How to Prep Your Company for 2018

It’s 2018 and time to kickass and reach your goals and objectives! With the economy going strong and signs suggesting it staying that way, let’s plan on making the most of things in 2018!

It helps tremendously to write your goals down into measurable actions that you can track. Are you ready to meet your 2018 gols? Let’s get started:

  1. Write your goals down
  2. Develop a plan on what it’s going to take to reach those goals
  3. Map out specific steps, actions and items you need to do as well as by when they need to be done in order to reach your goals
  4. Set KPI’s to track these goals and objectives and what the specific measure will be
  5. Delegate responsibilities for each item and assign deadlines
  6. Determine what the milestones are which will indicate that you are on track
  7. Check frequency to ensure you are on track
  8. If you find you’re off track, adjust accordingly
  9. Use a dashboard to track how you are performing against your KPI’s
  10. Crush those goals and objectives

You can go into 2018 with confidence knowing you have a plan for what you are setting out to accomplish this year. Now go out and make it happen!

Brand Iron is your all-inclusive marketing agency. Whatever your goals this year are — or if you want help nailing down some powerful goals for 2018 — we’ve got you covered. Drop us a line at 303.534.1901 or visit us at brandiron.net today!

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#mareting #branding #prepfor2018 #2018goals

Wearing Sandals in the Snow—Why Marketing Copy Changes With the Medium

The need to change the way you write depending on the medium should be as obvious as the need to change your clothing depending on the weather, but this need is often overlooked.

Unfortunately for your bottom line, if there’s a disconnect between the chosen medium for your marketing campaigns and the writing style used, your content could be rendered entirely ineffective. Consumers are accustomed to certain conventions that, when ignored, can turn them away from your content faster than a cat from a bath.

There are a number of things to consider when it comes to writing content for marketing materials

  • Initial Audience Interest
  • Language Formality
  • Number of Visuals
  • Optimal Length
  • Target Audience

Blog posts typically incorporate a less-formal voice and can vary in length from a few hundred words to over one thousand. Initial audience interest is higher than with an email so introductions don’t have to be as to-the-point.

Email: Emails can be a great way to reach known prospects…if they actually open it. They should be short and sans fluff. An accurate but attention-grabbing subject line is a must, and make sure images scale with the viewing device.

Presentation: If you’ve ever been subject to a presentation that hits you with a wall of text slide after slide while the speaker reads verbatim, you understand the importance of minimizing copy. Things like pitch decks—A.K.A. capital raise decks—internal briefings or anything that uses a PowerPoint format should contain bulleted talking points only. No Paragraphs! If you can’t remember all the information of a topic, it’s time for an infographic.

Print: Print may be seen as antiquated but it still plays an important role in marketing. While the length of the copy depends on the document (sales slick, brochure, billboard, etc.) the tone is more formal, unless your corporate voice dictates otherwise.

Social Media: Social media posts are short and catchy. Your best bet is grabbing your reader’s interest and linking them to a blog post, product page, or web site. Pairing images with content in your post will boost its effectiveness.

Video: Videos, whether live-action or animated, may not show copy, but the the script is really important. Narration should complement the visuals, not overpower them. Viewers’ attention will be split between their eyes and ears so scripts should be kept simple while complicated concepts are explained visually.

Web: Web content needs to be brief. If the purpose of your website is to turn prospects into customers, less is more. Bombarding visitors with text or showing them a cluttered site that lacks a coherent design is a sure way to lose a sale. While the tone of your site’s messaging depends on your company’s voice, its delivery should be streamiled and optimized for a variety of viewing devices.  

 

If your marketing materials are wearing sandals in the snow, we can help. Brand Iron specializes in creating effective copy for every format to elevate your brand above the competition and increase your bottom line. Call us today at 303.534.1901 or visit us at brandiron.net.

 

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#marketing #branding #copywriting

How to Brand Multiple Companies Under One Business

When you acquire or merge with a company with new products and services, it presents a couple of questions. Where does this company fit in the existing brand? How do you brand multiple companies under one brand? Here are several things to consider when your company grows to this point.

