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Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.

Smaller Logo, Bigger Brand

August 25th, 2018

There is a tendency to want a logo displayed as large as possible in marketing collateral. While it might be tempting to think the bigger the logo the bigger impression you’ll make,  in fact the opposite is true.

Our minds are subconsciously conditioned to give more prestige and credibility to brands the smaller their logo is displayed.  There are always exceptions, but almost all the best known brands display their logo quite small. If you want to add more emphasis to a logo (or any layout element for that matter) keep the logo smaller and add more white space (also called negative space) around it.

Take a look at almost any Fortune 100 company’s website to see this principle in action:

So, if you want your branding to communicate more prestige and credibility, quit trying so hard and tap into the subconscious consensus that smaller logos mean bigger brands.

Choosing a Domain Name | .Com vs .Other

May 3rd, 2018

Choosing the best domain name for your website is a daunting task. Actually thinking of a great domain name is not hard, finding a great name, or even a good-enough name, that’s not taken is the hard part.

Choose .com instead of .net, .co, .biz, etc., (.other)

never use a .net domain as your primary business domain”

The most important criteria when choosing a domain is to select a .com domain if possible. The reason a company considers a .other domain is often because someone else is already using the .com version of the domain. Usability studies have proven that when someone hears or reads a domain name, by the time they type it in their web browser they’re most likely going to type .com anyway. If you do choose to go with a .other be aware that a signfiant portion of the cost and effort you put into your website will benefit the .com version, not yours.

Sometimes people see that their .com is not currently developed and assume that since there is no site on the .com the .other is a viable option. In these cases it’s even more important not to choose the .other. A domain squatter dreams about a company investing a ton of money into developing and marketing a .other website for which the squatter owns the .com. It raises the value of the .com significantly and it’s very easy to squeeze the .other domain holder into paying an exorbitant price for the .com when the squatter puts up a porn site.

This means that even if the perfect domain name is not available (such as mycompanyname.net or myexactkeywords.net) you’ll be far better off to select a .com even if it’s not as desirable of phrase.

A note about .org domains. If your organization is a nonprofit it’s generally best practice to have your primary website on a .org domain. However, never do so unless you can also buy the .com for the same reasons mentioned above. It’s easy to set your .com version to redirect to your .org website.

.Com Provides Credibility to your Organization

The .com domain extension is the preeminent domain extension of the internet. It is the most recognizable of any domain extension and it is used by almost all Fortune 500 companies. It’s the Cadillac of domain extensions and it’s human nature to give more credibility so someone driving a Cadillac than a Geo Metro.

It is more effective to build a brand using a .com domain.  Studies have shown that people remember .com domains better than others (even .org and .gov). A .com domain is going to give you more bang for your marketing buck.

For more insight on this topic see Forbes “8 Smart Tips For Choosing A Winning Domain Name.”

 

Branding with Authenticity and Emotion

February 8th, 2017

Here are a couple great examples of brilliant marketing for mundane products. Take a look at the examples below to see how authenticity and emotion emphasize the fundamental benefits of a product and create a unique and lasting impression. Note that in these examples the actual product is featured little or none.

Seat belts

Chewing gum

5 Reasons eMarketing Campaigns Fail

July 22nd, 2016

Internet Marketing or eMarketing is a term we use to encompass any electronic publishing that has the goal of generating demand. This can be both direct (such as special offer, buy now) or indirect (such as helpful articles that appeal to your target audience). The typical distribution channels for eMarketing include traditional blogs (like this one) with RSS, Email marketing (through services such as VeticalResponse, Constant Contact and iContact), Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and other social media channels.

eMarketing can be compared to generating “foot traffic” in retail. For instance, many people venture into a retailing business because they’re passionate about a product or service. So they lease a storefront, flip the sign on the front door to read “Open”, and wait for the customers to rush in and buy their goods. What separates a successful retailer from a bankrupt retailer is the realization that rewards are derived from hard work, quality, attention to detail, and a dedication to match the market need as it evolves. Retailers can even spend a significant portion of their budget to advertise their product or service, but if they haven’t addressed these variables, they’ll never generate consistent demand. And yes, these same principles apply to eMarketing.

So why do so many eMarketing campaigns fail? Here are 5 reasons:

CONSISTENCY – The marketer fails to consistently develop content on a regular schedule; which in turn disengages the audience.  eMarketing is very easy to back-burner and before you know it the last time your bi-weekly marketing blast was published was four months ago.  Not only are you loosing the chance to simply ask for more sales, your display of inactivity on your blogs and social media sites will carry negative connotations to your audience. If the last time you published a blog post a site visitor will entertain such thoughts as, “Is this company still in business?” or “If it takes them that long to get to things what kind of customer service must they have?”

ATTENTION TO DETAIL – Although our society has significantly lowered its standards on grammar and spelling, both are still important to develop readable and discernible content. Many eMarketers, myself included, have a tendency to become lazy in regards to proofreading. It still matters. Even a 1% error rate in any published marketing piece can greatly reduce the credibility and effectiveness of the piece; no matter how great the design and content might be.

RELEVANCE – A marketer must evolve their passion to address a market need. People desire content that emotionally engages them and equates to their own interests. All material must be written from the perspective of your audience and it should be written in a way that captures and keeps their attention. Regardless of the subject matter, successful marketing communications should capture the emotions of an audience by making them laugh, cry, ponder, or get angry. Even nude para-sailing could become a relevant blogging topic if the subject matter is able to emotionally engage the reader and you’re able to relate to your business goal.

QUALITY AESTHETICS – No matter the content, people will make a strong initial judgement of your credibility based on the quality of graphic design for your marketing communication whether it be a blog, HTML email or Facebook page. By maintaining professionally designed electronic collateral, marketers  will enhance their credibility and improve the viral component of their distribution – because who really wants to refer a terrible looking Web site to a friend or professional acquaintance?

MARKETING DISTRIBUTION – Going back to the retailer example, one cannot simply flip the sign on the front door to read “Open” and expect customers to pour in. Generating an audience of prospects will take effort; the content must be distributed out to a targeted group of readers in order to generate interest.  Utilizing technologies such as Social Media, RSS (Really Simple Syndication), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and viral components such as a “Send This to a Friend” link are all viable methods to help build and maintain an audience. Marketers should also encourage their immediate sphere of contacts (family, friends, neighbors, work contacts, etc.) to read their content and spread it along.

Do you need help with putting together a more successful digital marketing strategy?  We’d love to learn more about your needs and provide you some feedback on how we might be able to assist. Contact us anytime.

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