Creating a strong brand identity can make or break your company's success. Here is why it is so important, along with a few tips and suggestions to make yourself stand out!
Hello, Summerville! We hope you're doing well. The smell of pumpkin spice abounds, all of our favorite stores here in the square are starting to put out decorations. We also might be a tad embarrassed about the number of baked fall goods from Swank that we've already sampled. To say the least, we are pretty excited about fall! Celebrating Summerville, supporting our fellow local businesses, and creating exactly what our clients want is a part of our brand. The bright orange color we use in our logo is a part of who we are. We are quirky, hardworking, and usually a little over-caffeinated. This is who we are and what makes us unique as a company. All of these are traits that we are proud of and what we want our current and future clients to know about us.
All of these elements are a part of our branding. It's the part of our company that you see online, what you see when you drive by our office, and what you hear about us when you ask about us around town. Brand identity is the unique fingerprint that people will see and look into before they meet the people behind the business. This is why having a strong branding identity is so important.
More Than Just A Logo
Granted, yes. Your company needs a logo, a color scheme, and fonts that you'll use consistently. There is something very special in seeing your signage, window decals, business cards, website, social media, and stationary all decked out in your logo, colors, and fonts. All of these tools are necessary because you'll use them to catch the eye of your future clients. When it comes to the whole of your brand identity, this is a very small part of the whole story. Your brand identity is so much more than your meticulously created logo. It is your reputation, how you want people to perceive you, your unique and individual voice, and what you want to be known for. It needs to stand up to the challenge, support your business, and get your message across.
What It Does For You
Now that you've established what brand identity is what can it turn around and do for you?
It takes work to create your brand identity. Creating your logo didn't happen overnight, and your brand identity won't provide these amazing benefits to you overnight either. The steps to creating a strong brand identity aren't overwhelming, they're actually very straight forward. The challenge is implementing them into your workflow and your company's everyday life.
How To Get Started
As we said, strong brand identity doesn't happen instantly. It takes time, research, and doing all of those necessary tedious things that arent the glamorous side of owning a business.
The list goes on with the many ways you can create, strengthen, and grow your brand identity. This blog is just a peek into everything that is available to you. We did mention that this took time, right? Every company and business is different. You need to find what works for you. We just wanted to provide a little foundation for you to build on. The long and short of it is that brand identity is important and it's worth your time. If you need help or would like to learn more, please contact us! We look forward to talking to you soon!
We enjoyed talking about IGTV so much that we had to split up our most recent blog into two parts! Enjoy finishing up learning more about this incredible resource, and how to use it to your advantage!
As we mentioned in our last blog, IGTV has a lot of different advantages that can make using Instagram a lot easier than ever before. One of them is the use of live links when you share and post them to your feed. For companies and individuals who have over 10k followers, they get a nifty tool in their Instagram stories that allows them to attach a link to their post. This creates a call to action to invite their followers to swipe up and visit whatever link has been connected to that post and it will automatically take them there. Without this number of followers, this tool isn't offered. The great thing about IGTV is that you can post live website links within their description just like the 10k users can in their stories. This is a great tool for newer, smaller, and growing companies and is a much easier call to action for your followers. Have you noticed that even when you put a link in the body of your Instagram post, you can't just click on it? You have to copy and paste it into a browser or copy it letter by letter to visit the suggested website. Now, how many of your audience members will spend the time to do that? This gives you an easy way to promote the website you want your followers to visit and a more guaranteed chance that they will follow through with it! These IGTV videos are also permanent. Unlike going live and posting in your stories that disappear after 24 hours, you will have these videos for as long as you want to have them. It's a place to repurpose and a place that you can use to refer back to for your new followers who join you along the way.
One of the greatest tools we love using social media for is the opportunity to introduce you, your brand, your products, and your services to the world in a very honest and open way. It's endearing and an automatic draw, because it's an outlet people connect to. They aren't seeing a stiff and planned commercial, they're seeing you, your products, and what your company stands for. Live videos are great for this, but if you're giving a tutorial about how to use your products or introducing an important topic that will be relevant to your company for a long time, you might not reach the audience you want to right away.
