b2b branding

B2B Branding Tips For The New Buyer

Over the past few years, B2B business has seen a dramatic shift in the decision makers involved in purchasing. Now more than ever before Millennials are at the forefront of the company decisions especially when it comes to purchasing. According to a survey conducted by Google 2015 was the first year that nearly half of all B2B purchase influencers were Millennials. This shift impacts not only the B2B branding message but where that message is displayed as well since most Millennials spend a majority of their day online.

One of the biggest differences between Millennials and decision makers in the past is how they evaluate and research potential purchases. The same traditional advertising that worked on baby boomers is not going to work on Millennials and chances are they’re much further down in the purchase funnel before they even contact you. Thanks to the Internet and social media, decision makers do their own research on what they need, want, and whom they want to work with.

With more than 87 percent of online Millennials using Facebook and other social media sites, it’s imperative that your business has a strong social media and online presence however it’s not as simple as setting up pages and scheduling out posts. Millennials are looking for brands that are approachable, easy to navigate and as odd as this sounds more human.  Even in this hyper-connected world people still want to be connected with real people, especially in B2B transactions. The most successful B2B companies have utilized their social media pages to reach out directly to their customers and build a sense of community with their brand and customers. It’s extremely important to assure your audience that you or your team of people will be there for them and that you can solve some of their pain points.

Read more on Using Your Brand Story To Reach Millennials In Business.

So, how does a brand convey all of this to their audience? Here are 4 things you should be talking about in your B2B branding:

Have a Purpose

Many argue that this is more geared to B2C businesses but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Showing your company culture and your core values, or the reason why you do what you do is just as important in B2B marketing. Millennials more than any other audience are looking to work with companies that leave a positive impact on the world or those that have a great story about how they started.  Your brand values such as your mission statement and communication style will help create a personality and purpose behind your brand.

Read more on improving your B2B customer experience.

Knowledge

Potential customers are looking to solve a problem and they need to be confident that you will be able to solve it for them. Showing that you’re an authoritative source is one of the most important parts of your B2B branding.

Service

B2B buyers want someone that’s going to still make them feel that they have a 1 to 1 relationship even if they never communicate with you directly. Show them that you’re a company with real people who are willing to go the extra mile to get the job done.

Dependability

Showing that you can be depended on will take your brand messaging far. B2B buyers need to know that they can depend on you to get the job done so they can focus on other parts of their business. They don’t want to feel that they need to micromanage your work.

This generation is looking to be proud of who they purchase from. Today’s world is so much more transparent and connected and Millennials are not only used to that they expect you to be as well. It’s important that they are proud of who they buy from. By using ‘story branding’ companies can set a tone and feel for who they are and why they do what they do. With buyers getting inundated with so many screens and messages, stories help keep your B2B branding clear to your audience. The story with the strongest messaging that delivers an authentic feeling will stand out from the crowd. At the end of the day, B2B buyers are still, in fact, people and people love a good story.

 25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

brand packaging resources

Top 7 Packaging Design Resources

Today’s package designers have such a wide variety of tools, technologies, and materials available that they can create just about anything they envision. Add in digital printing and their amazing design options become available to everyone. If you are looking for packaging design resources, here are 7 to get you started.

Packaging World

The world of packaging continues to evolve. To keep up with the latest happenings in the industry, you need to keep in touch with Packaging World. They offer daily articles on a variety of topics about what is hot, what materials are on top, and the leading inspirations designers have today.

The Die Line

Do you want to see the latest design inspirations from students all the way to big corporations? The Die Line is definitely the place to start. You get access to a packaging directory as well as a complete library of designs. There are new designs being added all the time, so you have a wealth of inspiration at your fingertips.

BXP (Brand Experience)

Packaging design comes together at BXP. It features design inspiration from the entire globe along with industry headlines and a fully stocked directory of packaging design resources. You get to meet some of the brightest talent in the design world. It is a place for inspiration and trends.

