Most people find it very tricky to build traffic to their site. They frantically look for different processes and experiment with many but seldom reach the desired result. This is because they are not able to decode the risk involved in this, often following the beaten track with no significant result.

Building social media traffic is indeed quite tricky but it all needs a proper approach and a strategic plan to make things more manageable. With a proper planner and a precise posting schedule, things will become much easier to gain more traffic from different social media channels.

Social media traffic is certainly the most significant aspect that will determine the quantum of success of your business marketing approach and efforts. However, if you have a limited budget, you will fall even far behind in gaining more traffic through social media engagement. 

Added to that, if you are already attempting paid advertising you may get paid social that will surely help you to boost your web traffic but the question is: how will you get those people to initially visit your social channels?

Ways to increase social media traffic

As you may know, social media has a tremendous power to be a major source to gain more traffic to your site. However, for this you will need to:

  • Gain a larger online presence and build on your social media following.
  • Engage more with your followers.
  • Add more content to each social network.

It is only then you will be able to have steadier, more consistent social media traffic to your site. Through social engagement, your followers begin to rely on you, which leads to brand loyalty and ultimately sales. In short, this will help you to nurture these potential sources for traffic to your site. This will also enable you to guide them through the purchasing process.

Rules to follow

SEO experts and professional marketers such as Stormlikes suggest that you will gain a lot of traffic if you follow a few simple rules to get the most out of social media networks. All social networks are indeed fundamentally different, but these rules can be applied to most leading channels. This will help lead to an immediate boost in your social traffic.

  • The most significant rule to follow is to focus more on your content, creating a more transparent brand image. Make sure that your blog posts, infographics and case studies go above and beyond – easy to read, informative and on-brand. If the content is worth sharing, then users will share.
  • Inspire your audience with attractive and more meaningful visuals. This will create a great first impression, which is essential when trying to grab the attention of social followers and make them stay with you. 
  • Last but not least, master Instagram. This is currently the most popular social channel and it’s essential to promote your business on it.

Find out more on how you can use social media to improve your online presence:

Social media and the Freelancer

Author bio

Walter Moore is a notable management consultant and digital marketing expert. He is an experienced digital marketer and has helped e-commerce businesses in all niches gain with his effective marketing strategies and guidance.

Today, businesses depend on strategies that guarantee effective communication and engagement with their potential clients. Among these strategies is the use of visual tools such as logos, that effectively communicates the company’s brand, and engages and interacts with the target audience.

A logo is the most excellent representation of any brand or business- it serves as the image your clients will associate with your brand or business and its value. And an excellent logo design should convey the message intended in a matter of seconds. As a result, choosing the perfect logo design is an important decision.

So, where do you begin? How do you choose a simple yet highly effective logo design? Find out below!

Tips for finding the best logo designs.

Well, it’s common for creative professionals to run out of their creative juices occasionally; the same applies to designers. Good news! You can restore your creativity by looking for inspiration. Here are simple tips to get you started.

  1. Browse through design websites. Browsing through design websites enables you to see some artistic inspirations, whether the designs are logo based or not. Any image you come across is bound to ignite your creativity and push you towards creating an even more classic design.
  1. Review successful designs of other businesses in the same industry. The goal is to ensure that your brand or business stands out and effectively conveys the intended meaning. Here, research will include looking at what other companies in the same industry as yours are doing. Look at what they did as well as what they didn’t do in their logos.

  1. Review the brand. Before you can begin to design a logo, you need to understand the brand itself. Focus on the fact that the logo is supposed to engage and interact with a target market. So, study the business. Look at the history of the company, their vision, mission, and values. Review the businesses’ processes and their relationship with external stakeholders such as clients. How do customers see the brand or business? How should the brand be projected to the customers and the market? All this information plays a vital role as they guide you in the process of designing a logo.

What to consider when designing a logo.