With every other option outside of IGTV leaving you with videos that only last for a limited amount of time, you might be faced with remaking the same video over and over again. This won't be an issue if you use IGTV to your advantage. You can now have a much longer video that is easily accessible to your Instagram presence, and available to use as often as you'd like. It's convenient and a time saver. It's also a wonderful tool to take your users behind the scenes without having to edit or worry about a video that is too long or too short. You have so much room for creative freedom. You can put your products and services at the forefront of each video and show them off, and what makes you so unique and special.
The biggest thing we want you to take away from this blog series and using IGTV is the ability to connect to your demographic of customers and followers in one of the freest and proficient ways possible. It's much more aesthetically pleasing to its viewers and gives you so much time that your creative freedom and individually as a company never needs to be limited. With this tool your options are, quite literally, endless! As Instagram even says "We are all watching less TV and more digital video" now than ever before. Be apart of that, and compete with the important digital videos that are out there. Your content is needed, and it is very valid. IGTV is a very exciting platform for all of us. Through quarantine and the world, as it is now, we have seen a huge flux of more and more people use this incredible tool, and we are excited to watch it grow. Do you like this aspect of Instagram? Share your opinion with you - we'd love to hear from you! Be well, Summerville!
Social Media has more tools than many of us realize. We've talked about a lot of them here in our blog, and enjoy using them for our own company. IGTV - Instagram TV - is one of the last platform resources that we have yet to talk about!
We have talked in-depth and at length about using social media platforms and their analytical tools to your business' advantage. There are so many different and unique ways of using social media to your advantage, as long as you know what all they offer and you're brave enough to take the leap to implement them. There is one aspect that we haven't jumped into yet, and that is Instagram TV - or IGTV. We aren't sure about you, but when IGTV became popular and prevalent in our Instagram feeds, we kept thinking it was HGTV. Which was perfect because we love those creative shows! Who doesn't want to spend hours watching a show about tiny homes?! But, no. This is a new tool all on its on that one of our favorite social media platforms is now offering to its users.
IGTV videos are different from your stories and highlights on Instagram and they are different from going live on Facebook. You can use it as a stand-alone application or through Instagram itself. It allows you to make much longer videos than what your feed or highlights allow in one video. You can make videos that are up to 15 minutes long! You are also able to have verticle and horizontal videos when you use IGTV, which is exciting for viewers and users alike. Unlike your Instagram highlights, these videos will appear in your feed, just like they would if you posted a picture or video. If you want, they can appear in your story highlights as well. With this new advantage of having longer videos and another tool to use on Instagram, there must be an advantage available to your company by using this new tool, right? That is what we are going to be discussing in this next two-part blog. According to Instagram, they estimate that by 2021 mobile video will make up 78% of all total mobile traffic. Younger audiences are now being drawn towards these more amateur viral videos than more professional and polished ones. Just with that information alone, you can only imagine what power IGTV could hold your business and its growth.
One of the many reasons why we love IGTV is that it allows the user to reuse and repurpose already created content on a whole new platform. Just seeing your already created content in a whole new light can make such a huge difference! You can now show your videos in much bigger and vertical fame, giving your followers a much bigger and in-depth view of what was created. It also gives you another platform to post your YouTube videos. Before the introduction of IGTV, you could only give a small teaser preview of your videos on Instagram. Having 15 minutes to play with is huge! Gone are the days of the call to action of asking your followers to visit your YouTube channel! As important as we consider calls to action, we recognize that social media users want to stay on one platform at a time. Hopping from platform to platform can lead to a loss of interest or not following through. Having the video right there guarantees a much higher rate of views. Also, if your Instagram audience is much bigger than that of your YouTube channel, a brand new audience will now be introduced to excellent already made content. You also don't have to worry about your Facebook live posts getting lost or only being seen by a limited amount of your followers. This can be a new home for them as well, along with any videos or interviews you made for your blog or advertisement purposes. Plus, it helps your videos stay organized while maintaining a professional look within your Instagram feed.