Seven Steps To Launching A Packaging Brand

Packaging of the World

 Packaging of the World is like an art gallery of package design. You get to see some of the best design work from professionals around the globe. The best part is that you can filter the gallery based on exactly what you want. You can search by country, category and even most popular.

Retail Design Blog

The Retail Design Blog from the Creative Craft Laboratory brings selected retail packaging designs to the world. You get to see exactly what designers have in mind in a visually stunning presentation. The blog is updated every few days with even more designs. That makes it a resource you can return to time and time again.

Packaging Design Archive

If you are looking for a place to do package design research, the Packaging Design Archive is the place to start. You have the opportunity to see a wide range of designs in any number of presentations. You can filter by typography, shape, design aesthetics, materials, and environmental category, among others.

Brand New

The design firm Under Construction offers up Brand New. This features a true library of packaging designs. You get to see the latest inspirations. But, what makes this site extra special is the fact that you get a thorough review of many designs, which helps you know why a particular design works (or not).

All of these packaging design resources will give you inspiration, news, updates, and design help with any packaging need you might have.

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seven steps to launching a packaging brand

Seven Steps To Launching A Packaging Brand

Stevens & Tate Marketing is proud to announce the launch of a new product called Truly Supplements. It just landed on the shelves of Walgreens this week, and I am so proud of our team for launching the brand. We have launched countless brands for Aldi and Walgreens with our proven brand development process. Here are the seven steps to launching a packaging brand. Read more

earned media vs paid media

Creative Marketing Solutions

There are many creative marketing strategies that you can implement in order to increase outreach to customers and improve your bottom line. While many businesses are going above and beyond in their search for creative marketing solutions, you can simply seek to be creative within the 4 basic components of an online marketing approach (i.e. brand development, inbound marketing, content marketing and email marketing).

By seeking creative solutions within these 4 tactics, you can develop a successful creative marketing strategy. Here’s how:

Creativity in Brand Development

A creative way of increasing the relevance of your brand is by making your brand tell a story. Story-banding is an effective way to connect emotionally to your customers so they can see your products as having a greater purpose. You can achieve story-branding for your company by highlighting the inspiration behind your products and services.

Emphasize what motivates your company to achieve its goals (for example creativity, self-fulfillment, better health etc.), and incorporate your operations as a means towards achieving this goal. That way you can make your brand the hero of its own story, one which customers will relate to.

Read more on Defining Your True Brand Story and Bringing it to Life Online.

Creativity in Inbound marketing

A creative way to generate leads to your website is by having unique, yet appropriate content across all your channels. One approach you can use is to dedicate a portion of your site for product education.

If you are selling a well-known product, you could come up with creative ways on how the product can be used, how to make it last longer, behind the scenes details on how it works, etc.

One company that uses product education as a tool for its inbound marketing strategy is Gonesh Incense. The company produces incense products and has a DIY blog that contains videos on how their products can be used in many different ways; from re-using flowers after Valentine’s Day to making bath salts using their fragrance oils.

Such content is not only useful and appropriate to potential leads, but it also helps their brand establish trust and stronger relationships with customers.

Read more on The Benefits Of Inbound Marketing.

Creativity in Email Marketing

When you send out emails, incorporate interactive elements such as GIFS, rotating banners and menus. You could display an enticing sales discount or a new product launch by using a GIF. You could also categorize information about your product under different headings within a menu in the email.

This gives your customers the independence to browse product information and select whichever section they would like to read more about, right within the email.

Read more on Interactive Email Trends.

Creativity in Social Media Marketing

One way that you can utilize social media creatively is by developing targeted messages that appeal to common groups of people online, who you can bring together in relevant social media groups.

For example, a company specializing in manufacturing bicycles can create a fan page for cyclists and bring them together through targeted messages that contain useful information that applies to cycling. The more cyclists the company is able to attract to join the group, the more they can incorporate their branding into the fan page and begin to nurture their leads.

