Make Your Logo Memorable

Logo development

Successful companies understand how powerful logos are in maintaining brand loyalty.  Think of your logo as the calling card for your business. It’s at work 24/7 striving to represent your brand and reinforce relationships with customers.

But, how do you know if your logo is really working for you?

A recent study discussed in Marketing News Weekly found that the most memorable logos are simple and deliver positive brand benefits.

In today’s multi-channel marketing environment, a logo must read well in print and digital media.  Just because a logo looks good on your letterhead doesn’t mean that it will look good on social media.

The key take-away is to make sure your logo is distinctive and simple.

Analytics: Tools for Success

Business analytics on a tablet

Most businesses and nonprofits these days have websites, but how many utilize analytics to assess the behavior of visitors to their sites? I’ll bet not that many.

Do you know how many visitors come to your website? Whether they are new visitors or returning? What pages they visit? How long they stay on a page?

If you own a brick and mortar store, it’s easy to track how many people enter your store by physically counting each person who comes in. But what about the virtual world?  How do we know if anyone is actually visiting our websites? This is important to know because ultimately our goal is to translate visits to our website to actual transactions whether this entails selling products online, having people visit our store and make a purchase, or landing a new client.

Google Analytics, which is free, is one of the most important resources out there, but the amount of information you can collect can be overwhelming. Still, there is no reason to not use Google Analytics to track basic information on your website such as the number of visitors over a certain range of time. Learn more about Google Analytics here.

If your website is built on a content management system platform such as WordPress, basic analytics plug-ins can easily be installed.  While not as comprehensive as Google Analytics, these plug-ins can provide you basic information to help to better understand how visitors are interacting with your website.

While it is easy to get overwhelmed with the vast amount of data that can be collected, I suggest keeping it simple to start, particularly if you are a small business owner.  You can track how many visitors come to your website each month and then examine the trend line over a period of several months.  In many ways, it’s more important to know if the trend is increasing or decreasing over time rather than the actual number of visitors that come to your site.

If you currently have access to analytics, but don’t regularly track the information, you might want to develop a regular protocol such as viewing site visitors each month as collecting some information is better than collecting no information.

You have invested a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money into your business.  Use analytics to help your business thrive.

 

Don’t Bullsh*t Yourself!

Don't Bullsh*t Yourself!

Don't Bullsh*t Yourself!

If you’ve ever watched the television show on Paramount TV, Bar Rescue, you have seen how expert Jon Taffer works to transform failing bars.  A signature feature is how he challenges the excuses bar owners make about why they are not succeeding.  These include blaming their employees, pretending to not see how dirty or dated their bars are, or claiming they don’t have enough money to update a tired, dated bar.  Many times Taffer literally gets in the face of bar owners to shock them into seeing the reality of the situation.  Despite the initial resistance of most of the owners, once they take responsibility for the problems, things start to get better.

Taffer knows his stuff, and whatever you think about reality television, his works helps change the lives of many people.  It’s hard not to have respect for him and his results.  If you are a business owner like me, perhaps you’ve watched the show and wished he could help transform your business for the better.

Now that’s possible.

Taffer shares his approach to “embracing solutions rather than excuses” in his book Don’t Bullsh*t Yourself!: Crush the Excuses that are Holding You Back.  In this easy-to-read book, Taffer takes a no-nonsense approach in challenging six of the common excuses people use to “explain” their circumstances and keep themselves stuck.  As I was reading the book, I found myself cringing at how my “explanations” for the challenges I face in my professional live are seen as excuses by Taffer.  Yet, when I stop defending my position, I start to see how easy it is to fall into the same kind of traps that the bar owners on Bar Rescue face.  I also see the need to get more honest with myself and take responsibility for my circumstances.

I highly recommend Taffer’s book to any business owner who feels stuck, and blames external circumstances for their situation.  If you take Taffer’s suggestions to heart, I believe it is possible to transform your business almost as if you were on Bar Rescue yourself.

Moxie: Small Business Success and Making Your Own Luck

Reaching out to the university

What makes the fires of success take hold from the spark of inspiration in a small business owners dreams? There are hundreds of thousands of driven people who start a business with a vision.

What makes some fizzle out and others latch on and flourish?

Believing in and dedicating yourself to your ambition is the only way to make it through the long hours and hard work it takes to make your business successful.  Certainly, luck comes into play, but there is no substitute for hard work and moxie when it comes to running your own business.

There is only so much time and energy you can fit into a day, and with all the different aspects it takes to run your own business you must prioritize your goals accordingly. Staying optimistic even in times of adversity is the only way to get through the hard times. Sometimes this means taking calculated risks in the face of fear.

This is how to create the opportunity for luck. Are you doing everything you can to thrive?

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. -Harriet Tubman

Animate Your Cause

Computer screen

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, it can be difficult to share your organization’s cause throughout a wide audience. People tend to skim over facts and don’t always receive the true strength of your message when they are simply reading text. How can you portray your cause to an audience in the most impactful way?

Text animation is a powerful tool in which audiences the ability to visualize data and statistics. Adding a bit of life to your statistics stimulate engagement and generate interest from a larger audience.  Here are some ways animation can take your cause to the next level:

Educate the Public

Depending on what area your nonprofit works in, your founding principles may not be easy to grasp. A lot of times an organization can be working with a topic that seems distant to a potential donor. By using animation to educate people on this topic, they will feel more connected to this world and more eager to help out the cause. Animated video allows your group’s message to come through loud and clear.

Spread Awareness

By conveying your message in an animated video you are opening up your audience to a new medium in which your information is coming through. Some people prefer the written ways of news; however, many people skip over lengthy articles heavy with facts. By giving them the option of animation you are creating a space that can pull in the audience an engage them more effectively.

