What makes a good logo?

A logo is obviously very important to your business. It’s is the first impression most people will have of your business. It reveals your brand’s identity and invites customers to get to know you. It sets you apart from the competition. In addition, your logo should be highly usable and easily compatible with your marketing goals.

Tips for designing your logo

  • Your logo is rarely going to stand alone. It’s usually by other elements that represent your brand or company much more than the logo does. So don’t feel as if you have to add everything to your logo that represents everything that your business is. Your logo will be too busy and cause you problems as you try to use it. Your logo should be something that you can use alongside other elements that represent your brand.
  • You need two versions of your logo. You’re going to want a square version and a horizontal version. Once you’ve come up with a design that you suits your brand, you or your designer can rearrange your logo so that you have both a horizontal and a square version. The horizontal version is very useful and easy to use in websites. You can use the square version for profile photos and thumbnails. Vertical logos are awkward and difficult to use, especially in websites. If you absolutely must have a vertical logo, make sure you always have additional layouts available to use.
  • It’s best to use only one or two colors in your logo…maybe three, at most. You don’t want a lot of different colors in your logo design because it is less versatile. Don’t forget that you will need a version you can use on both light and dark backgrounds.
  • You need a vector file for your logo. Let me tell you what a vector is not. A vector is not a PNG, a JPG, a JPEG, a GIF, a bitmap, or a TIF. Those are raster files. When you try to print them, they may appear fuzzy. Plus, every time you share a raster image, it loses pixels and, therefore, decreases in quality. A vector is a mathematical representation of the image. You can make a vector image bigger or smaller without affecting the quality of the picture. This is important when you want to put your logo on a shirt or other promotional materials, which require very large images to get crisp edges.
  • What to do if you don’t have a vector version of your logo. You can always get your logo redesigned. It’s actually not a bad idea to freshen your logo every few years until you’ve firmly established your company’s brand, especially if you’re just starting out. If you already have your logo the way you want it, you can get it redrawn as a vector. This is very affordable. One of my favorite places to use for redrawing logos into vectors is Deepetch. They can complete many redraws for under $20.

Make your mark!

Your logo reflects your values and who you are as a company, but you also want to make sure that it generates the most possible value to your marketing efforts. Keep it simple, memorable, and user-friendly.

 

Why your business needs a NAP

NAP is an industry term for name, address, and phone number…the identifying information for local businesses with a physical location.  All of your NAPs need to be the same. Search engines such as Google and Bing use NAP listing accuracy to establish trust with their users. Directories won’t be confident in showing your business listing if they’re not confident that your business listing is accurate.

Tips to make sure that you’re NAP is a good one

  • First, go to Moz Local to see all of your business listings across major directories such as Bing, Facebook, and Google. This will let you know if you have any incorrect listings. Then, go to those incorrect listings and correct them so that they match everywhere.
  • When key information in your business changes, immediately update your listings. If you’ve changed addresses, locations, phone numbers, business hours, or even your business name, you want to make sure that those are all accurate and consistent. Doing this sends strong signals to Google that you are a verified business in that location that they can trust.
  • Make sure the address you list is only your verified, physical address. Sometimes businesses like to use directions in their address, for instance “top level,” or “second door from the right.” Don’t include this in your address fields. Only list the official physical address. Anything else can hurt your directory listings. You can provide more specific details about how to get to your location by creating a custom map in Google. And, of course, you can list that information along with your custom Google map on your website.
  • Use VoIP as an inexpensive business line option. Obviously, you don’t want to list your cell phone number as your business phone number. You need a separate business phone number. There are some great options for virtual numbers. (It’s technically called VoIP.) One of my favorites is Telzio. It’s very affordable and allows you to choose pricing based on your individual business needs. You can direct a virtual phone number to your cell phone and make calls from that number on your cell phone without needing another phone. 

We could all use a good NAP, amirite?

Just like we all need a refreshing nap once in a while, our businesses also need a good, quality NAP. Keeping your name, address, and phone number accurate, and consistent across the internet establishes confidence and trust. This is extremely important for search engines to continue to show your listing to their users.  

When to Start Marketing Your Event (Psst…You’re Probably Starting Too Late…)

I hate to say this, but you should have finished planning your marketing materials for January about a month ago. BUT, according to an ancient Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.”

