Now that the new year is here, you’re more inclined to see advertisements attributed to changing your diet and working out. While a good amount of people set these as their New Year’s resolutions, they often jump in too quickly and easily fall out within a couple of months. Starting off small can lead you to success in the New Year. This applies to your business as well. Here are a few attainable (and out of the box) New Year’s resolutions to help get you started:
Learn Something New
Instead of being unrealistic with workout resolutions, try exercising your brain power. Becoming trapped in the same tedious routine can make your work seem monotonous after time. Learning one new thing can prevent this repetitive cycle. Constant stimulation is even proven to be beneficial for brain growth! This resolution gives you the excuse to follow your dreams and pick up that one hobby or language you’ve been wanting to learn. Listening to Podcasts or taking an online course can help you start to expand your your knowledge and become an even more valuable team member.
Our Digital Marketing Coordinator, Amanda, has a goal to develop more skills around SEO as it continues to prove its value in the marketing industry. She wants to be able to use this additional knowledge to better assist our clients’ digital presence.
Be More Organized
Can’t find that number you wrote down a while back that you swore to yourself you would remember? It can be easy to fall out of organization, especially when there’s a million other tasks to be completed. Avoiding simple routines can start to become a routine in itself. Create a checklist every day to keep you on track and feel more productive. Carry around a journal to make this easier and write additional notes that you need to remember throughout the day. Follow a routine to keep you on track with your to-do list by making a general guideline for your day. This will allow you to automatically complete the tasks right away instead of procrastinating and waiting. Put that essential phone number you had to quickly jot down in a designated place right away. This will ensure that you will be able to locate it when you need it.
Take More Risks
Taking risks can often lead to a variety of successes. This may seem contradictory because the idea of risk can sometimes be related to the fear of failing. Failure is essential for growth- both personally and professionally. Uncertainty is always there, but overcoming your fear of failure will give you a confidence boost. With great risk comes great opportunities, which can help you to build your company or career into a bigger picture.
Image Marketing Consultants creates goals year-long to achieve greater growth within the company, with clients, and as professionals in the field. If you’re looking for your company to have a higher brand image and online presence, connect with us today!
We all make mistakes on social media. But how does that affect the growth of your brand? There are certain social media posts that might not do what you want them to. The last thing that you want your brand to be doing is pushing followers away!
Here are some social media ‘manners’ that are safe to follow:
- When you make a new post, make sure that you don’t overuse your hashtags. While your post might be found from clicking on a hashtag, you don’t want to annoy your followers. A simple rule of thumb is picking the top theme of your post, then putting a few hashtags after. If you are posting a picture your office, pick the top hashtags that are trending. Try looking on Hash Tracking to see what is trending.
- Don’t beg people to follow you. If you reach out to someone that liked your post and not your page, you can say, “Thanks for the like on my post, have you seen some of our other great content?” and lead them in a good direction. Don’t say, “Thank you for the like, follow my pages @—–.” It is an easy way to lose people. You can even answer questions that they have for you, or check out what they have are up to as well.
- Posting the same post on all social media platforms. People may follow you on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and they want to see different types of posts. While double posting is sometimes okay, try to come up with creative and new content for each social media outlet. Double posting is seen as an easy way out of coming up with more posts.
- While we had a blog on what posts work for your business, there is something to think of; overdoing the posts that work. If you are constantly posting the same thing, your followers will get bored. So it is great to find a variety of posts that will work for your business.
Videos are quickly becoming one of the best ways to keep your followers interested and engaged in your content on Instagram. We’re here to tell you it’s simple to keep up with the growing trend when you use canva.com. If you’re not familiar with the term, GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. It’s essentially images that move. You might be wondering what’s the difference between a video and a gif? Well animated GIFs and videos are the same concept, but they differ in implementation. GIF started out as a normal image, and the animation was tacked on later. An animated GIF is a series of frames. Also, no sound. A video, on the other hand, can use a large variety of formats with sound. Some video formats show only the pixels that have changed from frame to frame.
GIF videos are fun, interactive, and allow you to say a bit more to your audience online with just one post. You can choose to make an illustration look animated or make your GIF more text based! It’s up to you to decide how customized your post will be. Get creative with it!
