Visual Content Can Be A Powerful Tool

Let’s reminisce about our elementary school days when our teachers would use pictures to help us learn about different topics. We would then have a discussion about that image. Or the teacher would ask the students to draw a picture of something and then use words to describe the picture. Students would then tell the class about their picture. Brands do the same thing with visuals. Take a look around wherever you are. Find a product and take a look at the packaging. Does the package have an image on it that is trying to tell a story? Is there some kind of visual that shows what is inside? Visual communication is a powerful tool for businesses to sell their products or services. It is a way for potential and current customers to engage and it is a way to strike up conversation between internal and external constituents. So why are visuals so important and how can your business benefit from kicking those up a notch?

Visuals are Worth A Thousand Words

Words and visuals work in tandem but also apart in our brains. People digest information in different ways so it is important to disseminate information in a myriad of communication channels. Whether it is blogs, social media posts, short TikTok videos, longer YouTube videos, infographics, music, what have you, we all experience different ways to learn about brands and certain things catch our attention more than others. 

Pictures (visuals) are effective because the human brain processes visual information much faster than text. Our brains are wired to recognize patterns and images, making it easier for us to remember and understand information presented in a visual format. Additionally, pictures can evoke emotions and create a more engaging experience for the viewer, which can enhance the overall learning and understanding process.

The human brain is particularly adept at processing information that is presented visually, which is why visual aids such as charts, graphs, and diagrams are commonly used to convey complex information. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and visual information accounts for 90% of the information transmitted to the brain.

That is why adding visuals to your branding communication can help the brain process and retain information better. It can also make messages more engaging and memorable for your audience.

Our Attention Spans Are Shrinking

One study from Dr. Gloria Mark titled Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity states that people can only pay attention to a screen for about 47 seconds. If you have reached at least this far in this blog and not checked your phone, email, or looked at another part of your screen, you have a better attention span than most. Our attention spans for reading text are also shrinking because visuals are growing. Truthfully, it is due to the amount of information that is presented to you throughout the day. We are bombarded with words, pictures, sounds, colors and so much more throughout the day. We are constantly exposed to a variety of sensory stimuli in our daily lives. Think of how hard your brain is working to comprehend all of this information so that it makes sense! 

With the help of technology, people are able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously without having to physically move around. This has increased efficiency and productivity for many individuals, but has also decreased our attention spans. 

So when there is an image to be seen, our brains start to dissect that image and it becomes literally a thousand words in our brain. We can then verbally tell someone else what the image is that we see. That doesn’t mean someone else won’t have a different thought process of what they see, but that is why images are tied to thousands of words!

Prioritizing Visuals

There is zero question that brands are pushing more visual content now more than ever. Think of the top social media platforms that are used on a daily basis. In no certain order, our top four would be Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok. All super visual platforms. Twitter fell off the list because it is text driven. Short bursts of text, but still text driven. 

Maybe the script is being flipped. Maybe the visuals are coming before the words now, where in the past, it was maybe the words before the pictures. Totally depends on what industry you are in, but if you think about it, creating a visually appealing campaign first and then creating words to go around it may seem a lot easier in the long run.

Be careful though. It is all in the eye of the beholder. Not aesthetically pleasing to one person may be absolutely pleasing to another. Images should tell a story on their own which leads the viewer down the sales path for your brand.

The Bottom Line

According to, the average person responds far better to visual information compared to just plain ol’ text. Research has shown that visual stimulation, such as using images, graphs, or charts, can help the brain process information more easily than just reading text. This can be helpful in various situations, from learning new material to making informed purchasing decisions.

If all information was presented in text form, it could be challenging to differentiate between important and less important material. In some cases, visual aids such as charts, graphs, or images can help to highlight important information and make it easier to understand. Additionally, headings and subheadings can be used to organize the text and draw attention to the most important points. This is why different mediums, such as images, videos, and audio are also used to convey information. They can provide additional context and help prioritize what is essential.

Visual content can be a powerful tool to help your audience remember your message. They can help convey complex information in a simpler and more understandable way, and they also make your content more appealing and interesting to your audience. So, consider incorporating more visuals in your writing to improve your overall communication.

Is Working in Marketing and Social Media Really Like Emily in Paris?

A topic of conversation last week was the Netflix series Emily in Paris. Some team members were big fans, so we knew we all needed to check it out. Not only is the story itself really cute, especially with the love interests, but everyone seems to enjoy eagerly awaiting Emily’s next marketing and social media ideas for her clients! We all know this is just a show since typically 9 out of 10 ideas that real marketers come up with end up on the editing room floor. But we enjoy hearing about her successes and why they worked. So many social media posts have magically popped up after watching the series about how someone has a client and is wondering why their social media isn’t like Emily’s client’s and how they can grow theirs like they do on the show? So we thought it would be fun to discuss if working in the same industry as Emily is realistic and if anything relates back to the real world. Let’s take a dive into working like Emily in Paris. 

