Thursday, 27 February 2014

Marketing - Nailed it!

 When I saw this picture the first thing I thought about was, 'That is SO my working day!'


Am I an origami master all day? An artisan? A bored, middle aged housewife with nothing better to do? No, I am proud to be ... a marketing professional.

Professionals - Why?

I could write that questions another way - Why does everything look so easy when its done by a professional? Can you try, 'Marketing- Nailed it!' and not make it look like the origami Nasgul? If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. The job of a professional is to produce work that makes it look like you haven't hired a professional to do it. If you tried to do your own marketing which Nasgul would you make?

One of the reasons most people do not choose to use a professional when designing a marketing campaign is the myth that they are too expensive.Spending money is not about what is your outlay - but what the product is worth. Quality marketing brings in more than it costs - that is a positive return. Stop looking at what you're losing and look at what you have to gain.

Graphic Design - Why?

Sometimes I feel that most clients think a great design just 'happens' when we're between cups of mocha lattes and lunch dates, and the media just swishes around screen, paper or lightbox on it's own like the sorcerers apprentice and hey presto! A beautiful design. Sadly, no. We have to work for these designs, that is after several years of education, training and a junior internship, then working long hours to make sure the client gets what they want, when they want it.

Graphic design is a trade. Something you consistently work towards trying to improve, keep ahead of the curve filling your day helping other people make money. A graphic designer makes it his business to know what will work. what won't work and how to reinvent your company image. It's their job - and it's hard work... after years of expensive education. You can't just trawl Google images and come up with a great graphic design, just like you can't buy a bag of tools and call yourself a plumber.

Company Image - Why?

Ok, if you have to ask that question time to shut up shop and become an accountant. Company image is EVERYTHING! Whatever your clients and customers see helps them form a judgment in their mind about your company. If you roll up in 17 year old mini metro with a wheel missing and more rust than body, trying to sell your product to your prospect don't expect a return call any time soon. Selling is about building up trust and a fluent, well presented, relevant company image will build trust faster than a uniform and an official badge. Image sells. It breeds trust, belief and creates a need in your audience that they need your product, but they only trust YOU to sell it to them. Let's face it, if you had to buy an origami Nasgul, which one would you choose? And don't tell me it's a toss up ....

Whatever your marketing needs consider hiring a professional. The design is in the details. We know the market, we know how to use it and we know what makes you look like the best thing since sliced bread. More to the point, we LOVE to market, love to use it and LOVE to make you look like the best since BEFORE sliced bread. The best thing about the whole deal for you? We make you look good - like you did it on your own.

Hire a professional and you can say 'Marketing - We really did NAIL IT - on our own',

Welcome Libertee!

Meet the newest member of our talent team:

Libertee Muzyka


Libertee Muzyka has been a part of Calgary since 1997.  Growing up on a farm, Libertee always had big-city aspirations.  After completing her FBA in photography at ACAD, Libertee immediately made the jump to New York City, where she got a job with the men’s magazines STUFF and Maxim.  The time she spent at the magazine taught Libertee that she was in love with more than just the art of photography, but the entire process of a photo shoot; the hair, the make-up, and of course, the wardrobe.  LIbertee manifested the dream of being involved in all aspects of a photo shoot, when she first honed her skills as a free-lance make-up artist in Calgary (with notable clients including SHAW, The Alberta Ballet, and Mike’s Hard Beverages) and finally, when she opened Pure.Form Salon Studio in 2003 with business partners Dan Lara and Angela Wiebe.  Pure.Form Salon Studios is a Bumble and Bumble concept salon that allows clients to experience the full hair, make-up and photo – shoot experience.  Libertee’s main focus is “Dressed by Libertee” – her own image consulting company.  Libertee also consults and works on select photography projects for Arc Reactions.

Known amongst her peers for her killer sense of style, and commitment to its evolvement, Libertee knows what to wear, who should wear it, and where they should wear it to.  Her keen sense of understanding of wardrobe staples, what’s trending, where you should spend your money, and where you can save make her the perfect shopping partner.  Whether you’ve just got a new job, want a new look, have an event on the horizon or simply need a hand with ‘where to start,’ Libertee can help you dress to your strengths, and accessorize your way to success.
At Arc Reactions we see a significant part our job to you, as creative research.  Research is the backbone to some of the most spine chilling advances in our civilization – and we see it as fundamental to building your brand and defining your corporate image.  A strong and visible corporate image is imperative to business in Calgary, indeed in all businesses, but to build a strong branding image you need to work from an infrastructure of perceptive empathy. We believe that only after you truly understand something can you then be creative with it.  It is through this change in perspective – this paradigm shift – that we can help you express the best of your company through its branding and marketing strategy.
Where others see barriers in purposeful graphic design, print, website design, video services, branding, photography and social media, we see ladders and bridges that haven’t been built yet.  Where others see generic design we see opportunities to push forward and creatively display the defining characteristics of your company to both your clients and your community.

