The importance of asking questions. Not specific to design, but the success of any project depends on asking questions. Generally, the more questions I ask my clients, the easier it is to create the right design.
Jessica Hische made a client email helper to help you say “no” to free and low-budget work and to help ask for more favourable contract terms before the start of a project.
Steven Heller shares some examples of fascist, right-wing symbolism in film.
Charlie Chaplin adopted the double cross as a satire of Nazi iconography.
Ian Paget chats about optical corrections in logo design.
In its push for acceptance and inclusion, IBM introduced a rainbow version of its 8-bar monogram.
“The colors of the IBM rainbow logo design were adopted from the original rainbow colors designed by artist Gilbert Baker and commissioned by civic and cultural icon, Harvey Milk, shortly before his assassination. Baker’s design was created to be a symbol for the gay rights movement. Inspired by the Flag of the Races, Baker’s design consisted of 8 stripes of color, each representing a different aspect of humanity. The design was used for the first rainbow flags that were hand-dyed and debuted at the Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day march held on June 25, 1978.”
More on Paul Rand’s classic IBM logo.
The Beast grooming kit isn’t for the faint hearted. This set of grooming tools is made strictly for the alpha male, with its chiseled, sharp forms and matte black demeanor. The grooming kit has a very ‘Don’t Mess’ quality about it, and comprises a beard trimmer, nose-hair trimmer, razor, and a brush+bowl set. Even the product branding is designed to intimidate and dominate!
Designers: Cody Moore, Keith Costa & Emmorie Jossie.
First they said Hey, you don’t need Bluetooth. Then they said you don’t need Radio. Then they said you don’t need a headphone jack, and you also don’t need to listen to music while charging your phone. I say enough is enough! Down with capitalism! On a lighter note, I’m actually saying that there’s a way to do both those things with your iPhone. That’s what the Accessport does, honestly… but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Designed as the one dongle for audiophiles, this gizmo allows you to plug BOTH headphone cable and lightning connector into your iPhone, while also working as an audio amplifier for your phone, so that you can play back your audio in complete 24-bit glory. 24-bit sound is said to be the closest thing to replicating original recordings. Most phones down-sample your audio to as much as 8-bit (which is incredibly low-def). However, when you hear audio back in 24-bit it sounds like a completely different track, with details and instruments that you didn’t even know existed in the soundtrack coming to life! The Accessport relies on your lightning port to power itself and play back your audio in complete detail. It even comes with playback buttons that allow you to navigate through your audio without having to fiddle with your phone. Siri compatibility means you can even use the Accessport while on call. The Accessport isn’t just built for your iPhone 7. Audiophiles all over can rejoice because the Accessport Lightning variant is compatible with all Apple devices using the lightning connector. Accessport even comes with MicroUSB and USB Type C variants (I for one am a proud Android Audiophile!).
Phones weren’t designed to be lossless audio playback devices, but with the Accessport, your phone can just as well rival any high definition music player… without the need for a headphone jack!
Designer: Peter Yoon
BUY IT HERE: $29.00
With 1.79 billion monthly active users on Facebook logged in the third quarter of 2016, you may find the network to be a treasure trove of new customers.
In this all-encompassing guide, weâ€™ll walk you through the basics of Facebook and brand examples you can be inspired by.
- Audit your current Facebook Page
- Figure out your content strategy
- Determine your engagement strategy
- Get started on Facebook Advertising
- Analyze your digital strategy
Check out Your Current Facebook Page
One of the first steps in grasping Facebook marketing is making sure youâ€™re taking advantage of all of Facebookâ€™s features.
If youâ€™re just getting started on creating a Facebook Page for your business, take a look at our setup guide.
If you have a current Page, take a moment to perform a 10-minute audit on it. The important thing to remember when performing an audit is that you need to write down your notes. Donâ€™t stop and fix items that you see are wrong. Note and move on.
Take advantage of Sprout Social’s Facebook reports to see which posts are performing best, your post engagement rate and your posting frequency.
Set up a custom date range, such as the past six months, to simplify your auditing process.
Important Items to Note:
- Posts: Write down publishing frequency, variety and what kind of post is receiving the most engagement.
- Imagery: Is the cover photo and profile photo on-brand? Are the photos and videos you share on-brand?
- About: Is the About section completely filled out? Are you missing important info, like a phone number? Do you have awards or milestones that could be important for your audience?
- Call-to-Action Button: What do you want people to do right now? Is your ultimate Facebook goal to drive new newsletter signups? Is your CTA button a newsletter signup?
