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agency

Five Reasons to Hire a Branding Agency

People are always talking about hiring a digital agency. The biggest reason people do is to be efficient with their money. However, branding is one of the most important purchases you make. Hiring a branding agency can end up cutting costs in the long run. It also creates a strong brand and consistency to your audience which will increase your return on investment.

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Some companies have the money to hire a Marketing Director or Brand Manager. These companies wonder why they need an agency at all if they already have internal help. Even if you have someone on staff full-time, the chances are that person will require resources, tools, additional support, and connections.

 

Here are a few reasons you should consider partnering with a branding agency:
 

  1. Big Picture

Creating a comprehensive brand that is consistent, but also tells a compelling story is a skill that requires some serious know-how. These people are successful, talented, and knowledgeable when it comes to this. A great branding agency knows the intricacies of taking a brand from concept to completion. The agency helps create this flow and works with you through the whole process.
 

  1. Creativity

You get the benefit of having a bunch of strategic and creative minds collaborating on a project; this makes good use of time for both you and them. Agencies often have strategists, writers, designers, illustrators, and other talents in-house.
 

  1. Consistency

Many organizations that hire agencies lack cohesion in their branding efforts, which in turn hurts their ROI. An exceptional great branding agency knows how to deliver that consistency: your name, strategy, position, message, the tone of voice, personality, website, and social media.
 

  1. Putting Your Money To Good Use

Often people say that they don't have the money, but the truth is, you need to invest in these efforts. A branding agency can help you prioritize what you need in the order in which you need it to make the most impact. We start with what will make the most sense, then add a plan of action for the following months.

 

5. On-Going Brand Management

As a brand is re-introduced, and then begins to scale, it’s crucial to ensure the brand does not change its core values. Your company will always have on-going needs: creating a video, motion, animation, photography. Any branding agency should be able to lead the creation of the deliverables since the agency already knows your brand intimately.

Here are our weekly favorites: 

  1. What I am reading: Building a StoryBrand
  2. What I am loving: Echo Plus with built-in Hub – White + Philips Hue Bulb included
  3. What I added to my wish list: Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone & NW-35 Adjustable Recording Microphone Suspension Scissor Arm Stand with Shock Mount and Mounting Clamp Kit
  4. What is on my list to get:  Headphones, Gorsun Adjustable and Foldable Headsets with Mic and Volume

If you need help with your branding, get in touch today for a free consultation by clicking on the “contact us” button below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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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.  

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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/ 

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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.

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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.

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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? 

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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/ 

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4 Reasons For A Branding Agency

Are you sick of trying to manage social media and marketing in your business?  Are you tired of trying to find the right printers or tools for your business?The biggest issue that I see is people try to do these things and don't do it, or they say it took more time than it should of and are now even more behind. People often wonder how much these things even cost.. More importantly WHY you should outsource and what to even outsource? 

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4 Things To Look For in A Social Media Agency

Social media isn't ideal for everyone, but it seems that everyone wants to offer it. The truth is there is much more to social media than many understand. Most of the time VAs (Virtual Assistants) offer social media. It can be helpful for those who are in the smaller end of the business. But for a much larger business that actually wants results I would make sure to reach out to an agency or a specialist in social media. 

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