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How to Use Keywords in Your Website Copy (and the importance) 

The goal of any successful website or blog should be to create awareness of a brand or company. No one will be able to find or experience what you have your business. While you may have other forms of advertising, showing up in web searches is important to your overall brand awareness, so optimizing your website copy is a good place to start. In order to do this, you must focus on keywords. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started in your keyword research.

Choose the right keywords

Start your research by determining your topic themes. What will be the main theme of your blog? Find out what your target audience actually wants to read about and what they’re likely to be searching for in search engines. For example, a popular topic that a marketing company could write about is, “How to use keywords to rank higher on Google”.

After you get a good idea of what your blog will focus on you’ll also want to find your top 20 keywords that can be included in the article. Start this phase by compiling a list of topics or phrases that your target audience might be searching for. You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner, UberSuggest, or WordStream to see if your chosen topics or phrases qualify as good keywords, usually by determining if they have a high search volume and low SEO difficulty. It’s a good idea to find what your best keyword variations are and save them in an easily accessible space for tracking blog topics. 

Focus on keyword placement

Just as the keyword itself is important, it’s useful to consider where the keyword is being placed. You can see on any search engine results page that certain keywords will show up in the metadata of a website, but you’ll also want to keep keywords in your website’s titles and headings, body paragraphs, URLs, and image file names in order to have as much exposure as possible.

Know How to Use Keywords

Did you know that search engines will penalize you for stuffing your website content with keywords where they don’t belong? They’re smart enough to know when you’re using them just to use them in hopes of ranking, rather than actually using them to provide quality content. Remember to be genuine in everything you write. If it doesn’t make sense to have your keyword in a certain place, even if it’s in a recommended location, err on the side of caution and don’t add it. It’s also helpful to use variations of your keywords, so instead of using your exact keyword phrase at every opportunity, you can mix up the wording slightly. This way you hit more variations of potential searches and you’re less likely to get penalized for keyword stuffy. 

Ultimately your aim is to have the best listings in search engines in order to attract and engage your target audience. Keyword research is a great way to start including keywords and phrases that are relevant to your product or service. Doing this research may seem time consuming but it will help you find out what your target audience is actually searching for and what they want to read about, in turn driving organic traffic to your website. 

 

Does all of this sound just a little too technical and not aligned with your skillset? CAST Design Team offers full SEO services including keyword research, blog writing, and other marketing services to aid in your efforts. Let’s chat!

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The Best Networking Events in Las Vegas

The Best Networking Events in Las Vegas

As any business owner knows, entrepreneur or otherwise, it is essential to build a strong network with those around you. Doing so can create opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t present themselves, can contribute to personal and career growth, and can help you develop long-lasting relationships with others in your field. There are a number of networking groups that you can easily get involved with, but this article highlights a few of our favorite networking events in the Las Vegas area.

PowHer

PowHer is a global community that connects women in business to the resources they need, providing opportunities, education, and connections to fast-track them in achieving their goals. They also empower women by fostering a nurturing environment for communication, professional development, and mentoring opportunities, creating a wholesome space to collaborate.

Some of the resources of PowHer include:

  • Monthly breakfast meetings that are educational and full of information
  • Events focused on personal and professional excellence
  • Exclusive networking events

Find out more about PowHer here.

LeTip

With over 40 years in the game, LeTip International is the largest professional networking organized focused on lead generation through personal referrals. The group has helped over 120,000 business professionals across the U.S. and Canada. LeTip is made up of passionate professionals looking to improve and share their businesses in a structured and serious manner. Groups meet on a weekly basis to build better connections with other professionals in the community, discuss potential leads, and to practice their presentation and speech giving skills

Read more about LeTip’s Las Vegas chapters here.

BNI – Business Network International

BNI is the leading business networking organization. With thousands of chapters across the world, members meet weekly to build and nurture lasting relationships and share qualified business leads. When you become a member of BNI, you receive access to professional training, peer presentations, and networking opportunities with like-minded people.

