Here's how having a strong brand helps your marketing

Whether you’ve owned a business or are thinking about starting one, branding that is true to your business identity is a crucial component of attracting your ideal clients. You can have the most extravagant marketing budget, but if your branding falls flat, appears outdated, or just doesn’t live up to the quality of products or services you provide, you might find yourself in a tough position when it comes to selling yourself. When it comes to marketing your brand, your story – verbal, written, and visual – need to be positioned and communicated clearly. While a communications professional can certainly help with messaging and storytelling, your creative assets must line up, too. 

photo: Annie Spratt

photo: Annie Spratt

CONSISTENCY:

In such a visual culture, recognizability really is key, particularly when standing out among your competitors. By drawing client and consumer eyes to a familiar look, you’re bound to have them more easily engaged than if your feed or website was made up of shots of varying quality or appearance. One way to ensure this is by selecting a photographer whose work represents the mood and style of your company. If you’re creating the photos in-house, you can achieve a similar idea by scouting out presets that embody the spirit of your brand. Google works wonders for finding these! The majority of presets will cost money to download, but considering the work a photographer put into creating them and the frequency with which you’ll use them, they’re well worth the investment.

RELIABILITY:

No matter what you’re promoting, beautiful photography will establish a deeper trust in potential consumers. They’ll be able to tell you care about your product — enough to have it captured in its best light by a talented professional. Audiences may be skeptical at first glance, and it’ll help if there is accuracy in how your company is portrayed. More and more, businesses are simplifying their marketing, assuring customers that what they see is what they get. Remember: consumers are increasingly attracted to brands that inspire or support a lifestyle, not just sell a product or service. By creating and sharing content that they can relate to you, your brand is not only attractive but attainable.

AESTHETICISM:

Social media and your website will be a driving force in how your brand is viewed. And let’s be honest, we want it to be gorgeous! The best way to achieve this visually is photography that is not only beautiful to look at, but tells a story and invokes a feeling in the viewer — it might not be apparent right away, but this method will inevitably top the noise of flashy advertisements at the end of the day. The best art directors and photographer know how to communicate clearly without adding unnecessary information their shot.

Above: Herbivore Botanicals is a great example of a strong brand. It not only sells beautiful products in gorgeous packaging, but also celebrates a lifestyle.

COMMUNITY:

Besides the obvious of wanting your brand to look its best, contracting a visual artist, whether a photographer or stylist, will only build your connection to community. They’ll likely be eager to post the work they did for you on their sharing platforms, all the while tagging your company and bringing you extra recognition. In the meantime, you now have a wealth of images you can share for several weeks or months, creating a cohesive feel to your branding while also sharing the photographer’s work to a wider audience. The payoff is twofold, and it will also increase your chances of working with them in the future. By forming a relationship with creatives in your community, you are entrusting someone to know your brand. The more readily they familiarize themselves with it, the better chance they will give it credit.

As a photographer and a marketer, I’ve progressively found it easier to identify someone’s photography without glancing at their username — but you’d be surprised how quickly your clients will be able to do this as well, visual background or not. Brand recognition is totally key! Have fun with the process, instituting a theme of sorts from the start, without letting it box you in. After you have a vision in mind, explaining your hopes to a professional will help solidify your grip on your product or service, while also identifying any holes you might not have noticed prior to your conversation. So: what’re you waiting for? If it’s time to kick start your business, or for a brand refresh, we hope we’ve offered some good reasons why!

 

Seven ideas to promote your business for the first day of summer

With summer comes tan lines, bike rides and relaxed times — but it can also come with an underlying heartbreaker — that summertime slowdown. It’s less frequently touched on than the highlights and joy rides the season can take on us, but it can totally be real! Maybe you’ve reached a posting slump, hit a snag in your marketing plan, or began getting slower responses through your public relations efforts. Thankfully, we’re here to help with a fun list that will get you out of that rut and back into that sun.

photo: unsplash

photo: unsplash

An Instagram giveaway featuring your favorite summer collection items — nothing attracts an audience like free goodies! Set something up on your feed and your Stories for maximum results. Create a flat lay of the latest and greatest things your business has to offer, whether that be stationery, sunglasses, or skincare. For greater results, ask another local business to provide an item or two of their own, allowing them to gain exposure while also bolstering your package. Promote the giveaway frequently, and require participants to tag their friends in the comments in order for their entry to be valid (bonus entries if they share on Stories!). In this way, your post will be exposed to more eyes, providing increased brand recognition. Plus, who doesn’t feel good about a business giving back?

In-store events with indie brand pop-ups, live music, wine or snacks while you shop — summer is a time for activity! When there are so many other options for entertainment, directing people into your shop with some unique alternatives is a great way to attract new customers. If there is an added element such as snacks by a local bakery, drinks from a close-by brewery or tunes from a hometown musician, customers are bound to see their time with your brand as not just transactional, but experiential.

Free downloadable to attract email addresses — At FACTEUR, we love sharing knowledge. It not only helps position us as being well-versed in our industry, but it also allows us to give back to our community. Your business should consider the same – drop that free knowledge in exchange for a precious email address. No underhanded tactics here, just some friendly sharing about your products from time to time, coming straight to inboxes. The downloadable you share can contain recipes if you’re a personal chef or restauranteur, styling tips if you represent a fashion line or boutique, or recommendations on how to relax after work if you’re a yoga instructor. Add value to someone’s life and in turn add valuable new audience members to your e-mail list.

photo: unsplash

photo: unsplash

Instagram/Facebook live of your new summer collection — We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: GO LIVE OR GO HOME! If you want to really connect with your audience on social media, video – especially live video – is the way to go. The ultimate goal is to feel like a customer’s friend, someone they look forward to seeing pop up because you’re providing them with something helpful! In fact, some people may know you only by your handle for so long before they make the leap to in-person connection. Make it count! Creating an Instagram or Facebook live video of the items in-store will entice followers to come your way, energized about specific pieces they saw on the screen (and hopefully by your own self, too!).

Share a postcard with a discount code valid through the end of summer in shopping bags and via email after purchase — there’s no better way to thank your customers for supporting you than a.) saying and b.) saying it with a discount! If you can provide them with products for a cut of the price, you’ll be sure to create a personalized loyalty that extends with every inventory change you make. You love your customers — after all, they’re what keeps you going, both emotionally and financially — and a discount code is just as much as a thank-you to them as it is for you. While we spend so much time trying to gain new customers, don’t forget retaining your current consumer base.

photo: unsplash

photo: unsplash

Social media advertising campaigns — there is so much to be said for good old-fashioned consistent and creative posting. Social media users love to see quality content paired with your username, and we believe you can make it happen with consistency at the core! By creating a frequently used font and color palette, choosing a dedicated filter or preset and using a scheduling program such as Later or Hootsuite, you can truly make the most of your social channels while advertising products or services you offer. This might also mean taking the plunge to pay for a boosted post or spending some of your budget on video creation for your company. Whatever it is, we promise: people will notice the efforts you put in!

Pitch local media to create a story centering around a theme that includes your business — do you own a beach-glass-based jewelry company that sells at local markets? Highlight why this has a place in a larger TV or print package about summer festivals, beach clean-ups or the best local vendors to make that upcoming proposal perfect. Getting your products on television stations or in magazines that your ideal consumer watches or reads can be just the exposure you need in a dry season. Remember when pitching that your timing and relevancy is everything.

Photo: supply co

Photo: supply co

Looking for more ideas to fuel your social media, PR, and marketing efforts? Be sure to follow us on Instagram, sign up for our e-mail newsletter below, and check out our instant resources!