is content marketing creation, to give you the boost needed to keep that killer content coming time after time.

Keep it Fresh

Keeping your content fresh and consistent is essential when it comes to your content marketing strategy. As writers, we all experience similar obstacles when it comes to this vital component of writing valuable content. Writer’s block and lack of inspiration can wreak havoc on writing a piece of content as great as you know it should be. No one process is perfect, and oftentimes writers find changing up their routine can give them the inspiration they need to continually create the best content possible.

Feel All Those Feels 

Sometimes the act of sitting down and staring at a blank page is daunting enough to make your brain freeze. And not the good kind of brain freeze caused by a delicious scoop of sea salt caramel gelato; the kind that paralyzes you in front of your computer screen to the point of epic frustration.

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We’ve all been there, and I’m here to tell you that although it can make you feel helpless, the best thing to do is feel all those feels and accept them entirely so you can move past them; even take a few minutes to write down your discontent to get it out of your system. This, coupled with taking comfort in knowing there are tons of different tweaks you can make to your process, can work wonders to get the creative juices flowing again.

Your environment continually dictates your feelings and emotions, so it makes sense that changing it up can work wonders to improve your level of inspiration: Take a break and go for a long walk in the sun. Read a great piece of writing. Bring your laptop outside and rest up against a tree stump for a writing session. Dance around your office for five minutes to your favorite song.

Making small changes to your process can give you the creativity and confidence jump-start to think more openly or from a different, fresh perspective that will lead to better content writing.

Stay Grounded in Logistics

Knowing the reasoning behind content marketing, how and why it works, and the purpose behind your efforts with each piece you produce is another key to creating valuable content.

Having a solid understanding of who you are targeting with your content is a great start and perhaps the most vital. Identify these individuals or groups and do your research on what makes them tick so you can grab their attention and deliver what you know they’ll be interested to learn more about. Your readers will love you for it, and this will position you in their minds as a reputable source that provides valuable content, eventually converting prospects into customers.

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As a writer of the web, it is important to have at least a basic understanding of how content affects your search engine optimization (SEO). Knowing this helps you make decisions you know will work towards getting you the beneficial results that you desire for your business’s efforts, not to mention further position you as an expert on the subject.

Another key point to build upon knowing your SEO is to understand how searches work. Having a thorough grasp of how the most-used engines operate to deliver consumers the content they crave will give you insight into what your content marketing needs to include to keep your rankings where you want them. Check out this nifty article Google put together to help you understand just that in a fun, interactive way.

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Nailing these aspects of writing moving forward will help your efforts produce the results you want, while also providing your readers with the valuable content they desire to help you give them the best possible user experience. We all know this to be the focus of 2016, because you’ve definitely read our part 1 and part 2 posts on it already.

Share to Build

The basis of content writing is to create and share content that your audience finds valuable and compelling, ultimately working towards converting prospects into customers. Once you nail down your compelling writing, you’ll find more people will subscribe to your content and share it with others because they know it will be useful. With consistent writing, especially quality but also quantity, you’ll gradually begin to see a loyal audience build. This doesn’t happen overnight and is a long-term strategy, but one that will be more than worth it for the future of your business.

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Not sure where to start? Have more questions than answers about what you want your content marketing strategy to accomplish? Take a breath; we’re here to help. Drop us a note to learn more about how our team can help your business create a strategy tailored to your needs and to help grow your business.

The Emotional Effects of Color on Your Brand – Part 2

Welcome back to the second installment of colors and what they mean to both your logo and brand image. Let’s start with green.

Green

On an international scale, brands tend to use green in their logos if they’re environmentally inclined, representing values of health, wellness, nature, growth, tranquility, and renewal. Green is commonplace in natural food markets and agriculture-related products. Whole Foods, Animal Planet, Starbucks, and John Deere all utilize emerald-hued logos. It is known to alleviate depression and encourage relaxation, so stores, spas, and businesses use it to promote a calming effect. It is also the color the human eye is most sensitive to and can discern the most shades of.

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Blue

To evoke calmness, trust, and tranquility, think blue. Its strong associations with the ocean and meditation make blue the perfect color for brands that want to bring serenity to a stressful process and lower an onlooker’s blood pressure. Think Dell, AT&T, and Lowes. That’s also why we often see banks, financial companies, and corporate business, such as Chase and Visa, with logos that incorporate the color blue. If a customer is going to make a monetary deal, their intuitive association with the financial institution should give a feeling of calmness a and low-stress environment.

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Purple

Purple speaks of nobility or wisdom. Not only is it most commonly known as the color of royalty, but it also denotes imaginative and creative behavior. Yahoo and Cadbury use purple as the background for their logos, and both brands are instantly recognizable to their consumers. Yahoo goes for the wisdom association with tools that provide both information and inspiration. Cadbury — whose founders once supplied their products to England’s Queen Victoria — embraces the royal connotations of its history with a rich purple hue.

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Black & White

Black and white are often used against each other, with black signifying mystery, power, authority, and sophistication, and white denoting cleanliness, simplicity, and purity. But when combined, they create balance and calmness – think Time Magazine, Wikipedia, and Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network successfully uses black and white to create a simple, balanced logo with the two shades displaying the yin and yang of the brand name itself. “Network” conveys sophistication and can even feel stuffy, but when brought together with “Cartoon,” it plays on the equilibrium of two contradictory ideas.