Designing a great logo that is simple enough to engage and effectively communicate all the intended meanings of a brand is not that easy. Check the list below for crucial factors to consider as you design a logo:

  1. Keep it simple. Generally, logos are usually minimized to small sizes, primarily for use on merchandise such as letterheads or keychains. The minute you include too many ideas such as fonts and colors into one logo, it becomes confusing and fails to deliver its intended meaning to the target audience. A simple logo ensures that viewers get the message conveyed quickly.
  2. Keep it relevant. The elements used on a logo need to be relevant to represent the image of the brand adequately. Aim to create a lasting impression using your logo by ensuring it’s unique and the design is based on a new concept that is relevant to the industry.
  3. Feel free to experiment. Be open to try out new ideas and step out of the ‘normal’ limitations. This means, being open to trying out new designs, regardless of the trends that other businesses have implemented in their logos. Explore and experiment with different designs you could use to make your logo stand out.

5 Simple logo designs for inspiration.

Many logo trends are engulfing the digital landscape and taking advantage of technological innovations. We’ve compiled a list of simple, yet effective logo designs below.

Minimalism.

dribbble.com

This design eliminates all the unnecessary elements and leaving what needs to be there only. Although this design might be challenging to achieve, if executed properly it can result in a memorable and distinctive logo. The appropriate use of typography, colors, and whitespace (a.k.a negative space) ensure the intended design is achieved. Famous brands with minimal design logos include Google, Uber, Spotify, Pinterest, Airbnb, Microsoft, among others.

Use of Geometry.

webdesignerdepot.com

The use of geometrical shapes and imagery, including straight lines or grids are excellent for creating futuristic and straightforward logos. Proper use of bright color palettes and curves balances the logo elements while softening its appearance.

Optical Illusion.

logodesignlove.com or anopticalillusion.com

The use of optical illusions to create logos involves manipulation of perspective and shading images to defy logic while increasing memorability. Popular styles used in optical illusions include warped, visually broken, fragmented or bent impressions.

Flat.

freelogovectors.net or beyonddesignchicago.com

Today, flat or semi-flat designs are trendy. This is because of the design’s usage of subtle shadows and details to provide room for improved visual hierarchy which improves the logos and their uniqueness as a whole.

Overlapping.

seeklogo.net

This is a visually dynamic design that adds contrast and additional layers to your logo. Designers are finding the trend of creating multiple layered elements in a logo’s overlapping space to create room for more creativity and fantastic blends of color.

A great logo effectively communicates the right message to the target audience and can convert visitors into customers. Therefore, your logo should demonstrate a strong brand identity.

Looking for more inspiration? Continue reading our blog posts:

‘Therapy pig’ Theory: How to get more creative with your business. 

About the author:

Fazreen Razeek from Grafdom has served the digital industry for over 5 years. He collaborates and works alongside agencies, event organizers, and suppliers to develop and execute their marketing strategies. He is extremely passionate about education technology and also writes for various local and international publications. A graduate with High Distinction from the Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia, Fazreen holds a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Marketing & Management.

How has digital marketing affected branding? Q&A with Chris Bullick, MD of The Pull Agency.

Bill Gates – somewhat belatedly – said The Internet changes everything. In reality, Microsoft was late to the party but Gates nailed it just in time. But has the Internet really changed everything for marketing? The way in which services and products are promoted and sold may be different, but are the fundamentals still the same? 

I interviewed Chris Bullick, Managing Director of The Pull Agency (which has just changed its name from Pull Digital). The agency creates brand propositions, websites and campaigns for clients that are challenger brands wanting to ‘out-think rather than out-spend the competition’.

 

CG: So Chris, has – as Gates proclaimed – the Internet really changed everything?

CB: Having started my career on the branding side when at P&G, and therefore having been around pre-Internet, I’ve always been intrigued by people saying that brand is dead … it’s all about Google and Search … anybody can start a dot.com business … long-term brand building no longer applies. The question, for me, is to what extent that’s proved to be the case and what’s the real impact of the digital revolution on the world of marketing and advertising.

I believe that, for a while, businesses felt that all that was needed for marketing was an army of geeks: I think that approach has been disproved. To my mind, the way digital has played out has proved that everything leads back to brand and that brand is still key.

CG: If a client contacts you for help with digital marketing, would you encourage them to let you evaluate their brand first of all?

CB: A lot of potential clients approach us because they think digital marketing will wave a magic wand or it’s a shortcut. My argument will always be that whatever you do will be much better applied if you get your brand into shape first. So we will always try to undertake an audit of a client’s brand and break that down into several components to understand what the brand narrative is, what’s the awareness like, how good the brand promise and proposition are, etc., etc. There’s really no point embarking on a marketing programme if those things aren’t in good shape.

