Your Guide To Marketing Basics

Photo of busy street with large digital ads.

Marketing is a multi-tiered effort, and it can be daunting when you’re unfamiliar with the basics. Never fear, we’re here to help. We’ve broken down some of the important marketing pieces and made them easy to understand. So, if you need a crash course in marketing basics, then you’ve come to the right place. Please read on!

What Is Marketing

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. 

Essentially, marketing is how a brand, whether it’s an individual or a company, connects with and sells to the end-user. In this instance, sells is a multi-faceted word. It could be a product, an idea, a service, or anything of value imparted from the giver to the receiver. 

Marketing, as a verb, is done through a variety of ways and across multiple channels. The intent is to use a strategic marketing plan to drive the customer into action. 

The 4 Ps of Marketing Basics

There are four primary components of marketing called the 4 Ps.

While your marketing strategy, along with variables within that strategy may change, these four principles will always remain the same. 

  • Product: The goods or services your company is selling.
  • Price: The cost of your goods or service.
  • Place: Where your goods or service can be found, whether online or in a store. 
  • Promotion: How the news of your product or service is going to be effectively distributed.

Key Elements Of A Marketing Strategy

There are many different pieces that come together to make a complete marketing strategy. Not all of these will be right for every brand. 

  • Content: Content marketing helps break down a problem your potential client is having and shows them how to work toward a solution. It aids in growing your audience while establishing authority in your industry. If done compellingly, it will lead to sales.
  • Social media: Social media marketing will build brand awareness. It will enable you to find an audience where you wouldn’t otherwise find one. Meaning, new eyeballs on your product or service. 
  • Email: Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing pieces. You’re delivering your vital information directly into your audience’s inbox. There’s no better real estate than that. 
  • Video: Video has become the most consumed form of content. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to Google. Having a video marketing strategy is becoming increasingly more important.
  • SEO: Using relevant keywords will increase your chances of being found in your target users’ search. In fact, when done right, SEO is the driving force behind website traffic.
  • Paid ads: With ads/PPC, you’re seen at the top of the search engine results. When a user is searching for the type of product or service you offer, you’re now in a better position to sell them what they’re looking for. 
  • Influencer: What’s a better sales tactic than having a popular personality promote your product? Influencer marketing allows you to leverage your influencer’s audience, getting your service or product in front of more potential users. 
  • Public Relations (PR): Public relations is a more traditional form of marketing. PR is about positive perception through relationship building. 

Also read: What Is TikTok And How Can Brands Use It?

Man writing a marketing strategy on a white board.

How To Create A Marketing Strategy

A strategy is important to marketing success. It’s the roadmap that guides your direction and helps you to obtain your goals. 

  • First, you need to determine who your audience is.
  • Next, you’ll have to decide your call-to-action (CTA) for each step of your strategy.
  • Then, you’ll need to understand where in the marketing funnel they are: 
    • Top of the funnel is when the potential customer has no idea who you are.
    • Middle of the funnel means the customer is searching for a product that you have.
    • Bottom of the funnel means the customer has the money and is ready to make a purchase.
  • How are you going to hit your goal? This is where you’re going to determine which of the above elements of marketing are the right ones for you. 
  • Recognizing Your Audience
    • Who is the perfect customer/client?
    • Which platforms are they on?
    • How are you reaching them?
    • What are you going to do in order to be found easily?

Figuring out the “who” will help you determine the “how”. If that sounds confusing, please feel free to reach out to Adapt Studios. We’re happy to help!

Also read: How To Write A Blog Post Built To Convert

Marketing Tools You’ll Need

To aid you in both your marketing strategy and execution, you’ll need some handy dandy tools to keep you on track. 

  • Social platform scheduling: Look at Hootsuite, it is very user friendly and allows you to schedule posts on most social networks. Facebook has one built into the platform, and Twitter is introducing a native scheduler, as well. 
  • Project management: Trello, Asana, Monday, Airtable and so much more are available. It just depends on your specific needs. 
  • Editorial Calendars: You can make one using a Google sheet, or use the project management tool with editorial calendar capabilities like Monday. 
  • Email: We love Mailchimp, but Hubspot has a nice email campaign platform, as does Constant Contact
  • SEO: There are so many different tools available for this. We like Answer the Public, Google’s Search Console, and Moz.