Bearing in mind the responsive value and connotation of a color can do wonders for your brand. It’s best to work with simple colors, and the impact of a strong and constant hue will help to make your brand unforgettable. Keep it simple and stick to just one or two well-thought-out colors. For help designing a logo and other marketing materials that speak to your consumers and evoke the emotions you want for your brand, contact us. We would love to help your brand find its voice! SMG-Blog-header-blue

The Emotional Effects of Color on Your Brand – Part 1

Did you know color is one of the first things our brains see when registering an image? Since color is your brand’s nonverbal form of communication, it is vital to know how consumers will interpret different colors. This puts a lot of weight on your choice of colors when planning your marketing, from logo design and print work to your website theme. When you harness the right color you can set a mood, convey an emotion, invoke a psychological reaction, or inspire people to take action. First we bring you the meaning behind three different colors.

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Red 

Red is a high arousal color, shown to raise blood pressure, and it gives us a sense of energy, passion, power, strength, youthfulness, and excitement. It is also associated with blood, giving it a feel of intensity. Red demands the viewers’ attention and can stop them in their tracks, stimulating a moment of cautious thought, while calling for action to be taken. Think brands like Coca Cola, Pinterest, Target, Nabisco, and Frito Lay.

Red is seen in both logos and advertisements every day. Brands like Pinterest and Coca Cola are very different companies, but convey power through their logos. Pinterest gives the power to create and Coca Cola provides the power to have fun – both using their iconic red logos. Frito Lay and Nabisco use red for their known ability to stimulate appetite.

Orange 

Orange is a bright hue, reflecting excitement and enthusiasm, that brings both vibrancy and balance to a project. It is friendly, cheerful, and confident. Like red, it demands attention, but it’s a little more muted than the primary color and therefore feels less aggressive. Think Fanta, Crush, Nickelodeon, and Shutterfly.

Because of its association with fruit, orange is often seen in drink logos; Fanta and Crush are both good examples. Orange also sends a message of affordability – think Amazon. Its tone can be subtly seen in the Amazon logo, which is entirely black and white, except for a smiling orange arrow that connects A to Z. It’s not as bold or brash as red would be, but it still catches your eye and gives off a warm feeling.

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Yellow 

Colors can have contradictory meanings, and that’s particularly true when it comes to yellow. While the bright color has some optimistic associations like joy, sunshine, summer, and happiness, there are also negative implications. In some parts of the world, yellow is linked to illness, jealousy, cowardice, betrayal, and hazard.

McDonald’s, Nikon, National Geographic, and Sun Chips all use yellow in a positive way. Each of these companies is very different, but all share a brand color that suggests they bring joy and warmth to consumers’ lives. It has also been shown to stimulate mental processes, and therefore is utilized as a way to grab the attention of window shoppers.

This is only the beginning of colors and what they mean to your logo and branding. Check back later this month to learn what green, blue, purple, black, and white say about your business. If your brand is in need of a color overhaul or you’re just getting starting and would like guidance, we are here to help! Contact us or visit our website to learn more about what we can do for you and your brand image.

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Content Marketing – 6 Tips for Success

Today’s consumers are smarter than ever, increasingly more technologically advanced and armed with a vast amount of information at their fingertips 24/7. By the time consumers reach out to a company about a product or service, the majority of their buying journey is already complete. So how do you reach your audience and make your message stand out? Behold the power of content marketing.

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Offer Value

Perhaps above all else – offer value to customers. You can list features and advantages about your product or service, but at the end of the day people want to know the benefits. Did you know 68% of consumers spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in?  If you miss the mark from the beginning, chances are they will not be interested in learning more about your business and will move on to the next. Make sure you take full advantage of the opportunity to connect with consumers on a personal level by letting them know how you can improve their lives.

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Align Efforts

Having consistency across all platforms is crucial to driving your message home. Not only does this coincide with having brand recognition, but it also ensures that even though you may be reaching your audience through different mediums, the correct information and essence of what your company is all about are translated to each consumer effectively.

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Quality vs. Quantity

Would you rather go to a conference and see 10 motivational speakers that were mediocre or just one that truly inspired you? Your customers feel the same. Consumers want to find valuable, relevant information that speaks to them. Make sure each and every blog post, article, and e-book you produce offers the quality information they are looking for, and not just copious amounts of words that ultimately amount to little.

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Keep it Concise

Brevity is an art that you would be wise to master in today’s fast-paced world. Over 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day. The ability to get your message across to consumers in a simple, concise manner will help to separate you from competitors in the enormous ocean that is marketing and make your message more memorable.

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Implement Visuals

Did you know visuals account for 90% of the processed information that comes into the brain? Use this nugget of knowledge to your advantage by utilizing visuals throughout your content marketing that reinforce your message or purpose. Visuals such as infographics, photos or graphs are more easily retained than text, meaning that in most cases that picture really is worth a thousand words.

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Easily Accessible

All of your efforts for making outstanding content marketing will be for nothing if they are not easily accessible to consumers. Imagine how frustrating it is for people looking for information on your products and services if they can’t find it. Instead, delight the savvy consumer of today by providing them with everything they need to make a purchasing decision right where they are.

These essential tips for creating remarkable content marketing strategies and pieces will set your business up for success and help you provide consumers with the information they crave. They will thank you for it, whether by becoming loyal customers or even big advocates for your brand. Not sure where to start? Learn more about how we can help you and your business by contacting us today.