Read more on 8 Tips on Social Media Best Practices For Your Business.

Creative marketing solutions are the future of online marketing. By simply rethinking and refocusing the conventional ways through which you carry out your online marketing, you can be able to achieve creative marketing solutions and grow your bottom line.

email marketing program

visual storytelling

Visual Storytelling Trends That Will Shape The Future For Marketers

Storytelling has existed for centuries and is a great way to not only market your brand, but also connect with your audience on a deeper level. Storytelling can be done in a variety of ways, and today, visual storytelling is one of the most impactful forms of persuading and communicating your message with audiences. Thanks to technological advances, we now have the power to captivate people by immersing them in stories, while blending fiction and reality. Here are some visual storytelling trends that will shape the future for marketers and everyone alike:

Never-Ending Stories

Have you ever had an experience that you didn’t want to end? Ever wonder why movie studios continue to reboot classic TV shows and movies? Well, never-ending stories are becoming increasingly in demand as people expect content, specifically stories in real-time 24 hours a day, 7 times a week. This trend has slowly taken shape on social media platforms where characters like Homer Simpson are tweeting to their millions of followers. This also explains why live-streaming apps that allow users to interact with personalities in real time like Meerkat and Periscope, are becoming more popular.

Mini-Ads

Let’s face it—given the current digital landscape, traditional advertising does not hold the same appeal it did a decade ago. Because of this, it’s no surprise that companies have considered new, innovative ways like mini-ads to connect with customers. Facebook plans to launch six-second ads that will give businesses and brands the opportunity to show a condensed version of their story to their target audience. This interesting format is a smart way to capture the audience’s attention given our short attention spans, which will drive a higher level of engagement.

Connective Storytelling/ Immersive Experience

Even though it seems like most people would prefer technology to human interaction given the amount of time we spend on our devices, they also want to connect and interact with others online, fictitious or real. The future of storytelling will go beyond solely connecting emotionally with characters—we now can put ourselves in their shoes. Different virtual reality experiences, like “Nerve” now allow people to experience what the movie character does in a movie like climb a high-rise or ride a skateboard.

Augmented Reality

AR is present everywhere whether its Facebook or Instagram and is fairly easy to program thanks to software like AR Kit for iOS 11. Given Pokémon Go’s success, this is no longer a trend we can put aside. Since people are constantly on their phones and are interested in experiences that go beyond 2D, the implementation of AR visual storytelling will increase and go beyond gaming, entering the magazine and news space.

social media marketing

What is a Brand Story? Differentiating Yourself From The Competition

With all the choices that consumers have in this day and age, just having a good product at a fair price point just isn’t going to cut it. Consumers don’t just care about the product (or service) they’re buying, they care who they’re buying it from, which is why your company’s brand identity is so important to your success. One of the important elements of your brand identity is your brand story. A lot of businesses mistakenly think that this is covered in their “about us” page on their website; however, your brand story is not the same thing as your company history. While your company history can be an important part of your brand story, your brand story involves the consumer as much as it involves your company and is absolutely essential in helping you to differentiate your company from your competition.

What Is A Brand Story?

A brand story is the narrative of your brand. It shouldn’t just provide information to the audience about who your company is, it should also tell consumers what your motivations are and should inspire an emotional reaction. For example, while the history of your company can play a role in your brand story, it’s arguably more important why you started the company than how you started it. This helps to get across your mission as well as your core values. Additionally, this allows you to address the consumer as a character in your story. The reason you started the company was to address a certain problem or need that your consumers have, after all.

Learn more about branding: Why Brand Development Matters and How it Works

Why Is Your Story Important?

There are dozens — if not hundreds — of companies that are similar to yours, whether they are competing directly with you or not. These companies may offer similar products that address similar needs to the same target audience. Simply saying that your products or services are better than theirs won’t get you far, even if you’re able to generate content that backs your statements. This is because consumers need to be able to connect with you on an emotional level. They want to relate to the brand that they choose. To do this, you need to differentiate yourself from your competition via your brand story.

