2022 Design Trend – New Naturalism

After nearly two years of living under the shadow of a global pandemic, many elements of our lives have changed. And as we begin a new year, so much remains uncertain.

While a year or two ago, brands reacted to the pandemic and its associated social distancing, mask requirements, and other behavior changes with cautious, subdued messaging, things have evolved. Key themes like comfort, connection, and self-care in the face of mounting global challenges continue to appear. However, there is also growing confidence and acceptance of our new reality — with companies in nearly every sector embracing remote or hybrid work and the digital transformation that only accelerates with each passing season.

As more of us live more of our lives online — through video meetings,  remote digitally-enabled work, social media networks, massive online gaming communities, and now the rising metaverse — two major themes stand out. First, people are hungry for optimism, and that unquenchable thirst for fun, whimsy and play is evident across ages, industries, and brand categories. And second, we are all even hungrier for authentic, meaningful connection, determined to protect the wellbeing of ourselves and our loved ones.

2022 Design Trend – New Naturalism
New Naturalism aesthetics are defined by their clean modernism and almost-clinical elevation of the organic. These visuals are inspired by process art, post-minimalism, and clean living. Most prominently appearing in fresh, contemporary designs that highlight compositional elements to make a statement, we are seeing New Naturalism emerge in many industries, most notably in retail, product design, beauty, and interior design. Black, white, and terracotta color palettes mix in earth tones like mossy, deep greens, anchoring this trend back to the soil.

12 Branding Trends You Can Expect in 2022

The significance of branding has increased multifold in the last few years. With the advent of digital marketing, the visual feel of the brand and its reach have become vital. Companies are getting more and more avenues to showcase their brand, and they want to capitalize on these opportunities. But for this, they need to ensure that their branding is in the best possible shape.

An important and useful way of bettering your brand is to keep a tab on the latest branding trends. Unlike previous times, these trends change quite quickly now. Therefore, all firms need to stay on top of these trends and make the most out of them. The brands that cannot follow these trends may get an obsolete feel to them and garner negative perception of users. Hence they should take up rebranding exercises from time to time. To help you in this, we have compiled the list of expected branding trends for 2022:

  1. Logo Adaptability

    Many brands have realized the importance of having a logo that can be easily scaled up or down and used in a variety of ways. Gone are the days when logo’s used to have fancy imagery and detailed graphics. With digital media being the prominent marketing medium, brands want to ensure that the logo looks neat and clean even when scaled down to use in a social media post. Another trend in logos that we can expect is shape-shifting logos. For this, companies will create one master logo and then have different versions of it depending on the application of the logo. So for a print ad, we might see the whole logo, while for Instagram stories, we may just see a logo version stripped down to a simple brand element. This also provides a variety to the brand’s visual identity. Many big firms have already started taking steps towards such shape-shifting logos.And if you need a little help with creating top-quality logo designs, TBI DIGITAL can make your life a lot easier.

  2. Keeping it Simple
    Minimalism is a designing trend of the decade, and we can see its effects on branding, be it the visual identity or the messaging. Users want direct communication and want to put it in minimum effort to understand a brand. On the other hand, the brands need to adhere to these customer trends and make sure that they do not beat around the bush and communicate with clarity. This is why we are seeing the visual identity of so many firms going very bland. They are shunning cursive font types or other visual elements. Instead, the logos are becoming increasingly simple wordmark logos with a strong and simple typeface. This makes the application of the logo easy and eases the effort customers have to make to engage with your brand.
  3. Getting Nostalgic
    While one prevailing trend of branding in 2021 will be about being modem and sleek, one more trend that we will see is about brands going nostalgic. This will be especially in the case of brands having decades of market presence. This is a subtle way of reminding the users that they have been there for ages. One brand that has already started doing it is Burger King. It has modified its present logo, which had bright colors and a shine, and changed it to a flat not so bright colors logo. Through this, they are instilling a notion of the brand being natural and evoking the nostalgic feeling of the brand. By the next year, we will see more brands, especially in the B2C sector, shifting to their old branding styles for a while as this will generate a strong emotional response in the users, and they will feel a tighter bond with the brand.

  4. Importance of Visual Content
    A picture says a thousand words and when thousands of such pictures move at a speed of 24 frames per second to make a lovely video, imagine the amount of content you can communicate. The attention span of users is quickly depleting, and they do not prefer to read long texts. With the advent of high-speed-powered mobile devices, users have started consuming content on these devices. Given their size, it is increasingly difficult for users to read long articles on them. But if the same content is presented in an image or infographic or even a video, the users will be happy to spend a minute or so and gather the information. Hence, brands need to realign their content generation and marketing strategies to churn out more visually appealing content with subtle marketing. This would work better on all digital mediums, including social media.

