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You have the vision in your mind: what your brand stands for, its personality, what it promises to customers. But despite your best marketing efforts, sometimes brand initiatives don’t quite deliver your glorious vision. It’s probably time to re-evaluate your core brand identity, a practice you should actually do fairly often. Assess the what, why and how of your business to identify your purpose and what sets it apart from your competitors (which also requires some research of the competition). Once you’ve nailed down your objective, then you can start thinking about how best to communicate it to your target audience. These eight strategies will help you take your brand initiatives to the next level.

  1. Establish creative brand initiatives and guidelines

Well-defined standards for brand identity are extremely important to ensuring consistency across content. Verbal guidelines set clear expectations for messaging, tone and voice. Direction is also necessary for all brand visuals, including colors, fonts, photography, logos, videos, etc. Your brand initiatives will match your vision if all creative contributors follow your established verbal and visual guidelines.

  1. Inspire and involve your employees

When it comes to brand initiatives, never underestimate the influence of your employees. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, 71% of people think that employees are more believable than CEOs. Every customer-employee interaction is a reflection of your brand, and much of your staff is at the helm of the customer experience. Inspire and excite your employees with the latest product knowledge as well as clear expectations for customer communication. Employee engagement is key to a positive, consistent customer experience that delivers your brand vision.

  1. Expand your approach across multiple channels

Your customers respond to media differently and use various platforms for searching, networking and media consumption. Your brand initiatives should be adapted to suit several different channels, and you can save time by using similar content across them all. Consider flexibility beyond just content marketing, and open yourself to different channels for things like customer ordering, scheduling of services and direct customer contact. A multimedia, multi-channel strategy will widen your reach and increase brand visibility.

  1. Livestream your events

Livestreaming is a great way to engage consumers with your brand through opportunities they would otherwise be excluded from. And it requires little extra effort! You already have the event(s) planned. Simply choose which parts of the event you want to share, and assign the responsibilities of filming and social media monitoring. By offering access to an exclusive, live event, you stimulate conversation around your brand and give consumers a taste of what you have to offer.

  1. Inject some fun and creativity into your campaigns

Let the fun, unique side of your brand personality shine through. Even organizations that deal with very serious subject matter, like cancer, have had success with campaigns that include light-hearted ads and visuals. Inspirational pieces are especially uplifting to brand image and awareness. Don’t limit yourself to easy memes and social media shares. Insert your brand into broader conversations about exciting, popular events. Consider even getting your CEO in on the action! The idea is to find opportunities to reach audiences with creativity and emotion. In doing so, you’ll set your brand apart from the competition.

  1. Incentivize and showcase customer sharing

According to HubSpot, 81% of customers trust recommendations from family and friends over those from companies. Capitalize on modern consumers’ trust in peer feedback by encouraging customers to share their experiences with your products and services. You can do this within controlled environments, like email surveys and reviews submitted to your website, which give you the power to choose which responses to share publicly. Or you can take a much less controlled approach by prompting customers to use public platforms and hashtags to share user-generated images, videos and testimonials about your brand. The latter will likely produce a much larger response (a benefit that typically outweighs potential negative responses you may also receive). In either approach, incentives will motivate more customers to participate.

  1. Reward your biggest fans

We all love our loyal customers. Return the love by rewarding customers with a loyalty program. Yotpo reports that 52% of customers will join a loyalty program, and 39% will spend more on a product even when there are cheaper options elsewhere. Consider offering exclusive discounts and incentives to your dedicated customers, which will make them feel acknowledged and appreciated – and likely, more eager to purchase again. You could also consider planning a grand gesture of gratitude to record and share publicly as a thank-you to a specific customer group for their kindness or participation. Cultivate loyalty, and your customers will become brand ambassadors.

  1. Focus on being solution-based and customer-centric

Consumers want to purchase from companies they trust. Brand your business as helpful, transparent and sincere, and consumer trust will only grow. Thorough understanding of your customer journey is essential to building a trustworthy image. Audit every customer touchpoint with your business, asking yourself, “Is this customer-friendly?” For your content marketing, also be mindful of the balance of self-promotional content and useful information you offer audiences. Keep the customer experience first in mind with all campaigns and content to boost your brand reputation.

