The Power of Technology and Lead Generation

Use the power of technology to transform and accelerate your company’s lead generation.

Historically, lead generation was done by word-of-mouth and later relied on print media. It was a laborious task and very time consuming. Over the years lead generation techniques have been constantly evolving. Utilizing new advances in technology for lead generation can help immensely. Let’s take a look at some tools that will help you generate more leads and track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Pertaining to your Database:

1. CRM (Customer Relationship Management)- A tool that allows you to manage and analyze your relationship with both current customers and prospects to forecast your sales and examine your sales pipeline.

2. MAS (Marketing Automation Software)- Automate your marketing efforts through email, landing pages, social media and online campaign management.

3. E-mail distribution systemsHow you manage your email campaigns and track the effectiveness of each email and the messaging within.

For your Website:

1. Landing pages– Track leads by creating landing pages that redirect visitors to a page with more information on a specific product or service.

2. Web forms- On your homepage, landing page or blog, add a web tracking form to gather crucial information like name, email, company, location, phone number, etc. so you can easily stay in touch with them moving forward.

3. Videos- Utilize this content-rich medium to captivate, engage, inform and compel your audience to take a desired action.

Social Media:

1. Content- Utilize content aggregation tools like Flipboard and Feedly to seek out real time content that can be used for social media posts, blog inspiration, or any number of other things.

2. Schedule management tools- Social media management tools allow you to schedule your posts months in advance. Whether you’re at work, sleeping or living your life you can still engage with our audience by scheduling out your posts.

3. Unfollow tool- Manage your follower base to maintain follower/following ratios and ensure connections are mutually beneficial.

4. Schedule management toolsSocial media management tools allow you to schedule your posts months in advance. Whether you’re at work, sleeping or living your life you can still engage with our audience by scheduling out your posts.

Analytics:

1. Website analytics tools- Use website tracking and analytics tools to see how visitors are finding your website.

2. Online tracking tool This tool helps determine what SEO, SEM or adwords tactics are working.

3. Email analytics toolsTrack the effectiveness of your email campaigns by seeing who is clicking through and what content is grabbing the attention of your audience.

4. Results dashboards Utilize tools like BrandGo to track ROI and the performance of your marketing initiatives to ensure that you are getting the maximum return on your marketing activities and investment.

This is just brief overview of the different types of technological tools that you can use to help generate leads and track the effectiveness of your marketing activities. Harness technology and drive your brand to achieve the results you have been seeking. Brand Iron is a value creation agency that can help you use these technologies to reach your goals and complete your objectives. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how we can help.

 

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#branding #leadgeneration #technology #poweroftechnology #marketingtools #generatemoreleads

How A Persuasive Pitch Deck Drives Results

Raising money is a continuous process that is necessary for any company to grow. A strong and compelling pitch deck is how you will be able to present company goals to investors in order to get the funding you need.

A pitch deck is a brief overview presentation that provides investors with a clear understanding of what your business is all about. Typically, pitch decks are 15-25 slides and showcase your company’s product, technology, business plan and team in a clear, concise and persuasive presentation. Raising capital is no easy task, so it is important that your pitch deck is engaging. The content should provide guidance for your investors, driving them to want to write a check.

We recently completed a pitch deck for our client, Baceline Investments. Here is a breakdown of some of the key sections. The first section focused on conveying to investors who Baceline Investments is as well as what their 5-year growth plan and vision is. This gives investors an overview of their goals and the strategy which they will implement to reach those benchmarks. The next slides share their story—who they are, how they evolved and the 20-year proven track record of success.

The pitch deck then moves onto their financial models, showing investors key performance indicators, graphs and monthly performance figures. For a company like Baceline Investments, having concrete numbers supporting their case is very persuasive and easy for investors to get behind and support. The last big section of their pitch deck explained to investors what their success will look like when they reach their 5 year goals. Their pitch deck incorporated their brand’s look and feel with consistent messaging to relay to investors their expertise and vision.