Graphic design, website design, marketing and creative solutions to corporate image is our life. Our goal is to provide Calgary and the surrounding areas with an unparalleled marketing service that works. We care about what we do. We take pride in what we do. We stand by every campaign we are involved in. If it’s not perfect, it doesn’t leave the office.

We would not be much of a company if we didn’t practice what we preach.  That is why we actively engaged in the community around us – using our skills as marketers, innovators, designers, and planners – to help the community we live in.  We actively and passionately support the arts, small business, and non-profit organizations in Calgary, the city over.  We do this through unique ideas that are starting to have significant effects. Whatever we do, we do it with flair, passion and belief. Come and be a part of a revolution in marketing and online marketing. Start a new journey with a company that cares about you, your business, and the world around you. Be a part of Arc Reactions.

Paradigm - a new way of seeing




To create the marketing project for our concept company, Paradigm, we were allowed carte blanche on all concepts of portfolio. The idea was that the invented client had no precognitive ideas about how, why or where the media should go and was happy to let
us conceive, create and communicate the marketing message. The word ‘paradigm’ means in essence, ‘Your view of reality’. This idea that you created your own reality was very exciting and quickly became the firm foundation we knew we could weave into a credible, artistic and spectacular campaign. The driving concept was that we used unfamiliar and exotic images, infused with rich and opulent colour that had a familiar atmosphere so the viewer could imagine themselves in that place or in that setting.


As with all successful media campaigns, there needed to be an anchor running through all the images to link the company into a brand. We decided to use a striking, easily interpreted letter based anchor created in strong, contrasting colours that would not be lost amongst the images, but would complement them and add a strong facet of cohesion. Yellow is a colour traditionally associated with effervescence so we chose a vibrant yellow in tone and hue. The complimentary colour of yellow is blue, but we needed to be careful to select exactly the right shade so that the word art ‘popped’ off the page. The brand logo needed to be able to stand out from the exotic and intoxicating photo. A simple spiral was digitally drawn to symbolize fashioning your own path, and to follow the ‘creating of your own view of reality’ we free-styled the spiral giving it a bohemian appeal.


The branding had purposeful placement so that the continuity of concept flowed through the whole portfolio. Choosing the images for the campaign became easy as we fused the colours of blue and yellow through the graphics, or highlighted splashes of the colours naturally within the image. By using digital manipulation we were able to match the colors of the brand that were found in the photos perfectly fusing the image and brand into one and solidifying the concepts behind the media. We were thrilled with the artistic, expressive and professional outcome of the project.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Calgary plastic business cards - be at the crest of the wave

 The Calgary Transparent Business Card ROCKS!

How's  your business card? Ever heard the phrase 'Never judge a book by it's cover'? Why do we have that phrase? Because every one does! There's another one that is pretty common - 'first impressions count'. You bet they do! And no where is it more important to have a sleek, sexy and sophisticated impression as with you business card.

So what does your business card look like? Bad font ... Oh dear! Flimsy ... Trite design ... might as well get your 4 year old to design it, at least it will have the 'aawwwwww' factor. Your business card is the window to your company - the face you leave behind. Make it a gorgeous one!

Cool plastic is 'the now'.

Calgary plastic business cards are sweeping the industry as they are the image everyone wants to be remembered by. Durable, light weight and versatile they can be molded into any genre and be designed to fit any brand. Whatever you want - it can be done on a Calgary plastic business card.

You need to have the card that looks impressive and lasts forever, as the human spirit seems to favor collecting things - business cards are the obvious choice. Make sure yours is the card that takes pride of place.

5 marketing ideas that create a brand - not a logo

Brand vs Logo

Branding - whats that? Do you know the difference between a brand and a logo? If you don't - you may just miss out on the one of the strongest marketing devices the can be relatively cheap to create and big on return. And it goes deeper than just the marketing. A true brand gives your company image kudos, elevates your status and makes you recognizable in the ever increasing noise of the selling world, and that in turn brings the nirvana of all marketing - leverage. Are you missing out big time?

Your judgement is only as good as your information, so to set the stage for excellent information and therefore, supreme judgment, lets sort out what is the difference between a brand and branding, and a logo.


Often described as an ideogram - and image that embodies something else, which in our case is a company. Logo's are created to project a corporate identity. For instance, a logo can be a clever juxtaposition between typography that is so unique it is linked to a particular company or product. Even 'No named' ranges are identified by packaging style and color - in essence - a logo.


"[A] burning scar [with] bankable value" - Business week. 'Nuff said.

