Chances are you’re like the rest of us: You’re forced to stick to a digital marketing spend that’s not quite as large as you’d like. It’s just one of the realities of doing business. But there are a few tried and true things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of the spend you have. Check out the following six tips, and you’ll be well on your way to doing more with whatcha got.
Tip #1: Increase your presence on social media
Like most businesses, you’re probably pretty solid on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But have you considered other platforms? YouTube (especially in the age of video) and Google Plus can be great platforms to help you get your company name out there. You might also consider gaining a presence on some of the younger platforms like Snapchat and Mix. However, there is one caveat: To avoid wasting time and money, be sure you have the bandwidth it takes to keep up with all of your accounts. And if you discover that you don’t have that bandwidth, consider working with an agency, like DAE & Company, that offers digital marketing services.
Tip #2: Create better content
If content is king, then high quality content is the emperor of the world. As a result, creating content that is useful and relevant is one of the simplest ways to get the most out of your digital spend. High quality content is fact-based, on topic, and easy to digest. Also, in addition to blog posts, consider interesting pieces of content like high quality video and infographics.
Tip #3: Track your results
It takes a bit of practice, but Google Analytics offers a free and simple way to keep track of your content performance. By doing so, you can better leverage content that is top performing and optimize poorer performing pieces. Though not free, tools like Hootsuite, Hubspot, and Sprout Social are awesome for keeping track of where the majority of your traffic is originating, so you can focus on those platforms that serve you best. These tools can also help you keep up with posting and engagement.
Tip #4: Increase your content dissemination
Any time you create a solid piece of content, you want to make sure it appears on your blog as well as on all your social media platforms. Doing so ensures it reaches the widest audience. Again, tools like Hootsuite, Hubspot, and Sprout Social are a great help when it comes to content dissemination and can actually automate the process for you. Automation saves you time and money by allowing you to focus more on creating high quality content and less on getting that content in front of your audience.
Tip #5: Drill down to reach your target market
Speaking of audiences, are you sure you’re reaching your best one? If you can’t answer that question with a resounding yes, it’s time to do some research. Google Trends research and tools like social media surveys can help you get a better handle on who, exactly, might appreciate your content most. Also, bring up the topics of your content in conversation. It might sound simple, but you can learn a lot about your audience through everyday conversation. Find out what types of content your target audience enjoys consuming, and adjust your output accordingly.
Tip #6: Don’t forget the pics and vids
When it comes to attracting an online audience, it’s all about eye candy. Study after study has shown that posts with images (still or moving) garner significantly more engagement than do posts without imagery and video. According to Buffer, “more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day.” Taking advantage of these preferred media is one of the easiest ways to get more bang for your digital marketing buck.
Eager to learn more about how you can make the most of your digital spend? Get in touch with us, and let’s talk optimization!
Once upon a time, the typical Mad Avenue, big-box, high-ticket ad agency would have a component of the firm that was affectionately referred to as the “creative department.” It’s where you’d have found the free thinkers with nerf basketball courts on their doors, Talking Heads blaring from boom boxes, and zany games thriving at all corners of their conclave. Birkenstocks were hip, wingtips were banished, ties were unheard of. All in the name of instilling a creative environment.
There were, however, a few glaring problems with this kind of thinking: one, it relegated the notion of “creativity” to being the sole domain of writers, designers, and artists; and two, it short shrifted the distinct possibility that “creativity” was something that was born from within, rather than imported via miscellaneous gadgets.
At DAE & Company, creativity isn’t the realm of a few but rather something we all apply toward our respective roles in the agency. Finding ways to stimulate creativity has become especially critical in these times when agencies are more commonly operating on a virtual basis. As Albert Einstein observed, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” And his idea of creativity was often inspired by sitting down to the piano and freeing up his mind. But what about those at DAE & Company? What tricks do they turn to as kindling to stir thinking that goes above and beyond?
For Diana Evans, she often puts her feet to the ground or her skis to the slopes for inspiration. She’s a jogger, a skier, and someone who takes her tasks with her to whatever paths are before her. As she explains, “endorphins equal creativity for me.” It’s a personal rhythm that she applies often, a habit that has helped her visualize whole campaigns, ideas she relegates to the notepad on her cell phone. As she confesses, “not all of those ideas are brilliant, in fact some of them are pretty far-fetched.” Nonetheless, her wheels are in motion and the odds of having a creative day are greatly increased.
