4 Basic Things Your Brand Needs to Excel at Digital

The fall season is the perfect time to embrace your inner basic. “Do you want whip cream with that pumpkin spice latte?” You bet your sweet Aunt Sally I do! Even when it comes to your digital strategy, think basic.

At TAG, when we talk about a digital strategy, we’re not simply talking about your website. It’s all of your digital components and how those components work together to deliver results.

Those components include social media, websites, analytics, digital ads, AdWords, etc. -  you get the picture. It’s a lot to think about and monitor, so start slow. Below is what the TAG team believes are the four basic elements your brand needs to master.

1 | Mobile Responsive Website

A mobile responsive website means that your website will be just as clear and easy to navigate on a computer, as it is on a smart phone or tablet. Mobile responsive sites aim to minimize resizing, panning and scrolling so that your consumer can have a seamless interaction with your site and its content.

According to Adobe, nearly 8 out of 10 consumers would stop engaging with a piece of content if it’s not displaying well on their device. And, with roughly 60% of all internet access attributed to mobile traffic (which will continue to grow), can your brand afford to not be mobile responsive?

Think of your own habits. We’re all busy and when you’re looking for information fast, you don’t want to find yourself accessing a website on your phone and constantly having to zoom in to look at the text. It’s a hassle, and consumers and clients alike will find themselves seeking a mobile experience elsewhere.

2 | Social Media

Curious as to another digital tactic where most traffic comes from mobile? Ding, ding, ding! Social media. If you’re a brand, it’s imperative for you to have a focused social strategy. This doesn’t just mean throwing up pictures to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day (although, we do have a tactic for using National Days…), it means being in touch with your audience and knowing what kind of content they’re  looking for on your social media accounts.

Advertising on social media platforms has blown up over the past couple of years, and it will only continue to grow. Create a goal and then create a social media ad campaign that will deliver those results. For example: If you want people to visit your website, create a Facebook Ad campaign that will send traffic to your site. Or, if you’re wanting some exposure for your brand and your audience is relatively young, consider creating a Snapchat filter for a local event you’re sponsoring or that aligns with your brand.

3 | SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

When a potential customer is searching for your product or services online, what would they type into the search bar? Write them down, and then incorporate those words throughout your website because that’s how search engines pull results.

For example, when I type in “home improvement store davenport,” Lowe’s Home Improvement in Davenport is one of the first things to appear. Why? For one, they have home improvement in their name (genius) and it’s also sprinkled throughout their website. If you go to their Company Information page, their description says, “…Lowe’s has been Improving Home Improvement.”

So, if you’re currently dependent upon organic search traffic but aren’t getting the results you want, it’s time to do a word overhaul on your website.

4 | Analytics

Once your website is mobile responsive, your social media tactics and campaigns are running and your search engine optimization is as optimized as it gets, the next step is reviewing the analytics.

If you have a website, make sure it’s set up with a basic Google Analytics tracking code. That way, you’ll be able to see who’s visiting your site, when they’re visiting your site, how long they’re staying, what pages are most viewed, etc. in order to see what’s working with your audience and what’s not.

Social Media sites also have analytics in order for you to see which posts or ads are performing the best. Facebook to Snapchat and everything in between will offer you metrics such as impressions, reach, engagements, click through rates, etc. so that you can see the results, analyze them and then put your money where it makes most sense.

Whether you need help with the basics or if you’re looking to take your digital strategy to new heights, contact the TAG team of social media, web and analytic experts to help you reach your goals.

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How to Incorporate Holidays into Your Social Strategy

Every day it seems like someone is celebrating something on social media. From National Lumpy Rug Day (May 3) to National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day (November 12),  you can find just about anything that relates to your brand. And while those days may seem totally ridiculous, for some brands, it’s a creative way to interact with its audience members.

For instance, a carpet or rug company may want to run a promotion for National Lumpy Rug Day on May 3, promoting a discount to replace your lumpy rug with a new one.

But with so many national days to choose from, we realize it can be overwhelming. So, below are TAG’s tips on how to utilize national holidays to promote your brand and connect with your audience.

Why?