You may go through a bunch of different tools until you find the ones that work best for you and your team. 

Also read: Humanizing Your Brand

There are so many things to keep track of and understand when initiating your marketing strategy. You’ll constantly learn and refine, which is perfectly normal, you’re just starting with marketing basics.

Always remember, there’s no perfect way, so stay positive and keep on marketing!

More resources:

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/guides/small-business-marketing-101/

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/step-by-step-guide-to-the-fundamentals-of-marketing-2295834

How To Start A Podcast

How to start a podcast. A man sitting at a desk with a mic.

Let’s assume you already have your podcast gear such as a name, topic, and microphone ready to go. Your cover art is perfect, and your intro has been professionally done. Your ducks are lined up. That’s a great start. 

However, there are two things crucial to the success of your passion project. You will need to pick the best fitting platform, and properly promote your podcast across the internet. Here’s how. 

Picking Your Host

A podcast host is where you’ll upload the recorded podcasts, and from there you’ll be able to upload the episodes to places like iTunes, Spotify, and other platforms specific to podcasters. To pick one of the many that are available, look for:

  • Price: Choose one that fits your budget. They range from about $12 per month and up. 
  • Support: What type of tech support is included with the platform.
  • Platforms: Will the podcast host get you onto the sites you want to be available on?
  • Monetize: Are you able to monetize through the host, if that’s what you’re looking to do.
  • Storage: How much storage space is included in each package.
  • Analytics: It’s important to know how far of a reach your podcast has, and the only way to know that is through analytics. 

Promoting That Podcast of Yours

Once you have your podcast host chosen, and you’ve gone live, you need to reach an audience. Chances are, listeners aren’t going to find your podcast on their own. At least, not at first. You need to actively promote it through social media. Let’s explore your options.

  • Submit your podcast to Apple, Google, Spotify, and other large podcast platforms.
  • Communities of podcasters are a great place to become active. You can explore Facebook and Linkedin for active groups, as well as entire websites devoted to growing podcaster communities.
  • Social media will be helpful when trying to grow your podcast subscribers. Create a Facebook fan page for yours, and post regularly. Boost your posts to get a larger reach.  
  • SEO is going to be your friend, which means you should have a blog to help those who are looking for the topic you provide to find you.
  • Keywords instead of numbers for the titles of your podcasts will help with organic search. For example: How To Start A Podcast – Episode 6 is a better title than, say, Episode 6. 
  • Headlines should complement the title. Using the above example, How To Start A Podcast, your headline could be Finding the Best Podcast Platform and Promotional Tools to Get Ahead.
  • Commit to creating podcasts weekly. It can take a few months for it to build momentum, and consistency is a key ingredient when trying to gain that. 

Currently, there are over 700K podcasts available. It sounds like a lot, but it’s far less than the number of blogs across the internet. Now is a good time to start one, but you need to have a plan in place in order to compete with the early adopters whose podcasts have become successful. 

Need a new podcast to listen to? Try ours!

SEO: A Beginners Guide To The Basics

A beginners guide to SEO

Search engines, think Google and Bing, love when websites are fast-loading, well-designed, and offer stellar content.

So, when the web crawlers pay a visit to your website and see all the hard work you’ve put into your SEO, they display your content higher up on the SERPs. And then, you end up with a ton of traffic, leads, and sales.

But, what does all that mean?

Sounds sort of intimidating, right?

Read on to understand the connection between SEO and the success of your company. Plus, you may even pick up pointers so you can do it yourself!

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

When it’s done right, SEO brings more organic, or unpaid traffic to your website. And, this is accomplished through your web content.

The pages on your website are what’s going to be indexed, not your actual site. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a list of relevant keywords you want to rank for, and organically (naturally) sprinkle them throughout your different pages.

But, we’ll discuss keyword research later on in this article. 

With the right SEO efforts, your site should:

  • Attract high-quality traffic and leads
  • Have more visitors
  • More free/organic traffic

Read about Google’s algorithm, BERT

What Are Search Engines and How Do They Work?

Ahrefs compares search engines to libraries for the digital age, storing web pages instead of books. You type your query into the search bar, and the search engine displays pages upon pages of results. Or it could just be a couple of pages, depending on the search parameters. 

