10 ways to make B2B blogs more enjoyable

When it comes to business to business (B2B) marketing, blogging can be a valuable tool. Your blog is a great place to showcase your knowledge and dive in-depth on your products, in a way that you wouldn’t able to in a quick tweet or status update. 

The downside is that B2B marketing has a reputation for being boring – and, unfortunately, in our experience a lot of the content we see lives up to that expectation. There’s a common misconception that blogs targeted towards other businesses need to have a straightforward or corporate feel. While we don’t believe you should compromise your professionalism, we believe it’s possible to share your knowledge without putting everyone to sleep. 

If you’re looking to give your business marketing a more approachable feel, we suggest you check out these tips to keep your marketing focused, but fun, for the reader. We believe that B2B marketing done right might even be what helps set you apart from a competitor! 

 

10 Ways to Make B2B Blogs More Enjoyable  |  Hue & Tone Creative

 

1.  Talk like a human

No matter how interested a potential customer is in your topic, talking like a robot is going to lead to people clicking off your website. Type like you talk, keep it simple, and don’t be afraid to push the conventional boundaries -- i.e. don’t let that red squiggly line stop you from experimenting with your words!

One caveat? Just make sure your meaning and professionalism aren’t lost in too much slang. If you wouldn’t say something in the workplace, don’t type it on the blog. 

 

2.  Don’t forget the fun factor

Business owners, directors, and managers still have a sense of humor, so don’t sap all the fun out of your blogs. Adding fun anecdotes or playful pictures into your blogs can help them feel more relatable. 

 

3.  Don’t baffle them with jargon

Getting lost in the jargon of a blog is never productive. Ever. Even though you’re addressing to other experts in your field, you’ll want to talk in simple terms and only use jargon when it’s needed. You never want to assume every reader knows what you do, so be sure to explain terms on the first instance you use them.

 

4.  Don’t publish a wall of text

Stay away from clunky chunks of text -- they’re not enjoyable to look at or read. Use subheadings, pull quotes, and succinct paragraphs to make your text easier to browse. Even if you’re publishing a whitepaper, there’s no reason not to give your readers a pleasant and intuitive experience. 

 

5.  Mix up your mediums

Remember, blogs don’t always have to be written like an article. Try out creating an infographic or recording a video blog. You can also consider publishing presentations or papers – it’s content you’ve already created, and chances are if it was worth presenting about it’s a relevant topic. Don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to, just share the work you’ve already done! 

 

6.  Use images creatively

In need of some fresh photos? We’ve complied a list of FREE stock photo sites

If your blog is long, add a few images in along the way so that it’s not too text heavy. Be creative with your choice of images, and try to refrain from using the same handful of stock photos repeatedly. 

 

7.  Keep it concise

Business owners are busy people, so the last thing they want is to have to read through three paragraphs of mumbo jumbo before actually getting to the relevant information. Get to the point early on and it’ll be a more enjoyable read all round.

 

8.  Use examples

Examples can be a great way to show off how you can help. Using real life scenarios are often more relatable to potential customers and give you a chance to show off your results and solutions. So, instead of explaining, start showing what you can do!

 

9. Sentence structures

Writing is a craft. Not everyone’s good at it -- nor are they expected to be. But when you’ve got a good writer on board, they can make even dullest topics enjoyable. Something as simple as mixing up sentence structures can quickly ramp up the readability-factor.

 

10.  Reader participation

Whether it’s adding a quick poll half way through a post or inviting readers to leave a comment at the end, getting your audience involved with your blog is another way to get them more invested in the content. 


Hue & Tone: Your partner in B2B Content Creation 

Need a helping hand to elevate your blogs to the next level? Here at Hue & Tone Creative, we’ve got you covered from the right words right to the perfect picture. Contact us today to learn more about our design and marketing services.

Is print dead: In the age of digital, do you still need business cards and brochures?

The ‘is print dead?’ debate has been going on for, well, what seems like ages. Print has been on the decline for decades, but it’s far from completely irrelevant. While demand for things like hardcopy newspapers and print advertising has been decreasing, we believe there’s still a place for print in your marketing strategy. 

The power of digital marketing

Back in the day when print was everyone’s primary marketing method, there simply weren’t other effective alternatives available. As technology has evolved, so has the way we advertise. 

