Color Stories: Vintage Vibes

Traditionally, retro colors are all about less saturated hues that have a flat feel. This week we’re taking a little inspiration from the objects of yesteryear and reinterpreting them as modern, fresh color schemes that would work in today’s branding. 

In our eyes, retro and vintage are always in style – whether it’s a throwback to the 70s, 80s, or 90s, the past always serves as a great source of inspiration. We love a nostalgic look when it comes to product packaging, app design, or campaigns graphics. 

Mix these colors with some sleek sans serif fonts and minimal graphic elements, and you’ll have a brand that works perfectly today… even if it was inspired by yesterday. 

Carside Colors

Classic teal pairs well with these packaging inspired reds and oranges. It’s early day fast food meets a classic ride. 


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Muted Motel

Forget blue and pink only working for a baby shower – these pale pinks and blues will want to make you stay the night at this vintage motel. The mix of so many soft hues lends itself perfectly to an upscale feel. 


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Colorful Camera

A fun take on the Polaroid’s rainbow color scheme, these toned down swatches harken back to an age of roller rinks, disco, and, well…polaroids. 


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Resplendent Radio

Bathed in blue light, this shot inspired a monotone musical scheme fit for any brand – past, present, and future. 


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Primary Patches

Primary colors can be reinterpreted to fit any decade – and this patch inspired flat lay is no different. Soft grey and a pop of deep emerald help elevate the look.


Monotone Memories   

Browns and taupes may seem dull at first, but when applied fastidiously they can create an elevated look. This scheme is perfect for men’s brands or retro products that truly want to connect with the look of the past. 

Why you should (probably) be using Hubspot

Why you should (probably) be using Hubspot | Hue & Tone Creative

Should you be using Hubspot for your business? We’ll start by giving you a quick answer so that you know if this article is for you. 

We believe you’ll get a great ROI on using Hubspot for your business if you plan to spend a minimum of $2,000-$3,000 a month on digital marketing. 

Now, to back that up…what does Hubspot do?

Hubspot’s an all-encompassing marketing platform, and it provides businesses with the tools they need to optimize their inbound marketing efforts. 

In a nutshell, some of their software includes:

  • Email: the ability to create custom-made email templates, tailor subject lines to your audience, and conduct A/B tests to continue making improvements.

  • Blogging: helps you optimize your copy to aid with conversions and organic visibility, as well as keep your formatting consistent and clean.

  • Landing pages: allows you to easily build responsive landing pages, personalize their elements (like content, CTAs and forms), and analyze, test and optimize them to keep leveraging their conversion rate.

  • Marketing automation: saves you time by automating your email campaigns with the ability to tweak triggers, conditions and actions, so you’re contacting the right lead at the right time.

  • Lead management: with the click of a button, it enables you to see which leads you’ve contacted, when, and how they responded, to tailor future campaigns to their behavioral patterns. 

  • Analytics: with built-in analytics, reports and dashboards, it gives intelligent insights on all your inbound marketing efforts to see which channels are and aren’t working for you.

  • CMS: it enables you to build a responsive, SEO-friendly site, that’s fully integrated with all your marketing funnels.

  • Social media: you can seamlessly build your social presence by sharing your content from the same place you build your campaigns, and monitor how different social channels perform. 

  • SEO: with content strategy tools, search data stats, SEO tips as-you-type and reporting suites, it gives you all the tools needed to easily plan, optimize, and monitor your organic efforts.

  • Call to action (CTA): it provides you with a platform to design dazzling CTAs and see who’s actually clicking them. 

  • Ads: it takes the guesswork out of your Facebook and AdWords adverts with reports that prove your ROI – with precision.

And that’s just some of the major draws – they also provide a suite of service and sales tools, many of which are free add-ons. 

  Lead customers the right way with Hubspot!

Lead customers the right way with Hubspot!

Really good resources

Beyond their software packages, Hubspot also has a large database of free resources that will help you stay plugged in to any emerging trends or best practices.

Our top five reasons why

When it comes to inbound marketing, Hubspot’s one of the leaders in the pack. There are countless reasons to couple up with them, but here are our top four: 

1. It’s an intuitive tool. While Hubspot’s interface is incredibly layered – and can be a little intimidating to first time users – it’s also designed incredibly well. Once you get a basic idea of where everything is at, you’ll be able to seamlessly navigate within the interface as you learn to master their tools.

2. Great free options. Hubspot’s CRM is always free, and many of their basic marketing tools are free as well. It’s a great way to get a hang of the tool and see if it works for you before you spend a single penny.