Every Idea Won’t Be a Success

Clients know their business and usually have an idea of what they want. Emily’s clients just let her usually do whatever. Plus, she is in a very niche market. Now, that is not to say there aren’t agencies that just work with clients in the same industry, but our agency works with various industries. We like the different strategies and the different clients we work with. 

But it just blows our minds how Emily’s ideas just fall into her lap and always succeed. Sure, we all have awesome ideas. It is likely that is why we have a job! But some of her ideas are just so off the wall. We really don’t ever see them working in the real world, especially when a majority of the time she has to get it done in less than 24 hours. Which leads us to approvals.

No Approval Chain of Command

Besides the client and Slyvie (her boss), it doesn’t seem like anyone else ever has to approve any of the ideas. In the real world, there are usually a lot of other people that need to give their approval, provide their edits and then the last person in the chain of command has to bring all of those ideas together into one cohesive plan. It usually takes longer than 24 hours to do all of this. 

It is good to have an approval chain of command. Mostly so other people can tell you if there is a mistake, or if after editing the same footage for hours on end you missed something. But also because we all do our own jobs. Where we work, we have photographers, videographers, content creators, designers and web developers. We all are specialized in our job, but all have to work together to ensure the client’s project gets done. Emily is basically a one-woman-band, doing all of the work herself. And we never see her actually putting together the work. It just magically appears! Television magic!

This Isn’t a Real Career Scenario

But oh how we all wish it was! Our agency is based in the U.S., so maybe working in Paris is like this. Who wouldn’t mind the “everyone starts late and takes a long lunch” work schedule like they have? But we all have to remember this is a show. It is an optimistic look at the industry and doesn’t give a fair perspective to high school or college-age people who are thinking about a career in this field. It doesn’t provide us with the fine details of everything that is hard with social media or the hours that it takes to put together content. Everything just comes easily to these clients of Emily’s, whether she is with the Gilbert Group or the French fashion firm, Savoir.

Plus, Emily started out with like 48 followers. After posting a couple of selfies, she gained upwards of 20,000 followers in what seemed like 3 weeks. Nah – that isn’t real life. That just doesn’t happen unless you are somebody, and Emily isn’t a somebody.

Emily’s Clients Have Huge Budgets

Some clients do have really big budgets. And there are agencies who specifically will only work with clients that have huge budgets. And some clients have smaller budgets. Either way, a budget is a budget and marketers have to work within those guidelines. Unfortunately, marketing is one of the first things to get cut from a budget. So we have to work with the funds we are given and strategically create a strategy that will work and meet the client’s needs and expectations. Emily gets to work with million dollar budgets which is awesome and we love to see what she does with infinite funds.

There is so Much More to Social Media Than Likes, Shares, Comments and Followers

With marketing comes strategy and that strategy branches out to advertising, videos, podcasts, blogs, etc. They all should work cohesively and integrate together. Social media isn’t just about one post on Facebook. It is about making sure that post also reaches clients on whatever other social networks they have. And it isn’t just about numbers. It doesn’t matter how many people like a post. Did those people buy into whatever the post was about? Did they click a link that you included in the post? What was the call to action? That is what is important! We sometimes get to see how many people like posts that Emily does, but mostly we just see her idea put into action and we don’t hear the outcome. In the real world, there is an outcome which gauges campaign success. 

The Bottom Line

Just like any superhero movie, some far-fetched futuristic time travel drama, or whatever alien show is popular, those aren’t real and neither is all of Emily in Paris. While we absolutely love the show, it is meant for pleasure, and it is not a pin-pointed, factual biopic of what working in the marketing industry is like. That being said, we do have a lot of fun when we work. We are a unique group of people and feel like we would be great teammates for Sylvie, Emily, Luc, and Julian. Plus, who doesn’t want to go to Paris!? We’ll go!

Content Ideas for Social Media and Blogs When Writer’s Block Happens

Writer’s block is a real thing. It happens to a lot of content creators when the idea juices just aren’t flowing. Sometimes those fingers just won’t type and the brain cells can’t put a sentence together. We get it! But let’s be real. This isn’t an excuse and content still needs to be pumped out. To help get those creative juices flowing, we were inspired by PracticalEcommerce’s recent blog about content ideas for February. So stemming off of their ideas and adding our own, here are some content ideas for the next time writer’s block happens.

