E-Commerce industry has been experiencing steady growth over the years and is expected to keep growing. It has even been predicted by many that global retail e-commerce revenue will amount to over $4.6 trillion by 2021.
Do your products have no real online presence? If the answer is no, now is the time to hop on that train! Here are a few trends you should be following to boost sales on your site.
Have you ever opened up Amazon only to realize that the first page and all the recommended items for sale seem to fall directly in line with all your past interests and purchases? Well, you are not alone, websites such as Amazon and others use personal data such as previous search entries and purchase histories to develop a specific profile for each costumer. In turn, this allows Amazon to better tend to their consumers’ needs by creating a personalized experience. This type of customization is not only being used on Amazon but by other smaller sites as well. This trend will continue as personalization tech becomes easier to integrate into online shopping platforms.
Another way you will see personalization popping up in e-commerce sites are subscription boxes. Sites like Stitch Fix offer to send you clothes each month based on a style quiz you take when you make an account. These are personalized boxes that are specific to the customer and their needs. Even big brands like Nordstrom have taken up on this trend. They are not just for clothes! You can get a subscription box for just about anything ranging from food, makeup, video games, even one for your dog.
You will see Chatbots all over online stores these days. These bots are designed to enhance your consumers shopping experience by allowing them a chance to get answers in real time. This feature allows your company to address your consumers concerns in real time while also gaining valuable feedback on your consumers shopping experience, interests, etc.
AI assistants are capable of handling a handful of duties that normally tasked to a human. These tasks include, but are not limited to, overseeing inventory, managing the bookkeeping process, and fulfilling customer service needs. These assistants are wonderful employees for due to the fact that their skill set is ever-growing and by being so capable these AI chatbots can take on a lot of time consuming tasks while not being as expensive as hiring a new employee. This allows you to ignore tedious tasks so that you can focus on running your business. While you scheme and strategize on how to better your business your AI chatbot will continue to evolve and learn from past experiences and consumer interactions. This means that your AI chatbot is always learning so that the consumers personalized shopping experience is as optimized and streamlined as possible. The good news is that they are not hard to set up! Many tools like HubSpot’s Chatbot Builder allow you to create your own bot for free.
A good product image is vital for your e-commerce site. Consumers need to see the product when they are buying online, this means that they want multiple images with the option to zoom in and see the product in detail. Pictures are not just 2-Dimensional on websites anymore, there are a number of sites who have switched to using three dimensional (3D) pictures to showcase their products. This allows consumers to click, drag, and see the product from every imaginable angle while they rotate the product on the screen. This 3D picture technology is advancing rapidly so we can expect to see much more of this in the future. This is the wave of the future, but in the mean time a good substitute to 3D picture display is to accompany your pictures with a few quick videos on the site.
Facebook is one of the most powerful advertising platforms in existence. Facebook allows you to target people with a level of specificity that is hard to recreate. They have accrued so much data on their users that they can target the most unique and specific target markets allowing companies to advertise with ease.
First you will want to find a specific product you want to showcase on your ad. This product, whatever it may be, fulfills a need or a purpose, this need is unique to a certain group of consumers and that is who we are going after. It is best to run a few ads simultaneously while you are figuring out what works best for the audience you are targeting. After a couple weeks of testing you should be able to tell what is working best and what isn’t. The ads that aren’t working can be taken down while effective ads can be left in place. Remember to keep updating them though! People will lose interest if they keep seeing the same ads.
Instagram is a very powerful tool for growing your brands popularity and sales. 65% of people on Instagram are looking for online shopping inspiration or for new brands to use. So if your brand doesn’t have a stellar Instagram presence then you are missing out on a lot of sales.
Instagram allows you to market your products as you want, bolster your brand’s presence and image, and connect to your customers. If you want to read more about creating an effective instagram post click here.
Email marketing is one of the most popular marketing strategies because many people check their email everyday. Email marketing allows you to send promotional ads to people on your email list. Just today, I’ve received a promotional email from Dominos Pizza offering me 50% off all menu pizzas. Additionally, I also received one from backcountry.com offering free shipping and highlighting some of their new products. These emails are meant to catch my attention and make me start shopping. Sending the occasional email with the announcement of a sale or telling customers about new products helps get people to your site.
How do you start an email list? Well, you need a good offer for them to be willing to give up their email address. For example offer a 10% discount on a product or service that will be sent via email. Or offer a free e-book or informational pamphlet. These are just a few ideas but the options are really endless and every email you gain is a victory because it is one more consumer you can target for as long as you have their email.