Technology and consumer needs are ever-changing, and some studies show that nearly half of customers will leave a brand they’re loyal to if a competitor is better at meeting their needs. Thus, businesses must regularly revisit their purpose and marketing strategies to stay relevant. Moreover, consistency of service and messaging is fundamental to growing consumer confidence. Aim to work these eight ideas into your marketing initiatives, and your magnificent brand vision will soon be realized.

The post Top 8 ideas to improve your brand initiatives through marketing efforts appeared first on Wax Marketing.

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Making a website font choice for your site can be tricky business. There’s a couple of things you need to know before diving in and selecting a font out of the blue for your website. In fact, a font is tied to many different characteristics of your business; you may not even realise. It’s such a small detail that makes a large impact in the digital world of marketing and brand management.

Take a look at the top 5 things we’ll go over to help you make a perfect website font choice.

Know your brand

Your Target Audience

Brand Coloring

Sizing

Pairing fonts for your site

1. Know your brand

Each brand is different, and highlighting those differences is what’s going to set you apart from other brands. So maybe you’re a tech startup or an advertising agency. Think of all the tech startups and advertising agencies there are. Knowing what your company has that others in your industry don’t, is the easiest way to pick a font.

We all have those friends that don’t know where to go out and eat but don’t like any of the options you give. It’s bouncing around the topic instead of hitting it on the nose. Rather than them stating which restaurant they want to eat at, they just name all the restaurants they don’t want to go to.

This takes much more time and energy and ultimately is most inefficient. If you don’t know your brand and its unique brand features, it’s just like that friend having difficulty choosing a restaurant, and therefore makes your website font choice that much harder. 

2. Your target audience

What’s arguably more important than knowing your brand, is knowing who your brand is catered for. Target audience is key because it dictates the decisions you make in regards to your brand, like fonts!

Think about it like this: you’re not going to send an beer fest invitation to a child. The same is applied to fonts. If you’re looking to cater to a certain group of people, your should reflect those people when choosing a font for your site. 

Looking for modern, sophisticated 24 year olds? Try Lato. Catering to the wise and trustworthy financial advisors? Baskerville might be a good choice.

3. Brand Coloring

The Logo Company Similar to fonts, brand coloring can really affect the image of your company. Certain colors evoke specific emotions and ideas that can further push home the message you’re trying to send to your audience.

Think about the colors you see most with spas. They’re soothing colors like green, lavender, or pale blue. Look at a spa’s logo the next time you pass a sign, and I’m sure it will have one of those colors incorporated. Search for a feeling you want your branding to evoke, and work from there.

4. Selecting the right size

Just like all good things in life, too much of a good thing doesn’t always end well. Think about this in terms of font sizes when choosing a font for your site. If you used a header font size across your whole website, your content would look like it’s shouting to its users.

Twelve point fonts are a safe bet for paragraph font sizes. For headings, use your visual judgement. A heading should not take up the whole page, and should only direct users to read that information first, and then guide them to the paragraph text. If your font sizes aren’t doing this, it might be time to reevaluation your size choices.

5. Pairing fonts for your site.

After you’ve found your chosen font, it’s time to find it’s matching pair. Of course, this is easier said than done.

To sum it up in a few sentences, serif fonts and sans serif fonts usually pair very well together. If you’re not sure where to start then, that’s a good place. If you’d like to dodge the challenge and take a faster route, we have a font combination tool by Bold Web Design Adelaide for you that does the trick.

Conclusion: perfecting your website font choice 

Your website font choice isn’t about understanding the hundreds of thousands of fonts out there, but rather understanding your brand and how you want to convey it.

There are only a few fonts that embody the unique characteristics your site brings next to its competitors. It’s just a matter of finding a font that has all that. Then, matching it with its best compatible buddy.

Author Bio

A creative jack of all trades, Kelsey Woodbridge from Bold Web Design brings tasteful wit to each article she writes. With experience in the world of design, she understands the struggles of choosing fine details, like fonts, that put the cherry on top.