3. Superb support. In addition to the comprehensive database we previously mentioned, HubSpot’s online and phone support team is available for Service Hub and Enterprise users. 

4. An integrated approach. By letting you control the entire sales process from start to finish, Hubspot cuts out the need for multiple tools. In the long run this will save you time and make your day-to-day digital marketing more efficient. 

5. Detailed reporting. Intensive reporting allows you to see the details on everything from who your customers are, to what they’re viewing, where your customers came from, how your  content is preforming, how you stack up to the competition, and more.


Hue & Tone Creative: Digital Marketing for Greensboro, NC

Need to refresh your stale online ads? Give your Facebook a lift? Breathe new life into your website? We can do all that and more. We’ll rechart the course of your marketing strategy and help you increase the ROI on your digital efforts. Just give us a call to get started: 336-365-8559.

10 accounts every designer needs to follow on Instagram

When it comes to finding design inspiration, Instagram can serve as your personal playground — it’s a gold mind for great content and inspiration… if you follow the right people, that is.

Whether you’re looking to get inspired for an upcoming photoshoot or you need to find a new font to try out, here are 10 awesome Instagram accounts every designer should tap into from time-to-time.

 

1.  logoinspirations 

If you’re stuck in a rut trying to create that standout logo, logoinspirations curates all the best identities out there to save you trawling the web. If you check out their highlights, you’ll find lots of tips, inspiration and tools.

 

2.  logonew

Sticking with the logo theme, logonew shares a healthy blend of sketches and digital concepts. From drones and eagles to bitmojis, bees and beer, their feed is brimming with variety that’s sure to set your creative wheels in motion.

 

3.  neil_a_stevens

Specializing in poster design, Neil’s Instagram illustrations are nothing short of ingenious. Whether you’re looking for digital or online inspo, his masterpieces will get your inspiration flowing -- and your jaw dropping.

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4.  darias88

In his own words, the owner of this account, Daniel Aristizábal, “brings forward new technologies to create stunning and inspiring artworks.” He’s constantly experimenting with new styles and is known for his mastery of turning everyday objects into something abstract, original, and colorful.

 

5.  mrseaves101

Run by an Australian artist called Gemma O’Brien, this account is packed with bold lettering, illustrations, andtypography. It’s vibrant, it’s edgy, and it encompasses a mix of bold artwork and beautiful snapshots from around the world.

 

6. handmadefont

Finding a font is no easy feat, but if it’s variety you’re after, handmadefont has you covered. From industrial, futuristic and floral looks, to street art, 3D and foodie feels, it curates a whole load of forward-thinking concepts. 

 

7. interaction_design_foundation

This one’s less actual artwork, more practical tips -- to help you achieve that perfect piece. With posts on everything from introducing lean UX and conducting heuristic evaluations to information visualization and color emotion, there’s something for everyone.

 

8. heystudio

Heystudio focuses on brand identity, editorial design, illustration, geometry, color and direct typography. All these topics are at the heart of what they do and their feed has a quirky and contemporary look. With clients like Apple, Vodafone and Oxfam on their books, they must be doing something right…

 

9. uiuxgifs

GIFs are on the up. If you’re looking to incorporate some on your site or in your social media and email campaigns but just can’t map out what you want, this feed’s full of animated inspiration.

 

10. velvetspectrum

Last but by certainly means not least, Velvet Spectrum houses a mix of typography, illustration and motion graphics. Oozing with dynamic color and careful composition, the updates are nothing short of electric.


Hue & Tone Creative

If you’ve hit a creative wall, we can help you take your artwork to the next level. We can work with you on every design project, no matter what the medium — no print or digital job is too small. To get an idea of what we can do, see some of the projects we’ve worked on in the past or get in touch.

When + why + how to create a new hashtag

Hashtags are everywhere on social media. You’ll see them tacked on to the end of Instagram posts, incorporated into the body of a tweet, and sparingly used on Facebook. They’re key for discovering and organizing social media posts – they make it easy for you to find additional posts on a related topic so that you can more easily contribute to the conversation on a topic.

 But, why should you start your own hashtag(s)? The easy answer is to group your posts together so that people can find more of your content. However, you don’t want to start randomly making hashtags with no rhyme or reason – that will only confuse people and further bury your content.  

Let’s dive into the why – and when – you start your own hashtag. 