“Sports Illustrated, People Magazine, and TIME have seen almost 90 to 100 percent increases in their video output from May 2016 to May 2017. When Instagram first launched video, there was a 15 second time limit. Now, Instagram videos can be as long as 60 seconds, giving publishers more time to make an impact.”
If you have a Canva For Work account, you can choose to download your design as an animated GIF or movie. Keep reading to find out how you can make your first GIF for Instagram just like the pros.
Step 1: Select the social post format you’d prefer. In this case it’s Instagram!
Step 3: Resize it to the size you’d prefer.
Step 4: A GIF is made up of multiple different layers. Click on the “elements” option – and then you can drag the corners of whatever shape you choose to resize it! You can also change the shapes color.
Step 5: Click on “text” next and play around with the various options. Remember to use the same font if you want your GIF to be consistent.
Step 6: When your graphic is done, click on download and make sure to select Animated GIF/Movie. This will convert your images from flat and static to an image that’s moving.
It’s important to preview your GIF to make sure it’s working to your liking. Download and get ready to convert your file for Instagram!
It’s simple with an app called GifLab. Click on GIF for Instagram once you’ve opened the app and select save and share on Instagram. It’s really that easy.
Many religions have important holidays during December; some even celebrate with festivities into January as well. Businesses often schedule community outreach events during this period to give back to the community, but it is important to remember that goodwill can be spread throughout the year, not just during the holiday season.
Choosing to volunteer only during the holidays may come across as pointed and fake. While the urge to volunteer may be the strongest during the holiday season, finding year-round volunteering opportunities supports the public perception that your business is an integral part of the local community, rather than capitalizing on the holidays themselves.
Whether you choose to have your company volunteer with local charity organizations or sponsor a canned food drive, spreading goodwill is a fantastic way to build relationships with those in the local community first and foremost. By donating time and energy to support worthy causes, businesses receive well-deserved attention in the public eye- the cherry on top of it all.
What companies forget is the need to serve their community year round. Doing so is both beneficial for those in need, as well as to the company’s public relations image. Volunteering time and resources for a worthy cause casts a warm glow onto those who offer their time, thereby enhancing the image of their employer.
If your company is looking for new opportunities to volunteer time during the holiday season, consider reaching out to local community service organizations or a food pantry. If your team is interested in making a long-lasting impact, think about partnering officially with a charity organization to provide year-round support.
Some employees may even choose to volunteer for community service opportunities on their own. When companies support their employees in these initiatives by offering the ability to volunteer on the company’s time, others notice the shared values of the company. Building a reputation of a being heavily involved with the local community is beneficial for all, as those in need receive the assistance they deserve, and the organization is rewarded with boosts to their public relations perception.
Building a successful public relations strategy involves consistent demonstrations of brand (and personal) values. Just as Patagonia maintains its charitable giving and activities supporting the national park service year-round, try doing the same for your business when it comes to spreading goodwill during the holiday season. Kicking off a volunteer campaign during the holidays is great, but it should be upheld consistently throughout the year to support the local presence that is so important for all involved.
Image Marketing Consultants embodies this philosophy and is committed to connecting businesses with strategic partners for year-round volunteer activities. Consider adding volunteer activities to your company’s overall brand and public relations development strategies- a practice that is beneficial to all stakeholders in the community. After all, how often do marketing campaigns offer the ability to feel good about a yearlong commitment that is virtually free? Reach out today to learn more.
Creating a name for your company and increasing awareness of your offering are two crucial steps to building a positive image in the public’s eye. Regardless of the size of your business, if your customers do not know your business’s name or location, it will take a longer period of time for your business to grow. Grand openings are a fantastic tool to help launch your business into the public eye, but what you may not know is that there are four additional tools you can leverage to execute a door-busting business launch.
Launching a new business isn’t just about getting customers into the door; rather, it is about convincing them to come back repeatedly. Here are five ways to propel your business into the public eye and drive reoccurring foot traffic:
- Grand Openings- Grand openings are a momentous occasion for a new business as they offer the public a chance to experience new offerings in their area. Inviting the public to attend such events leverages marketing tactics to bring awareness that may otherwise go unearned. A successfully executed grand opening ensures that the local community has a reason to try something new.
