Marketing Insights for Business Success

Young man showing love

If you are only using Twitter to post links to your own content—on your website, in your blog, from your newsletter, and on your other social media platforms—you are missing out on opportunities to show your customers a little love. Like constantly talking and never allowing anyone else to speak, this leaves others with a poor impression of you. Here is how to use Twitter to make a good impression, engage with local customers, encourage conversations, build brand loyalty, and show your love and appreciation.

First, stop broadcasting only about yourself and your business. There is a place for that, but it is not your starting point. Instead, take an interest in your customers. They will love you for it.

Second, start listening. Use Twitter’s advanced search and keywords related to your geographic location and industry to see what concerns your neighbors and potential customers are voicing right now. Monitor your brand to discover what is bothering your current customers.

Third, respond quickly and appropriately. You can offer
• An apology
• Assistance
• Directions (the how-to variety)
• A discount
• Encouragement
• A free product or service
• A refund
• Tickets to a special event, etc.
For example, if you are a restaurant owner and see a tweet about “looking for a romantic setting,” you could tweet back “we’ve reserved a table and a dessert for two for you.” If you are a florist and see a complaint about flowers being left out in the elements, you can respond with your shop’s guarantee to deliver personally. If you are jeweler, tweet that “our customers brighten our lives” and encourage them to come in for a free ring cleaning. If you offer products in multiple flavors or colors, ask people to post pictures with their favorites, with or with the promise of a future discount.

Fourth, be your best self. Let your sense of humor show. Be an encourager. Make the world a better place. Be kind and loving. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and respond like you would like to be treated. Refrain from unnecessary newsjacking—where you use every trending news story as a lead-in to promoting your product or service—but do respond with compassion and understanding in a crisis.

Fifth, use the increased character limit (280 characters) to convey a clear, useful message about you and your brand. You can now respond more fully to questions, inject more humor into conversations, and direct customers to the resources they want and need. Go ahead and link to content on your blog, in your newsletter, on other social media platforms, or on your website when it provides the answers your audience seeks (this is where broadcasting your stuff is okay). They will love you for solving their problems and/or making their lives easier.

If this seems overwhelming, don’t be discouraged. Tate Design can help with all your social media marketing.  Call Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net to add a little love to your social media presence.

Social Media Usage Chart - Popular Platforms

The Pew Research Center recently released their report on social media use in 2018. As expected, social media use among adults in the United States continues to rise as it has every year since the Pew surveys began in 2012. This is the percentage of reported use for the most popular platforms:
• 73% YouTube
• 68% Facebook
• 35% Instagram
• 29% Pinterest
• 27% Snapchat
• 25% LinkedIn
• 24% Twitter
• 22% WhatsApp

These statistics do not tell the whole story however. Looking closer at the demographics in the study
• Facebook usage was fairly consistent across age groups under 50 with
80% of 18-24-year-olds
82% of 25-29
78% of 30-49
(and 65% of 50-64 and 41% of those 65+)

• YouTube usage was similarly steady until retirement with
94% of the 18-24 age group
88% of 25-29
85% of 30-49
68% of 50-64
40% of 65+

• Highly visual egocentric social media sites Instagram and Snapchat were especially popular with 18-24-year-olds with 71% of them using Instagram and 78% of them using Snapchat. Compare this to
54% 25-29
40% 30-49
21% 50-64
10% 65+ using Instagram
and 59% 25-29
26% 30-49
10% 50-64
and 3% 65+ using Snapchat

• Pinterest, while still a highly visual platform, requires one to pin other people’s content instead of selfies so usage is down across the younger age groups:
31% of 18-24 demographic
39% 25-29
34% 30-49
26% 50-64
16% 65+

• Twitter saw
45% usage with 18-24 year-olds
33% 25-29
27% 30-49
19% 50-64
8% 65+

• LinkedIn and WhatsApp share very similar numbers.
Linked has 25% of 18-24 year-group
34% 25-29
33% 30-39
24% 50-64
9% 65+
and WhatsApp has 25% 18-24 age
31% 25-29
32% 30-39
17% 50-64
6% 65+

Social media users visit one or more of their favorite sites at least once per day. Facebook users are the most loyal, with 74% checking in daily and 51% checking in multiple times during the day. Snapchat is a close second with 49% checking in multiple times and 63% doing so at least daily. Except for Snapchat, each social media platform had the highest percentage of users in the “post college” and “income of $75,000+” categories. For Snapchat, the winning categories were “some college” and “$30,000-$49,999” so an individual in your social media audience is a good prospect, with both the education to understand what you offer and the means to make a purchase.