CG: With so much focus on attribution and programmatic solutions these days, how do companies look to measure their return on investment?  Do they want to rank at the top of Google or measure ROI in other ways? 

CB: Marketing has been always been science and art. People think building a brand is a largely creative process, but creative is just a way to address something and solve a problem. You have to prove that what you do positively impacts on the client’s bottom line – and that’s enabled by digital marketing.

The old joke used to be that 50% of your marketing works and 50% doesn’t, and you don’t know which is which. But that’s changed and digital marketing lets you measure accurately – whether it’s attributing sales to an e-commerce client or getting leads. If it’s B2B, you can measure back to the source (so, where does that come from?). If it’s organic, what keywords are responsible? If social media, which platform? You really can find the answers to those questions nowadays.

The art side is still leveraging your intuition; it’s bringing creativity to bear, it’s impacting the emotional pull the brand can have on the consumer. But what digital marketing allows you to do is the truly scientific part. Even when working with a client on brand building, you need to agree on a whole set of cold-blooded metrics – it might be sales, it might be ROI, it might be cost-per-acquisition, which comes from sources like Google analytics. The latest buzz phrase is ‘big data’ – if you collect enough data and use enough processing power, you can find the answers to everything. But I feel that approach is being discredited: again, it suggests that if you have enough processing power you don’t need experienced marketers. I’m not sure I buy into that.

There’s a soft creative side to brand building based on the fact that human beings are irrational and subject to emotional responses, and there’s a scientific side which the digital revolution has fully enabled. If you’re managing a brand well, then you’ve got to have a pretty good grip of both sides.

digital marketing and creativity

CG: Has measuring digital marketing caused creative work to suffer? Are advertisers and companies less adventurous?

Yes, I think marketing went through a period – the first stage of the digital revolution if you like – where geekiness and techno-crats moved in and which devalued things like copywriting and creativity. But people are now seeing the power of creativity again as technology falls to the background slightly. Clients are still looking for that emotional pull. Think about, say, the eagerly awaited John Lewis Christmas TV ads. That pull can only come out of creative work: it doesn’t come from analytics.

CG: What are the major differences you’ve noticed about how digital marketing has affected branding?

The really big thing I’ve seen is how brand search has increased around tenfold in the last ten years compared to generic search. Everything’s been turned on its head.

Take Wiggle, the UK’s largest online provider of sports kit – especially cycling. Ten years ago the ratio of search for the phrase ‘bicycle parts’ versus ‘Wiggle’ was 10:1 in favour of ‘bicycle parts’. Today, the ratio of search for Wiggle as a brand is 10:1 versus ‘bicycle parts’.

So, ten years ago, if you wanted to build a business on the basis of that type of Google search result, you did everything you could to be in the number one slot for bicycle parts. You’d probably start a business called bicyclepartsonline.com and maybe even deploy so-called ‘Black Hat’ SEO techniques to reach and hold that number one search slot.

However, people have now found their favourite online brands – and search for generic items has been replaced by search for brands. For consumers now, the brand name ‘Wiggle’ is synonymous with ‘bicycle parts’ so they simply type in ‘Wiggle’.  Although Wiggle has invested in SEO, they’ve put their real effort and investment behind building the brand. That’s why they’re number one in their category.

Brand Analysis

CG: How has that affected Wiggle’s marketing spend?

The majority of Wiggle’s revenue will now come from brand-related search, and they bid on their own brand term in paid search. Type in ‘Wiggle’ and the first result you see is a big Google ad from Wiggle. Now it may be that half the consumers searching with Wiggle-related terms are clicking on that. The result next down from that will be the organic search result. It may seem counter-intuitive that you’re forced by Google to spend on your own brand, but the reality is that the cost-per-acquisition (getting a sale from someone clicking on the Wiggle ad) is probably 30p or 40p. The cost-effectiveness of this dilutes the cost of bidding on generic search terms, so the overall cost per acquisition or ROI is much lower than that of competitors with weaker or less searched-for brands.

So the latent value of a brand can be indicated better by what used to be the slightly vague term ‘brand equity’, which was notoriously difficult to measure. Now, all of a sudden, you can measure that – it’s a massive turnaround. For Wiggle, it means they can afford to spend an awful lot more on non-brand terms such as ‘bicycle parts’ because the fantastic ROI they get on a brand-name sponsored search pays for all their other advertising on Google. That’s a perfect example of brand value.