Digital advertising empowers advertisers with advanced analytics, sophisticated targeting options and greater monitoring capabilities. It’s also an incredibly cost effective marketing tool. With a cheaper buy-in cost than traditional advertising, digital advertising is a great option for small businesses, new businesses, and startups. Quick results and quick set-up also make it easy for non-marketing professionals to control.  

Together, all these factors make digital marketing an attractive option – but that doesn’t mean it’s without drawbacks. 

 

 

Concerns over digital advertising – and the staying power of print

According to research conducted by FedEx Office, 9 in 10 consumers believe there will always be a place for print collateral, and 85% said they’re more likely to shop with a business if it has professional printed materials like flyers, banners and business cards. (And, it wasn’t just baby boomers that FedEx Office surveyed – similar results were seen among millennial survey responses as well.) 

With so many businesses fighting for attention online, it’s easy for consumers to feel bombarded -- and many are starting to push back against the monopoly our digital devices have on our time and attention. Things like digital detoxes, technology free wedding ceremonies, and giving up Facebook for Lent have all become ideas that are part of the collective dialogue on technology’s place in our day-to-day lives.  

Additionally, concerns over data privacy on Facebook and Google are fueling a push for greater transparency in digital advertising

With all that in mind, we don’t see digital advertising as the end all be all of modern marketing. Digital advertising is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean it’s only option in the game. Diversifying your marketing plan with both traditional and digital advertising can give you a greater reach and help insulate you against future trends.  

 

How to make print work for you

Don’t limit your print pieces to traditional cards and brochures – think about what kind of swag you can give to people! Things like koozies, pens, and can openers can provide a repeated reminder of your brand to potential customers. 

Consider this: With digital becoming the norm, is print becoming a unique way to grab people’s attention? When working on your marketing plan, think about how you might leverage print as a way to disrupt the new norm of digital. When strategically leveraged, print can provides a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and target your market in a less saturated environment -- giving you a greater chance of getting noticed.

In addition to the element of unexpectedness, print is a tangible leave behind. If everything you do is online, you’re relying solely on the consumer remembering your brand oryou’ll be spending more to actively and repeatedly display your ads on their mobile/desktop device. Print pieces like business cards and brochures are a great leave behind for people to hang on to. 

 

Putting print into context

Looking for an easy way to make combine your digital + print efforts? Make sure your social media icons are on your business cards. You’ll be connecting people with your online presence through a more traditional marketing method. 

Spend around print advertising might be declining, but when you look at the big picture, is print really dead? We don’t think so – and we think the facts back us up.  

While print’s role in your marketing plan has probably changed, it still has a place. A well thought out campaign will be able to leverage print and social media in tandem to stretch advertising dollars to reach the widest (and most qualified) audience possible. 

Don’t let digital distract you from missing out on a valuable marketing opportunity. Instead of thinking “print vs. digital” we suggest thinking about how all the mediums work together – and how print advertising can support your digital efforts (and vice versa).


Hue & Tone Creative: Print and social advertising in Greensboro, NC

Whether you're looking to create a new digital campaign -- or looking something a bit more old school -- we're here to help. Experts in all things digital and all things print, we'll get every element of your marketing plan up to speed. Shoot us an email and let's discuss how we might be able to partner together. 

13 easy to implement SEO tips

14 easy to implement SEO tips  |  Hue & Tone Creative

In need of more in-depth information? Check out our articles on finding relevant keywords, discovering new keywords, and essential do’s and don’ts of SEO.

Implementing proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics isn’t a quick fix marketing solution – but when done properly it is worth the long-term investment. If you’re new to the world of SEO and are in need of a few quick tips to get your feet off the ground, then you’re in the right place -- because we’ve got 13 easy to implement tips for you.

  1. Make sure the meta descriptions for your images are enticing. That way, when people do come across your image in search results they’ll be more inclined to click through – it’s a great place to use your page’s keywords too. 
     
  2. Keep internal linking front of mind when you’re creating new pages. Linking to your own content will help define your site’s architecture and encourage visitors to explore other pages of your site.
     
  3. Don’t underestimate the power of title tags. Title tags are the HTML title element used to briefly and accurately describes the topic and theme of an online document. They’re rumored to be the most important on-page SEO element (behind the content itself), so make sure they’re reflective of the content, catchy, and inclusive of relevant keywords.
     
