Robin Brown, Graphic Design Associate
Your company’s visual identity should evolve overtime to ensure that your brand is up-to-date, looks modern, and is relevant. But, how exactly do you know when it’s time to change your company logo?
First, you have to determine if your logo is timeless or if it’s starting to look a bit out of date. Think of a few companies whose logos have remained stagnant throughout time, Nike, Google, Apple, and Starbucks may come to mind, but if you pay close attention you’ll notice that even these logos have changed and morphed slightly over time. Google’s first logo featured a bit of beveling along the edges to give it depth, while their present-day logo now features flat letters and a slightly different color scheme since a lot of modern online UX design encourages flat design elements. This is just one example of how you may subtly update your logo every few years to keep up with ever-changing design trends.
Not sure how to tell if your logo is timeless? When in doubt, turn to the five principles of logo design. It should always strive to be:
Your logo should be an accurate depiction of what your company does in the simplest, most easy-to-digest form possible. If you’re unsure if your logo will withstand the test of time or if you need a brand refresh, reach out to speak with a designer about improvements that could be made.
Steve Ryan, Founder & CEO
Brands have flocked to social media and social media advertising as an extension of their brand, showcasing product, telling their story, and trying to increase conversions; however, they are still struggling with high-level customer service. According to the Q2 2017 Sprout Social Index, only 1 in 10 messages receives a response from a brand on social media, taking an average of 11 hours to respond. Social media is not a one-sided conversation and brands need to realize that as they push content into the feeds of consumers. Brands need to be listening and responding to the conversations.
According to the 2019 Hanapin State of Paid Social report that was recently released, "97% of marketers are investing in social advertising, up 10% from last year." If you're paying for social media advertising, you should be investing in customer service on these channels as well. Customers who have questions, positive reviews, or complaints found you on social media and likely want to communicate with you directly from that channel. Customers want to speak with the brand from the channel they're on - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat.
If you're looking for a brand that does customer service and engagement well on social media, look no further than Southwest Airlines. They must have a behemoth social team - actively responding to customers (happy and not so happy) every hour of every day. Each team member signs their responses with his/her name and adds a slice of humor or personality with each engagement. Their customer service social strategy is done right.
Let's talk about a real life experience, turned social media experiment. A brand that runs a sale for two weeks. The day after the sale ends a follow-up email goes out to their database extending the sale and sweetening the deal by adding free shipping on all orders placed that day. Nice thought, but what about all of the customers that bought during the sale and paid the shipping cost?
Unhappy customers turned to social media to express their frustrations. Customers commented on the post announcing the extended sale and free shipping expressing their displeasure without a response from the brand. As a fellow unhappy customer that was charged shipping, I tried to resolve the issue privately by DMing the brand on Twitter. 24 hours later, I didn't have a response and my frustration was growing. I followed up with a DM on Instagram. Same situation - no response. I followed up with an email. No response.
According to the Sprout Social Q3 2017 Index, consumers take action when a brand does not respond to their social media message. Nearly 40% of consumers will move along to the next social channel, as illustrated above, to seek resolution.
While trying to resolve the issue privately, a friend publicly tweeted at the brand directly expressing her frustration and almost immediately had a DM from the brand offering to refund the shipping cost.
This brand cares more about the public outcry than those that tried to handle it privately. Their email marketing team might have messed this one up a bit, but their social media team took an even bigger hit by leaving their disgruntled customers without a response.
What do consumers really want? They want to be heard and have some sort of resolution to their issue and often times a simple response will go a long way. A brand is going to answer the phone when someone calls (during normal business hours when the next available agent is ready), so why wouldn't you respond on social media? Show your customers that you care and are willing to respond to their needs it will turn into real dollars.
If your team doesn't have the time or bandwidth to have a dedicated social media customer service team member on staff, you run the risk of losing important customers and business. Partnering with a third party social media company allows you to focus on the day to day of your business operations while they handle the customer service responses in an effective and timely manner.
Still not convinced? Read Why You Need a Social Media Customer Service Plan from our friends at Sprout Social.