As this research indicates, maintaining a vibrant online presence can be a challenge. How and where your present yourself online may influence your business results. Tate Design is here to help you create a good first impression with your branding and corporate identity. Our social media marketing services include
• Social media account setup services
• Brand images (profile photos, backgrounds, cover photos, company logo) for your chosen networks
• Customized pages for increased exposure
• Knowledge about the latest updates to Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other evolving social networks
• Strategies to leverage the social channels that best fit your goals and objectives
• Content that provides organic—rather than paid—search engine results
• Complete social media marketing campaigns

We also help you identify the best online marketing venues for sharing your blog, your e-mail newsletter, your online video, and other social media posts. Call Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net to rise to the challenge of reaching a growing social media audience.

people using market research

If you read our earlier post about why market research matters, you may now be asking yourself how to use market research in YOUR business. Here is a quick checklist to get you started.
• Make sure you have a clear brand
Use what you learn from market research to better define who you are as a brand and to clearly articulate what you do/produce/sell better than anyone else.

• Clarify the benefits you provide
Emphasize benefits instead of features in your advertising, your content creation, and in your collateral materials. This will increase the perceived value of your product or service.

• Look at how you compare to the competition
Determine what they excel at and how you can keep your unique product or service while taking away some of their edge.

• Create a profile of your ideal customer
When you can identify their needs, what causes them pain (or frustration or anger or a loss of something they value like time or money), or what stirs their emotions, you can then offer a specific solution.

• Continue to collect data from multiple sources
Once you know your ideal customers, you also know where they spend their time. Go there (blogs, networking and other events, social media) and listen to their concerns. Ask yourself “how can I help?” without jumping into the conversation and selling to the audience just yet.

• Use the information you gather sooner rather than later
Too many people gather information and then do nothing with it. Act on what you learn so you are serving the right market for your product/service.

• Decide where to grow
Use the solid data you collect to make smart decisions. You’ll know where to
– Expand your product line or services
– Pursue new opportunities
– Follow trends
– Improve or modernize
– Take a completely different direction

• Communicate effectively
Once you have identified your client, listened to his/her needs, made evident your ability to meet those needs better than the competition with clearly defined benefits, and decided to take action and grow your company, you need to communicate often and well. Your message—whether advertising, blog, e-mail newsletter, packaging, promotional material,  or website —must touch your audience. With your market research, you will know how to make it all about them and answer the ever-present question: “what’s in it for me?”

• Always ask questions
– What are my objectives for collecting this piece of market research?
– Where is my business growing?
– What is changing?
– What solutions can I match to new needs?
– What is my competition up to?
– What feedback can my employees provide?

• Continue to monitor your data and make adjustments

We at Tate Design can help with analytics monitoring and market research. Give us a call at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net.

market research materials

You and your business need market research. Market research provides information about your audience, your competition, and how your product or service will do in the marketplace. It allows you to study your market—and how open your intended customers will be to your product or service—so you can make informed business decisions with less trial-and-error and less risk. Here are 7 reasons why market research should matter to you.

1. Market research clearly defines your customer demographics
You need to know who your customers are (or who they will be, if you are bringing a new product to market), what they like and dislike, where they spend time, what matters to them, what motivates them, how much they spend, etc. With this information, you can be strategic with your content marketing.

2. It helps you target your marketing
With a clear picture of your demographics, you no longer have to market to the masses. You can appeal to a very specific group of people, which will save you time and money in the long run.

3. It enables you to focus on customer needs
Market research not only reveals your customers’ wants and needs, it provides you an opportunity to meet those needs with a superior product or service and/or excellent consumer support.

4. It shows you where to spend your time and money
You will spend less time and money on useless advertising, meaningless content, cold calls, and products without much of a future when you rely on your market research and focus on what your clients need.

5. It helps you spot trends and anticipate future opportunities
You may have a great product or service but you will need to grow your brand in order for your business to survive. Market research shows you where those opportunities may lie.

6. It reduces your risk when making decisions
Market research removes some of the risk of decision-making by clearly identifying the options ahead of time. It helps you launch better products at the right time.

7. It keeps you ahead of the competition
Understanding your market helps you develop your unique selling proposition. Without this, you don’t stand out from your competitors.

If you need up-to-date market research, contact Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net.