  4. Make sure your content is fresh. Google is always crawling for new content and to avoid being left behind you need to be constantly updating your site. A blog is a simple way to do this – but can backfire if you set one up and never update it. Minimum, we suggest updating your blog a few times a month. Ideally, you’ll be updating it a few times a week.
     
  5. Keep an eye out for broken links. Broken links can stop search engine spiders from crawling your site, which can impede your SEO efforts. Use an online tool like Screaming Frog to find broken links and fix them. 
     
  6. Optimize your page speed. In July of 2018, page speed will become a ranking factor for mobile search. To make sure your users aren’t left hanging around, let PageSpeed Insights’ report help you iron out any issues.
     
  7. Stay concise to reach featured snippet status. A featured snippet is a summary of an answer to a user's query, which is displayed on top of Google search results. It's extracted from a webpage and includes the page's title and URL. Increase your odds of having a featured snippet by creating great content that answers specific questions.
     
  8. Optimize your images. Make sure your file name, caption, ALT text and title text all include relevant keywords. While you’re at it, make sure the file size isn’t too big either -- this can slow down your page load speed.
     
  9. Make sure your XML sitemap is up-to-date. An up-to-date site map means search engines can find your pages easier. Remember, Google ranks your pages, not your website.
     
  10. Research your keywords before you start adding pages. Proper research will ensure you get the most out of your content and rank for the right terms.
     
  11. Make sure your content is high quality. Google can easily recognize quality content, so don’t think you’ll be able to fool the algorithm by posting a high quantity of subpar articles. To rank well, you’ll want to write content that is conversational, informative, focused, clear, and easy to digest (tables and numbered lists help with this). And, don’t forget to link to reliable outbound sites. 
     
  12. Utilize a clear URL structure. Utilizing an SEO-friendly URL structure will help with the indexation process of your website. Your URL should be structured like this:  http://domainname.com/subdirectory/filename.
     
  13. Diversify your keyword strategy. Don’t just focus all your efforts on basickeywords -- target longtail keywords too. Although long-tail keywords are usually searched for less often than their shorter counterparts, they tend to bring in a high conversion rate because they are so specific.

Hue & Tone: Your Greensboro Marketing Partner

Don't get stuck trying to figure out your entire marketing strategy yourself. Focus on what you do best, and let us do what we do best. Whether you're a new business or just in need of some fresh ideas, we can help you plan your marketing strategy from social media and SEO to print and radio advertising. Give us a call today to get started. 

How to design a user-friendly form (and still get the information you need)

How to design a user-friendly form (and still get the information you need)  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Forms are essential for gathering user’s information in a smart and efficient way. Getting them wrong means a poor user experience and abandoned leads – which translates to missed opportunities and lost revenue. 

Because the formatting and design of your forms has a direct impact on how well they convert, we’ve collated some top tips to make sure your forms are performing as effectively as possible.  

 

1.  Form length: Always question the why

How long should a good form be? The more fields you give a user to fill out, the less likely someone will be to complete it. However, the more information a lead is willing to give, the more likely they are to be a qualified lead. Like most questions of quality versus quantity, the key is to strike a balance. 

For every question you have in your form, take a moment and really ask yourself why do I need this detail at this stage of the user’s journey? If some of the information can wait until later on in the buyer’s journey, consider leaving it out in an effort to streamline your form.

 

2.  Page placement

When adding a form to your website, it’s important to place the form near the top of the page. Visitors shouldn’t have to scroll to get to your form – and if they do, chances are they won’t fill the form out. 

 

3. Tailor the keyboard

In this day and age all forms need to be mobile responsive. But, did you know you can also take user experience a step further by customizing keyboard layouts? 

This one’s only for mobile or tablet forms, but we thought it deserved its own shout out. To make the user’s life eveneasier, you can code your site so that the keyboard changes each time a user clicks on a new field. For example, the keyboard will default to digits when they’re filling out their phone number. 