How To Lists

No matter the time of the year, there are always going to be great topics to cover with how to lists. DIY shows and magazines have inspired many to try their hand at whatever it is they would like. But knowing how to do it is many times a block in the road for people. This is also true with marketing and social media. Think about all of those times that even you were thinking, “How do I do…” Social media is always changing so if there is something that has been updated, write a blog on “How to Navigate _____ Change” and list the changes and processes dealing with it. Don’t forget to also post about it on social media so that your followers are aware. If there is a special holiday coming up, like MLK Jr. Day, a post could be about “How To Appropriately Post About MLK Jr. Day” and the author could list ways to appropriately post and speak about this holiday.

Post About Popular Events

This isn’t discussing holidays (we will get there) but rather events that everyone is aware of. The NFL’s “Big Game” is in February. The Sundance Film Festival is another big event that a lot of people know about. Mardi Gras, the Masters Golf Tournament, The Boston Marathon, college bowl games for football, any sports playoffs or finals really…but you get the point. These aren’t necessarily holidays, but if your followers enjoy these events, then it might be worthwhile posting something that relates to them.

As far as relatable things, there are a myriad of ideas! From recipes, to how to plan for a get together for the event. Are you a company that deals with sports equipment? Share a story of an athlete that is in the event. Are you a plumber? Talk about what it takes to handle an event like these. So many options, but the best part is using the hashtags that revolve around the events. Use these to your advantage! You can also see if there are particular events that are hosting anything on social media that you can join up with. So many content options!

Are There Holidays This Month?

This is similar to posting about popular events, but instead it is holidays. There are so many random holidays each month. From National Cat Day to National Ask a Stupid Question Day (September 28th, or whichever Friday or Monday is closer if it falls on a weekend). These are always fun things to post about on social media and can really drum up some good engagement and conversation.

And of course there are the typical holidays. Valentine’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and so on. Be sensitive to your audience and know exactly what you want to post about each holiday. If you aren’t sure if you should post anything, it is likely better to just not post at all.

What is Trending?

Twitter is a good place to start to see what is trending. Sometimes they are off the wall, but other times, it is whatever is happening in the world. At the time of writing this blog, talk of the Mega Millions is trending. A quick topic that comes to mind that can relate to that is about luck and how lucky we are to work with such awesome clients. I could then go into how we have helped these clients reach their goals, but also how they have helped us (remember that it isn’t just about YOU. Don’t be braggy, but get to the point.)

Hitting up news outlets and search engine homepages are sometimes other good places to see what is trending. And of course, other social media networks like TikTok if you are in the mood to see what the latest dance craze is or some bonkers challenge!

Share What You’re Reading, Eating, Watching…

People love to relate to each other. And even though you might be a “business”, there are still humans working behind the scenes to make it operate. I love to read about what CEOs, Directors, Managers, even the front line workers are doing because they put both legs in their pants just like I do everyday! And maybe they have some awesome insight or opinion about whatever they are doing that might inspire others. 

The Bottom Line

If there is something going on that you think is interesting or important to share, then it is likely that others will too. Even the simplest content is refreshing because it might be short, sweet and to the point. The fluff and extra text just sometimes aren’t worth it and you can generate better responses without it. Don’t forget to get as much reach out of all of your content that you create. Blogs can become podcasts, social media posts, videos, and so much more! And as always, if you need content creators or a marketing brainstorm session, reach out to us!

Why Outsourcing Creative and Design Services is a Great Idea

Creative and design services literally are the look of your business. From your website to your social media, to your flier, mailers, and even business cards, creative and design services help to bring these business and marketing pieces to life. 

Your graphics should be a reflection of your brand, and they should be as sharp as possible. Your business’s professional image is likely the first thing a customer sees when going to your website or noticing an ad in a magazine. Wherever your business is, your image should be recognizable. As such, creative and design services are available to help establish your look, your feel, the story you want to tell about your business, all while pushing whatever the end goal is.

Good creative and design services tend to go hand in hand with good business. But not everyone is a designer or artist, nor do they have the time to meticulously work on each design they want to put out. That’s where hiring a graphic designer and creative team comes in. But is it worth it or even a good idea?

Creative and design services literally are the look of your business

A Business Needs Professional Design Services

So often we hear that anyone can create a Canva or PicMonkey account and piece together a nice looking flier. But there is just something to be said for a tried and true graphic designer’s work. Professional graphic designers are artists that bring a unique personal touch to any idea that is different from the already existing templates on design sites. 

Graphic designers make sure your designs are integrated into every aspect of your business branding. Designers have a keen eye for color and imagery as they are truly artists in the business world. As professionals, graphic designers know ways to make a business aesthetically pleasing to the eye, yet memorable to the mind. And it must be memorable as customers typically only give businesses mere seconds to make a mark in their memories.

Additionally, consistency is key as it helps to build trust amongst your current and future customers. There’s something to be said for businesses that are recognized just by certain shapes or color schemes. Sometimes it is as simple as a yellow M or a black check mark. We all likely know the businesses that are associated with those graphic designs.