Have you started to use IGTV in your own business workflow or platform? Have you been having fun with so much freedom at your fingertips? Let us know! We want to know what you think of this extended and exciting arm of Instagram. Make sure to follow up with the second half of this blog the next time we post, we can't wait to share more wonderful information about IGTV with you!
There are so many working pieces of a successful company and workflow. Is keeping up with trends one that you have to do? We believe it to be one of the most important things to stay on top of!
The business world, just like any industry, changes rapidly. The right thing to wear, the cool things to do, where to eat, and the latest catchphrases can grow in popularity thanks to one viral Instagram post in a matter of seconds. It can be exhausting to follow and keep up with. It's even more exhausting when you're trying to run a business on top of staying aware of these changes. We get it. It's part of what we do for our clients and is something we deal with every day.
Is it really necessary to stay on top of and to follow trends? Or do you just find what works for you and your company and stick with that? In all reality, as much as we hate to say it, not staying on top of these fast-paced trends can endanger your company. Sticking to your very traditional means of business can be very damaging and will leave you in the dust of your competitors as they take the lead, your customers, and your business.
Also, remember to identify if the changes in your industry are true trends or if they're just fads. Fads will disappear overnight and can lead to a lot of frustration. A lot of money and time can be spent on implementing a fad. If it's mistaken for a trend, it can lead to a lot of frustration and money and time lost. Make sure you know the difference between the two, and how to spot both. What we want you to take away from this blog is to make sure that you are staying on top of trends. We do recognize that it can be a lot of added work, but it needs to be added to your workflow. We want to hear how you've encountered and implemented trends in your business! Comment below and share your experiences. If you want to learn more about trends, let us know! It could appear in future blogs.
When Instagram becomes a regular part of your workflow, make sure you know what resources they offer and where you can find out more information when you run into a dead end.
Now that you've become more comfortable with using Instagram, Instagram Stories, and IGTV after reading our last few blogs, it's time to check back in and take a moment to refresh. Instagram, just like any business, has a dedicated (albeit a very long and detailed) page for all of its frequently asked questions. Sometimes, these pages can get frustrating because they don't answer what you need to know outright. Sometimes you have to go digging into the provided list of FAQs to see if someone has already asked your question before or not.
As we know, Instagram has become very popular since its introduction and it is now one of the most popular social media platforms out there. But, even with its popularity and the basic ease of using it, you can still run into a lot of questions and loose ends. Thankfully, Instagram has now been around long enough that your questions have probably already been asked. Luckily for you, this blog is going to be dedicated to five of the most frequently asked questions. So, you can start your search here, and hopefully find all the answers you need.
Instagram has a fantastic support system, and almost every question imaginable has been asked. If you are still stumped after reading our blog, don't hesitate to visit their FAQ page. If you would like some more in-depth training and someone to help you walk through your issues, we can help you with that. We offer individual social media training to walk you through on how to use each platform. If you or your company wants to take another step up in your online business world, we are here to make that happen. Don't hesitate to reach out. We are here and excited to help your company grow. Thank you for continuing to follow us, learn with us, and support us. We are here for you Summerville, no matter what!
To visit Instagram's FAQ page, follow the link below:
In our most recent blog posts, we've talked about the importance of why you should be using stories and live streaming in your company's workflow. This blog is going to be dedicated to actual tips on how to make these videos and what you need to be thinking about while you do!
We've made it to May, Summerville! Our quiet little town turned into a ghost town as the pandemic set it, but it is turning back into a vibrant and beautiful city as we all slowly open our doors again. We are so thankful to see so many of our fellow small businesses open their doors again and return to full operation. We know this has been a difficult time for our amazing town, but getting back to a sense of normal proves just how tough Summerville is! While we work to get back up to speed, we do encourage you to continue to stay safe and smart. We are still in this together!