So how do you avoid a the product being recognized by logo, and get a burning scar of branding with bankable value?


Know your audience. This is the vital foundation of branding and if you skimp here you'll never be able to recover. If you don't know what your chosen demographic wants - how can you give it to them?

A brand has to be designed by your potential clients. You need to research what they like, want they want, but most importantly, what influences them. Your research needs to direct your brand in size, shape, form, color, design and look because that's what makes the difference. If you don;t already know - ask them.


The aim of all branding concept teams and graphic designers is to give the company a strong identity, then give the identity a face. It must be recognizable on it's own without an image or tagline, and without words. It needs to be recognized instantly and it needs to speak to the user as soon as it is seen. Your brand, which can include a well designed and thought out logo, needs to stand on it's own two feet, or get crushed in the crowded market it stands in.

Coming up with a strong name can either be fun or a complete burden. Regardless of whether it’s made up (Skype), a misspelling (Google), or a simple word (Apple); it all goes back to your researched foundation marketing strategy.

Be bold! Be brave! Think big! Your brand will blaze or trail - or be nothing at all.


Your brand has to build trust, or it just won't cut the mustard in the business world. Your logo and the image it creates needs to make clients open up and begin to look further, or to encourage them to think outside of the box because YOU are the ones who make it.

Imagine anyone using logo that includes an apple with w bite out of it. What do you think? Is this an Apple site or a rip off? Either way, Apple is such a strong brand it is linked to any related images or designs in the industry. If you decide it's linked and worth it, you trust it.


A strong brand is good looking. Let's face it, who is turned on by ugly? If you're going to create a strong brand you need to stand out int he industry noise, and good looking does it. Even if it's 'ripped off', a strong brand comes out on top as company quality and consumer trust will be linked to the stronger brand. Make it noticed! make it handsome!

The whole point of it being the best looking brand out there is to make an impact. If you don't have to skills to make - hire an excellent, talented graphic design company.

Think skimping here won't make a difference?Take a look at the picture below - guess which one was done by a professional ...

Need I say more?


The details are in the design. You don't need to dress it up with a side order of cerebral brilliance and wash it down with a large gulp of blatant marketing. This is a brand, something your company is to be known by for a long time - possibly forever. Your brand needs to be strong and eloquent and stand alone, your marketing campaigns are the vehicle for brilliance.

Break you design down into elements and look at each one with a critical eye. Ask yourself, 'Does this make my brand stronger?' If it doesn't - reject it. There is no place for clever, whimsical, adaptive or sweet on the corporate branding express.

A full branding package includes a chosen font family as well as recommended measurements that are eventually enforced on all branded objects/materials such as folders, envelopes, business cards, etc. There is a psychology to color, are you a calming company, an exciting company or an aggressive company - you need to figure this out, and how your  audience wants it portrayed.

After that consider shape - does your typography lean to a square, round or flower shape? Do you want a angular image or a soft one? And to what scale? Equivalent? Assorted? Descending? It all has a voice and you need to know what it says, and to whom it speaks. NEVER forget your audience drives your design, not you.

Whatever you are trying achieve, make sure you get a brand, not just a logo. If you haven't got the skills needed - employ them! This is an image that you can't afford to get wrong. Remember in 1985 when Coca Cola changed their formula? There was an outrage that went on for month! Imagine what would have happened if they had wanted to change their name or brand? Brands create loyalty. Get it right from the start, then sit back and reap the rewards of pure marketing genius...

One minute Video Marketing = 1.8 million

Arc Reactions Blog (AR) Calgary Video Marketing - 1,800,000 Words
21 Feb 2014

One Minute Video Marketing – 1,800,000 words.

Why do you need video marketing?

According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, the value of just one minute of video equals that of 1.8 million written words. With the massive amount of digital information being flung at every person on the planet, it has been proven that attention spans are getting shorter. People are hungry for information, but they don’t want to have to work too hard to get it. Knowledge of the written word, and the ability to digest and understand it, is now under question, so how do you reach your chosen demographic in a way that is easy to comprehend but extensive enough to educate? That, my friends, is the power of video. Let’s face it, if you were presented a 2 million word brochure (in three volumes) or a one minute video – which would you choose?
45.5% of internet users watch at least one, one minute video a month, with a massive 100 million people viewing online videos every day you have a large pool of potential customers to drink from. “The average user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos in a month, increasing the chances that your marketing message will be seen,” writes Video Brewery. That’s more than one a day, and each day they watch a new video. The potential of video marketing is huge.