Graphic Designers Actually Save You Time and Money

Business owners likely don’t have the skills a graphic designer would (and if you do, you are one in a million!) That is not to say ideas can’t become a reality, but it can become a reality much faster, and cheaper, with a professional graphic designer.

Graphic designers save businesses time and money in the long run. While the DIY attitude can be great, it isn’t always true in the design world. Spending hours learning design software, designing a marketing piece, then trying to figure out how to print it on the best quality paper could result in frustration and something that doesn’t look professional at all. Design experts are masters of the trade. They can design a concept in a fraction of the time with a much better result. They also should already work with printers who can bring digital designs to life. Not a piece that needs printed? Digital design is also something that can be hard to understand. Allow for a professional to design something right the first time around so it will perfectly fit onto your website, app or social media.

Along with time, a professional graphic designer can save you money as well. While time is money in the business world, you might not even realize how much money you can save with a graphic designer. If you don’t get your idea designed right the first time around, it can be a costly mistake and potentially have a negative impact on your business. We are sure that everyone can think of a brand that once had a costly design mistake. Nowadays those mistakes may go viral or completely unnoticed. Hopefully it is the latter if it is really bad. Plus, behind our graphic design team is an editing team that will give each design a look over to make sure it is perfect. There’s nothing worse than printing a billboard only to have a word misspelled. 

Frustration equals time and money that could’ve been better spent on a part of your business that you are skilled at and enjoy. Do what you do best and delegate the rest.

Finding the Right Creative and Design Team

Like we said before, just because someone knows how to “design” something on a design website, doesn’t mean they are a graphic designer. We all can make dinner, but that doesn’t make us all chefs! 

Work with a team like ours who doesn’t just scratch the service of your business. Find a team that meets with you to learn more about you, why you started your business, and what your business is all about (and we don’t just mean your mission statement.) Look for people who want to dive deep into the workings of your business and you. So many creative ideas, like potential slogans, for example, could be missed if people outside of your business don’t take the time to learn about you and your business world.

The reason you should find a team that goes so in depth into strategy for design is because their work is your work. It should have meaning and represent your business in the right way. Don’t just work with someone who is going to throw something together, and say done. Work with a team that wants to know what we are trying to accomplish with each project. Are you looking to get more members, promoting a sale, or just trying to get your message out there?

We all can’t be the best at everything. That is why it is important to be the best at what you want to be the best at and outsource other duties to other professionals. Graphic and creative design services is a great service to allow someone outside of your business world to take on. There are truly great people who take the time to learn your business, your industry, research the competition and see what others in your field are doing in terms of creative and design. We promise that together, you should be able to create the perfect marketing materials for you and your business needs.

How To Keep Your Website Safe and Secure for Visitors

Staying safe on the Internet can mean a variety of things. It can mean using the safest web browser you can find, blocking spam pop ups, using secure passwords, and only (hopefully) visiting safe websites. But how do you know that a website is safe, that it won’t steal or share your personal information, it won’t show you inappropriate content or it is regulated for the correct age of user before allowing access before actually checking it out? And what qualifies a website as “safe”? Luckily there are laws, rules and regulations in place that help to protect us during the time we spend online. It is important for business owners to be aware of the steps they need to have in place to protect their website visitors before diving into creating a website. It can be a tricky path to follow, but our team is always on top of ever-changing rules. Let’s take a look at some laws to be familiar with and a few ways you can help to protect your web visitors.

Privacy Laws

Internet privacy is concerned primarily with how personal information is exposed over the Internet, through tracking, data collection, data sharing, and cybersecurity threats. Once you step “foot” on a website, your path is likely being tracked constantly. When you enter credit card information, you hope that the website is secure and your data won’t be shared with anyone. But how can you be sure?

There is no 100% guarantee that your information is secure on the Internet. Just think about all of the big name companies and corporations that have been hacked lately. According to, there is no single law regulating online privacy. Instead, a patchwork of federal and state laws apply. Some key federal laws affecting online privacy include:

  • The Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC)[1914]
  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) [1986]
  • Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA) [1986]
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) [1998]
  • Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM Act) [2003] 
  • Financial Services Modernization Act (GLBA) [1999] 
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) [2003]

It can seem like a spider web of weaved rules throughout everything on the Internet, but it is all done with best intentions in mind, at least we’d like to believe so. It keeps becoming more and more difficult to protect one’s personal information as technology advances and takes over more things in our lives. If there is one thing that you can control, it is how you are followed on the Internet.