- Newspaper Publications- Even with paper-products disappearing from our daily lives, newspapers remain highly relevant and function as a far-reaching public bulletin board to announce the latest news for the region. With steady readership, purchasing an ad or covered story in a local or regional paper can help spread the word about a new location opening. The best part about newspapers? Readers can easily cut out and save the pieces that interest them- ensuring that your announcement serves as a salient reminder to check out what is new and local.
- Television Appearances- TV exposure is beneficial for your new business as it affords a targeted, broad reach in addition to offering the authority that comes with appearing on television. Rather than paying for advertisements, focus your efforts on reserving airtime on local news segments that highlight small to medium-sized businesses similar to yours.
- Partnerships- Just at the old saying goes: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Occasionally, launching a new product or service requires support from similar companies already in the area. By partnering with a well-established company (not a direct competitor, of course!), you can leverage knowledge of the market and existing relationships with local customers. Successful partnerships are the product of bringing together complimentary services (for example between apparel and shoe stores) that share “the same” customers. Sharing a target consumer base ensures that great co-marketing and promotional opportunities are on the horizon.
- Social Media (a.k.a. buzz marketing)– Perhaps one of the best uses of social media in launching a new business is not actually the targeted advertisements and information pages (although these represent two other valuable digital marketing strategies), but rather the buzz that can spread like wildfire through customer’s own social media posts. As long as you take care in the image that you create for your business in the public’s eye, you can leverage the power of social media to drive buzz and attention.
Building a business from scratch or expanding an existing operation can be stressful and challenging. The Image Marketing Consultants team is staffed by public relations, marketing, and event planning experts to help reduce worry and guide you throughout the journey. If you are interested in introducing your business to your community on a grand scale, reach out today to schedule a 15-minute call with one of our strategists.
If you’re a small business with BIG goals, Small Business Saturday is a day you won’t want to miss. It’s a day founded by American Express to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. You might have noticed it’s becoming an essential part of the holiday shopping season for entrepreneurs across the country. Keep reading to find out how you can get your store and even your whole neighborhood ready for a day of shopping small.
Now that over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017, it’s never been easier to find nearby small businesses where you can use your Card, #ShopSmall, and support your community. (americanexpress.com)
- Plan to host a shop small event at your retail location to bring everyone together! Come up with a special deal for your customers – like 50 percent off if you show a receipt from another participating shop in the area. Collaborating with other stores will only increase your sales and allow you to make valuable connections, too.
Create a Facebook event and make sure to mention all that you’re offering customers.
- Give out Shop Small swag. Tote bags, posters, balloons, and so much more are available for any small business to enjoy. Grab some shop small merchandise from your local “neighborhood champions.” These are essentially ambassadors in your community ready to spread the word about all things Small Business Saturday. You can find the champions in your area here.
- Make sure to promote your business on social media leading up to the day! Let everyone know that they should #ShopSmall during their holiday shopping this year. Create your own marketing materials using the Shop Small Studio for free. It’s an amazing tool where you’ll be able to design custom graphics with Shop Small branding.
- Work on freshening up your checkout area. It’s important for customers to feel that they have a clear path to where they need to go. It sounds simple, but can be absolutely essential for an influx of shoppers. Put out some type of greenery for an organic and inviting vibe. It also helps to light a large candle with the warm holiday scent of your choice. You won’t regret making this space comfortable for your new clients!
If you’re shopping on Saturday, you’ll want to use the American Express Shop Small Map to find all the participating businesses near you. Join organizations across the country in supporting your local small business! Where will you be shopping this year?
Interested in promoting your small business after Small Business Saturday? Contact Image Marketing Consultants to get the results you want this year and beyond.
There’s one platform that’s taking over the image organization game. If you’re constantly brainstorming ideas for your next big project, looking for the best DIY inspiration, or hoping to expand in your small business – Pinterest is your new best friend. You’ll be pinning and advertising your company in no time when you sign up. If you’re not already familiar with Pinterest (you’re seriously missing out), it’s essentially a virtual vision board where any user can compile images in separate boards they setup. Pinning to these boards takes little to no time and simply means that you’ve placed an image you LOVE into a group of similar items. Sound simple? Keep reading for 5 Pinterest tips you’ll need to implement into your marketing strategy before the new year.
