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Social Media Trends in 2020

Social Media Trends in 2020

A New Decade of Social Media Trends

2019 has come and gone, and we are ready to welcome in the new decade! Social media trends are sure to change over the years–but what can we expect from 2020? Here’s a quick list of the trends we are excited to watch unfold. 

Instagram Removes Likes

Mid November of 2019, Instagram began removing engagement metrics from public view, or “hiding likes”. Adam Mossari, head of Instagram, claims this move is to “depressurize Instagram for young people.” Currently, the platform seems to be a breeding ground for competition. Instagram believes that removing likes may cause people to post more and spend more time using Instagram for meaningful conversations, rather than superficial interactions. 

But how will the removal of likes affect your business’s social media platforms? By hiding engagement from public view your followers will not be able to see how many other people have “liked” your posts. This means it will be harder to analyze your competitors’ posts, but it will also somewhat level the playing field for brands that can’t pay as much money into paid advertising or marketing. It may also mean that your business sees a decrease in likes overall but you may see an increase in comments, which are really the type of engagements businesses want to see anyways, right? 

Instagram Stories Become Even More Useful to Brands

Instagram Stories offer a unique opportunity to poll your followers. Many brands have experienced success in asking questions and polling their followers already. In 2020, we suggest using Instagram Stories to learn more about your audience and what content they are interested in seeing. 

Stories disappear after 24 hours, which creates a sense of “FOMO” or fear of missing out. Loyal followers will stay connected if brands offer flash sales or other incentives for following stories. Consider how you can convince your followers to share your content on their own stories. 

Video, Video, Video

By 2022, 82% of online content will be video. Clearly, social media users are responding well to video content! You don’t need a large video design team to create social media videos. Instagram Stories is a great way to share behind-the-scenes videos. You can also consider stock footage available online with marketing copy edited in, in order to create a very simple yet powerful video to share with followers. (Need help with video content? Ask us!) 

Social Media Communities Surrounding Brands

In 2019, an algorithm change began to favor engagement in Facebook groups as opposed to sharing Facebook business pages. Don’t abandon your Facebook page, but consider adding a Facebook Group to your arsenal of social media tools. Groups foster comments and natural engagement, which will push your business to the top of group members’ news feed. 

Creating a community around your brand will allow your followers and customers to communicate together, thus creating more brand loyalty. People will be inclined to add their friends to groups with products they love, and your brand will begin to diversify an audience. You can also poll members to get feedback on products and campaigns! 

Social Media Managers

As your business grows in 2020, consider hiring a social media manager! At CAST Design Team, we will watch the trends and mold your social media to best fit your business. Reach out today for more information on our social media packages!

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Factors of a Strong Brand Identity

Factors of a Strong Brand Identity 

The most successful brands are companies that have curated unique and memorable identities for themselves. Having a strong brand identity means carefully and intentionally creating an instantly recognizable personality that differentiates you from other businesses in your industry. It sets the tone of your brand and can be used to elicit an emotional response from your target audience. Your brand identity should also communicate the overall message, values, and goals of your business.

There are a number of factors that contribute to a strong brand identity. The following could be just what your brand needs to consider in order to take it to the next level:

Consistency

To avoid confusion about your brand, you need to have a consistent theme across every level of your business. This means using the same basic voice and style in regards to the copy you create, your design themes, branded content and imagery, etc. Everything you do should reflect your brand and convey a single, consistent message of unity within that brand.

Visibility

When creating your brand identity, you should consider how to increase the awareness of your brand. After all, no one will be able to know your brand if they can’t see you. People tend to gravitate towards brands they recognize and are familiar with, even if it’s not necessarily the best fit or highest quality. It’s up to you to be seen and recognized, so keep your brand at the forefront of all your marketing materials and stay active on social media to spread awareness of your brand and make it memorable to your target audience.

Credibility

Your brand identity won’t mean anything if you don’t establish yourself as trustworthy and reliable. Get to know your customers in order to find out what they want and need so you can position yourself to offer just that, and keep directing them back toward your brand. Give them someone to count on and you’ll acquire loyal customers who will return to you time and time again.

Appearance

Developing a professional, creative design for your brand identity helps you to stand out from your competition. It’s important to consider the appearance of the business you are presenting for the experience of your customers. Think about your website, social media channels, and overall business persona. Do they reflect your goals and stay consistent with your values? It’s very useful to use a style guide to clearly lay out visual guidelines for your brand and employees to follow.

Remember that when you create your brand identity, you are applying your brand values to any visual elements promoting your business. Your identity is directly proportional to the growth of your brand and should be carefully considered to ensure it reflects exactly who you want to portray.

Does your brand have a strong brand identity? Do you think it does or do your customers actually agree with you? If you’re struggling to create a brand identity for your company, reach out to our team today.

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Color Psychology in Marketing

Color Psychology in Marketing

Color psychology is the study of how color influences our behavior and decision-making. In marketing, color can be used to impact the way customers perceive and experience your brand. Different colors have characteristics that can spark certain emotions and feelings, and even drive a customer’s purchasing decisions. Colors bring attention to your brand, give assurances about your company, and affect the brain’s emotional sensors even without your audience realizing. The colors that represent you differentiate your brand from other companies in your industry.

