v

So what’s an Agency Brief? - Part Two

Some people think of them as the ads for other ads or roadmaps. I’ve found them to be both. Their purpose is to clarify your communication strategy for your brand, be it a product or service and to manage expectations.

I’ll cover 6 core items that have worked for my clients and I and I hope they will be as effective in helping you loop your agency in on your business strategy.  

agency brief- visions2images

SAMPLE AGENCY BRIEF

For the purpose of translating what has worked for both my clients and I, here is a sample brief constructed around a hypothetical e-commerce vendor. 

  1. THE BACKGROUND: Define your purpose and describe the communication/marketing challenge you are facing here. E.g. New product promotion We have grown over the past year from 1 to 5 stores in our region. Our website receives 5,000 monthly visitors and we need to improve our customer exposure to said product.
  2. YOUR AUDIENCE Describe them E.g. Most of our customers are men, usually between the ages 25 to 42. They are tech-savvy, high spenders with little time for physical shopping.
  3. YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE Provide the agency with context E.g.  Our previous sales shows that our customers like knowing how many items are in stock and what our best sellers are.  We have created a pre-select bag with 3 of the best-selling pants with 3 color variations combining our best sellers with new stock items.
  4. STATE WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU Clarify your process E.g.  Primary objective- We would like to increase the time they spend on the site.  Secondary objective- We would like to sell our 3 for 3 select bag as a promotional item.
  5. USER EXPERIENCE Describe what you’d like your current user experience to be but don’t get carried away. E.g.  Primary objective- We would like our 3 for 3 to be the first item our customers see/ filter.   Secondary objective- we’d like to sell at least 500 units within the campaign period. It’s important for us that the search process is refined to avoid consumer choice paralysis. 
  6. TIMELINE An ideal timeline appreciates 2 week lease to either meet your deadline or exceed it. E.g.  We would like the promotion to go live by early December to cash in on the festive season. Pro Tip: While having a set deadline is great to keep with business schedules, having an inbuilt contingency might limit the best possible outcome.
  7. TESTIMONIALS/ USER STORIES They resonate with customer pain points/experiences Eg.  As a shopper, I can always have same day delivery straight from my mobile (sells convenience & efficiency).  As a new visitor, I can filter search results by my location/ budget/ listed brands (showcases an easy to use website).
  8. SUCCESS METRICS How do quantify success? Eg.  User feedback- improved shopping experiences Internal feedback- efficient customer support/ stock management Number of contacts generated- how many people responded to our campaign in number of signs ups vs sales made. Ability to measure/ monitor user interactions- what are the customers filtering, and how many times did they filtered their searches.

At the end of the day, the brief is meant to motivate your agency and clarify your process to them. This helps them develop tools that make it easier for you to meet your goals and creates a great working relationship. Have you ever used an agency brief? What’s worked for you in the past? Share your tips with us in the comment section ☺ 

About the Author

Livilla is a content developer and digital strategist. When she’s not helping business tell their innovation stories, she blogs at https://stylegitmag.wordpress.com/ 

Enjoy our weekly favorites: 

v

Should I be On Social Media?

Everyone is asking should I be on social media, and if so which ones? The truth is you need to be on social media. I also recommend that you are doing other things outside of social media so that you aren’t putting all your eggs into one basket. Think about social media as an investment that your brand needs.

visions2images- should I be on social media.jpg

Here are the top six reasons you should be on social media if you have a business:

1. drives targeted traffic: You need to think outside of it being about you, and more about your business. You need to post your links and call to action so that you can generate traffic to your site, especially if you are product based business.

2. boosts your site’s SEO: Again this is similar to number one because you are driving traffic and quality content.

3. Users are receptive to your messages:  Your personality will stand out and create your brand awareness. This is exactly what you need. When you authentic and people can relate they are more likely to invest in you, or your product.

4. Social media ads allow targeting and retargeting: Again if you are a product based business retargeting someone from your website to their facebook feed is a must. This is a no brainer!

5. You can respond to problems immediately: Let’s face it whenever there is a problem people are likely to go on facebook and talk about it there. This is a great way to address a problem and let others see your customer service.

6. A strong social media presence builds brand loyalty: When people see that you are active, engaging, and are creating a fun environment for your business you are allowing people to be loyal customers and re occurring customers.

Social media is a huge way for you to build your brand awareness and find a way to interact with your audience. Many times people think that social media should generate sales, and it might not always be the case. If you do not have a social media account, you need to get on it now because they will go to your competitor.

Enjoy our weekly favorites:


 

v

HOW TO BRIEF YOUR AGENCY - PART ONE

We’ve all been there. The fork in the road between doing it all yourself and outsourcing your communication strategy so that you can focus on scaling your business. And maybe you’ve taken someone on and hope they could do their magic and make your business trend. Bring in those new customers that you just know are out there waiting for you. But some things didn’t go as planned. Or they didn’t blow you away. And that just beats the purpose of outsourcing in the first place! We know how expensive miscommunication can be when you’re working to scale your business, am I right? 

How to brief your agency - visions2images

To pre-empt all of this, I’ve found that creating/writing a company/ campaign brief is a great foundation for successful company-agency relationships. Keep it simple by focusing on two things: your unique selling point, your niche/brand focus. Essentially this is your business differentiator and what’s in it for you, simply put, what you’re looking to gain. It helps if you write these down as you compile your brief and have them ready for the ‘discovery meeting i.e. the time you usually meet the agency/ person you’re looking to engage for marketing purposes and introduce them to your business. 