How To Keep Your Website Safe and Secure for VisitorsCookies & Web Tracking

Unfortunately, we are not talking about Hansel and Gretel’s cookies and tracking them with their crumbs. Cookies are the trail you lead when visiting websites. They are files downloaded to your browser by a website that you visited that contain unique identifiable information. Sometimes cookies are useful. Some examples from of how people find cookies to be useful are:

  • Remembering items in a digital shopping cart
  • Saving customer language preferences
  • Using analytics to track internet market data
  • Retargeting ads to social media visitors
  • Offering CMS logins or blog commenting capabilities
  • Installing tracking pixels from third-party services

And sometimes cookies are just creepy. If you do not want the cookie trail to follow you, you can set your browser to delete cookies every time you finish on a webpage or do not allow cookies on your browser at all. Depending on where you are in the world, you may also have to accept cookies when going to a website. That decision is left up to you.

An even scarier trackable trail is IP addresses. This can be a hard topic to comprehend, but the gist of it is that hackers can trace IP addresses back to individuals. IP addresses are traceable if not protected. And did you know there is a whole database containing all web addresses on the Internet? Did you know that ownership information is easily accessible there? 

What Does This Mean for Businesses?

Protecting website visitors doesn’t just mean for websites that sell products or services. The database mentioned previously that contains web addresses is called WHOIS and you can request a private listing from the database manager. Think of it as having an unlisted phone number in the White Pages. This can help protect your website and visitors from being tracked.

As for businesses that use their website as an e-commerce site, there are great ways to help protect your site and customers from hackers and fraud.

Start by choosing an e-commerce platform that is well known and trusted. Not sure even where to start when researching this? We can most certainly help! It is also useful to partner with a trusted web team so you can work together to ensure your own and user data is safe and secure. Another thing to consider is to always keep your system, software and whatever platforms you decide to use up to date. When there are updates, do them. Typically a hacker’s way in is through glitches and bugs in a system, so when one is found, it is vital that it is repaired and an update is made to protect your system. 

And finally, it is important to educate yourself and any staff on online theft, fraud, hacking and security measures that your company has in place to thwart any of this. Random tests and continuing education are important not only from a business perspective but also from a personal standpoint. Things change so rapidly in the online world that it is imperative to stay on top of the latest and greatest for security and safety.

Why Now is a Great Time to Reset Passwords

Passwords may not seem like a marketing topic. But as a full service marketing agency, it is our responsibility to offer information to our clients about keeping their businesses moving forward. Changing passwords often is just one way to ensure that our clients avoid cyber threats or attacks. While nothing is ever 100% guaranteed, we have some tips on how to steer clear of having your passwords compromised on the Internet.

No matter what the actual date is of the day you are reading this blog, if you haven’t reset your password to any account in awhile, it might be time. The most important websites, like sites that we use for business operations, email, banking, work, school, personal agendas, websites we shop a lot on, etc. should have their passwords changed more often. But how often should you change your password? And why should you change passwords all of the time? We know it can be tedious to always try to think of something new, but we promise it is much easier to make a password change than recoup whatever data is compromised. Let’s learn why.

How Often Should You Change Your Password?

IT experts recommend that people should update their passwords after every three months. If you are still using the same password since college and haven’t been asked to update it, then you may 1) want to update it now and 2) really look into the website you’re using to make sure it doesn’t store personal information that could be stolen from you since this site doesn’t seem very secure (or truthfully care about your information). 

There are times when you should change your passwords right away. Like, if you know you’ve been a victim of a cyber attack. The goal is to ensure that if a password is compromised, a cybercriminal will only be able to access whatever account they got into for a short amount of time because you were able to quickly reset your password.

How Does a Cyber Attack Work?

Without getting into the nitty gritty of details, just think of it as someone gaining access to all of your personal information online and being able to use it in whatever way they want. The most common example is when a credit card number is stolen online. The cyber thief can use your card to make whatever purchases they want. 

According to Justin Sheil, Content Marketing Manager at Electric, these are some of the approaches attackers have use to gain passwords. It is probably easiest to do a search to learn more about each of these approaches if you are unsure of what it is.

  • Guesswork.
  • Phishing.
  • Social engineering.
  • Shoulder surfing.
  • Offline cracking.
  • Malware.
  • Spidering.
  • Brute force attack.
  • Use of network analyzers.
  • Dictionary attack.
  • Rainbow table attack.
  • Mask attack.

Password Creation Tips

The first tip is a no brainer, but a great reminder – Use strong passwords. The key aspects of a strong password are length (the longer the better); a mix of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols, no ties to your personal information, and no dictionary words. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has some really great tips to check out as well from a business perspective. 

Here are some additional tips from

  • Don’t reuse your passwords. If you’re using the same password across email, shopping, and other websites holding sensitive personal data (or even a local community website) and one of those experiences a breach, you’ve now exposed the other services to the risk of being breached as well.
  • Don’t write your passwords down. It can be tempting, especially in the workplace, to keep track of passwords of the old-fashioned way, but these are easily discovered. Not all hackers are mystery Internet users. They could be co-workers or other people in your very own place of work!
  • Use a password manager. There are many apps that store your passwords securely. They can also remind you when it is time to reset your passwords.
  • Don’t share your passwords. This one is a no-brainer as well, but if you must share, change it as soon as possible.