Creating content for your site gets your site more recognition from search engines like Google. This consists of all the data on your website including blogs, videos, and any other information or images you have up there.
Many companies have found that writing blogs about their niche community really brought traffic to their website. In those blogs you can highlight a service or product you sell promoting sales. This also works with youtube videos.
However make sure you are making content for subjects that have search demand to ensure you aren’t just adding useless and uninteresting content.
Succeeding in today’s business landscape requires businesses to have a clearly defined business image and a recognizable brand. If you feel like your brand is starting to look dull or as though your business is not attracting as much attention as before, then you are probably right and it is time to think about rebranding your company. Here are some signs your brand might be in need of a little TLC.
1. Logo Appearance
Is your logo unhip and out of date? Over the years it’s not uncommon for a logo to lose its original luster and begin to look boring and outdated. Design trends are always changing and what looked nice ten years ago will most likely be in desperate need of a face lift today. This is an important reason to consider when contemplating whether your business should rebrand or not because often times your logo is the first impression a person has of your brand and you want it to be memorable.
2. Outdated Website and Business Cards
There should never be embarrassment or any insecurity when someone from your company hands out their business card or refers someone to your website. The business landscape of today is vastly more different than it has ever been before and has changed dramatically over the past few years. This means that even websites which were created only 5 years ago may be outdated already. Business cards and your company’s website are crucial factors to consider when deciding whether to rebrand or not is important because these are an extension of your company’s brand image which is crucial in today’s marketplace.
3. Diminished Advertising Effectiveness
This one should be self-apparent, but if your company is having trouble reaching your target audience through advertising and other means then you should strongly consider rebranding. This will require your company to do in-depth research on your target audience and try new marketing techniques but this is all apart of reigniting your company’s business spirit.
4. You Have Outgrown Your Brand
If you are one of the businesses who started in a garage and are now in a high-rise downtown, then congratulations — but your brand probably does not match your status now. Since the foundation of your company, most likely there have been changes. Your business has field-tested through the years and your logo and brand should evolve in harmony with your company so that your company has a coherent image. This sign signals that you will have a lot more work to do than just altering a logo but it also means your business has the legs to keep growing.
It is important to keep your brand fresh and looking up to date. If your business falls into any of these categories, it may be time to consider a rebrand. If you are ready to get started but just don’t know where to start, contact us today to learn more about our branding services.
Looking to expand your brand’s social media? Instagram is a great place to start! Here are six tips on Instagram marketing to help you maximize your company’s effectiveness on Instagram.
1. Showcase Your Personality
People are curious as to who is behind their favorite brands. Openness and transparency allow consumers to feel connected to the brands they admire. To be effective at showcasing what makes your brand unique, posting relatable content is ideal. Content that shows your company’s zeal and personality is key for success.
2. Let Your Audience Create Content
Businesses must always be attentive to their customers needs and in today’s marketplace consumers want their voice to be heard. This has led to many companies allowing their audience do some of the work for them by reposting some of their pictures.
GoPro has used this approach quite extensively and now gives its followers a chance to post weekly in their #FeaturedPhotographer posts. This inclusive social media approach makes the brand much more accessible. By creating a lifestyle image rather than a product showcase GoPro has positioned itself to continue to gain more popularity and visibility.
Incorporating this approach into your social media marketing platform will instantly show that your company values consumer input. However, when deciding what content to use from followers it is vital that the content you post is relevant to the message you want to convey.
3. Product Teasers
The main goal of social media marketing or any marketing for that matter is not just to get followers, it is to generate more sales. One effective method to create a buzz around your page is to tease your followers with teasers of upcoming products to instill an air of excitement and anticipation. It is important these teasers don’t seem to pushy or come off as advertisements. The photo should be unique and engaging, a discount code can be put in the post to prime your followers to buy.
4. Sponsored Ads
As wonderful as wholesome, grassroots social media marketing is sometimes you have to pay your way to succeed. Purchasing sponsored ads on Instagram allows your content to be seen by many people who otherwise would not. Sponsored Instagram posts show up on your target audience’s main page as they are scrolling as if they already follow you. If you have an eye-catching photo then it may be a great way to gain followers and make sales. Instagram offers endless opportunities for companies to maximize their visibility while generating sales. Sponsored ads can capture new potential customers, and allow them to buy instantly through a “call-to-action’’ button which brings Instagramers directly to your homepage.
5. Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are another avenue you can travel down to ensure you are using Instagram to the fullest. Instagram stories appear are a compilation of photos and videos that are presented in a slideshow which only last 24 hours. These stories can be a quietly powerful marketing tool for your brand because it can give consumers an inside look to your brand. Giving your audience a quick snapshot of something such as life inside the office, a behind the scenes look at the production process, or even just a funny video showing off your company’s relatability.