The Magic 10

The interesting thing about video marketing is that nearly all videos are watched for the first ten seconds, then the decision is made whether to watch further or not. In those ten seconds you can impart a huge amount of information. Make those ten seconds sleek, confident, enticing, and you’ll have them to the end. You need to connect with the customer quickly, speak to them fluently and draw them into your message. With a little research into your audience, a lot of knowledge about your subject and a talented videography team you can provide content that instantly catches the attention of your potential customers, and keeps them there.
The attention span of different users also makes interesting reading. “While desktop viewers tend to stick with videos for 2 minutes or less, mobile users seem to have a longer attention span. iPhone users tend to watch for about 2.4 minutes,’ reports Video Brewery, ‘Android users give a video three minutes to engage them and Symbian users stick around for just over 4 minutes. iPad users have the longest attention spans of all, sticking with a web video for an average of 5 minutes.” All these statistics in the right hands can be a powerful way of reaching into the lives of you clients, customers and potential clients, and becoming an integral part of their life. How many times have you had a great discussion that started out with, ‘Do you remember that commercial that …’.

Be Where Your Audience Is

Five tweets per second contain a Vine link. That’s hard to ignore. All of these statistics point to the one fact that for all marketers, the audience is already firmly entrenched in the video world, waiting to be sold to. With the rocketing growth rate of social media video enabled sites, they’re fast becoming the hottest seats in town and filling up quickly. Making yourself available in an easily digested form on these networks expands your reach and embraces a cross pollination of marketing. Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube are all instantly accessible and instantly shareable. Make something good enough – and your audience will come to you.

Appease the Bots of Google

Video marketing is about killing two birds, or more, with one stone. It’s not just your audience that will appreciate the implementation of video, Google will too. The number one search engine no longer favours static websites. Instead, it places more emphasis on sites that produce consistently fresh, quality content, particularly information rich content like video. The Google bots often give a preference to embedded video images rather than text rich pages and place them higher in the search results, mainly because video will catch the eye of the users and is more likely to be clicked through.
If increasing your business is your goal then the video marketing road will take you there. It reaches new audiences, produces easily understood and enjoyed, knowledge loaded information and romances the bots of the search engines to put your brand in an extremely strong position for being at the top of your industry. As a bi-product, it adds another dimension to your company image keeping your social media fresh, memorable and relevant – and that keeps your audience returning.
Great videography make great web content. It’s a wise investment in your product, your service and your company image. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s an expenditure – any well-made videography is versatile and multi-useable and will guide your audience where you want it to go. Go out and reach your demographic, influence them, entertain them, before someone else does.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The top 12 things you need to know for your social media strategy

18 Feb 2014

The Top 12 Things You Need to Think About when Planning Social Media for Your Company

A little more than 5 years ago social media was little more than a novelty that allowed the rising generation to fill their social calendars with duck faced selfies and find out what they should have been studying for their math exam. In those 5 years all channels of social media have undergone a complete reinvention and its importance in the marketing in no longer a point of debate. Businesses have realized the power of social media and are eager to harness it, but, just like any business tool, to maximise its effectiveness – you need to know how to use it.

1.  Just how important is social media to my business?

If you have to ask this question then you may need to take a step back and look how far social media reaches into your life whether your are ‘working your contacts’ or not. Social media is all about connections. Frigyes Karinthy invented the theory that there are 6 degrees of separation between any two people in the world, but with social media that world just shrank to half the estimation.  If you want to reach any chosen demographic then social media is the medium to do it. ‘Refer a friend’ programs have always been the most fruitful marketing, and social media, whether professional or personal, is one enormous refer a friend community – the best thing being, as more people get connected, the network is ever changing and ever regenerating. This means as long as you keep in the arena, the audience will keep coming to you.

2.  It’s bigger than ‘just’ you & your products or services

Social media is more than just an online shop window. Gone are the days when the mere fact that you had a web site was impressive – these days everyone has one. And I mean EVERYONE! The web is full of companies, businesses, celebrities, wannabes and the boy next door putting up pages on anything they desire. Whatever you looking for, you can find a page on it, or two – or three. Where the social media is concerned, more is not always better. There is so much out there that you need an edge to be seen. Social media is not just about having a great service or product, it’s about company image. To cut through the white noise of the internet, you need to be a brand. You have to have something that makes you noticeable, desirable and current. If you don’t, you’ll just get run over in the stampede of slick, well designed and written media.

3.  Content planning & keywords

On the internet there is one ‘thing’ that rules them all. Content is King. No matter how amazing your presentation is or how hip your chosen channel is – if your content is badly written you won’t make any headway. Infact, you’ll lose ground BIG TIME as your company looks out dated, out of touch and unfit to keep up with the rest of the industry. Not only does the content have to relevant, well written and engaging, it has to be littered with the right amount of keywords tailored for your industry and demographic. This means it has to be meticulously planned by someone who knows what is current and can maximise the impact, without looking like they’re working the system. And that takes time and experience.

