line of people sitting on their smartphones, the ins and outs of social media marketing

The Ins and Outs of Social Media Marketing

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Social media marketing has become a necessity for any business hoping to attract customers. Human beings are attracted to stories, and social media gives brands the opportunity to tell theirs in a way that is authentic and engaging.

While its true that social media is now quite saturated with advertisements, marketing on social networks is one of the most effective ways to identify and reach your businesss target demographic. So, how does it all work?

Social Media Marketing Defined

Most of us have at least a surface-level understanding of what constitutes a social media network. But what exactly does it mean to market a product or service on these platforms?

Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of online marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve marketing and branding goals.

This includes posting text or image updates, blogs, videos, and other content with the intention of driving audience engagement. SMM also involves paid social media advertising, or paying for advertisements to be placed on users social media feeds.

Channels Worth the Investment

Social media has grown to be a key component in many businesses marketing arsenals, and its easy to see why: if youre attempting to reach people, you need to have an active presence where those people are. And, for better or worse, people are on social media.

With an average of 1.59 billion daily active users on Facebook, it would be unwise for anyone attempting to grow and market a business to ignore such a huge opportunity to reach potential customers.

Social media platforms allow you to target users based on factors like age, location, and user behavior (such as the pages someone has liked or followed), meaning your content and promotions land more easily in front of the right people. Businesses are even scheduling Instagram posts so that they can be seen by different followers at different times. Different users have different peak usage times so varying posts means more users are going to see the business content. On top of this, the ROI on social media ads is more cost-effective than Google AdWords.

90% of marketers say social media has increased their business exposure quote

Social media marketing is tied to a variety of real results that benefit your business. Ninety percent of marketers say social media has increased their business exposure. Other reasons businesses of all kinds use SMM include:

  • Increasing traffic to their website
  • Creating and developing a positive brand identity
  • Building conversions
  • Raising brand awareness
  • Easily monitoring the effectiveness of different campaigns and strategies

Reach Your Business Goals

Every successful marketing campaign starts with clarity of intention. Thats why its important to get clear from the start about which goals you hope to accomplish with SMM. As youre considering these goals, it may be helpful to ask yourself some questions:

  • Who am I attempting to reach with this social media campaign?
  • What measurable results am I hoping to achieve through SMM?
  • On which channels would my target audience most likely hang out?
  • What message am I attempting to convey through SMM?

When it comes to formulating a social media strategy for your business, remember you dont have to reinvent the wheel. Chances are, lots of other businesses in your industry are already marketing on social media. You can learn from their successes and failures through observation, and this will give you insight into the interests of your target audience.

Good use of social media tends to be one very important piece of overall successful marketing. When you pair it with quality content and beautiful branding, your business is sure to make an impact.

We at Deal Design are here to help you navigate the ins and outs of social media marketing so you can stand apart from the competition at every level. Find out how our team can help you formulate the right strategy to achieve your business goals.

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people working in modern full-service office at computers

Full-Service Agencies vs. Specialists in Branding and Marketing

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As your business grows and changes, so do your marketing needs. When deciding to partner with a marketing agency, how can you find the best fit?

A good place to start when choosing a marketing solution is deciding between two main types of agencies: full-service and specialists.

What’s the Difference?

Not all marketing agencies are the same, and it’s important to be aware of what differentiates them before deciding on one for your business.

Full-service agencies operate exactly as they sound — they offer a full range of marketing services. Specific offerings may vary between full-service agencies, but most provide some combination if not all of the following services:

  • Brand development and design
  • Formulating a marketing strategy
  • Website design and coding
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Marketing automation and digital promotion via email and social media
  • Content creation
  • Print Advertising
  • Sales collateral development
  • Packaging design and manufacturing

On the flip side of the coin, specialist marketing agencies provide single or a select few services. They might focus on providing just one of the services listed above, and they concentrate on a particular group of marketing channels.

The Case for Full-Service

While specialized agencies may be a good fit for businesses with a very specific, single need, full-service is highly preferred for the comprehensive objectives of most people searching for marketing help.

Knowledge

One clear advantage of an integrated agency is the breadth of expertise it brings to marketing campaigns. Most full-service agencies have extensive experience in a range of fields.

This is especially useful for smaller companies and startups that are just getting off the ground because agency professionals are able to assist at every stage of branding and marketing. From naming and tagline creation to social media promotions, a full-service agency has the capabilities to advise and implement expert strategies that deliver measurable results.

In contrast, the narrow focus of a specialized agency allows for the development of skills and expertise in one certain area. The marketing landscape, especially when it comes to digital marketing, is ever-changing, and specialists stay up-to-date with changes and advancements in their field.