  5. Synchronized Social Media Effort
    Social media marketing is not something new, but we can expect to see brands trying to exploit the most out of social media platforms. After the initial apprehensions, many social media channels have gotten prominence, be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, and even TikTok. Given the amount of time people spend on social media daily, it has become a hotspot to attract leads or customers. Initially, brands would have just one strategy for all social media handles. But now, with social media saturation, they need to have a separate strategy for all mediums. But at the same time, they should also not be random. Hence the trend of a synchronized social media plan and execution will be on the rise in 2022. Content, posting frequency, audience engagement, and even paid ads plan will vary for each social media. Having official hashtags, exclusive online communities, or message boards are some strategies that brands need to work on. Smarter brands will also start deploying nodes to attract customers directly to their sales funnel from social media.

  6. Topical Marketing
    A trend that is on the rise, Topical Marketing will soon reach its maturity by next year. Already we are seeing smart brands pick up current affair topics and using them for branding. Such a form of branding has a lot of advantages. It helps the brand look lively and fresh. It also provides avenues for users to engage with the brand. The marketing team does not have to go around looking for content as they can get it from their Twitter feed or latest news. However, they need to be smart about utilizing it as there have been cases where topical marketing has created a controversy for the brand. A good way to avoid this can be setting out guidelines and having a set tone and values for the brand. Based on this, the team can utilize the latest topics for enriching their branding.
  7. Being Inclusive
    In today’s age, no brand can make the mistake of not being inclusive. Over the years, so many brands have received backlash for missing out on inclusivity, and then they had to reform themselves to brand themselves as an open and caring brand. Inclusivity can be in the form of color, religion, race, sexuality, or anything that can offend people. With social media, any bad campaign can go viral in no time. People’s tolerance levels have also decreased a lot, and they take offense very quickly. Hence you need to deep root inclusivity to the foundation of your branding strategy. Use images that have a variety of people. For the sake of exclusivity or targeting a specific audience, do not make the mistake of ignoring inclusivity. Victoria’s Secret, a colossal brand, also had to give in to the pressure and rebrand themselves by going for models representing body positivity.
  8. Represent a Cause
    The woke audience of social media is on the rise. Riding on the prevailing trend of being inclusive, we can witness in 2022 is about brands taking up social issues. This is not something unheard of. All major brands have their foundations or other tie-ups through which they execute noble deeds. But now, the age is going to come where marketing teams will devise branding strategies that make the brand look like a champion in a particular cause and at the same time attract customers based on that. We will see big campaigns, some with subtle marketing and some with direct marketing, about how a particular brand cares for an issue and is helping make the world a better place. Sustainable and eco-friendly products are an entire market sector that will see a huge push due to this trend. Even now, brands are working for causes like climate change, saving biodiversity, afforestation, etc.


  9. Make Brands Human
    There is a difference between brand communication and brand talking. Users now prefer when the brand talks to them rather than throwing out marketing messages. Hence the conversational style of messaging is on the rise. Brands want to become as human as possible and establish a strong connection with the users. For this, the marketing teams are coming up with dedicated campaigns, especially on social media. User engagement is a critical aspect of this. Gone are the days when you posted something on social media and did not care about the comments it received. Now brands have started responding to almost every comment on their post and engaging with users. This helps in portraying the humane aspect of the brand and connecting with customers like peers. If you can throw in a dash of humor, it can quickly break the ice and make your brand more approachable. While some smart brands have already started doing this, we will see this trend spiraling by early 2022.
  10. Leverage Technology
    In 2022, you can ignore technology at your own peril. This is true even in the case of branding. Technology has been shaping branding for many years, but in some time, we will see how brands are using technology to stand out from the competition. We are witnessing an explosion of mobile phone applications. Every other B2C brand will now have a mobile app to sell its products. Voice assistants, chatbots, and data analytics are some other technologies that brands are starting to use. The developments of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are going to be disruptive to branding and marketing exercises. Brands are now working to offer real-life experiences to people sitting at home. Be it home walkthroughs, apparel, furniture, or even wall paints; users are now given the option to shop without moving out. As a brand, you need to figure out which technologies work best for you and exploit them to the maximum.

     

  11. Data-Driven Influencer Branding
    Influencer branding has opened up new opportunities for both brands and also people as influencers. A practice inherent in marketing is now shaping out to be one of the hottest digital marketing trends. But this trend will also reshape and redefine itself to be driven more by data and become more result-oriented. Influencers will be classified based on their reach, expertise, and sectors. Micro-influencers who have a good hold on a smaller volume of followers will be utilized more for specific branding exercises. Brands will try to quantify the effort and results into influencer marketing and work to make it more cost-effective. Influencers will be made to look like an integral part of the brand, which will help position them as brand ambassadors to attract customers.

