Posts in Branding
Big SEO For Small Businesses - Online Class!

STRUGGLING WITH GETTING TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE?

Having a hard time mastering Search Engine Optimization? Not even sure what SEO is and how it will even help your business? We're so excited to announce enrollment is opening for the only SEO class you'll ever need.

In it we'll walk you through; what SEO can do for your business, understanding everything that goes into an SEO strategy, and how you can master it to drive more website traffic and more sales.

Everything you've ever needed to know about SEO and how to optimize it all in 15 easy to follow lessons that you can take in your own time and when it benefits you. Not sure you need this class? Let us tell you why you do:

  • 70% of links search users click on are organic.
  • When consumers are exposed to both search and social media influences by a brand, their overall search click-thru-rate went up by 94%.
  • The #1 driver to websites is search, beating out social media by more than 300%.
  • SEO Leads have a 14.6% close rate, while leads from advertising have a 1.7% close rate.*

*Stats courtesy of Search Engine Journal

What You'll Learn

Big SEO For Small Businesses, is a 15 module course designed to walk you through everything you need to create a comprehensive SEO strategy that will drive more traffic to your website and help convert that traffic into sales.  Learn More!

How Important Is A Style Guide?

In the past we've talked a lot about branding and how important staying true to it can be for your company. And to any brand-conscious business, the style guide may seem like a natural extension of that. Logos, colors, fonts and tags can be imperative to a brand's style, image and reputation in the community, however, how strictly does a brand need to stick to this guide? Is it better to be rigid with your brand's interpretation, or is it better to stay loose and go with the flow?

In my opinion, the first thing I would say is that a style guide IS important. Letting your vendors, clients, employees and advertising reps know the fonts, colors and layout that are important to your brand is a good thing, and ensures that you're being represented in a clear and concise way. It prevents some confusion, and easily lets everyone know how to represent your brand in social media posts, press releases, on signage and in advertisements.

It also helps you establish a "tone" or "style" for your brand when you're being communicated or talked about by other people. Do you want to come across as formal or informal? Are there words you like, or definitely don't want to be used, when referencing your company?

Your style guide doesn't have to be anything too complicated or complex. Create a word doc or PDF that includes any (or all) of the following:

  • A picture of the logo and any size, coloration or placement guidelines
  • Specific colors (primary and secondary)
  • Specific fonts (and when they should be used)
  • Voice and style guide of words, phrases and the tone of your business
  • A social media/advertising guide to what is ok to be talked about online or in ads and what is not
  • Your core mission statement or purpose
  • Your brand or product differentiators 
  • Target demographic or audience

That being said, I'm never one for being too rigid or holding too tight to a certain set of rules. I believe that life is all about bending and flowing and doing what's right for not just your brand, but for the situation in which your brand is being represented.

A good rule of thumb is to ensure that at least 1 or 2 of the tangible pieces of your style guide is represented at all times. Maybe the color of a sign or advertisement doesn't make sense with your brand's colors. So if you're going to allow a different color, make sure your fonts and layout of your logo is represented correctly.

Allowing your brand to be loose and flexible, while still holding true to a few core representations, opens your brand up to a world of opportunities, however, ensures your company will always be represented in a way that you are comfortable with.  

Should You Have A Personal Brand?
 
 

Recently I've been working on a personal branding class that I decided to take one day on whim. In case you don't know what that is, a personal brand is when someone markets themselves and their careers as a brand. That means that outside of Hub Digital, I would make steps towards branding myself, Amy Fields (or Amy Levesque if that's how you know me) as a marketing expert.

I decided to do this for a few reasons. The first is exactly what I said above. Since getting married, I've struggled with keeping my professional identity, while transitioning to my new married name. It wasn't until I went to change it, that I realized what a strong presence that name had when it came to my current and potential clients. I knew that if I was going to go by my new name, I have to create just as strong a connection to it.

The other reason I knew that creating a personal brand was important, was because I started to realize that my clients were hiring me, not Hub Digital. They were signing contracts and sending checks based on me, my personality and my knowledge of marketing. They could care less what the name of my company was, or what color my logo was. They wanted to hire someone they trusted, could connect with and knew would do the best job for them.

If your business is like mine, where trust and connection with you plays a big part in the purchasing (or hiring) process, then a personal brand may be something worth considering. By creating visuals, sayings and emotions around you, that can be that little extra push potential clients or customers may need when deciding.

A few things to keep in mind when considering your personal brand:

- What are a few key words or phrases that you want potential customers to think of when they see or talk about you? What do you want to be known for? Writing them down can help you remember and implement them in your messaging.
- What are some visual elements that you want people to associate with you? This can range from anything like colors and fonts, to iconic clothing or hair colors. People are much more likely to remember striking visuals so you have to give them something to remember.
- Are you using your authentic voice online? How a business talks and a person talks online is completely different. People expect businesses to be buttoned up, but they expect people to be real. Don't be afraid to be a little casual, vulnerable and authentic when sharing content online.

What is Branding?
 
Branding your company can help your customers recognize your business, product and service, and help with yoru marketing.
 

 

If you've ever talked to a marketer before, you've probably heard them throw around the term “branding”. Along with words like “engagement”, “synergy” and “hashtag” it’s probably one of our favorite things to say to current and prospective clients. But what does it actually mean? And how can you apply it to your business?

“Branding” refers to the colors, logos, tag lines and overall character that belong to a particular product or service. By “branding” your company, you are creating essentially a trademark that defines who and what you are. Having a strong brand presence is important if you want your customers to be able to recognize your company when they see your advertising, your signs, your printed materials, and your website.

Here’s a few tips to keep your branding consistent throughout all the various ways you promote yourself.

  1. Have specific colors, fonts and graphics for your brand, and use only them. It’s easy to say, “My company uses the color blue”. We’re on the right track here, but the color blue can come in a variety of shades from navy to robin’s egg to “cerulean" and “blizzard”. Picking a specific color (with a specific number attached) and font, and insisting that they be used on all of your marketing materials, can help ensure a uniform presence. 
  2. Say the same message. This one is pretty simple. Don’t publish a 20% off sale on your Facebook page, while an ad for $15 off a $50 purchase is running on a few websites. You can promote different products or services on different platforms, but make sure the messages meld together and don’t compete or else you’re going to get confusion among your customers (and headaches for your staff).
  3. Create your brand around your customers. This one can be a little tougher. Think about your prospective audience and what they may like and feel a connection with. As an example, a clothing line made for the beach, looks odd paired with a heavy, victorian font and dark colors. Your audience is fun, probably young and into the outdoors. Soft, fluid script that mirrors the ocean waves and light colors evoke a feeling of summer and sand with your potential patrons.

Branding may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in a variety of styles and messaging as your explore what works best for your brand. Don’t be afraid of trying new things, but make sure you aren't losing who you are, and confusing your customers in the process.