Hanna Bernard is another one of the employees at DAE & Company who has a couple of means for kicking her creative brain in gear. An adrenaline junkie who was once deemed “Sweden’s fastest female on two wheels”, her two most frequent habits both involve horsepower – literally and figuratively. She’ll go horseback riding into the nearby hills as well as hopping onto a snowmobile and shredding mountains of freshie. If that either fails or isn’t available at the time, she can always count on digging into a home improvement project to stir the creative juices.
Searching for buried treasure in the jazz section of a local record shop or turning vintage newspapers into type-themed collages is what gets Dennis Millette’s motor going, an exercise that runs the course of the day and is often translated into award winning work. For Scott Mortimore, it’s tossing in a camera and “Field Notes” scratchpad into his backpack and pointing his chin toward those eastern Sierra mountains that scratch the sky. When confronting a monitor rather than a mountain, he makes a habit of challenging himself at the New Yorker Caption Contest on a weekly basis, a foolproof procedure for jump-starting the noodle.
If you’re looking for a team of thinkers who put a premium on creativity, we’d love to talk to you. Give us a call (530.545.9079), an email or whatever. Better yet, let us treat you to that time-tested brain lubricant – a nice cup of coffee!
Any way you look at it, going it alone is getting bigger in the travel industry. And as more and more people are packing up and heading out on their own solo travel adventures, smart marketers in the travel industry would be wise to keep up with the latest stats. Following are a few of the most recent updates on this growing market pulled from a variety of industry studies.
- A global solo travel survey conducted last October showed that of almost 21,000 people surveyed around the world, 76% claimed to have traveled alone or said they were considering it. And that was regardless of demographics such as age, nationality, and gender. Source
- Between 2017 and 2019, Google searches for “solo women travel” increased an astonishing 230%. Source
- Tour company VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations reported that in 2016, 68% of its female clients traveled alone. A similar company, Country Walkers, said that 87% of its female travelers were single that same year. Source
- Among travelers, those going solo take longer trips—an average of 19 days. Source
- One study showed that a third of Gen Z prefer to travel alone, expressing particular interest in solo backpacking trips and taking a “gap year.” Source
- In 2018, the Adventure Travel Trade Association listed solo travel as one of the top 20 trends to watch. Source
- A 2017 study by Princeton Survey Research Associates showed that among Millennials, 58% are willing to travel alone and that 26% of millennial women have already traveled alone. Source
- When asked to name the greatest motivators for solo travel in one 2018 study, respondents ranked “relaxation and time to unwind” at the top. This factor ranked much lower in regard to non-solo travel. Source
- A May 2018 study of 20,500 travelers by Booking.com showed that two fifths of Baby Boomers around the globe had traveled solo in the past year and that another 21% were planning to do so in the future. Source
- The same Booking.com study reported that 34% of respondents named solo travel among the “top five trips that they have already been on and would like to go on again.” Source
- A 2018 study of 2,300 people by marketing firm MMGY Global found that about 25% of respondents claimed they would travel alone in the coming year. Source
Looking for more insights on marketing and advertising? Check out our blog post on the tribe marketing movement.
The Beauty of Virtual Imperfections.
You’ve made a mistake or two. Not to worry. We have, too. Somewhere along the line in 2020, we all had a stumble or fumble as we embraced this new method of meeting, chatting and brainstorming in the virtual world. We’re learning, improving, and slowly working our way toward being Zoomtastic, but as fortune would have it, there are still opportunities to look foolish and have fun as we talk amongst ourselves.
Here’s a chance to look back and check a few boxes on some of those techno faux pas you’ve had in the course of Zooming, Slacking, Google Meeting, Zohoing, What’s Apping, Skyping, and Hanging Out. If you’re uncommonly perfect and haven’t managed to hop online and start gabbing with a flick of spinach wedged between your teeth, take heart: there’s still time remaining to amuse your clients and comrades.
The panic face. This is probably the most flagrant foul in the game of online conferencing. Your camera’s on, your mic is hot, and you’re completely unaware that there’s a tribe of spectators snickering as you glare at your keyboard and screen, glancing up, down, left and right, grappling with which buttons to press as grumbles and profanities fly from your tongue. Congratulations, you’ve mastered the panic face, the WTF moment that many of us have already experienced. It’s okay. Live and learn, as they say. Just don’t get too perfect in this regard, as we can all use a little levity and a dash of spinach in our everyday lives.