A brand story makes it easier for consumers to connect with you due to the fact that storytelling has been an effective way to communicate messages and ideas throughout history. Using storytelling techniques in order to inform consumers about your company is going to make it much easier for them to stay engaged with you. There are several ways that you can do this. For example, you can position your company as the main protagonist whose goal it is to help the consumer or you can position the consumer as the main protagonist who must overcome an obstacle (a problem or need that the consumer has) with the help of your company (a solution in the form of your products or services).

When it comes down to it, creating a brand story helps differentiate your company from your competition while also making your brand more engaging for consumers, thereby making you more relatable on a personal level and more trustworthy as a result.

Creating Your Brand Story

Now that you understand what a brand story is and it’s importance, it’s time to develop your unique brand story:

  • Determine your company’s purpose

    What is your origin story? This doesn’t just refer to the date your company was founded, but why you decided to establish your business. What was your motivation? What is your mission? For example, maybe you realized that customer service within a certain industry was poor and you wanted to provide a better customer experience. Consumers want to know that there’s more to your company’s goals than just profit.

  • Understand who your audience is

    You can’t tell a story without an audience, and you need to know who you’re talking to in order to tell your story effectively. Your story should include your audience as a character, so you must know who your audience is. What are their main challenges, needs, and goals? Knowing this (along with more detailed demographic information) gives you a better understanding of how to tell an engaging story. It’s also why developing buyer personas is particularly helpful when it comes to your brand story.

  • Make sure your brand story remains consistent

    The products and services you sell need to align with your story. For example, if your main goal as a company is to provide an affordable alternative to a luxury product, then you can’t suddenly begin selling high-priced luxury items. Everything you do, from products and services to your marketing efforts, needs to align with your brand story. This means that you also need to maintain the same tone and messaging of your brand story across all platforms. A lack of consistency is going to hurt your brand identity and, in turn, hurt your trustworthiness.

  • Keep it simple

    Simple brand stories are easy for consumers to remember and make it easier for you to maintain consistency. If your story is too convoluted or long, you’ll lose the message and maintaining consistency across platforms becomes more difficult. It will also confuse your audience and help make your competitors’ brand stories appear more clear and well-defined.

  • Be authentic

    Make sure that your brand story actually represents who your brand is. Many companies try appealing to different audiences and adjust their story inauthentically to try making an emotional connection with them. This often happens if you don’t understand who your audience actually is. For example, if you run a clothing line that mostly middle-aged adults purchase but you want to break into the youth market, you might try to spice up your brand story to connect with a younger crowd by using younger slang and referring to pop culture or issues that you think they care about. However, consumers are smart — they can tell if a brand is being inauthentic and it won’t go over well.

  • Be personal

    Appeal to the emotions of your audience. You want them to feel something about your brand story. That’s why it’s important to be authentic about your motivations and your values. You should also make your audience part of your brand story so that it’s more relatable to them.

Your brand story is an important element of your brand identity and helps to emphasize what your brand’s message is. By creating a brand story and aligning your marketing efforts with that brand story, you’ll establish a foundation for who you are and what your company’s purpose is, thereby making it easier for consumers to relate and connect with your brand on a more personal level.