It’s important to choose the right color scheme in your marketing strategy so it tells your story in a positive and accurate way, otherwise you exude the wrong impression from the beginning.

Every color has positive and negative connotations depending on its specific shade, hue, or tone. What is the feeling, mood, or image that you want your brand to portray? Do the colors you’ve chosen represent your brand’s personality well? 

Some of the most common hues used in marketing and design, along with their general attributes, are as follows:

Red can be used to foster a sense of urgency and encourages appetite, hence being utilized often by fast food restaurants and sales. It is associated with power, passion, and energy but can also mean danger, aggression or pain. For those with a bold and energetic brand, you may consider incorporating shades of red into your style guide.

Orange combines red’s energy with yellow’s friendliness and fun. It also stimulates appetite and represents physical comfort and playfulness. Overall, orange embodies impulsiveness, enthusiasm, and a positive vibe.

Yellow is generally considered a joyful, warm, and happy hue, giving your brand a youthful vibrance and playfulness. Too much yellow can prompt anxiety, though, so use your best judgment.

Green can be used to encourage relaxation and tranquility, and is associated with health, the environment, harmony, nature, and even finance. It can also be used as a sign of growth and wellness.

Blue is used to spark a spectrum of emotions, but is mostly known for dependability, loyalty, trust, and is mentally soothing. It can be used for relaxation and to put minds at ease, but also signifies that your brand might be trustworthy and secure. Blue encourages productivity and suppressed the appetite, so if you’re in the food industry, you may want to think twice before incorporating it strongly into your brand.

Purple is the color of royalty and has been used to represent spirituality and holistic wellness as well. It can prompt problem solving, creativity, and imagination. It is generally considered a feminine or regal color so keep that in mind when using it for your brand.

Black, when used the right way, can represent sophistication, strength, and authority. Be careful, though, because it can also symbolize evil, sadness, or even death. It just goes to show that context and balance are important! It can be part of a clean looking layout and add high contrast in design, but can be seen negatively if used too much in visuals rather than text.

White can represent cleanliness and is used frequently in design aiming for a modern and sleek aesthetic. It is the symbol of purity, innocence, and simplicity. If used incorrectly in your designs, white can result in a brand that lacks personality or creativity.

As previously stated, different colors can be used by brands to conjure a variety of reactions and emotions for an audience, ultimately influencing them to trust your business or not. Make sure to thoughtfully consider how you’d best like your brand represented and use colors with characteristics that embody it.

Are you looking to create a new brand or rebrand an existing one? CAST Design Team specializes in Branding. We’ve worked with small and large enterprises around the world to perfect their brand. Reach out today for a free consult to learn more about how we can help you. 

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The Differences Between Brand Experience and User Experience

The Differences Between Brand Experience and User Experience

Brand experience and customer experience are two factors of a business with a singular focus: the customer. They work together to engage and draw in an audience, but they have inherently different characteristics and attributes. The brand experience helps cater to the consumer before they even become a customer, and the user experience, or UX, helps guide them through interactions within the brand. They have different approaches when it comes to the wants and desires of the customers, but are both firmly rooted in giving the best possible impression of your brand.

What is Brand Experience? 

Brand experience can rely heavily on visuals or design in order to communicate the message of your brand and evoke certain emotions from your audience. Although visual content is a large part of this, it isn’t the only factor. A great brand experience needs a solid marketing and advertising strategy backing it up. This can include bringing in new sales leads, engaging on social media, and pointing potential customers back to your brand. This creates awareness of your brand and will bring the audience into the next step: User experience.

What is User Experience? 

User experience references the steps the consumer will have to take to reach their destination with your brand. UX has a huge responsibility to ensure a smooth and positive customer experience. Think about it; you’ll be frustrated and give up quickly if a company’s website isn’t intuitive and is frustrating to navigate. High customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal here, so customers should be able to find service and guidance effortlessly. They’re unlikely to recommend or return to you if they have to stumble through a clunky website.

The Difference Between the Two 

The timelines also vary between brand and user experience. Brand experience focuses highly on a long term strategy that grows and develops with the business over a period of time. Relationships are eventually formed between consumers and the brand by continuously engaging with it. The brand experience lets consumers see the business through a certain lens and encourages loyalty. Contrastly, the user experience is much more immediate. Reactions are formed from the very second customers encounter your website or social profiles and the result can be either a lost customer or loyal returner. It won’t matter how good the brand experience is if the customer experience is lacking.

You are also able to measure brand and user experiences in different ways. Brand experience can be measured with data points such as reports and surveys to see how well consumers are engaged with it. User experience is normally measured by customer satisfaction scores and metrics that communicate with a brand, such as feedback surveys or star ratings. 

Either way, both brand and user experiences are important to generating revenue and increasing brand loyalty. They will both determine whether a customer will want to return to your business and will work together to accomplish the goals of your company.

Do you have more questions about Brand or User Experience? Have you been told that your user experience isn’t good? Reach out to our team for a consult on how to improve!