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admin - Duo Marketing Group

admin - Duo Marketing Group

Let’s talk branding.

Posted by | Business Tips, Design, Food for thought, Marketing Help, Uncategorized | No Comments

The word “brand” or “branding” is thrown around a lot in the business and marketing world, but what does it really mean? The “official” and dry definition of a brand is a name, term, design or symbol that represents a company or idea. Here at Duo, we believe that a brand is much more than that. A brand isn’t just the visual representation of your company, but also what people think and feel about your business – their mental and emotional response to who you are as a company.

You are your own brand, whether you think you are or not. You may not own a company, or maybe you do, regardless, you are always representing yourself. You have your own presence, personality, and style. You have something that sets you apart from everyone else.  The way we present ourselves and interact with others will affect what people think of us and how future interactions will evolve. This is especially important in the digital world we live in. What we post, participate in, and say online stays online.

In order to convey a positive image and make sure you’re communicating what you want about yourself, we have a few quick pointers you can keep in mind as you manage and develop your personal brand:

  • Define Who You Are In order to send a message, you have to know who you are. Are you a salesman? A chef? A stay at home mom? Make sure you’re communicating clearly and that what you’re sharing is “on-brand”.
  • Deliver Value Communicate clearly what you bring to the table in your realm of expertise. People are on social media to be social and to invest in brands they care about – not to be manipulated or sold to. Find the balance.
  • Be Consistent. Conflicting messages are bad for everyone. Be sure to use the colors and fonts in your style guide whenever possible. Share only quality content (professionally written and designed). Don’t share anything that you wouldn’t put on a billboard in your front yard.

 

Let’s talk video.

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“It baffles me that so much money is still spent on forms of advertising that are not beneficial to the consumer, nor where the current consumer attention is. Pre-roll ad views. Commercial breaks on streaming sites. These are the “impressions” marketers are focusing on. Why? There are better places money should be spent with bigger upsides. Great marketing should feel like a renovation, not a rehash of what has been done before. For a consumer to get excited about something, to be compelled by something, it comes down to attention. Attention, not impressions. They need to really consume it. That is the game. There are two places right now that companies need to be focusing to win their marketing game. One is mobile, and the social networks contained within mobile. The second is video. Anyone who doesn’t realize that the cell phone is exactly the same thing that the television was in 1965 is completely ignoring the future. When an ad comes on, when pre-roll shows up, people reach for their phones. As soon as the experience they were trying to have is interrupted by an invasive ad, the phone is where they turn to continue being entertained. Plus, the phone is always there. As you read this, is your phone within five feet of you? I thought so.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Video, video, video. That’s the catch phrase we’re hearing in the social media marketing world today. My newsfeed is completely filled with recipe videos, time lapse videos of royal icing sugar cookie decorating, and even Dr. Pimple Popper in slow mo. (Yeah, you read that right. Fair warning… ) So, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that video is the way to grab your target audience’s attention. As suggested in the quote above, the vast majority of social media usage occurs on mobile. Nearly 80%, that is.  So that’s where you need to be too. Social video is probably the best way to reach your audience right in the palms of their hands. They’re already using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat on a daily basis – are you? Here are some tips for getting started with social video:

  • Just start! Audiences on social media tend to connect with brands more when the message presented by the brand feels authentic. Start with a slightly bumpy tour of your office space and don’t worry about the bumps – there’s authenticity in knowing that an actual human recorded the video.
  • Feeling brave? Go LIVE. Nothing is more authentic than a live video with the ability to respond to questions and comments as they come in. One of the biggest values of social video is providing an opportunity for your consumers/clients to make a connection with your brand. Showcase the people who build your brand with a Q&A session.
  • Make a plan. Don’t be scared to just start and be authentic, but also start with a plan. Lay out some questions for an interview with your CEO, outline some tips to share, or even showcase a recent project your office has completed and list out some bullet points of what you learned during the process.
  • Hire us. We’ve developed a system for effectively filming multiple social videos for our clients in a short amount of time. We take care of any necessary editing, post-processing, and we’ll work with you to write a script if desired. Social video doesn’t have to be movie theater worthy, but it can help to have a few supplies beyond your iPhone. We’ve done the work and collected the equipment and we’d love to help you film!

National Nutrition Month – Duo Style

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For National Nutrition Month, we decided to share each of our favorite healthy snacks. Leave a comment below to share your favorite!