When + why + how to create a new hashtag  |  Hue & Tone Creative

The why

Some hashtags are overused -- meaning they get a lot of reach – but after a while the content associated with them may turn into spam. Piggybacking off already popular hashtags can help get you a lot of reach, but your posts may also get lost in the shuffle. 


By creating your own, you can help convert a follower of a more general topic (for example, #marketing), into someone that follows you (#hueandtone). When people discover your content using a general hashtag, the theory is that they’ll want to see more, leading them click on your branded hashtag to see what else you have to offer.  

By creating your own hashtag, you’ll be able to: 

  • Stand out from the crowd

  • Cement credibility and establish authority

  • Increase your engagement and reach

  • Create cross-channel awareness (if you use it consistently) 

  • Be able to track posts other people make about your brand

The when

While there should be a solid reason beyond creating a new hashtag, we also suggest you have fun and play around with them. See what sticks before making it part of your brand identity. As an example, #ShareACoke, has become a staple part of Coca Cola’s social strategy. It works well, because it encourages recurring interaction and tagging. 

That said, some popular reasons for creating custom hashtags include:

  • Launching a new product, service, or campaign

  • Posting live updates from an event

  • Hosting a live chat or Q&A session

  • Running a competition

  • Establishing a general hashtag for your brand 

In each of the above instances, using previously and frequently used hashtags can cause havoc. Not only do they make it difficult for you to monitor, but it can confuse your audience. You don’t want to put your followers in the position of having to scroll through irrelevant content just to find what they’re looking for. 

 

How to create a hashtag in 5 simple steps 

When + why + how to create a new hashtag  |  Hue & Tone Creative

1.  First things first, define your goals. Some fairly common ones include increasing:

  • Brand conversations

  • Visibility

  • Total link clicks

  • Total reach

  • Mentions

  • Followers

  • Likes

Behavioral patterns vary on different networks, so if you’re using your new hashtag across multiple social channels, you should set goals specific for each one.

 

2.  The fun part - get creative! But make sure your hashtag’s the right balance between engaging and easily understandable -- if people don’t instantly grasp it, the effect’s kind of lost.

Here are some simple tips to start you off: 

  • Keep it short and snappy

  • Make it easy to remember

  • Ensure it’s relevant to your brand

  • Don’t make it too generic

  • Check it doesn’t have any obscure double meanings -- let’s not forget the #susanalbumparty fail!

3. Do your research. Make sure it’s not already in use on anysocial media networks, and double-check it doesn’t, for whatever reason, have any potentially offensive roots or connotations. 

 

4.  Make it actionable. At the end of the day, every marketer’s end goal is to drive revenue. Even if your hashtag’s goal is to increase social follows, the bigger picture is more sales. So, if you can, put an actionable spin on your new hashtag -- ask a question, play on an emotion, encourage engagement, or incite urgency, for example.

 

5.  Last but certainly not least, triple check your hashtag for typos and post it! See what kind of reaction you get, and if you feel like the tag falls flat after a handful of posts, then don’t be afraid to try out a new one. 


Hue & Tone Creative: SOCIAL MEDIA Services for Greensboro and beyond

Struggling to keep up with the comments, likes, and mentions on your posts? Can’t come up with a creative hashtag? Stumped for original content ideas? We can handle all of that for you. From multi-channel audits to content generation and social media monitoring, Hue & Tone is the solution for all your social media woes.

13 marketing tips for real estate agents

Real estate can be a lucrative industry, but if you’re marketing your services in a fiercely competitive market, you’re going to have to do some serious work to stand out. 

While there’s no one magic ingredient that will guarantee success, there are a number of tactics you can employ to help gain more exposure and to create long term success. Investing in quality marketing, means creating quality content that gets your name out there and keeps it top of mind. Quality content is about playing the long game and building a solid foundation for your brand. 

13 Marketing tips for real estate agents  |  Hue & Tone Creative

To make sure you’re maximizing your market’s potential, here are 12 tips to help give your sales momentum a boost:
 

1. Be active on social

From renting tips and mortgage advice to home decor trends and how-to-sell guides, real estate agents have endless potential content to work with. Widen up the scope of your content from just current listings and make sure what you’re posting is beneficial to home owners during every step of the buying journey (including those who have already completed the buying process!). 

Build your presence by filling your feeds with genuinely useful information – and, as always, remember to interact with other users to gain exposure.

 

2. Don’t play hard to get

Don’t make people have to work to find your contact details. Whether it’s on your website, social bio or sales collateral, your contact details should be everywhere! Make sure your info is clear and easy to find to up your chances of an inbound inquiry. 