 

A strong pitch deck will be persuasive and complete as well as clear and concise. The entire point of a pitch deck is to convince investors that you have identified a problem and created a solution that they would be foolish not to invest in. Your pitch deck needs to focus on your business ideas and look at the complete picture. It’s easy to get bogged down in design elements but no matter how creative your deck is, it’s worthless if you don’t engage your audience. You have to be meaningful with every element of the pitch deck so every slide is telling an important part of a larger story.

At Brand Iron, everything we product for our clients is results-driven. We have completed over 50 pitch decks for our clients and are experts in building compelling pitch decks that tell the story of your company in a visually appealing way. Each pitch deck presents a complete brand image and messaging. It’s tailored for each client to get results.

If you need help creating a persuasive and visually appealing pitch deck, fill out the quick form below for more information on how our services can help. 

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#pitchdeck #raisecapital #venturecapital #companygrowth

The Rise in Semi-Flat Design

Digital trends are influenced by all kinds of things like media, user experience, fashion and technology just to name a few. Digital design is never static. Design tools and technology is constantly evolving and what styles are popular evolves with it.

Over the past year we’ve seen a decrease in photo-realistic designs and a boon in simplistic, 2D designs. Color gradients and curvy fonts have also gone by the wayside in many industries. Big players like Netflix, Ebay, and Paypal have all made the shift toward a cleaner, more simple design. Simplicity has its benefits but comes with the risk of being seen as flat and boring.

        

Thanks to Material Design, Google’s new design language, we are now seeing two-dimensional designs come to life. Flat designs have evolved into a semi flat design with some light, depth, and shadows. A semi-flat design adds smooth shading and a level of complexity that flat designs are lacking. Through Material Design, Google has created a sweet spot for brands to design their logos, and interface to have subtle depth while still maintaining the clean, sleek feel of flat design and we love it! 

                          

Project: Listener’s Playlist

Author: Anzi

Our design team is always looking for the best way to incorporate these trends into our clients’ brands and design elements. Brand Iron can help revitalize your brand by incorporating these design trends into your brand’s look and feel. Fill our the form below if you love this design and need help from Brand Iron to incorporate this look to elevate your brand to a new level.

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The 8 Must-Dos When Rebranding A Large Business

Rebranding a large business is no small task.

There is a certain process you must follow in order to achieve your desired results. Below are eight steps the Brand Iron team takes to helps clients reach their goals and objectives:

Find Your Achieve Anything

Knowing what you’re trying to achieve with your rebrand is integral to finding success. This is what we call your Achieve Anything Plan. Are you rebranding to increase revenue? Expand your geographic reach? Because you’ve expanded your offerings? Defining your Achieve Anything Plan is the foundation of your new brand.

Brand Differences and Value Propositions

What has changed about your brand that requires a change in strategy? A new position in the marketplace or a new key difference between you and the competition are things that require a change. Recognizing these strategic brand value points will help you to compose your new and improved Brand Value Proposition.

Determine Your Target Audience

Now that you’ve decided to rebrand, who are your target audiences? Has your target clientele shifted? Is it completely different? Either way, it’s time to develop brand personas for each audience so that you can effectively market to them.

Determine Your Strategic Brand Content and Mood

Good creative isn’t just creative –– it’s developed with a strategic focus and direction that will appeal to your targeted audience. Make sure to refine the content in your marketing so that it will engage your target audience and compel them to take action.

Develop Your Brand Assets

Make sure your brand’s look, feel and message will resonate with your target audience. Make sure that feeling carries over throughout all your marketing campaigns.

Develop Your Online Brand

Tailor your messaging for online use. Ensure you website is updated and visually appealing. Develop your site so that it displays well on mobile devices. Set up your calls-to-action to engage your audience.

Brand to Market

Once your brand redevelopment is complete it’s time to take it to market. What are the most effective means to do so? The key here is to utilize an integrated approach to reach your targeted customers. Using multiple mediums with a scheduled approach leads to a much higher return on your invested time. Consistency is the key to breaking through the clutter and connecting with your audience.

Brand Analysis

Now that you have rebranded and taken it to market, it’s time to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Make sure to track your email campaigns, website traffic and social media efforts to see what mediums and messages are working, and which ones aren’t.