Have you been playing with adding Facebook and Instagram videos into your workflow since we shared so much information on why you should be doing so in our last few blogs? Have you been even more daring and tried live streaming on either platform? Remember, now is the perfect time to use these tools to your advantage. You can stay in touch with your followers, keep them up to date with when you might be reopening, what safety precautions are going to be taken, what might be changing, and check-in them in real-time! This gives them a true sense of connection when they get to see the real you in a very real, not directed or perfectly edited, live video. Let them fall in love with all the reasons why they love your company and brand all over again! So, throw away your fears and worries that your videos or live streams won't look right, that they won't look good enough, or you'll look funny. That will never be the case. You are a professional who is passionate about your company and brand. The rest just takes a little planning, practice, and care. Follow these tips and suggestions to make seamless and effortless Livestream videos that you will be proud of and will no longer dread doing them!
Livestreaming is accessible for everyone and is an incredible tool to connect you with your audience in seconds. You want to inform them, connect with them, and converse with them on a real human level. You need to put in a little work and practice before you press record, making sure that your phone is charged and that your mom's call won't disrupt the video. But if you follow these simple steps, your Livestream videos will be outstanding. Don't hesitate! We are starting to make moves towards some sort of normalcy, so get back to what you're good at - running your business! Use this tool to show off what you do best, and why you enjoy doing it. We are here for when you need us, Summerville! We are so impressed with your resiliency and are proud to be apart of the Summerville family. Stay safe and be well everyone!
With so much information to share about Instagram stories, we couldn't put all of the information in just one blog. We had to split them up! More information is always good, especially now since we all have a little more time to sit and read. Let's keep learning about Instagram!
Hello Summerville! As our quaint little town continues to get quieter, and we all start to settle into our homes, we wanted to continue our blog about the importance of Instagram stories, and how they can be beneficial to you and your company. Remember, as many of us are starting to work from home or remotely (some for the very first time!) it's easy to get overwhelmed with everything. Take this information as your daily dose of education, and see what joy it can bring to your social media campaigns! These tips are to help your followers increase, keep your engagement up and active, and to reach your audiences like you never have before. This is a wonderful time for that! We are all on our phones and computers more than ever before, why not do a little good with all this time? Sit back and relax. Have that second cup of coffee you've been craving, you've earned it. Let's get our minds off of everything and talk about Instagram!
Don't Repeat Yourself
Using the same business techniques over and over again can get a little old for both you and your followers. Why not shake up what you're doing in your marketing? Using stories or videos in your stories can be a fun opportunity for you and your team to create and work together. It can help build a fun and closer working relationship together, let an employee out of their shell or let them shine in ways you might not know they could. Think about it, this is a form of advertisement. This new type of advertisement can help keep the attention of your audience in this ever-changing world. You already have so much to work with that you don't have to spend a ton of time or effort to build a social media platform from the ground up like many companies did when they first started using Facebook or Instagram. You are just learning a new tool inside the application that is fun, exciting, and unique. There is a little extra fun in Instagram Stories than what a picture-perfect profile can offer. While your feed may be portfolio perfect, you can add fun stickers, emojis, text, drawings, music, and more to your stories and videos. While this additive might not be as professional or have the look for your feed, it has the fun and real quality people want to see!
Hashtags Me Not
Hashtags have been a controversial topic for social media for some time now. How many should you use? How many are too many? Am I using them correctly or am I going to get in trouble? Are they drawing in the attention I want? Hashtags were created and are used to bring followers of certain topics together and for that group of people to see each other's pictures. But, as hashtags have become more popular, there are some new downfalls. If you use too many, post them in the comment section of your profile post, or use a very popular hashtag, you and your company could see some harsh repercussions. Your account could be frozen for over a week and you wouldn't be able to post, comment or follow anyone back. Your posts might not be seen or could get buried in the shuffle by the app itself. Your posts could even get removed. As of now, Instagram stories are neutral ground. Along with all the fun additives you can put on top of any posts in your stories, you can add hashtags and tag others and your post won't be pushed for doing so. Doing this can bring even more attention to your account, and invite more of your dream demographic you're trying to reach to follow and see what you're all about. Also, if your account does get frozen and you're unable to post to your feed, you are still able to post on Instagram stories with no issue. This will keep you in touch with your followers and their algorithms.