CG: Lastly Chris, any predictions for the future of digital marketing?

CB: In the last year alone, I’ve seen Facebook come forward to challenge Google in a whole load of ways that I didn’t necessarily expect. I think that Facebook, because of the way in which it profiles people, is getting stronger by the day. Google may be very good at profiling people’s intentions, but it’s not so good at understanding them as individuals.

 

About the author: Caroline Gibson

Caroline profile pic

Caroline has been a freelance copywriter for over 15 years, with clients ranging from international brands to small businesses looking to become big businesses.
Before then, she worked for some of London’s leading ad, branding and design agencies. She has experience in every sector – from finance to health to drinks – and has won awards in every discipline.

This article was first published by Caroline Gibson

How frustrating is it to spend blood, sweat and tears on creating a communication, either yourself or through an external resource, for it to be pulled up by the brand department. Many marketing professionals have been dubbed ‘Brand Police’ at this point of the process – which can be seen as a frustration.

But take a step back – do you know what the brand guidelines are? Does your communication fit in with what the brand as a whole is trying to say? This last is what the ‘Brand Police’ are trying to protect – the identity of the brand. Although most people think about the logo and the colours when thinking about identity, the tone of voice and the way the brand speaks to its stakeholders is also very important.

Your well-intentioned communication could actually be diluting the brand message.

This kind of ‘brand dilution’ can range from the slightly annoying inconsistencies that few people would notice to glaring and embarrassing errors.  And at the worse end of this scale, there could even be legal and reputational impacts.

So, you can see why brand managers would, on the face of it, be forgiven for cursing their ‘errant’ colleagues under their breath when they see a finely tuned payoff massacred, a trademark wrongly used or some blurb in Finnish which sounds like something out of the Teletubbies to the local market.

But they, in turn, might need to take a step back and ask themselves a few questions. What tools and guidelines have been provided to colleagues, and any freelancers working for the brand, for instance? Part of developing the brand story is helping others to translate it to their own communications. But how many times do companies have impressive ‘Brand Bibles’ that give very little information on how talk to their customers and what their writing style actually is?

The frustration felt by both sides is in danger of escalating, with more and more content being created to tell a brand story, and by all sorts of people. Yes, as those who have developed the story and are closest to it, marketing colleagues have a passion for maintaining the brand. They are often seen as zealots who have an unhealthy obsession with the amount of space around a logo and how a product is to be referred. But the story itself has much more resonance if responsibility for it is taken by the whole company, or at least by all those who have any connection with communications and customers.

The good news is that these things can be managed. Some properly used tools and pre-crafted messages can help, both in saving time and effort of communicators and the grey hairs and sanity of marketers. The police become guardians again. There will always be a need to monitor a brand to check that it is on track but also to see where it needs evolving. Don’t forget that a brand is a living beast – that needs to move with its customers as their needs change.

 

About the author: Waynne Meek

Waynne Meek

Waynne is passionate about all things content, especially how copy merges with other elements to make compelling communication. A recognised career of 20 years spanning various media has given him a useful insight into the way copy works across brands. Armed with this experience, he has delivered and managed effective copy solutions, from award-winning internal magazines to compelling brand and product messaging. Find out more about him on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/waynnemeek/, or on www.brandcopylab.com.

This article was first published by Waynne Meek 

Most large brands go to a lot of time and effort to get to the right messaging to properly tell their story. This involves a lot of soul-searching, creativity, rewriting, brainstorming and approvals – taking up time from a wide range of people. But when the final approval is given and the brand guys breathe a sigh of relief… then what?

Having a brilliantly clever pay-off and a compelling story needs to cascade throughout the brand. Not everyone is in the loop in the initial work to create it, so they need to be schooled in the new brand. And they need tools and guidelines to help them (see also my articles ‘Do you have a Writing Style Guide?’ and ‘Are your brand texts escaping from you?’).

But it’s not just different parts of the business briefing communications you need to think about. Most large brands these days (and, increasingly, many smaller ones) make a large percentage of their sales in foreign markets. In fact, although it’s easy to think in your ‘master’ language, the reality is that a much larger number of customers are reading your messaging, and accessing your brand, through a different language.

