Ah, what to blog about? The task can seem daunting to some. Let’s simplify your blog strategy and start driving more traffic to your site!
To start, let’s view this like we would a business plan. Think about your niche and what your business has to offer. You will want to write blog topics that go hand-in-hand with your business. Random topics that have nothing to do with your line of work should be avoided.
Let’s say you are a General Contractor. You will need to write about topics that go along with your trade. Here are some ideas:
What To Look For When Selecting a General Contractor
Five Crucial Things To Consider When Selecting A House Plan
The Best Time To Start Building Your Dream Home
Do Some Research!
See what your local and national competitors are writing about. It is important to research both as your local competitors are who you are challenged by on a daily basis. National leaders can help paint a bigger picture- it’s always important to aim high with your goals!
This is a biggie. Without good SEO, your blog will not reach your intended audience. It’s ok if this is over your head. You can always hire help!
Break up your text with engaging visuals. Bonus points if this is your own imagery! Stock photos are acceptable, but your viewers want to see the real, raw content!
Scheduling Your Blog
If you are just starting out, plan to write two blog posts a month. Once every other week is perfectly fine and will give you adequate time to write an exceptional blog post!
Spooky season has arrived! Do you have a case of the October Marketing Scaries? We’re here to help!
We have combined some great ideas to market your business this October.
FOR ONLINE BUSINESSES
Get people active on social media by engaging and having fun with your business page. Give out some kind of recognition or prize for these ideas:
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Tag us in your favorite Halloween Costume
Kid’s Edition: Share your child’s costume and receive a $10 gift card
Best Halloween Decorations: Tag us for a chance to win our Halloween Giveaway Basket!
At least once in October, send out a festive Halloween email campaign. This can be light-hearted and fun. Fill your email with all the fun graphics… Think jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, goblins, vampires – all the fun stuff!
Share a fun photo of your employees dressed up the year prior. People want to get to know you better!
FOR BRICK & MORTAR STORES
Make your storefront a beautiful background for passerby’s to take family photos. Make sure your brand name is noticeable at all angles of where the photo may be taken. When people share their photos on social media, that’s free marketing for you!
Schedule a Halloween open-house and give away candy to the kiddos! If your store is targeted more towards adults, host a fall open-house with a unique autumn twist like “Boos and Brews”.
This time of year we have many fall festivals, cake walks, barn sales and so on. Plan in advance and sign-up for a booth to showcase your business!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… until you’re stressed! In this article we share five tips to keep your business organized and running smoothly throughout the holiday season.
Start a checklist:
Have a lot on your plate? We all know it’s hard to get much accomplished around the holidays. Start ahead of time and make a checklist of the things you need to accomplish before the end of the year. Seeing it on paper makes it real!
Plan your advertising & promotions now:
You’re probably thinking, “But Christmas isn’t here yet!” You’re right, but it approaches quickly! Plan your advertising now. Set realistic goals of when you want to start your paid ads by thinking about what makes the most sense for your company.
Bonus points: Plan your entire advertising campaign now. This will give you enough time to tweak anything before it’s live. You can even schedule your Facebook and Instagram ads for a later date. No sweat off your brow!
Everyone wants to take off work at the same time. It’s inevitable. If you wish to make all of your coworkers happy, make them aware that everyone needs to plan ahead for time off. Try putting up a calendar in the breakroom or send out virtual calendar invites. Once all employees have their off-time scheduled, send out a calendar with who is off each day.
Yay… another office party. Kidding! These can be fun. Ask your co-workers to vote on a “theme” for your office party. That way everyone feels like they get a say in the event.
Idea: Instead of a gift swap, schedule a fun time out on the town. We’re thinking, paintball wars, renting out an entire movie theater, axe throwing- you know, all the fun stuff.
If your business has an e-commerce site, do all of your updates now. Do you have new products coming? Try and upload as many as you can before the “rush of the holidays” arrives.
Remember that the New Year will bring new things! After Christmas is the perfect time to update your website.
We know, the easy thing to do is to let your website sit and not deal with it. We get it – sometimes you just don’t have the time to take on an additional task. It is important though to show your customers that you put time and effort into your business. If you have an outdated site, this can be viewed as the company being lazy.
You’ve adapted – show the world the new you!
