branding

Telling a story through advertising is one of the most effective ways to run a successful and engaging campaign. However, mastering the art of visual storytelling is certainly no easy task. The narrative that you choose to run with must coincide with your brand ideals and, more importantly, it should be in line with the types of content your audience will react to.

iStock_000071388415_Medium

Below you will find three important tips to help you identify the story your brand should tell to make the most impact.

Play on emotion and logic. Instead of speaking of the direct benefit or use for your products or services, shed light on the emotional benefits they offer. For example, if you’re selling lawn care services, center your advertising campaign around how much more relaxed and carefree homeowners can be knowing their turf is in good hands, rather than the specifics of each service. Sure, homeowners know what it looks like to see a freshly mowed lawn, but do they know what it feels like to have their lawns kept fresh and green without lifting a finger? Let your advertising paint that picture.

Solve a problem. At the end of the day, consumers want to know how your products or services can help them succeed. While throwing statistics and results out there might appear to be the fastest way to get your point across, it’s not always the most well-received option. Instead, try telling a story to explain the power of your product and its benefits. Take the Allstate “Mayhem” ad campaign for example. The brand found a clever way to create an ongoing narrative that presents issues that only Allstate is qualified to solve.

Leave some stones unturned. Any good advertising campaign pulls consumers in with just enough to leave them wanting more! The goal of advertising is inevitably to drum up business, so your story should be left open-ended enough for consumers to feel compelled to contact your company for more information.

Here at Creative Partners, finding new ways to ensure your brand voice is heard above the ruckus is a challenge that we’re always excited to accept. Our commitment to developing personalized, relevant and inspiring messaging for each of our clients is unmatched by the competition.

To learn more about how we can help your company come up with a compelling and influential advertising story, call 203-705-9211 today! For more tips, find us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.

{ 0 comments }

Adopting a brand voice, if executed correctly, allows a company to take on a personality of its own, which can be very beneficial when appealing to consumers. While it may seem simple, crafting a brand identity can be difficult, especially if you don’t know where to begin. To help get your creative juices flowing, here are four key points to keep in mind when establishing and maintaining the perfect brand voice for your business:

Define your brand. Pinpoint the message and brand identity that you would like to portray. Ask yourself who you are as a brand, what sets you apart from your competitors, and what you would like your audience to take away from interacting with your company. For example, if your brand places a heavy emphasis on customer service and convenience, your brand voice should come off casual and approachable, while still retaining authority as an expert in the industry.

Brand

Reflect on your audience. Oftentimes the audience you think you’re targeting and the audience you’re actually reaching can be quite different. Take a look at the current market for your products or services, and identify any common characteristics that exist among users. You need to know who the general audience is first in order to dig deeper to find out what they will respond to.

Think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to be creative and try new things. After all, no one has ever had a successful breakthrough by repeating the same tired steps over and over again. Examine your current brand voice against your brand values and intended audience, and make adjustments as necessary. Most importantly, trust your gut and don’t hold back! Every new idea has the potential for greatness.

Be consistent. The most common pitfall that companies fall victim to is a case of confused identity. Your values, audience and voice should parallel and complement one another across all platforms. Too many businesses adopt a casual, friendly voice on social media, while retaining a stuffy, professional voice across other avenues. Find a happy medium and stick to it.

Developing an effective brand voice can be a difficult endeavor, so why go it alone? The advertising experts at Creative Partners can help you craft your voice to perfection, positioning your brand with a faithful consistency of message that will resound and be well-received across all media channels.

To learn more about how we can help your business develop its brand voice, call us at 203-705-9211 today! For more tips, find us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.

{ 0 comments }

It’s not the holiday season unless every TV ad brings you to tears — whether by sadness or joy. And it should come as no surprise; after all, the best ads evoke strong emotion.

Female using mobile smartphone outdoor, nature background

Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite holiday campaigns of the year:

1. Edeka

This TV spot for German supermarket company Edeka takes audiences on an emotional roller coaster ride. We don’t want to completely give it away, but it involves a lonely grandpa coaxing his family to get together for the holidays. In less two minutes, you’ll feel the myriad of emotions that makes this commercial stand out.

2. TK Maxx

An apt slogan sums up TK Maxx’s 2015 ad campaign: “They might not be your dearest, but they’re your nearest.” This heartfelt advertisement out of the UK draws on our predilection to connect with those around us, whether or not we know them at all. Its message will make you want to build a better relationship with the people who make up your community — and isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

3. Kohl’s

The holiday season is about celebrating togetherness, and this ad for Kohl’s hits the nail on the head. As we watch a holiday meal unfold, we’re reminded that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to family. What makes the advertisement successful is that it feels so normal and so special all at the same time.

What’s been your favorite holiday campaign of the season? Share your thoughts with Creative Partners on Facebook and Twitter today.

{ 0 comments }

Instagram Advertising 101

by Brandon Berte on December 3, 2015

For a brand to be noticed, it needs to be in front of as many eyes as possible. With 400 million active users, photo and video sharing app Instagram certainly fits the bill.

