Tag : digital media Vancouver

Brand Storytelling 101: Telling Your Story To Maximize Loyalty

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Do you want your brand to resonate? To truly embed your brand in the mind of customers, you need to establish a personal connection through a well-told brand story. The most powerful brand stories build trust while driving home the core values of the company. Make an effort to cultivate a compelling narrative and you’ll be rewarded not only with more revenue, but consumer loyalty as well

Tell Them, Don’t Sell Them

Selling a product or service is the end goal, of course, but the point of a brand story is to sell yourself or the company to create rapport. Consumers are quickly adapting to evolving marketing strategies and they can see a sales pitch coming from a mile away. If they catch even the slightest whiff that you’re deceptively pushing a product they will just as easily move on.

The Lego Movie was a great example of this notion done right. While the product is Lego, they never directly tell you to purchase it throughout the film. Instead, they open the viewers’ eyes to the possibilities of what Lego is capable of through an animated world constructed entirely out of their building blocks. By the end, you forget that you’re watching a 90-minute advertisement for Lego, but instead a fun, creative story for the whole family.

Choose The Right Platform

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The method in which you push your brand story is a factor worth considering. Through blog posts, speeches, videos or case studies on social media, the delivery is solely dependent on what you’re selling and whom you’re trying to reach. Choose a medium that’s true to your business and conveys your story in a way that will leave the greatest impact.

Social media allows direct contact with customers who are willing to express opinions about your services. This is an opportunity to share or retweet positive anecdotes and have real people become your brand ambassadors. It’s also a place to target your narrative to a more intimate audience. With copious amount of analytics available, you can real-time track how people are reading and reacting to your story.

Clean. Concise. Clear.

Let’s face it, the rise of digital media has reduced our collective attention spans and the average consumer has no time to read fluff. Keep this in mind when drafting your story; get to the point and cut what doesn’t need to be there. Grammar and readability need to be put forth so the average reader can digest your message with ease.

Less Stats, More Story

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An essential step in crafting a brand story is focusing less on the statistical side (graphs, charts, and figures), and more on the deeper, emotional level. Studies conducted with neuro-imagery suggest that when evaluating brands people use personal feelings and experiences over brand attributes and features. Ask yourself, why are people willing to pay more for a brand when they can buy a comparable product for cheaper? The answer is the emotional attachment.

When the decision-making happens in-store, people draw on past experiences and how they connect with the brand to help sway their choice. Connect on a human level and pull the reader in from the beginning. Personal anecdotes about the people behind the brand, their values and how they were brought up, will likely resonate more with the consumer than mere product or service features. Consumers should be so imbued after reading a brand story, that they want to spend their money, not just on its offerings, but to be a part of its journey.

Some brands enlist the aid of professional writers to draft their story. The wording is so important because if the audience reads something dull it could reflect on the company as a whole. Alternatively, if a brand story is inspiring it can serve as a catalyst rather than a trap.

Tell your story, be proud of it and your brand will resonate.

How To Use Content Marketing To Grow Your Business

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Marketing has changed; long gone are the “Mad Men” days of advertising thanks to the development of social media and a much more connected consumer landscape. We’ve become desensitized to advertising, even finding new ways to completely block it from our lives; we use DVR to skip commercials, or stream content without ads altogether, that flashy banner ad to win a free iPad doesn’t get the same traction as it used to and ad blocker software removes advertising completely. So in a world where consumers are actively avoiding marketing efforts, content marketing is proving to be a direct means of reaching the right audience in an organic way. Keeping that in mind, there are a few tips that can strengthen your reach when it comes to content marketing:

1. Go Beyond ‘Traditional’ Social Media Outlets

At this point Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are all household names. While each of these platforms still hold strong value add for exposing your brand, there are other social media platforms that shouldn’t be ignored. Other social media avenues such as LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, and Snapchat have effective user response rates too. Why limit yourself to the audience of the three major players when there’s plenty of untapped potential by reaching out to the other ones? The key here is determining your audience and which platforms reach them most effectively. Looking for B2B outreach? LinkedIn is likely your best candidate; pitching a consumer product to a millennial demographic? Snapchat could be the tool for you. Try not to extend yourself on too many platforms at once for social media marketing. Effectively managing a few at a time with regular, original content will be far more beneficial than spreading yourself too thin across a multitude of platforms.

Brix-media-content-marketing-seo2. Write With SEO In Mind

When it comes to having a presence on the web, Google is the undisputed gatekeeper; playing within the search engine’s rules will offer a huge boost to your SEO. Research the best practices for SEO with Google’s up-to-date algorithms and look for the most searched keywords for your topic. This will help you develop copy on your post to help increase your site’s visibility with those keywords. The more consistency in your posts, the more love Google will show in return.

3. Cross Promote Content

The concept of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” rings true when it comes to content marketing. When writing a post, create links to other websites with relevant topics. Try reaching out to the editors and let them know that you’ve included links to their content; many websites will return the favour and link back to you for future posts. Also, by guest blogging on other sites, you can sway potentially new readers into checking out what you have to offer on your own site.

3. Include Eye-Popping Visuals

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This should come as no surprise but content with relevant images get 94 percent more views than those without. That isn’t a small difference, therefore a graphic included on every post should be mandatory, as long as the imagery is associated with the content. If your post is heavy on statistics, try creating an infographic to make the information stand out, the colorful layout and simplistic design is more likely to be consumed.

5. Reach Out To Influencers In Your Field

Rather than reaching out to an entire demographic to promote your brand, try finding the major players within that field. Bloggers, industry experts and case studies can also help spread the word. Getting one person to share your content within their network opens you up to an entire group of potential buyers who are influenced by their recommendation. It’s all about building relationships!