The post The Top 5 things you need to consider when choosing a font for your site appeared first on Wax Marketing.

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Fast-forwarding through TV commercials, using ad blockers on mobile and desktop, skipping ads entirely with streaming services subscriptions…these are the behaviors of today’s consumers, who don’t want to be bothered with pushy ads or salesmen. They value materialism less and personalization more.

So how do you catch their attention? Experiential marketing.

According to an EventTrack survey, 65% of people believe that live events and product demonstrations help them fully understand a product better than ads or other methods could.

Experiential marketing, often used interchangeably with “event” marketing, uses branded experiences to engage consumers in a personal way. These campaigns center on live, memorable and immersive interactions designed to leave lasting impressions on the customer. The customer then shares with others, creating not only direct, lasting connections for them but also a positive association with your brand.

Why experiential marketing is worth your time

Regressive though it may seem in the digital age of consumerism, person-to-person interaction between business and customer is in higher demand now than ever before. With technology serving as the primary medium for daily social activity, people place a higher value on face-to-face experiences. An Eventbrite study found that 78% of millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event instead of a desirable object. Not only this, but American consumer spending on live events doubled from 1990 to 2010.

Technology is an essential component to this type of marketing, though. Effective experiential campaigns harness technology by crafting brand engagements in tangible, offline ways that, in turn, fuel online conversations. Actionable insights can be gleaned from the resulting boost in online presence, brand loyalty and relationships with customers.

And industry leaders are taking notice. According to a Freeman Global Brand Experience study, one in three CMOs plan to dedicate 21 to 50% of their budgets to experiential marketing over the next several years. From more informed messaging changes to increased consumer engagement, your ROI will be hard to miss.

Types of experiences

Experiential campaigns come in many forms, so it’s helpful to know your options. Your interaction doesn’t even have to be an event, but it does need to create personal engagement with your brand.

  1. The not-so-exclusive exclusive

This experience comes in the form of content creation designed for a small group of people to be shared to the masses through social distribution or advertising. These interactions are often easier to execute because you are planning for less people on a smaller scale, but the potential rewards are still significant.

  1. The branded event

This type of interaction isn’t simply throwing a party. It’s a live event that connects your brand directly to customers with the goal of increased conversation and product trial. You should encourage social sharing at your event to boost those conversations. At branded events, 49% of consumers reportedly record mobile video and 39% of them share those videos on Twitter.

  1. The event presence

In this experience, such as sponsoring an event, you have less direct engagement with customers but increased brand awareness by association. This type of interaction can be particularly effective with pre-scheduled events that are highly popular among your audience or hosted by business partners.

Regardless of your resources, one of these experience types should align with your goals. The opportunity to craft exciting experiences for people to learn about your brand – and promote it – is within your grasp.

How to create a smash experience

Designing an original, engaging experience is simpler than you might think. You are essentially inviting your audience to engage with your business in a tangible situation, to shift from passive viewer to active participant. Hands-on, interactive branding material is useful, but remember that an experience can be your chance to show consumers what you stand for, not just what you offer.

Consider the following questions:

  • How does my brand help customers’ problems/desires?
  • What kinds of things bring my customers enjoyment?
  • Where does my audience like to visit/socialize?
  • How can my product benefit potential customers in ways they didn’t realize?
  • What message do I really want my brand to send right now?

Take your answers to those questions, and build an experience around them. Jump outside the digital box and get creative! Make it fun, but keep it relevant and on-brand. Require an exchange of personal information as the cost of admission. Consider partnering with other brands, regional artists and noteworthy musicians. Keeping efforts local will encourage people to share with friends and family. Adding elements of competition and play can also give your audience a sense of achievement. Check out these examples for inspiration.

Even B2B companies can create interactions that give audiences the chance at first-hand experiences with their services/products. It’s less about the type of event you choose and more about the interactions between consumers and your brand.

Tracking success

A branded hashtag for social media sharing is a must, as well as an online way for people to participate who discover your experience through the hashtag. Consider live-streaming as well to capture the action and generate more attention.