Instagram application on Apple iPhone 5S

Here’s what you need to know before diving into Instagram advertising:

Demographics. According to Pew Research Center, 28 percent of online adults use Instagram. Moreover, 55 percent of online young adults (ages 18-29) use Instagram. Here’s a closer look:

2015-08-19_social-media-update_09

Who can advertise? Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion back in 2012. Any business or brand with a Facebook Page can advertise on Instagram. Ad information and design — including name and logo — are pulled directly from Facebook. Instagram ads can be created using ad creation, Power Editor or the Facebook Ads API.

Targeting. Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, its ads have similar targeting capabilities. If an Instagram user has his or her profile connected to a Facebook account, in-depth profile information can be used for targeting.

Picture1

Picture2

Success stories. Businesses of all sizes have benefited from Instagram advertising. Instagram points to three big brand success stories: Lexus, PayPal and GE. Click through to read how these companies achieved their advertising goals and more.

Interested in promoting your brand on Instagram? Allow the experts of Creative Partners to help! We understand the many ways to enhance your presence on Instagram and throughout other emerging online platforms. To get in touch, call us at (203) 705-9211. For more tips, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

{ 0 comments }

When it comes to content marketing, text is passé; visual content — everything from infographics to videos — is in. And it’s only going to get bigger. Fail to get on board with this trend, and your brand will almost certainly be left in the dust. Here’s why:

  • The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text
  • Ninety percent of all information transmitted to our brains is visual
  • Seventy percent of sensory receptors are located in the eyes
  • When processing visual information, 50 percent of your brain is active
  • Forty percent of people respond better to visual content

Human Eye on vector technology pattern Background

But that’s not to say that every kind of visual content is right for every brand. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular forms:

  1. Video– Not only has YouTube exploded over the last few years (it’s now the second-largest search engine), but now more social networks are embracing native video as well. In fact, Facebook’s algorithm gives native video content preference over other types.
  2. Photos– Stock photos will work, but users often prefer photos taken by and of you, your company and your team. This personal, behind-the-scenes touch can add that extra something to your digital marketing campaign.
  3. Infographics– No matter what industry you’re in, you have information that can be shared with the public. Data that’s laid out in a visual format is easy to digest.
  4. Screenshots– Whether you’re telling a story or giving directions, a simple screenshot can often describe what words cannot.
  5. Memes– This type of content works best for brands with a sense of humor. Don’t be afraid to dive in if a popular meme seems relevant for your business.
  6. Graphics– Turn plain text content into graphics to make it more pleasing to the eye. For example, overlay a photo with an inspirational quote for a motivational post that’s also engaging.

We at Creative Partners understand and embrace the trend towards visual content. With 25 years’ experience in branding and advertising, we make it our responsibility to deliver smart design anchored in your mission and aligned with your brand message. To learn more, give us a call at (203) 705-9211. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn for more tips!

{ 0 comments }

“Micro-Moments” has been one of 2015’s most-buzzed about terms, at least in the world of online marketing. The idea, ushered in by none other than Google, asserts that consumer decision making and preference shaping has been forever changed, due in large part to the rise of mobile technology.

Micro-Moments - How Mobile Inquiries Are Shaping Purchasing Decisions

Google explains:

Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. The powerful computers we carry in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we are looking for when we are looking. We want things right, and we want things right away.

Researchers have discovered the following about consumer behavior with regard to micro-moments:

  • Sixty-nine percent of smartphone users who travel search for ideas during free moments, like while waiting for a cab
  • Almost half of those travelers will then book their plans through an entirely different channel
  • Ninety-one percent of smartphone users refer to their phones while performing a task
  • Eighty-two percent of smartphone users refer to their phones while making an in-store purchase decision
  • About one in 10 of those smartphone users wind up selecting a different product than they had originally planned
  • Sixty-nine percent of online shoppers consider quality, timing and/or the pertinence of a business’s message in their evaluation of a brand

What does it all mean for marketers? For a brand to compete, it must understand and meet consumers’ demands during micro-moments. It must be visible in the moments when members of its target audience consult their phones in the decision making process.

If you need help making sense of micro-moments and the opportunities they present, connect with Creative Partners by calling (203) 705-9211. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn for more tips!

{ 0 comments }

Native advertising is a creative way for companies to sell their products. No matter what websites you visit, you’re most likely exposed to some sort of native advertising fairly frequently. This form of advertising attempts to blend in with your normal everyday content, whether it’s in a Buzzfeed article on the scariest haunted houses in your area or in a YouTube video explaining how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

Native ads don’t have a clear definition, but put into simple terms, they are a form of advertising so tightly intermixed within the site they’re being promoted on that customers usually can’t tell they’re advertising. This brilliant new form of advertising came into play after researchers found that consumers strongly dislike and pay little attention to traditional banner ads. The media industry found a way to eliminate the banner ad and creatively advertise within the content itself.

iStock_000033325260_Medium (1)

Here are some useful tips on native advertising:

Whatever medium you use to advertise, native ads can offer major benefits to your business. Some of these benefits include:

  • Building brand awareness and trust
  • Bringing subscribers to your content
  • Attracting new audiences to previously published posts
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social proof (likes, comments and shares)

To get the most out of your native ad investment, it is essential that you create content that is beneficial and interesting, attracts attention and provides some sort of value. Be sure to follow these steps:

  • Publish the content that the ad is promoting on your own site. If your article features infographics, charts or graphs, be sure they appear on your site first with their own URLs.
  • Always include a call-to-action that links to your blog or other social media pages.
  • Create content your audience will find less disruptive and more engaging through segmentation with tools such as geo-targeting, demographics and interests.