Through the years you have grown and changed! Update your old employee photos and add in new company videos. Freshen up the “about” page by adding in recent accomplishments that you have achieved.
Tech is always changing
The world of tech is always evolving. Many companies are now using TikTok to advertise. Use this type of cheap marketing to your advantage by adding these updates to your site. Make an announcement and link your new social media pages!
Note: Make sure your website is device-friendly for all computers, cell phones and tablets.
We live in a world where anyone can take great photos with their cellphones! Luckily, mobile devices have come a long way in recent years, allowing you to take magazine-worthy images. Here are a few lighting tips to help you achieve great photos:
1. Take photos by a window
Taking photos by a window on a nice, sunny day always yields great results! This will allow you to get the soft glow of natural lighting. You can also play up the lines from the shadows of your blinds. Here is an example:
2. Avoid the harsh, direct sunlight
Are you shooting outside? The best lighting tends to be in the morning and late afternoon hours before sunset. If you are in the hot sun, make sure the person or product you are capturing ARE facing the sun. If the sun is behind the individual it will cast a shadow over their face.
3. Edit your photos
If the coloring is a little off, use the auto-correct feature on the Adobe Lightroom app. You can play around with the hue and saturation further if needed. Editing the white and black balances can also make your photo lighter and more alive!
Now, go take those magazine-worthy photos, friends!
When you think about your company brand, you really want to picture the entire customer experience. From your logo, website, social media, messaging, storefront, and everything in between…what does your brand look like to your customers? Is it consistent and easy to recognize?
Your brand has the power to set your company apart from the competition, promote recognition, connect with customers, and create strong business value. However, if your brand isn’t consistent, it can provide a confusing message and ultimately cause your company to fall short of its full potential.
Here at Spectruss, building stronger brands is what we do best!
We worked with The Plastic Surgery Group to rebuild a stronger, more cohesive brand for their company. Through detailed strategic planning, we successfully helped rebrand the company as RefinedLooks Plastic Surgery and Spa. Check out some of our work below!
Behind the Brand
The Plastic Surgery Group, Chattanooga’s first and largest plastic surgery practice, has led the way in plastic, cosmetic, reconstructive, and noninvasive procedures for over 60 years. After a year of working with the Plastic Surgery Group’s new medspa, Refine Aesthetic Studio, our team at Spectruss encountered challenges with operating multiple practices with different names and proposed a strategy to restructure the entire practice.
Our team began working on a strategy to help rename the practice as one brand to strengthen their identity and better reach their current and future patients. The new brand name, RefinedLooks Plastic Surgery and Spa, was born. The practice’s hand reconstruction and therapy center, Hayes Hand Center, was kept separated from the new name to minimize confusion and preserve its integrity.
We designed a brand new logo for RefinedLooks Plastic Surgery and a variation for the Spa using elements that were inspired by the aesthetics of their offices and reminiscent of their past identity. Our team also worked on establishing a more prominent presence at their location by adding new outdoor signage at the exterior skin of their building as well as in the interior.
A brand new website consolidating the practice into one was also designed, re-imagined and built by our team. The new site highlights the practice’s doctors, team and features a newly organized structure of their procedures and new services that lacked prominence from their previous site.
E-Commerce Store Revamp
RefinedLooks previously had two separate websites with two different e-commerce stores offering the same products. This not only spread their marketing efforts thin but also created inconsistent branding and an inefficient business process for the practice. By eliminating one of the two e-commerce sites, our team helped funnel all marketing promotions into one site to better track, process customer orders, and improve overall efficiency.
Our team also extended our videography services to RefinedLooks to bring their practice to light for current and potential clients. This brought a better understanding of all the procedures and services that are being offered at the practice.
From a brand new identity to print and web materials, we ensured the new branding was prominent and consistent across all marketing materials. By rebranding the Plastic Surgery Group and Refine Aesthetic Studio to RefinedLooks Plastic Surgery and Spa, our team helped strengthen the practice’s aesthetic brand, improve marketing strategies, and set up the practice for exponential growth opportunities.
The world of marketing is fast-paced and always changing. It can be hard to keep up. There’s a lot of misconceptions out there about marketing your business and we are here to debunk five of the most common ones!
Myth 1: Marketing is the same as advertising
While marketing and advertising often go hand in hand, there is actually a significant difference between the two.