1. What are your bigger picture goals and objectives: Based on what you are trying to accomplish, you should determine how you need to brand and positioning the company to achieve these specific goals.

2. Where do you want to take the companies in 2-3 years: Now it’s time to determine which of the brands will get you to these goals and objectives faster. If you can’t successfully see one of the companies joining with the other, it may be time to think about developing a new brand all together.

3. Get your duck in a row: You need to make sure whichever direction you go that you have the intellectual property rights associated with that company and brand. Items such as URLs, trademarks, patents, etc. 

4. Develop a brand transition plan: Next you need to develop a plan with key items you need to do in order to brand the companies under one brand. Things such as flipping over the websites to the new brand, new sales and marketing material, etc. 

5. Internal brand rollout: This will act as an internal guide for transitioning the brand within the company, your partners, and vendors. You will announce the reasoning for this shift, the new messaging, brand guidelines, and a long-term plan for what people should expect going forward.

6. Announce new brand: How you are going to message the brand change/evolution on social media? You want to be prepared for this announcement and should wait until you are united on all fronts. There are a lot of factors to consider and you need to determine how you will communicate your brand change to the market. You may want to develop a press release on what this message is and where people should turn if they have questions.

7. Update Social Media: A great way to communicate your new brand is through social media. Are you going to utilize the same press release content to share the news? Use all social media platforms to interact and inform your audience and respond to any questions or concerns. Continue to post on social media with any announcements, further changes or updates regarding the new brand!

Taking these items into consideration when you are branding multiple companies under one business will streamline the process and help keep everyone on track. If you need help branding multiple companies under one business, Brand Iron will help strategically package the companies in order to successfully take the new brand to market. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see our services can help!

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#brandstrategy #companyacquisition #companymerger #marketing

Design Trend: Custom Hand-Drawn Illustrations

As 2017 is coming to a close, we’re getting excited to see what design trends will emerge and rule in 2018. This upcoming year will be all about taking risks with bold imaginations, vibrant colors and experimentation. Design trends continue to evolve and change, building off of each other. Hand drawn illustrations are based off of a traditional, pre-digital look. We started to see a rise in these designs in 2017 and they are continuing to gain popularity as we enter 2018. The world of digital is being married with traditional hand drawings and it has created a unique, edgy look unlike any other. Hand drawn illustrations join together traditional illustrations with the new digital age and it has created a this new amazing look!

Every hand-drawn illustration takes a lot of talent and imagination to create. In 2017 we saw these illustrations standing alone in this digital world and they really made an impression on people. In 2018 we are seeing this trend evolving as these illustrations are being combined and overlaid with graphics. The incorporation of negative space, custom graphics and different typography is bringing this look to the next level.

          

The combination of two drastically different styles has indeed attracted attention. Hand drawn illustrations put the designers skill to the test by combining their free hand drawing skills with their graphic design skills to create one cohesive complex piece creates an instant eye-catcher.

Designers are incorporating new elements as the protagonist to catch people’s attention. We love how these elements interact with photography. This can be used for both photos and for type.

We predict that this design trend will be in the forefront of emerging design trends in 2018. This trend has the ability to be designed and shaped for traditional businesses as well as new, edgy businesses who to disrupt the status quo. Whether a traditional B2B company or a new startup, this design trend will help you stand out from your competition and we at Brand Iron love it! If you want want to breath new life into your brand with a new design, visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started.

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#designtrend #graphicdesign #design #marketing #designtrend2018

Harnessing Technology to Maximize your Business Returns!

How your business can keep pace with digital innovation.

In today’s world technology is a fundamental piece of your business strategy. The challenge facing businesses in this changing digital world is how to harnesses these technologies and use them to your advantage. The right use of technology helps companies become more efficient and productive as well as connect with their customers and track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at some of the technology tools that we can harness to improve our business.

1. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) – Social media is much more than just posting on your company page. How many of us are really utilizing social media to grow our sphere of influence? Engage our target audience? Build our customer base? I think most of us can do a better job of this. Interacting with your social media community is just s important as posting relevant content.