4.  SEO

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a phrase that has many faces. One week it may be the best thing since sliced bread, and the next week the scourge of humanity. This has created a love hate relationship between SEO and the marketing community. If your SEO is done well it can achieve a marketing miracle. Done badly and it can work massively against your marketing goal and search engine are like elephants – they never forget. Social media is a minefield of white noise and to cut through it you HAVE to use SEO, but you have to know HOW to use it to be successful. It takes skill and experience to work it like a pro without looking forced or unreadable, remember the one ‘thing’ to rule them all? If content is King, your SEO clothes is wears and vehicle that gives it power. If you don’t understand it, employ someone who does.

5.  Pictures and video ARE worth a thousand words.

Remember at school when you were 7 and it was project time? There was always ‘That kid’ at school that bought in a life sized cut out of Albert Einstein, made a scale model of the Challenger space shuttle and had the tastiest cooking from a relevant country? How you hated them – but only because they were more impressive than your malformed blob of modelling clay with a pipe cleaner stuck in it. It’s the same in the grown up world – without the modelling clay. People take notice of the impressive and the beautiful. Don’t believe me? Look at a web page with, and without images. Compare the two. Without reservation the one with images will be more engaging, more persuasive and much more easily read. It will get an infinite amount more traffic too.

6.  Engage the community.

Social media has one advantage above all other media – it’s a two way street. One of its great strengths is the ability to allow users, your customers, the ability to have input. They can tell you what they want, what they need and where they are going to get it done through the different channels, in real time. Social media gives your clients a voice and helps them take ownership of their part in the purchasing cycle – to be involved. It can make an emotional bond and forge a loyalty not so readily available on traditional channels. That is REAL power.

7.  Choosing the right social media

The social media scene is in full swing and gaining momentum at an incredible rate. It will not be stopped. Because of this fast pace and ever changing scenery you need to be sure you know which channel will give you the best return on investment for the time and outlay. You need to know the difference between business connections (LinkedIn) and real time news (Twitter), all the time working the media that romances your chosen demographic. The social media arena is VAST, and getting bigger every day. Do you know the difference between your Vimeo and your Instagram? Vital information for any successful media campaign, it’s like inventing a crash helmet – for goldfish.

8.  The Power of a copywriter

What’s the one ‘thing’ to rule them all? Content is King. The internet is not like writing your average midterm paper. Everything on social media makes a statement about your company. Bad grammar, spelling mistakes and plagiarised content will not be tolerated by a discerning clientele. There is no ‘F for content, A for effort’, in social media. It’s either worth reading, or it isn’t – and you have exactly 3 seconds to make your WHOLE web site worth reading. How many times have you looked at a title, half the first sentence then back spaced to google to find something else? The one thing you have to do is invest in your content. Some sad and lonely people make writing social media copy a profession. Give them a reason to rejoice – it’s their job to make it relevant, engaging and enticing. Good wordsmiths are worth their weight in gold.

9.  Use your blog

Blogs are big business. There is a new wave of books, merchandise and spin off series that all started with the humble blog. Do not underestimate the power of a blog in promoting your business. When it is properly annexed to your site it can be used as an effective SEO tool that is bang up to date, keep your company image constantly reinventing and create loyalty in your clients as they come to know you as a step above the rest. By creating regular content with links to important information you can romance the search engine bots, and your clients all in one readable package. Remember – there’s a reason why content is King…

10.  Consistently consistent consistency

One of the most important things you need to understand is that social media is a long term project. If you believe all the side bar advertising on every web page, your hair will grow back, everyone that is middle aged and single looks like Brad Pitt and your next degree can be consolidated into one week’s study and a three hundred word essay. Social media will not bring you 10,000 new orders overnight and needs a huge time investment. When you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other and nothing is more true to that than any media channel you chose to work with. Your content needs to be consistent whether it’s hourly, daily, weekly or bi-weekly you need to be consistent for some time before it will give you the return you need. You need to keep going whatever the return at the beginning and turning out top quality content on a regular basis to get people engaged, then you need to turn out top quality content to keep them engaged.

11.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Feelings of frustration, inadequacy and being completely overwhelmed are par for the social media course if you chose to do the project yourself. A successful social media campaign is a huge undertaking and a steep learning curve. For a small company one full time employee can manage a complete portfolio and get the return you need so seriously ask yourself if you have that kind of time to invest in it. The other question you need to ask yourself is – if Content is King, am I King Content of the Content People, or just a knight? If you’re not King, you could very well damage your company image and have a negative audience that people, and search engines, will not forget. Be realistic in your time and energy investment. Good quality social media is not a writing job for the feint hearted. For the best ROI, consider hiring a professional leaving you to run your company and develop the leads it produces into real sales.