And that means getting your translations right.

It’s tempting to just ‘throw’ your copy to a translations agency and forget about it. But it’s important to brief them properly too. Think about what they have to go on when they do a translation. Do they know, and understand, the background of your product and brand? Are there phrases you always translate in a certain way?

What happens if your brilliantly crafted copy in English (or your core ‘source language’) doesn’t translate at all in their language? Many brands use ‘transcreation’ to deal with this, especially for their more creative copy. This is a mixture of translation and original writing – it costs more and will require a much more robust brief, but if your top-level copy carries the reputation of the brand, it’s surely worth it.

Of course, it’s not practical (or cost-effective) to use transcreation for all of your copy. But you do need to think about other languages when you originally brief or write. Avoid idiomatic language, for example, and try to steer clear of cultural references. In fact, for some messages, there could even be a case for creating a separate English master for each country – which means some texts are adjusted to account for cultural differences and even language nuances.  This can also give you the opportunity to tailor a text for differences in your business per country, like product specifications.

There’s a lot to think about if you want your brand messaging to properly ‘translate’ to another country. Sometimes just automatically replacing the words with those of your target language aren’t nearly enough. And translation can be a tricky thing – if you don’t understand the language it’s hard to judge the output. But there are ways to do this – with clever copywriting, proper briefing and reuse processes you can cut through the potential Tower of Babel that multiple markets can create.

How do you prepare your carefully crafted master text for translation? I’d love to hear from you!

 

About the author: Waynne Meek

Waynne Meek

Waynne is passionate about all things content, especially how copy merges with other elements to make compelling communication. A recognised career of 20 years spanning various media has given him a useful insight into the way copy works across brands. Armed with this experience, he has delivered and managed effective copy solutions, from award-winning internal magazines to compelling brand and product messaging. Find out more about him on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/waynnemeek/, or on www.brandcopylab.com.

This article was first published by Waynne Meek 

 
When naming a company or brand, people like to be clever. In many ways… this can be fun and cool for the public. However, we all know that if people continuously copy a trend, eventually that trend loses its power.
 

The “R” Effect…

Today I discovered a new startup company while reading posts on LinkedIn that put an “ER” at the end of their name and then dropped the “E” (sorry, not naming the company). Even though I think the company is on to something with what they are doing, I feel somewhat nauseous that they are simply using a name that ends in “R”.

Right now we have several companies and sites that jumped on the “R” bandwagon… Tumblr, Flickr, Sprinklr are a few, for example. All great companies that I admire.

Dropping the “E” was fun…and switching up letters can be really unique when naming a brand. But to me, the “R” Effect is now so overused, that it has become rather boring. When developing a brand we do not want to use an idea that is becoming overplayed.

Any new company or brand using this concept of naming is simply showing that they are not creative, that they are not unique, that they are not special and that they like to copy the ideas of others. Sometimes trends have to end…and I believe the “R” Effect is one trend that needs to be DROPPED (pun intended).
 

CHALLENGE…

If you are building a new startup, launching a brand, or building a new platform…I challenge you to be a little more imaginative in the naming. There are many ways that you can be inventive when creating a name.

Example…make the name personal. I did this when branding my new portfolio. I wanted to have a logo that was unique to who I am. Thus, I came up with Düssel York City.  I am a New Yorker living in Düsseldorf. The creation of the logo itself was actually designed to show that I am skilled in various creative areas. Essentially what I created was a brand for myself that showcases that I am an international creative. And guess what?! I did not have to copy anyone and the “R” Effect did not even come into play.

As I stated…there are other ways to be more innovative when naming something. Showing a little imagination will make you stand out from the crowd. Do not jump on an old bandwagon…do not become a clone…be INNOVATIVE! Do your research and come up with a name with a little MOXIE!

 

About the author: Kenneth Shinabery

Kenneth Shinabery

Kenneth is a creative from New York City that is currently living in Europe.  He is part of several Adobe programs such as the Adobe Influencer DACH program and Adobe Community Professionals Program as well as Wacom Evangelist.  As an internationally published writer and content creator, Kenneth has spoken at conferences across Europe.  Topics include: Creativity, Social Media and Community Development.  One of his crowning achievements is having produced two full-scale creative conferences for Adobe in Germany.
Visit Kenneth’s portfolio at:  https://kennshinabery.myportfolio.com/
Or connect with him on LinkedIn:  https://linkedin.com/in/kshinabery

 
This article was first published by Kenneth Shinabery 
 

*Meet our leading copywriter in Cincinnati*

I’m not a fan of typical corporate buzzword-infested slogans. It’s preferable to have no slogan at all than one which is entirely meaningless.