For more on how to do that, check out this Treehouse article

 

4.  Time saving tactics

Users are accustomed to a quick and easy sign-up process – nothing should slow them down from filling out the form you provided. To make sure their experience is as streamlined as possible, make sure you’re abiding by these tips: 

  • If the user has already provided you with information, make sure you’re pre-populating any fields you can.  
  • Instead of waiting until users click “submit,” make sure to highlight errors or overlooked fields as soon as users click on to the next field. Boxes with incorrect information should be highlighted in red straight away – that way users won’t be stuck scrolling through a form trying to figure out what needs to be fixed. 
  • If what you’re asking might be unclear, be sure to add descriptive information or a tip call out near what you’re asking. If a user gets stuck, you can be sure they’ll abandon the form. 
  • If there’s no way around using a lengthy form, give users an option to save their information so that they can return and complete it at a later date. And, if this is the case, be sure to automate email reminders that will nudge them to come back and complete the form. 

 

5. Submit button

Once the form is filled out, the last major factor for form success is the “submit” button. While labeling this button “submit” seems like an obvious choice, it may not be the best choice. 

According to Hubspot, landing pages with buttons labeled “Submit” actually have lower conversion rates than those that use other wording. Consider buttons that relate back to your initial offer, or sound less committal than "Submit." Try out things like: "Go," "Download your free e-book," or "Get Started." 

 

Further reading:  

Looking for a more resources on how to create effective forms and successfully convert leads? We’ll leave you with these three suggestions for further reading: 


Hue & Tone Creative: Greensboro Web, Design, and Social

No matter what your marketing needs, we've got your back. Take a look at all of the services we offer and then get in touch -- we'll work with you to set up a custom marketing solution that addresses all your needs. 

How to curate a case study that connects

When researching a potential purchase or prospective partner organization, 78% of business to business (B2B) shoppers report seeking out case studies during their research. 

It’s hardly surprising. When you go shopping for a pair of pants online, there’s usually buyer reviews and customer snapshots available to help aide you in your purchasing decision. You can see if things are true to fit and what percent of verified customers would buy the item again. Case studies are like the business equivalent of that – they showcase outcomes of your work and convey your customer satisfaction. 

You can scream about how brilliant your brand is until you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day, it’s the words of others that validate what you’re saying.

Keeping that starting stat of 78% in mind, think about all the potential new business you might be able to capture -- case studies can help seal the deal on referral business, as well as help pull new folks in off the street. 

How to curate a case study that connects  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Once you’ve identified a few past clients or projects you would like to highlight, it’s time to get the ball rolling. To help jumpstart your interview with your past customers we’ve put together a list of questions you can ask. These will help facilitate a useful conversation that should give you a few prime quotes to include in your case study:

 

Getting client feedback for a case study

1. How has our product/service helped your business?

Until businesses buy from you and experience your business for themselves, they’ll never truly know how much you can help them. So, let other businesses give them an insight into how you made their life easier. Chances are they’ll be able to see how your offerings would fit into their life as well. 

 

2. What was the tipping point to buying our product/service?

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. It’s not uncommon for businesses to do things a certain way because that’s “how they’ve always done it.” Long term, this can mean getting stuck in a serious rut – sometimes without evening realizing it. 

By asking past customers what made them choose you you’ll be able to get a better idea of how to sell to new customers. Pay close attention to the pain points that customers site – what problem did you fix for them? Chances are, this is the same pain point a new potential client might have. 

 

3. Which part(s) of our product/service do you find most valuable?

Get your clients to brag for you! It might even give you a new idea or angle to target in your marketing.

 

4. Would you recommend us to other businesses? And if so, why?

The all-important seal of approval. In a world where you’re constantly fighting for clients against your competition, shout about why other businesses opted for you over them.

 

5. If you had to describe our business in one sentence, what would it be?

Adding in a nice little one liner is a great way to get a short and snappy overview of your business. While questions one through four are all great questions, sometimes you just need something a little less lengthy.

If you’re lucky enough to get clients recommending you on camera, this one’s great for creating a to-the-point video compilation that brings the words of many together.

 

6. Do you think there’s any way we could improve our product/service?

This one’s not for your actual case study, but why not kill two birds with one stone and do a bit of market research while you’re at it? Use this question to find out where your gaps are, see if there are any trends emerging, and tweak your product or service accordingly.