6. Create a Cohesive Aesthetic
Creating an instagram with cohesive aesthetic is not easy and will take planning. You need to know your brand and the aesthetic you want to create for it. If you already have a website it needs to feel like the two go together. It might help before trying to create an aesthetic to create a mood board to follow as you start to add content.
More often than not, people are turning to the internet for their consumer needs. It is obvious now more than ever that business that have a website do better than those that don’t.
Here are five reasons your small business needs a website.
1. Customers Expect A Website
According the the American Marketing Association six out of ten people expect a business to have an online presence. It is estimated that at least 50% of consumers use websites to gain information about a company. In today’s marketplace, customers are much more inclined to overlook a company if the website is out of date, not user-friendly, or easily accessible.
2. You Will Show Up on Google Search Results
The fact that more than 80% of consumers conduct online research before a purchase demonstrates the vital necessity of having an effective website to display your company’s products. The prospect of a business operating without a website means that the chance they will appear on the search engine results page (SERP) is close to none. Luckily, there are many avenues businesses can travel down to optimize an existing website to bring it up to date. You can customize your site with titles, meta descriptions, and keywords to make sure you are showing up at the top of Googles results.
3. It’s Always Up and Working
A business can only be open so many hours a day, but people are online at all hours of the day and an effective website that is easily accessible can connect you with customers constantly. Not only can your website increase sales dramatically because now you are open 24/7, but it can also reach people who are restricted by geography. The ability of a website to connect with customers you never knew you had is a tremendous advantage.
4. Become More Competitive
It may go without saying, but the modern marketplace is fiercely competitive which makes having a website undoubtedly vital to your companies continued existence. By not optimizing your website there is a huge risk, if not a certain degree of certainty that you are disadvantaging yourself immensely and giving your competitors a huge edge. Today’s consumer tends to shop primarily online which means they will not be buying from a company whose website is years behind other competing brands let alone take them seriously. If you want people to take your company seriously then it’s a good idea to hop on the website bandwagon.
Your website is your domain and this provides a company the luxury of having absolute control and autonomy over their public image and their interactions with customers. Control is something that a company rarely finds itself having, but a website can offer that which is a valuable luxury that can be leveraged to connect with customers on a much deeper level. There are many ways to leverage this control such as having a blog on the site to create a sense of community on your page between customers and yourself which allows for an in-depth understanding of your target market. Your website is a constant presence on the web, this allows a company to constantly try and dial in your effectiveness in reaching customers and improving your service. By leveraging your control over your website and your company’s public image you are also giving the user the chance to be as connected and informed as they would be shopping at a store.
The ability for businesses to remain competitive and profitable within the modern marketplace is a challenge that all businesses are faced with. In trying to achieve this goal it is vital that these companies utilize existing tools within the marketing space to stay up to date with the latest trends. As it currently stands, there are four trends within content marketing that can allow your business to better connect with your customer base.
There are many groundbreaking methods that can be utilized by marketing agencies to effectively communicate their message and of the many mediums they can use, one of the most innovative is a technology known as chatbots. Chatbots have quietly and discretely established itself as an incredibly viable way for marketing firms and companies alike to engage in more personalized exchanges with consumers. It has been shown that a large number of consumers are beginning to expect big companies to have chatbot accessibility. This desire by consumers has been reflected by companies’ plans for future innovation, a recent study by Spiceworks shows that 40% of large companies will be using chatbots in 2019. Clearly, the use of chatbots has quietly permeated the marketing sphere and the use of this method will only continue to increase as consumers seek a more personal encounter when shopping.
2. Long Form Content
This marketing method involves content that contains over 2000 words to explain or highlight the benefits of a particular product or service. This method has been shown to be incredibly successful for many reasons. By having such dense content it allows consumers to gain a comprehensive understanding of a company’s services, products, and messages. Furthermore, this method while simplistic has a huge technological upside, it has been demonstrated that long-form content is more likely to be shown by search engines making it an inexpensive and accessible way for marketing firms to communicate their message.
3. Voice Search
While some marketing techniques rely on simple methods, this is the age of technological breakthroughs which presents a host of new and fertile methods, such as Voice Search engine marketing, for businesses to smash the glass separating businesses from consumers. Voice search is a relatively new technology that is quickly being integrated into many new devices such as Siri with Apple, Alexa with Amazon, and Google with Android. These operating systems are becoming the center for how consumers navigate not only their phone or television but also the marketplace. There is more than sufficient evidence to suggest that this technology will only continue to proliferate, some predicting the half of all online searches will be voice searches in 2020. This shows the incessant need for companies to acknowledge the rising supremacy and popularity of this marketing medium, and also to tailor marketing strategies to optimize existing voice search engine demands and queries.
