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October 28, 2015

Everything You Need to Know about Shaping Your Brand’s Voice

As individuals, we have control over the way we present ourselves to others. Our mannerisms and our speech leave impressions on those with whom we interact, and we can adjust our appearance, speech, and behavior. When you have a brand, you can’t communicate with every individual customer to manage their perceptions. Instead, the persona of your brand, embodied in your brand’s voice, speaks to customers.

Here, we will discuss all the considerations involved with shaping brand voice in ways that will communicate your desired message to your customers.

 
Understanding Brand Voice

Brand voice is usually defined as the verbal expression of a brand’s personality, its style and perspective. It plays a key role in brand storytelling and shaping the perception about a brand. It represents the values and personalities of the people behind the brand. Equally important, it creates a sense of distinctiveness that sets a brand apart from the competition and acts as a link that builds connection between a business and its prospective customers.

Given its importance, each business should make sure they dedicate enough time to determining the voice that best communicates the message they want customers to associate with their brand. Probably the same amount of time should be dedicated to training all the employees how to imbue the brand’s voice into their communication.

You’re wondering why? Because in practice the responsibility of speaking for your brand will fall upon more than one person. When your brand’s voice is well-defined, you can rest assured that your representatives will communicate in a consistent manner. If not, you will probably end up with having confused customers as a result of every team member interpreting your brand differently.


Where Do Brands Get it Wrong

Besides inconsistencies in communicating their brand voice, there are some other very common mistakes that brands make:

Sometimes brands have a voice that conveys a robotic corporate image, not a personal, customer-friendly persona. Other times, they have voices that mimic others, so they don’t come across as authentic.


Sloppiness also contributes to giving brands a wrong voice. If your products or marketing materials have spelling and grammar errors, for example, people will think of your brand as unprofessional and sketchy.


Excessive negativity or arrogance can also give your brand an undesirable voice. Your company should rely on objective comparisons with competitors in its marketing materials, and it should express confidence without conveying a haughty attitude.

How to Practically Approach Shaping Your Brand’s Voice?

1. Define your audience

The first and probably the most important step is understanding in depth who your customers and prospects are. If you don’t know your target market, not only will your brand’s voice will seem aimless, but you also stand very little chance of seeing any results.

What can help you a lot with defining your audience is data. Collect your primary market data by conveying surveys and interviews. With some effort and careful thought, you can mold this data into customer profiles that will represent your audience. Aim to make these profiles as detailed as possible, as if you had in front of yourself imaginary customers with whom you can converse. As you figure out how to talk with these imaginary customers, you will start understanding how to relate to your audience.

2. Find out how your current audience perceives you

It’s very useful to know where exactly your brand or company stand in the eyes of the public as it can help you discover if a discrepancy exists between your intended and perceived voice.

If you run a brick and mortar operation, you can survey customers in person, or you can contact them by email. You might even want to consider setting up an online poll and then request customers through social channels or email to participate in the poll.


Whatever you decide, make sure to ask your customers to use keywords when they describe your brand, not sentences. You can leave it up to them to come up with their own keywords or you can offer some by yourself and let them choose. Why keywords? Because later you can combine these keywords with build your messaging around those keywords, both on social media, in email newsletters and elsewhere.

3. Look for inspiration

Think about the brands you have recently encountered and think about their voice. You might think of some that inspired you and others that turned you off. Write down the ideas you get from those brands and use them to refine your message, but don’t copy them. The voice of other brands should guide your brand, but you must let your personality shine through, to give your message authenticity.


4. Train everyone in the company

Not only does everyone in your company need to have a thorough understanding of your products and services, but also of your brand, and, most importantly, your brand’s voice. Spend time training all your team members to make sure your company acts in unison at all times when it markets, promotes, and sells. Repeat the training periodically to ensure consistency on all levels.

5. Distinguish between voice and tone of voice

Last but not least, establish a clear distinction between brand voice and tone of voice. Although both voice and tone work to shape the persona of your brand, the terms mean different things. Tone can vary depending on context and audience, but voice communicates the underlying values that drive your brand. Make sure your team members remember to keep the voice of your products unchanged while varying the tone of voice as needed.

Now that you understand the importance of your brand’s voice and you understand the practical steps to shaping it, use the things you have learned to create and project a voice that will attract the attention of the customers you intend to serve.

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Taylor_headshot 150x150

Author: Taylor Moore

Current email address: taylorjanemoore (at) gmail(dot) com

Short bio: Freelance marketing writer interested mainly in small business and retail. Follow me on Twitter @taylormtweets.

