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LINK BUILDING OR PR. WHAT IS THE BEST APPROACH?

For years a followed link on a popular site was seen as the ‘holy grail’ of digital marketing and SEO. This led to some people buying links by bribing publishers to link back to a website.

But times have changed and for the better. A recent Google update now states that citations (brand mentions) are equally as important as a link back to a site. The focus for Google is now on content and relevancy. A link on an authority site will send traffic to your website and, of course, help your SEO. But even without a link, securing a brand on a credible site will boost awareness, raise consideration and position a brand as an authority as well as being recognised by Google.

To secure a followed link is hard but not impossible. Still, sites like Forbes, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, will not give a followed link, but they will provide a brand mention, especially if it is a good story.

So, do you need a link builder or a PR professional to secure links and brand mentions?

What you need first is a great storyteller, who understands newsworthiness, the media, SEO, and brand building.

The focus now is, the strength of the story and the relevancy of the content to the audience it will reach. So, whether someone calls themselves a link builder or a PR, if they are strategically thinking about how to achieve the above – they are the ones for you.

Before starting to write or create content to achieve coverage or links, you should be asking yourself, “Why would a site publish this content?”  Is it interesting, relevant or new! What assets do you need to create to accompany the story to make it leap off the page?

The best approach is to ensure you do your research and target relevant media and sites that are specific to your industry or subject matter.  Think about your audience, raising brand awareness and telling an engaging relevant story. Consider these and you can develop a story that secures coverage, links and most of all, gets your brand remembered.

HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO IMAGE

Holding out for a Hero Image

Big images have a big impact. Layer those with relevant, bite-sized content, and you’ve a hero image.

Websites usually display their hero images prominently, full-width across the viewing screen, so it’s the first thing a visitor sees, and really grabs their attention. It’s a way to communicate your purpose, present key information with calls to action and can sometimes be referred to as a banner, header or slider. It doesn’t have to be static either – you can opt for dynamic rotation, although we recommend no more than three or four.

The key to nailing this is to ensure your images are of the highest quality: sharp, beautifully shot and elegantly placed in the design to work with the copy that accompanies it. The text should be placed in close proximity to the image and they must be relevant to each other to ensure a consistent visual message.

What the hero image and its copy conveys is up to you – products or services, promotions, news – but it’s another marketing channel that can be used to excellent effect.

Your choice of hero image is customer-influencing. It takes mere seconds to make a first impression, so choose with your customer in mind. Try to imagine how the image you’ve chosen will make them feel about your business.

Does it alienate or polarise, or unite you with your customers? Are you using emotive images – smiles, cute furry creatures or the polar opposite – and are they the right images for the emotion you’re trying to convey? Does it stand out, or is it too vanilla to work on the big screen?

It’s a lot to THINK about, we know, but fortunately we’ve some everyday heroes who are ready to help you.

THINK Hero Image: Think Design: Call 0161 507 2410

GRAPHIC DESIGN IS AN INVESTMENT IN BUSINESS GROWTH

The importance of graphic design for business growth

Why should you invest in quality design?

Well…

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

First impressions count, don’t they? So it’s important to look your best when you’re representing your business. It’s equally important that your business looks its best, and that’s where graphic design comes in.

Your website is your virtual shop window, and it needs dressing with your brand. A brand is more than just a logo – it’s a persona that resonates with your business values, beliefs and professionalism. It’s what marks you out as different from your competitors, makes your company stand out in a world of imagery, and makes an emotional connection with your audience.

In fact everything you produce for your business should be in keeping with your brand, and consistent across every platform: internal and external; digital and print. Consistency demonstrates reliability, and reliability builds trust. And who wouldn’t want to work with someone they trust?

SECOND LOOK

You want your graphic design to attract customers and clients, and retain them too. Utilising your branding across every platform is one way to build brand recognition, but you want to do more than get people to look at you: you want to communicate with them.

Text heavy content can be a turn off. Visual content is the way to keep people engaged, and help them retain information too – present your information graphically, and your messages will get through to your customers. What a picture.

INFINITE OPPORTUNITY

Ready for your content to grow your social media presence tenfold? Us too! Graphic design is your key to boosting your social following and increasing your social presence: simply by creating shareable content. Design makes information, facts and statistics more interesting, and more memorable. Facebook posts with images get more than double the engagement that posts without pictures get.