- Current Analytics: How many fans do you have? What is your audience engagement rate?
Integrate Your Services
There are a variety of services that partner with Facebook to create a seamless experience. For example, if you own a restaurant, you would consider integrating your online reservation system with Facebook.
The idea is to make sure the customer doesnâ€™t leave your Page to search elsewhere for information.
Set up Shop
The Facebook Shop feature allows customers to shop directly on your Facebook Page. This feature is still rolling out for Pages and to those based outside the US. If you use Shopify, the integration is seamless and sets you up with a click of a button.
Advantage: Once you load in products, youâ€™ll be able to tag them in your Facebook Post.
Add Your Other Social Networks
Using a service like WooBox, you can add your social media streams as tabs in your Page. The Sill in New York has several of their social networks established as tabs: Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Advantage: Those who are active on other social networks can easily click to follow you from your Page instead of manually navigating to another app.
If your newsletter is part of your digital marketing strategy, you should provide a way for your fans to sign up from your Page. There are a couple options here. You can change the Pageâ€™s CTA button to â€œSign Upâ€� and redirect it to your newsletter sign-up page. Or you can see if your newsletter service offers an integration with Facebook.
Popular mailing services like Constant Contact and MailChimp offer integrations. Charm City Cakes added a tab to their Page with a simple â€œJoin My List.â€�
Advantage: You provide another way for fans to stay in touch with you.
Display Your Menu
For restaurants, bars and cafes, displaying menu information can be helpful for your new customers. If you select Local Businesses or Restaurant/Cafe as your Pageâ€™s category, you have the option to add a menu.
Absinthe Brasserie & Bar incorporates their menu seamlessly into their Facebook Page.
Advantage: Customers are readily given access to information that they mightâ€™ve already been searching for.
Figure out Your Content Strategy
The easiest way to establish and analyze your content strategy is to write everything down. Use the audit from earlier to note what has been working for your Page and what has not.
Create Your Own Voice
Your online voice is a digital extension of your brand. The companyâ€™s voice should â€œspeakâ€� to your target audiences. For example, donâ€™t use a lot of American slang if you have a global audience or else you risk alienating them.
The Sprout Social Q3 2016 Index showed that 71% of consumers unfollowed a brand due to embarrassment.
The Main Components of Establishing a Voice Are:
- Personality traits: Are you fun or serious? Are you sarcastic or punny?
- Common phrases: Are there brand phrases that you use? Perhaps your brand sells snowboards to professional athletes and youâ€™re able to use industry terms without explaining them.
This year, Wendyâ€™s made headlines by sassily replying to customer Tweets.
@ceophono No, your opinion is though.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 3, 2017
And if you navigate to their Facebook Page, youâ€™ll see that their personality remains consistent.
Advantage: Documenting your voice helps you decide if that post is â€œrightâ€� for your company. Youâ€™ll no longer need to second-guess yourself. If you have multiple people on your social team, you can train them on the company voice and then use our handy message approval system to ensure theyâ€™re on the right track.
Design Your Image Guidelines
Voice and imagery go hand-in-hand for your digital strategy. When you land on a companyâ€™s Facebook Page, the biggest digital real estate is the cover photo.
- Does the cover photo convey your brandâ€™s values, mission or goals?
- If it has a CTA, does the caption include how to take action?
- Does it blend smoothly with other photos your company has posted?
If you find that your images need resizing, use our free handy Landscape tool to easily resize images across social networks.
Soma Waterâ€™s Facebook Page clearly showcases a minimalist, neutral and easy attitude that lines up with the companyâ€™s values.
Advantage: When you have clear image guidelines, your customers can identify your company through your photos and videos. Think about large brands like Kate Spade and Nike and how you can recognize their images without finding their logos.
Decide on When to Post
Weâ€™ve found that the best time to post on Facebook falls around 1 p.m. on Thursdays. Once you decide on a frequency and ideal times, utilize a scheduling product like SproutÂ to easily fit your posts in throughout the week.
Advantage: Posting on a consistent basis lets your audience become used to your frequency.
Identify the Post Types You Want to Use on Facebook
There are six main Post types on Facebook and each one has its own advantage.
Seen moreÂ commonly from your friends than Pages, the simply worded status can easily convey website status failures or quick news updates.
Use links to share company blog posts, news or even products.