 

In case you missed these posts

We at Tate Design hope 2017 was a successful year for you. If so, you may have been so busy you missed some of our blog posts intended to help you and your business with

Apps
Track Mileage With These Mobile Apps
The Best Mobile Apps For Business For 2017

E-Mail Marketing
Email Marketing – Meet Mobile Reality

Graphic Design
The Top Graphic Design Trends Of The Year

Marketing
Marketing Messages We Love
Mobile Trends And Tactics To Get Your Business Noticed
Branding101: Corporate Identity
Corporate Identity Checklist
How To Get More Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
Online Marketing 101
Online Marketing Checklist

Need-To-Know News
What Is A Micro-Moment And How Do I Use It For My Business?
Are You Ready For Google’s Deadline?
Ultra Violet Pantone Color Of The Year 2018

Print Marketing
Print Or Perish–Why Printed Material Still Matters
Making Print Come Alive

Website Design
Which Of These Web Design Trends Do YOU Want To Get Rid Of?
Signs Your Website Is Outdated
The Anatomy Of The Perfect Website Form
Make Your Website Work For You–How We Did It

At Tate Design, we are focused on propelling your business forward with strategic marketing, web development, and graphic design. Our services include

Brand development and corporate identities
logos, name development, tagline creation, a uniform corporate identity
Graphic design
ad campaigns, brochures, catalogs, direct mail, newsletters, packaging, stationery
Copy writing
articles, blog (WordPress) content and posting, direct response, editing and proofreading, e-mail marketing, print collateral, SEO
Website design and development
animation, content management systems, custom web design, e-commerce, hosting, mobile-friendly and responsive web design, search engine optimization, site management, video, website revitalization, WordPress websites
Internet marketing
AdWords campaigns, banner ads, blogs, e-newsletters and e-mail campaigns, e-zines, online video marketing, social media, web analytics, WordPress customization
Social media marketing
account setup services, branded images, complete social media marketing campaigns, content that provided organic search engine results, customized pages, latest knowledge about updates to social media sites, strategies to leverage social media to best fit your goals and objectives
Strategic marketing campaigns
Materials for trade shows and events
backwall exhibit systems, post-show materials, pre-show notifications, tabletop displays

In which of these areas can Tate Design assist you? Call us at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net.

Corporate Identity Checklist

Building your corporate identity can seem overwhelming, even with the concise steps we outlined for you in our post “Branding 101: Corporate Identity.” Today’s post is a checklist to help you remember everything you need as you build your brand, your corporate identity.

Claim your name
 Search on your desired name and make sure it is not already taken or copyrighted
 Register your company name with your state taxing authority
 Register your company with the IRS
 Register your company with your municipal taxing authority
 Register for a website domain name
 Register for a blog domain name
 Select and claim a professional username on
– Facebook
– Google+
– LinkedIn
– Pinterest
– Twitter
 Claim your company page on
– Facebook
– Google+
– LinkedIn
– Pinterest
– Twitter

Put important information in writing
 Tell your company story—include short and long versions for different occasions
 Define what besides your story sets you apart from your competition
 Spell out product benefits, exceptional services, etc.
 Create a simple mission statement that tells everyone why your company does exactly what it does
 Describe your vision, your hopes, and your dreams for your corporation in one sentence
 Sum up the feeling or emotion you want your brand to evoke—use a simple word or phrase that will attract your ideal customers
 Try on several company personas and pick one that fits the corporate image you want to portray
 Find the demographics of your ideal customer
 Create a profile of this member of your brand-viewing audience
 Outline numerous statements that tell your current and future customers “what’s in it for me?”

Add images
 Brainstorm ideas for a company logo
 Design your logo or let Tate Design create one for you
 Look at the unique value you provide for your customers and create a tagline or slogan that matches
 Select the colors you want to represent your company/brand
 Choose a font style that reflects the message you want to convey
 Experiment with font sizes to see what works best on templates, images, posts, etc.
 Dress up your corporate images with copyright information and your company colors
 Create properly-sized images for social media profiles and company pages
 Post images wherever you have an online presence

Add finishing touches
Finally, let Tate Design help you create the following collateral material so you consistently present a polished, professional image
 Create a written document detailing when, where, and how all branded materials (logos, images, taglines, etc.) will be used by everyone representing your corporation
 Set up a copyright log for images
 Let Tate Design create branded templates for promoting your corporate identity in
Blog posts
E-mail newsletters
Social media images and posts
Website pages

Make easy work of building your corporate identity by calling Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net.

elements of corporate identity

Branding is what people remember and repeat about you and your company. A corporate identity is about creating the desired branded message. What do you want that message to be?