FOLLOW RYTECH ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
You've done your research. You've seen the articles on how content marketing can boost website authority, drive traffic and get eyes on your products and services. You sit down and meticulously type up a blog article about your new service, post it on social media, sit back and wait for the orders to roll in...except they never do. Where did you go wrong? The article is engaging, provides hard data and explains why your service is better than that other company's service.
It sounds like you need help improving your content conversion rates.
Consistently producing relevant, interesting content is no easy task. Getting potential customers to convert on that content is even harder. Between doing keyword research, analyzing what's already being said, and then figuring out not only what to say, but how to say it, you'll have your work cut out for you. On top of that, you need to figure out how to get people to buy what you're selling. But this process doesn't necessarily have to be immediate. In fact, since around 98% of customers won't make a purchase during their 1st visit to your website, compelling content acts more as a long-term strategy by building brand awareness, establishing authority and bringing a unique perspective -- all of which play a significant role in customers' minds when it comes time to convert later on.
By producing unique content, you're sowing the seeds of a good reputation. Now it's time to figure out how to harvest it and improve your content conversion rates.
Note: while "content" is an all-encompassing term for many types of media, for the purposes of this article, "content" refers to web pages.
Consider Tangential Content
Tangential content: articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc. that delve into a topic that's...well, tangentially related to your products/services/brand, but isn't intended to encourage an immediate conversion. For instance, let's say you hypothetically own a small taco restaurant called Let's Taco 'Bout Tex-Mex. You could consider writing an article about the essential kitchen equipment necessary to create delicious tacos because it's interesting and informative, it may gain social shares and even an influx of organic traffic; however, it probably won't do much to bring foot traffic to your doorstep. But that's not the goal of tangential content, anyway. It's supposed to be different from your typical, branded, here's-why-you-should-buy-my-product articles because frankly, those articles often struggle to get viewership.
Tangential content is more shareable because it isn't a sales-oriented pitch. It strives to improve website authority by link building, establishing a voice, solidifying your reputation and reaching a wide, top-of-funnel audience. Branded content is great to have, but if you're a small business with little clout or if you work in a boring industry, it's going to be hard to gain conversions without that authoritative reputation; and tangential content is the opportunity to build that foundation.
Clear, Prominent, Consistent Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
If you're producing branded content that's sole purpose is to drive conversions, make sure to optimize on-page user experience. Make your intentions clear and make it as easy as possible for users to take whichever action you desire -- make a purchase, register for an event, call, etc. If you don't explicitly and consistently communicate what you want your customers to do after engaging with your website, they won't take those actions. It may sound in-your-face or cheesy, but multiple, clear and prominent CTAs scattered throughout the page will attract and guide users to click through the rest of your sales funnel. CTAs should be short (just a few words), to-the-point, and attention-grabbing. Something as simple as "Call Now", "Request Sample", or "Start Free Trial" will suffice.
Analyze the Customer's Journey
One way to truly understand how potential customers interact with your website is to become one. Start your journey with a Google search of your product or service and see the ways in which users are able (or unable!) to convert. Ask yourself these questions:
As search engines become more and more sophisticated, they adapt to user behaviors. One of the largest trends currently is the advent of mobile-first indexing. In this high-tech world of interconnectedness, just over half of Google searches are now done on mobile devices. That's not to say that desktops aren't important anymore -- they still are. But as more and more users use their phones to conduct searches, the importance of mobile optimization grows.
While Google has stated that mobile responsive design doesn't directly affect organic SERP rankings, it sure does affect on-page statistics like bounce rate, time on page, and overall user experience. Have you ever visited a site on your phone and you had to keep zooming in and out because the text is too small? Or have a hard time clicking on correct menu elements? Yeah...not fun.
But while mobile conversion rates tend to be low and bounce rates remain high, this can be attributed to a number of factors, such as:
Despite these points, mobile bounce rates are trending downward as users become more comfortable with using their phones for day-to-day web browsing. So you may as well get ahead of the curve while you can.