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What is Digital Marketing and What are Its Benefits?

What is Digital Marketing and What are Its Benefits?

Digital marketing is any form of advertising or marketing that occurs online. The world wide web is a great way (and some may say the only way) to advertise your business in 2020. Newspaper ads and radio spots may still work for businesses focusing on hyperlocal audiences but digital marketing allows you to reach the masses around the world. So, let’s talk about how to get your business into the world of digital marketing. 

Why Digital Marketing

With digital marketing, you can reach customers where they are spending most of their time. Online! Digital marketing provides an “in” to the homes of your potential customers! You can also utilize analytics that give you real-time feedback on how people are responding to your ads and marketing content. This allows you to make changes to your marketing faster than traditional marketing options allow. 

Digital Marketing Methods

Social Media

Chances are, your ideal customer is spending a considerable amount of time online. No matter your specific target audience demographics, your business should be seen on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Social media is a great way to offer quick customer service, provide accessible information, and share sales and deals to your potential customers. 

Sponsored Ads on Social Media

Social media offers the ability to create sponsored posts, which basically pushes your information to the social media feeds of potential clients or customers. With the help of a clever advertiser, you can create snappy copy with a captivating graphic or video that will bring leads to your front door (physical or not). Social platforms also offer the ability to target specific demographics with your ads.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

Similar to social media advertising, Pay-Per-Click advertising allows you to target specific demographics that you want to show your ads to. PPC targeting can be even more specific than social media targeting. PPC ads are run on actual websites rather than social media platforms. 

Email Blasts and SMS Marketing

Email and text message campaigns are a great way to use digital technology to send your message directly to your audience. Get creative with your business emails and text messages–ask yourself what information you can offer your customers that will help foster brand loyalty. Send out a series of emails or texts that welcomes new customers, explains how best to use your products, and other useful information for your readers.

Not Sure Where to Start? 

These are just a few of the digital marketing opportunities that are available to your business. If you aren’t sure where to begin with digital marketing, consult a professional! CAST Design Team is a full service marketing and branding agency that covers everything from the design of your website to the copy in your social media posts. Reach out today for more information!

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How to Create a Brand Strategy

How to Create a Brand Strategy

You may have set colors, a gorgeous logo, and clever phrases that you use as taglines for your business–but branding does not stop with design. Successfully branding your business includes molding your messaging with the problems you plan to solve for your customer base. Simply put, the branding of your business needs to be done with a well thought out strategy. Here are some tips to get you started.

Define the Problem 

People have problems and they turn to businesses to solve them. The countertops are dirty, but a good Clorox wipe will solve the problem. Vacuuming takes too much time–hello, robot vacuums! 

What problem does a customer have that your product can solve? You won’t have much luck selling expensive baby toys for the sake of making a buck–you need to prove to your target audience that your handmade wooden toys for children have a lifetime of value, and in the more immediate future, will keep their kids busy and entertained long enough for them to hide in the pantry and eat licorice in peace. 

Uniquely Solve the Problem

Once you have defined your customer’s problem, you need to figure out how you can uniquely solve their problems with your product or service. Chances are there are many products that already exist that could solve their problem, so figure out why they need to choose you and clearly communicate that in your messaging. 

Sure, a recipe book will solve the problem of not knowing what to cook for dinner–but can you go one step further? Vegetarian recipes, slow cooker recipes, or under $5 recipes all solve the problem of what to cook for dinner, but they are far more unique than just a bunch of recipes and target a very specific group of people.

Get specific about what your product will do for your customers and you will see an increase in your loyal customer base! It is easy to click “add to cart” when you are sure that the product will fix the problem.  

Grab Customers Attention

In the early stages of business, consider offering a grand deal that will entice early customers. You need the cash flow–they love a deal! Offer lifetime support, discounts for subscribing to newsletters or following social media pages, free PDF guides, or anything else that serves your customers. No matter what stage of business you are in, always provide value to your customers. A good relationship is one of give and take, so don’t just take from them. 

Coming up with a great offer that grabs customer attention shouldn’t be difficult. Consider your goals and include a deal that helps both you and your target audience reach a goal or solve a problem. If your goal is to build up your email base, offer a discount for subscribing to newsletters. Your goal may be to get recurring business from loyal customers, so offering a free PDF guide that solves different problems, all with different solutions of yours, might be a good fit.

Tie it all together

Now that you know your audience, understand their problems, and have brainstormed ways that you can solve those problems, tie this all together in your brand strategy. Your mission and vision statement, taglines, brand voice, the overall messaging of your brand, and even your logo and color scheme should incorporate pieces of your research. 

Full Service Branding Agency

Does all of this sound a little too time consuming and confusing? No need to fret! CAST Design Team is a full-service branding agency that is ready to help you with every aspect of your business. When it comes to turning a business into a brand, there is no agency quite like CAST Design Team. We provide in-depth strategy and execution of branding, marketing, and social media management services that will help establish and grow your brand. Reach out today for more information. 