Learn more about BNI and the Las Vegas chapter here.

Nevada Women’s Chamber of Commerce

The Nevada Women’s Chamber of Commerce is a powerful community organization that provides contacts, services, and professional services to the women of Las Vegas. It strives to make positive changes in the community, promote growth and economic development, and tackle local, state, and national issues affecting women. The group brings leadership programs to the community and members alike to help lead businesses and careers in the right direction. They also provide higher education programs to female high school and college-level students, along with mentorship opportunities.

To learn more about what they have to offer, visit their website here. 

Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce is part of a larger unified community that is focused on helping Nevada businesses succeed. They help bring light to the needs, challenges, and opportunities that businesses and entrepreneurs in the community face. The Las Vegas Metro Chamber provides professional resources, educational opportunities, and business expertise to help members make decisions easier and with more clarity. They also help make local connections and boost your companies visibility in the community.

To find out more or to get information on their next event, visit their website here.

Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce

The aim of the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce is to aid in the success of organization members and Hispanic-owned businesses within the Las Vegas community. They do this through the promotion of positive relationships – business, cultural, and educational.

More can be found on their website.

Have you ever been to any of these networking events? Let us know what you think about them. If you haven’t been to any of these, which networking groups are you apart of? We’d love to see you out at an event soon!

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Search Engine Optimization Goals for 2020

Search Engine Optimization Goals for 2020

Happy 2020! A new year means new marketing goals for any business that wants to stay afloat, and just as the internet is always changing, internet marketing tactics are always changing as well. The last decade brought major changes to the way marketers used the power of the internet and SEO to rank higher in search engines, from new search software to the use of AI and speech commands.

How can digital marketers make 2020 their best SEO year yet? After reviewing the trends of the past year and the best internet marketing tactics, we’ve compiled a list of the most important SEO goals you should commit to as part of your 2020 marketing resolutions.

High Quality Content

This should go without saying, but your number one priority should be putting high-quality content into your web copy, articles, and marketing materials. What does high quality mean? Users want to read material that’s helpful, relevant, informative, and easy to understand. Far too many websites either burden their web copy with specialized jargon in the hopes of ranking higher in niche searches, or they write copy with grammatical errors and poor readability.

You can’t expect your readers to stay on your site for long or listen to your marketing material if your site pushes them away. Worse, poor-quality writing will hurt your SEO ranking, as it will reduce the amount of time people spend on your site. Finally, the vast majority of web users hate web material that “sounds like a sales pitch” – so, your first goal is to always write with quality in mind, and you’ve already won half the optimization battle.

Longer Form Content

It turns out, people actually like reading. Articles with over 2000 words tend to rank higher in searches and attract more viewers than shorter form articles. Why? Nobody wants to read through several different websites to find all the information they need; if one article answers all of their questions in a clear and concise voice, they’re much more likely to read through that article and keep revisiting that website.

Additionally, longer articles can keep readers on your website for longer which, as previously mentioned, can slightly improve your search ranking. Take the time to consider all of your readers’ questions and concerns – it will likely foster stronger readership, give you some SEO bonuses, and make your company a much more trustworthy brand.

Dwell time and Click Through Rates (CTR)

Are people clicking the links to your website? How long do they stay on your site? How about a certain page? Search engines want to know if your site is satisfying the needs of its readers. With a virtually unlimited amount of information at everyone’s fingertips, it’s likely that the websites that best satisfy their readers’ questions will rank higher in web searches. The best way to measure this is based on the amount of people who follow links to your site (CTR) and how long they stay (Dwell time) – that’s why it’s so important to provide both short form and long form quality content that your readers can visit and rely on, as this will likely factor into your overall SEO.

Featured Snippets

When you type a question into Google, sometimes the top link will include a box that briefly answers the question. For example, if you type “How does SEO work?” into Google, the first link explains SEO in brief, pulled from an article written in LYFE Marketing.