You know the kind I mean. Sometimes masquerading as a mission statement, or a vision statement, or a company foundation – these are the slogans that fail to ignite any spark of human interest and are utterly irrelevant to potential customers. At best, they would be greeted by an ironic eye roll if you were ever bold enough to say them out loud to your potential customers.

That’s not to say slogans are entirely useless. If you can assemble into a short statement what it is that makes your company different from the rest, then a slogan or tagline can be very helpful in your marketing efforts.

Here’s a helpful test for your slogan: can it, alone, encapsulate why someone should spend their money with you, in a way that requires no additional explanation?

It should be short – the less words the better – but not so short that it makes no logical sense. Here’s some good examples:

  • Reassuringly Expensive (Stella Artois)
  • Never Knowingly Undersold (John Lewis)
  • Shave Time. Shave Money (Dollar Shave Club)
  • A Diamond is Forever (De Beers)
  • Above it All (Range Rover)

Built into the best slogans is an implicit promise – “spend your money with us, and receive this in return.” Everyone knows that a good slogan alone is no guarantee of success. So, whatever you decide on for your slogan – you’d better be sure you can deliver on that promise. And please, whatever you do, don’t just blatantly copy someone else’s slogan – no one likes a pale imitation. The very least you can do is ensure you’re original!

 

About the author: Rick Siderfin

Rick Siderfin

Rick Siderfin is a husband, dad of 3, and copywriter who lives and works in Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds. He is the founder of Vortex Content Marketing, a company founded with one simple objective: to help you get noticed online.

This article was originally published by Rick Siderfin

When I do branding seminars I have one slide that leaves the room silent. It’s a picture of an over-bearing man with a bored looking woman. A title over the top says: Are you a bad date? I usually invite the audience to raise their hands in concurrence, and a couple of mitts timidly reach for the tile ceiling.

Thank you for admitting this!

I go on to explain the following. A bad date shows up cocky and then proceeds to talk about themselves incessantly, in glowing terms, Me, I, Me, I, Me I.

They continue like this ad infinitum until the poor date looks at their watch and excuses themselves to go to “the powder room,” where they quietly slip through a tiny window and escape. Here’s the point.

Many brands are bad dates.

They show up and talk incessantly about We, I, Me, I, We I, Us. You’ve all seen it.

“We are the number one purveyor of coffins in Lake County! We offer the finest woods and we are proud to offer European-style handles!”

“Eat at Jimmy’s. We continue to be awesome and have been awesome since 1946.”

We. Us. I. Our.

The missing pronoun is “you.” As in your customers.

As a brand, I can tell immediately if you are a good date or not. I look at your website and check to see how long it takes for you to talk about me (the customer), if I have to go to “In the news” or “testimonials” it tends to be a pretty bad start to our first meeting.

A little bragging is OK, so are the facts and points and customer feedback, but if you make it all about your business, you are actually talking to yourself and guaranteeing your customers are squeezing through the bathroom window, possibly without paying, hopefully with their pants on. Brands should aspire to be “good dates,” and that means showing up on time, being insightfully engaging and totally “into” the person they are meeting. It doesn’t half help if you happen to look like Brad Pitt, but in the DNA sweepstakes of brands, personality usually rules over good looks.

It’s simple human nature. If you show some interest in someone–real interest–you miraculously become more interesting back.

Marketing engagement is totally like this. Show that you understand them; make a fuss over them; present them with kick-ass insights; make them laugh or cry; show them you care – it’s all pretty simple really. Brands that get it, stop selling and start building relationships, and relationships generally lead to trust which generally … well, you get the picture.

Think of the power this gives you. Done correctly you get “engaged” and go off into the future getting married and having a lifelong relationship together. Maybe even a couple of kids.

So are you a good date?

Oh, look at the time. I must visit the men’s room.

About the author: Phil Gayter

Phil Gayter

Phil worked as a creative director at global giants Leo Burnett and Euro RSCG in Chicago. He currently has a brand and creative consultancy
Brandstorm, and helps clients of all sizes find their voice and correct pant size.