Learn The StoryBranding Process
Marketing Trends 2

What’s Trending in Marketing for August 2020

Staying current on marketing trends is especially important to assess whether your marketing efforts are harmonious with today’s evolving world. We know the difficulty of keeping up with these trends given the abundance of information thrown at us every day. The following articles highlight current August 2020 marketing trends that we think are worth paying attention to:

Noteworthy Marketing News

Hulu Launches Beta for Self-Serve Advertising Platform

In effort to combat the negative economic backlash of Covid-19, Hulu has created an opportunity for small businesses to use its platform. Hulu has recently launched a self-service advertisement program eligible for any company with a minimum ad budget as low as $500. The process is simple: a company creates and submits a 15-30 second creative video along with details on budget, date range, and an area to upload the ad to Hulu Ad Manager. Hulu approves or denies within 3 days. Brands also have the option to specify their target market by age, gender, genre and location. Hulu provides approved brands with a simple walk-through of set-up and launch. For this program, Hulu permits a maximum of one version of a creative video per campaign.

As part of its recent Enabling Dishonest Behavior Policy, Google Ads is banning any advertising for “spyware and surveillance technology” in both search and shopping starting August 11. Examples of services include fake passports, fake degrees or diplomas, drug test aids, exam or paper writing services, invalid reviews and clicks, and fake social media endorsements. Examples of unauthorized access includes hacking, cable-stealing, radar jamming technology, traffic signal changers, and phone/wiretapping. Google explains that its list is not exhaustive and only mentioned for example. Google exemplifies spyware as GPS trackers, cameras/recorders marketed for spying purposes, and software that monitors someone else’s texts and phone calls, with the exception of parents tracking underage children. Violators on Google Ads will receive a 7-day warning.

Social Short: Twitter Ad Engagement Drops, Snap Minis Launch, more brands pause Facebook Ads

Twitter’s ad revenues have fallen in the past years though daily active user rates have increased. However, Twitter’s CFO Ned Segal is confident in the rebuilding process of Twitter’s ad server. He expresses optimism for the future of advertisements on Twitter through the advantage the platform has for live events.  Snapchat reports a 17% increase in revenues. Though its audience is largely younger, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel found that the average number of users on the Discover page are in their thirties. Additionally, the platform has benefited from the increasing Facebook ad withdrawals. Twitter has also taken action against QAnon content, suspending thousands of accounts for sharing or associating with any “conspiracy theory-ridden content”.

Improving your Marketing Program

Lessons Learned: Buyer Persona Gone Wrong

Before a company can establish a solid marketing plan, it must be aware of the specific target markets or customer profiles it has the best chance to attract to its product or service. Creating a buyer persona is essential to effective attraction marketing. In order to perfect your approach in buyer persona launch, here are some common mistakes to avoid.

30 Ways to Boost Instagram Engagement & Following

Looking for ways to boost your social media brand presence? Knowing how to increase brand engagement on Instagram, the latest and hippest social media platform app, is a great start. People are online all day due to working from home. Virtual shopping has risen due to restrictions and pandemic fears. As we have geared toward a more online world, your brand’s presence on the web is more important now than ever. According to Forbes, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business or brand, and 200 million users on Instagram visit business profiles daily. 70% of users turn to Instagram to look up a brand, and 60% learn about new products using Instagram. Now is the time to catch up with the competition that is already using these trends to their advantage.

Istanbul, Turkey – December 15, 2018: Person holding a brand new Apple iPhone X with Instagram profile on the screen. Instagram is an online mobile social networking service, launched in October 2010.

5 Ways to Improve Your B2B Marketing Strategy

B2B marketing can be a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t have a clear cut marketing strategy in place. To have any hope of running a successful B2B marketing campaign, you’ll need to establish what your goals are. Once you’ve done so, you should implement marketing strategies that will support those goals and help you achieve them. The following are five B2B marketing tips that you should use to help improve your marketing efforts.

Free Digital Marketing Tools To Cope With COVID-19

Recent Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

No in-person events until 2nd half of 2021, marketers say

According to a recent Marketing Land survey of 300 people, 3 out of 10 people responded that they anticipate attending in-person events in the first half of 2021. In another survey, 70% of respondents plan to attend solely online events until a Covid-19 vaccine emerges.