 

October 21, 2015

Direct Marketing Blog (Blogroll)

Name of Blog: Direct Marketing Blog

URL: http://www.directmac.org/direct-marketing-blog

One Line Description:

The Direct Marketing Association of Canada provides a forum and active community for Marketing professionals. We are committed to promoting the growth of Direct Marketing by providing DMAC members with:

  1. Professional Networking Opportunities - for all direct marketers (whether at a junior or senior level or a student, whether employed at a small, medium or large organization, client or agency side, traditional and/or digital, and including business development opportunities)
  2. Knowledge Building & Expertise - all areas related to direct marketing
  3. Advocacy - creating a voice for direct marketers through, for example, surveys, polls, and petitions

 

Language: English

Location: Where are you in the world - Toronto, ON Canada

 

October 19, 2015

Get a massive fan following on Instagram!

InstIf we use Instagram correctly, then it can rightly be a highly targeted channel for our brand. Over the other social platforms, Instagram provides a 25 percent more engagement to one’s brand. In order to expand your business, Instagram can easily be used to market your business online. For every social network, there are three ways to use it, the right way, the wrong way, and the smart way. So how do you build a huge fan following on Instagram? Let’s learn the clever ways below.

Usage of appropriate hashtags

Your main motive should be to keep your current followers engaged as well as grow the fan following for your brand. In order to do so, posting new and unique pictures is normal, but using appropriate hashtags make the effort worthwhile. You will be easily discovered and get new followers if you use the hashtags that are trending on Instagram. Instagram, however, only allows 30 hashtags per post. According to Webstagram, some of the recent popular hashtags are #love, #instagood, #me, #follow, #tbt, etc. But if none of these are relevant to your posts, then you must do a keyword research in order to know which ones are more relevant to your brand. IconoSquare and Webstagram are some of the online programs through which you can find the ones relevant to you.

Use the correct filters

It is not just the hashtags, but also the usage of appropriate filters that would get you the most likes on your posts. Some of the recently preferred filters on Instagram are Normal, Valencia, Earlybird, X-Pro II, Amaro, etc. As per a recent study by TrackMaven, it was discovered that Mayfair, No filter, and Inkwell attracted more traffic towards a particular post. IconoSquare can be used to review your account’s performance and see what is currently working for you and what is not.

Always post on the best days and time

The timings of your post also affect the fan following on your post. In the optimization section of IconoSquare, one can also assess the engagement of your posting history. It would also highlight the right time of the day and the days of each week that are suitable for posting. Some people also use certain scheduling programs to schedule their posts in order to drive more traffic towards their post. Now, one cannot deny the saying that time is money, it certainly brings you some!

Write product reviews

In order to be noticed, it is not just the usage of hashtags, filters or the knowledge of the correct timings, but to also post to larger accounts that are in the business with a huge fan following. This would result in your brand being exposed to a larger number of audience. This one step, however, would need you to invest some money, by contacting the sponsors or bloggers and asking them to review your products or services. Webstagram may provide you a list of the most popular accounts that are relevant to your business.

 

Author Bio:

Stella Joseph is the understudy counsel's head in her college and is drawing closer the culmination of her undergrad program. Rick is extremely sharp as far as learning and mingling, this is the reason she is discovered interfacing with individuals, both logged off and online through her articles and web journals on the well-known essay writing help site. For more information join here at social media.

October 17, 2015

3 Best Open Source Navigation Apps

For some of us, the basic, oft-used navigation just aren’t enough. Travelers, cyclers, joggers, map-geeks and other route-conscious individuals are always looking forward to knowing more about their destinations – in foot-by-foot detail. Some of the best navigation apps offer just that by acquainting a device owner with the ultimate tools that offer traffic updates, bicycle routes, turn-by-turn directions, and even access to offline maps.

Fotolia_37877338_Subscription_XXLOpen source navigations are even more of a treasure, especially for developers who wouldn’t mind coding up their own additional “features”. Other times, people are just looking for reliable and up-to-date navigation apps to sift their way through a traffic jam.

So, here’s our favorite list of open-source navigation apps that are best for Android, iOS, Linux, and Windows users.

1)     MiniMap: This is an open source application using MIT licensing. You can easily download the source code. It supports linux-based phones and the users of Palm webOS. Although this is good application with tons of features (supports night mode, navigation mode, GPS position center mode, GPS position marker shows the heading if available, supports all zoom levels supported by the selected tile graphics set, supports free display orientation, supports night mode which displays the map with darker colors, supports full screen and allows enabling/disabling of various information, and more), its disadvantages include no POI overlay, routing, and address searching.