This article was first published by Phil Gayter

*Meet Roger, our leading Dublin copywriter*

Business owners commonly spend an inordinate amount of time trying to fine-tune their logo and brand, so it may come as a surprise to learn how the simple design that is now worth over $26 billion came into being.

Here’s the story of how the first Nike running shoes were created, and how the iconic “swoosh” became the official logo of what is now one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Way back when I was growing up, if I went to buy sneakers, I had four choices; Converse low-top, high-top, in either black or white.

That was it.

There was no Adidas.

There was no Puma.

There were no running shoes.

Bill Bowerman was a running coach and the founder of what would become Nike (pronounced ny’-kee, after the Greek goddess of victory) – one of the most known brands in the world.

At the time, though, Bill wasn’t concerned with becoming a multi-billion dollar global sports retailer. He just wanted shoes that would help his runners perform better.

One day, his wife was preparing waffles for breakfast, and she poured the batter into the waffle iron.

He said, “Wait a second.”

He came home that afternoon after track practice, and he brought this liquid rubber stuff, and he poured it into the waffle iron and it hardened.

He said, “This is going to be the sole of my new running shoe.”

The first Nike running shoe was a waffle sole. He was supported by Phil Knight, who was one of his graduate students, and together they started this running shoe manufacturer.

I once met a woman who was the author of one of the first books about the history of Nike. I asked her: “What was their secret in terms of marketing?”

She replied: “You know, these people knew nothing about marketing. They were all track coaches and runners. They knew nothing about marketing, but they thought they did.”

The story about the Nike swoosh is they were up against a deadline and they had a half-hour left.

They had to come up with a logo.

They had six designs to go with. Under pressure to make a decision, Phil Knight said “Let’s go with the swoosh. I don’t love it, but I think it will grow on me.” It was almost by chance that this design was selected from the shortlist.

It wasn’t due to long, serious research, or focus groups, or market research. The graphic design student who came up with it was paid $25 for her work, and Nike sent the designs to the factory in Mexico to produce their first batch of waffle-sole sports shoes with the now-famous “swoosh” design on the side.

The moral of the story? I guess it’s not to obsess over the details of how your brand looks (or, worse still, indulge in multiple “rebrands”) but rather on your product and your target market.

That’s why Nike become so successful – they were utterly focussed on the wants and needs of their target market. They told stories. They got people who were in the media spotlight to wear their brand. They really did “just do it!” – you could say, they were just practicing what they (still) preach!

 

About the author: Rick Siderfin

Rick Siderfin

Rick Siderfin is a husband, dad of 3, and copywriter who lives and works in Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds. He is the founder of Vortex Content Marketing, a company founded with one simple objective: to help you get noticed online.

This article was originally published by Rick Siderfin

You may have heard the phrase “invest in yourself”

As entrepreneurs, knowledge workers, creatives and content marketers we often end up in an echo chamber of our own creation. We get consumed by a project, answering emails and bouncing around in your business.

The price?

Sharpening the saw is often forgotten or neglected.

Why?

Because we sometimes feel that reading and research as not as vital to generating cash flow or turning that all important profit. We feel guilty for not “working”.

The result?

We become blunt and jaded by the incidentals rather than what is really important. Inspiration and entrepreneurial creativity can then wither away. Investing in yourself means feeding your mind and soul. In a fast changing digital world this ongoing education is vital.

So we need to do some of the following despite the inner voice trying to keep us plugging away.

  1. Reading and researching
  2. Acting on the ideas that emerge
  3. Creating
  4. Publishing
  5. Building digital assets

To help you find some inspiration I have been crawling through the most shared content marketing articles on BuzzSumo and come up with these 10 “must read” posts on content marketing.

So if you are a savvy digital marketer or an entrepreneur that understands the importance of building great online content, then these are worth a long glance.

#1. Comparing the ROI of Content Marketing and Native Advertising

This post by Kelsey Liebert (Director of Promotions at Fractl) on the Harvard Business Review website was one of the most shared content marketing articles in the last 12 months.

Over time any marketing tactic becomes less effective.

Technology such as “Ad blocking” stops banner ads and digital advertising has a sliding rate of return as people switch off. Some of the solutions to solve this include using content marketing and native advertising including sponsored content to get all important attention.