U.S. Mobile Ad Spending Update

In March, E Marketer’s Mobile Ad Spending Report forecasted that the pandemic would cause a 20% increase in mobile ad spending, but they have now updated this expectancy and reduced it to 4.8% growth. Among mobile advertising results, location-based advertising has suffered, and gaming and streaming video apps have done well. This year’s lost growth in mobile ad spending will affect overall spending through at least 2024.

COVID-19 Is the Asteroid That Struck American Small Business

Positive news regarding the virus is 78% of small businesses report being able to survive 7 to 12 months or more with existing cash on hand, and 57% could last over a year. Restaurants suffered primarily, as there were over 133,000 business closures total and of the 26,000 Yelp restaurants that have been closed since March, 60% were now permanently closed. A majority of 92% of businesses report pivoting strategy in at least one way form the pandemic. The most common change was a creation of delivery channel, and 96% of businesses reported planning to keep some new services and channels post-pandemic, while 43% will maintain all changes. Find out more on Search Engine Land.

 

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30 Ways to Boost Instagram Engagement & Following

Looking for ways to boost your social media brand presence? Knowing how to increase brand engagement on Instagram, the latest and hippest social media platform app, is a great start. People are online all day due to working from home. Virtual shopping has risen due to restrictions and pandemic fears. As we have geared toward a more online world, your brand’s presence on the web is more important now than ever.

Why Instagram?

According to Forbes, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business or brand, and 200 million users on Instagram visit business profiles daily. 70% of users turn to Instagram to look up a brand, and 60% learn about new products using Instagram. Now is the time to catch up with the competition that is already using these trends to their advantage.

Here is a compilation of our 30 best marketing tips for businesses to grow Instagram engagement and following in 2020:

Instagram Profile and Posting Habits

  1. Get to know the Instagram app and master how to use its basic features such as uploading posts and stories.
  2. Write a compelling Instagram bio and integrate it into your brand personality.
  3. Keep posts visually consistent to meet your brand’s style guide and tone.
  4. Incorporate categorized pinned stories on your Instagram page so it is easily navigable and can be used as a resource for sharing your brand identity to consumers.
  5. Optimize captions using brand hashtags and relevant hashtags with high popularity. (Determine if a hashtag is trending by typing the hashtag in the instagram search bar to see how many posts come up with the hashtag.)
  6. Use tools such as Hashtagsforlikes to optimize hashtags to use for your business sector.
  7. Create and promote a specific branded hashtag for a campaign. Encourage others to share the hashtag with it theming around a relevant, trending topic that consumers are passionate about.
  8. Use local hashtags and geotags on posts in order to attract local users on Instagram in a similar way SEO works for the web.
  9. Post consistently with both posts and stories, including videos, polls, and other interactive elements to keep followers engaged and entertained with your content. 
  10. Start conversations using Instagram stories stickers and polls.
  11. Schedule Instagram stories to generate more views.
  12. Keep in mind that 40% of Instagram videos do not have sound on, so ensure you caption relevant verbal content.
  13. Convert instagram followers into email subscribers by making your Instagram a business account and promoting your email subscriptions in your Instagram posts and stories.
  14. Monitor your tagged photos to ensure a good reputation, and un-tag your account on posts that are irrelevant or spam, so they do not appear on your profile.
  15. Add a link to instagram stories in order to generate website traffic.
  16. Use humor through gif’s and memes to execute your brand message through a creative angle.