Content Marketing creatively puts your brand in the minds of consumers but remember that all of these efforts will be in vain if your content isn’t engaging or interesting. Be sure to eliminate any industry jargon and break copy into smaller, digestible chunks so it’s accessible for the average reader.

 

4 Tips to Build a Logo That Will Leave an Impression

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There are varying opinions as to what determines a successful logo design. Some believe all logos should be simple and iconic like Apple, McDonald’s and FedEx – where intricacies are kept to a minimum in order to achieve a bold and timeless look. Others prefer typographic logos that highlight the company’s name such as Google, or illustrative logos that tell a story about the business like Starbucks. Regardless of aesthetic preferences most can agree, the core function of a logo is to stimulate brand awareness and maximize marketing potential.

These 4 tips will help create a logo with a lasting impact

1. Invest
First, determine the budget you’re working with. Investing in a logo is one of the most important first steps of brand development. Prices can range from $200 to upwards of $200,000. Factors that impact the price such as project requirements, timeline and agency experience. Like any design element, logos are not a commodity. The value of a memorable trademark cannot be calculated by how many hours it takes to create it. While emerging contest and freelance bidding websites like 99designs and Designhill may seem attractive to new business owners, a logo design with an inexpensive price tag may have repercussions. By using these sites you are at risk of engaging with inexperienced artists, receiving little or no communication and even plagiarism. Be sure to choose a designer who will work closely with you and encourage useful feedback.

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2. Detailed brief
Developing an effective design brief is critical in ensuring a successful outcome. A brief is a document outlining business objectives and corresponding design strategies. It gets the creative juices flowing and helps the designer think strategically about design solutions. Design briefs can take on various forms but should always include a summary of the project, project goals, target audience, project specifications and timeline.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of color
When thinking about a logo for your business, it is important to take into account the way people interpret color. The use of color can bring multiple layers of meaning, from primitive responses based on millions of years of evolved instinct to associations we make based on personal experiences. Psychologists have studied how people are affected by color and found there is a strong correlation between color and emotional response, therefore it is closely tied to how a brand is understood. For example, restaurants like Pizza Hut, KFC and Tim Horton’s use red in their logos to stimulate hunger. Black, white, silver and gold are often used in the logos of luxury brands like Prada and Michael Kors to enhance the feeling of sophistication.

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Piccolo is a strong example of incorporating color into branding. As a children’s design company, the bright texture appeals to our visual senses encouraging creativity. Brighter hues stimulate feelings of energy and evoke a strong response or reaction.

4. Give useful feedback
Your designer may actually present a logo that is close to what you’re looking for, but there are often revisions needed. It’s up to you to communicate your needs and provide the designer with specific feedback that is useful. Instead of saying, “I don’t like any of them,” try to articulate what you’d like to see more of and have some examples of what you do like. Offer clear direction without taking over. If you have found a designer that you feel understands your needs, you can be confident he or she will present you with quality work.

Five Tips for Building your Personal Brand Online

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In an era where owned media channels are just as valuable as traditional, building your personal brand has never been more valuable. However, just as Apple or Nike have carefully and consistently built their public image over decades, carving out your personal brand requires establishing a clear vision for your unique voice, image and value proposition to the audience you’re trying to curate. It is essential to have an understanding of these points before you start sharing ‘you’ in a massively cluttered space – the Internet.

Here are 5 ways to give you a jump-start on building your personal brand:

Brix-Media-Co-Personal Branding1. Identify what sets you apart. The Internet has infinite space and plenty of personal brands, so how are you going to stand out? This is Marketing 101. You’ve got a killer product – it’s you. But how are you going to sell it? Start by defining your character and know what your unique selling points are. Never say things in the usual way and win the customers (followers) attention with content; visuals, words and phrases that are new, surprising, and different. The objective of personal branding is to build a relationship with a customer or follower who is excited and confident in what you are offering.

2. Leverage your credentials. What is your personal brand offering and how is it adding value to the lives of your potential followers or customers? It’s important to clearly identify the product or service your personal brand specializes in – something that can be backed up. If you have the skills, you should show them but only at the right times and through the right channels. Leverage your niche and showcase what makes you special in a way that encourages customers and followers to engage and share. Produce content that adds value to the lives of your customers and keeps your personal brand “on brand.”  

3. Agonize over consistency. Be on brand for yourself. It’s easy to share anything and everything but it can easily come across as forced or insincere – and nobody likes that. What you put out should be consistent and relevant with what you have identified yourself to be. Ask yourself – is this what my brand is about and does it makes sense for my audience?

Visuals– The digital world is dominated by visuals. It’s also important that you’re consistent in how you visually represent your brand. I.e. using the same colour palette, fonts and filters. If you’re clear on your message you will build a consistent brand experience for your fans and followers. Fashion blogger and influencer Mary Seng of Happily Grey is a perfect example of this. True to her name, her colour palette throughout all her social media channels is mostly grey, white and black.

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Model: Why brand consistency is important!
Consistency = Trust and Trust = Customers. Be consistent.

4. Make Friends with the Internet. Be engaged – and not selfishly. Share and support other like-minded individuals by giving a little love to the digital community around you. Be collaborative – give without the expectation of return and you’ll be surprised what the digital world gives back. Take for example, Apple’s collaboration with Hermes. Aside from improving their image and spreading awareness with further reach, they were able to resonate with a larger audience by joining forces.

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5. Be real.  People are seeking the human side of any brand – a side that allows them to connect on a personal level. It is important to be true to yourself and your audience. You don’t have to come across as an expert in everything. Thought leaders tap into their talents, experience and passion for their business. Don’t try and be something you’re not. This allows your audience to build trust in you and your brand.