Marketing refers to the ongoing plan that scopes the entire process of selling a product or service – everything from branding, design, strategy, SEO, web development and social media.
Whereas advertising is just one aspect of your marketing plan (but a very important one at that!) This encompasses creating, placing, and promoting ads across different channels to spread the word to your audience about your company. The key to successful advertising is to make sure your messaging is consistent with all other aspects of your marketing.
Myth 2: It worked for another company, so it will work for us
Successful marketing isn’t a copy-and-paste solution for every business.
Each business has its own brand, messaging, products/services, and target audience. So your marketing efforts need to be unique to your company! Be authentic with your marketing. Really knowing your audience and your brand messaging is crucial for devising a great marketing strategy tailored to your business.
Myth 3: Marketing is for only attracting new customers
Actually, acquiring new customers is only half the battle. It’s important to make sure your marketing efforts not only bring in new customers, but also retain the ones you do have!
Incentivizing your current customers to engage with your brand and keep them coming back is crucial for successful marketing. Otherwise, you will forever be chasing after new customers and losing them just as quickly as they came.
Myth 4: Marketing should deliver fast results
If you aren’t seeing an immediate payoff in your marketing, something must be wrong….right? Nope. Marketing takes time.
While digital marketing has faster results than traditional marketing methods, it still takes consistency and data analysis. It may take several clicks and website visits before a consumer converts into a customer. And then from there, you must use that data to tweak your marketing strategies to make them that much better.
Myth 5: Great products and services sell themselves
Having quality products or services is great, but what good is that if no one knows about it? Chances are, you have a competitor or two. And if you sit back and wait for customers to find you, it’s very likely that your competitor will get to them first.
Rebranding is an opportunity to revitalize a business, inspire consumers, and stimulate company growth. While many may think of a rebrand as simply updating a logo or picking new colors, it is so much more than that. The true power of rebranding is fueled by a carefully planned brand strategy.
A rebrand can be the best thing to ever happen to a business…or it can be the worst. The key is to be true to your company’s identity and make it about better serving and reaching your customers. A successful rebrand needs to tell a story of who you are and who you have become as a company.
Behind the Rebrand
After a year of working with our client, The Furniture Shoppe and The Patio Shop, our team at Spectruss encountered multiple challenges in operating a single store with two names. We wanted to consolidate and strengthen the brand as one to eliminate confusion from a consumer’s point of view.
We began working on a strategy to rebrand the company back to its original roots as one store, Fowler Brothers Company. Our team dove deep into the company’s rich history of 135 years to form a precise brand strategy from start to finish including a new logo, website redesign, and storefront remodel.
We wanted to create a fresh, modernized look while also using elements of the original company logo (top right picture).
Paying respect to the history of the family-owned business, we designed a new logo that reflects the vision of the founders that long-time patrons would also recognize.
One of the challenges that Fowler Brothers faced was the physical store’s lack of presence at its own campus. Our goal was to unify the store as one showroom for both home furnishings and patio furniture. We began reimagining the exterior design of the campus to create an eye-catching storefront that passersby wouldn’t miss.
We worked very closely with the president and owner of Fowler Brothers Company, Carter Fowler, with choosing every detail for the remodeling project from interior finishes to price tag designs, and everything their name would be on.
New Digital Presence
Launching a seamless rebrand across all channels was crucial to the success of the new Fowler Brothers Co. Home and Patio brand.
Our team gave Fowler Brothers Co. a new digital experience by developing a new website, an e-commerce store, and a unified social media account. This resulted in one simple way of identifying the brand through all online platforms.
The new website also features an interactive style questionnaire which allows customers to select their ideal style choices and rooms they wish to furnish for a customized interior design recommendation. This was a great way to highlight the store’s interior design services as well as give a personalized feel for website visitors.
Our goal of giving Fowler Brothers Co. Home and Patio “One name, One store, One company”, has been a total success and one of the most exciting projects we’ve been a part of. Our team at Spectruss was proud to receive a Silver ADDY from the 2021 American Advertising Awards for our work on the rebranding project.
Our society is becoming increasingly concerned with the environment around us. Despite the higher cost, millions of consumers have begun to purchase socially responsible products in support of helping our planet be a cleaner, better place. In fact, the sustainable market is on track to reach $150 billion this year in 2021.