Almost all parts of the linked posts can be edited:
- And if you have a carousel post, you can incorporate multiple links into one post
Video posts uploaded directly into Facebook are gaining momentum. In January 2016, Facebook announced that it had hit 100 million hours of video watched a day on its network.
Just like in YouTube, you can create playlists that your fans can easily access.
And if youâ€™re feeling brave, use Facebook Live to connect more directly with your audience.
Like videos, photos are still a popular way of grabbing your audienceâ€™s attention. You can incorporate them as part of your post or add them to an album.
If you created a Facebook Store, youâ€™ll have the option to add the products into your posts. This can be especially helpful when you want to subtly identify products.
6. Take Action: Sign up, Get Messages
Most popularly used in conjunction with advertising, these CTA posts encourage your fans to take action immediately. These types of posts should be used sparingly since theyâ€™re considered to be more standard marketing material than they are in starting a conversation.
Determine Your Engagement Strategy
Much like creating your content strategy, how you respond to comments and questions is another vital part of your Facebook marketing.
- How will you respond to a customerâ€™s angry post?
- How quickly will you respond?
The first step of knowing your audience a little better is listening to them. Our Smart Inbox can compile all of the posts tagged with your branded hashtags into one place. This makes it easy for you to respond when necessary.
Despite the number of messages that require a response rising by 18%, brands still reply to only 11% of them.
Social Customer Care
Facebook offers Messenger as an easy customer care solution. When 34.5% of customers choose social media as their communication route to businesses, establishing a service solution is important.
This also includes making sure you respond and read reviews. Cremaâ€™s reviews are displayed prominently on their Page, allowing visitors to see what others have enjoyed.
Get Started on Facebook Advertising
Facebook Advertising takes on three types of goals: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. Depending on your goals for this network, incorporating ads into your Facebook marketing strategy can be useful. Weâ€™ve broken three common types of ads down into levels.
To set up an ad, head to Facebookâ€™s Ad Manager.
Pro tip: Save your custom audiences. You do not need an ad to create an audience. Creating custom audiences that include demographic and interest targeting will cut out time later when youâ€™re creating ads.
1. Beginner: Boost Your Posts
To work around Facebookâ€™s algorithmic timeline, Pages use the Boost Post advertising feature to expand their brand visibility. Some Boost to their Pageâ€™s current audience while others promote to their newsletter subscribers.
Boosting a post can be easily done through the post itself or through Ad Manager.
2. Intermediate: Collect Leads
Letâ€™s say that your biggest goal for Facebook is to increase the number of email subscribers you have. These CTA posts have a handy button that will track clicks. You can be billed per click-through, per impressions or any other available metric.
3. Advanced: Increase Conversion
Adding a Facebook pixel to your website can help you track conversions on shoppable products. This also allows you to retarget website visitors on Facebook, getting your ad in front of people who are more likely to click through.
Pro tip: If you see an ad you like in your feed, you can use the dropdown to create a similar ad.
Analyze Your Strategies
Youâ€™ve created your strategy and youâ€™ve executed it. Now itâ€™s time to analyze it.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
Use the Pages to Watch feature to keep an eye on industry competitors.
Our Facebook Competitors Report breaks down your competitorsâ€™ performance over a custom period of time. Youâ€™ll be able to track how you compare to other Pages on sent and received messages, post types and engagements per post.
Review Your General Analytics
Our Facebook Pages Report gives presentation-ready graphics on important statistics. If you set a goal for increasing your post engagements over time, youâ€™ll be able to easily see if you hit the target.
Use our handy Engagement Report to understand how quickly youâ€™re responding to customers and how many messages you might be missing.
Marketing on Facebook can be challenging. Make sure youâ€™re keeping up with the latest network updates by reading our blog. If you find that managing messages is overwhelming, take advantage of our 30-day trial to see if we can help lessen the load.
Today, when we think of “radio,” the first thing that comes to mind is an app or streaming music website. However, in the past, listening to your tunes was always associated with a tangible, dedicated device. Modern in form yet old-school in functionality, AUDIOINFINITY aims to bring back this type of interaction.
Users can tap in to any radio around the world. With just a twist of its intuitive dial control, users can switch between stations, discover new music, store favorites, and access saved tunes in the cloud. A truly infinite source of audio, listeners around the world can like and share to create fine-tuned global stations.
Designer: Abishek Yenji
The customer journey is an increasingly complex beast.
Your prospects and customers are interacting and engaging with you over a whole series of different channels and touchpoints.
Up to 76% of B2B buyers now use three or more channels before making a purchase.