 

What else to include in your case study

Now that you’ve got a handful of client testimonials, it’s time to put together your actual case study. There’s a few things you should include to give your client an accurate idea of the scope and effectiveness of your work:

  • Give a little background around the client. If you need to keep it anonymous, no worries, just give an idea of the size of the company, industry, and a few of their products. 
  • Outline the goals they were looking to accomplish. What was your client or customer looking for when they came to you? Did you help them tailor their goals? What goals could you help them with – and what services should people go elsewhere for? 
  • Highlight the process, products, and services you used when working toward the client’s goal. This is your opportunity to emphasize the services you offer and show what sets you apart from the competition. Establish yourself as a subject expert by showing off what you know. You don’t have to give away your industry secrets, but showing you have a firm grasp on your field will help you build trust with a potential customer. 
  • Emphasize the outcomes. In conjunction with the client quotes you gathered, you’ll want to use hard numbers to prove your success. Personal relationships and client satisfaction are important – but when it comes to business, employees want to be able to show their higher-ups that you’ll be able to deliver on what you said. Facts and figures will help you drive home your pitch. 

 

Distribute your new case studies

Now, it’s time to start capturing potential clients. If you’re taking the time to curate case studies, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most out of them. Once you’ve got a bank of case studies, you’re armed to hit every single marketing touchpoint.

You can spread the word about your case studies just about anywhere: 

  • Test out pop-ups on your website with a case study download
  • Create tailored landing pages with different case studies that appeal to different buyer personas
  • Share them on social media
  • Distribute them in your email newsletter
  • Create videos or motion graphics using the information and quotes 
  • Still utilize a print newsletter? Share your case studies there! 
  • Arm your sales team with case studies to help them close the deal
  • Link a favorite case study in your email signature 
  • Highlight them in PowerPoint presentations or lunch n’ learns 
  • Use them as a training tool for new employees

Whether it’s splattering an excerpt on social media or including a banner in your emails, don’t hide them away. Use your case studies to support your messages, and take every opportunity to get your potential clients to read them! 


Hue & Tone Creative: Marketing in Greensboro, NC

Completely stumped when it comes to your B2B marketing? Case studies need a design overhaul? Or maybe you just need help distributing them? We can help with every step on the process. Want to see what we've done for our other clients? Take a look at our portfolio.

6 ingredients for a successful social media post

6 ingredients for a successful social media post  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Creating a social media post that connects with your audience can feel like a tough equation to crack. It’s not about creating a viral post or achieving international attention, it’s about getting a return on the time you invest in social media. 

Instead of constantly guessing what's going to bring you success, we’ve pulled together six key ingredients to help you build a strong social media post and get your audience socializing with you! 

 

1.  Know when to stop

Whatever platform you’re publishing on, keep your social media posts short and snappy. You don’t have an infinite amount of time to draw peoples’ attention, so curate something concise and eye catching. 

Every once in a while you can publish a meatier post -- but for the most part it’s important to bear in mind the medium you’re writing for. Social media is all about quick, consumable content, so try to keep it quick as often as you can.

 

2. Take the test

When you’re putting your post together, put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask yourself “would I really stop scrolling for this?” - and answer honestly!

It’s easy to slip into the habit of posting every piece of content you’ve got out on social, but if it doesn’t sit right, don’t hit send for the sake of posting. Incorporate social media into your content strategy, and consider producing pieces for the sole purpose of social engagement.

 

3. Keep it clean

It sounds super simple, but you’d be surprised by how many businesses fill their posts with a line of clunky URL. Keep your posts nice and clean by shortening your links to something succinct and tidy - a tool like bit.lywill do the trick.

 

4. Don’t hide away

Make the most of hashtags to increase your post’s exposure and open yourself up to new audiences. While you’re at it, mention relevantpages or people to benefit from their bandwidth too.

As with everything in life though, remember, it’s all about balance. Going over the top with hashtags or tagging can easily start looking spammy.

 

5. Impactful imagery

Your words are one half of the battle. Your images are the other. People can sniff overly staged imagery from a mile off, so try to mix your pictures up a bit to keep your feeds looking human. 

Play around with styles to see what gets most traction. Cartoon figures or real-life people? Plain images or a text overlay? Something subjective or objective? If it’s feasible, the odd video would be a great addition to experiment with as well.

