Marketing Makeovers: Updating Your Business Brand

By Tricia Allenson

Just like when it comes to clothing, branding trends change often and quickly.  For instance, we’re currently seeing a tendency towards more minimalistic logos and website layouts.  People are looking for clean, straightforward interfaces. Hardcopy is out, and designs that are more at home on a screen are in.  Today’s customers will quickly judge you based off of your brand and website.  And believe us, they have opinions on everything—even fonts!  

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But how can you tell if your business is in need of some rebranding action?  Here are a few signs that it's time to declutter and bring your company into the current decade

·      You haven’t changed your logo, colors, headshot or website in five or more years.  Now more than ever, life moves quickly.  If you don’t keep pace, it—and, more importantly, your customers—will leave you in the dust.

·      Customers are unclear about your mission statement.  Successful businesses evolve, grow, and change.  Chances are, your brand has failed to keep up.  Rebranding can introduce and absorb new aspects that have become a part of your business.  Again, like with clothes—you’re (probably) not wearing the same pair of jeans you wore five years ago.  So why are you still dressing your business like it’s 2013?

·      You want to reach a new audience.  Perhaps your branding has been successful with your core group of loyal customers, but to grow your business you need to reach out to a new base.  This can mean a certain amount of revamping your current corporate image.  This could take several different forms.  You could create a new brand name, adjust your color schemes, or more.

·      Your industry has changed.  With the introduction and prevalence of the web, there isn’t a single industry that looks or works the same way that it did a decade ago, or two decades ago, or three, or—you get the gist.  We’ve seen the rise and fall of many brick-and-mortar mainstays as retail has overwhelmingly turned to online markets.  Make sure that your current branding is successful in connecting your market to your customers.

·      Your product is great, but your branding falls flat.  The best example of this can be found in auto repair.  Drive through any small town in America and you’ll see them—Tom’s Tires or Greenville Muffler.  Both of these hypothetical businesses offer full service for cars, but you wouldn’t know it to read their names.  Make sure your branding is an accurate reflection of ALL the products and services your business has to offer.

Rebranding can feel like a giant task.  Sometimes it can help to think of it like cleaning out your closet.  It feels daunting at the start, but once you get going you’ll find the results well worth your efforts.  Your business—and customers—will thank you.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

By Tricia Allenson

There’s no denying that today’s marketing world is becoming increasingly visual, and it's more important than ever that you adapt to that strategically. You still need a solid message, but increasingly, you also need supporting visuals with every post or tweet. This is because, with the surge of content across all social platforms, the competition for attention is tougher than ever.

To stand out, and to stay top of mind, you need to catch our eyes. Visuals have the power to reinforce your marketing messages. If you aren’t using visuals consistently as a part of your social media marketing, you are missing out on some serious action.

Here are some reasons why visuals should be a vital part of your content strategy:

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They reinforce your brand: How you use your brand affects how your brand is perceived and interpreted. A strong branded visual used in your social media posts can make a small company seem more powerful or demonstrate strength. Adding your brand to visuals like quotes (see example), can contribute to brand recognition and identity, and is an essential part of making an impact with visual content. Knowing how to use these visuals can contribute to brand perception and spread brand awareness.

They make a lasting impression: Images, graphics, and colors make customers feel a certain way, remember a particular message, and form opinions about a brand. In fact, visual presentations have been proven to stick in a person’s memory up to six times longer than written or verbal information; our brains are essentially wired to respond more enthusiastically to images than to words. Seth Godin writes, "The world is full of boring stuff – brown cows – which is why so few people pay attention, Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service."

They do some heavy lifting: Relevant visual content is an extremely powerful tool. It can simplify a complex issue, and illustrate your point, and even tell a story in a distinct way that text can’t always easily accomplish.

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They’re a fast track to emotional connection: A popular adage states that people will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. The effectiveness of visual content can be further enhanced with the use of the RIGHT emotions. Visual stimulation can create a visceral reaction by evoking a feeling that may even be subconscious. For example, this photo brings out the feelings of security and positivity with both the colors and the people, appealing to the idea of family and the warmth it creates as an association.

They encourage sharing: Social media is awash in visual content. Users love to share and repost visuals, and there are no signs of this slowing down. To avoid being left out of this share-a-thon, give your customers relevant, high-quality visuals to spread far and wide on your behalf. Upwards of 60 percent of the content shared on the world’s leading social media sites are imagery, according to research done by marketing expert Hubspot. That percentage only continues to grow especially as social media becomes more ingrained in our psyche.

Choosing the right type of visual content matters. Each kind, be they photos, infographics, videos, gifs, etc., convey different meanings and pursue different goals – finding the right combination of text and visual content is the key to making your business stand out and claiming your share of attention from your target audience.

So if your business isn’t leveraging visual marketing -- it’s time to get started. Limelight Marketing Systems has a team of graphic designers wizards who have the experience to make imagery work in your favor. Fill out our branding survey and get started today! Questions? Email, call/text Tricia at 952-212-7598.

Give Your Business a Voice!

Happy Spring! The start of a new season is always a good time to try some new things. And we’re not talking about a diet or crossing things off your bucket list. We’re talking about trying new content for your business. Blog content, in particular, is a great way to connect with existing readers AND reach new audiences.

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Research shows that buyers like to read around 3-5 examples of content before considering buying from or contacting a business. If your business doesn’t have a blog, you’re flirting with being overlooked by consumers.

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are just a couple of the many reasons why you should consider upping your blog game to give your business a fresh voice in 2018.

Show off your expertise

Nothing gives your business a voice quite like a blog. When you blog, you get to speak directly to your audience, which is a great opportunity to show visitors to your site why you are the right choice.

A well-written blog that shows off what you know about your industry goes a long way to establishing trust with your audience. Readers will look to you for your authority, which makes it more likely that they’ll turn to you when they’re ready to buy.

Build a foundation to improve your SEO rankings

Search engines reward value-dense content. A consistently updated, quality blog will send and keep you at the top of the rankings when people search your type of business.

Re-purpose your content

Once you have your blog written, you will post it on your website, publish it on Linked-In, push it out in your monthly eNewsletter and of course re-purpose it on Facebook and Twitter too. Just one blog article can go a long way in your marketing.

Strengthen your brand

A blog can be seen as an extension of your “about” page. It’s a place to share your philosophy of how you approach your business and to show readers that you are keeping up with your industry’s latest trends.

However, a word of warning. Keep in mind that quality is preferable to quantity where your blog is concerned. Mediocre or sub-par content won’t do you any favors. Unless you are a talented writer and you actually have time to write, you don’t actually have to do the writing at all! Outsource to a “ghost writer” and voilà, you’ve got yourself a professionally written piece with YOUR very own by-line. 

Just like your business, a blog can be ever-evolving. You can invite guest posts, experiment with different kinds of media, curate content from outside sources or hire a ghostwriter. The important thing is to utilize this vital tool.

Perhaps the biggest reason to give your business a voice through diligent blogging is that your competitors are already doing it. Don’t get left behind!

Need help on getting started? Contact tricia@thelimelightteam.com or visit our website!