Before you begin implementing, we think it’s beneficial to know the advantages of utilizing national days in your social strategy.

According to Crowd Spring, 78% of consumers believe that companies that are focused on custom content are more trustworthy than companies that post generic content.

I’ll use TAG as an example. Donuts are part of our culture here (hence, Donuts & Digital), so instead of posting some generic picture we found on Google, we actually bought donuts for the office and created our own content. Creating your own content will make your brand seem more authentic, and thus, more trustworthy.

How?

While it’s always good to wish your audience a Happy Halloween or a Happy Valentine’s Day, choose holidays that relate to your brand and company culture.

Oreo actually does a really great job of leveraging national days to create custom content, while still promoting their product.

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Do’s & Dont’s

National days are a great way to showcase your brand’s personality on social media, but don’t use it as a crutch for your strategy! If you decide to celebrate a national day every day, your audience members will begin to see through it and tune out your messaging.

A good rule of thumb would be to choose one or two national days per month that:

  • Directly relate to your business
  • Showcase your brand’s personality
  • Provides your audience with an interesting takeaway
  • Creates an opportunity for dialogue between you and your target audience

If you are celebrating a more-common national day (i.e. National Pizza Day), be sure to use the #NationalPizzaDay hashtag to reach the maximum amount of people.

Get Started!

Utilizing national days in your social strategy has never been easier. At TAG, we really enjoy NationalDayCalendar.com  which allows you to see what people are celebrating today, tomorrow, this week, or even two months from now if you’re feeling really ambitious!

Another great tool we would recommend is Sprout Social’s Complete Calendar of Hashtag Holidays for 2017. It’s definitely a more narrowed look at national days throughout the year, but it tells you which is the correct hashtag to include in your post.

Want more? Contact us today so that TAG’s team of social media experts can develop a social calendar that’s custom for your brand!

 

Build Brand Loyalty With Relationship Marketing


Let’s say a customer spends an average of $60 in your store every 3 months. They live in the same place for 20 years. Their lifetime value is $4,800.

Now let’s say, the first time they went into your store they didn’t have a great experience. You didn’t take interest in them, they didn’t feel valued, and you never followed up after they left. You didn’t lose $60, you lost $4,800. (Calculate the lifetime value of your customers here)

That’s why relationship marketing is so important. Relationship marketing is the act of developing customer loyalty and building long-term relationships through interaction and engagement.

IPSY and Caseology excel at forming relationships with their customers. You don’t have to be a monthly subscription service or a phone case company to engage with your customers. Here are a few easy things you can do to create relationships with your customers.

1. Develop an emotional connection.

Brand loyalty is built when your customers feel like you unddeslerstand and value them. By personalizing your customer’s experience, they’re more likely to return  AND they’re more likely to leave you a positive review – which is really important because 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying!

2. Share exclusive offers and content.

Make your customers feel like they’re part of a special club! Offering them coupons and promotions through an email or on your website encourages them to continue to shop with you. Specials on their birthdays, reward points when they review a product or your brand, and discounts on premium products are great ways to do this!

3. Use technology to your advantage.

Social media is your friend! You can gauge your customers’ perceptions of your brand by what they say on social media.  Use these platforms to communicate with your customers and really listen to their feedback. Regular communication with your customers, digitally or otherwise, is the best way to cultivate relationships. By doing so, you’re adding value to your brand.

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At the end of the day it’s most important to remember that your customers are humans who want to feel valued. After all, they are why you do what you do!

If you’re looking for guidance to begin building relationships with your customers, contact TAG!

Tell us what you think about Donuts & Digital and TAG Hot Sauce by leaving a Facebook review or commenting below!

 

The Eight Rules of Branding

The Eight Rules of Branding

A brand is an emotional connection that is built through an experiential relationship. Think of a ladder, at the lowest rung your brand exists as a utilitarian commodity. As you climb, the peak is when your brand is linked to an emotional experience.

The goal of our eight rules of branding is to identify how your brand relates to these rules or concepts and where there are gaps. If you’re looking to rebrand or reposition your brand in the market, this is a great place to start!

Rule One: A successful brand is a single idea or concept that stands for something inside the customer’s mind.