Increasing your Instagram following

  1. Optimize SEO on instagram by paying vital attention to your Instagram handle and name. It is very important that your handle (@…) reflects your business industry. Try to make it short, sweet, and with relevant words. The account name should reflect the account handle and industry because it is what Instagram checks its searches against when users type a word or emoji in the search bar.
  2. Partner with micro influencers.
  3. Run a contest, giveaway, or raffle entry through your account page.
  4. Invest in Instagram ads, which targets customers with personalization and buyer persona techniques.
  5. Create “savable” content, or posts that are aesthetically pleasing, informationally useful or relevant. This will entice followers to save the content to their library and increases the chances of further brand awareness. Simultaneously, creating desirable content provides people a reason to continue following your page and share your content.
  6. Participate in popular conversations on accounts with high following and public relevance in order to get your instagram handle out there and quickly generate new followers.
  7. Encourage followers to re-share your Instagram stories through incentives of discount promotion codes and/or contests.
  8. Open up about your business with a weekly featured vlog of the day in the life of an employee, an interesting biographical picture and captioned story of the founders, or inspirational quote from the CEO.
  9. Follow relevant accounts and users following competition in your industry to gain followers back.
  10. Promote your Instagram on other social media accounts. Feature your Instagram account in your Twitter and Facebook bios, and make a post promoting your Instagram page with a link.
  11. If your Facebook has many likes or followers already, consider linking your Facebook and Instagram together to boost your Instagram following.

6 Social Media Trends to Follow in 2020

Keeping Track of your Instagram Performance

  1. Ensure your account is in business mode to automatically receive valuable insights and analytics on how your posts are doing.
  2. Regularly test and analyze new content to post to your Instagram.
  3. Use a free follower tracking app to regularly unfollow accounts that do not follow yours back in order to maintain a good follower/following ratio while continuously following new accounts.

We hope these 30 tips with various resources serve you well on your journey to becoming an Instagram lead-generation powerhouse. Happy “gram-ing”!

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6 Tips for Choosing an Advertising Agency

Marketing your company is a must if you have any hope for success. Unfortunately, marketing your company effectively can be very time-consuming and can require a significant amount of resources. It’s why many businesses choose to outsource to an advertising agency. There are many reputable agencies out there to choose from; however, there are also plenty of agencies that can do more harm than good. To make sure that the money you spend on an agency will actually translate to real results, use the following tips to hire the right advertising agency:

1. Find an Advertising Agency That Focuses on Cultureadvertising agency

There are a lot of different factors that you should consider when comparing advertising agencies. However, one of the most important ones is the cultural fit. Make sure that the agency you hire shares the same core values as your business. A good agency that shares your values will be more collaborative and innovative. You should be able to get some sense of their culture by observing their work environment as well. If people seem active and cheerful at the same time, it’s a good sign.

2. Consider The Agency’s Talent

Arguably as important as an agency’s culture is their talent. Without talent, their culture will only take you so far. You want to work with an agency that isn’t conservative. This means that they’re not always looking to play it safe. You want an agency that’s ambitious and that is constantly looking to improve its abilities. You’ll also want to make sure that they are technologically literate. Speak with their HR team to learn about the types of people they tend to look for and hire. You should also look at their turnover rate. A high turnover rate tends to be an issue. It means that they’re either not hiring the right type of talent or that their talent tends to look elsewhere because the agency is a bad fit.

3. Don’t Rule Out Agencies Based On Location

Don’t limit your search for an advertising agency to your location. Location no longer means that much. After all, you don’t need to have in-person meetings with your agency all that often. In today’s connected world, it’s easy to keep in touch using email, online chat, video conferencing, and by phone. Additionally, it can actually benefit your company to look for an agency that’s outside of your area as it could provide you with an outside perspective. Such a perspective can really help freshen up your marketing efforts. By limiting your search to your location, you’ll limit your access to quality agencies and unique perspectives.

4. Don’t Rely Solely on RFPs

RFPs (requests for proposals) can be quite helpful, but you shouldn’t base your decision solely on an RFP. Many agencies excel at RFPs but only because they are opportunistic. When you review an RFP, speak with the agency’s leadership to get a feel for how passionate they are about the work that they do. Ask them about some of their greatest successes as well as some of their failures. The way an agency talks about their past failures can be very enlightening. After all, you’ll want an agency that is willing to reflect on its failures and learn from them.