  12. Branding without Brand
    Imagine a huge hoarding that talks about why comfortable shoes are important but do not mention a brand or a logo along with it. This is going to be a huge disruptive trend in 2022. Brands will go so strong that they will carry out what can be termed as ‘branding without brand.’ A few years back, marketers would have thought of this as a joke, but today it sounds promising. The reason for this is an overdose of marketing. Users are tired of brands flashing their products and promises to them. They are on the lookout for solutions and not brands. Brands have started using their unique selling points as their brand image rather than any visual identity to circumvent this. However, the absence of any brand representation can backfire if enough brand recall is not created, and hence we will see this trend more in big brands where they will use their flagship products or services to brand themselves.

Conclusion
While branding trends can keep changing, the above points seem to be major head turners in 2022. The key takeaway for designers and marketers is to keep their branding simple, direct, and precise. This also needs to be represented in their visual representation: the logo, website, print ads, or digital media. At the same time, they need to keep the customer in the center and device their branding to serve them in the best possible way.

Mike Habig is a skilled creative designer, digital marker, digital consultant, web developer, and content creator. With more than 30 years of industry experience, Habig is dedicated to contributing engaging, thorough creative and web design to clients all across the country. email: mhabig@tbiadv.com

 

4 Actionable Ways to Build a Brand

In business and ecommerce, your brand is your lifeblood. The reputation you have, the experiences you create, the ways you differentiate — everything rolls up to brand.

Can you technically sell products online without an established brand? Sure, maybe for a short period of time. But can you build and grow a sustainable, profitable business without one? Good luck. Can you compete with other companies that market and sell the same products in the same category to the same group of people? Doubtful. Can you create something memorable that keeps people talking and coming back for more? No way.

Without an established brand in place, you won’t survive. To make it, you need to create and manage something unique that customers can experience and interact with. You need something that influencers can get behind. You need something that people can brag to their friends about. You need to build a brand.

Here’s how to start building one for your business:

1. Create a brand book.
To build a strong brand for your business, a good place to start is by creating a brand book that all employees, contractors and agencies can rely on when creating experiences for customers.

This resource is your single source of truth. It’s a living document that everyone can reference and use when they want to understand and portray your brand voice, personality and style.

It should include information that is core to the ongoing development and preservation of your brand, such as your brand promise, mission statement, core values, key messaging and positioning statements about your products, customer personas, visual style guide and communication guidelines for each channel and medium you use when interacting with customers.

A brand book can be as simple as a Google document shared with all members of your team, or it could be a professionally designed and printed resource that you give to each employee or agency who works for you. What matters at the end of the day is not the look of the resource, but the value and usefulness of the content inside.

2. Turn customers into micro-influencers. 
There’s been a lot of talk about influencer marketing this year. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most overused and misunderstood marketing concepts of 2019.

Is it worth all the hype (and the investment)? My take is yes, as long as you realize one simple truth: you don’t have to hire the Kim Kardashians of the world to get the kind of ROI you’re looking for. In fact, you’re probably better off avoiding big-name celebrities and well-known influencers altogether. Instead, you should be partnering with micro-influencers.

Here’s how micro-influencers are different than influencers. An influencer is a well-known social media personality or real-world celebrity with a huge audience of followers — we’re talking in the millions. You can hire them, but campaigns are expensive, and you might not get the level of engagement you’re looking for.

A micro-influencer, on the other hand, is someone who is less known but still has a decent amount of followers — think more like 5,000 or 10,000 — and influence in a particular industry.

More brands are turning to micro-influencers for two main reasons: they are less expensive and their posts tend to lead to more engagement, comparatively. In fact, Buffer found in a recent study that the less followers an influencer has, the better engagement they get.

So where do you find these influencers? Before embarking on a quest to discover, negotiate with and hire an obscure stranger that probably knows nothing about your product, turn to your existing customers instead. The best ones are probably already talking about your products to their friends anyway.

3. Build a brand photography library.
It’s time to say goodbye to stock photos. Your brand deserves better, your customers deserve better, and you deserve better. You work hard to build products that solve problems and create delight for your customers. The lifestyle photos you use in marketing campaigns should align with the standards you set for every other aspect of your brand — product quality, messaging, customer support, etc.

Stock photos are convenient, but they rarely allow you to create the emotional response you need to create to convert an interested buyer into a loyal customer.

To build a stronger, more recognizable brand for your ecommerce business, you need to spend time building a library of brand photos that help you connect with customers, showcase products and differentiate from competitors. Think of this photo library as an extension of your brand. You create standards when it comes to your logo, your fonts and the copy in your product descriptions. Your photos should also have a distinct style that customers can quickly recognize when scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.

4. Become a publisher and a storyteller.
Marketers have been saying it for years, and it still remains true today: content is king. If you want to connect with prospective customers, you have to build trust and credibility with people. The fastest way to do that is by creating content and positioning yourself as a knowledgeable thought leader in your industry or product category.

In previous years, that meant creating a blog and sharing articles — or if you were really ahead of the times, you might have created videos. But today, winning the content game isn’t about creating a blog or writing articles — it’s about creating an entire publishing arm for your brand that allows you to create and share many different forms of content, from podcasts and interactive presentations to printed lookbooks and long-form interviews with customers.

Want to see two great examples of ecommerce brands that operate like publishers? Take a look at what Filson and YETI have been up to lately.

Wrapping up.
To compete in the world of ecommerce, you need to have an established brand. To win, you need one that is uniquely delightful and unforgettable in the minds of your customers. You can’t get there overnight, but you can get closer each day by becoming hyper-focused on and obsessed with how people experience your brand on social media, on your website, on Amazon, in email and in real life. Need more? Contact TBI Digital and schedule a consultation.

Why Your Brand Needs Both PPC and SEO

SEO vs. PPC – Which Is Better?

The world of search engine marketing is generally divided into two camps: PPC and SEO. Paid Search leads to instantaneous results – immediately putting your brand in front of your target audience – but can be very expensive depending on the level of competition. Meanwhile, Organic Search costs nothing (well, except timeeffort, and expertise), but can take months to see similar results to Paid Search.

Brands often find themselves debating between the two options – pitting the pros and cons of each option against each other to determine the best fit for their business. Should you pony up for paid campaigns or put in the work to build your organic ranking?

One of the worst kept secrets in search engine marketing is how paid search ads and organic search engine optimization work in concert to boost the performance of the other. Choosing one over the other is akin to purchasing a “buy one, get one free” product and not taking the freebie. If you’re going to tackle the world of search marketing at all, it is in your business’ best interest to double down on your efforts and achieve greater success. Here’s why:

Google Adwords Auction Algorithm

Advertising on Google AdWords is often compared to an auction. Advertisers tell Google how much they are willing to bid to show their ad for a particular keyword and Google puts the highest bidder in the #1 position. Simple, right?

Unfortunately, unlike a true auction, the process is much, much more complicated. An Adwords keyword auction involves an algorithm, a team of mad scientists, and possibly alien technology. However, the concept is very simple: $$$.

Google gets paid per click (hence the PPC acronym) and while – all things being equal – Google would logically choose a $10 keyword bid over a $1 keyword bid, Google stands to make more money if 11 people click on the $1 ad than if only 1 person clicks on the $10 ad. In other words, Google considers behavioral factors in conjunction with an advertiser’s keyword bid.

What are those behavioral factors? Well, Google became the search giant they are today not only by showing search results but by showing relevant search results. Google wouldn’t be a synecdoche for “search” if users didn’t consistently find what they were looking for when googling. In addition to the keyword bids, Google Adwords’ auction algorithm also considers the relevance and user experience of the landing page the ad directs to.

SEO Improves PPC Performance

Landing page relevancy is where search engine optimization comes in to play. One of the key tenets to SEO is improving a site or pages relevancy to certain keywords and all of the optimizations that go into improving a page’s organic ranking – keyword usage, metadata, page speed, etc – also lend themselves to improving the page’s relevancy in paid search.

In short, making organic search optimization changes to a page tells Google that page provides a better, more relevant user experience and Google subsequently lowers the cost-per-click (CPC) it takes to get your ad shown for that keyword.

Countless case studies have shown how SEO-friendly pages can drastically lower the cost and improve the performance of a campaign – up to a 38% decrease in CPC – driving more traffic for less ad spend.

That’s right. In addition to improving your organic rankings, an effective SEO strategy can actually save you money on your PPC campaigns.

PPC Improves SEO Performance

The beneficial relationship between organic search optimization and paid search performance isn’t a one-way street. While paid ads don’t directly affect organic rankings, there are many ways in which paid ads can help improve organic performance.

The most notable of these is that the presence of paid search ads can actually improve the CTR of an organic search listing. Case studies have shown that search users are more likely to click on an organic result when there is a paid ad present for the same website. There’s a good reason for this – the presence of both paid and organic results for the same brand improves recognition and evokes a stronger reputation in the mind of the search user.

Even when a paid ad and organic ad are shown separately, a search user may be more likely to click on an organic result from a site or brand they recognize over one they have not seen a paid ad for. In both scenarios, the paid ads help drive more organic clicks, which in turn improves the organic ranking (as Google weighs CTR on organic results as well!).

Other Factors In Paid Search Ads Influencing Organic Rank

Additionally, paid ads allow you greater control over the messaging of your brand. Paid ad copy can be time sensitive, personal, creative, even inventive and compelling – and that messaging is then imbued into your organic search results, which tend to be dryer and more factual by nature. With the combination of paid search ads and organic listings, you don’t have to choose between focusing on keyword-rich information or showing off the personality of your brand. You can do both!

In an even bigger way, paid ads can help increase the organic ranking of a page by encouraging some of the most important behaviors to organic ranking: sharing. Back-links and page visits are a major factor to a page’s organic rank and introducing that page in the form of a URL can help lead users to content that they’ll link to, bookmark, and mention on social media. Voila! – suddenly a page with no organic juice is in the hands of the very users who can help push that page to a top organic ranking – all thanks to a paid ad.

SEO + PPC = An Integrated Search Marketing Approach

You’ve heard the saying “I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine”, but in search marketing, a one-two punch of a dual PPC and SEO strategy makes both search methods scratch better. You could put all your eggs into one basket and slowly improve your organic rankings OR rack up credit card points with paid search ads, but why would you choose when you could increase your free organic traffic, while simultaneously lowering your PPC ad cost and improving the performance of your paid campaigns?

TBI Digital specializes in both PPC and SEO. Contact us today to find out how our experts can help your business reap the rewards of both.

11 Easy Marketing Tips for the Holidays

Are you ready to take advantage of the festive mood and embrace holiday marketing? According to the Forbes, consumers report feeling nostalgic, cheerful, and more willing to purchase around the holidays. Use these 11 easy tips to make your brand a source of happiness this season.

1. Build Anticipation

Recall the delight of an Advent Calendar or the nightly menorah lighting as a child? It gave you a daily reminder of the season and something to anticipate. The same goes when you offer various daily holiday promotions, countdowns on social media, and other related tactics. Utilize the season to build anticipation for your product.

2. Tap Into Nostalgia

The holidays are a time people love to slow down and reminisce about childhood holiday traditions. Reference classic themes, retro toys, nostalgic imagery, and sentimental themes. The association of these references with your brand will build a sense of warmth and fondness in your audience.

3. Gifts are an Exponential Marketing Opportunity

Considering a holiday gift directly touches two individuals, a gift is an exponential advertising opportunity. An outstanding gift experience is paramount, so invest in beautiful packaging, products, and memorable messaging in your holiday products. 

4. Design a Gift Guide For Your Products (or Related Products)

Make sure the focus is on the gift recipient. Get creative and personalize specific gift guides that target individuals such as “the workout queen”, “the bookworm”, or “the tech-savvy hipster”.

5. Holiday Hacks

The holidays can be stressful. Post and share content about solutions that can make your viewer’s lives easier.

6. Plan Ahead

Prepare your posts ahead of time and schedule them throughout the holiday season. This will ensure your content is well thought out, continual, and you never miss an opportunity.

7. Decorate On Social Media

Add a holiday-themed image to your social media profile or cover photos. This will show up in your audience’s newsfeed and also demonstrate your company’s spirit

8. Interact

Engage with fans and followers and invite them to share their favorite holiday memories or photos with your product. This will be a chance to demonstrate an interest in them and for interaction.

9. It’s Not Just About Christmas

While a large number of people in the U.S. celebrate Christmas, non-Christian holidays are too often disregarded, thus leading to the exclusion of some followers and you missing out on marketing opportunities. Depending on your consumers, consider Hanukkah (Jewish), Kwanzaa (African-American), the Winter Solstice (for Pagans), Diwali (Hindu), and the Chinese New Year.

10. Immerse Your Senses

Utilize sensory language. The holidays are a time of savory dinners, tasty desserts, aromatic candles, fuzzy blankets, cozy homes, warm fires, and joyful music. Allude to these elements to give your audience a more memorable experience with your content

11. Personalize

During the holidays, consumers are constantly flooded with the same marketing messages everywhere. Steer clear of cliché holiday emails to avoid being tuned out. Focus on sending promotions that are personalized and relevant based on data covering products individuals have browsed or predicted purchase behavior.

No more “regards”

In case you’re tired of your same old email sign-off, this list provides many alternatives.

I have an embarrassing confession: The vast majority of the time, I sign off my emails with “Thanks!” It doesn’t matter if I have anything to show appreciation for or not–it just tends to be my default signature.