4. Video, Webinars and Webcast
In examining what methods are more effective at breaking the barrier between consumers and companies it is abundantly clear that videos, webinars, and webcasts are indisputably valuable to marketing firms and companies alike. To get a clearer understanding of the effectiveness of video marketing it should be noted that research conducted by Aberdeen showed, “marketers who use video increase their revenue 49% faster than those who don’t.” Video marketing comprises a large sector of the marketing sphere and its popularity will continue to rise. The continued use of video marketing is, “predicted to account for 82% of global internet traffic by 2021”. This boggling statistic demonstrates not only the opportunity for marketing firms but the necessity to get ahead of the curve to stay relevant in an ever-changing marketplace.
As we get further into 2018, you may wonder what the next step is in promoting your company. Enter: Video Marketing.
Video is rapidly progressing as one the most powerful tools for a company’s marketing strategy. Whether it’s a company profile, animated ad, or social media concentrated, etc., video is a versatile way to capture your audience’s attention online while pushing forward your company brand.
Some Quick Stats
64% of consumers purchase after watching branded social videos (Tubular Insights)
Viewers retain 95% of message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Wirebuzz)
70% of users say that product videos are helpful in the decision process when it comes to a product (Hubspot)
Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined (smallbiztrends)
Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80% (Unbounce)
Video posts on Facebook have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts (Social Media Today)
By 2019, global consumer internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic (smallbiztrends)
With stats like those, it’s hard to argue why you wouldn’t use video as your next marketing tool. So where do you begin?
At Bright Light, we offer full video production services including filming, editing, animation, motion graphics, and more. Below is just a sample of what we can offer you.
A company profile is usually a 60-90 second video that gives your company a face and tells your story. This is beneficial in a way that allows potential clients to build a trust and understanding when it comes to working with you.
Animated videos are a great way to explain numbers or processes within your company that keeps things fresh, light, and most importantly, fun. These are the types of videos that make a hard sell easy to swallow.
For clients who want to take their project to a full-scale commercial production, these videos help to gain the client’s interest in the product, leading to easier investment.
In conclusion, company brands will continue to face the never ending challenge of keeping up with the latest trends in an ever-changing online market. But one thing has always been static and that’s a consumer’s attraction to visual storytelling. Video marketing will continue to evolve more than it currently has and it can only benefit your business now and in the long run. Make the leap and get started.
Creative Southis an annual 3-day conference down south in Columbus, GA catered toward creatives ranging from artists, graphic designers, developers, letterers, and more. It had been on our radar for quite some time and we decided this year we had to make it happen.
What an incredible experience! It was like being amongst our creative brethren. The conference took place at the historical Springer Theater in downtown Columbus. Each day was filled with talks from various creatives, covering different topics from realities of failures, pricing your clients, cultural influences on design, and much more. With the hoard of experiences and creative backgrounds of each speaker, there truly wasn’t one bad or unnecessary talk during this conference. The perspectives alone were enlightening.
You know what else was awesome? The SWAG! From free camping backpacks and t-shirts to all the amazing art, we left with way too much cool stuff, and much lighter wallets. Besides that, we even got to witness the creative artistry of various conference-goers who battled in the different events like the Adobe Creative Jam and Ink Wars.
The vibe at Creative South was great. Still an intimate festival, their slogan “Come as friends and leave as family” rang true. We met so many awesome creative people from all over the country, sharing the same love for the creative field.
We’re already looking forward to Creative South 2018!
When tackling a new project, you’re usually conditioned to think things will be straightforward: get project done by deadline and stay within your budget. Simple, right?
More often than not, we run into issues that both lead us to going way past our deadline and over our budget. It doesn’t have to be like this. Regardless of the size of your project, there are many ways to keep things on track.
1. Stay organized
All projects need a proper project manager – someone to maximize time, budget, and resources that’ll lead you to the finish line. Have a proper upfront meeting that can clearly establish the goals of the project – either laying out what kind of shots you want or what story you want to tell.
2. Know your scope
While successfully finishing your project is the end goal, you have to take into account all the steps it takes to get there. Each step is equally important as each step in your project depends on what came before it. Managing the scope of your project helps your stay on track
3. Proper feedback
Provide feedback that contains your input as well as a solution. Giving feedback that simply says that it’s not working for you or not what you want, makes moving forward toward your goal much harder than it should be. Providing next steps and ideas to make the project more to your liking, and reasonably so, will keep you on the right track. Adding more time to figure out what works best will ultimately cost more money.