3. Branch out from stock photography

People can sniff stock images from a mile off. Give your brand an authentic feel by using real images of real houses and real homebuyers. Your smart phone has a great camera for snapping photos out in the field, but when it comes to photos of listings we suggest hiring a specialized real estate photographer. 

 

4. Hire a wordsmith

Your pictures are just one part of the pitch. Your words are the other. Do your listings justice and pique people’s interest by retaining a copywriter who can help bring your properties to life. 
 


5. Don’t over exaggerate

While you want to make your listings appear appealing, don’t get carried away and over sell your properties. If you build a reputation for wasting people’s time, you’ll only tarnish your reputation -- which is not easy to undo!

 

6. Consider the UX of your listings

Not sure what to display? Take a look at how Zillow and Redfin display their info to get an idea of what might matter to prospective buyers! 

User experience (UX) testing helps you understand how real people navigate their way around your website so that you can identify areas in need of improvement. 

You’ll want to consider what potential homebuyers are looking for when they come to your site. Information like square footage, location, price, and features should be readily available and easy to read. Photos should be easy to flip through and maps should be easy to explore. 

 

7. Watch out for stale listings 

You fall in love with a house. You make an inquiry. You’re told it’s already off the market. At best, it’s just inconvenient and irritating. Make sure you put a process in place to ensure properties that are no longer available are swiftly removed from your site.

 

8. Keep people in the loop

Buying a house can be a long process – and some people might start the process only to realize they’re not quite prepared to buy. Don’t lose that relationship! Be sure to collect prospective buyers email addresses and point them to your social media, so that you can engage with them until it’s time to buy.
 

13 Marketing tips for real estate agents  |  Hue & Tone Creative

9. Don’t forget about millennials

It feels like every day there’s another headline about millennials and how few of them are buying homes, but it’s important not to discount them as potential buyers. Homeownership is starting to increase among this generation, and it’s important to start engaging this demographic because of their future purchasing power. Social media is a great way to do this because it shows you can speak their language! 

 

10. Get offline with a broker event 

While maintaining your social media is important, don’t be afraid to pull things offline and connect in person. A broker event could be anything from a traditional open house to a first time home buyers class. 



11. Become an authority

Creating quality content like webinars, videos, white papers, and blogs will help you increase your search engine optimization while also building your brand awareness. We suggest writing and accepting guest blogs to help you cross promote with other realtors and reach new people.

Valuable content -- like neighborhood profiles -- can help drive massive amounts of traffic to your site, making your name recognizable to potential homebuyers now and in the future. 

 

12. Get real feedback to share

Customer testimonials give insight into what it’s like to work with you. They’re a great way to give potential buyers some insight as they try to decide if they want to sign an engagement letter with you. 

When collecting testimonials, it’s often best to engage with home buyers as they near closing – your experience is fresh on their mind and there’s a chance you might lose contact with them after closing. 

 

13. Print isn’t dead

When you’re doing the rounds at open houses it’s easy to get confused about what house offered what. Don’t let prospective buyers leave a tour empty handed! Create handouts that recap all the important specs of the house, photos, and location information. 

We also suggest putting together a special packet for first time home buyers that covers every step from getting approved for a mortgage to what to expect at closing. Empowering first time buyers with their own information will eliminate confusion and cut down on the time you spend answering easy questions.  


Hue & Tone: Your Real Estate Marketing Partner

If you’re a real estate agent and you’re looking to ramp up your online presence, you’ve landed on the right site. From complete brand overhauls to social media management, we’re your one-stop-shop for all things web and design. 

Color Stories: Fall Looks for 2018

What can we say? We love fall! We know it’s still hotter than heck, but we can’t help but get excited about the impending pumpkin spice, fall leaves, and chunky sweaters. 

In fact, we also got really excited about fall last year on the blog ... and the year before … and the year before that. Basically, creating fall inspired mood boards is becoming a regular thing for us. However, this year we’re pushing ourselves to go beyond red, orange, and yellow to come up with a more out of the box set of fall palettes.  

We’ll admit, a few traditional fall colors worked their way into our mood boards – but overall we stuck to less traditional hues to keep things fresh. 

Take a look at what we came up with here – and, let us know which is your favorite in the comments!

Luscious Lake

The lake in this photo looks peaceful, but these deep colors evoke a feeling of something a little darker. Deep, rich jewel tones gives off a luscious feel. 