2. Social media management tools (Hootsuite, etc.)  – You can utilize social media management tools to schedule and manage your social media posts. Some tools also allow you to see your level of engagement as well as respond to and interact with your followers. Tools like this boost efficiency and maximize your time investment.

3. Social media analytics You can utilize social media analytics tools to see how well you are engaging with your friends, targets and community. Track what tactics work best for driving results, engagement and traffic to your website which generates leads. Use these insights to tailor your strategy accordingly.

4. Email distribution systems (Swit Pages, Constant Contact, etc.)  – You can use a third-party platform to send out emails, track who opens them and see who is clicking through to your website. This tool can be highly effective and a simple way to get the word out about your company and/or product.

5. CRM (Salesforce, Act, etc.) Utilize a CRM system to track the prospects and customers in your sales pipeline. You can see your pipeline intake as well as the timing of those prospects coming in. Analyzing how long it takes the average lead to be converted into a customer is valuable information.

6. Marketing Automation System (Pardot, Sharp Spring, etc.) – This is where you can use your database to target your audience by engaging with prospects and leads through an automated workflow. These workflows incorporate touch points along the way to convert them into customers.

7. Google analytics A great tool to track where your website traffic is coming from, how long they are staying on your site and what pages they are looking at. It can also track your AdWord campaigns and their effectiveness.

8. Content aggregation tools (like Flipboard, Feedly, etc.) – I love these, they help you find content that could be applicable to your customers/targets and connect with them. You can use this for 3rd party content for your blog and you can use it in your social media, etc. 

9. Analytics tools (BrandGo, etc.) – You use these analytics tools to track the effectiveness of all you marketing and sales efforts and see what is working and what is not. Use this information to ensure you’re hitting your KPI’s.

 

These are just a few of the technology tools that you can harness to maximize your business returns! At Brand Iron, we use modern technology and analytics to produce measurable financial outcomes for our clients. See how at brandiron.net or call 303-435-1901.  

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#technology #marketing #marketingwithtechnology

Revenue Enterprises’ New Website is Live!

Brand Iron is excited to announce the launch of Revenue Enterprises’ new website! The website went live this month and incorporates their new brand image, positioning and messaging. Revenue Enterprises is a leading provider of accounts receivable management services, primarily in the healthcare industry. Brand Iron worked closely with Revenue Enterprises to incorporate all the brand elements that define the team in their new web design. Click on the link to take a closer look! http://www.revenueenterprises.com/

The new site brings fresh life to the brand. The website is visually appealing with custom icons and interactive sections that fit with their brand image. We worked with Revenue Enterprises to package their services into a clear and easy to understand process map. Each stage is accompanied by a description.

It was really important for Revenue Enterprises to package their services in an interactive process map to better explain their differentiators. Revenue Enterprises prides itself on their professional and rewarding work environment, which is reflected throughout their website.

Prior to launching their new website, Brand Iron developed and established Revenue Enterprises’ new brand identity. Brand Iron created new sales collateral, revamped their white papers, updated their marketing campaign and revised all their messaging and positioning.

Revenue Enterprises’ brand now has a cohesive, strong image that is apparent through all aspects of the company. It was a pleasure to work with everyone on the Revenue Enterprises team and we can’t wait to see how your brand grows in the future. Congrats on the launch of your new site!

If you need help redesigning your company’s website, messaging, sales collateral etc. Brand Iron is here to help! Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started.

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Tips For Setting Up A Seasonal Marketing Campaign

Tis the season for seasonal marketing campaigns. What will your company do to prepare for the holiday season?

The holidays are fast approaching, which means new opportunities for seasonal marketing campaigns. Over the next few months companies will be preparing for the seasonal rush. This year holiday sales are projected to top $1 trillion. Your company should take advantage of these opportunities by setting up a seasonal marketing campaigns. Don’t wait, because these opportunities will come and go before you know it.

Marketing around the holidays may seem easy since there is tons of content to share, but this flood of content can make it tough to get your message seen. We put together some tips for you to keep in mind while preparing for the holidays.