5. Don’t Make Low Prices Your Main Priority

If you’re working with a limited advertising budget to begin with, you might be tempted to go with the agency that offers the most affordable rates. However, keep in mind that like with most things, you get what you pay for. If you go with the cheapest agency, it may result in lower quality work. They may even cut corners, which is the last thing you want when it comes to implementing a successful long-term advertising strategy.

6. Look Into Their Track Record

Do a little research into an agency’s past and current clients to get an idea of how effective they are as an advertising agency. If the agency has been around for a while, take note of its long-term clients. Clients that have stuck with them for a long time are a good indication of the agency’s quality and commitment. If an agency has a large turnover when it comes to clients, it’s often a bad sign. Be sure to ask the agency for references that you can contact as well.

Interactive Speaking & Marketing Consulting Experiences

Outsourcing your marketing efforts is generally a good way to save money over the long run and to ensure that you have an experienced team that you can rely on. Unfortunately, not all advertising agencies are reliable or even reputable, for that matter. As such, make sure that you use these six tips to find an advertising agency that will work closely with you to help you achieve your specific marketing goals.

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5 Reasons to Use HubSpot

There are a lot of marketing platforms out there that can be incredibly helpful when it comes to creating, managing, and tracking your marketing and sales efforts. Out of these platforms, HubSpot is one of the very best. The following are five reasons to consider using HubSpot as one of your main inbound marketing tools:

1. HubSpot Functions As An All-In-One Marketing Platform

One of the biggest advantages of HubSpot is that it’s much easier to build a holistic marketing strategy because it allows you to do so many things. With it, you can monitor your contacts, nurture your leads, or track your performance. Not to mention that you can do all of this for the majority of your marketing strategies. This includes SEO, email marketing, CRM, content marketing, marketing automation, database management, and more.

Few marketing platforms are this comprehensive. Typically, businesses have to use multiple marketing tools to oversee their campaigns. Using HubSpot makes things easier, more efficient, and often less costly.

2. Use HubSpot To Create And Manage Your Contact Listwebsite redesign checklist

One of the big challenges facing many businesses is managing an unorganized database that’s not directly connected to their sales or marketing strategy. You can segment your contact list with HubSpot, ensuring that your contacts receive information that they want to engage with.

Because you’ll be able to manage all of your marketing efforts from the HubSpot platform, you’ll be able to segment your contacts based on where they are in the sales funnel. This makes it easier to nurture leads and identify which leads your sales team can engage with.

3. Provides Excellent Reporting Features

The more control you have over being able to track the ins and outs of your campaign, the more accurately you’ll be able to judge your marketing strategies. This in turn will allow you to make more effective adjustments on the fly. HubSpot allows you to track and measure every aspect of your inbound marketing campaign by providing clear breakdowns of your social media strategies, blogging efforts, landing page success, email engagement, and much more.

In fact, their Reports Dashboard makes it easy to view these metrics at a glance. The dashboard offers the ability to see your overall performance data. You can even build custom reports that meet your company’s unique needs.

Similar Article: Choosing Hubspot CRM As Your CRM Solution

4. An Effective Long-Term Solution

HubSpot understands that most inbound marketing campaigns are long-term campaigns. As such, the marketing platform is built to oversee your campaigns over the long term. It’s scalable as well, so no matter how big your company’s marketing needs grow, HubSpot can handle them.

5. HubSpot Allows You To Obtain A Clear ROIartificial intelligence

It used to be a real challenge to determine what your ROI (return on investment) was for your inbound marketing campaign, especially if it was spread over multiple marketing platforms.  HubSpot makes it easy to obtain a clear ROI for your entire inbound strategy due to it’s ability to track and measure every aspect of your campaign. This will allow you to make more financially motivated adjustments based on your marketing budget as well.

As you can see, HubSpot addresses a number of different aspects of creating and managing an inbound marketing campaign in an efficient manner. With all its features and general ease-of-use, there are few marketing tools that can offer what HubSpot offers.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers