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Business Tips Archives - Duo Marketing Group

Business Tips Archives - 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.

 

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!

Social Media Resolutions for the New Year

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

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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.

Social Media Safety: What NOT to Post

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

Friends Connection Digital Devices Technology Network Concept

Social media is a great place to keep up on current events and reconnect with friends. We all enjoy the cute dog pictures and delicious recipes that fill our news feed, but there are a few things that may not be appropriate to post for the world to see. We suggest that you think twice before posting any of these:

  1. Vacation photos while you are ON vacation: You might as well post “I’m out of town come rob my house” when you post these. People see your beautiful beach toes and can put two-and-two together. To protect your home from unwanted guests, post the pictures once you are home.
  2. Naked Baby Pictures: They are cute, but be careful. There are weirdos out there that might use your child’s picture in harmful ways.
  3. Pictures of other people’s kids: Some people don’t want their kids all over social media. It’s better to respect their privacy, so unless you have their permission, don’t post a picture of their kiddos.
  4. “Check-In’s”: Facebook rolled out this feature in 2010 which allowed you to post exactly where you are at any given time. It might be fun, but it’s another open way for people to either see that you’re not home, or to stalk you in other ways – if you like this feature, we suggest checking in as you’re leaving the restaurant or other location. That way, you can still say you were there, without letting people know when. Don’t do this for places you frequent like, you know, your home.
  5. Personal addresses: Never post anything that can lead a stalker to your neighborhood. For instance, when your friends are engaged and invite you to post your addresses in a Facebook group, it’s better to share that information in a private message. We want to believe that everyone in that group has good intentions, but you can’t always trust that they won’t use your address for inappropriate things.
  6. Anything tied to your social security: Hopefully, this is a no-brainer. Don’t post your credit card information, maiden name, phone number, or anything else that can be tied to your social security card. There are people out there that will do anything they can to steal your identity.

We love social media and want you to have a safe, enjoyable experience online. What are other tips you’ve learned for staying safe on social media?

 

7 Ways to Kick your Creative Block to the Curb

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

 

When it comes to marketing and design, creativity is key. So what do you do when you’ve hit the creative wall? We’ve come up with 7 different ways to get the ball rolling.

1. The more the merrier!

Coming up with new and innovative ideas can be a challenge, so don’t be afraid to surround yourself with as many minds as possible. If there’s one thing we’ve learned here at the Duo office, it’s that there is power in numbers. We have brainstorming sessions almost daily to meet together as a team and bounce ideas off of each other.

2. Bad ideas can turn into good ideas.

Write every idea down. You wouldn’t believe some of the terrible ideas we’ve come up with – and you wouldn’t believe how many of those terrible ideas have turned into some of our very best! Coming at a project from a completely new angle can open up a world of possibilities. Don’t count any ideas out!

3. Food is fuel.

This might just be us, but treats always help fuel the conversation. We keep a bowl full of sugary goodness in our conference room to aid in the brainstorming process.

4. Mix it up!

Sometimes all it takes to pin down that winning idea, is a change of scenery! We work hard to make sure our workspace is conducive to the creative process, but occasionally, we’ll take a walk down the street to mix things up. Giving your mind a little fresh air never hurt!

5. Research, research, research.

I know, I know. We hear the word research and dark clouds start forming above our heads. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Pinterest is a great tool for boosting creativity. And who doesn’t love Pinterest? It’s extremely important to know what other people are doing to successfully market themselves. We can draw inspiration from those campaigns and add our own stellar ideas to kick it up a notch!

6. Let it linger.

Sometimes time is creativity’s best friend. Don’t be afraid to step away from a project, let it marinate, and come back to it!

7. Take the first step!

Most importantly, don’t let time become creativity’s worst enemy! Take the first step. Our ideas are so often squashed by doubt and never have a chance to make their debut. The most important step to overcoming the creative block, is taking the first step.

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Writing for Social Media 101

Posted by | Business Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Email content marketing strategy illustration concept

When we’re creating content for our social media posts, we focus a lot on the “voice” of the client. Many of our clients are healthcare clients. The voice of the typical healthcare client is more professional and clinical than a brand like Target or Taco Bell’s voice would be. On the flip side, we also represent some restaurants – each of which have their own, unique voice and can typically have a more “playful” voice. Regardless of the voice of your brand, there are certain things that help any brand maintain a professional presence on social media. The tips we’re providing today will be general guidelines that are good to follow for any brand. We’ll write a follow up blog post later to discuss how to determine and develop the voice of your specific brand.