1. Time is of the essence: Timing is everything during the holidays! We advise you to start early and end late. Each year people start preparing for the holidays earlier and earlier. Shoppers are not only looking for inspiration, but they are actually making purchasing decisions far in advance. Establishing a touchpoint calendar early is important to provide your audience enough information to make a purchase decision before the holidays. So plan in advance and be thoughtful with each marketing touch.

2. Set up posts that “drip” into each other: This means creating posts that build off of each other. Radio stations use this type of drip all the time when they want listeners to tune in at a certain time. For example, you may create a post that only contains teaser information. The goal is to pique your audience’s interest so they want to learn more. You can use a countdown to tell your audience exactly how much time they have before a target date or tell them to stay tuned for the next round of information. These drip posts work well for contests or promotional information that contain time sensitive information.

3. Create a seasonal special: Use the holidays to your advantage by setting up seasonal promotions, contests or limited time offers. Prepare for these promotions with introductory posts or sneak previews that set up and frame the larger campaign as well as grab the attention of your audience early. If promotions and specials aren’t enough, try running a photo contest or something out of the box to set you apart from all the holiday discounts.

4. Quality over quantity: This may seem obvious, but during the holidays it is more important than ever to only share information that is essential to your audience. The frenzy surrounding the holiday season means people are bombarded with content. Make sure that you don’t overwhelm your audience with promotional content during this time as it may do more harm than good.

5. Don’t forget about smaller holidays: Everyone tends to focus on the big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving but overlook the smaller holidays. Holidays like New Year’s and Valentine’s are a great opportunities to keep a marketing campaign alive and your company on your audience’s mind.

6. Support a charitable cause: This time of year is called the season of giving for a reason. Supporting a charitable cause is a great way for your company to give back to the community that supports your business. Rally your team and followers to get involved and give back in some way, either through volunteering, donating. Don’t forget to spread the word of these actions through social media and press releases.

 

Use these tips and tricks to take the holiday season by storm. Brand Iron can help you prepare a seasonal marketing campaign. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how we can help.

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#seasonalmarketing #holidaycampaign #tipsfortheholidays #marketingfortheholidays #marketingtips #seasonalcampaign

10 Tips for Companies with Small Marketing Budgets

How to get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Are you a small business that doesn’t have the resources to spend on marketing? No worries –– there are plenty of ways to maximize your marketing efforts on a budget. Marketing is an area that small business owners don’t want to ignore. It helps you put your brand in front of your target audience and grow brand awareness in order to close sales. We put together some tips on how to stretch your marketing dollars while strapped for cash.

1.  Social media: Ramping up your company’s social media is an easy way to build brand awareness. Sharing original and repurposed content is an great way to distribute engaging information, while gaining a loyal following.

2. Website: A well-designed website is crucial for any small business. It is important that both the frontend and backend are designed correctly to create a clean, direct and easy-to-navigate site. Since your marketing efforts will be driving people back to your website, the website must be able to can handle the traffic by redirecting them to important pages. Don’t forget to have a form and/or call-to-actions so you can capture leads and connect with them!

3. Sales deck: Sales decks are a shortened version of your company’s pitch deck. It should properly package your company showing long-term goals, any important statistics, and how you will reach those goals and objectives. Most small businesses are constantly talking to investors and trying to get funding, so having a strong sales deck is worth the investment.

4. Informational video: Creating an info video is a great way to visually explain your services, product offerings, or process to your audience. These videos can be short whiteboard videos, self- promos, tutorials, you name it. Once you create the videos you can share it on multiple platforms.

5. Press release: Nothing is better than free media. Submitting a press release announcing a launch or new product line is an excellent way to get your brand out in the light.

6. Blogs: Writing original blog content is a easy way share the voice of your brand. You can write blogs about specific products and services, industry trends, tips, or anything you think your audience will find interesting and share it on multiple platforms.

7. Repurpose content: Don’t create more work for yourself. For one example, if you’ve written content for a press release, repurpose it by turning it into a blog or a social media post.