Obviously, LYFE Marketing will get a lot of new readers from this search feature, including readers who will revisit their site and buy their products. To increase the likelihood that your website will earn a featured snippet for a relevant question, write articles or FAQs that respond to questions your potential readership will ask. The more your content helps your readers, the more likely that you’ll feature at the top of specific Google searches.

Optimizing for 2020

Have you ever asked Siri, Google, or Alexa to look something up for you? If so, you’ve utilized the power of two things: voice searches and artificial intelligence. These two trends are changing the way websites rank in SEO. Chances are, people ask questions verbally in a different way than typing into a search box, so search terms are becoming more colloquial and conversational. While this doesn’t mean you should change the way you write your web copy, it does mean that the high ranking SEO terms might shift as voice commands become a larger part of search engines.

Additionally, with AI pulling content for search queries, only the most relevant and helpful articles will be pulled up by the likes of Siri and Alexa. This goes back to the idea of quality content – if you want Google Home to like you, make sure your content is relevant and well-written.

Mobile User Experience (UX)

Another huge trend of the past decade includes the rise of mobile technology. As a result, websites that aren’t optimized for mobile phone searches simply won’t make the cut, as almost 90% of consumers in the U.S. use their phones to find information. Optimizing your site with a mobile-friendly option and high readability will ensure that your site is competitive in the SEO domain.

Web Security

A crucial aspect of web UX, having a secure website makes a huge difference in your site’s SEO potential. Google has cracked down on insecure websites over the past few years, so pages that don’t have enabled HTTPS protocol are often labeled as “Not Secure” when you try to access it on any Google browser. Additionally, users want to know that their information is protected and encrypted when using your site or sharing any personal information, so while these aspects of web design might not correlate directly to SEO, protected sites will likely rank higher in web searches, have lower bounce rates, and yield a much more dedicated readership.

Loading Speed

Another aspect of UX, nobody wants to wait for your site to load, and if it’s taking more than a couple of seconds, then it’s probably faster to just go with the next link down. Take the time to ensure that your web pages load fast across all platforms, with easy navigation and accessibility, otherwise you’ll have a high bounce rate, low dwell time, and generally poor SEO ranking.

Image Optimization

All your images have what’s called “Alt Text,” which is text that briefly describes what’s happening in the photo, especially for users with poor reception or who have accessibility requirements. Not only does this make your site more friendly to all readers, but it also enhances your SEO capabilities. You never want to overload your photos with alt text, but including a few relevant search terms that accurately explain your photos can certainly push you up a few rankings.

Influencer Marketing

The term “social media influencer” became a big deal last year. Despite the controversy, studies prove that influencers work – people are more likely to trust a business if it’s recommended by a trustworthy, popular source. That being said, influencer marketing can also boost your SEO. If you come to an agreement with an influencer to include certain backlinks to your business on their website and social channels, you can drive major traffic to your site and also build relevant backlinks that will push you higher in search results.

There you have it! Those are our top SEO Resolutions for 2020. Which ones do you think you’ll implement? If you have any questions about SEO, need an expert in digital marketing, or want to revitalize your web presence, look no further – we’re experts in web media at CAST Design. Learn more about our process, or reach out today, and let’s create your best SEO year yet.

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Web Design Best Practices for 2020

Web Design Best Practices for 2020

2020 is officially in full swing, and with a new year comes new resolutions. On top of hitting the gym and eating healthier, there’s one resolution I want us all to agree on – no more bad websites.

Seriously – low-quality web pages plague the internet these days. While slow load speeds and mobile-hostile websites might have been permissible in the 2010s, it’s the start of a whole new decade, and businesses need to understand that a web presence alone isn’t enough to attract new clients. To survive in the digital marketplace, companies need a site that’s optimized and user-friendly, on top of aesthetically pleasing.

So, as we speed into the new year, join CAST Design Team in implementing these 10 web development best practices for 2020.