 

6. Ask away

People aren’t mind readers. If you want to spark a discussion, make it clear that you’re asking a question, looking for feedback, or welcoming their thoughts. 

If you wanted to be slightly sneaky, you could always ask a colleague to get the ball rolling by posting the first comment...
 

So, there are our six tips to start your journey to social media success – now, go get posting!


SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT IN GREENSBORO, NC

Does posting on social media slip your mind on a daily basis? Or, maybe you're overcome with panic every time you're about to hit "post"? Well, we're ready to get social on your behalf. At Hue & Tone Creative, social media is a part of our daily routine. Let us take social media off your to do list -- we'll handle everything from the planning to the posting. 

5 signs you need help with your content

5 signs you need help with your content  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Your content is at the core of everything you do. Every part of your business relies on strongly written content – everything from your website and welcome emails to business cards and online ads. 

But how do you know if your content is connecting with potential and future customers? We’ve put together a list of 5 key signs that you need to revamp your content or bring in some outside help to revive it. 

 

1.  Your traffic isn’t converting

Plenty of people are landing on your website, but your conversion rates are way below what you’d expect them to be. There are a whole load of factors that could be contributing to this, but content tends to be one of them – along with page design, graphics, and mobile compatibility. 

Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate was 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. Ideally, you want to break into the top 10% — these are the landing pages with conversion rates of 11.45% or higher. 

Ask yourself -- does your content do your product or service justice? Does it clearly explain what you’re about? Does it speak to your audience in a way they want to be spoken to? Is it accurate and engaging? Does it give people a reason to choose you over your competitors? If you just answered with a stream of no’s, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

If you’re not sure how your content is being received, consider sending out a survey or asking a few key customers for their thoughts. Sometimes an outside perspective is needed!

 

2.  Your website it stale

When’s the last time you added a piece of content to your site? So long ago you can’t remember? Well, therein lies your problem.

Google likes to see fresh content, and places greater value on up-to-date, newsworthy articles. In a nutshell, if you don’t have fresh content, this means you could be impeding your efforts to gain organic traffic. A simple way to overcome this is by adding a blog section (and actually posting on it!) which will help improve your SEO (find out more about that here).

In addition to a blog, consider setting a calendar reminder that goes off every 6 months to prompt you to review and update the content on your static web pages.

 

3.  Social media struggles

If you’re constantly grasping for ideas of what to post on social media, it’s probably because you don’t have anything to shout about, and the reason you don’t have anything to shout about is probably because you haven’t published anything new – or, worse, you’re out of touch with your audience.

Regular, relevant content will bring your social media streams to life, give you something to talk about, get your audience engaging with you, and drive traffic to your website.

 

4.  People aren’t talking about you

If you want people to talk about you, you need to give them something to talk about. Producing great content will get people sharing it on social media, encourage other websites to link to your material, and can help get your audience engaged in new ways. 

The end result? Brand awareness, word of mouth advertising, more inbound links (which will benefit your SEO efforts) and inevitably more leads.

 

5.  No internal linking opportunities

Internal linking aids your website’s navigation, help you define the architecture and hierarchy of your site, and plays a part in building your website authority. 

When it comes down to it, the more relevant content you have, the more opportunities you have to add internal links. For example, we sent you to this article about SEO earlier in our blog post – but because we have so much relevant content we also could have linked you to this article or this article… or even this one! See? Relevant content builds linking opportunities. 


When it comes down to it, having a bank of relevant content not only makes your marketing more effective – it also makes things easier on you in the long run. Having a deep well of articles and posts to send people to gives you more to promote – as well as the behind-the-scenes SEO benefits of establishing authority. 

If you’re stuck on what to post about, we’ll leave you with this blog series for a little further reading. 


HUE & TONE: TRIAD BASED MARKETING SOLUTIONS

Completely stumped on what kind of content to post? Not even sure who your customers are? Or maybe you're just not sure how to reach them? We can help you answer all these questions -- and help you plan and enact solutions for all your marketing woes. Shoot us an email or give us a call. 

How long should your videos be?

How long should your videos be?  |  Hue & Tone Creative

It’s no secret that video marketing is on an upward trajectory. In fact, on Facebook alone, more than 8 billion videos are watched every single day. If you’ve ever done any video marketing, you also know it’s no secret that video marketing can be tricky. Finding the right formula of content, length, and delivery method can be difficult to say the least. 