That being said, most companies face a wide distribution of marketing challenges, many of which full-service agencies can help tackle.

bar graph showing companies' top marketing needs

Source: HubSpot

Ease

It is likely that your company will have more than just a single marketing need in its lifetime, and each addition of a new specialist adds more complexity to the equation. Employing multiple specialist agencies means more work for you, as you will need to act as the middleman to manage them all.

Full-service agencies take on this responsibility and simplify the process so you can focus on managing, scaling, and building your business.

The more third parties are involved, the more complicated communication becomes. It is much easier to only have to communicate with a single agency that possesses all the capabilities you need under one roof, with a team that works together.

Coherence and Consistency

When a single entity oversees your branding and marketing strategy, you can be sure your brand’s messaging will be consistent across all channels.

If you go the specialist route, you may achieve consistency within a single platform, but as soon as you begin bringing on more specialists to handle different channels, you run the risk of confusing your brand’s message.

Furthermore, full-service agencies work on different layers of marketing simultaneously. This collaboration allows for a broader perspective of your overall brand and business, while the viewpoints of specialist agencies tend to be more myopic.

jay conrad levinson quote - marketing is not an event, but a process. you improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause it. But you never stop it completely.

Trust

Specialists naturally favor the platforms they specialize in and will therefore push for driving more resources and energy toward those specific channels. Due to diverse offerings, full-service agencies are likely to be more objective when recommending which avenues are right for your objectives.

When multiple specialists are involved, it can become difficult to decide where to focus resources. They all may advocate for a level of creative direction, and it is ultimately easier to entrust this to a single company rather than splitting ownership between several.

Cost

The cost of marketing services can vary greatly depending on need.

If you only require a single marketing service, such as packaging design for your product, a specialist agency may fit the bill. Going to a specialist can cut out middleman costs and ensure you only pay for the service you need, but in doing so, you sacrifice the wide range of expertise and options that are available from full-service agencies.

Keep in mind that your needs may expand or contract. When they do, it would certainly be more cost-effective to have a full-service agency that you can use to add or remove services as your own internal capabilities evolve. This way, you don’t have to stop everything you had with one specialist. You can ramp up or down with one broad entity that knows where you are going, and expects changes along the way as it helps you get there.

Making the Choice

There are pros and cons to both full-service and specialist marketing agencies.

If your company already has a functioning marketing team with a wide range of capabilities, it might make sense to bring in a specialist to plug a specific hole of expertise. For most companies, however, full-service agencies are the way to go because of the simplicity of having one point of contact, along with their breadth of expertise and holistic perspective on your business.

At Deal Design, we understand that the needs of every brand and business are unique and dynamic. As a full-service agency, we offer a large spectrum of expertise in various industries and have showcased this diversity for our clients over a period of two decades.

We are happy to work with businesses at every stage of the creative process. Whether you are in need of a single service or are searching for help in building your brand from the ground up, Deal Design is here to help.

 

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typography vintage letter presses

Building a Brand with Typography

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Thanks to Ryan Gosling, we’ll never forget that the international blockbuster Avatar used the font “Papyrus” for its logo title.

Hoping to save you and the rest of the world from similar typography faux pas, let’s dive into the world of typeface design and why it’s so important. While the subject of typography may seem mundane, it’s actually an extremely essential component of your brand identity, and it should never be overlooked. 

What is Typography?

Typography is the style, arrangement, or appearance of typeset matter.

Simply put, it is the way you design and format text to appropriately convey your brand’s message. Typography is the product of many different components including typeface, hierarchy, contrast, consistency, alignment, whitespace, and color. Good typography is both interesting and legible, and it serves to intentionally communicate the tone of your brand.

City Foundry webpage showing good use of typography

Source: City Foundry STL

 

Why is Typography Important?

When it comes to creating material for your brand, content is king. The way your content is represented, however, has an immense impact on whether or not people even read your content in the first place.

It’s Everywhere

The importance of typography extends far beyond the scope of logo design. The role of typography in your brand identity is massive, as it involves the design of packaging, promotional materials, websites, and social media. Typography is one of the heaviest lifters behind your brand, so it deserves careful consideration.

It’s Experiential

It’s also important to remember that while you are building a brand, you are first and foremost building an experience for your potential customers. Brian Eisenberg says, “branding is the subtotal of all the ‘experiences’ your customers have with your business.”

In light of this, bad typography, like minuscule font sizes or text that is difficult to read, translates to a bad experience and negative connotation for your brand. Beautifully formatted, easy-to-read text has the power to do the opposite and creates a positive, memorable encounter.

Magazine layout showing good use of typography, woman standing in yard with hose

Source: As If Magazine

 

It’s a Mood

Just like color does, typography helps communicate your brand’s unique tone and message. 

Different typefaces are iconic for certain moods and product markets. For example, sans-serif fonts are more modern, clean, and simple, while serif fonts give off an older vibe and are commonly used for long-form or print content. Script fonts are more personal; the large variation in script typeface ranges from elegant and classy to cute and modern. Monospace typeface usually reads as techy and edgy. 