12.  What to expect if you’re doing it right

The metrics on social media are completely track able, you can get apps, downloads and professional programs that will show exactly how many of what type of people visited your media at any given time on any given day from any given country. Big brother is watching you via social media and is positively encouraging you to ‘poke him’, ‘tweet’ him or tag him in a picture (duck face optional). The biggest metric you can use to see if your social media campaign is working is … are you engaging with more prospective clients? If you are – it’s working. All the other facts and figures you can gather along the way help you refine your social media strategy to make it a work of art that works for you. Does it guarantee a massive, instantaneous increase in sales? No. There is more to selling that social media alone. You web presence, sales ability, company image and brand all play a large part too – but social media helps. Of all your marketing strategies, a robust, educated and professional social media strategy that is well thought out and well executed will give you the best, and quickest, return of any other media. Invest in it and you will keep up with the rest of the industry. Find the right social media company – and you can lead them from way out in front.
No company can afford to ignore its social media strategy. Make it work for you. If you lack the skills to make a cohesive campaign, employ those who do. If you don’t make social media a staple of all your marketing campaigns there is a grave danger you will be drowned out by those who do. Your customers have money to spend, if you don’t bring your product to them via social media, remember… someone else will

Saturday, 15 February 2014

5 things you need to use in B2B social media marketing

The B2B market seems to have been really slow into buying into the power of social media as a marketing tool, but slowly and surely businesses are realizing that their clientele are way ahead in SM game and if they don't catch up quickly are being in danger of being left behind.

A Calgary marketing agency took the time to invest in the numbers that really reveal how quickly business to business social media marketing was becoming the new mixed media 'black'. The results were astounding. As an AdAge survey recently revealed, 80% of B2B marketers plan to increase digital spending next year (up from 67% last year). With a significant percentage of this spending going towards social media marketing, here are a few things every B2B marketer should do.

Invest in a Strategic Plan

There is a very real temptation to dive into social media program without a real strategic plan - It's the 'Hey! I have a Facebook account, how difficult can it be?' attitude that can kill a serious business social media strategy before it's even out the gate. If you don't think that there's a difference between the aims, goals, administrations and effects of the two you need to hire someone who does. It's like saying, 'Hey! A home made go kart made out of a orange box and shopping cart spares and a Ferrari are the same thing - they both have 4 wheels, right?'. Wrong! Don't believe me?  Let's put them in a race then...

On any level, your B2B social media needs very different handling. Start with a solid goal in sight, make a robust plan, see what resources you have, what you need and what works. If you're already out your depth here - time to call someone who knows what they're doing. This is only the beginning...

Build the Right Team

Another very real and extremely common temptation that turns into a fatal mistake is to employ the same social media strategy as openly libeling the competition, intentionally butchering your brand image and generally going out on the most powerful media on the globe and inserting your foot firmly in your mouth. Or in other words abdicating the responsibility for all your social media to your wife's brothers friends 10 year old cousin as he 'knows more about it' that you do - or even worse - a clueless intern. Social media is the face of your company. Make it pretty people! Knowing how to use social media is not the same as leveraging social media to put you in pole position.

If you don't have a marketing or brand minded person on your team who plenty of time to spare (let's face it - who does!) then look for someone who is. And doesn't mean employing one more mouth to feed. There is plenty of expertise out there - and it doesn't have to be local. This is the digital age. You can chose a talented Calgary marketing agency and live in Texas and still have the social marketing package of your dreams.

Know the Tools

If you're in a race round a race track then you need the Ferrari, if you're running round the side walks and pavements of your local neighborhood and parks, you can't beat a home made go kart. It's the same with social media. You need to know what media is best leveraged for the situation. Can you own a certain media - Heck yeah!

For example, whether they're sharing photos "From the Factory Floor" or showcasing "Badass Machines," General Electric does a great job on Pinterest. When it comes to images, Maersk is leading the B2B pack on Instagram.

And don't forget the need for your SM being SEO rich. If you don't know what or how to do this - then I'll refer you back to that Calgary marketing agency...

Include Content Marketing

Content marketing should be an important part of your overall strategy. This includes creating blogs, photos, videos, and other content to promote what you do. In fact, promote might be the wrong word; educate is probably more precise. According to a recent IDG Connect B2B study, 89% of IT buyers want educational content. This same study notes that, "IT buyers will soon look to social media as the single most important content source to inform their buying decisions." And it won't stop with IT buyers - it hasn't and it won't!

Whether you're creating short YouTube videos demonstrating how to use products or hosting live Twitter chats, the goal should be to educate buyers. Perhaps your core audience aren't avid social media users, but if your content is exceptional, they will find you, remember you, and work with you.