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Crisp and Clean

Fall is all about baking and enjoying the outdoors. That’s why this tasty close up was a perfect fit for us. Cool greens and a muted ice blue speak to winter being right around the corner. 


Culinary Creativity

Family recipes abound in autumn, making it the best time to draw inspiration from your culinary supplies. Warm honey, flour, and a few kitchen tools informed this color scheme. 


Bold Bounty

This plenitude of heirloom tomatoes was perfect for a more primary color scheme. These brighter hues are a fun alternative to the soft side of fall. 


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Dusty Detritus

Downed leaves make for some beautiful colors. We loved pulling inspiration from this fallen foliage. Muted lavender, subdued peach, and an understated charcoal have a soothing effect. 


Foggy Fowl

Soft lighting sets the mood here with creamy taupe, a soft sage, and a rusty brown.  


Design + Branding for Greensboro, NC and Beyond

Color scheme need an update? Brand feeling stale? Logo looking outdated? We can fix all of that -- and more! Based out of the Triad, our team can help you refresh and revitalize your flagging brand. More than just an outside team, we'll become your partner in all things visual and marketing related. Sound like what you're looking for? Give us a call

Pros and cons: DIY Web Design vs. Hiring a Web Designer

Pros and Cons: DIY Web Design Vs. Hiring a Web Design  |  Hue & Tone Creative

We’ve all seen commercials for web builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Wordpress. They lead with a promise of creating a great website at lightning fast speed... even if you have no previous experience. It almost sounds a little too good to be true, right? 

It all depends on your needs. While web site builders make it easier than ever for non-designers to pull together their own website, they don’t work for everyone. If you’re a tech savvy business owner who needs a simple site, they might be a great option. But, if you’re tech-challenged, short on time, or in need of a more custom site you probably need to consider hiring a web designer.

Anyone can point out a website they like or select a template – but designers are the ones who can identify and execute all the elements needed for an on-brand, functional website. From color palettes and font pairings to white space and photography, there are some things a novice just won’t be able to execute on their own. 

Before you decide which route to take, let’s run through some of the pros and cons of DIYing or outsourcing your design: 
 


Outsourcing design: pros

Professional end product

There’s no denying that the end result of hiring a web designer is inevitably going to be stronger than what you’ll be able to create on your own. A strong website design will inevitably help you achieve your website goal, no matter if it’s more email opt-ins, a higher conversion rate, or more brand exposure.  

Functionality aside, did you know that 75% of consumers judge a brand’s credibility based on their site’s design? Web users are savvy, and they can sniff out a homemade website from a mile away – which in the long run could translate to a lot of missed opportunities. 
 

Saves you time and stress

Pulling together a list of your website needs and handing it over to a third party saves you immeasurable amounts of time and stress. You’ll be able to skip the hassle of doing background research, brainstorming concepts, refining ideas, finding your way around unknownsoftware, and making endless tweaks to the site. 

You can simply put your wish-list together, pass it on, and then get on with the rest of your to-do list while your designer handles the creative.
 

It’s a long term investment

Every business’ end goal is to generate revenue. But every good business owner knows that sometimes you have to spend money to make money. While you’ll pay a greater upfront cost to hire a web designer, you’re going to be walking away with a high quality final product that will serve your business for years to come. 

Creating your website yourself has the potential to open you up to issues with data security, mobile responsiveness, search optimization, and more – which long-term could lead to spending more than the cost of hiring a web designer.  

 

Pros and Cons: DIY Web Design Vs. Hiring a Web Design  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Outsourcing design: cons

It’s more expensive

The price you pay will vary from designer-to-designer (we would estimate anywhere from $500-$8,000 based on the complexity of your site) but it’s certainly more expensive than what a DIY tool will cost you. If you’re a brand new business or start-up with a limited marketing budget, the cost of hiring a web designer may feel prohibitive.  

Although we’ve listed this as a con, we urge you to think of the bigger picture, and your return on investment down the line.
 

Less insider info about your business

Every business has their own way of working, their own personal preferences, and their own knowledge of what’s worked in the past. Understandably, an outsider won’t possess nearly as much knowledge about your business as what you have. It make take a few meetings to educate them on the ins and outs of your business so that they’re able to create an effective website for you. 

If you feel like your designer isn’t listening or doesn’t have the time to talk through the backstory of your business, we suggest finding someone else who will. 
 

Finding the right fit

You do your research, talk to a number of potential designers, and still you feel like you can’t find the right fit. Keep on looking! 