The results your search turns up is due to crawlers, which is essentially a bot program; think of it as an explorer. It “crawls” its way across the internet to search for information based on that query.

Bots use links like we use a map, in order to jump from page to page across the sites. These crawlers read your metadata and content; take the information and ship them off to their boss, the algorithm.

From there, your information is organized in a way that will rank well for the user’s original query. 

In order to rank high in the search results, your SEO needs to be reachable and readable.

This means your links must work, your keywords need to be in place, and your metadata relevant to the content displayed. 

You can block these bots from crawling certain pages of your site by adding a no index metatag. These are good for redundant pages, or pages you’re trying to stop from being indexed. 

Keywords And How To Find Them

Keyword research helps you locate the words you’ll want to rank for on search engines. These keywords are what will help direct users to your content.

Once you have determined what these words are, sprinkle them in your title, headers, and body copy. Don’t forget meta descriptions and image alt text, too.

If you’re using a WordPress template, add an SEO plugin. We use Yoast, and really like it. It’s a popular choice for so many reasons, their SEO checklist especially. 

Finding the correct keywords can be a confusing process.

You are intimately familiar with your business, so you know some of the most popular words and phrases associated with it.

Start there.

Then do a search for related search terms. 

You’re going to want to have a nice mix of head terms (short phrases), and long-tail (3 or more word phrases) scattered in various parts of your content. T

o find keywords, you can use Google’s AdWords Planner. For long-tail, Answer The Public is a great tool. 

How To Make Your Site SEO-Friendly

Having an SEO-friendly site is important if you want organic results, especially in a sea of similar sites.

SEO gives you that competitive edge, allowing you to be more visible in search results. 

Some quick tips for an SEO-friendly site are:

  • Simple URL’s that are unique to every page
  • No duplicate content. However, if you have some out there, know that Google will only display one of them in the results and there’s no guarantee it will be the one from your site
  • Have a sitemap somewhere on your website–this helps those crawlers out
  • Use internal links whenever and wherever possible–But don’t overdo it
  • Images need to be optimized, too. This means, describing the image so even someone without eyesight understands what is displayed
  • Keywords, but don’t keyword stuff unless you want to be penalized by Google
  • Site speed is important, the faster it loads the better
  • Being active on your social platforms also helps with your SEO!

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what SEO is, and how to begin doing it.

If you need some help, our team at Adapt Studios is just an email away! Happy keyword scattering. 

References:

https://ahrefs.com/blog/what-is-seo/

https://en.ryte.com/wiki/Crawler

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-do-keyword-research-ht

https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/what-is-seo-and-how-it-works/

How To Create A Social Media Strategy

Social media strategy photo of a sign saying You Got This

During relatively normal times, it’s important to have some type of social media strategy in place. Right now, with companies of all shapes and sizes suffering due to shutdowns, it’s imperative to stay in touch with your audience. The best place to do that is to be in the same spaces they are which is on social media. Once you have determined which social platforms to concentrate on, you’ll need to have a strategy in place to make the most of those spaces.

Get engagement

Now is the time to up the ante for user engagement. Your audience is more connected, and online more often. Encourage moving your body, staying healthy, staying positive, and staying sane during this time. Let your audience know that we are all in this together.

  • Sample social post: The entire month of April is “Move More Month”. Now, more than ever, people are throwing on their walking shoes and hitting the pavement. What are you doing to move more this month?

Get Action

With every post comes an opportunity to connect with your audience. Use a strong call-to-action (CTA) to encourage your users to engage with you. This will increase traffic to your social media page, website, and keep your brand in people’s minds. It’s free advertising! When sharing blog posts in your IG story, add a link and encourage followers to swipe up! Tip: Negative posts can either be deleted or publically addressed before moving to private messaging. 

  • Sample Instagram post: Socially distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go the distance. Show us how you’re staying connected while keeping at least 6 ft of space. Tag us in your photos and we may share them on our page!

Get Trendy

Pay attention to current trends happening across social platforms and jump in on the ones that make sense. Take the I-Spy game spreading all over Facebook.