It’s not that I don’t want to cap off my email with something great. It’s just that I often find myself drawing a blank. Are there even any options aside from those two widely accepted favorites?

Yes, there are. And, as a matter of fact, there are a lot of them. Fortunately for you (and for me!), I pulled a huge selection into this list right here. Of course, not all of them will be suitable for every sort of situation or office. But, with so many options, you’re bound to find one that fits the bill.

So, go ahead and bookmark this page and come back to it when you feel like straying from your standard email sign-off and trying something a little different.

…something more formal
  1. All My Best
  2. Best
  3. Best Regards
  4. Best Wishes
  5. Congratulations
  6. Cordially
  7. Faithfully
  8. Goodbye
  9. Looking Forward
  10. Regards
  11. Respectfully
  12. Sending You the Best
  13. Sincerely
  14. Sincerely Yours
  15. Speak With You Soon
  16. Take Care
  17. Warm Regards
  18. Warm Wishes
  19. Warmly
  20. Wishing You a Wonderful Day
  21. Yours
  22. Yours Truly
…something friendly
  1. Cheers
  2. Enjoy Your [Day of the Week]
  3. Good Luck
  4. Happy [Day of the Week]
  5. Have a Good One
  6. Have a Great Day
  7. Here’s to a Great [Day of the Week]
  8. Hope This Helps
  9. Hope You’re Making It Through [Day of the Week]
  10. Make It a Great Day
  11. Pleasure Catching Up With You
  12. See You Tomorrow
  13. Sending Good Vibes
  14. Talk Soon
  15. Until Next Time
  16. You’re the Best
  17. Your Friend
If you need to show appreciation
  1. All My Thanks
  2. I Can’t Thank You Enough
  3. I Owe You
  4. Many Thanks
  5. Much Appreciated
  6. Thank You
  7. Thank You for Everything
  8. Thank You in Advance
  9. Thanks a Million
  10. Thanks for Reading
  11. Thanks for Your Consideration
  12. Thanks for Your Help
  13. Thanks So Much
  14. With Appreciation
  15. With Gratitude
  16. You’re a Lifesaver
If you’re feeling funny (or a little cheesy)
  1. Anonymously
  2. Bye, Felicia
  3. Congrats on Reading This Whole Email
  4. Don’t Stop Believin’
  5. I Need Coffee
  6. Keep On Keepin’ On
  7. Later Tator
  8. Live Long and Prosper
  9. Looking Forward (to Friday)
  10. One Step Closer to Friday
  11. Peace Out
  12. So Long, Farewell
  13. Tag, You’re It
  14. The End
  15. Toodles

Again, not all of these will be appropriate for every single email you send. Just as in spoken communication, the words you use with your boss or an important client will be much different from the ones you’d use with a close friend or co-worker.

So, make sure to think through the message and the circumstances before adding your signature–particularly if you’re thinking of using a snarkier one. Feeling stuck? This handy guide can help you determine whether or not you can drop the formalities.

With that in mind, kiss your tried and true sign-off goodbye and use one of these to switch things up every now and then!

Display vs. Search vs. Social

The Basics Of PPC

Before we delve into the different types of PPC, let’s clarify what PPC advertising is.

The PPC advertising model places a company’s advertisements in search results or on another website to generate more traffic back to the advertiser’s site. The ads are usually tied to certain keywords in a search engine, or placed on websites with similar content to the products or services being offered in the ad.

Rather than pay a standard fee for the ad, the company pays per click — that is, they pay each time someone clicks on the ad and goes to their website. PPC can be an effective marketing tool because it can quickly and easily find potential new customers who are interested in the products or services that your company already offers. Because PPC ads take potential buyers straight to your website, they also provide a direct connection with new customers without the hassle of trying to find them on your own.

With that in mind, executing, managing, and optimizing PPC can differ depending upon the type of advertising you are doing.

Search Ads

With the ubiquity of Google, Bing, and Yahoo, it’s little wonder that search ads have become the most common form of PPC advertising. Search ads are linked to certain keywords, and they appear along with your search results when a certain keyword or phrase is entered into the search engine. This particular form of PPC is especially smart because it places your ad in front of people who are already interested in your industry, service, or product. With this approach, search ads are able to provide strong, high-quality leads for new customers. And because these individuals are already searching for a related item, there is a much higher likelihood that you’ll be able to convert these leads into actual sales. These types of ads are also very simple and straightforward in their design — usually just a set amount of text — making it easier to use as a marketing strategy.