 

Defining the optimum length

The optimum length for videos is a difficult thing to define, and there are a whole load of variables that can influence the answer, like:

  • Who’s your target audience?
  • What’s your product or service?
  • Where is it being promoted?
  • What’s it about?
  • How engaging is your speaker?

Because of all these factors, the ideal length will vary from industry to industry and business to business.

As an example, let’s think about the type of product you’re promotoing. If you’re selling a $20 item, it’s likely your audience will be unwilling to invest five minutes to watch your video. If you’re selling a $2,000 service though, five minutes suddenly seems like a more reasonable request.

 

What the data tells us

When video hosting and analytics giant Wistia looked at the stats from 500,000 videos, the sweet spot was 2 minutes. According to their research, it’s after that point that there’s a fairly steep drop off and people click away. 

That said, their numbers also showed there’s minimal drop-off between 6 and 12 minutes -- so, assuming you can keep viewers until the 6 minute mark, by that point, there’s a good chance you’ve secured the next 6 minutes of their time too.

As with any type of content, it’s important to keep your message and goals in mind – if your video needs to be long, it needs to be long. There’s no use in condensing what would have been a 10 minute video down to 2 minutes for fear of people not watching, if the end result means you’re compromising on the quality and credibility of its substance. 

 

Videos on social media

Once you’ve got your video edited, it’s time to disperse it through social media. According to data from HubSpot, the most engaging video lengths for each platform are:

  • Instagram: 30 seconds
  • Twitter: 45 seconds
  • Facebook: 1 minute
  • YouTube: 2 minutes

 

Action items: Here's what you can do 

Discovering what works for you is all about trial and error, and engagement is a key metric to measure. So, what can you do to find your own sweet spot? Here are a few ideas:

  • Categorize your videos, because there’ll likely be different patterns for sales, ‘how to’ and tutorial videos.
  • Analyze the play to finish ratio from all your videos to date and see what’s working best.
  • Look out for trends in where viewers are trailing off. If there are any, engineer your next videos to this length and see what results you get.
  • Take a look at what your competitors are doing, and if they’re getting good engagement, see if you can identify any lessons from their success. 

If you’re new to the world of video marketing, check out our three-part series on producing and editing iPhone footage herehere and here.


HUE & TONE CREATIVE: SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT IN GREENSBORO, NC

Need a second opinion on your video content? Ask the experts. From compelling email campaigns to social media account management, Hue & Tone Creative is here to cover all your marketing needs.  

5 things we need to know before designing your website

5 things designers need to know before designing your website  |  Hue & Tone Creative

You want a brilliant website. We want you have to a brilliant website. But, to make that happen, there’s the small matter of distinguishing between what you think you want and what your business really needs.

Before we get going, here are a few quick facts for you. Did you know:

  • 38% of people say they’d leave a website if its content/layout was unattractive?
  • 94% of people gave poor web design as the reason for mistrusting or rejecting a website?
  • 46% of mobile users face difficulties interacting with a web page?

If anyone who’s reading this post doubts the importance of a good website, hopefully we’ll be able to clear up any confusion!

Whether you’re looking for a brand spanking new website or a revamp of your existing site, here are five things we need to know before helping you embark on your web design or redesign.

 

1.  What's the purpose of your site?

There’s a reason we’ve started with this question: it’s probably the most important one. Why? Because your end goal will heavily determine your website’s look, feel, navigation and layout.

Is your aim to sell a product or a service? Or both? Are you B2B or B2C? Are your offerings low or high value? Or do you exist to ply people with knowledge and information? Are you on the web to raise awareness? Or are you after a personal portfolio? There are endless options. All we need know is which goal is applicable to you – and the more specific the goal the better.

 

2. Who's your target audience? 

Your audience and their persona also play a large part in engineering your website, and this is where collecting data comes in handy. Examples of persona information include

 

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  • Age bracket
  • Employment status
  • Living arrangements
  • Education
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Salary
  • Online behaviors
  • Pain points
  • Motivators
  • Personality traits
     

All of these elements (and more) will influence how people interact with a website and what makes them tick, which is why it’s essential the behavior of your ideal end user is incorporated into your design.