Jaimie’s favorite is Ants on a Log – even though she might switch the raisins out for chocolate chips sometimes ;) http://allrecipes.com/recipe/23953/ants-on-a-log/

Alisha loves Dill Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Bonus for all of our blog readers, this particular link comes with roasted pumpkin seeds six ways! Try them all and let us know what you think. http://wholefully.com/2015/09/11/roasted-pumpkin-seeds-six-ways/?crlt.pid=camp.zN4H0seTnyG4&m

 

Elise loves Cucumbers and Vinegar. This was the closest we could find to her recipe – minus the honey. http://slimpickinskitchen.com/cucumbers-and-vinegar/

 

Lance & Marcie love to add some variety to a snack classic – popcorn. Check out these 36 flavorful options. http://www.jollytime.com/popcorn-recipes/healthy

 

Try out our favorites, or leave a link below to share your go-to healthy snacks.

 

Pinterest Marketing

Posted by | Marketing Help, Social Media | No Comments

There are over 150 million active Pinterest users. Sharing ideas, recipes, crafts has never been easier thanks to this highly visual platform. So, how can you make Pinterest work for your business?

For this post, we wanted to focus on Pinterest use for businesses that offer services.

HEALTHCARE

Many of our clients are hospitals. For these clients, we like to pin relevant health articles that fit the theme of the month – i.e. October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The best way to do this is to start pinning about a month in advance. We also recommend creating boards that relate to the service lines available in your hospital or clinic. Themes like “healthy food” or  “sports injury” are great general boards to address topics your service lines would cover.

EVENT CENTERS

Weddings, events, and decor are all very popular content on Pinterest. Having a Pinterest account for your event center can help showcase what has happened at your location and generate fun ideas for future clients. If you organize the boards in a clear and understandable way, potential brides and event coordinators can see your style. It also helps to show that you are trendy and fun.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

There is a definite need for more professional articles on Pinterest. Accounting firms can generate graphics with tips for budgeting. A lawyer could show divorce statistics in a pinnable, creative infographic. To show more of your brand and the values represented by it, create a “Words to Live By” board with quotes and motivation. A real estate agent could pin trendy home decor ideas or tips for buying your first home.

HOME IMPROVEMENT

Use Pinterest to show potential customers what you are capable of by pinning images of past projects. You can also create boards that showcase home decor ideas and smaller-scale DIY projects that a customer might like after they’ve moved in.

Be creative in your field and think outside of the box. Pinterest is a great way to showcase your company, your skills and services, and the personality of your team.

5 Tips for Working with a Graphic Designer

Posted by | Business Tips, Design, Food for thought | No Comments

Whether your firm is constantly working with a designer or you only hire one on occasion, it is important that you know how to communicate well with a designer. Here are five tips to help you work well with your next designer.

1. Have a Realistic Time Frame

Set clear expectations with your designer for when you need things done. Create deadlines at the beginning of your project for initial drafts, final designs, and a print-ready piece. Keeping yourself and your designer on a timetable will help make the process less stressful.

2. Come with Examples

If you have a very specific look or feel for your project, you should be prepared to provide physical examples of the look you are going for. Come to your designer with photos or magazine clippings and be ready to talk about why you like the examples you provide.

3. Give the Designer Some Control

Give the designer your thoughts and ideas and then let them do their job. It is more than appropriate to provide constructive criticism during a meeting, but micromanaging your designer through excessive emails with different ideas and changes is likely to add unnecessary time to the project and frustration for the designer. You’ve hired a professional, trust them to do their job well.

4. Ask Questions!

You are in charge of the final design. If they are going a direction with their design that confuses you, ask them to explain it. At the end of the day, you need to feel confident and proud of your product.

5. Know When to End

Don’t obsess and try to make your product look exactly like the example images you gave the designer. It is their job to take that idea and create something original that matches your unique brand and style.

Best Commercials of Super Bowl 51

Posted by | Business Tips, Fun Stuff, Marketing Help | No Comments

We are “Not the Patriots” fans around here, so, we’re just going to jump right into our favorite commercials from last night instead of discussing anything about the game. ;) With over 100 million viewers, the Super Bowl has become advertisers’ favorite way to reach a huge audience, which doesn’t even include the social views and shares that happen after the fact. With this huge audience, and the potential benefit, advertisers have to be on top of their game – and boy are we glad that they are! Here’s a look at our favorites from this year:






And we’re all really excited for Halloween now, because…

American Heart Month Social Media Ideas

Posted by | Business Tips, Food for thought, Marketing Help, Social Media, Uncategorized | No Comments