This simplicity can also be a drawback, however, as the lack of visuals and images in the ad itself can make it harder for your ad to stand out among others and engage new customers. Despite the simplicity, search ads can also be fairly expensive, as there is usually a great deal of competition surrounding them.

Pricing points vary, and since you’re paying for each individual click, those clicks can add up — especially if you’re not able to convert the majority of click leads into sales. Also, because the ads are linked to certain keywords or phrases, it can be difficult to get your message out to a wider audience.

Display Ads

Display ads are another popular form of industrial PPC that many companies use. These types of ads appear at the top, on the side, and in the middle of web content on almost every website. Display ads are known for their effectiveness — they reach more than 90% of people who surf the internet.

In fact, this high visibility gives them a wide reach among users to generate new traffic to the target site. Since these types of ads are fairly common, they face less competition and are less expensive than search ads. They’re also much more dynamic than search ads — allowing you to use a mix of images and text to create an ad that can really engage your audience. With fewer limitations, your ads can be personalized to fit your brand.

While the wide presence of display ads means that they can get you a lot of exposure, their prevalence can also be their downfall. Because they have inundated people’s screens for so long —what feels like since the beginning of the internet to some — many people don’t notice them or ignore them altogether. This translates to a very small number of actual clicks on the ad.

The prevalence and oversaturation of display ads have also made many people associate them with spam, making internet users less likely to click on them. Many people go so far as to install ad blocking plugins on their internet browser to limit the number of ads that filter through to their screen. If your targeted audience uses such a tool, you could be wasting your marketing budget on ads that might not even be seen.

Social Ads

Social ads are the fastest growing segment of PPC advertising, thanks largely to the growing popularity of different social media platforms among internet users. Many social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, are programmed to be able to target specific audiences based on their network, their hobbies and interests, and their professions, among other factors. As a result, social ads are tremendously effective at getting your message to your intended audience quickly and effectively.

Social ads are also fairly inexpensive compared to other PPC ads — helping you get more bang for your buck with your marketing strategy. Social ads are also easy to use — making them accessible to nearly any size company or business. They’re also very effective at reaching your targeted audience and have a high click rate. The ads themselves also have a certain degree of flexibility in terms of design and content––allowing you to really show your brand through your ad.

Since social media is a relatively new media and considered to be more popular among certain age groups, its use as a marketing tool might be met with some resistance by your company’s leadership or stakeholders. In addition, many people are hesitant to adopt social media marketing because of its very different platforms and unique approaches to content. Thus, it might take more to convince your marketing managers or executives to invest in this particular form of  PPC advertising.

Social ads can also be more time-consuming to create. Because new content is always being posted on social media at a very high rate — with different keywords and topics trending at a given moment — it’s important to stay current with the latest content being posted. Additionally, social media networks are notorious for introducing new ad products, removing old ones, and changing specs, so you’ll need to keep up at all times.

Need More Info About PPC?

A strategic and targeted PPC program can be an effective part of your marketing strategy. However, it can also be challenging, and without the right knowledge, those clicks can add up quickly. Plus, you’ll want to make sure that the money you do spend is attracting real customers.

Have questions about what you just read Let’s talk – mhabig@tbiadv.com 

 

The Importance of Design in Social Media

Take a second and observe your surroundings. What do you see? You’ll maybe see a book, your phone, your laptop, a poster on your wall or even a cup of tea. Each one of these objects was designed in such a way that would be convenient and aesthetically pleasing for you. Now think about the social media platforms you log onto on a daily basis. You’re exposed to a flood of “Likes”, tweets, tags and messages every day. However you don’t really remember all of them, do you? Well, here is where graphic design comes into play. If you really think about it, it’s kinda simple. Until and unless you see an image so catchy, that you absolutely have to share it, you won’t give it a second thought. With attention spans decreasing, it has become increasingly important for brands to up their design game on their social media pages.

Consistency is Key

Brands are becoming more and more active on social media. When a brand uses an image consistently throughout their social media platforms, you have a better chance of remembering it. If you relate to the image or if it manages to evoke any of your emotion, you may even share it. Inadvertently, you’ve just advertised the brand on your own social media. This is the power of good design. Take the Oreo’s Instagram account for example. To simplify it, Oreo is a company which makes cookies. What could they possibly come up with that may interest you? However, Oreo’s design team has come up with some of the most creative things you could do with an Oreo cookie. They may not advertise it straight up, but once you look at their page, you might as well get up and buy a pack of Oreo.

Show-off your Culture

Similarly, images are not just used to advertise your product. They can be used to convey a company’s culture as well. Most of the time, companies are so focused on advertising the product that they forget about who really makes their company a success. In such cases, social media becomes a perfect platform to showcase a company’s “behind-the-scenes” activities. Images of employees having a little fun or working hard can help customers relate to a company on a more personal level. Cisco is one example of such a company, which uses its Instagram account to not only showcase their expertise but also to showcase its employees.