A Corporation’s Identity
As we mentioned in our post “Corporate Identity For Small Businesses,” every company needs a corporate identity.Your company or brand’s identity includes
• Name of company and key employees
• Story behind the brand
• Tagline, slogan, or catchy jingle
• Logo
• Corporate images
• Company colors, font styles, and chosen placement of images and text
• Packaging
• Proprietary products, services, or designs
• Mission
• Personality
• Strengths
• Values
• Anything unique to your business that sets it apart from the competition

Create Your Corporate Identity
To begin creating your corporate identity, claim your name
• Do a search to make sure you are not infringing on someone else’s copyrighted name then register your company name with the IRS and with your state and municipal taxing authorities
• Register for a website and/or blog posting site domain name
• Select and claim usernames that reflect your professional self on social media sites including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter
• Authorize company pages in your corporate name on the same social media sites

Tate Design can
Design a website or blog site for you
Set up social media profiles and company pages for you

Next, use your words—or the Tate Design copywriting services—to
• Share your story
• Define what else (beside your story) sets you apart from your competition—include product and service benefits
• Craft an easy-to-read mission statement that describes your purpose for doing what you do as a company
• Draft a one-sentence vision statement that describes your hopes and dreams for your company
• Choose a keyword for your brand that will evoke emotion and attract your ideal customers
• Pick a company persona—flirty, fun, scholarly, serious—that matches that keyword
• Create a profile of your ideal audience member
• Tell “what’s in it for me?” in a way that appeals to that ideal audience member

Add graphic design elements prepared by the Tate Design team including
• The selection of specific colors and fonts to match your company persona
• A corporate logo using those same colors and font(s)
• A tagline or slogan that “fits” with the colors, style, and size of your logo
• Corporate images that have been dressed up with your company colors and/or protected with copyright information in your selected font
• Properly-sized images for social media profiles and company pages

Finally, let Tate Design help you create the following collateral material so you consistently present a polished, professional image
• A written document detailing when, where, and how all branded materials (logos, images, taglines, etc.) will be used by everyone representing your company
• Branded templates for posting images on social media sites and for blogging and publishing e-mail newsletters

Call Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net to get started with brand development and building your corporate identity.

mobile devices in handMobile usage is on the rise. As we noted in an earlier post on privacy, more than 68% of adults in the United States now own smartphones and 45% have tablets according to the Pew Research Center. Here are mobile-friendly trends and tactics that will help your business get noticed by mobile users.

• Instant results
– Make sure your website is both mobile-friendly and responsive, no matter what device a user may choose for viewing
– Double-check that pages load quickly
– Add big clickable buttons so it is easy to take action without hitting the wrong tab
– If you provide emergency services, know that most help is now sought from a mobile device so prominently display your contact information

• Visuals
– Almost everyone likes visuals but you need to know your audience to know if they prefer videos, infographics, or text with pictures included
– Use high-quality images that tell a story themselves
– Avoid tiny fonts and pages and pages of text

• Quick and easy one-stop service
– Provide an app that rewards customer loyalty and/or speeds ordering
– Enable users to purchase directly from your ads and e-mails with a Buy Now button
– Save the environment and make their entire transaction paperless

• Immediate help
– Optimize your local listings so you come up in “nearby” searches as explained in our post “How to improve local search engine results: local SEO for your business
– Provide tools that enhance the in-store shopping experience if you own a brick-and-mortar business
– Don’t forget basic information like your hours, phone number, and parking information

• Entertainment
– Create plenty of quality content
– Experiment with soundless and/or dubbed videos for those who silence video (in order to not disturb others at work, school, home, or during their commute)
– Remember that some users are turning to their devices when they are bored, not when they want you to bore them with a talking-head video of yourself

• Problem-solving information
– Offer solutions to your users’ problems
– Share useful information in a clear, concise manner
– Offer short how-to guides and videos

• The ability to be social on their terms
– Make it easy and fun to share
– Include images that are already optimized for sharing
– Encourage users to add their stories

• The option to do a voice search
– As more people look to Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana for answers, create content for your website that answers real questions
– Enable voice search options on your website and/or your app

• Personalization
– Know your audience and match content format to their learning style
– Personalize e-mails and ads based on previous purchases

• Safe and secure
– Provide all of the above in a safe, secure package

Let Tate Design help you develop the mobile-friendly website that will get your business noticed. Call Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net.

secure URLscreenshot

Since 2014, Google has hinted that web pages with a URL beginning with HTTPS instead of HTTP will receive special ranking treatment. There is now additional motivation to secure an SSL certificate and its accompanying HTTPS for your website.