Local Event Marketing Tips

  • Get the big picture. Start your year off right by creating a simple yearly marketing planner to guide your marketing efforts. Note any major holidays or observances and determine what special sales, events, or promotions you want to organize for your customers.
  • Always be thinking at least 3 months in advance. In October, we should be planning our January promotions. November should be about planning for Valentine’s day. And so on and so forth…
  • Plan a marketing budget. Many successful businesses budget 7-8% of their revenues for marketing. Cliché, but true: it takes money, to make money.
  • Determine why you are holding your event. What are your goals? The reason should not be to get a lot of attendees. It should have a business purpose, such as to build a custom audience, to promote brand awareness, to get sales, to build customer loyalty. Don’t just have events to have events. Having a business goal for the event will help you with the creative process in designing your materials.
  • Start marketing next year’s event this year. Using Facebook Pixels and ad tracking, you can create a custom audience within Facebook of everyone who is interested in your event or went to an event this year. This not only helps you market to those people next year, it also helps you create lookalike audiences based off people who attended your event. (That was a lot of words. Look for future Marketing Bits on custom Facebook audiences.)
  • Get your timing right. For ticketed events, most people wait 4 weeks before the event to commit and purchase tickets. And so, you should advertise heavily 4 weeks before your event. Your ticket sales will likely double in the last 4 weeks compared to all of the registration done prior to that. For free events, people usually wait until the day before or the day of the event to decide to attend. It’s best to market heavily 2 days before and the day of. That’s when you’ll get the most engagement on your ad.

Don’t stress

Marketing your business can be challenging and a bit overwhelming, but it shouldn’t be so stressful that you decide to do nothing. Allow yourself plenty of time and some budget to successfully plan your events.

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Brown Bag Marketing Bits

Use Facebook Events for every event you want people to attend.

It’s super important for local businesses to create Facebook Events to promote their activities. People can’t attend your event if they don’t know about it. And even if they are aware of it, people are less likely to attend unless we remind them to attend.

Tips for using Facebook Events for your business promotions

  • Don’t just create a post. Create a Facebook Event. When you create a general post for your page timeline, it becomes difficult for people to go and find that post. If someone happens to hear that you have an event going on, and they go to find information about that event, make it easy for them to find the event by having it appear in your Events tab.
  • Facebook will remind people when and where the party’s at. When you enter your event and location, Facebook will prompt people near the event about when and where it’s happening. This is how you can get your event featured as a “suggested event” by Facebook.
  • Facebook will summon your tribe. Facebook will show the event to friends of people who are interested. People can see which of their friends are interested in the event, which creates “social proof” for your event. People are more likely to attend your event if they know friends that are also interested or already attending.
  • Facebook’s got an app for that. Facebook Local is a phone app that helps us stay in touch with everything that’s going on in our local area. It even tells us which of our Facebook friends are interested in those events. But your business can’t take advantage of this if you don’t use Facebook Events.
  • Most importantly…event particpants can be retargeted. Facebook offers a custom audience feature that will gather everyone that marks “interested” or “going”. You can then reach just these people with more info about your event or about future events.  This is one of the biggest reasons we recommend using Facebook Events.

Following Mark’s Lead

Facebook is doing some great things to keep us connected to our families, friends, and communities. In late 2017, Mark Zuckerberg let us know that Facebook’s new goal is to be a “friends and family” platform. Not only do the folks at Facebook want to help us keep up with one another’s pages and statuses, they also want to encourage us to get out and participate IRL! By adding events, you are inline with Facebook’s strategy and will be more likely to get love from the Facebook algorithym. To learn more about how to add your event to Facebook, visit Facebook’s event guide.

How to choose the perfect Facebook event image for pumpkin spice season (and every other holiday, too).

As we prepare ourselves to be hunkered down for the oncoming colder months, we’re busily enjoying a plethora of fall activities and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING. This season as you schedule your promotions and activities, we strongly encourage you to create Facebook Events for everything you want people to attend. Having a great Facebook Event image is one of the most important ways to attract attention when people are scrolling their Facebook feed.

Choosing the best Facebook Event image

    • Images help users imagine themselves at your event. To maximize effectiveness, this should NOT be your logo. Images of people enjoying what they are going to be dong at your event – shopping, eating, smiling – work best.
    • Close-ups are better than crowds. Most of the time, close up photos are better than panoramic views, or scale views of large crowds because they can show emotion better.
    • But sometimes crowds are more important.  If you have an amazing photo of huge crowds of people having a good time at your event, and it’s obvious that it’s your event (and not a stock photo), use that!
    • Use little or no text to keep Facebook happy. We recommend you limit the text on your image to no more than 5 words, but Facebook requires no more than 20% text on your image in order for it to be shown to the most people.
    • Don’t add the event details to the image. The Facebook Event automatically displays the date, time, location, and title of the event with your image, plus a button to click “going or interested.” You don’t have to include this information in the image.

Remember: The image is to capture attention, not to give information. You want Facebook users to stop scrolling because they want to look for the date, time, and location of your event.

Join in on the celebration!

This is a great time for small businesses to host seasonal events, promotions, and activities to get patrons, near and far, into your stores and enjoying your goods and services. Whether you’re in the food business, sell home decor, provide services like beauty and spa, there is something every small business can do to help your patrons celebrate the holiday season!