Color it Up

The role of graphic design doesn’t just stop at pretty pictures. It also has a lot to do with branding a company. The colors a company uses, where the brand is placed, everything leads to how a company is perceived by you. While the big shots in the corporate world use soothing and limited colors, Google uses bright and a variety of colors in their graphics. This brings a sense of youth and playfulness in the way Google is perceived. The use of different colors also means that Google isn’t a company which is limited to a certain set of services. It conveys a sense of unlimited possibilities, hence setting Google apart from the rest of the world. If you’ve ever looked at Google’s social media pages, you’ll see how consistent they are with their branding. Google uses the same logo, the same cover image throughout their social media. This brings a sense of unity and builds a sense of familiarity with the user. Having a consistent look and feel on your social media goes a long way in building trust as well.

The next time you’re on any of the social media platforms you use, think about what makes you share a post, or what really appeals to your senses. Also look at a few companies and see if their social media pages have a sense of unity in them. The role of graphic designing is increasing at a rapid pace and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

TBI Landing pages

Why you need a landing page

TBI Landing pages

What is a landing page?  It’s a page that someone can land on. A landing page, however, is strategically written and designed with a specific purpose determined by business objectives. The end goal of a landing page: conversion. If you want to generate leads, learn more about your audience, or improve your marketing efforts, you need a landing page.

What are the basic components?

Images

  • The right image is worth a 1,000 words especially when it comes to conversions on your landing page. Use on-brand images that evoke emotion and increase the tangibility of your product or service. For example, using an image of real people enjoying the benefits of your product or service is more effective than an unbranded, impersonal stock photo. Because Google can’t “see” images, adding alt text or image titles helps the search engine recognize and categorize your image. Lastly, make sure your image is a high quality because no one likes a blurry photo.
  • Headline
  • Most people will spend a short time on your landing page, even when you’ve spent hours writing 500 words of copy. Landing pages are meant to be straightforward. Your headline needs to grab a visitor’s short attention span. In a few words, tell your visitors what benefit or what value they can expect from converting. Create a compelling headline, but be clear and concise.

Copy

  • Once you’ve piqued your visitor’s interest with an effective headline, the body copy of your landing page is where you elaborate the benefits of your product or service. Keyword research should guide your word choices, but keep in mind that you still want to be brief. You can break up the copy by using headers and bullet points. This makes it easier for the visitor to know what’s important. Remember to ask yourself: how are you going to solve your potential customer’s problem? What can you provide that your competitors can’t? Another way to provide value to visitors on your landing page is by sharing a customer testimonial or a case study that support your claims.

Call-to-Action

  • Last, but not least is the call-to-action or CTA. This is the part of your landing page that tells visitors what they should do to convert. CTA’s are usually made in the form of a clickable button. Basic examples are: “Buy Now” or “Start Your Free Trial.” When choosing the best CTA for your page, it’s essential to test different colors, where the CTA is placed and CTA copy to determine which one gets the most conversions.

A landing page can have more components, but not all are necessary. When creating a landing page, the most important thing to have is one single goal. It eliminates any chance of distraction that would prevent your customer from converting.

The REAL reason why you need a landing page…

A landing page can guide your potential customer to the next phase of your digital marketing strategy. It can be used to promote a campaign, provide an offer or capture contact information— moving potential customers down your conversion funnel. It depends on your objectives and audience. If you want to increase the number of webinar attendance/sign-ups by five percent, you’ve got yourself a landing page goal. After running your first campaign, you can experiment with changing one aspect of your landing page (i.e. title, call-to-action, etc.) to refine your strategy.

With a thoughtful landing page, you learn more about your audience and what they’re looking for when it comes to your brand, product or service. You can take these new discoveries and apply it to your business strategy.

With the right branding, web design and marketing strategy, you can boost your business’s digital marketing efforts.

Contact TBI and find out how we partner with you to accomplish your business’s goals.

2016 Year In Review

WE HAD A GREAT YEAR HERE AT TBI: WE UPDATED OUR BRAND, OUR WEBSITE, AND EVEN GAINED A NUMBER OF NEW CLIENTS WE’VE BEEN THRILLED TO WORK WITH. WE’RE EXCITED TO SEE WHAT 2017 WILL BRING AND ANTICIPATE EVEN MORE GREAT OPPORTUNITIES ON THE HORIZON. SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OF OUR LOYAL CLIENTS FOR MAKING 2016 SUCH A FUN AND REWARDING YEAR.