The nostril angle. Those who don’t frequent the websites of Hollywood’s elite are unaware of the significance of placement, specifically pertaining to your camera. Place it too high and you project all the swagger and power of Dobby the house elf. Not good. More telling and terrifying, however, is the opposite angle, or what we call NostrilCam. This perspective can traumatize those on the other end of the camera, an effect that may be well intended rather than accidental. If this is the look you feel best suits you, then we suggest a pre-conference nasal check, especially for those with schnozzes that are well-forested.
Enviro-issues. We’re not talking about saving the planet, we’re simply addressing your surroundings. That means the dog barking or, far worse, scraping its arse across the carpet as an unwitting you aims to impress. Got photos or artwork on the wall? Straighten ‘em out and consider replacing your latest wild party photo with something a bit more dignified. Bonus tip: don’t chew with your Zoom open.
Silence is golden. Somewhere on your screen is a mute button, a little microphone that turns red or has a slash through it that when being quiet is critical. Leaving that mic open can be intrusive to whomever is holding court, but it can also be detrimental in the event you need to pay a visit to the nearest loo. Hear that lawnmower in the background? Or that cat fight or the colicky baby or that fistful of coins doing backflips in the dryer? All sounds that become more pronounced in the company of others. On the flip side is knowing when to unmute yourself when you’ve got something to say or when you’ve been called upon. Failure to unmute may result in the humiliation of flapping your lips without saying a word, which isn’t always a bad thing. Again, we know.
The lingerer. Congratulations, you’ve seamlessly worked your way through a Zoom session, hitting all your cues on time and retaining eye contact with the efficiency of a seasoned tv anchor. Now that everyone has said their farewells and are popping off one at a time, you find yourself fashionably late to the “aloha” button, glancing into the camera as the host waits for you to join the exodus. Problem is, getting out of this ZoomRoom is a mystery to you. Simply confess your naivete and soon you’ll be guided to the “Leave Meeting” button, happy that your session is concluded but forever scarred by the notion that you were alone at the bar when closing time came.
Fittingly, such faux pas complemented the year that was and may have even provided some essential levity. At DAE & Company, we were proud to have served up our fair share of techno-slips (none more than the author of this blog) and applaud those who unwittingly showed up in pajamas or failed to floss before their session. So, here’s a high five from all of us. You’re getting better at this Zoom thing. But please, for our sake, don’t get too good at it. After all, there’s no such thing as too much laughter in life.
Here at DAE & Company, we’ve been managing a remote team from day one. And despite the fact that our team members hail from cities all across the continent and operate in four different time zones, we’ve been able to successfully run a thriving creative agency. That said, we thought we’d share a few tricks of the trade for those of you considering (or struggling to currently manage) a remote team.
Tip 1. Communicate company goals and each team member’s role in the big picture
It’s critical that your remote workers understand both how they contribute on a project by project basis and how they contribute to the company’s big picture goals. Taking the time to ensure your team members have this understanding can go a long way toward helping them feel connected to the organization in a meaningful way, which will result in greater loyalty and higher quality of work overall.
Tip 2. Make sure remote team members are included in regularly scheduled meetings
When you’re working as a remote team, there are really no opportunities for casual run-ins and interactions. That means managers need to provide regular opportunities for such exchanges among the team members. While email and Slack interactions are great, video meetings are essential to maintaining more spontaneous and natural connectivity and are critical for avoiding miscommunication.
Tip 3. Treat your remote team members just as you do employees
When it comes to cohesiveness, the small stuff matters more than you can imagine. Things like acknowledging birthdays with a gift or a group conference call rendition of the happy birthday song can help your remote workers feel like valued and appreciated members of the greater team, which, in turn, helps build cohesiveness and greater efficiency in everyday interactions.
Tip 4. Make sure expectations and policies are communicated
In-house employees typically know there are unstated standards for things like unofficial department hours of operation, but a remote employee, for example, isn’t able to observe when folks roll in and roll out at the end of the day. Knowledge of such unofficial standards can make a big difference in efficiency and connectedness. So take note of and make sure your remote employees are made aware of any such standards. Doing so will not only help with workflow but will also help avoid conflicts and miscommunication among team members.