  • Sample FB Post: Flattening the Curve might sound daunting, but we can toast to its success once this is over. In the meantime, let’s play a game that’s all over Facebook. “I spy with my little eye”, something blue in your camera photos. (And the blue image for this post might be Lake Michigan or a mash-up of all the Great Lakes)

Get Festive

Give a nod to ‘real’ holidays, but also celebrate the super fun and relevant ones. You can find a list of quirky national holidays here: http://www.holidayinsights.com/  

  • Sample social post: Monday, April 13th is National Scrabble Day and with everyone home, board game usage has seen a huge resurgence. Call to action could be: What’s your favorite board game? Or, what games have you been playing? 

Get Pinning

Focus on sharing useful and original content. Pinterest is a very active network that can take products viral. Have boards that are both entertaining and product-based. 

  • Sample Pinterest Boards Subjects: Make boards about travel, fun destinations, and how those relate to your product. Show users real-life scenarios where your product is the hero.

Get Tagged

Set up a relevant branded hashtag. It will also make it easier for you to see who is tagging you on Instagram.

  • Sample Branded Hashtags: It could be something as simple as #XAtHome, or #StaySafeWithX. X, of course, is your brand or product name.

Get Real

Share employee stories and photos of how they are handling this time. Remote work stations, playing with their kids, anything that connects to the audience. Make your brand more human. Consider doing Facebook live or even pre-recorded videos. 

  • Sample Post: Make an announcement regarding how your company is taking care of its employees during this time. Show your remote workspaces or a pic of your Zoom meeting thumbnails. 

Your social media strategy can be as simple or complex as you deem necessary. Whichever you choose, the important goal is to be present so that when this is over and a bad memory, your brand hasn’t been forgotten. Remember to be thoughtful and tasteful in your messaging, everyone is feeling uncertain right now. 

Why You Need A Good Video Marketing Strategy

Video Marketing and Video content.

The internet is a competitive place, congested with all sorts of content vying for consumers’ eyes and ears. Nowadays, the consumer is savvier, and they know when they are being sold to. Sales-y content is often overlooked. The ‘real stuff’, that’s what’s in, and it’s likely here to stay. It’s all about humanizing your brand, and the best way to do that is with a video content marketing strategy. 

Why Video Marketing Is Important To Every Industry

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a market for your videos. Just as podcasting is growing, so is video marketing. Here are some main points to persuade you to start a video campaign of your own. 

Draw in your audience: Video is the preferred method of content delivery. If done right, you will draw in your target audience with captivating messaging. This makes them more willing to perform your call-to-action task. 

Content ideas become endless: One blog post can become a series of videos. You can create lists, testimonials, how-to’s, 30-second elevator pitches, and the list goes on. 

Video IS Social Media: If content is king, then video is the crown jewel. One video can be published across all social platforms because that is what’s expected. And, you can easily shoot these videos using your phone’s front-facing camera.

Watching is the new reading: Attention spans are shorter, and audiences demand entertainment. Viewers want to consume content in video form with the option to have it on mute. So, be sure to include subtitles. 

Results are measurable: It’s easy to see how well your video is performing. Analytics reveal how long a video is watched, what links were clicked, if it was shared, and if any of your call-to-actions were performed.

Conversions and conversation increase: Video marketing influences your user’s behavior. You’ll see better conversions along with increased conversations through your videos. It’s all about humanizing your brand. 

Types of Video Content That’s Easy To Make

There are so many different pieces of content you can create through video. Here is a shortlist of video content ideas to try.

  • Pillar content: Use your blog posts to create a series of videos using the H2s as titles for a series. Using this article, for example. One video would be “Why Video Is So Important To Every Industry”, another would be “Types of Videos you could easily produce”, and so on. 
  • Expert interviews: Hit up your network and do a series of video interviews with industry experts, clients, coworkers, and whoever can make helpful content.
  • Industry advice: Providing insight in a succinct way not only helps simplify a complex industry, but it also will resonate more with your target audience. 
  • Bring on the drones: Drone footage is all the rage and is growing in popularity as drones become more affordable. 
  • Recaps: Summarize important bullet points of the previous week or month’s content.
  • Incentives: If you’re running specials, talk about the benefits of what you’re offering. 
  • How-to videos: How-to content has been popular across every industry. It gives your audience the information needed to try it at home. Most likely, they’ll realize it needs to be done by professionals. By making these types of videos, you’re cementing yourself as a thought leader and establishing trust with potential customers. 
  • Goodwill content: Offer tips and tricks to help your audience without asking for anything in return. 
  • Local happenings: Introduce local activities, businesses, and events. This grows your community and increases referrals. 
  • Promo videos: Explainer videos that talk about your product and why it is beneficial to your audience. These are your ‘brag’ moments. 