In response to this trend, many companies are turning to eco-friendly products and “green” marketing strategies to tap into this growing market. Referred to as green marketing, this powerful strategy can strengthen your brand reputation and loyalty, as well as give your brand a competitive edge in the marketplace.
What is green marketing?
As you probably guessed, green marketing is when a company highlights the environmental benefits of their products in their marketing assets and campaigns. Consumers recognize these brands by terms like “sustainable,” “eco-friendly,” “organic,” or “recyclable”.
Your company could be the most environmentally-sensitive brand out there, but if you aren’t marketing it, who’s going to know? By using green marketing tactics, you can show consumers that your business is socially responsible and cares about giving back to the environment just like they do!
Do consumers really care if a brand is “green”?
In short, yes. A whopping 90% of millennials say they are willing to pay more for products that contain sustainable or eco-friendly ingredients. And products with these attributes have been steadily climbing in sales – – 19% in 2014, 22% in 2017, and now to an anticipated 25% in 2021.
Benefits of green marketing
While the demand for sustainable, eco-friendly products is certainly evident, many companies are unsure if going green will benefit their business. For example, the upfront costs of launching a sustainable product or switching current business processes to meet more eco-friendly measures can seem astronomical. However, there are several reasons why a business should consider investing in green marketing:
1.It expands your reach and attracts new audience segments.
2. It strengthens brand visibility, loyalty, and reputation.
3. It provides easy consumer education and engagement.
4. It makes your brand more personal and relatable.
5. It offers unique product positioning by helping your brand stand out.
Example of an Eco-Friendly Brand
Our team at Spectruss partnered with Double Cola to help them launch a brand new beer called Brewski. Their brand voice and design were essential in positioning their product in a saturated beer market.
The Brewski brand prides itself on providing adventurous minds with the thrill they have been seeking while also encouraging conscious choices. Brewski helps the environment with its fully recyclable cans and eco-friendly cardboard holders. Check out the full Brewski case study at https://spectruss.com/case-studies/brewski/
Green marketing is a powerful way to connect with your consumers and build a strong brand reputation for your business.
Brand storytelling is the art of using a cohesive narrative to connect your brand with customers. The key to successful brand storytelling is to clearly communicate your brands’ core values in a way that resonates with consumers.
A recent study found that 55% of people consider buying a brand if they love their brand story. Of those people, 44% will share that story with others, and 15% will immediately purchase the product.
It appeals to consumer’s emotions
It is scientifically proven that human emotions are impacted by stories. Our emotions play a significant role in our daily lives, which also affects our buying decisions. When your brand tells a great story, you are speaking to the underlying reasons why a consumer might buy your product or service. A successful brand story goes well beyond just talking about the product, it’s about making a connection with your audience.
It humanizes your brand
In a heavily digital world, the human element can sometimes get lost behind a brand. Think about the emotions, values, and ideas your company offers to consumers and incorporate those elements into your brand story. A great brand story is always authentic and knows how to relate to consumers on a personal level. When consumers see that your company is made up of real people, it helps to build trust and customer loyalty.
It makes your brand unforgettable
Your brand story can give your company a unique edge and stand out in the crowded marketplace. With so much competition in the digital space, it can be very difficult for brands to stand out. It’s not enough to have a good product or service, you need to have a story that sets your brand above the rest.
Studies have found that storytelling will not only increase your brand favorability to your audience, it can also be up to 22x more memorable than facts. So rather than just sharing facts about your product, tell a story that clearly communicates your company values.
Using storytelling to get to $1 billion
The Dollar Shave Club exploded into the retail market with the launch of a hilarious video that creatively told their brand story with a direct aim at one of the biggest razor blade providers in the world- Gillette. This startup company tapped into a 30 billion dollar industry with Gillette owning about 70% of it. In March 2012, this video was released and went instantly viral – getting more than 12,000 orders in the first 48 hours. Just five years later in 2016, the Dollar Shave Club was purchased for $1 billion.
The Dollar Shave Club brand story was ingenious because it not only built a brand that inspired customer loyalty but it also simultaneously disrupted the brand story of a massive company. The Dollar Shave Club proved that brand storytelling isn’t about the massive budget, it’s about the strategic brand narrative – one that communicates a meaningful message that immediately resonates with consumers.