 Return the Compliment

Want to be liked, tweeted, posted and pinned? Then reach out to others and like, tweet, post and pin them! This will build up your network and give you a friendly and inviting face that will attract like minded business and clientele. By promoting others on your social media you quickly promote yourself. It's a huge time investment, but the return is beyond belief.

While those of us in the social media marketing world might argue over B2C versus B2B needs, there is a new buzzword that is getting some traction online: H2H. Human-to-human marketing is really nothing new, but it does force us to remember that at the core of all social media marketing we are quite simply people talking to people. With a solid plan in place, some creative ideas lined up, and the right team and partners at the helm, every B2B company has the chance to shine bright in this space - even the go karts, the Ferrari's and the Calgary Marketing Agency.

Friday, 14 February 2014

The Medium is The Message

For as long as man has been alive the ability to communicate by images has been a solid, reoccurring theme that has ruled civilizations and illuminated the masses. From the dawn of time pictures have were used to communicate and to convey and preserve information. So much so, some images have been so conditioned by the communication they carry that cultures and periods of time can be identified from them. No matter what the evolution of people, the one thing that remains is the fact that the medium is the message. In other words - pictures sell.

Marshall McLuhan coined the phrases 'The medium is the message' and 'Global Village'. He had a believed that technology would create one 'Global village' and that images would be the foundation of it. This theory was based on the study he had made about communication and it's evolution over time. This all sounds very unexceptional as nearly any person on the planet could tell you that the digital era has created one 'Global Village', except for one thing - he died in 1980, before the internet was even a sketch on a napkin.

The theories of Marshall McLuhan has nearly all come to fruition, but why are they so accurate when he knew little of the technology that was to come long after he was gone? The one foundation that he built his theory from was that technology would link cultures, countries and people and that images would be the universal language. And he was right. He knew that people are attracted to images and that a message was more easily digested if it was presented in photos, drawings or now, mini videos that litter the internet. He was one of the pioneers that recognized that the new evolution of mankind was influenced by graphic art, photography and video making as a marketing media. He recognized the power of images and that the medium truly is the message - and the company that understands that this principle will lead the rest.

By making high quality and expressive image based marketing you can attract your chosen demographic to you, cutting down your outbound marketing. The way you chose to represent your image is up to you, but remember there is a message in every inch of image. BE careful of what it says. One of the smartest moves you can make is to start a mixed media marketing campaign based on images, and right next to it... hire a marketing professional! By doing that you'll ensure that your campaign is remembered for all the RIGHT reasons....

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

How to use graphic design

How graphic design and online marketing are inextricably linked.

If you're a business person you are more than fully aware of the importance of first impressions. EVERYTHING that leaves your company is creating a first impression somewhere, so you need ot be sure that that impression is the one you want to portray. With the onslaught of digital media, your first impression doesn't even need to leave your company - people will come to you.

If you surf a couple of forums or read a few company sponsored tutorials it's easy to get the impression that building your own online marketing campaign is easy, and in some ways it is, but building a persuasive, impressive and completely enticing online presence that has that 'Wow' factor is not. First impressions count, so your online marketing from the header to the last pixel of footer, needs to be mind blowingly astounding to stand out in the crowd. The internet is jam packed full of mediocre, badly filled web pages that constitute the white noise of online marketing. To drown it out you need to have your online marketing created by graphic design. In short where web pages are considered - Graphic Design Sells.

By incorporating graphic design into your web site you add a stylish dimension that reflects on your company image. You begin the create brand with every inch of your online real estate. In effect, using a graphic design service maximizes the impact of every page and makes people WANT to read your web site. Your bounce rate will lower, your page views and pages viewed will increase without you having to do a thing. It's win / win situation with you in complete control of where you herd your customers, and your potential customers.

One of the reasons that using a graphic design service in your online marketing is so effective, is that the cohesion a styled campaign produces also solidifies a company brand. Every image, text and layout can reinforce your brand visually, using another part of the brain to infuse with your company image and make it memorable. So memorable you wont have to change it for a long time.

Graphic design may be considered an outlay, but the return is more than worth it. It also lays the foundation for future work, making them an 'add on' rather than a total campaign. It will also free up a lot of your time getting frustrated over sketchy pencil lines on scraps of paper as you try and design the 'Wow' factor into your web site - taking you away from running your company. Sometimes working harder isn't whats needed, sometimes you need to work smarter - and there's no smarter decision than using graphic design in your online marketing.

Why use video marketing in social media?

What use is video in company branding?

Video may have been seen as a great way to find on old tune you sang at high school, or to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite TV drama, but due to it's phenomenal popularity YouTube has managed to make video sexy. It's the new black as far as marketing is concerned. It's versatile, informative and ready for an image hungry audience that has grown up in front of the TV and games machine.