Speaking of video marketing, check out this article about TikTok

Seeing Is Believing

Initiating a video campaign into your marketing strategy is a great way to give your brand that necessary human element. It’s human nature to want to relate to something, even a product. And, by putting a face behind it, the brand becomes a person. A trusted friend. As a result, you turn your users into fans that become spokespeople for your brand. This creates social proof plus word-of-mouth marketing, and those are two elements unparalleled when it comes to success.

Additionally, one piece of video content can be used in many different ways across your platforms. You can embed it into a related blog post, or use it for your paid marketing campaign to list a couple of ideas. 

Finally, videos aren’t exactly a new concept, but it’s a growing element of an overarching campaign. And, it’s one you will need to consider if you don’t want your brand to be left in the dust.

How To Write A Blog Post Built To Convert

How to create a blog with a typewriter

Your organic content is going to be a big part of what brings traffic to your website.

It’s the milkshake to your fries, and what brings all the boys to the yard.

Visitors will be directed to you through their search engine results based on the keywords they’ve used. It will benefit you and your business to make sure it’s your content over your competitors that show up at the top of that search engine result page (SERP).

Learn how to write a blog post that will convert your visitors to fans. 

Elements Of A Blog Post

A blog post allows you to thoroughly explain a topic. Its main purpose is to increase website traffic, convert sales or obtain leads, and position you for thought leadership.

There are other elements, in addition to structure, that you will need to include. 

  • Target Keywords: Basic SEO is knowing what your target audience is searching for. Using a variation of those words will help your article show up in searches. There are eleventy-billion tools to use. I happen to like Answer The Public, and Keyword Tools.
  • Image: For every image you use, add the right metadata using one of your keywords.
  • Call To Action (CTA): Include a clear CTA at the end of your post. This will direct your readers toward the next action you expect from them.
  • Word Count: Your blog post should have at least 300 words. Anything less than that, your blog will be considered ‘thin content’. In 2020, the sweet spot is 1,800 words. However, you don’t have to obsess over the numbers. End your article once you’ve completed every thought you outlined on the page. 

Structuring Your Blog Post

When you write a blog, explain your chosen topic better than anything your competition offers.

Once you’ve compiled your research information, it’s time to start writing.

There is a definite ‘best practice’ to the form and function of a blog post. 

  • Outline: Once I decide what my topic is, I create a skeleton based on the subheaders. For example, in this article here, my outline included headers based on points I plan on covering. Including structure, elements, and types of blog posts.
  • Title: There is an art to creating engaging blog post titles. It should be no more than 70 characters long and still set your reader’s expectations about what’s ahead. Use a tool like the Coschedule headline analyzer. This will help you create clickable headlines.  
  • Introduction: Your introduction is your bait and hook. Its job is to capture your audience’s attention and entices them to read the entire post. 
  • Subheadings: H2s, aka Headline 2, are usually what is used here. Targeted keywords are super relevant to your subheadings. But, they also will let your reader understand what they’re going to get from each section of the post.
  • Bullet points: When you offer a lot of information within a paragraph, break those up into bullet points. Bold the first word or sentence to make scanning easy.
  • Write: As mentioned in this post, it’s not about the quality of your writing, it’s more to do with the information you provide. Your words have to be clear and concise. You need to be the best possible source for any information about your business or product.
  • Edit: Before you publish, you need to make sure your grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling are on point. Grammarly is a great free editing tool. 
  • Images: Your featured image should be toward the top of your blog post. Longer posts may have images scattered throughout to break up all the text. Free stock photos can be found on sites like Unsplash or Pixabay
  • Publish: Once you’re satisfied with how your article looks in drafts, just tap that publish button and put those words out to the online world. 

19 Types of Blog Posts

There are many different styles of blog posts you can write.

We’ve compiled a list of ideas you can pull from. 