So what’s an Agency Brief?

Some people think of them as the ads for other ads or roadmaps. I’ve found them to be both. Their purpose is to clarify your communication strategy for your brand, be it a product or service and to manage expectations.

I’ll cover 6 core items that have worked for my clients and I and I hope they will be as effective in helping you loop your agency in on your business strategy.  

Let’s get stared, shall we?

  1. The background- this covers the ‘about you’ section. It highlights where you stand or where you are coming from. Numbers are your friend here but in case you don’t have the handy, an estimate would work. Once you engage your agency, they can help you clarify them to the best of your/their abilities.
  2. The audience- this zooms in on our audience, be it the current or potential one. The idea is to describe them as you see them. This section answers the basic questions on who your customer is, their average spend and habits.  From my experience, your agency can/ will help you develop your customer avatar, also known as buyer personas. 
  3. Past Experience- the idea here is to show what has worked for you in the past. This works two ways; it gives your agency a better understanding of tools they can use and it helps them avoid past mistakes that might have cost you a pretty penny.  If you haven’t figures this out yet, not to worry, your agency will help you document what will work for them in the period of your engagement and viola ☺ you have a documented strategy (+results).
  4. The Ask- Famously referred to as the ‘What’s in it for Me’, this is where you state the results you’d like. Be sure to define what your long term and short term goals earlier on. This will help both you and the agency calibrate your expectations and set appropriate goals for your brands strategy.
  5. Case Studies/ Testimonials- we all know how effective referrals are for any business. Why not use your success stories to grow your business by sharing them on your website or on your socials? 
  6. Success measures- These will almost always marry with your ask (No. 4 above). Have a general outline based on your numbers past or anticipated and work with your agency to fine-tune tangible ways to measure results.

About the Author

Livilla is a content developer and digital strategist. When she’s not helping business tell their innovation stories, she blogs at https://stylegitmag.wordpress.com/ 

Enjoy our weekly favorites 

v

Create a Campaign For Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer is very close to my heart, for many different reasons. Whenever the time comes near, I like to make sure that people know what great products are out there for a wonderful cause. Promotional items for Breast Cancer are the best route to go! 

v

Three Ways to Monetize Pinterest

Pinterest is a huge way for any business to advertise and make money. If you are in any sort of creative field or e-commerce field, you will want to be on Pinterest. Pinterest alone can generate sales. YES, truth. In fact, what if I told you that there was a simple way to put your Pinterest on autopilot so you can MAKE money? Yes, you heard me right.

Here are three simple ways to monetize pinterest:

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Sunset chaser (2).jpg

 

  1. You see, there is a science behind Pinterest, and you can crack the code by using Tailwind.Schedule your posts, and bulk schedule them, so you don't have to worry about rescheduling the SAME pin. Hello, time saver! Tailwind proves super easy to use. Who really has time for that? You can reschedule hourly, daily, weekly, etc. So say there is a pin that has been a huge hit, re schedule it everyday if youd like to different boards and don’t worry about touching it once it is scheduled!

  2. The other best aspect about Tailwind is that you can submit your pins to tribes where you can reach an EVEN wider audience based on similar interest. By being in a tribe people are required to repin so that they remain active in the group and don't get kicked out. You must repin their stuff as well, so it is a win-win. I suggest finding tribes that REALLY are in your niche and audience so you can get the best from this feature.

  3. Allow easy scheduling from any page with their bookmark toolbar. It is really THAT easy, you just click on it and do your bulk scheduling anywhere on the internet.

 

With Tailwind, you have access to great analytical data to view and keep up with, as well. This is a sure way to get some money in your pocket! This analysis will allow you to see what time, date, etc. was working for which pins. Tailwind is just an all around GREAT platform. Plus, they even introduced scheduling for Instagram and Facebook recently! I highly suggest you check it out.

 

v

Top Reasons to Try the Mileage Tracking App MileIQ

If you are a business owner, then you need to download this app - MileIQ. This app is a life-saver. I have been using it for over 6 years... Throw away those notebooks and papers that you have to keep track of your car mileage.

v

5 TIPS TO HELP YOU SAY “NO”

People.  Situations.  Commitments. Does a combination of these things have you totally overwhelmed?  Have you figured out why you continue to say "yes" so easily but find it so difficult to say "no"?  Women in particular seem to fall into this trap. We feel an obligation to say "yes". Being unable to say no can make you exhausted, irritable, stressed, and leave you with absolutely no time for your own list of things to get done.  We want to be liked. We have the need to be accepted. Showing we are a team player or not wanting to hurt someone's feelings are reasons we choose to say "yes" too.

v

30 classes are under $50

There's still time to reach your summer goals - starting tomorrow August 1st, 30 classes are under $50 at CreativeLive! Until August 5th, save on select classes like Ditch Your Day Job with Michelle Ward or The Business of Photography with Nigel Barker.  Seize the moment and sharpen all your kills! 

v

Top 5 Back to School Promotional Items

Can you believe that summer is over and school is starting up again soon?

Whether it be college or pre-school, all educational institutions can benefit from school promotional products. Using promotional items for schools is the best way to create school spirit and facilitate repeat brand exposure for dozens of students and more!

v

The Top 5 Best Baseball Promotional Items You Need

Summer is here, and we are well into it now. Do you know what that means? Baseball season is here! I love baseball secretly. My family always watched sports of all kinds, but it seemed that baseball stuck with us more than any other sport. As a business owner, it is important for you to understand the creativity that goes into branding and marketing. With a new season comes new marketing and promotional items.

v