5 Ways Brands Can Optimize their Digital Presence

 
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You can’t be everything to everyone but you can maximize your efforts to reach your core audience

In 2018 internet usage grew 7% and social media usage increased by 13%.

With the increase of smartphone users around the world, this number is only projected to increase in 2019.

At this point, everyone knows you need a strong digital presence for your business. Increasingly business needs to be “phigital.”This means they need to have a presence online and in-person and merge the experiences to meet the expectations set by things like the Museum of Ice Cream or Refinery 29’s Rooms.

You can learn how to do it all yourself, but that takes you away from other parts of your business.

What should you do? Here are some helpful tips anyone can use.

1) Choose a Target Audience: You can’t be everything to everyone, think about your sales plan and what areas you want to grow, areas where you want to maintain sales, or areas where you want to deepen awareness. We work with a lot of clients who are targeting Millennials, Generation Z, and Latinx’s. Think about who you want to reach and what unique value you offer them.

2) Stand for Something: According to Edelman, “Belief-Driven Buyers are now the majority. 64 percent of people choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues.” What does this mean? Don’t shy away from industry issues and from discussing them on social media. This is where it helps to work with someone who will help you align your messaging about issues so everyone in your organization is on the same page.

Make sure your mission and purpose are clear.

3) Transparency: People will also want to know more about your supply-chain, where you get your products, and who makes your items. Make efforts to earn the trust of your audience and admit when you make a mistake or that there are things you are improving. Take a look at companies like Everlane and our client All For Ramon who are transparent about how their products are made. It’s not just about putting out a political t-shirt but about truly being conscious about your business is impacting the world.

4) Video: In the upcoming months and year vertical video will become the norm. With the increased use of smartphones, all video you create should be optimized for this medium. We aren’t just talking about your traditional video, but LIVE video, drone videos, and other tools to bring viewers into the action. Your digital marketing strategy MUST include video. The good news is that increasingly tools are available to help create a high-quality video with ease or you can always outsource your strategy too!

A brand video is no longer an option, it's a requirement for social media and your website.

5) Augmented Reality: Yes, it’s here! Those face filters you see on social are a form of augmented reality and in the coming months, you will see more brands creating their own. Currently, Instagram is allowing big companies like Adidas to experiment with a new feature that allows you to submit your own. We predict events will continue to create face filters to merge the physical and digital experiences. We are not sure when this will be available to everyone but we predict this will become a trend you don’t want to miss out on in 2019. Learn more here.

Whatever your capacity make sure you have a strategy that incorporates these 5 assets to ensure your brand stays relevant in a changing world.


5 Mistakes All Small Business Owners and Founders Make

 

We are all guilty of at least one of these. But we can always correct our course of action.

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It’s year 3 of our business journey. At this point, I could write a book about the mistakes I have made. It has been like college, except I got really good grades in college and it was fairly easy for me in some areas. Self-employment, freelance, small-biz owner life has, on the other hand, has kicked my Latinx a**.

I’ve also had the privilege of working with dozens of founders, small and mid-size founders, and big organizations and I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the crazy.

Here are some common mistakes we hope you can avoid:

  1. Thinking You Should/Can Do Everything Yourself: We know the feeling, you have a small budget or limited investment funds and so you decide you are going to do everything and anything for your business. You become a webmaster, digital marketing exec. payroll, social media manager and everything in between. While this can seem like a cost-saving measure, it can cost you more in the long run in mistakes and efforts that have to be duplicated correctly later.

You can do your own Facebook Ads and throw money out there or hire someone to do it strategically.

Yes, sometimes you have to bootstrap but some things are not worth trying to do yourself. I tried doing my own accounting and ended up with a tangle of receipts that cost us money in the long run. We always ask our clients how many hours they are dedicating to their digital marketing and assess if this is something they can do or if they should outsource it.

2. Overestimating the Importance of Instagram: We love Instagram. But we’ve met with founders who have thousands of followers but are not making sales. It’s true that brands are seeing tremendous growth on this platform. But YOU NEED TO BUILD YOUR LIST, use Google Ad Words, and develop a kick-ass product. Do not build your audience exclusively on a platform that you don’t have full control over.

Instagram is one tool but it’s not the ONLY tool. Instagram should be where you connect and give tidbits of your brand values, products etc. but you should have a website that converts, re-targeting ads and a series of marketing strategies in place.

3. Unless You Have A Trust Fund, Don’t Quit Your Day Job Right Away:We believe in you, we do, but we also know what it’s like to strapped for cash and we don’t want that stress on your shoulders. If you have savings have a realistic assessment of how long that is going to last you. If you have a full-time job that is keeping your business going think strategically about the timing of switching to making your side-hustle your full-time hustle. We want you to dream big but be realistic about what you can handle. I know it seems like people are overnight successes but in reality, you don’t know their situation or how long they have been working behind the scenes.

4. Not Having Sales Goals: You don’t need sales goals of course not, your product is awesome and your website is going to crash from sales and demands for your services(Wink, Wink). We fully hope this happens to you! We believe founders need a goal, the point isn’t to meet the goal but to work as hard as you can to get close. Otherwise, you are just floating in the internet ether. You can’t predict the future of course so let’s be prepared just in case. There is science to this and we recommend you read the book called Profit First for that and then just think BIG. Develop a goal based on what you know about your biz/product for the year and break it down into quarterly goals, and then determine how you will promote your product offerings, products etc. You can start small if your business is new. Look at this document regularly, this will help you start thinking smarter about everything you do.

5. Thinking It’s Going To Be Easy: This is the biggest mistake. Social media makes you think that starting a business is just inspirational quotes, and pictures of salads and Kombucha.

This life isn’t as glamorous as think it is, it’s mostly a bunch of people in their pajamas, and matted hair working a ton of hours.

There is going to be days of elation and excitement and days where you try to remember why you started. This is why when we work with founders we always guide them back to their why. When you know why you are doing this it will help you get through the hard days and sleepless nights.

What’s the one thing you wish you knew when you started your journey?

 

How to Create Content that Converts in 2019

 

We scoured the internet for the latest trends in digital marketing.

We know you are busy so here are the top 3:

1) Color: Pantone color of the year is living coral. This is one of our favorite colors (check out our branding! This color will start to pop-up everywhere so think about how this color can co-exist with your current brand.

2) Living in Video: This isn’t surprising, but video is going to continue to grow in presence. Static photos will just not do it anymore. Talk to us about your digital strategy and how we can incorporate video.

3) Stand for Something: Gone are the days where brands remained neutral and quiet about their values or ethos. Brands from Nike are going BOLD. Corporate responsibility is no longer an option. We always guide our clients to lead with their values and their big WHY. This will matter in 2019 more than ever before.

Tell us how will incorporate these trends in your branding and marketing this year.