2)     OSM Maps and Navigation:  This is the perfect navigation app for Android users. Osm Maps and Navigation is one of the most popular open-source navigation apps. This is a map application that give a user access to free worldwide open street map (OSM) data including Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, North America, South America, Japan & Korea, Middle East, Africa, and Antarctica.

You may even use this offline since all map data can easily be stored (pre-downloaded) on your device. Your GPS-enabled device will allow this application to search for accurate routes for cars, bikes, and pedestrians. There is also an optical and voice guidance option. This means that you can activate turn-by-turn voice guidance and optical lane guidance. Street names will be displayed along with time of arrival, automatic re-routes, search option by geographical coordinates, address, or type of location (gas station, hotel, museum, etc).

The feature set of OsmAnd is extensive and impressive with separate map viewing, navigation, Wikipedia Data, Bicycle and Pedestrian, and safety features. OsmAnd can use both vector-based and tile-based layers making it easy for the user to contribute and update even where data is blank or out-of-date. OsmAnd contains a built-in editor that enables users to contribute their own versions of modified and updated maps. The offline feature is the best part since it not only saves the inconvenience to look up maps when you’ve lost data connection but also saves an enormous amount of battery space.

3)     gvSIG Mini: This one is for hard-core map fanatics. Even though OsmAnd has an extensive list of offerings for open-source map users, gvSIG mini is just as complex. The application supports multiple map sources including OSM and also allows users to display several layers of maps at once. For instance, you could be using a vector street map along with satellite images. Since this app supports WMS and WMS-C allowing customized map sets. This is compatible with both high screen and low screen resolutions. Although this application was primarily built for Android, it also supports Jave ME (including Symbian smartphones). Other features include Layer configuration downloader, Address and Points Of Interest search, Route-finder, Compass support and Navigation Mode, GPS, Cell and Network GeoLocation positioning, and other relatively technical features. 

 Author Bio: Lisa is fond of writing articles on career and leadership in order to help those who find difficulties in choosing career especially students. She also helps students with their coursework writing. You can add her to your circle on Google+

 

October 10, 2015

6 Big Examples of Influence of Social Media on Our Lives

“Social Media influences our lives”.

Fotolia_27702676_Subscription_XLAfter reading this sentence, the first thing that should come in our mind is that how social media has the ability to influence people. This ability of people should be perceived in the form of communicating and exchanging the viewpoints and ideas with others. The other thing that could creep in our mind is to develop and maintain the relationship among the people to significant level.  The other views of many people are also important as they say technology in the recent age especially the influence of social media is affecting our real life relationships and communication in an adverse manner.  In reality, there are more pros than cons of social media that have emerged with the passage of time.  Let us discuss the pleasing attributes of social media and its effects on our lives in the following manner.

1.    Enhancing the political awareness

When it comes to analyzing the political situation that is prevailing in different countries of the world, this aspect cannot be overlooked that people are taking an interest in the domain of politics.  There could be many reasons provided in order to support this notion. The first reason is that different people interact with each other and these people belong to different countries of the world. Yet, they are connected because of the same preferences, demographics and other factors that are helpful in developing their relationship stronger and effective. In this way, these people also discuss the political situations of their countries through the help of videos or images. As a result, politics has also become a debatable domain as compared in the past when politics was assumed as the specific domain for a limited number of people.  

2.    Social issues are also getting popularity or importance

As far as the generation of this digital age is concerned, young adults are more concerned about the social disparity that exists in different countries of the world. They often are found in raising their voice against any discrepancy or injustice no matter if this thing is happening in their own country or in another part of the world. People tend to visit social media platforms in order to remain informed about the latest happenings from all around the globe. As a result, social issues are no longer the concerns for only affected people and these have become a concern for the whole society.

3.    Diversity is more appreciated rather than accepted

The way people from different background and culture interact with other people and make associations with other is quite fascinating. This is an interesting aspect to consider that the concept of equality and brotherhood is also improving and it is being implemented in a proper manner on different social media platforms.  This is also a matter of fact because of social media invention; the whole world has become a global village. In this way, all the people who are using social media do have associations or relationships with other people to a large extent. At the same time, this statement is becoming true that man is a social animal and cannot live in exile.