Measure your campaign’s success through data collection. You can use engagement metrics to determine how many social expressions and viral impressions were earned. Surveys of participants are also excellent for tracking sentiment and product engagement.

Marketing magic can happen when you couple real-life experiences with social amplification across channels. By carefully curating authentic interactions, you can reach your target audience in a meaningful, memorable way. Few other strategies offer the chance to humanize your brand and elevate connections with customers while balancing local and global.

Eventually, experiential marketing will find its way into nearly every industry. #beamongthefirst

The post Not just a trend: How to capitalize on experiential marketing appeared first on Wax Marketing.

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At first glance, ephemeral content appears to be yet another buzzworthy trend making rounds throughout the marketing industry. But after making a disparaging remark at PRSA ICON recently, I was schooled by a few marketers who helped me explain why this type of content is so engaging. I’m not alone. ntroduced by Snapchat in 2011 these kinds of stories were met with overwhelming skepticism, as marketers struggled to make sense of this new type of temporarily available content.

Traditionally, marketers have always focused on long-lasting, reusable content. Investing valuable resources into a medium that is available only for 24 hours seemed very counter-intuitive to me. However, the growing popularity of social media platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram meant that traditional strategies also had to evolve in order to remain effective, and more importantly, relevant. Ephemeral content has become a crucial part of any well-thought-out marketing strategy.

What is ephemeral content?

Ephemeral content refers to any type of visual content, such as photos and videos, accessible for a short period of time. Snapchat was the first the develop a concept that allows users to exchange photos and videos that would disappear after being viewed. The company later introduced Stories, allowing users to share content that will be available 24 hours before finally disappearing. Other companies soon followed suit and today, Stories can be found on Instagram, Facebook and even the Facebook Messenger app.

What makes ephemeral content so appealing?

The overwhelming popularity of disappearing stories can be explained in two ways. On one hand, the act of content creation has moved from the hands of brands and companies and into the hands of consumers. This allowed them to tell their stories with an authenticity that was previously unmatched by a large corporation. And consumers crave authenticity like never before, with more than 86% of consumers citing authenticity as the deciding factor when it comes to liking and supporting a particular brand.

Also, the fleeting nature of ephemeral content creates a sense of urgency and relies heavily on the fear of missing out to elicit a specific action or an immediate response from the audience. Further supporting this claim are the statistics: Snapchat currently has 188 million daily active users, while Instagram Stories boast twice as many daily active users, reaching the 400 million-mark in Jun of 2018. But what are some of the practical marketing benefits ephemeral content has to offer?

Increasing user engagement

One of the major benefits of ephemeral content its ability to drive user engagement. Instagram provides a number of story-oriented features that are designed to engage the audience. These include swipe meters, polls, and questions. Businesses can use these features to survey existing and potential customers and receive much-needed customer feedback about specific products and/or service. Instagram Stories also come with a live feature that allows businesses to interact with their followers in real time.

Improving brand loyalty

Creating and sharing content regardless of your brand’s physical location helps develop authenticity and ensures brand loyalty. Modern consumers expect a great deal of transparency from their favorite brands and businesses can use ephemeral content to further humanize their brand. Stories can be used to show a behind-the-scenes look of the company or showcase the hard-working employees behind the brand itself.

The most important thing is to maintain the brand message and tone of voice with all your content, including ephemeral. You can sift through the portfolios of prominent branding companies to get an idea of how the pros integrate all their efforts into a cohesive strategy which helps amplify the brand’s message. By using your branding goals as a compass for your social media strategy, you can create authentic, relatable Stories which will help you build a relationship with your audience and increase customer loyalty.

Reaching a much wider audience

Users are interacting with Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories on a daily basis. The combined numbers of daily active users offer a large potential for extending your brand reach and engaging potential customers. One of the great ways to engage your existing following while increasing your overall reach is to use to Stories format as a vehicle for user-generated content. A single click is all it takes to showcase audience-made content and put a smile on a follower’s face once they see their work being shared by their favorite brand.