Tip 5. Provide forums for community building
Providing forums for community building is especially important when you have team members operating in various time zones who are also working on various projects. Tools like Slack channels and Google Hangouts are great ways to provide connectedness. Slack, in particular, allows you to create specific channels where workers can interact based on some shared function such as project or even interest. Allowing your remote team members to interact casually on these channels helps build the connectedness and camaraderie of “real world” communities while also aiding in workflow efficiency and productivity.
Tip 6. Be transparent and inclusive
When a team rarely meets in person and typically works in isolation, building trust among its members can be a challenge. That’s where the team leader’s transparency about things like changes to personnel, team strategy, and performance evaluations becomes imperative. Whether formal or informal, communication about such developments is critical. Along the same lines, you should expect your team members to offer the same transparency and engagement with you. Feedback from both sides is critical to your remote team’s success.
Tip 7. Use the right technology
Just as it is with any team, project management is an essential function for remote team leadership. Tools such as Trello, Asana, and Basecamp are ideal for remote team collaboration and deadline management. Use them! Also, be sure to provide real-time communication applications such as the aforementioned Google Hangouts or Slack to facilitate efficient real-time communication.
Utilizing remote workers can be an awesome way to combine talent from various regions affordably and efficiently—if you do it right. To really harness the power of your remote team, be sure to adopt the tools, practices, and effective management that will set your remote workers up for success.
Rebranding your business can be incredibly exciting. However, it can be a little nerve-wracking too. We’ve helped numerous companies completely overhaul their brand and we’ve even rebranded our agency, so we totally get it. We find that research and preparation is the best way to calm those nerves and actually enjoy the process. With that in mind, we’re sharing some insights into rebranding — including why you might want to rebrand (and why you shouldn’t), costs, what a rebranding strategy entails, and so much more!
What does “rebranding” actually mean?
Rebranding is a buzz word that’s often thrown around in the marketing world. However, if you don’t live it in and out every day like we do, it can seem kind of jargony and illusive. Basically, what rebranding comes down to is changing your image. In the world of immediate feedback, companies need to align themselves with their customers’ ideals, while staying true to their overall company goals, values, and services.
What are some good reasons to consider rebranding?
There are lots of great reasons to consider rebranding. Here are just a few…
- Your brand looks old and outdated.
- Your business values, products, and services have changed.
- You want to distinguish yourself from competitors in the industry.
- You want to reach a new market or audience.
- You’re not seeing the business results you want.
- Your customer feedback is not aligned with what you thought your brand was.
If any of those sound familiar, then it might be time to consider a brand refresh. Rebranding is a big commitment, but it can definitely be a great business move when done thoughtfully and strategically.
What are some reasons NOT to rebrand?
Of course, rebranding isn’t always the right option. There are a fair share of reasons NOT to rebrand as well…
- You’re simply “bored” with your current branding.
- You’re looking for attention or buzz.
- You want to cover up a crisis or bad publicity.
If your reason for rebranding is internal and self-serving, you likely won’t see much success and may see more harm than good. At most, you’ll generate some short-term buzz which will fizzle out quickly. At worst, you’ll alienate your audience and come across as inauthentic and unstable.
Partial vs. Total Rebrand
Generally, when considering a rebrand, there are two main options: a partial rebrand or a total rebrand. There is a time and a place for both options. And every rebrand requires work and strategizing to make it successful.
A partial rebrand focuses mostly on your visual brand identity, such as colors and fonts. This is a great option for brands that are already established and simply want to modernize or reach a new audience (such as expanding internationally). The changes are subtle but impactful, and your existing audience will still recognize and connect with your brand once the rebranding is complete and implemented.
A total rebrand is a complete branding transformation. That means everything from your brand name and logo to your mission statement can be analyzed and updated. This is a great option for brands who are struggling to find their niche in the industry or companies that are going through major mergers or product overhauls that are changing the foundation of the company.
How much will it cost to rebrand my business?
This is a hard question to answer because every branding project is so different. In general, a rebrand can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $150,000 and take anywhere from a few months to a year to complete.
A few factors that can impact cost include:
- How large and established your company is. There is often a correlation between the size of your company and how much money you should invest in your marketing, specifically rebranding initiatives.