We want to boil down your brand into a singular idea or concept. This should be more than just what your products and services are. How do you do business? How do you work with your customers? Work to whittle down your services or products into a single idea that you can own.

Rule Two: Branding consistently conveys your values. They reinforce your commitment to your product and company.

When we get to rule two, a SWOT analysis can help determine your values. Your internal strengths can play a large role in your brand’s values. How do you approach business?

Rule Three: Consumers accept brands that are narrow in scope.

We’ve all been to a restaurant that has hundreds of menu items and ranges from Mexican cuisine to Italian and everything in between. And that begs us to ask the question, “what are you?” You can’t be all things to all people. Narrowing the scope of your audience will enable you to be more successful in the long run.

Rule Four: Successful brands evoke a feeling of leadership.

In rule four, we go back to the brand’s strengths, as well. Position yourself in your market or brand category as a leader by conveying your strengths and how they make you different! For instance, if your company is using technology in a unique way in a category that traditionally doesn’t use technology, position yourself as a leader by demonstrating your expertise!

Rule Five: Communication builds brands.

Communication is vital to building your brand. Create a communication strategy, plotting and identifying when and how to communicate with your consumers. Identify your key messaging and use them in your communication tactics.

Take McDonalds’ for example. Their key message is “I’m lovin’ it.” What’s your core message?

Rule Six: Brand leaders promote and build a category.

For rule six, we’re going to go back to what we learned in rule one. A brand leader should promote the concept of their brand and distinguish themselves in the market place.

What brand comes to mind when you think of organic food? The majority of people will say Whole Foods. In the category of organic foods, Whole Foods is a brand category leader. What word can you own, and become the leader in that market?

Rule Seven: Building a powerful brand requires building a powerful perception of quality.

Just like we break down your brand into a single word and concept, we need to break down the term quality for it to best fit your brand. What does the word quality mean to your brand?

Take a look at Aldi for example. If you purchase a product at Aldi that is not good or not up to your standards, you can return it with no questions asked. That is their definition of quality.

Rule Eight: Sub-branding can erode the power of the core brand.

All of these rules connect and intertwine. Rule eight and rule three go hand-in-hand. Sub-branding by putting your name on everything can actually hurt your brand as a whole.

Virgin Mobile is a great example. They expanded their category to so many things that it makes us ask, “what are you?” It’s just another way of saying you can’t be all things to all people.

 

At TAG, we offer clients a Brand Workshop where we go over these eight important rules, and help to determine who you are as a brand and where you want to go. Often, we can determine a lot of this information through hearing stories about your company or brand and use those to demonstrate what your company values. Could your brand benefit from a Brand Workshop? Contact us today to learn more about how a Brand Workshop could be beneficial!

The Importance of Brand Guidelines

The Importance of Brand Guidelines

Branding guidelines, brand standards, style guides. Whatever you call them, they are an important piece of building your brand. Branding guidelines set a foundation for your brand by creating a framework to operate in that’s consistent no matter what medium you choose.

So what are brand guidelines? Branding guides consist of essential rules for how to craft the visual pieces of your brand including typography, imagery, photography, logo usage, image style and more depending on the size and need of your business. These guidelines should point your communication toward your target audience with a consistent look and feel.

Consistency is vital in maintaining brand integrity. A guideline helps you maintain integrity by maintaining consistency in your branding efforts. And consistency makes you more recognizable in the market, assisting in building the way your brand is perceived. A guide plays an important role in perception. Every touch point between your brand and your audience should be used to reinforce a consistent perception.

Deviating from your guidelines can be harmful to your brand. Straying from your guidelines, be it typeface, color palette or tone, makes it harder to recognize your brand in the market. Not to mention it can make your brand look unprofessional. Consistency among all of your brand’s communications should always be your goal.

It’s easy to think that you can put off creating branding guidelines until a later date, but it’s important to start building that foundation right away. By using brand guidelines, you ensure that there’s an organized, cohesive approach to the points of engagement and communication with your audience that creates consistency in your communication.

At TAG, we recommend brand guidelines to all of our clients. Does your brand need help creating a guideline? Visit our website today to see how we can help grow your brand!