4.    Improving the sense of belongingness and association

By means of social media, people of all ages are coming closer and establishing a unique kind of relationship that is really appealing and eye catching. The lost or forgotten friends have actually met on social media in reality and as a result, old memories are also being revived. The young people are also becoming more vocal and confident and a sense of unity is already developed among people of same ages. Moreover, the communication gap between the young and old generation is decreasing that was quite significant in the past. 

5.    Self-awareness is improving as well

The concept of self-awareness is enhancing day by day and it is being done through the help of social media a great deal. There is no point of denying these fact people have started realizing the importance of their own personality. At the same time, they are valuing their own thoughts and assumptions to a significant level. As a result, people have found different ways of keeping themselves happy and away from any kind of depression or sorrows. In this way, these aspects could be considered as the blessings of social media that are providing benefits to different people. People are becoming happier and more content with their lives as they can take decisions in a right direction so that they can spend a memorable and prosperous life. 

6.    People are more concerned about their health  

The biggest impact of social media is the interest and concern of different people regarding their health and fitness condition. The people are focusing on their health with purpose as they know they should know that how to live and stay healthy for a longer period of time.  They have assumed that attaining healthy foods and diets are their basic rights; as a result they are discussing and having a conversation regarding different healthy diets and foods. In recent times, the population of obese people is increasing and, as a result, the issue of obesity is becoming a major concern throughout the world.  Social media provides a good opportunity to all those people who are health conscious and want to discuss different health issues with the right person means the doctor anytime and from anywhere in the world.

Final Thought

With the passage of time, the impacts and consequences of social media are increasing and at the same time these are already influencing every walk of life a great deal. The impacts of social media are composed of both positive and negative outcomes. The positive consequences are bringing desirable results in the lives of many people. They are more aware and confident and at the same time they are more concerned about the social and political issues that are prevailing in the current scenario. The social media has also provided a kind of platform where different people can raise their voice regarding any social injustice anytime.   

About The Author:

Amelie Millie is the owner of an academic writing company full assignment help that provides its expertise in composing academic papers of different subjects and topics. Other than her professional responsibilities, she loves writing for different blogs and websites.

October 02, 2015

What You Need to Know About Graphic Designs for Your Target Demographic

What You Need to Know About Graphic Designs for Your Target Demographic

By Brooke Chaplan / Freelance Writer

What You Need to Know About Graphic Designs for Your Target Demographic

Most professionals in charge of marketing their business are aware they must design a campaign and choose a marketing channel based on the type of demographic they target. These companies must decide who has a genuine need for the product or service they are promoting, and which tactics will have the best reach and will lead to the highest conversion rates. While marketing campaigns must be designed strategically, it is important not to overlook the impact your graphic designs can have on your reach when targeting to an audience. Here is what you need to know when creating your graphic designs.

Decide on a Narrow Audience to Target 

You might think you have products that everyone will appreciate if they gave your brand a chance, but the key to growth in business is to target a smaller and more narrow audience. You cannot afford to market and design for everyone, and are more likely to experience failure if you do. You should find a target niche that really can see the benefits of what you are offering so you can focus your efforts on reaching them. When you know who you're selling to, you can choose the best channels and ultimately the best graphic designs and print designs. You can predict their purchases and how they will think about a new idea or service.

Gain a Better Understanding for Your Target Audience 

Once you define the niche you are working in and the target audience that will help you expand, the next step will be to gain a better understanding of the demographic you are going to reach out to. You have to ask yourself the important questions before you start doodling rough draft ideas. You might wonder what the consumer's hobbies are, what their passions are, where they might spend free time, what they buy regularly, what they value in life, and more. By putting yourself in the shoes of the consumers you want to sell to, you can begin to learn more about creating the perfect design and color scheme your client base will respond to. 

Learn What Type of Emotions Different Designs Will Evoke

Custom packaging is an effective way to reach out to your audience which is why you need to spend time selecting the best graphics and colors with a professional packaging design company like Arc and Co. The shape and materials will speak to the product and catch eyes when on the shelf. The color is also very important when going for a custom look. Not only does the brand logo need to stick out, using the right colors that entice consumers to buy is key. For example, yellow is a youthful color for optimistic audiences.

One graphic design might be perfect for an impulse buyer, whereas another might be best suited for the budget shopper. You need to choose the right images, the right logos, the right packaging, and the right colors when you want to influence your target audience to trust your company. This is something to keep in mind as you finalize website design, or begin to design functional yet enticing product packaging.

 Brooke can be reached at / BrookeChaplan <at> gmail <dot> com

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