  1. K.I.S.S. – Keep it Simple, Stupid. (Side note: In most instances, calling your audience “stupid” is probably not a good idea. This acronym is a good illustration for what we’re trying to convey, so we’re allowing ourselves to break the rules here.)  Though not all platforms limit the number of characters like Twitter does, it’s still beneficial to say what you need to say in as few words as possible. The average attention span of someone on social media is about 8-12 seconds. This means that communicating the information you need to share in the shortest way possible is the easiest way to ensure that the reader is getting all the information you need them to have.
  2. Ask Questions. Asking questions is a great way to get people to engage. Ask in a way that allows people to share their opinions and experiences. Pro tip: avoid asking questions that can easily lead to negative feedback. It’s best to keep a positive feel whenever possible.
  3. Tell Your Reader What to Expect. If you’re sharing a link to your newest blog post, create a caption that explains what the reader will be reading and learning about when they click through to the article.
  4. Triple Check Spelling & Grammar. Although one of the easiest ways to get a response from your audience is a blatant spelling error, we don’t recommend it. When you’re representing a professional brand, it’s important to be just that – professional. If you were creating a brochure or marketing piece for your company, you’d spell-check before sending to print, right? Social media posts are marketing “pieces” that represent your brand in a similar fashion. Proof read before you post is the new think before you speak.
  5. Determine Your Voice. As mentioned before, we’ll be writing a detailed post on this later. However, as a general rule, it’s important to consider the voice of your brand when creating content. Does your brand use words like “ain’t” and “fleek” or is it best to stay away from slang?

Following these simple tips can help you keep your brand’s social media presence polished. Stay tuned for another blog post on how to develop a professional voice for your brand!

 

Snapchat Filters for Business

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

Snapchat has risen in popularity since it’s introduction in 2011. With more daily users than Twitter, it’s no wonder more and more businesses are turning to it for marketing help. There are companies, like Sour Patch Kids and Food Network that dominate at using Snapchat. Other businesses struggle in using the social media platform to their advantage. Snapchat can seem like a foreign concept, so we’re here today to discuss one of our favorite, simple ways to use Snapchat for business.

Snapchat has a feature called filters. When you take a picture, you can choose to add a filter to your image. Filters can change the coloring of your image or add a fun overlay to your image.  Here are a couple examples of the filters available here in Logan:

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Snapchat offers two kinds of custom filters: community and on-demand. Community filters can be uploaded by anyone and are free to set up for cities and public locations. On-demand filters can be purchased by businesses and individuals – these are the filters we love to use for marketing. You can find more information on geofilters here: https://www.snapchat.com/geofilters.

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-12-03-31-pm Snapchat will let you upload your own design or you can create one on their website. If you choose to make one online, there are pre-designed options for birthdays, celebrations, or even weddings! We recommend using your own design so you can have your logo as part of the graphic.

Once you have designed your filter, you will need to select dates, and the area where you want the filter to be available. You can have a filter available for anywhere from one hour to 30 days. The location needs to be a minimum of 20,000 square feet.

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After you have submitted your filter, it is sent on for approval. If Snapchat doesn’t feel the filter is appropriate they won’t allow it to be uploaded. We suggest reading through their guidelines to get an idea of their standards for filters. At the end of your filter campaign, you can access a report that details the view and uses of your filter.

Recently, we experimented with Snapchat filters for a few of our clients. Here are a few things we learned:

  • Snapchat filters are best when your audience is between ages 13-34 because this is the age group that is using Snapchat the most.
  • Make your filter easy to use. We tried creating a graphic with a pair of glasses for an eye doctor client and found that it was difficult to line up the glasses with someone’s face.
  • Advertise about your filter.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Snapchat filters. If you would like to discuss a Snapchat marketing strategy, please give us a call!

 

Blank Space

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

Though we know Taylor wasn’t singing about graphic design or web development, we’re happy to have a soundtrack for this important topic: Blank Space

More commonly referred to as “White Space” in a design context, leaving white space in a brochure, website, poster, flyer… pretty much everything, is an important part of design. It’s easy to see white space and think “Let’s make the logo bigger and fill that wasted space!” We’re here today to tell you that white space around text and other elements of a design is an intentional part of the design and should be looked at as part of the design – not a place for more information. White space helps the reader or viewer of a design understand which parts of the design are the most important and helps ease readability.

Take Google’s home page, for example:

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Consider the purpose of this web page. It’s searching, right? Not the history of Google, not information about how you can advertise with Google, or even information about the many products Google owns. Just searching. Google understands that there are other places to share more information and left their home page with plenty of white space so the viewer’s attention is drawn to the purpose of the page – the search box.

On an informative flyer or brochure, your purpose is to inform. For this purpose, you’d want to include more information than Google has on their front page. However, there is still an important balance of the information you need to include and the white space your designer chooses to include. When we design for you, our goal is to draw attention to the important information in your flyer or brochure – one of our tools is white space. Keep this in mind when you review your designs. There are times when it’s helpful and important to make your logo bigger, but remember, there are also times when we’ve left a certain amount of white space around your logo to draw attention to it.

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