4. Be prepared.
Have content ready to be implemented in order to finish out your project and meet your deadline. Let’s say you’re creating a brand new website. Not having content ready during the development phase of your project can easily put you behind. What good is a pretty website without the copy and photos to fill it ? Stay on track.
5. Know how to use your rounds of revisions
Make use of your rounds of revisions to either edit or improve the content already provided, not add additional content. Adding additional content which will also probably be revised only extends the project, rather than meeting your original deadline. For instance, if you decide that after x amount of revisions that you want to start over with, say, different colors and fonts, that will end up costing you more. Another example would be going into a fifth round of revisions, when your scope only included three rounds. This will not only extend the project, but will also end up costing you more.
Having a less-stressful, easy and successful project is not always a reality, but is a possibility. Document the time and steps taken throughout your project and you’ll already be one step ahead. Stay organized and revise accordingly, knowing full well how you’re project should be progressing. It’s always a learning game and will be an experience that’ll keep you on track for the next project you undertake.
Office spaces are slowly, but surely, moving away from the typical boring white walls. These days more companies are heading in the direction of colorful decor that brightens up company moral and makes a statement about one’s business. Companies like Google and Facebook inspire visual effectiveness when it comes to office decor and a sure fire way to do that is getting creative with art installations.
The Benefits of an Office or Retail Art Installation
Art Installations boost moral.
In general, visual elements create an exciting atmosphere in the workplace. Colorful custom installations create a new boost of energy and can positively impact employee performances. In addition to that, it influences productivity levels, moods, and employee behavior. They also become an instant eye-catcher for new and existing customers.
Art Installations work anywhere.
We’ve discussed office spaces and installations on office walls but that doesn’t necessarily restrict your creativity to just that. You can spruce up outside walls that can attract the attention of an entire community in addition to your office space. Think big!
Art Installations can send a message.
Installations are always custom and unique and can provide a statement about your company and what your brand represents. As a design company, the Bright Light office art sends the message of “Create Your Future” as we create productions and solutions for companies that ensure the opportunity for businesses to grow and evolve. Depending on what your brand stands for, there’s always a creative outlet that will allow you to stand out.
Check out some photos of art installations we’ve done below.
Your website is your greatest asset for attaining new business. Especially in this day in age where people walk around with the internet in their pockets, constantly thinking of what businesses they can use for their needs and necessities, having a fully-functioning website puts the ball easily in your court. But not any website will do. Having a website that is outdated, or poorly designed, or isn’t responsive, works against your more now then it ever did. If this is the case for your, it’s time for a new website.
But my website is just fine! I don’t need a new one. Yes, you do.
If you’re on the fence, ask yourself these questions:
Is my website servicing my current needs?
Businesses continue to grow over time and that means you could easily be outgrowing your current website. Does it have features you need to showcase your brand new call-to-action? Does it showcase your up-to-date portfolio? Technology also grows and evolves in addition to your business, and it happens that things that were “super awesome” and “flashy” back in 2011 are just not ideal in 2016.
A new website just might be the thing you need to grow and evolve with the future.
Is there functionality I’m looking to have that my current website does not provide?
It’s 2016, if you’re website isn’t optimized for mobile aka Responsive Web Design, then you’re doing it wrong. In the last year, mobile searches have already surpassed desktop search, so if you’re website isn’t mobile-ready, you are missing out on a huge market of potential customers on the prowl for you business.
Are you selling products physical or digital? Why not sell them online with your own easy-to-manage online store? It’s easier than ever to incorporate a an e-commerce store like Woocommerce into your website. Take orders, make customize your product, manage stock — there’s an array of flexibility without the hassle of an actual store.
Have my marketing efforts changed?
As your company ages, so can your branding and marketing efforts. If you’ve changed either of these things, it’s also probably time you redesign your website too. As said previously, your website is one of (if not the most) important business assets. If your current brand isn’t lining up with your website, your audience isn’t going to connect. It’s time to update.
Why can’t I make changes and updates to my website?
There’s no excuse to not be using a content management system (CMS) to manage your website. Systems like WordPress have come a long way in making it so much easier for you to be in control of what goes in and out of your website. Long gone are the days of having to edit lines of code to make a simple text edit, or upload some new photos.
Circling back to outdated and poorly designed sites, it’s time to redevelop your site to a fully-functioning and easy to use CMS that will allow you to keep up with the times and keep your website looking fresh.
If any or all of these apply to you, it’s time for a new website.