Responding to this fragmented picture, marketing technology came along to help marketers make sense of the new picture.
But the marketing technology landscape is now an increasingly complex beast as well!
It’s estimated there are some 4,000 martech solutions now available - a whopping increase of 2500% since 2011.
In the face of all this choice, marketers can sometimes lose sight of the crucial principle - the customer experience.
This should always be at the heart of any marketing tech solution and indeed any marketing strategy
Why does your martech stack need to deliver a good customer experience?
With 89% of consumers said it was important for retailers to let them shop for products in the way that is convenient for them and the average shopper now makes an average of 9.5 visits to a retailer’s site before deciding to make a purchase, customer experience is changing from a focus for marketers to a central pillar of their philosophy.
In this environment it’s no good having state-of-the-art tech solutions that don’t ensure a seamless customer journey for your prospects.
That’s why you need to demand a solution that delivers maximum flexibility, ease of use and intelligent campaign implementation.
In order to deliver this your marketing stack needs to enable you to target and segment prospects, deliver cross-channel marketing campaigns, deliver content marketing campaigns, work across social media, integrate into other legacy technologies including data management platforms.
We will now take a look at each of these key aspects and why each one is vital in delivering a great customer experience.
Targeting and segmentation - why it matters
Customers today demand an integrated and seamless experience across all the channels they use.
As a brand, you have to know and understand them as individuals, not as broad demographics or generic groupings. Luckily, the technology is now there to help do just that.
If you are to deliver a truly personalised and relevant marketing approach, you absolutely must be able to easily segment and target prospects and customers.
If you don’t have the ability to quickly identify and target your audience individually, they will lose faith in your brand.
Delivering personalised, timely and intelligent interactions demonstrates that you know your customer and encourages them to spend more with you.Cross-channel marketing - why it matters
Your prospects and customers are operating across multiple channels - but is your marketing?
According to 1 in 3 customers, the biggest improvement businesses must make is providing an integrated buying experience across channels.
Cross-channel marketing doesn’t simply mean having a presence on every platform, from email to social media.
It means delivering contextualised and informed messages appropriate to different channels.
The keyword is orchestration.
This creates a much better customer experience by integrating, streamlining and simplifying.
Content marketing - why it matters
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
That means getting the right content to your prospects when, where and how they want it is at the very heart of customer experience.
This is increasingly complex in a multichannel world with people accessing content here, there and everywhere. But it’s absolutely critical.
Social media marketing - why it matters
The big communications success story of our time, social media experienced an 829% increase in users between 2005 and 2015.
Social media has allowed customers to take greater control of the buying cycle, and have conversations about you and your sector.
These are opportunities to engage and interact with people, and also to build social media into your lead generation activities.
Integrating social tools with marketing automation tools allows you to reach customers where they are, and deliver a better, more rounded and more interactive customer experience.
Integration and data management - why it matters
Data management platforms (DMP) are designed to deal with the fragmented, multichannel world of big data coming in from first party sources you manage, second party sources you access through partnerships, and third party generic data.
A DMP can aggregate and integrate disparate user information to create single customer views using all the information available about each user.
And with a single customer view, you suddenly have the power to tailor content and engage with individual prospects in a much more joined-up way.
The customer experience becomes coherent and effective because of the insights you hold.
Make sure your martech adds up to a great customer experience
Marketers today face a colossal array of different marketing technology and marketing automation solutions.
Cut through the noise and make sure you’re asking the right questions to get the optimum tools.
It’s all about delivering a fantastic customer experience.
- Marketing technology should allow you to easily design and run sophisticated campaigns
- You must be able measure and view results intelligently
- Agility is key - it should be easy to change and restart campaigns on the go
- Avoid any overcomplicated marketing automation system that means you need help from IT to run it
- Key capabilities include targeting and segmentation, cross-channel, content, integration and data management
See how you can make your martech stack add up to a good customer experience, download The Guide to Building Your Marketing Technology Stack now
At the start of the year, I saw a quote by James Clear that really stuck with me. He said if you want more success, work on your habits, not your goals. It’s a really solid piece of leadership advice.
Work on Habits, Not Goals
Let’s say your goal is to have 10 active clients in your business in any given month. It’s a good enough goal (depending on the business model). But how will you get there? Action. Habit-driven action.
The big key point here is that you have to point your ATTENTION (and you have very limited attention) on those habits that will help you reach those goals. MOST people tend to put their mental focus on the number 10. I need ten clients. They miss where the attention needs to go.