- How fast you need the project completed. Quick turnarounds for a large rebranding project can up your price, similar to paying for expedited shipping. Whether you’re partnering with a creative agency or handling the project internally, a shorter deadline may mean putting other work on the back burner and/or having employees work overtime, which needs to be compensated for.
- What’s included as part of your rebrand. As noted, every project is different. Whether you’re starting from scratch or just taking a fresh approach to the existing brand can impact the cost.
- How many people are involved in the rebranding process. Rebranding often involves people from different areas of your business, a creative agency team, and occasionally even customer feedback and input. While different ideas and points-of-view are incredibly important, the number of people involved in the project can impact the price. Generally, more people means more meetings, more feedback and ideas to implement, and a longer project timeline, which all adds up.
Since rebranding takes a large investment of money and time, it’s not a decision to make lightly. We recommend talking about your needs and budget internally, and working with a creative marketing agency (like us) to make sure your efforts will really pay off in the long-term.
What goes into a rebranding strategy?
This is a great question — and one we like to talk about a lot! Every company and brand refresh is a little different, but here are a few things that are often included as part of the rebranding process or strategy…
- Your story, core values/pillars, and mission. What really sets your company apart and what matters to you? What do you do best? Realling figuring out what your core pillars are and your brand story is probably the most important part of a rebrand. They help you create a firm brand identity that pushes everything else forward naturally.
- Visuals and creatives. This gives your whole brand a cohesive look and feel across all digital and in-person touchpoints — including your logo, fonts/typography, website banners, social profiles, packaging, ads, flyers, and more.
- Tone and voice. This goes beyond visuals and helps align your messaging and engagement across channels — whether responding to followers on Twitter, posting a blog post, or sending out a newsletter. This may include developing some of the content or social engagement for you or providing a strategy and guidelines so your team can move forward internally.
- Target market and competitive analysis. This analyzes the current state of your industry — including what customers want and what industry leaders and competitors are doing. This piece of the rebranding strategy focuses on your target market, develop your market positioning, and a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to see where you really shine and where you might be able to improve. This is an important step to help really hone your messaging and distinguish yourself from competitors.
- Project management. There are a lot of parts and pieces to a rebrand. Big picture project management helps keep all the pieces moving to keep things on track, including your budget, and make sure the whole big puzzle comes together in the end.
This is just a starting point. Plans may be tweaked or expanded depending on your specific needs and the skills and services of your branding agency partner or internal team.
What should I look for in a creative agency?
We highly recommend hiring an outside agency that will lead you through the process and finalize your new creative. Many times it takes an outside perspective to cut through the clutter and really drill down to your truths, especially when there are multiple people involved. Plus, utilizing an outside team can help relieve some of the stress on your employees and free up your time so you can focus on your ongoing tasks and business objectives.
When looking for a creative agency to partner with for your rebrand, keep the following in mind…
- Check portfolios, reviews, and testimonials. Their previous work and customers will give some great insights into where the agency really shines, their track record of success, and what you can expect when working together.
- Expertise. Not all agencies are created equal. In fact, a lot of agencies can create some decent visuals but have minimal or no experience really understanding the strategy behind it all. Don’t be afraid to ask for credentials and take a look at how long they’ve been in business and what kind of businesses they’ve worked with in the past. Finding an agency that has experience is crucial and can make the rebranding much less daunting. DAE and Company has had over 30 years of branding and rebranding for various clients.
- Ask a lot of questions. A good agency will ask you a lot of questions — and you should ask a lot of questions in return. A rebrand requires communication and transparency, so you should make sure those qualities are evident from the get-go.
- Set clear goals and expectations. To judge success, everyone needs to be on the same page. Work together to set clear goals, timelines, and benchmarks so that there are no hiccups or miscommunication along the way. Although an agency can lead you through the process, your input and involvement is crucial. A brand needs to be authentic and truthful, so it is important that the final product reflects who you are and why you do what you do.
Here at DAE, we’ve got a seasoned crew of marketers and creatives, specializing in everything from graphic design and digital advertising to account management and copywriting. We’ve worked with big-name brands on the West Coast and beyond — including Visit California, WB Records, MGM Grand, Honeywell, Google, and more.
Think we could be the right agency for you? There’s only one way to find out…