Tweets that include images get 18% more likes than text-only. Image-based social content is 40% more likely to be shared than non-image content.

PRICELESS POTENTIAL

We know good graphic design is an investment, and that’s why we’re ready to help you find your style: we’ll create you designs that express your brand’s vision, values and personality. We’ll help you be different, individual and timeless.

If you THINK it’s time your business embraced graphic design, we’ve award-winning graphic designers who would be very happy to help. Get in touch today: 0161 507 2410.

BRAND NEW BEGINNINGS: WHERE TO START WITH YOUR NEW LOGO

New brand beginnings

We THINK a logo is more than a badge – it’s a mark of who you are and what you stand for. It’s your identity. It’s your brand.

It’s not easy to bring a brand into being. We’re not saying you can’t design a logo yourself, but there’s more to an identifying icon than weaving colour and your business name together.

When we brand, or rebrand, we get to know our clients and their businesses first.

WHO

Who your brand is targeted towards is an important factor in finding an identity. Your brand needs to be relevant to you – if you’re a nursery school, your relevant logo would be more teddy bear, less post apocalyptic zombie – and to your customers too. Most parents are likely to choose the teddy-badged business to look after their little monsters because the logo suggests it’s safe, gentle and child-friendly.

WHAT

There’s more than  a bit of psychology behind graphic design. Colours, styles and placement (centred, off-set, etc), and typeface can all communicate certain characteristics: green is often associated with nature, or environmental awareness; blue is used by a high percentage of construction firms to denote reliability and integrity; white space and a classic or contemporary clean font is regularly found on premium bands.

It’s clever, subliminal messaging.

We would love to help you find your brand. Whether you’re a start-up looking to stand-out in your chosen market, or a business with history that is embracing a new modernity, our award-winning graphic designers would love to work with you.

We THINK, we design. Get in touch today on 0161 507 2410 or click here to check out the services we offer.

The Importance of Branding for B2B

B2B branding is everything, in part because it’s what sets every company apart. All companies that become household names have something that makes them stand out. But the importance of recognition and credibility isn’t just reserved for B2C businesses! All B2B brands need to recognise the importance of a well-considered and consistent brand identity that reflects the quality of their offer and promotes trust.

What is your brand?

A company’s brand is the first point of contact with the customer. As soon as your customer comes onto your website, they can be greeted by the digital equivalent of a stunning mansion foyer, or a hotel you wouldn’t be caught dead in. First impressions count more than anything. It may sound cynical to say, but we are a superficial, impatient species. When you walk through the front door of a shop, a hotel, a neighbour’s home, you instantly make every judgement you can. It’s the same with websites. You need to make the best first impression that you can. By creating a brand identity that customers can feel confident in, with a good logo and some great web design, you’ll be setting yourself apart from the crowd.

Start with your logo

The most obvious way to stand out is the logo. Your logo needs to be the exact manifestation of everything your company stands for. Firstly, it’s your identity. Secondly, it shows the world who you are and what you’re providing. Finally, it sets everything from tone, to target audience.

Logos are also great for their mobility. Logos aren’t just for websites; they can go everywhere; social media, printed media, packaging, and on company vehicles.

Make your brand aesthetically pleasing

Visual elements tell the customer exactly the kind of business you’re running. By crafting a solid brand identity, your customer will get a feel for your company and an expectation of what to expect from you. A strong brand will cultivate a strong connection with your customers. It even creates commercial value. Websites with a strong brand identity are more likely to earn more revenue too. Customers are more likely to place a higher economic value on your products/services.

Make your company recognisable

B2B branding comes down to recognition. It’s all about familiarity. I’ve been with the same mobile phone provider for almost ten years, I know other providers might offer alternatives, but I’m a creature of habit. Most people are. A recognisable strong brand cultivates a system of retention. After your nice website attracts people, you need your brand to keep people there, and coming back.

The buyer journey has changed

All too often, we hear that a company’s main source of new business is through word of mouth or referral. So, why even invest in B2B branding?

This may be true… However! Times have changed and the first thing the referred buyer will do is check out peer reviews and your online channels. If these don’t immediately demonstrate that you are a professional and credible outfit then they will look elsewhere and you may lose your valuable lead.

With the plethora of businesses readily available online, standing out from the crowd is more essential than ever. To create the perfect brand identity for your business, get in touch with us on 0161 507 2410. Our team would love to discuss your business with you and help you unlock the perfect brand identity to help you stand out.