How to Speak Designer Infographic Cover Photo

You have a vision for your small business. The vision is for your product, your mission, and every single detail down to your logo.

But sometimes small business owners have a hard time communicating that vision to the person that can turn their vision into a reality: their designer.

Maybe you’ve seen the client comments turned into posters, and fear that your lack of knowledge about design terms will leave you in that “terrible client” category. You want to maintain a happy and healthy relationship with your designer, but know that if you knew the proper terminology, you would both be happier with the final results.



Does an inexpensive, highly effective marketing tactic that requires minimal time investment sound too good to be true? Well it’s not – and it’s called user generated content (UGC). The best part? Other people do most of the work for you.

Okay, that last bit might have been a bit hyperbolic. While it’s true that a UGC campaign does center on content provided by outsiders, the best campaigns do require some time investment from the marketer running them. There is planning the campaign, and then effectively leveraging the materials that are generated by it, but everything in between is up to brand advocates – your current and potential customers.


Small Business Marketing Trends

As a small business owner, you wear many hats. CEO, accountant, HR manager, marketing director, and more. In your marketing function, knowledge of upcoming trends is important – especially when they will directly effect you!

There are lots of articles out there about marketing trends, and how small business owners can reach their customers, but wouldn’t it also be helpful to know how larger companies plan on marketing to you? We think it would, so today we’re going to discuss a recent study that looked into just that.


YouGov BrandIndex BestBrand Logo

Each year, research firm YouGov BrandIndex polls millions of people to track the public perceptions of thousands of brands. They release their findings in annual and mid-year BestBrands reports – and 2014’s is out now.

It’s important to keep in mind when looking at the last below, that these are not the most valuable brands – that kind of metric is likely to stay more stable over time (barring ground-breaking innovations or PR nightmares). To put together the list of Best Brands, YouGov asks respondents, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” This not only measures the respondent’s own awareness of the brand, but also gets at their perception of the perceptions of other people toward a brand.


stick figures chatting

The essence of marketing is to evoke an emotion from your audience so they are motivated to buy, download, or otherwise engage with your brand.

The true marketer’s dream is for that evoked emotion to propel a user from a customer to a referrer; and have them share their brand experience with a relative, friend, colleague, or Yelp user.

The biggest question marketers are left with is which emotion would be most compelling toward that goal. While some would argue it would be fear, guilt, or urgency, most of these emotions leave a bad aftertaste.


Still from 'Puppy Love' commercial

One question we get asked a lot is “how can I make my videos go viral?” Well, there is no short answer or magic bullet for viral success on social media. There are lots of factors that can be controlled – like original audience size, distribution channels, content quality – but videos that go viral are more than the sum of these parts. If something is going to take off, there has to be a little bit of magic involved. The right people have to see it at the right time, and share it on the right platforms with the right commentary.


Lead generation ideas

Online marketing is a whole arena encompassing many effective forms of promotion. At every turn you come face to face with a new development, strategy, or platform. Keeping up with this world of digital marketing may sound daunting at first, but having spot-on information about the different ways of generating leads online certainly makes it easier.

Just like the inner workings of businesses differ according to their industry, so too do their online marketing efforts. Knowing how to navigate the different techniques and what to focus on is the root of the strategy. What works for a retail company does not necessarily work for a marketing firm. To help you identify what is out there and what works for your business, I’ve compiled a list of effective methods of generating leads online. Diving into the “what,” “how,” and “why” will give you a better understanding of the different techniques available to attract valuable customers.


Google Plus Infographic

As with any social network, the answer to the perennial question of what to post on Google+ depends entirely on your social media goals.

If you saw Pagemodo’s Posting Playbook infographic a few months ago, you know the rules for what to post on Facebook and Twitter depending on your business goals. If you’re curious how to similarly strategize your Google+ posting practices, CircleCount and Digital Information World have some answers in the form of the infographic below.


Email marketing alternatives

The smartphone explosion has created a number of ways for digital marketers to reach out to potential customers. And while email marketing was once an effective—and cutting-edge—way for marketers to deliver their messages, things are rapidly changing. The rapid shift of mobile users away from email to other communications platforms calls for digital marketers to use new avenues in order to stay in front of their audiences.

To that end, here are 6 alternatives to email that organizations can use to make their marketing campaigns more relevant and effective.


Cyber Monday Email Envelope

Ever since 2005 when the Monday following Thanksgiving became the blessing/curse that we call Cyber Monday, marketers have done their very best to capitalize on the opportunity – mostly through our inboxes. Before I became one of those marketers myself, I saw the inundation of emails as a bit of a nuisance. Now, I see it as an opportunity.

If you market a small business (which you probably do if you’re reading this blog) you should make sure that today of all days you view your inbox not as a consumer, but as a marketer. If its anything like the Promotions tab of my Gmail account right now, it’s a veritable treasure trove of email marketing dos and don’ts.



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