  • Thought leadership: Your industry-related articles will cement you as an expert in your field.
  • Listicles: Just like it sounds, a list of “things” within a specific topic, along with an explanation. 
  • Newsjacking: When significant industry news breaks, use your blog to report on it. 
  • How-To’s and Tutorials: This post, How To Create A Blog Post, is an example of a how-to post!
  • Reviews: Talk about a new product or tool your company uses that you like for starters.
  • Announcements: Maybe you have a new product or update coming out. Broadcast it on your blog. 
  • Videos with the transcription: If you have created videos, embed them into a blog post, and transcribe the content.  
  • Series: Another one that is exactly like it sounds—a series of articles on a related topic. 
  • Case studies: Talk about your success and how you got there. Include graphs and charts. 
  • Interviews: Interview experts in your field. Or highlight coworkers. 
  • Inspirational stories: People love a feel-good story. 
  • Frequently asked questions and answers: Address those FAQs and give in-depth answers.
  • Event summaries: Perhaps you spoke at a digital summit. Or you attended one. Write about it! 
  • Commentary on pop culture: Loads of stuff is going on in the world, and sometimes it’s fun to take a break from your related industry and talk about celebrities. 
  • Gratitude Stories: What are you thankful for?
  • Customer question responses: Being in touch with sales and customer service departments will help to create this type of post. 
  • Your business history: Who are you? How did you get here, and how did you achieve success?
  • Checklist or cheat sheet: Take a task, bullet point it out, and explain how to do each item on the list. 
  • Industry-related myths versus facts: Do things related to your industry drive you crazy? Talk about what people think, and then show them how it really is. 

Getting into the swing of writing blog posts will take practice, time, and determination before it becomes a habit.

You can write a blog post that ends up on page one of Google if you keep at it! 

Organic Content Is Your Kingdom

Organic content is your kingdom

We’re all getting restless. But, as anxious as we are to be able to move around freely, there’s still a sense of hesitation due to the unknown. What is out there waiting for us? In what way is it going to affect us? How can we possibly recover from this? And, all of those questions are just on a personal level. Business owners have a whole slew of concerns piled onto the personal slush pile. I have some words of advice based on over a decade of professional content writing and strategy. I really hope this helps you to navigate your own organic content strategy and writing. 

Content Congestion

More than ever, you must up your organic content game. Up until now, the saying was “Content is King”. Truth is, your content and its context is going to be your entire Kingdom. Businesses that put up a basic website, secured their social handles, and then didn’t do much with them? Well, they are either going to have to start pushing a budget into their online marketing efforts or simply fade away. For the foreseeable future, every audience imaginable will be searching for you online. We were headed toward a complete online culture prior to the pandemic, and that seal has been removed. We’re there, all in. 

There’s going to be, what I’m calling “Content Congestion”. Meaning, as much content as there has been online up until now…it’s going to get even more congested. More content being published on social channels, as well as websites. And, that will make it even harder to be found. 

You must have content. Lots of it. On your website, on your social channels, and on your company or personal blog. If you want to reach the right audience, you must have the right message, at the right time, for your organic content to show up in their search. 

Position Competition

Because there’s going to be a massive uptick of online content, that means it’s going to be harder to hit page one. Another little phrase I’m using is “Position Competition”.  Every company using your keywords are all vying for the same search engine results. Page one. 

Again, this means you must have content. It does NOT have to be the best written. What it does need is the best possible answer to your audience’s question. 

You can find what sort of topics people are searching for as it relates to your product or service by using SEO tools. My personal favorite is Answer The Public. Using one or two keywords, this tool pulls up real-time search engine queries related to the topic you’re searching for. Once those are displayed on the screen, you’ll have a whole series of questions you can use as topics to talk about across your platforms. Take some of those questions and use them to create content for your blogs, for social media, for videos, and for subtopics on your blog. Answer the questions to the best of your ability, edit your words using another tool like Grammarly, add an image, and hit publish. Just do it. And find a comfortable cadence for consistency’s sake. The more content you have, the better. If you’re already creating content, it’s time to double down. 

Seen and Heard

The ubiquitous ‘they’ claim that everyone has a story. Sometimes, that story is obvious. Other times, it takes some digging. But, your story is there. And, it’s important to start crafting that into words and weaving it across all your platforms. Plant those seeds and grow your garden so the world can enjoy its glorious flowers.