Don’t be fooled by online “quizzes” that get you to answer questions about yourself. Sometimes the questions provide personal information that can be used to access account information (ex: Where were you born? What is your favorite color? Who is your favorite band?) These questions may seem silly, but are oftentimes used to gain access when a password is forgotten.

Remember, regardless of the many technology solutions in place to help secure any network, your best defense is, and always will be, vigilance of Internet safety. If a website doesn’t seem right to you, or if it is asking too personal of questions, leave the site. 

What Content Dominates on Social Media?

The last year and a half, 2019-2020, can be viewed as either a wonderful year for social media or a terrible year for social media depending on how you look at it. 2021 is following a similar experience, but things are hopefully on the upswing for those who thought last year was horrible. When looking back at 2020 and how social media played an important role in all of our lives, we have learned many important lessons from a business perspective. We have now rolled those lessons into 2021 and are watching what content dominates more on social media now because of people being at home and online more than ever before. So what content has been working best and how can you incorporate them with your business?

Remixing Content

This is content that is not new, but just remixed, or re-created, in your own way. A trendy thing for when people were stuck inside was to give someone else’s video a try and share it with their friends. From social media challenges, to workout trends, remixing any video gives the user the ability to put their own spin on already existing content. You don’t always have to invent the wheel. Just reinvent it!

Businesses can join in on hot social media trends, especially if they make sense and are do-able. Restaurants can add their spin to trending food posts, create their own remix of the recipe. DIY trends are also big and can be popular with any kind of business that deals with the home. From trendy fixer upper projects to upcycling, using your own products to showcase the remix is a way to get your brand out there more.

Nostalgia Marketing

Just like it says, it is looking back at a past time to reminisce about “the good ol’ days.” Hashtags like #TBT, #ThrowBackThursday, and #FlashBackFriday are still popular and bring in big numbers when searching it. When posting a nostalgic memory of something, it can bring back powerful emotions and spark conversations. This ties in nicely with brands, especially those who have been around for many years. Take a walk through the past with your brand and showcase old items, things that are old but still used to this day, things that your brand doesn’t have anymore, images of your location from back in the day, and so on. There are so many ideas that can come out of this trend because it allows people to just forget about the now.

Reveal the Human Side of Your Brand

If anything positive came out of the past year+, it is that consumers realized more about the people behind a brand. They are so important. We knew that – duh – but did everyone else? Big businesses closed, little businesses closed, and brands struggled to survive, which meant the people who work for those businesses and brands lost their employment. When brands struggle to survive, that means jobs are struggling to survive. It goes hand-in-hand.

Revealing the human side of your business allows for brands to build better, more open and caring relationships with their customers. Connecting through conversational posts, engaging in social issues, and personalizing communication efforts helps to remind consumers that hey, there really are real people who work for your brand and they matter too.

Get more of your brand’s human side on social media to highlight your team. Showcase who they are, what they do, and so on. This may even help on the hiring front too when people realize that these people are happy doing what they do, potentially wanting others to feel the same way at your company.

What is Old Might Be New Again

Life was very busy for many prior to the sudden halt of everything. The slow down allowed people to really figure out what marketing efforts they appreciated most. Before, consumers may not have had time to read a newsletter, but now they do. Or they didn’t have time to listen to a podcast, but now they do. 

As a business, now is a great time to see what is really working for you and what hasn’t worked in a long time and decide where to make changes or increase attention. Social media can help make these decisions, especially if you are connected to your audience. Take the time to see if you are still where your customers are as well. If your consumers are those who listen to podcasts more now than ever, it might be time to seek out advertising options on podcasts that resonate with your target audience. Share podcasts that you make or ones that inspire your brand on your channels. Or if they are reading your newsletters more, put more focus and effort into those, encouraging followers to sign up for them. If they don’t know you have one, you can’t blame them for not signing up. If something isn’t working, it is OK to let it go. It might be something that you come back to later and see if it will work at a better time.

Give New Things a Try

Social media is ever changing. It can be wonderful or terrible for brands, depending on the situation. Use social media to your benefit as much as you can and do your best to connect with your users, customers, and potential clients on a level that they haven’t connected with yet. Just because something works for one brand doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. Trial and error is the best method, as long as you give it your all.  

Omni Channel Marketing Defined and How It Can Help Franchises and Small Businesses

Omni channel marketing is what is referred to as a marketing buzzword/phrase. It boils down to creating a seamless and integrated end user experience across multiple channels and devices. And there are a lot of those channels and devices today! Let’s take a look at how omni channel marketing has come to be a key in business marketing success for franchises and small businesses and how it can help boost sales and marketing efforts.