Working in the business of social media, we do our best to stay well-informed about all the National Chocolate Days, World Kissing Days, and important monthly holidays. In healthcare, there are many of these valuable awareness holidays and themed months. This can be a great asset for social media posts and content creation. This month is American Heart Month – something all healthcare brands can get on board with. Here are some ideas for talking about American Heart Month on your social media accounts:

  • healthfinder.gov – This is (no longer) our best-kept secret. Healthfinder.gov provides monthly kits for posting about monthly health holidays. Here is the link to the American Heart Month toolkit: https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/FebruaryToolkit.aspx
  • Share content that has already been created – A simple search for “American Heart Month” on Pinterest provides thousands of helpful results. You can find recipes from popular bloggers, infographics, and even some fun memes. A few words of caution when using these resources: 1. Make sure you credit the source properly, 2. Do a little research on the source and make sure it’s credible – especially in the case of infographics and statistics.
  • Create your own content – We’re Adobe Creative Suite users around here, but not all social media content needs to be created by professional graphic designers. Canva.com is a simple (and free!) design resource. They have templates for social media, web, and more. Again, be sure to credit your source properly.
  • Connect online + offline – Many hospitals, clinics, and communities hold events to support American Heart Month. If your brand is part of any of these events, use social media to invite your fans to the events and be sure to share images of the event when it’s over.
  • Join in on other campaigns – With months as popular as American Heart Association, it’s easy to find other organized campaigns to join in on. Friday, February 3rd is #WearRed day – this is a perfect day to join in on. Tell your staff ahead of time and take a picture of everyone wearing red to post on Instagram and Facebook.
    Here in Utah, Friday, February 3rd is also the day of the “Heart on the Hill” event. This is a great event at the Capitol Building that can be helpful content for social media.

We hope these resources help you as you plan your content for American Heart Month. Do you have any other ideas? Success stories? Leave us a comment!

Cyber Bullying: More Than Just an Elementary School Problem

Posted by | Facebook, Food for thought, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

Social media can a wonderful tool for connecting communities and spreading news. But there is also vicious side to it that has been on the rise.  Cyberbullying can be a difficult term to define. The definition includes mean messages or threats, spreading rumors, posting hurtful things online, sexting, or taking unflattering pictures and spreading them around through social media. It can be damaging to teens and adolescents and can lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide. Over half of adolescents have been bullied online in some form or another. We understand the seriousness of this issue and are grateful to see lawmakers making progress to stop these types of hate crimes.

But, teens aren’t the only ones who are suffering.

According to a survey on the subject by the Pew Research Center, nearly 75 percent of American adults have witnessed online harassment with 40 percent seeing the brunt of that cyberbullying. If you take a look at any news story, public post, or image shared on Facebook, you are likely to see the same immature, disrespectful, mean language you might expect to come from a teenager, but this time it’s from adults.

For example:

Patrice Bendig recently wrote an article about her online dating experience that went viral on Facebook, being liked or shared over 30K times. At first, she later wrote, the comments were positive. But then, comments like the following started to roll in:

Instead of getting on a roller coaster she needs to get on a treadmill”

“You like Hulu with your cat, and….Muppets. Your over weight and dress like a PTA mom from Kansas. And you wonder why you are having trouble getting dates? Is this like some performance art piece?”

“Sorry to be honest but overweight, unflattering pics, generic profile with homebody interests, seemingly low self esteem, and a pet cat? There’s so many more choices for men in any metro area who have some game, I guess you need to lower your standards or move to a place where there’s less competition?”

“From the look of her, big-girl panties is an appropriate description”

“Yeah, guys who don’t like fat entitled girls are dumb.”

“The reality is – you’re fat. Doesn’t matter how great your personality or cat is. No one wants to deal with an unfit person headed for knee and back problems, diabetes and heart disease. You’re as bad a risk for a mate as you are for health insurance.”

Nobody deserves to hear or read things like this. Yet somehow, the semi-anonymity of Facebook and online comment sections have given people “permission” to say terribly unkind things.

So why do people do it? Why would anyone write something mean and click “post?” Psychologists have found that the lack of face-to-face communication in social media decreases empathy. A study published in August 2015 in the journal “Computers in Human Behavior” showed that cyberbullies typically have three personality traits that often occur together. These traits are called the “Dark Triad”: Machiavellianism, which is a tendency to manipulate other people for their own good; narcissism, an obsession with self and feeling that they are better than other people; and psychopathy, an attribute that includes a lack of empathy and a greater tendency to take risks. This dangerous combination can lead people to do things online that they wouldn’t do in person.