According to Emily Schechter of Google’s Chrome Security Team, pages that collect credit card information and passwords will be labelled “non-secure” if their URL does not begin with HTTPS by January 2017. At some point in the future, all non-HTTPS pages will display a red triangle and the words “Not secure” before the URL in the address bar.

non-secure website warning

What exactly is a SSL certificate?

  • Stands for secure sockets layers (SSL), otherwise known as transport layer security (TLS)
  • Ensures secure transactions between a (customer’s) browser and a (provider/seller’s) server by means of digitally encrypted data
  • Builds trust in the security of a site, encouraging people to purchase or provide sensitive information
  • Visible as the HTTPS at the beginning of a URL and as the padlock icon in the address bar
  • May improve Google search engine ranking as Google algorithms show preference for encrypted pages—recently indicated by Schechter’s report of “more than half of Chrome desktop page loads [are] now served over HTTPS” at a time when most web pages are still unencrypted
  • Comes in a variety of options—all with encryption—including
    – a DV or domain-validated certificate that is a quick, basic validation proving whoever registered the domain name also responds to the listed e-mail address or phone number, which has proven popular with those engaged in phishing scams
    – an EV or extended-validation certificate that takes longer to process but then displays your legal company name—as registered with the government—before your URL in the address bar
    – a Wildcard certificate for multiple subdomains using one SSL certificate

EV SSL certification for Twitter

What is it not?

  • Because a SSL certificate can be acquired very inexpensively if you go with lesser known providers, HTTPS in the URL is not a guarantee that a site is safe and dishonest people are taking advantage of this false sense of security
  • According to Kevin Johnson from The SSL Store, migrating a site from HTTP to HTTPS is not a one-click process
  • Having a SSL certificate is not the norm, with 97% of websites still unencrypted by Johnson’s estimate

Protect your search engine ranking, whether or not your web pages contain sensitive data. Add a SSL certificate and enjoy the security of that extra encryption.

Tate Design can help you design or redesign your website and make this move to encrypted web pages, thanks to a SSL certificate. Call Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net.

Website Designs Guarantee

Your business needs a website that converts leads to sales and visitors to customers. Avoid these website designs that are guaranteed to kill conversions:

• Obviously too busy
Cram too much text—especially long, wordy paragraphs—on a page, add too many colors and widgets, employ too small a font, or leave too little white space, and you risk overloading your visitors’ senses.

Substitute these for the “too busy” elements
– Shorter sentences, subheadings, bullet points, and numbered lists for wordiness
– 2-3 colors that match your brand
– A single video or widget only if it enhances the customer experience
– Generous margins and white space

• Unresponsive
According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study,  75% of young adults in the United States have smartphones, and they want to use them to quickly access all the information they want and need. Design a slow-to-load, not ready for mobile, generic website and you are asking for trouble with users and search engine rankings.

Instead, make sure your website is
– Mobile-friendly
– Responsive
– Quick to load

• Lacking contact information
Omit contact information to make your web page pop and you encourage your visitors to click away because they can’t confirm your whereabouts or your existence.

Replace this and build trust by giving website visitors
– Multiple ways to contact you
– A map that shows location and parking if you are a “brick and mortar” store
– Extra help with a “Get directions” widget

• Missing a clear call to action
Only mention your product or service in general terms and you leave web visitors wondering “What can you do for me?” Worse yet, they may just depart from your website to see how your competition will answer that question.

As an alternative, guide them with
– Copy that sells
– One clear call to action on every page (research shows that limiting choices also helps in the conversion process)

• Delivering a terrible user experience
A website that is hard to navigate, difficult to read, full of links that don’t work, and/or impossible to search drives prospective customers away.

In its place, offer a website that treats visitors well
– Make the navigation intuitive for novices and experienced users alike
– Be clear and concise
– Include accurate descriptive text instead of loading your descriptions with meaningless hashtags or keywords
– Use professional-quality pictures that can be enlarged at the click of a button
– Add a Search widget
– Check often and repair links, if necessary
– If this appeals to your demographic, personalize the user experience based on prior behavior, location, and the user’s profile
– Make sure your website loads quickly and correctly every time
– Choose a mobile-friendly, responsive design that will work with desktop PCs, smartphones, tablets, and wearable technology
– Select font sizes that will accommodate visual challenges and different user preferences
– Check other usability features mentioned in Usability: Web Versus Mobile

Don’t let bad website design drive away customers and kill your conversions. See what the Tate Design team can do for you and your business’ website. Conversions start with a call to Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or an e-mail to info@tatedesign.net.


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