A Marketing Best Practice

As a marketer, you should know who your customers are, where your customers are coming from, what they use to research and make purchase decisions, among so many other things. It is a lot to know. But what we know for certain is that sales come from multiple angles, whether in person, online, through the mail (yup – still happens) or even over the phone. So how can you keep track of what works best for your business?

Interactions with brands should be seamless no matter the way the customer reaches out. It is challenging to keep the experiences integrated and consistent. As a marketing team, it is our job to integrate all of a business’s marketing efforts into one cohesive plan that ultimately brings the most success. According to, “research shows that omni channel marketing campaigns earn 18.96% more engagement, a 250% higher conversion rate, and a 90% higher retention rate.” Those numbers are staggering. So how does a business reach those statistics?

Get to Know Your Customers

The steps buyers take to make a purchase are no longer defined by a single series of steps. There are way too many options for people to research and then buy. Not to mention how many times someone verbally tells someone about a product and we don’t even know that is how the sale came about. Someone could literally be standing in a store, in front of the product, researching and reading reviews at the same time. When there is a bump in the road, the buying process path may veer off course which ultimately could cause frustration for the potential customer and you – the business. Customers want convenient ways to make purchases, no matter the way they are buying.

Do you know the path your customers take to make purchases? Do you know where potential sales drop off in the buying process? These are great starting questions to find out what is and is not working for sales. If items are being put into carts online, but no one is checking out, there’s an issue and there needs to be a fix. See the example below of what worked for another company.

Test Your Channels and Audience

Find every single way customers can make a purchase for your business and constantly test them internally AND externally. Every piece of information should be aligned no matter the device (tablet, smartphone, desktop computer), and the buying process should be very integrated (can move from the app to the website seamlessly). 

Is your design consistent across all channels? Does your social media branding match with your website? There is nothing worse than trying to find a business on social media and not being able to find them because their profile picture doesn’t match their logo branding. People will ultimately think it A) isn’t your business or B) it is a fake/knock off and won’t follow it. No one wants that!

Measure experiences and success in whatever way you consider an experience and success. Is it getting people to participate in a game that involves making a purchase on your app? Is it getting 25% of your emails opened? Is it getting 1,000 people in the door every day? Whatever your goal is for an experience or sale, set that goal and measure it. Once you set something like this up, you can then track what entices potential customers to become actual customers. 

Omni Channel Marketing Goals for Franchises and Small Business

So now that we know what omni channel marketing is, the big question is how can franchises and small businesses take advantage of this with either limited budget, limited staff, or constraints on marketing efforts (more for the franchises).

Collaborating with all departments will help with developing the best omni channel marketing efforts. Talk to the sales teams, talk to the customer service representatives, talk to the advertising folks, talk to the cashiers, anyone who interacts with your customers. Get their take on what works best. Allow them to be a part of the testing of the channels. They will know the paths customers take to make a purchase. It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a franchise – you each have ways of connecting with the way your customers are making purchases. Use it to your advantage.

Don’t be afraid to adopt new ways of doing business. As a franchise, think outside of the box for your own location’s marketing efforts. Constraints from the higher ups of your business may not pay for these efforts but that is when you need to take marketing into your own hands (if allowed, obviously). Technology can be scary at first, especially for small businesses. And we often get asked how franchises can piggyback off of the “head honcho” for their business. There are several technologies that can be used but finding which one works best for your business may take some trial and error. Don’t be afraid to give technology a try and don’t be upset if one channel doesn’t work. There’s always others to try!

Something that franchises and small businesses have in common is location, location, location. Segment your marketing efforts to reach certain radiuses of your target location. A franchise doesn’t want their customers from town A heading off to make a purchase at another location in town B. And same with small businesses. They don’t want someone deciding to make a purchase a Shop B because they are a big box business. Segmenting your marketing efforts goes hand-in-hand with omni channel marketing. Don’t go too big or else your efforts may be lost to somewhere else.

Omni Channel Marketing is a Necessity

Here is the perfect example of what omni channel marketing is:

Recently, I added a pair of soccer spikes to my shopping cart, using my mobile phone while parked in the car waiting for my daughter to finish piano lesson. I didn’t finish the checkout process because I needed to ask for my daughter’s opinion. She got in the car after her lesson, and we drove home, forgetting about the spikes in my cart. Later that evening, I viewed the same soccer shoes on my laptop at home, but didn’t purchase them because my daughter was asleep. Finally, on Saturday afternoon, I got an email from the business with the subject line “These shoes are slipping away fast.” The email read about me potentially missing out on making the purchase and there were only so many left in stock of the size that I needed. Guess who finally asked her daughter if she liked them and made the purchase? It took 3 different channels, over 3 days or so, but I did end up making the purchase. 