Utilize these eight must-dos when rebranding your large business and you’ll be rewarded with the satisfaction of Achieving your Anything! To find out how Brand Iron can help ignite your rebrand, contact us at www.brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901.

Five Social Media Trends to Watch: Facebook Spaces, Chatbots, Gen Z, and More

In the past year, we have witnessed how significant social media is in our lives as well as in the news. The president of the United States communicated his political beliefs in 140 characters or fewer. Facebook is taking over in the advertising space and has stripped down Snapchat’s market share by adding stories to Instagram. With September coming to a close, we are looking forward to what social media trends will emerge as 2018 approaches. To help, Brand Iron has put together 5 social media trends to watch while you prepare for the upcoming year.

1. Facebook… So Much To Watch Out For

Facebook has transformed social media time and time again. This year we saw how live streaming has added a new element to social media. Now Facebook is working on a project called Spaces that is taking that concept to a whole new level. Spaces allows you to connect with your social network through virtual reality. Available via the Oculus Rift, you will soon be able to control a virtual representation of yourself, interacting and sharing memories with your friends in a new space. Check out this video for more info!

2. Content Personalization

Everyday we are bombarded by content. People have acquired skills to screen and filter the content to narrow down the specific pieces that will bring them value. Technology and automation has made it possible to create personalized content based on what a person has clicked on in the past. By setting rules and triggers, you can automate your marketing to respond with content that actually matters to your audience. Personalization will differentiate your brand and message from the sea of content.

3. Chatbots Will Become More and More Common

Artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots can communicate through voice or text. Chatbots are guided and powered by a set of rules to create conversation structure that is programmed into their code. They’re convincing enough to fool all but the most astute observers and can offer a personal-feeling experience to numerous people. They’re starting to make their appearance in the realm of customer support with striking advantages. To start, they make support accessible to more people at once while shortening wait times. They also provide consistent answers about company services to a host of frequently asked questions.

4. Focus on Generation Z

Move over Millennials, Generation Z is taking the stage. They’re becoming more influential as the importance of social media swells. Generation Z grew up fully immersed with social media and are quite savvy. Their interests and aptitude are driving the social media market. Brands who lack a presence on platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook may be missing out on a huge group of potential leads.

5. Keep an eye on Twitter

Recently Twitter has fallen behind other platforms and has been all over the news for its lackluster ability to keep up with trends. They have even lost ground to Amazon who now has the ability to stream NFL games. We believe that in the next year Twitter will be making some big changes to reinvigorate their popularity.

Social media platforms allow you to track your engagement with your audience. This means a better understanding of what resonates with them and the opportunity to improve your methods moving forward. Strengthening your company’s social media strategy will be important for your brand moving forward into the upcoming year. Brand Iron can help prepare your brand and strategy for these upcoming trends. Call 303-534-1901 or visit brandiron.net for more information.

SplitSmart Makes an Impression During Denver Startup Week

Brand Iron helps SplitSmart enter Denver Startup Week. 

Entering its 6th year, Denver Startup Week brings together CEOs, entrepreneurs and innovators who all share the same goal: creating a new business. Family Court Compliance come to Brand Iron with the goal of entering an informational video into the Denver Startup Week Pitch Competition.

In preparation for Startup Week, Brand Iron helped Family Court Compliance create a new corporate identity including a new brand name, clear messaging and a strong value proposition to launch them into the marketplace. We introduce to you, SplitSmart, a SaaS product that helps individuals and couples navigate the complicated family court process. This includes divorce, division of property, child support, spousal support and a parenting plan. SplitSmart’s all-inclusive service aids both parties throughout the entire legal process.

In order for SplitSmart to reach their goal of entering Denver Startup Week, Band Iron needed to create an informational video that communicated all the unique features and benefits SplitSmart has to offer. In a collaborative effort, Brand Iron created a 90 second whiteboard video that launched SplitSmart’s new brand identity and gave investors a glimpse of the product’s power.

Take a look at the video that SplitSmart entered into Denver Startup Week!