Thoughts For The Road
Are you still not convinced about Instagram Stories? I think we may have a few other things to add to finally convince you!
We hope that this blog has shed a wonderful light on Instagram, Instagram Stories, and the wonderful tools that this exciting and useful app can bring you and your company. This is a great time to start brainstorming, playing with the app, and seeing what specialized things you can make and create for your company. That is the great thing about these apps - you have so much freedom to make it your own. So go out and create! Stay safe Summerville, we are here rooting for you and all of our small business friends!
It's beginning to feel and look a lot like the holidays around our office here at Creative Consulting! With the year coming so quickly to an end, we wanted to help you start 2020 on the best foot possible with your social media platforms! The end of the year doesn't mean it's time for your social media to take a break! If anything, it's time to start planning ahead. We are going to be sharing the top three reasons why it is so important to plan ahead of time for your social media marketing!
We have been thinking about some of the best tools to share with you for your social media marketing as this year comes to an end. This idea got me thinking about the tools that consistently help us the most. There were so many tools and tips we could share with you, but when it came down to it, the most important tool and tactic is planning ahead of time! It keeps you organized and saves time, keeps you on brand and in the know, and helps keep your growth consistent! We will be exploring each of these topics and why planning ahead can help your company prosper and flourish. As we wrap up 2019 and settle into the rest of the holiday season, we want to talk about why planning your social media ahead of time for 2020 is so important and necessary!
Just like us, we know that you're starting or have already sat down to plan for 2020 and to create your budget. During these planning sessions, did you know the first thing that almost always gets cut is the budget and time for social media marketing? This should be just as shocking to read as it is the truth. Before you start getting overwhelmed with your planning and budgeting, take a deep breath. Think again about cutting your budget and time for your social media platforms.
It Will Always Save You Time
Planning and thinking ahead will always save you more time. Saving time creates more opportunities to create and grow within your company, allows you and your employees to get more work done, and helps you make more money. Isn't that a perfect foot to start the new year on? This all begins by starting a social media calendar and planning out a month ahead at a time. Sit down towards the end of the month and start planning for the month ahead. Plan and make note of what's coming up for the company that you want to share, what opportunities or deals you're going to have, what holidays are coming up, and what trends are featured in the month ahead of you. Each of these topics will help you plan out your posts and help you create them. This will help eliminate the "um...I don't know what to post today" moments and get rid of any creation/writer's block. This also gives you the time and opportunity to pop in and add or change content that has been created so it reflects real-time actions or events. To help you with this process, once you've planned and created all of your upcoming posts, it might be time to invest in a posting program. These programs let you load up the days, weeks, or month's worth of content in one sitting, schedule what times they need to be posted and on what platform, and it does the rest of the work for you. When the end of the month comes, you won't be overwhelmed or unprepared to plan and create for the next month ahead of you. If you can get into this cycle, it will naturally become apart of your workflow!
Staying Relevant, in the Know, and On Brand
If you're not sitting down with your marketing team and planning out what's happening within your company and using your social media platforms to show that off, you can get into some big trouble. It is very likely that your social media posts and ads (if you even take the time to post them) are going to sound and feel rushed, stale, and have an inconsistent voice. This is a subconscious turn off for your followers and potential future followers and customers. Creating posts and posting this way becomes frustrating and annoying, and feels like it's taking up more time than it actually is. This is when social media gets marched up to the chopping block and sliced away. Part of your best marketing strategy is creating your brand and voice. If you lose either of these, your company loses its uniqueness and credibility. If you spend time sitting down and planning ahead, your voice can stay consistent and your brand will remain well nurtured.