How to Use Typography to Elevate Your Brand

Typography is important. So, how can you make sure to get it right?

As with every step of brand building, it is important to consider your voice as well as the eyes and ears of your customers. This will help you achieve a balance between brand authenticity and appeal to your target market. 

Browse the style of brands you admire or those successfully and artfully implementing typeface in your industry. Pay attention to the way the design of the text makes you feel, and note whether this feeling is in alignment with the entire brand and product identity.

Of course, it is always helpful to have marketing experts to consult on matters of brand creation and development. At Deal Design, we commit to learning every detail of the message you wish to communicate via your brand, and we find the perfect typographic match.  

Deal Design is here to masterfully create your dream brand by utilizing typography alongside other brand design and marketing tools. 

It’s time to find your voice. However you choose to do so, stay far away from the font “Papyrus.” 

 

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Influencer girl behind camera filming herself

Influencer Marketing Strategies

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When you’re shopping around for a product or service, how do you decide where to buy it from? For all of consumer history, people have sought advice on purchasing decisions from friends and family — trusted individuals within their social networks. Today isn’t much different. Now, however, our social networks have grown and the influencer marketing platform has developed. They include not only the people we know in real life, but also those whom we keep up with online – influencers.

Social media has created a massive opportunity for companies to market their products within pockets of similar people. This method makes identifying and accessing target markets easier. It is also full of potential pitfalls, as it involves working with influential individuals who have their own established agendas.

This raises the question: how can businesses effectively utilize infuencer marketing while still maintaining authenticity and integrity?

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing capitalizes on the idea that we are most likely to turn to people we trust for advice about purchasing decisions. Even though social media influencers aren’t people we necessarily know well, their presence online makes us feel like we know them, and soon, we’re buying the laundry detergent they posted about, simply because they posted about it.

So, who are these people?

An influencer is anyone who has gained a following within a particular niche and who has the power to affect the purchasing behavior of others, either because of his or her authority, knowledge, or relationship with his or her audience. That’s why selecting a good influencer fit is essential to the success of the campaign as you are likely to be remembered if the influencer really has an understanding of your campaign and can sell it to potential clients in the best way they know how.

These individuals are in perfect positions for brands looking to gain recognition from consumers who fall within their specific niche. Companies leverage the reach of influencers through co-creation of content or product endorsements. And it works.

Is it Worth Trying?

There are tons of statistics about the effectiveness of incorporating influencers into marketing strategies, and they speak for themselves.

For instance, 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective. The consumer’s perspective may be even more convincing: about 40% of people reported they purchased a product online after seeing it used or promoted by an influencer on YouTube, Instagram or Twitter.

Infographic about influencer marketing success statistics

Source: MediaKix

Influencer marketing has significant appeal. It has the potential to do a lot for businesses, both in terms of brand awareness and direct response (sales/conversions, lead generation, etc.). The benefits are alluring, but there are several factors to consider before diving in.

Tips for Incorporating Influencers into Your Marketing Strategy

Formulate Clear Goals

As with any new marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to start by identifying your goals and KPI’s. Are you looking to increase your following on a specific social media channel? Is your hope to generate a certain number of sales directly from this source? Make your goals specific and measurable.

Another important consideration is your target market. Ask yourself if there is an online niche overlapping with that market. Then, see who is effectively reaching and engaging people within that crowd.

Pay Attention to Follower Count

When searching for an influencer, you might think the person with the most followers has the farthest reach, but marketing with micro-influencers, that is, those with between 5,000 and 100,000 followers, is proven to have more conversions. These “smaller” influencers are more cost-effective, making them an ideal option for startups or first partnerships. They also have highly specific niches and are better at engaging their audiences. Ideally, you could come to an arrangement with an influencer who has a humble amount of followers, who then grows in popularity thanks to Socialfollow® or a variety of things that could throw them into the spotlight, therefore meaning more exposure for your product at no additional cost.

Carefully Consider Your Platform

Finally, there are several different platforms to consider when searching for influencers. Instagram is a go-to, particularly for companies wishing to engage younger audiences. YouTube is an exceptional option because of its versatility and the engaging nature of video; when researching a purchase decision, 4 out of 5 millennials go to video content first.

The trend in utilizing the influence of online figures to market products has left some platforms so saturated with advertisements that users are beginning to tire of constantly being targeted for sales. When considering influencer marketing as an option for your brand, it’s important to consider whether there are existing influencers in your target niche whose style and content are also in line with your brand. That way, you can strategically place content that catches the eyes of potential clients or consumers without sacrificing authenticity.

At Deal Design, we are passionate about helping businesses communicate their unique message to the world in a way that resonates. Whether or not influencer marketing is an ingredient in the mix, we are here to help design and implement the best strategies for your brand.

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