So, what can you do about it?

If you are a victim of merciless comments or harassment online, it’s best to ignore the perpetrator. Responding may add fuel to their fire and encourage them to keep going. Next, block, report, and flag any and all content from the cyber bully. Don’t delete the evidence permanently. Reporting the content instead of simply deleting it sends a strong statement that you won’t accept this type of internet behavior. It also allows the social media site to review the content and can help them either deactivate an account or block a person from a page.

Check your state laws to see if the police should get involved. In many situations, if the perpetrator is ignored, the bullying will stop.

If you see cyberbullying happening, post something positive and stand up for the person being bullied. Be the positive voice. “It is a powerful show of support to the victim and of rebuke to the bully,” says Michelle Ferrier, an associate dean for innovation at the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University.

In conclusion, we love this quote from cyberbullying.org:

“In sum, it can be difficult to hold bullies accountable for their actions (for both adolescents and adults).  In a country such as ours that values free speech so highly, many people genuinely believe they can say whatever they want, to whomever they want.  We know that is not true, but it isn’t clear where exactly the line is.  And just because we can say certain things, doesn’t mean we should.  It’s no wonder that many teens are wrestling with this problem—they see the adults in their lives saying mean and nasty things to others on a regular basis. Do your part to model appropriate behavior and address any hurtful language when it comes up.  The kids (and other adults) in your life will hopefully see it, remember it, and act in the right ways.”

 

 

Step Up Your Font Game With These 3 Simple Tips

Posted by | Design, Uncategorized | No Comments

The task of picking fonts can be overwhelming. Selecting a typeface that represents your company’s voice while still expressing a fun personality can be difficult – even for the die-hard typography fan. We’ve put together 3 tips to help you make this seemingly simple task a little less stressful for your next company flyer or invite.

 

1.     Dress for Success

Picking a typeface is a lot like getting dressed in the morning. Just like clothing, there’s a time for expressive and stylish versus practical and appropriate. Practical isn’t always the most exciting choice, but when you need to get a message across, it helps communicate your point well. A great way to add some flair to your document is to use a display font on just one word or in the heading of your article.

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-12-07-01-pm

 

2.     Know the Family

Pick a font family that has a variety of weights (light, bold, heavy, etc. ). A great way to add variety to your document without overdoing it on the font mixing is to switch up the weight. Some examples of fonts with a variety of weights are Avenir and Helvetica.

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-11-50-30-am

 

3.     Contrast is Key

Maybe you want a little more contrast and you want to pair a couple of different fonts – this is a great way to add variety and personality. A good rule of thumb is to only use two fonts in a document. If you use more than two, it will start to look messy and under planned. A great practice is to pair one sans serif with one serif. This gives a custom and professional look to the document.
screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-1-53-38-pm

Social Media Resolutions for the New Year

Posted by | Business Tips, Facebook, Food for thought, Marketing Help, Social Media | No Comments

resolutions

As we approach the new year, we’ve discussed a lot about how we can improve – both for our own social marketing and for the clients we represent. Since social media is constantly changing, we do our best to adapt and improve as the changes come. So, these resolutions really are things we’ve already started to work on this year and have seen great benefits. Since we already know how beneficial they can be, we’re gearing up to take them to the next level in 2017.

We’re resolving to:

  • Rock at video. An estimated 74% of internet traffic is to come from video in 2017. And we’ve known for a while that video typically ranks the highest in social media algorithms. This year, we’re going to up our video game.
  • Blog like it’s our business. (Because, actually, it is.) We experience a bit of the “Cobbler’s Kids” syndrome around here – you know how they don’t have any shoes? We sometimes let our blog fall through the cracks while we’re developing epic content for our clients. But we’ve learned that treating our own brand like a client helps us to balance that out and invest quality time into generating our own content.
  • Add a personal touch. Social media research has consistently shown that images with faces in them tend to get more engagement than other images. Our goal is to put more of a focus on this as we’re developing content next year.
  • Improve our live video strategy. As part of upping our video game, we’re going to develop a great live video/Instagram stories strategy. Studies are predicting that less time and money will be spent on cable networks and more of that time will be spent watching live videos.
  • Separate social presence from social advertising. We’re of the belief that a great social marketing strategy includes maintaining a social presence (not specifically as an advertising effort) in addition to your strategic advertising efforts. Social media is built to be social. Our goal is to figure out how to effectively make these two elements of social marketing separate strategies that are built to work together.
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