Communication is key with your followers, their world, and the world around you. Staying well informed with what the latest trends and pop culture references are can help you build some amazing and fun content. It can also help you gain more followers and customers. Being able to create this kind of content takes time and planning to successfully execute. You need to stay on top of what's coming and what's relevant to pull off this content and this kind of connection. This will also help you stay ahead of your competition, too. If you are time-sensitive about your posts and aware of what's happening, you can stay consistent with your buyers and customers. This will help you keep a consistent growth in followers and traffic to your platforms.
Moving Forward and Growing
Planning ahead also helps you see how successful you've been in the past. Is that confusing? Planning means keeping track of what you've done in the past and helps you stay ready for what's to come. If you successfully stay organized and keep track of what social media posts you've had in the past, there is a ton of information to learn there. You can monitor and see what the most successful types of posts have been, know what types of posts to avoid, see which ads have been the most successful, and it helps you really learn about your target audience. With this knowledge you can create the best posts possible, know when the best times to post are, and how to reach your target audience. It also allows you to study the best ways to stay in communication with your followers and make time to remain in contact with them.
Don't let the stress of your social media platforms ruin your holidays! Take the time to plan ahead and you will be able to enjoy the holidays for many years to come. From all of us at Creative Consulting we wish you a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday season, and a wonderful New Year! We will see you next decade!
We are back at it again, finishing up our blog about how and why Instagram can be such a wonderful tool for you and your company!
“Content is the reason search began in the first place.” - Lee Odden
I just love this quote - because, during this whole process of really digging into Instagram more than we usually do on an everyday basis, it was fun to go searching. It's so fun to think of the people who are interested in our clients going on a mission and searching for what they can offer them. It's a modern-day scavenger hunt that makes all that screen time worth it at the end of the day!
Welcome back to the blog, I hope you've been doing well since our last post. Being excited about turkey day and spending time with family, I have been making the most of my working hours before that vacation starts. It's been fun to come back and work on this two-part blog series - and I can't wait to pick up where we left off and share with you some more tips and hints on how Instagram can give you and your company a serious boost!
There you have it! There is so much to Instagram, that this could turn into a ten-part blog. But I want you to find your groove with the help of these last two blog posts and see where that takes you. Social media is constantly changing, you just need to find out what works for you. Most of all, don't be afraid of it and give it the time it deserves. If you don't have that time, that's where we come in! Don't hesitate to give us a call or visit our website. We love our social media at Creative Consulting and love to talk about it! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Stay caffeinated and we will see you next time!
We've talked about how to use social media and other online tools to better your business and not to shy away from them. They are there waiting for you, so use them! Instagram has become one of the biggest platforms to build your business today. Do you know all the tools and options this budding business tool has to offer?
"Design is the silent ambassador of your brand."
Happy November friends! How excited are you that Thanksgiving is almost here? The turkey is on its way, but it's not quite time to relax just yet. The holidays are an incredibly busy time for any company, ours included. Don't get overwhelmed with this, instead ride the wave of the good it can do for your company. I discovered this quote while working on our first blog of the month, and I thought it was the perfect food for thought before we settle into our big Thanksgiving plates. We are so focused on creating a brand, that it's so easy to forget about the powerful tools that are at our fingertips waiting to be taken advantage of. They are there to make your company and brand stronger than you could ever imagine. What is even crazier to think about, a lot of these tools are free! That's right - FREE! There is something to be said about the adage that you do need to spend money to make money. But when there are moments to save money and still help your company grow - take them! This is why our next two blogs will be focused on tips on how to use Instagram to build your business into a powerful platform one day at a time! This is a holiday gift from us to you, and we are happy to share what we know!
Are you getting as excited as we are about Instagram? It's easy to have a love-hate relationship with apps that you use as part of your advertising goals, but if you spend the time getting to know them, it'll be worth it. Enjoy these tips for now, but don't worry, there are more coming. Until next time friends, stay safe, caffeinated and excited about your company!