Just take a look at these facts

Just think about it...

Over 100 hours of video is uploaded on to YouTube every minute. There are over 4 billion video views a day. There are 800 million unique users every month.

And why do they keep coming? Video! Your customers want to SEE what is out there. They want to learn, be entertained and now ... to spend money.

There are over 3 billion monetizing video views each month. YouTube mobile gets over 600 million views a month. 98 of AdAges top 100 companies run successful YouTube ads.

That's one HUGE captive audience.

Video is the new advert 'on demand'. Whenever you are needed you can be found on YouTube, vimeo or your company website and be easily identified and remembered. It can sear the image of your brand onto those who watch and give them a mental image that they can remember. With video marketing on your web site its a win/win situation. Your audience gets the information you want, and you get the branding you need.

Video marketing is extremely powerful in any marketing armory but is used a lot less often than it could be. It's a case of companies throwing the baby out with the bath water. And why do they do it? Because the perception is that video branding and marketing is expensive. With movies costing in excess of a small countries total debt deficit and still not reach every person on the planet, the image that any movie making has cost more than it's worth. It's the number one urban myth that stops video marketing successfully sweeping every companies website into gold position - and it is SO wrong. 

As good as he is, Steven Spielberg does not have to direct your companies marketing video to make it successful. Hugh Jackman and Tatum Channing do not have to appear as extras in the background, though it may help your viewing figures, and you don't have to hire half of California's real estate to make it look realistic. Video can be like all marketing - a clever use of your budget, if you get the right video marketing company to make it for you. Excellent quality company videos and branding can come from a very small company as it's talent that makes it successful, not size. Video marketing is cheaper than you think.

One of the most cost effective things about video advertising is it's versatility. One video can be used in a multitude of ways. Make the right video and you can post it on your website, use it in online video marketing, base an email marketing strategy to include it and posy it on good old YouTube for an instant audience of 4 billion ... a day.

Don't believe it? Look at these amazing examples here:

If you want your company to be ahead of the curve in branding and in marketing, talk to a video marketing company. See what they can offer. Look at their portfolio. Incorporate their ideas into your companies website and online marketing. DO NOT BE LEFT BEHIND! If you don't provide your customers with video marketing and branding - someone else will.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Why pay to hire graphic design professionals?

Why pay to hire graphic design professionals?

Why Graphic Design Matters….making people want your products/services.

When you’re running a business it’s easy to look at every penny you spend on anything other than product as wasted money. It’s hard not to want to hoard your money under a roll of bubble wrap in the hole in the floor of the mail room and hope that the need goes away. Running a business is not just about selling a product, it’s about making people want to BUY your product. And they are two very separate areas of expertise, but both equally as important. When they work together they produce marketing that can achieve real, culpable results that are worth far more than money.
If your talents lie in selling, running a company and organizing stock, and graphic design is not your forte, then hiring graphic design professionals is not a liability, it’s an investment. Designing brochures, business cards, banners and marketing collateral that sell is their profession. They live, eat, sleep, breathe design to a degree that borders on zealous evangelism, making sure they know what graphic design sells, what’s in vogue, about to be in vogue or what will catch on like gossip in a sophomore dorm. You are paying for a tool that supplements your talent for selling, making your job easier, freeing up time for you to do what you do best – sell!

What Does Good Graphic Design Look Like?

Good graphic design has a high ROI (return on investment) as it leaves a positive, lasting impression of your company with your customers, clients – and more importantly – future clients long after you are gone. In most cases, the effectiveness of your investment will be paying dividends long after the last payment has been cashed and the designs been archived. An excellent graphic design is expressive, timeless and stylish and can be used for an infinite amount of time before it needs any change.

How Much Should You Pay for a Good Designer?

How much you pay for your graphic design is in your control, but make sure that you are positive the design company you use understands you and your message, and have a clear path on how they will get that message out to your chosen demographic. They will be the ones who will create a visual presence for your company and you need to be confident that they not only know how to project the image you want to be known by, but that they also know HOW to project that image. A good graphic design company knows what media channel favors what design, what devices are best used and how to leverage them to their full potential. They know what is needed to create a company brand, rather than a logo and what is needed to build a successful company image. The right graphic design company can advise you of what is necessary, what is important and what is just a passing phase. Never be afraid to use their expertise and let them drive the process. They do this for a living. Let them do their job – whilst you do yours.
Over the course of your company history, nothing will be more important than the image of your brand. If you calculate how much you have spent on graphic design to create the brand, the cost is minimal – but the return palpable. It’s not so much a matter of ‘Why pay for graphic design’, and more a question of, ‘How much of a return will I get on a brand?’ The answer to that is – with the right company, more than you realise.