The point is, we know that capturing the attention of consumers is harder than ever. From websites, to apps, to direct mailers and emails, who knows where the attention of consumers will go next. But that is our job as marketers to figure out. It is our job to help businesses like yours adopt good marketing practices so you can eventually get that sale, even if it is 3 days after the consumer’s initial inquiry.  

Should My Business Use Facebook’s Wi-Fi Service For My Customers?

Facebook’s new Wi-Fi feature allows users to obtain Internet access for when they are physically in a participating business’s location. From restaurants to coffee shops, boutiques and car dealerships, having the Internet at a customer’s fingertips can be a big selling point! But business owners may be asking themselves what is the difference between this and us, the business, just giving customers the guest password to our current Internet? And is this even safe for our customers and my business? 

What is Facebook Wi-Fi?

Facebook is now offering businesses the opportunity to allow customers to have Internet access in exchange for checking into a business on it’s website. So instead of setting up your own customer Wi-Fi access at your business, you can outsource this service to Facebook. 

Is Facebook’s Wi-Fi Free?

Yes and no. Creating a Facebook business Page is free, but obtaining the routers and mobile devices is not. The service, once set-up at your business, is free to use for everyone gaining access. 

There are some loopholes business owners have to control people from just using your table space as their private work space all day, because we know buying one cup of coffee and sitting there all day just doesn’t cut it. Facebook business Page admins have authority over how long a person in your physical location has Wi-Fi access. The session length is set to 5 hours, but you can make it less or higher. From there, how someone obtains Internet access is up to you or them. You can include all of this information in your own Terms of Agreement wording on your business Page dealing with the Wi-Fi service. 

What Do I Need to Set Up Facebook’s Wi-Fi?

There are a couple of things you will need prior to having Facebook’s free Wi-Fi service up and running at your business. The first is a business Page on Facebook with a physical address listed in the Page Info. You will also need to be the administrator, or at least have administrator access, to this business page.

Additionally you will need a Facebook Wi-Fi compatible router and a mobile phone. 

From there, set-up is relatively easy. Follow the instructions provided by Facebook to finalize the service.

Why Should I Use Facebook Wi-Fi for My Business?

There are some benefits to business owners for having Facebook’s Wi-Fi service available to their customers. 

– Since customers will have to check-in to your business to obtain the free access from their personal Facebook profile, their friends, family, whoever on Facebook will see where they are. However, browser landing pages will include a link that people can use to skip the check-in process and they can enter a code instead. This is a nice alternative for users who do not prefer to use the check-in method so their profile and location are kept private.

– Businesses can potentially receive more likes from customers using the free Facebook Wi-Fi service simply because they are already on Facebook, at your location and may just hit the like button because of the free service. This isn’t guaranteed though.

– Businesses gain access to real-time demographic data of users on the Facebook Wi-Fi such as age, gender, and interests of customers. This could be valuable information when it comes to selling to certain demographics.

– Participating businesses will be listed in Facebook’s Wi-Fi directory which could potentially help bring a customer to your business instead of another one that doesn’t offer this free service.

– No more changing the guest Internet service password constantly to try to avoid hackers and spammers from entering your system.

Is This Service Safe?

Being on the Internet comes with safety concerns. Being on a personal device on a network that is not secure is also a major concern. Privacy is always a top priority for Facebook, so that is why they allow the code check-in option versus the traditional check-in option. However, the Find Wi-Fi feature on Facebook requires users to enable Location services on their device. This feature has to be turned to “always on” which seems to be a major concern for many users. Facebook has said that through their design of this service, once a user checks in on Facebook, through Facebook Wi-Fi, Facebook then hands the user back to the router and completely steps out of the picture. This means that any Internet browsing done once on Facebook’s Wi-Fi is completely outside of Facebook’s network. 

So while Facebook is washing their hands of eagle eyeing everything you do on their Wi-Fi connection, that doesn’t mean the connection at the business is providing a secure connection. We recommend all users and businesses to use your best judgement when using free Wi-Fi services and research using a VPN if using Internet like this is something you do often. 

Take it for what it is worth. Free Internet is free Internet. But in the long run, businesses will need to consider many factors before jumping on this bandwagon. Plus, let’s think about just how many times you have been talking to someone about a particular product, then jump on Facebook and BAM! There is that product advertised on your Facebook wall. More times than you’d like we are sure. Whether this is a way for Facebook to track your customer’s interests better or see where in the world your business and customers are, who knows, but free Wi-Fi is free Wi-Fi to a lot of people. If you do decide to use this service, make sure you share it out on your social media channels and website to let people know.