 

3. What kind of content will you be using?

You can’t have design without words, right? So who’ll be writing those words: you or us? If it’s us, do you have tone of voice guidelines? 

And, do you plan on having a blog? Try and think of the long game for this one. Even if you don’t think you’re in the position to have one in the immediate future, is it in the pipeline? If so, it makes sense to factor it into the design stage from the get go.

 

4.  What kind of branding do you already have established?  

If this isn’t your first stab at a site, it’s likely you’ll already have some form of branding guidelines established – for both your on and offline brand elements. So, the question is, are there elements of that branding you’re adamant on keeping? And if so, why? We need to know the why to help us build a robust picture of how you want your brand to look.

What have you learned about your existing brand since you started using it? How are customers responding – good or bad? Knowing this will help us to make any necessary tweaks to your branding so you can reach your maximum potential. 

Bonus question: If we’re making tweaks to your branding on the website, do you also need help updating things like your emails, social media, brochures, and letterhead?

 

5.  Do you have any no-go's?

Whether it’s from an old website of yours, your competitors’, or the local store you buy your groceries from -- are there any color palettes, page layouts, fonts or image styles you absolutely do not like? If so, let us know! 

This’ll help us to build only the elements you like into our wireframes and reduce unnecessary back and forth. The end result? You get your polished, finished product as soon as possible!


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Know your website needs improvements, but not sure what they are? Need a fresh set of eyes on your content and design? Give us a call. We're here to help you with all your web and graphic design needs -- no matter how big or small. 

Why You Need To Be Blogging

When business is booming, it’s easy to put blogging on the back burner. If you blog frequently, it can seem logical to cut back on something that can require a lot of your thought, time, resources, and skill. However, investing all that time and skill has a very real payoff -- 74% of businesses say that engaging blog content increases their quality and quantity of leads. Surely worth the investment, right?

There are umpteen reasons you need to be blogging, but for the purpose of this post we’ll focus our attention solely on some of the top SEO and brand authority benefits.
 

Why you need to be blogging  |  Hue & Tone Creative


Blogging is a staple part of your SEO strategy


Linking

First and foremost, blogging gives you significantly more opportunity to link internally. The logic is simple -- the more quality content you have on your site, the more relevant pages you can point visitors to.

The second opportunity comes in the form of external links. If you’re pushing out engaging, authoritative, and useful content, other sites will want to link to it, so that they can add value to their audience, too. Evergreen content (timeless content that attracts both first time and repeat readers) is especially great for this, because it can earn you links until the end of time - for free!
 

Enhance your engagement

Blogging not only helps to get visitors landing on your site, but it helps to retain them too. So, why does this matter? Low bounce rates and longer session durations are signs that you’re providing people with quality content, which is exactly what search engines look for when serving people search results. 

Long-term, this will boost your rankings and help you come up higher in a Google search. 
 

Target your keywords

Blogging is the perfect platform to target all your keywords – as long as you’re incorporating them organically, of course. It allows you to answer the questions your audience is asking, to engineer your content strategy towards what’s being searched for, and to produce intent-based blogs that help to convert.

The end result? Higher rankings, greater organic visibility, more traffic and an increase in sales.

 

Blogging build your brand’s authority


Become an industry leader

By pushing out timely, high-quality, accurate, and interesting content on a regular basis, you’ll prove yourself as a leader in your arena. People will trust you. When they’ve got a question, they’ll come directly to you. They’ll recommend you to others. And they’ll build a rapport with you without a single word being spoken.
 

They’ll keep on coming back

Great quality content wins lasting relationships. Poor quality content turns people away. One less than interesting article can lose you a visitor for life - it sounds extreme, but it’s true. Cast your mind back to a time when you landed on a poorly put together piece of content: what impression did it leave? And, how fast did you click away from that site? 
 

Get your name out there

Having a regular flow of posts helps you get your business out there. Whether it gets traction from external sites, is shared on social media, included in your weekly newsletter or promoted in paid ads, it gives you something to shout about. Without it, you’ll soon run out of things to say.

 

So, that’s it for our handpicked pros of blogging. What else do you need to know? Leave us a comment below! 


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Let us take the headaches out of managing your blog. Whether you need help developing keywords, creating fresh content, or moderating comments, Hue & Tone Creative has you covered. Contact us today.