Set up organized boards that relate directly to your business:
If you’re promoting a pet company on pinterest, you’ll want to organize your boards to best fit your target audience. Think about what your customers do with their pets. Are they at the dog park on weekends? Do they often buy treats and accessories from your store? Start with the main products you offer, and expand from there! Try organizing an accessories board with your dog collars, toys, and clothing. Make sure your images are high quality, cohesive to the board you’re using, and eye catching.
Create and pin brand specific content to advertise your products/services:
You can actually design your own pins using platforms like canva.com. Make sure to use fonts and colors that represent your business! Once you’ve made your pin, you’ll click “create pin” in your account and link your website, etsy shop, or shopify to the pin. If you’re unsure of what to post first, it’s fun to promote a promo code on your graphic for new customers to enjoy. Still hesitant? have the Image Marketing experts design content that you can use.
Use secret boards to your advantage:
Secret boards are exactly what you’re probably thinking – it’s a tool for you to keep secret boards on your profile if you’re not ready to make them public quite yet. This can be helpful if you’re trying out new top secret products!
Join group boards:
There are so many other small businesses out there that you can connect with on Pinterest. Group boards allow users to support each other whether you’re starting your own or requesting to join another group. It will allow you to share pins with other small businesses like yours! Pick groups that are related to your niche and you’ll find a community perfect for you.
Enable rich pins:
Drive traffic to your account with rich pins! “Rich Pins are a type of organic Pin format that provide more context about an idea by showing extra information directly on the Pin.” (pinterest.com)
Check out these rockstar pinterest accounts for inspiration.
Anthropologie: Notice how they feature boards like home “decor and design” or “travel guide”
Their content is brand specific and relates to everything in their store.
Birchbox: This brand knows exactly how to reach their target audience with beauty tutorials, hair inspiration, and lifestyle tips.
Martha Stewart Living: This account features really high quality photography of food for recipes, DIY projects, and of course Martha Stewart!
Pinterest has an amazing help center if you’re trying any of these tips for the first time.
Image Marketing Consultants specializes in creative content design and social media management for clients, regardless of industry or domain. If you are interested in learning more about how we can craft a branding, creative, or social media marketing strategy for your business, contact us!
A Public relations crisis can be the death of a business if not handled properly. Small incidents such as misspelled social media posts all the way to a scandal involving illicit activities can tarnish the reputation of a company in the public’s eye.
Legally, companies must protect their customers. Socially, this duty expands beyond safeguarding their best interests to doing so in a way that maintains a positive brand image at all times. Small public relations incidents for businesses, if not handled swiftly and professionally, can cause a revenue-declining backlash that is hard to recover from.
In August of 2018, one sick employee contaminated a batch of food at a Columbus, Ohio area Chipotle restaurant. When word of the contamination spread, Chipotle faced a significant amount of negative attention in the press. It took over a week for the company to own the fact that the incident, while not directly their fault caused harm to the very people they are supposed to delight.
The response from Chipotle’s senior management team was emotionless at best. Rather than getting out in front of the problem, taking actionable steps to solve it, and apologize for their mistake, Chipotle fell silent.
This silence, in conjunction with additional instances of bad press, caused consumers to harbor a lot of distrust with the brand. Revenues have declined by 5% over the past year, and have yet to make a return towards the green.
These incidents often happen, regardless of industry or the size of the company. To recover from a fumble, companies in trouble can follow three fundamental steps to recover from a public relations nightmare, regardless of the incident’s scale.
- Own It – mistakes happen. Regardless of whether the incident is the direct fault of an employee or not, owning the event is crucial. The public associates the locations and employees of the company as being one and the same, and anything that occurs between those key things falls under the responsibility of the business.
- Apologize – saying “sorry” helps. Apologies further demonstrate the sense of ownership and remorse that is important for building and repairing trust with your clientele after a crisis incident.
- Make Amends – seeing is believing. Saying sorry is one way to correct a problem, but it is often just the first step in a more extensive journey that involves making it up to those wronged or harm. Words are a powerful tool to make amends, but they require an act demonstrating the sincerity of such to have an impact.
These three steps to help recover your business from a PR nightmare may seem like common sense but are forgotten frequently in the heat of the moment. Finding a trusted partner who can ensure that your business’s positive image is maintained at all times, even when you are busy putting out metaphorical fires at your company, is one way to ensure that any unforeseen “black swan” events do not cause any irreparable harm or damage time-honored hard work.