Getting the most out of ephemeral content

Never use ephemeral content as a means to spam your following with product and service announcements. Instead, use it to tell your brand story and convey your brand message. You’re working with an ephemeral medium and every piece of content you share needs to complement and elevate your audience’s digital experience. Instagram and Snapchat are both mobile-first, location-based applications that offer rather engaging branded and various other filters used to service specific events and locations.

Show authenticity by providing your following with a sneak peek into your company’s daily activities or take them behind the scenes and introduce them to the company employees. It’s important that you always act with integrity and use ephemeral content in addition to your regularly scheduled content, not instead of it. Lastly, Instagram supports Story Ads as a way to reach your audience quicker and provide potential consumers with product and service information they might be interested in even if they’re not explicitly following you.  

Ephemeral content is here to stay, despite its fleeting character. It is a viable marketing tool for increasing engagement, expanding audience reach, establishing authenticity and ensuring loyalty and trust. That said, research precedes development, so make sure to an extensive research into your target audience before spending large amounts of your marketing budget developing an ephemeral content strategy that might not even work.  

The post The Power of Ephemeral Content appeared first on Wax Marketing.

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Hilary Topper, President of HJMT Public Relations and author of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Social Media gives us the inside scoop on conducting successful influencer marketing campaigns. 

Along with her successful PR practice, Topper teaches Media Studies, Journalism, and Public Relations at Hofstra University. A prolific content marketer, she also curates  two successful blogs – NY Lifestyle and A Triathlete’s Diary – and records her podcast “Hilary Topper on Air”.

In the latest Wax Q&A, Hilary providers her insights on one of the hottest marketing trends right now: influencer marketing.

Wax: Why do you think influencer marketing has become so popular in the last couple of years?

HT: Influencer Marketing has always been popular. In recent years, the phrase has been coined but since the earliest public relations campaigns, PR professionals have used celebrities, experts, sports figures, etc. to build brand awareness. Just recently, the “average” person who has lots of followers have been targeted to help in the mission.

Wax: Many marketers struggle with influencer marketing. What’s your best advice for choosing influencers that are right for your brand? 

HT: Do your homework. Do a google search, look at how many people are following them and see if there is engagement and on what platform. Just because someone has 100,000+ followers on Instagram but has none on Facebook and Facebook is your target audience, then perhaps you should look for someone influential on Facebook.

Once you have done your homework, keep connecting with these folks. You need to build a relationship with them and bring them into your world. Give them a heads up on special offers and promotions. Tell them how they are doing in terms of ROI and offer them special incentives and discounts.

Wax: Can you point us to a really successful marketing campaign? Why did that work?

HT: We build influencer campaigns and we also participate in influencer campaigns. One of the campaigns I work on is with Balega Socks. From the outside, the campaign seems to be seamless. They have activation projects that ambassadors can participate in. I’ve done a number of them including giving away socks to beginner runners. As a result, these beginner runners have all purchased at least five pairs from local running stores.

Wax: What are the worst 3 mistakes you see brands making when working with influencers? 

HT: 

  1. Bringing the influencer in and not following up.
  2. No accessibility from the marketer.
  3. Selling influencers short, for example, no payment or very little payment for an ambitious job.

Wax: How do you get an influencer to actually do what they’ve promised? So many don’t come through for brands. 

HT: Marketers need to guide influencers and follow up. It’s easier said than done, especially since marketers have their hand in lots of different projects. But, it’s important to make sure that they build a relationship that includes frequent touchpoints.

Wax: What are the 3-4 primary measurements of success for an influencer campaign? How would you report that data in terms of frequency, etc. ?

  1. How many people are seeing the post
  2. How many people are engaging with the post
  3. How many click-throughs you get on your website.

Reporting should be done quarterly as well if not monthly. Some major brand campaigns even report on a weekly or even a daily basis.

Wax: What are your top 3 tips for working with influencers? 

  1. Build relationships
  2. Treat influencers with respect
  3. Respond immediately to their needs

Want to learn more about influencer marketing? Click here.

The post Influencer Marketing: Q & A with Hilary Topper appeared first on Wax Marketing.

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