Brand-Consistent Web Design

Your web design, layout, and content all contribute to your brand and how your customers perceive your business. If you don’t get it right from the start, you could create some serious misconceptions that drive clients to your competitors.

For example, let’s say you’re shooting for a brand that’s chic and minimalistic. If your marketing materials and products say “trendy and simple,” but your web design is filled with content like Amazon.com or Microsoft.com, that dissonance could push potential buyers away.

That’s not to dig Amazon or Microsoft – their web design works great for what they’re trying to push! But if your web design doesn’t match your message, don’t expect visitors to stay on your site for long.

Web Tracking

Speaking of visitor times, you need to know what’s working on your site and what isn’t. How long your customers stay on your site, where they click, and whether or not they’re engaging with your business are key indicators of what’s working in your brand. Your site should be able to track conversions, traffic, and other key indicators that confirm what’s working – and what isn’t.

Conversion Optimized

Of course, those analytics don’t mean anything if your website isn’t optimized to turn website clicks into dedicated customers. Throughout your site, you want to be sure that customers can easily access more material from your company. Whether that’s to schedule an appointment, sell a product, request a follow-up email, or even just push them to the next web page, your site should keep customers interested and engaged.

Enabled CMS

How do you keep customers engaged? Content, content, content! The better your web content is, the more likely your customers are to consider your branding, your message, and your business. Your site needs to enable some sort of Content Management System, allowing regular posting and editing so your customers stay engaged with your site.

Search Engine Optimization

We’ve talked a lot about keeping customers on your site, but how do we get them there in the first place? Advertisements and social media campaigns are great ways to attract customers, but they are also expensive. Before anything else, you want your website to be Search Engine Optimized (SEO).

A lot of what we’re discussing here are ways to build upon your site’s SEO, but the key to an SEO-based site is SEO-based content. By writing content that matches what customers are searching for in Google or Yahoo or Bing, your site is likely to rank higher in search pages. This, combined with a functional website and high traffic, is bound to create new interest and new converts to your brand.

Loading Speed

A lesser known aspect of an SEO site is a fast loading speed. If your site takes forever to load, chances are, even your most loyal clients won’t want to wait for much longer. Slow page loading means less web traffic and a less optimized platform, making your web design and content creation a waste of money and effort. Using a service like Pagespeed Insights or Pingdom, you can ascertain the loading speed of your site and how to improve it across all channels and devices.

Mobile Readiness

It’s 2020, which means virtually all of your clientele are connected to the internet via a mobile device. Optimizing your website includes making it mobile-friendly, so developing a mobile version of your site is essential to keeping your customers engaged. Nobody encounters a slow website on their phone and thinks “I’ll have to try on my laptop” – they’ll just go to a different site. Optimize your website for all mobile channels, so you’ll always be one click away.

Strong Web Security

All web-building platforms allow you to choose and develop your site security. Don’t skimp out on this – although it might not directly influence your site’s accessibility, protecting your clients’ information (and yours!) now will save you loads of stress in the future.

Social Media Integration

Does your website link to your social media pages? Can your web visitors see your twitter feed on the home page? Social media is essential to any digital campaign, so if you aren’t encouraging your customers to follow you on all channels and see the content you’re putting out, you’re not pushing your brand and messaging to its full potential.

Interactive Web Design

Finishing off this list, an interactive website will always do more than a website with basic features. Every website has the same two features: scrolling and clicking. Make your website stand apart by making these features interactive – include unique designs for all your links, give side-scrolling options, place social media widgets where they’ll fit, and make your site entertaining to visit. Of course, you never want to compromise your branding as you develop your site’s interactivity, but including a few elements of fun into your overall web design could generate loads of conversions.

In an effort to make the internet a better, more interesting place, these are our top resolutions. We hope you’ll consider some of these too! If you have any questions about optimizing your site, or if you’re looking for an expert team to help revamp your web presence, you’re already in the right place – the members of CAST Design have decades of digital experience under their belt. Learn more about our process, or reach out today.

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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! 

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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.