This resource provides some rather interesting insights into what works best.

Shares – 16,100

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#2. How To Create An Easy Content Marketing Strategy You’ll Actually Use

Brian Sutter (Director of Marketing for Wasp Barcode Technologies) wrote this great piece for Forbes that most marketers should know and need to understand. Creating a content marketing strategy you will use.

It provides great tips and steps on the keys to succeeding at content marketing from goals, automation and conversions. He has made the complex simple.

The secret to its sharing success could be put down to 2 things. A great headline and and a site that gets a lot of organic traffic.

My favourite quote from the post. “Never create a piece of content and only use it once. Every single piece of content you make needs to be reused and recycled”.

Shares – 14,600

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Image source: Ascend2

#3. Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016

Linkedin was a little late to the content marketing party but this great piece by Aashish Chopra got some serious sharing.

Trends posts are always a sure fire winner to maximize sharing and views and this is no different

Favourite insight from this post. “Human attention span is at the all time lowest of 8 seconds, Gold fish is 9 seconds…..Gold Fish!

Shares: 9,900

#4. Content Marketing Tips for B2B Organisations

Rand Fishkin has a popular series called “Whiteboard Friday”. This insightful post is both a transcript and a 14 minute video.

One little lesson from this article: Re-purpose content for people’s media preferences including text and video.

Favourite insight: “Target the right section of the funnel. Make sure it’s targeted to the right audience, and then come up with a piece of content that’s going to move the needle in the right place”.

Shares – 6,600

#5. Visual Content Marketing: A Resource Guide for Marketers

Visual content is a great way to maximize sharing. This post provides an exhaustive list of resources that you can use to take your content marketing to the next level.

The top insight from this post: “Creating a series makes your content immediately recognizable”

Shares – 5,900

6. The 7 deadly sins of content marketing

Content marketing is often seen as a game of trust building and maximizing social sharing. Trond Lyngbo in this post from Search Engine Land reveals one strategy that is often overlooked by the amatueur.

The importance of optimizing for search engines.

Favourite insight: “Creating a few outstanding, memorable articles that are well-researched and written by experts, ones that others would have a hard time improving upon, can set you apart from everyone else….especially if they’ve been properly optimized for search engines.

Shares: 5,800

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7. How to Turn 1 Idea Into 2 Months of Content Marketing

Not surprising to see Content Marketing Institute on the list.

Coming up with ideas and inspiration is the bane of not just authors but also content marketers. Here are some clever tips from Roger Parker on how to create a series of posts and also why it is important.

Top insight: “How often have you come up with an idea that’s too big and too important for a single blog post, but you’re not ready to write a book?”

Shares: 5,500

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8. How to Manage Your Content Marketing in 30 Minutes a Day

Time is precious and you need to get smart about how you use your time as a content marketer. Otherwise you will be trapped behind your desk for the rest of your life!

Aaron Agius’s great guest post on Hubspot reveals the tips, tricks and tactics to make the most of your time.

Top insight: “Reach out to bloggers. While you’re reading through blog posts, take a moment to find the email of the blogger that wrote the piece. Compliment their work, and open up the doors of communication……you will have a surprising number of opportunities from doing this”

Shares – 4,500

#9. 16 Eye-Popping Statistics You Need to Know About Visual Content Marketing

Larry Kim (the author behind this post on Inc.com) is a master of creating content and making it ignite. Here he reveals some stats about visual content that may make you reconsider your focus.

Top insight: “Visuals are memorable and effective, because they help people process, understand, and retain more information more quickly”.

 Shares: 4,500

#10. 75 Content Marketing Tools You Can’t Live Without

Marketing is now just as much a tech game as an art form and creative pursuit. Neil Patel from Quick Sprout reveals some tools that will save your time and money.

Top insight: “With the right subject matter, a targeted strategy, and a bit of luck, your post has the potential to go viral”.

Shares: 4,100 shares

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About the author: Jeff Bullas

jeff - profile picJeff is an entrepreneur, blogger, author, marketer and speaker and works with personal brands and business to optimize online personal and company brands with emerging technologies, content, social media technologies and digital marketing. He has spent most of his career involved with information technologies, telecommunications and the web.

This article was first published by Jeff Bullas