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Facebook Ads for Small Businesses

Facebook Ads for Small Businesses 

Facebook is a great marketing tool, but is it relevant to your business? The answer is yes–when used correctly! The Facebook algorithm has made it difficult to reach customers organically. This discourages business owners from using Facebook because it can feel like a waste of time. 

Facebook marketing is anything but a waste of time. When utilized to its full potential, Facebook can help you target specific demographics, manage your advertisements and sponsored posts, run analytics on how your content is performing, and foster brand loyalty amongst your customers. 

Facebook Ad Targeting 

When creating a Facebook Ad, you can choose to use an image, a video, a blog, or other literature from your company. Once you’ve set up your post, Facebook will help you determine your ad objective and the demographics you want to target.  

Your ad objective may be to get clicks to your website, an app installed, or messages to your Facebook profile. Choosing your objective is important because it helps Facebook send the right customers to the right places. 

Demographic targeting starts with determining the age, gender, location, and language of the ideal customer you want to see your ad. Facebook provides a visual that helps you know how large your audience is as you choose specific demographics. 

Detailed targeting continues into more specific interests and details. For example, you can target specific income brackets, political affiliations, and hobby interests. These detailed demographics will help Facebook use your advertising money to see the best return on investment. 

The Benefits of Facebook Analytics

Once your ads and organic posts are up and running, you can begin to see Facebook’s analytics of your content’s impressions, clicks, and other engagements. Analytics will help you see which content your audience prefers. Maybe photos with graphics work better than blog post links–Facebook analytics will help you find trends in your content compared to engagement. 

Consider checking your Facebook analytics page a day after posting, and a week after posting. See how well your content is doing on a regular basis and make the necessary changes to post more engaging content for your customers. 

Brand Loyalty through Facebook Groups

A Facebook page is a must-have for most businesses, but many businesses are beginning to see the benefit of using Facebook groups. The Facebook algorithm has been pushing group engagement to the top of news feeds because it is more engaging than a Facebook page ad. 

Brands can create a Facebook group centered around their product or brand which helps customers connect with each other and with the brand. Facebook groups create an easy way to solve customer service issues quickly. Customers can communicate with each other about best practices when using your product and you can gather user generated content to share on your social pages! 

Social Media Managers

A social media manager can help you manage your Facebook ads along with other social media platforms. CAST Design Team can manage all of your online marketing and help you create a marketing strategy to engage your potential customers. Reach out today to learn more about our marketing packages!

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How to Create a Powerful Brand Identity (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Create a Powerful Brand Identity (A Step-by-Step Guide)

When you think of your brand identity, you probably visualize your logo, what your website looks like, or even your mission statement and what you stand for. In reality, these are all small components that make up what your brand identity actually is – the entire picture and the whole of your business. 

A strong brand identity is important because it’s what sets you apart from competing businesses and makes it more likely that people will remember you. It should reflect what your brand says, your company values, how you communicate your product, and spark an emotion when people interact with it. You’re making a certain promise to your customers with your brand identity about the standards they should expect, and it’s up to you to deliver just that.

Building a brand identity can’t happen overnight and may continue to grow and evolve as your business does. But here are some basic steps in creating a powerful brand identity if you’re just starting out or just need to refresh an already established business.

Research Audience and Competition

What does your audience want or expect from other businesses in your industry? What is their age demographic? Their budget? What do they do? These are important market research questions that should be addressed as you build your brand’s identity. 

You also want to have something to offer your audience that other businesses can’t. How does your product or service compare to others around you, and what can convince customers to choose you instead?

Determine Core Values

Your principles and company philosophies should represent your business, so establish a clear and direct mission statement with goals that are attainable and realistic. This will drive you into the future and give customers a sense of your company’s purpose. You should also develop a brand voice and story at this stage and determine how you’d like to come across to your customers.

Develop Creative Elements

This is where the fun and creativity begins! You can start as basic as finding a company name, then move on to the logo, typeface, and color palette you’d like to adopt. Figure out what sort of visual elements you’d like to incorporate into your brand. Factors like photography, iconography, illustrations, shapes, taglines, and vocabulary are also important to consider.

At this point you can also make a style guide that lays out what visual rules you want the company to follow. Just make sure that everything you do moving forward reflects this guide in order to stay consistent and on brand.

Strategize, Analyze, and Refine

It takes time to establish a brand identity, and with that, remember that it will evolve and change over time. This is a good thing and usually means your business is growing! 

You should continuously evaluate what your core principles are and ensure your brand identity still reflects that. Are you still delivering on the promises you initially gave to your audience? Be ready to change any brand elements that no longer stand for your company.

Building a strong brand identity will pay off in positive customer relationships and experiences. Stay memorable, stay consistent, stay true to what your business stands for.

Need help creating your brand’s identity? 

Our team of creative brand specialists are ready to assist!