Tap Into Emotion

Last but not least, video animation gives you the opportunity to convey the emotions that are tied to this cause. Animation helps to stimulate more than you would in just read normal text. Through the use of visuals and audio you are tapping into another layer of interest, which helps to resonate your cause.

Text animation gives you the ability to truly tell your story in a way that you want. Bringing your text to life can better symbolize the importance of your cause and share it to a wider audience than ever before.

Maximizing 2018

If I were to guess, you are probably sitting at your desk right now, wondering where 2017 went. Don’t worry, we are all in the same boat. However, whether the year flew by or dragged on, one thing is for certain, you won’t be getting that time back. That is why, one of our main goals for the new year here at CTM is to maximize our time in the office. We have outlined some tips to help you manage your time more effectively. Let’s get started!

1) Prioritize

With the new year started, chances are you have a pretty full plate already. It can feel overwhelming, but one way to combat this, is to prioritize all your projects and tasks. Get them written down in order of importance and urgency. Once they are prioritized, take a deep breath and tackle those that need your attention right away. Don’t get caught up in the sheer volume of “to do’s”, but focus on the ones that need to be dealt with immediately.

2) A Loss Isn’t Always a Loss

Fail to land a big new client or make a big sale? It is a tough pill to swallow, but it happens all the time. However, we have a tendency to focus on the fact that the sale went wrong, not why it went wrong. There is nothing you can do to change the outcome, but there is something you can do to change the outcome of future opportunities. Go back to the drawing board and analyze where you think the previous deal went south and work from there. Mistakes are the best teachers, so when you make them, learn from them.

Hopefully you find these tips helpful and use them to effectively manage your time in 2018!

Marketing During The Holidays

 

Whether you like it or not, the holidays are upon us! They are a huge time of year for consumers, but more importantly, they are critical for your business. According to Statista, in 2016 alone, holiday shopping generated $63.1 billion dollars for the economy. Use our holiday marketing guide below, to crush your Christmas campaigns and kick off 2018 on the right foot!

1) Plan a campaign strategy

You probably just rolled your eyes at the simplicity of this first point, however, lack of strategy is detrimental to all marketing campaigns. Start planning as early as you can, and make sure your entire marketing team or department is on the same page regarding the goals of the campaign and how they are going to be executed.

2) Uniform across all channels

Once you have laid out a very clear list of goals for your campaign, make sure the content you create across all platforms is uniform. Each holiday post or ad should support achieving your list of goals. Holiday posts that do not, can distract and knock you and your team off course. Stay focused on the original game plan or strategy you already laid out.

3) Into the mind of the customer

Take off your marketer hat for a moment and replace it with the customer hat. If you were a customer, what kind of content would you want to see? Common value adds are holiday gift guides, a “best sellers” section or even holiday themed apparel. This obviously depends on your business, but do not be afraid to think out of the box and try something new.

To crush this holiday season, plan ahead and stick to that plan. Keep your content uniform, and relevant to the customer. If you need any help or advice, we are always just a phone call away and we love to talk marketing!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Creative Tension Marketing!

Think Big and Shop Small on November 25

Think Big Shop Small sign

The Virtue of Shopping Small

All of us live in a community of some sort, whether it is a small rural town or a large urban city. The quality of life in these communities is often a function of the health of small businesses.  These are the ones that are owned by men and women who have a stake in the community rather than some impersonal corporation in a far-away place.  Yet, how often do we buy something from a large big-box retailer or order something online?  Like many of us, I am guilty of overlooking local businesses when I make purchases.  While it is easy to rationalize this behavior by telling ourselves that prices and availability are better – and sometimes they are – maybe it’s time to really consider just how we patronize local businesses. After all, money spent in a community tends to stay in the community, which greatly enhances community well-being.

Celebrate Shop Small Saturday on November 25

Started in 2010 by American Express in response to the devastating effects of the Great Recession on small businesses, this annual event is held the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The goal is to bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.  The Shop Small Saturday website has tons of ideas and tools that small business owners can use to promote their businesses, neighborhood champions can take advantage of to help bring their community together, and shoppers can explore, shop, and share.

Don’t believe your shopping dollars will make a difference?  Think again. In 2016, small business owners generated an estimated $15.4 billion dollars on Small Business Saturday.

Not Sure Where to Shop

Want to shop at those businesses that take part in Shop Small Saturday, but aren’t sure where to find them?  Not a problem. You can go to the Shop Small map to locate participating businesses in your community.  Even though a business may choose to not promote Shop Small Business, we encourage you to give them your patronage too.

Spread the Word

At Creative Tension Marketing, we celebrate Shop Small Saturday by helping to spread the word.  Watch our video promoting Shop Small Saturday

 

 

 

 

Using Advanced Media to Help Your Business

360 degree camera

What is the best way to differentiate your business from those around you?

There are many ways, but a new and creative way is through advanced visual arts. The introduction of 360° photos can take your company to a different level of aesthetic appeal.

How does it work?

The technology of 360° photos is built by having two 180° lenses on each side of the device. This device internally stitches these images together giving you the ability to scroll through the panorama.

How can this help you?

First of all it establishes the space. Having customers be familiar with your space digitally, turns out to be more effective in driving traffic to the location. Within the realms of retail, companies received 4X the amounts of response than places without.

Businesses are trying to utilize this technology by creating a realistic digital store on social media. Engagement between your business and your costumers produces a relationship. By giving them the option to see inside your business without having to be there, you can invite them in physically. Get creative with how you show off your business in 360 degrees!