8. Never. Stop. Networking: You never know where your next lead or sale is going to come from. Follow up with leads, and show them you’re interested in doing business together. Go to networking events and use business cards that you collect to help grow your email list. It’s worth taking the time to make genuine connections.

9. Business Cards: You may not think of business cards as marketing per se, but this is an easy way to get you and your business recognized. A clear and well-designed business card can make quite an impact and go a long way in helping your marketing efforts.

10. SEM/AdWords: Running a paid search engine marketing campaign is a cheap and effective way to promote your brand. With Google AdWords PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. The key is to solidify strong keywords that will drive people to your website.

With these 10 tips, you can maximize your marketing efforts which will help grow your business. It takes time and resources to make your marketing work for you but if you keep these nine things in mind you’ll be off to a great start! Brand Iron is here to help you develop a strong marketing strategy that will elevate your brand in the market. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how we can help!

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The Benefits of Targeted Touchpoint Marketing

How to effectively engage with your audience. 

In today’s world, we are bombarded with content and information everywhere we look. As a business you only have seven seconds on average to capture the attention of your audience before they make the critical decision to either keep reading or move on to the next thing. Making contact with your audience, which is called a touch, must be both interesting enough to keep your audience reading and frequent enough to nurture, and eventually close, a qualified sales lead. Generally, it takes 7-15 quality touches to move a prospect to the point of closing.

Fifteen touches may seem excessive, but it will help generate and nurture more qualified leads, and it’s generally spread across a year. Consumers are used to having access to mass amounts of information and expect to be given all the facts before they reach the final decision-making stage. Targeted touchpoint campaigns help grow your brand’s reputation while nurturing leads by giving them information relevant to them. Here are some ways you can effectively communicate with your audience and expand your brand’s reach with these different touches:

  • Blogs
  • Calls
  • Case studies
  • Direct sales
  • Email marketing
  • Networking
  • Press releases
  • Social media
  • Website traffic

Incorporating a variety of these touches in your marketing calendar gives your company a significant advantage to actively engage leads and eventually close sales. We’ve seen warm leads slip through the cracks and fall out of the sales funnel because they have not received enough valuable information to make a decision. It’s important to stay in front of your audience by educating leads through consistent, attention-getting touches.

Brand Iron can help you stay in front of your audience with targeted touchpoint campaigns that identify, attract, and develop brand awareness among prospective leads. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how our services can help!

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#marketing #branding #targetaudience #emailmarketing #socialmedia #blog #directmail #pr #blogs #targetedtouchpoint

It’s Time To Sell Your Business… Here’s How!

I run a networking group for private equity and real estate investment firm executives. During our meeting last week I was surprised by some of the key takeaways. The main topic we discussed was the fact that private equity firms are looking to invest, but can’t find companies to buy. When they do find a company to acquire, they are crazy expensive due to the low supply. Needless to say the sentiment in the room was that it is a great time for companies to sell, and here’s how to do it!

  1. Prep your business for sale:
    •  Clean-up your account and books
    • Make your sales and marketing scalable and repeatable
    • Have a rock solid executive team
    • Be on a positive revenue track
  2. Package your story:
    • Put your story into a management presentation
    • Make sure you have your company’s proformas as well as financial story including revenue, profit and cash flow
    • Make sure to highlight why your company is not just unique, but better than the competition
    • Make sure you tell your story in a way that is compelling and really highlights the value that you bring
  3. Hire an investment banker:
    • Hire an investment banker that you like and trust to represent the sale of your company
    • Make sure this investment banker/banking firm will market your business and get competitive bids
  4. Prepare yourself for your own future:
    • Are you willing to stay on and run the company as part of a transition period?
    • Do you know what you would do if you were done working? (Better make sure you have a plan to keep busy and stay mentally active)

Now with these tips in mind it’s time to explore the idea of selling your business. The market is hot and the prices are as good as they have ever been. Prices are close to what they were during the “dot-com” era. Have fun and reap the rewards for all your hard work over these years! Brand Iron can help package your company to get acquired, visit www.brandiron.net call 303-534-1901 to see how our services can help!

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#businessacquisition #sellyourbusiness #investment #brandstrategy