We Can Be Of Assistance

If you need help communicating the value of your product or service through a video or messaging, Brand Iron is here to help. Please give us a call at 303-534-1901 or visit Brandiron.net for more information.

How a Business Card can Spark a Connection

When branded well, a small card can make a big difference. 

First Impressions

Whether in your career or social life, first impressions set the scene for all future interactions. Within seconds of a first meeting, a prospective client or customer has already begun evaluating and forming an opinion of you and your business. A business card may be small, but it can act as a lasting physical representation of both you and your company. In a world run by digital, we value personalized touches when meeting face-to-face. Sometimes, the smallest gestures send the biggest messages. A well-designed business card is memorable and leaves a lasting impression where a digital conversation might fail to do so. It goes a lot further than just passing along contact information. It creates a connection.

A creative business card might spark a conversation that otherwise would not have existed. The more unique a business card, the greater the opportunities for diverse conversation. Some elements that can make your card unique are design, paper stock, and finish. Would you rather receive a crumpled, flimsy business card that has been stuck in someone’s wallet for 2 months or a sturdy, crisp and professional one? Business cards set the scene. During a first interaction, there is nothing that looks worse than rummaging through your bag, frantically looking for a pen to scribble down your contact info on a crumpled napkin. Business cards show that you are prepared, professional and want to communicate and engage in a relationship.

Building your Brand Image

At Brand Iron, we love to focus on building a strong identity. Business cards establish credibility for your company and make it easily identifiable. Even though a business card is small, there are no shortage of creative designs that can communicate the personality of your brand. A business card is a physical object that you leave with someone. Your brand stays with them. It acts as a physical reminder of your encounter 

with them along with a representation of your brand. Not only does it remind someone of your brand and give them an opportunity to reconnect, it also puts a face to a business. This creates a higher quality connection and keeps your brand on top of a person’s mind.

Remember me?

Business cards are important because our memory isn’t always reliable. How many times have you had someone tell you their name or position and it goes in one ear and right out the other, as if they never said it? An entire conversation can become a waste of time when there is no way to reconnect. Business cards strengthen opportunities for referrals, networking, or relationships with prospective clients.

Put some thought into your business cards and create a lasting impressions. If you need help designing and creating business cards, Brand Iron is here to help. Our team of designers can create one of a kind cards that capture the essence of your brand. Call 303-534-1901 or visit brandiron.net for more information.

 

How Startups can Leverage the Power of Social Media

Harness the power of social media. A guide for startup companies.

September is ‘the month of startups,’ and we’d like to kick it off by highlighting how new businesses can maximize the potential of social media. By now, it is evident that having a social media strategy is no longer optional for businesses. A plethora of research supports a strong social media presence to boost your brand’s awareness, engagement, lead generations, and number of closed prospects.

Social media is a great and free resource for startups working on tight budgets. With built-in analytics tools, social media platforms generate up-to-date tracking and insights that show how effectively your campaigns are reaching your target audience. Despite its importance, many startup companies do not know how to best utilize the power of social media to strengthen brand identity.

Plan and Strategize

Before you start haphazardly posting on social media, you must create a strategy that has clear, measurable goals and objectives. Just as you needed to develop a strategy for launching your business, the same goes for your social media. How do you want to portray your brand image? What is brand’s look and feel? Do you want to be known as a corporate structured company, or a laid back, relaxed, and personable company? You must answer these types of questions before you start building your social media strategy. It is important that there is a consistent theme and message across all platforms so that your company appears well-established and united.

Next, you must determine which social media platform(s) best fits for your company based on your target audience and strategy. Some businesses may have a strong presence on all platforms, while other businesses may benefit by focusing all their efforts on one or two. Figuring out the right balance may take some time, and is unique for each business.

Facebook: It is no surprise that Facebook is the largest social media platform with the most active users and widest reach. Facebook allows you to specifically target your audience with content, while also allowing you to reach a wide number of prospects. Just about every business has a Facebook page; if you don’t already have one for your business, it’s time you set one up–it’s super easy!

LinkedIn: This is the largest professional social media platform. The content that you share on this platform should be clean and professional. It is a great tool for networking.

