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Uncategorized Archives - Duo Marketing Group

Uncategorized 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.

 

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.

 

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.

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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.
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6 Most Memorable Advertising Campaigns

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We’ve polled the office and the answers are in! Here are the 6 most memorable ad campaigns for all of us here at Duo:

Pepto Bismol

Nobody wants to talk about diarrhea. Really, nobody. But let’s be honest, we’ve all been there! We found that everyone in the office knew the song and more than half of us admitted that we sing the song when we’re not feeling well to see if Pepto Bismol is our best bet. That’s effective marketing at its finest, folks.

McDonald’s | I’m Lovin’ It

A fun catch-phrase is all it takes to set the world a’blaze!

Chili’s | Baby Back Ribs

Everybody knows the Chili’s Baby Back Ribs jingle – then you throw in a dream team like N’Sync and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Taco Bell

We remembered this one from 2001. I think we’re seeing a pattern here. It’s all in the music or catch phrase.

Old Spice

These Old Spice commercials became an instant classic. Humor + an attractive male = memorable.

Mountain Dew | Kick Start

Puppy-Monkey-Baby. Equal parts disturbing and captivating. All we can say about this is, even the worst ideas can leave a lasting impression. However weird it might have been, it definitely stuck out!

 

These advertisements use a combination of visually captivating elements along with catchy phrases or tunes to resonate with their audiences. No matter what your ad campaign might be, think about what it takes to leave a lasting impression.

Best Christmas Commercials of 2016

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We love commericals this time of year. Marketing teams come up with the most creative ideas and we can’t get enough of them. The holidays are a great time to learn a few things about marketing that can be used in your own strategies.

Here are some of our favorite holiday commercials we’ve seen and what you can learn from them:

This heartwarming commercial is for Amazon Prime:

What we love about this commercial is the story it tells. Amazon got their point across (and made us tear up) in less than two minutes and with very little dialogue. Viewers may not actually need the product shown in the video, but because it was a memorable commercial, consumers will remember Amazon Prime and associate good feelings with the brand.

Beats by Dre – a daring, but fun commercial that can’t be overlooked:

This commercial is full of familiar faces and we all know how powerful celebrity endorsements can be. Finding a key influencer in your target audience can be really valuable – especially in product marketing. This video really shows the value of a great endorsement.

Combine Star Wars and miracles and you get a commercial that’s hard to forget:

Duracell does a great job at using an effective tagline. “Powering children’s imaginations” is a phrase that can create great feelings in anyone’s heart. This commercial does really well at telling a story to create an emotional connection. The commercial took us into a new world of a child’s imagination in very little time.

 

 

What are your favorite Christmas commercials you’ve seen this year?

 

Developing Your Marketing Plan for the New Year

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As 2016 comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about your marketing plan for the upcoming year. Here are a few guidelines to help you make the most of your marketing plan in 2017.

Businesswomen Corporate Marketing Working Concept

Start By Reviewing Last Year’s Performance

Even if you didn’t have a structured marketing plan in place for 2016, it’s still a good idea to review the year. Take notes on what promotions or sales went well, and what your followers responded to.

 

Define Essential Components for Your Year

Get organized and make a list of the categories that you think will be successful in the upcoming year. Balance reoccurring promotions with some fresh ideas to keep your followers interested. Evaluate all of your social media outlets and see what strengths they hold.

 

Define Your Budget and Tactics

Once you start to form your goals for the new year, you can put a budget together. Look at the entire year and see when you might need more of your budget. For example, if you have a seasonal best seller you want to allot a higher budget towards that season to promote your item.

Writing for Social Media: Finding Your Voice

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Vintage style photo of the microphone in recording studio .

Tone of voice isn’t just what you say, but how you say it. Finding the right words and using them in the correct rhythm can develop your company’s personality. This personality needs to be represented in the company website, social media, emails, packaging, and more.

When you are marketing your company, you are building your brand. This is important to keep in mind because you want to convey the personality, or voice, of the people that make up your brand. This personalized voice will help set your brand apart from the rest, giving you a recognizable and unique feel. Having a unique voice will also help build trust in your brand from a client’s perspective. When a client feels like they know a brand, they are more likely to use that brand, and then become a returning customer.

So now that we’ve covered the basics on why your brand should have its own voice, we’ll talk about what to do and what to avoid while developing your brand.

Where to start:

Go back to your company’s roots. What was the foundation to your company? What sets you apart from your competitors? To help you figure this out, we recommend revisiting your company’s mission statement. Try to gain inspiration from things your company has already established.

What Does Your Company Sound Like?:

Here at Duo, for example, we specialize in communicating with social media, which tends to have a relaxed tone of voice. We can get away with using #FunnyFriday or abbreviating words. When someone reads the Facebook page of an ad agency, they want it to be relevant, entertaining, and valuable.

For some of our medical clients, on the other hand, it would be inappropriate to use such a relaxed tone when communicating to the audience. When someone reads the social media page of a hospital, they want to feel safe, reliable, and consistent.

Another way figure out your voice is to know if your company uses informal or formal language. So in an email for example, do you want the message to be:

We are here to inform you of a new offer”

or

“Check out the new deals goin’ down this week”

Using colloquial terms in your communication will give you personality, but is it the personality you would like to give off? If you decide that slang vocabulary is right for your social media and costumer approach, you still need to make sure you maintain a professional voice for things like legal documents or contracts.

Pronouns and Grammar

How do you determine your company’s communication when talking to the customer? If you frequently use “you’ or “your”, it can be viewed as overly self-interested. Try to balance the times when you need to have a personal sound or when you need to sound more distant and avoid a pronoun all together. For example, saying:

“You won’t need to…”

vs.

“There’s no need to…”

With the emphasis on great content these days, companies can forget to focus on proper grammar for their voice. Use grammar as your guide, but be willing to adapt when appropriate. Some rules might seem too stuffy for your taste, for example:

Whom vs. Who

When used in speech, especially on social media, whom can sound overly proper. The difference between the two words has little impact on the ability to understand the sentence, so it is best to choose the word that sounds the best in the sentence, and fits your company’s personality the best.

In the end, it’s about writing in a way that best communicates your message. Find what works for your company and be consistent.

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