Once you have your flow, and you’re creating consistent content, use what you’ve created as a script, and record a video. Video is the fastest-growing consumable content product. It definitely can be daunting. Personally, I can’t stand how I look and sound in videos. But, I know that it’s a valuable piece of content that will make a business become human. So, it must be done. Because, it’s us humans that run the business, and at the end of the day, it’s our story that needs to be told. Through us. Video and content are where our business and personal brands need to collide. 

If you need help with your organic content strategy or ideas, please…don’t hesitate to reach out. We can guide you toward creating content that will make you the envy of every competing business. You can contact me directly at mbrodsky@adaptstudios.co  or you can go through our website contact form: Adapt Studios

Branding Basics For Small To Midsize Businesses

Branding Basics

Whether it’s profound or simple, your company has a story. The ability to take that story and disseminate it, translate it, and share it isn’t always the easiest action to take. Sometimes there isn’t room in the budget to hire a branding agency, and it needs to be a DIY effort. But, no one in the room is a branding expert. And, that’s ok.

Keep reading to learn how to brand your small to midsize business without using a branding agency. 

What Is A Brand?

Your ‘brand’ is what identifies you. It sets you apart from other brands competing in the same space or industry. Your brand is represented through:  

  • Company name and tagline 
  • Logo
  • Mascot
  • Product or service 

Brand identifiers are distinguishing ‘features’ that evoke emotions making you recognizable. 

Just like a moral compass that helps people navigate life, a brand compass helps to navigate your growth. It defines who you are. Let’s take a meatier look at those.  

  • Company culture: This is based on the core values of your brand. It goes beyond Nerf guns and wine on tap. Employees feel the dynamics, and they understand it. So, they are your brand ambassadors. Positive company culture creates an environment where the employees can thrive, which only benefits the company itself.
  • Voice and messaging: Your voice and messaging are the ways you interact with your users or customers whether it’s online, in person, or over the phone. 
  • Name and Tagline: Your name and tagline are the first points your potential customers are introduced to. The tagline should embody your value propositions in a few short words. Think Nike. Just do it. Campbell’s soup is ‘mmm, ‘mmm good. A good tagline sticks in the minds of consumers. 
  • Identity: The identity of your brand is a culmination of your logo, messaging, and other visual elements. It is also the mark you make on the universe. 
  • Brand architecture: Brand architecture is the road map of your company, the organizational system that guides your users toward an opinion. Consider those visual assets: logos, font, web design. These are just a few pieces of your architecture allowing your brand to be easily understood. All the different pieces that make up your brand need to make sense, eliminating any confusion for the user.

What Is Branding?

Branding is created by all the facets of the brand compass in order to forge external perception. Branding gives your product meaning. In turn, it helps to entice consumers to choose your brand over the competition. 

Design and messaging are two of many components within branding. When those are working harmoniously, your brand becomes human; a trusted confidante, a BFF. 

Good branding evokes emotion and drives action. 

Branding Basics 101 In 6 Steps

Starting a brand from scratch, or even re-branding your old product takes a series of steps. In order to tell your brand’s story, you will need to look at the following.

  1. Target audience: Who are you trying to talk to? What groups of people will need your product? To shape your brand identity, you must establish your target audience.
  2. Competitive research: Who are your biggest competitors? What sort of marketing are they doing? Where are they online? Who are they talking to? What makes your product better than the rest?
  3. Defining your brand: What makes you unique? What is your brand story? How are you going to translate this throughout all your marketing efforts?
  4. Value props: What is your main selling point or points? How are you going to differentiate your brand from your competition? How are you unique?
  5. Style guides: Your messaging, tone, voice, customer persona, colors, logo all live in your style guide. This will help your employees with consistency, and help create brand recognition. 
  6. Consistency: Once you have the above components ironed out, it’s important to establish consistency. Consumers are savvy, and they know when there are hiccups. Which then leads to an issue with your online reputation and other problems. Consistency is key to maintaining a positive brand experience for your audience. 

Too Much, Send Help

Aside from having a killer product, branding is the most important part of your company’s success. But, sometimes you don’t have the employee bandwidth, or branding and marketing isn’t something you even want to get involved with on a daily basis. Bottom line, if you have absolutely no desire to do any of it in-house.

This is where a branding agency comes in. 

They help to identify and strategize your branding and marketing, and they can complete all the steps to guide you toward your goals.

Adapt Studios specializes in branding and marketing your small to mid-sized business. We can help you take your brand to the next level.