Twitter: Don’t overlook Twitter when you are starting your business! It is a great platform to retweet industry leaders and show knowledge on your specific industry. Twitter allows you to gaining brand awareness through content distribution.

Instagram: Instagram is a great platform to showcase your company culture, new product packaging, community events, etc. Instagram is fun and super visual, so keep the content light and current.

YouTube: People enjoy watching videos and it drives a high level of interest and engagement among target audiences. It is a great place to explain specific processes, increase brand awareness, and showcase technology. Once you have invested time and resources to creating a video, you can share the content across multiple channels.

Determine Goals and Objectives

Your social media strategy must build around specific company goals and objectives. These benchmarks must be measurable and achievable. Here are some goals your startup company may focus on:

Lead Generation: The way you are going to close on leads and increase revenue is to drive traffic to your website. With a greater number of leads landing on your site, there is a greater opportunity to close on these leads. A specific call to action is required to prompt leads to visit your site.

Brand Awareness: Due to the nature of being a startup, brand awareness is inevitably one of your main goals. Increasing your reach and getting your brand image out in front of your audience is an added benefit of implementing your social media strategy.

Content Distribution: We hear all the time how difficult it is for new businesses to create their own engaging content due to limited time and resources. Repurposing and sharing existing content can be a great way to cut down on the time necessary to create original content.

Go out and start sharing!

Now that the basics of social media are mapped out, it’s time to implement your strategy. Remember that social media is SOCIAL, so communicate and respond to your audience; it should be a give and take relationship. Build a tribe and following around your brand. Loyal followers will bring more value to your company than high numbers of uncommitted followers. You want to nurture and increase this following as your business continues to grow.

 

If you have any questions about how social media can play an integral part in your business strategy, check us out at Brandiron.net or call 303-345-1901 to see how we can help!

4 Steps to Effectively Brand a Startup Business

Creating and launching a new business is an exciting and scary time for founders. Unfortunately, many new business will struggle in the first few years and over half of new business fail.

At Brand Iron, we’re interested in helping up that number.

It is important to know what separates companies that dive into the red versus those that rise to the top. A unified brand image will be the driving force and the backbone of your company, which will propel your brand and make the difference in the longevity of your startup. Brand Iron has mapped out 4 steps to effectively brand a startup that will help strengthen your company’s brand and boost your percentage for success.

The steps for branding a startup can be broken down into 4 main phases:

  1. Find your Achieve Anything
  2. Forge your Brand
  3. Brand-to-Market
  4. Brand Analysis

Phase 1: Find your Achieve Anything

First you need a plan. Startups must establish measurable goals and objectives and develop a time frame in which to achieve them. At Brand Iron, we define this process as the “Achieve Anything Plan,” which includes the following:

  • Capital raised
  • Number of products, units, engagement, subscriptions, contracts, or units sold depending on company deliverables
  • Definition of your target segments
  • Strategy to reach these targets
  • Set revenue and profits goals over the course of 3 months, 6 months, 12, months, 24 months, and 36 months
  • Identification market share
Phase 2: Forging your Brand

Now that company goals and objectives have been planned out, it’s time to Forge your Brand! You need to determine a strategic direction that both the creative and content will follow; this will be the framework for your brand’s messaging and look and feel.  The creative and content must be engaging and compelling to entertain your target audience while translating your brand identity.

Once you have determined the strategic direction, you need to develop your brand. This means creating your brand look and feel, developing a logo, website design, marketing and communications, and developing a social media presence and following.

Phase 3:  Brand-to-Market  

It is finally time to take your brand to market, and most importantly, drive revenue! To implement this, you need to develop a Go-to-Market Plan, which will include who you are targeting, your budget, and the most effective way to reach your target segments. Startups are often strapped for resources, so optimizing your time, money, and resources will be imperative to successfully take your brand to market.  Some resources and ideas to keep in mind include the following:

  • What is the CRM/ Marketing Automation platform you are using to run and drive your marketing efforts?
  • How are you going to generate and capture leads through your website?
  • Are you going to utilize email campaigns to help build your brand?
    • If yes, how will you drive traffic to your website?
  • How will you connect your brand on social media and which platforms are best for your industry?
  • How will you advertise to your target markets?
    • Which mediums will resonate best with your target?
    • Online? Broadcast? Out of home?
  • What lead generation activities will you be implementing to generate traffic and leads to your site?