Do not wait until it is too late to have a crisis management plan in place. Neglecting to plan ahead can be detrimental to your business, just as Chipotle experienced in August.
Image Marketing Consultants specializes in protecting and maintaining positive public relations for clients, regardless of industry or domain. If you are interested in learning more about how we can craft a public relations or marketing strategy to protect your business’s image, reach out, and a member of our team will schedule a time to discuss the future of your business in this ever-changing world.
There are many ways to get on TV nowadays (scandals, PR nightmares, crisis’s of one form or another)- if you’re a business owner; it’s better to be on TV for the right things, rather than the wrong. Getting exposure for your business on local or national television programs seems hard at first, but in reality, it is easy when you have chosen the right public relations partner.
The process of getting your business on TV usually involves purchasing advertisements or commercials. While these seem like the natural thing to do when trying to grow your business, you must remember that these types of marketing campaigns are ones that people will do anything to avoid being bothered by.
For viewers, TV commercials interrupt the show that they were watching, and may not be all that relevant for their interests. If viewers aren’t actively engaged with the ad, there is a chance that they will not remember it at all, let alone frequent your business to help recoup some of the money spent on the campaign.
This type of marketing is expensive, especially for what you get. The opportunity to purchase advertisements on television is attractive at first, but often the budget that a small or medium-sized business can afford on a video falls short of what more prominent and established companies such as Coca-Cola and Home Depot spend on higher quality recordings.
Instead of trading off quality (lower quality videos) for quantity (showing those videos on television), consider television appearances that are more natural, especially ones that viewers want to tune into. Rather than trying to get airtime between the shows that viewers are watching, why not get on the shows themselves? Appearing on television segments that compliment your business is one way to gain exposure in front of those that are the most interested, without breaking the bank.
These segments often feature local businesses; products made locally, or promote the newest trend on the market. If your business falls into one of these categories, you are already at an advantage. Tapping into these creative alternatives to commercials is one-way build meaningful connections with potential customers. Naturally occurring television segments on news shows capture the attention of those interested for less money than the alternatives.
Now armed with an understanding of the benefits surrounding appearing on television segments rather than commercials, you can work on securing your appearance slot.
One way the easiest ways to get noticed as a viable candidate for one of these coveted spots is to find a local public relations consultant that is well connected with local media stations. Some media companies do not accept unsolicited segment suggestions- requiring that you go through a third party. This third party should be well connected to secure a prime-time segment spot as well as one or more appearances in other areas as well.
The value of using a person or company like this goes beyond the connections shared with the station. Experts with knowledge in public relations and marketing are able to offer suggestions that will frame your business in the best possible light to promote your goals. One of these techniques may include strategic ideas such as coming up with a promotional campaign that will be featured on the show that allows you to demonstrate your product to the audience, and also track how many customers it generated after seeing your segment.
Once you’ve made it on the big screen, it is essential to understand how your strategy helped to grow your business and this method is one way that can do so in an accountable manner. Regardless of what marketing strategy you choose to gain exposure for your business, make sure that you select a partner who has your business in mind at all times. Forming partnerships with marketing and PR firms that are able to deliver growth and exposure for your company will ensure that you have access to the brightest minds who take your business’s strategic growth to heart at all times.
Image Marketing Consultants is a growth-oriented advertising agency specializing in creating public relations strategies that have helped national businesses beat their sales and marketing goals. If you are interested in having your business featured on local or national television, contact us to speak with a member of our team to propel your business into the television spotlight.
Before I dive into any dish I’m about eat, I almost always take out my phone to take a picture of it for my Snapchat story.I make sure I take pictures with my friends at events to ensure there’s at least one quality picture I can share with my followers on Instagram and Facebook. This is an example of an era of visual culture that we’re all a part of-something that marketers should be taking advantage of.
We’ve all heard the saying, “a picture speaks a thousand words,” but now visuals are becoming even more powerful. It is nearly impossible for users to consume all of the content that is being posted throughout all social media platforms. The average human attention span has decreased. This makes it extremely difficult for companies to share all of their product and service information to their consumers. Incorporating visuals can help businesses with this new phenomenon to catch their consumers’ attention quickly, while ensuring the point gets across to them within seconds. Content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without relevant images.
Tips When Posting An Image read more…