Retarget native ads to people who have come to your website to view a product or service, or deliver native ads based on search interest. For example, if own a nightclub, you could deliver a promoted tweet suggesting your venue to someone searching for things to do this weekend. Targeting the right person can encourage first time and repeat purchases.

To learn more about how to incorporate native advertising into your overall strategy, give Creative Partners a call at (203) 705-9211. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn for more tips!

{ 0 comments }

Social media used to be a place for friends to share status updates and reconnect, but that’s all changed. Today, social networks are the be-all and end-all for marketing. It should come as no surprise, then, that a large percentage of consumers (74 percent!) turn to social media before making a purchase.

iStock_000075918357_Large

But what exactly does that mean? Are consumers opening Twitter and buying the first product that pops out? Not quite.

It’s more about brands than products. Companies are using social media to reach a wider audience while also creating a consistent and personable brand voice. Consumers find this to be endearing, building brand loyalty. Here are a few other ways shoppers use social media:

  • Trend watching – Consumers turn to their favorite social platforms to keep up with the latest in everything from fashion to technology.
  • Finding new brands – Social media is also a great way to discover and learn more about new businesses.
  • Customer service – Buyers have come to expect fast responses to questions, comments and concerns, whether through a Facebook review or an Instagram comment.

What this all means for brands is that, yes, it’s important to be present on social media. But having a plan is even more essential. That’s where Creative Partners can help. With 25 years of experience, we deliver the goods. We deliver motive: motive for buying, motive for selling, motive for igniting.

To learn more, visit us online or call us directly at (203) 705-9211. Don’t forget to connect with Creative Partners on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

{ 0 comments }

Walk into just about any store in the mall and you’d think it’s the holiday season. Yes, retailers are already revamping aisles and displays for the holidays. Shouldn’t you be preparing your online ad campaigns as well?

This year, more consumers are expected to do their holiday shopping on mobile devices than ever before. At the same time, more people are turning to social media to discover new brands and find the perfect gift.

Facebook Advertising - Preparing for the Holiday Season - Creative Partners

All that said, make the following tweaks to your Facebook advertising campaign now to make the most out of the coming months:

Reconsider your target audience. Do your best to put yourself in the consumers’ shoes. What activities do they enjoy? What are their interests? How do they spend their time — both online and offline? Use Audience Insights, a free Facebook tool, to take a closer look at your audience and its demographics. Pay close attention to data on past purchases, location and lifestyle.

Make your ads mobile-friendly. Facebook reports that, in 2014, almost half of all online shopping traffic came from mobile devices. Moreover, 56 percent of in-store purchases were influenced by mobile experience. If your holiday ads aren’t optimized for mobile and desktop, then you’re missing out.

Budget wisely. It’s important that your brand is visible on and around key dates this holiday season, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. (Companies like Amazon and Best Buy are already releasing sneak peeks at their deals.) Consider advertising limited-time offers — such as free shipping and coupon codes — specifically for these popular events.

Creative Partners is a full-service marketing agency. Allow us to help your business excel this holiday season and beyond. Give us a call today at (203) 705-9211, and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

{ 0 comments }

Your business’s website is a launch pad, it’s a hub. It’s where your social channels are optimized and where your traditional advertising leads. Looking to get the most out of your company’s website? Adhere to these tips:

Figure out what’s working. First and foremost, it’s important that you understand what’s working for your business and what’s working against it. There’s no need to eliminate any content and page titles that are already working well on your company website. Make a list of what needs to be reworked, and go from there.

businessman drinking coffee in office

Find new opportunities. After you’ve determined what about your brand’s website works and what doesn’t, it’s time to figure out where you can improve. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find keywords that you should focus on to boost your company’s rankings on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! Use Google Analytics to ascertain the browsers and operating systems of your visitors, top exit pages, best-performing content and much more.

Pay attention to your website’s back end. This is where page title tags, meta descriptions and alt attributes matter. Make sure they’re up-to-date and working for you!

Create relevant content. After you’ve found a group of keywords you’d like to focus on, build original content that incorporates those terms. It doesn’t have to be just text, either — think about recording useful video content as well!

If you’re serious about getting the most out of your marketing campaigns, turn to Creative Partners. Our expert staff will help you choose and optimize keywords, build relevant ads and create ad extensions that help ensure optimal results. To learn more, visit www.CreativePartners.com or give us a call at (203) 705-9211.

For more tips, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!

{ 0 comments }