Once you have decided which mediums you are going to utilize, it’s time to map out interactions on a marketing calendar to ensure that consistent marketing efforts are being put forward. It take 7-15 touches to get a response from your target, and these touches will help build credibility in your market and establish your brand identity.

Step 4: Brand Analytics

Now it’s time to measure how your marketing and lead generation efforts are performing. Analytics allow you to better understand your target market; more specifically, you can find out what type of content resonates with your audience and then improve and tailor your strategy around the results. Social media platforms have built-in analytics that allow you to see what content your audience is engaging with. Other questions to ask yourself include:

  • Are you utilizing analytics tools from your CRM/ MAS platform?
  • Are you filling your sales pipeline and generating your target revenue?
  • Are you tracking your analytics on your email and social media platforms?
  • Have you developed a results dashboard to track your company KPI?

Tracking and analytics help you determine if your company is on the right track to hitting your goals and objectives or if you need to pivot your strategy to get back on track with your initial Achieve Anything Plan.

 

Now that you understand how to develop a strong brand and position your startup, it’s time to build your brand and take your ideas to market! If you need any help implementing this process or developing a brand, Brand Iron is here to help at www.brandiron.net or 303-534-1901.

 

Utilizing Automated Marketing to Generate Leads and Nurture Relationships

You’ve heard about automated marketing, but have you ever thought about using it for your own company?

A Great Place to Start: What is Marketing Automation?

Automated marketing is a tool that allows you to automate, streamline, and measure your marketing actions to increase revenue and operational efficiency. In a nutshell, it allows you to optimize your time by streamlining the marketing processes through automation while still personalizing content and nurturing relationships with your audience. By measuring and tracking tasks, you can create campaigns tailored to meet the needs of your market segments. An automated approach is used by marketing departments for repetitive tasks such as email campaigns, social media, or other actions on websites.

Common Software Used for Automated Marketing

  1. Campaign Monitor
  2. SharpSpring
  3. MailChimp
  4. Hub Spot: 
  5. Marketing 360

When your company launches, it is easy to maintain these one on one relationships with your audience, but as your company starts to grow, it is impossible to keep up and manage these relationships without any help. That is where automations helps.

The goal of marketing is to generate more leads, close on potential clients, and drive revenue for your company. Automation helps generate leads by driving traffic to specific landing pages, allowing you to track and convert leads. It also allows you to shape campaigns according to the various touch points and call to actions of the end users. Since the automation can be tailored specifically for market segments, it feels more like a give and take relationship rather than a hard sell.

 

What Does Automated Marketing Look Like?

Someone once explained automated marketing to me as the same as growing a plant. You need to plant the seeds, which is the initial outreach from the company to the audience in the form of an email or social media post. Next you need to give the lead (seedling) water and light by delivering customized, value driven information to the specific audience.This is done through specific campaigns that trigger an automated action depending on the customer’s response. Finally, we hope to have nurtured the lead well enough and grown it to the point of being an actual paying customer. Nurturing a plant or a lead is not a guaranteed process, and it is important to tailor interactions based on the evolving needs of your audience.

Concepts to Keep in Mind when Using Automated Marketing Techniques

1. Segment your lists into sectors

You can segment your list you can communicate directly to your audience’s wants and needs. Build personas to represent segments.

2. Test your email lists and timing.

When you send emails is equally important as the content in the emails.

3. Keep your content relevant.

4. Track your results.

5. Whittle down your email lists.

It may seem important to have a large subscription base, but the active subscribers are going to be the quality leads.

6. Allow your subscribers to manage their preferences.

7. Always include a specific call to action.

 

Brand Iron is here to help you automate your marketing, improve lead generation, and optimize your systems. To talk with us regarding automated marketing or any of your marketing needs, visit www.brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901.