Posts written by Kaley Wichman

Social media a must for small businesses

Among the countless other tasks that you should be performing every day, social media should be somewhere on the ‘not to be ignored’ list.

In a B2B report in 2015, 93 percent of small businesses in North America use social media content, other than blogs, as a marketing tactic, and experts say that small-business marketers continue to increase their focus on social media every day.”

Plus, posting your images and updates are completely free, which makes it a no brainer if marketing budget is a concern. But, you’ll need to make sure your posts have strategic discipline. Keeping personal opinions about hot topic issues off your business page is essential to its success.

Use your social media pages to tell your customers about special deals and promotions you might be having, updates into employees successes, photos of your office or work being done (before / after pictures) and event invitations for any hosted even you may have.

Source: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2015/07/30/business-age-social-media/30886859/

What are Digital Products Anyway?

So here we are, Visual Construction, designers, developers, coders of digital products…but what the heck are they anyway?

Simple answer: any product or item that can be stored or used electronically.

Types of Digital Products
Websites – store your data and bring potential customers to your business
Mobile Apps – provide your audience with helpful or playful outlet on their mobile devices
E-Books – Published and downloadable for readers worldwide
Web Ads (Google Adwords, Bing Ads, ect.) – A paid per view advertisement to specific audience searching for your product

And that is just a beginning list, there is an endless opportunity for the development of digital products.

Why Bother With A Web Presence?

To most business owners the thought of having a website is both exciting and intimidating. It’s not enough anymore to just have a simple functioning website. Now it seems everything is interactive with pop up windows, chat functions, electronic forms, and blogs. The upkeep of these features can also be time consuming and you might wonder if it’s really worth the effort for your business.

A web presence isn’t necessarily about the flashy elements. The most important part of developing a web presence is how different tools can boost your marketing plan and, in turn, grow your business.

First, be smart about what you incorporate based on the type of customers you have now and will have in the future. Gone are the days when people would simply open up a phone book to find what they are looking for. The generations that are entering the work force, and are now starting to get more of a footing in industries, have been trained to go to the web for information first. So when evaluating what to tackle first for your digital marketing plan keep these topics in mind:

  • People will first go to a search engine and will pick from the top 3 links that appear in the results. Look into ways to get your business into the top 3 results. Believe it or not you can help improve your ‘search rank’ even as a smaller business.
  • After they find you, your website will do most of the business selling for you. Think of your website as a sales staff member, you wouldn’t pay your top sales member the least amount of money. Don’t skimp on this tool, you don’t need to have all the bells and whistles but usability is very important. Take the time to test your website and get feed back. Make sure that it is working the way it should to make information intuitive and easy to get to.
  • Online advertising is everywhere. Banners, radio ads and other methods are a great way to get new customers or direct your current customers back again and again.
  • Social media probably sounds like the most time consuming but it can be one of the fastest ways to get news out to followers. Plus it’s free and can be one of the most fun advertising tools you have access to.
  • Emails are another way to communicate and you don’t have to be a web programmer to do them either. There are many sites that have email templates designed for anyone to use.

Not every business will use or even need all of these possibilities. Each company has a different level of digital marketing needed from beginner to more advanced. If you can’t do everything then focus on the first two points; the others can always be added later.

The Power of a Logo

Do you need a logo? A sharp, memorable, easy to recognize logo? You betcha!

A logo is a combination of words and visual icons that gives your business an identity. It tells potential customers the name of your company (and if designed effectively, a little about your company). The ultimate goal of any logo is to provide a symbolic connection to your business. For example, if you saw ‘the swoosh’ you’d think Nike — now that’s iconic symbolism.

What make a good logo?

Your logo should be super clean and readable. Potential customers won’t associate your business without being able to read the name at a distance. Imagine your logo on the side of your vehicle, passing cars on the interstate at 70 mph – the logo needs to be easy to read. You can also plan color association to evoke even more emotion from potential customers. (See Color Psychology Here)

You should use the logo consistently, and have standards of how the logo is used. This one piece of business information will be used on everything. (And we’re not exaggerating…everything) From business cards to building signage, t-shirts, vehicle wraps, websites, and more, your logo has to look good in a variety of different scenarios. If you want a few different versions of your logo, say vertical and horizontal, with text and just the icon, make sure to identify the correct usages for the logos so that they are used consistently.

So we’ve convinced you, you need an (updated) logo, but where do you start. We’d recommend having your logo professional designed. And although there are some very cheap solutions out there, trusting in a professional to help create your symbolism is important. You wouldn’t trust your dentist to switch out your brakes or your plumber to draw your blood, design is kinda the same thing.

Most of the time, small design firms or print houses will spend time getting to know you, the brand, and your expectations as well as give you several options and rounds of revisions to find the best fit for you at a lower cost that large ad agencies. Also, prior to hiring the firm to design your logo, take a look at their portfolio, see if you like their style and if it would be a good fit for you. You can also always bring some samples of what you like and what you don’t like, it gives even the most visual designers a visual place to start!

Creating Sales – Why branding is more than a product

In today’s world, brands surround us. From our favorite (soda) pop to shampoo to even make of car, you’ve got a favorite. And when I say picture your favorite (soda) pop, you’re probably thinking about a strong image, tagline, or descriptive words that make it stand above the rest, but why?

Good branding today, goes far beyond just the product the brand represents. It should be a way of life for your company, from the way your present content, to the colors and images in your logo, even as the packaging of the final products. Branding is a challenge that evokes movement from potential customers. Without a brand, there is no movement towards your company. Actually, there may be movement toward your competitor. Brands are meant to induce a feeling, but it’s up to you (and preferably the Visual Construction Marketing Team) to decide what your customers feel. After all, people aren’t loyal to products, they’re loyal to brands.