Settling for the wrong designer is going to cost you more time and money in the long run, so be sure to do your research and settle on a clear scope of work before agreeing to anything. 

A good designer should ask you a lot of questions before providing a quote, should explain the process to you, be able to answer your questions, and will outline a clear scope before the project kicks off. If you feel like you’re in the dark about what you’ve agreed to or you feel like they just don’t get your business, then we suggest looking elsewhere. 

Ask for referrals, get the designer to provide ample work samples, and check out the quality of their online presence to get a good idea of their working style and final products. 
 



DIY design: pros

Save money

There are lots of online tools that let you create artwork for free, or offer additional features for a low fee. Either way, it’s likely to be cheaper than onboarding a designer. 
 

Total control

Working with a designer means having to make compromises based on their expertise, and we’ve seen first-hand how hard this can be for some business owners. If you think you’ll be unable to work with an outside party on your website, you may want to consider keeping the project in house. 

 


DIY design: cons

Compromised quality

Design is a skill like any other. The same way you can’t waltz onto a construction site and expect to be a builder, you can’t start using software and expect to be a designer.

Imagine you had to build a brick wall right now. Now imagine what the end result would look like. Compare that to what a professional mason would be able to build. The world of design is no different.
 

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More time, more limits

We’ve already mentioned that there are various cheap and/or free design tools around. But with their cost-saving benefits come limitations – both on what free software can do and what you’ll be able to execute with your limited skill set. 

There’s only so much you can do on basic design tools, and by limiting the flexibility of your designs, you’re essentially putting a cap on the potential quality of your finished product.

 

Tunnel vision

After working solo on your marketing for so long, you think you know exactly what works best and what your customers want. In some cases this might be true, but in a lot of cases there’s value for bringing in a fresh perspective – especially someone who is a marketing expert. Bringing in a web designer will help you get a fresh perspective and some new ideas. 

An expert designer will be able to take your marketing materials to a new level that you’ll never be able to execute with in house design, making you more competitive and more likely to stand out from the crowd. 
 

Loss of expertise

Last but not least, is the loss of experienced, tried and tested expertise. Let’s stick with our construction analogy. If someone asked you to build a skyscraper, you wouldn’t know where to start, or what best practices you need to follow, would you? Nor would you be expected to.

Professional designers have spent years mastering their trade. They’re hot on the heels of current and emerging trends. They’ve had past success and failures to learn from. And, they’ll be able to translate your ideas into something that works well for you while still fitting in with current trends. 

What does all that mean for you? A stand-out final website.


Hue & Tone Creative: Web Design for the Triad

Now convinced you need to hire someone to help with your new website? Give us a call so we can see if we're a good fit for designing your new site or sprucing up your existing one. From web mockups to executing the final design, we want to be your go to partner for all things web and design. 

Marketing Trend Alert: Data Visualization

Marketing Trend Alert: Data Visualization  |  Hue & Tone Creative

We’re officially in a data-driven era. Decisions are made on it. Purchases are persuaded by it. And trust is gained through it. But what is data visualization? Where do its benefits lie? And how do you make data visualization truly effective? 
 

What is data visualization?

Qualitative data is information about qualities; information that can't actually be measured. Some examples of qualitative data are the softness of your skin, the grace with which you run, and the color of your eyes.
 Quantitative data is information about quantities; that is, information that can be measured and written down with numbers. Some examples of quantitative data are your height, your shoe size, and the length of your fingernails.

In its simplest form, data visualization is the representation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. Displaying information this way allows readers to grasp complex concepts with less effort and makes it easier to summarize a large of data quickly.

Data visualization can be used for both qualitative and quantitative data, but some common business uses include:

  • Breaking down market research results
  • Sharing customer insights and/or feedback
  • Displaying geographical variances
  • Detailing a timeline of events and/or activities
  • Presenting internal trading reports
     

Data visualization: the benefits

Your data is only as good as its interpretation, which is where visualization is key. For you visualized data to be successful it should have: 

Aesthetically pleasing results: lines and lines of numbers with the odd word interspersed never looks good -- nor does it read well. Data visualization removes the need for all the numbers and brings your pages to life with eye-catching graphics.

Digestible takeaways: data can be a minefield to understand and take several read throughs to understand. By presenting it visually, your audience can quickly and easily skim and digest the information you’ve given them.

Easier processing: by presenting your information visually, you’re upping the chances that people will understand and remember it.

 

Types of data visualization

When it comes to picking a type of visualization that’s right for your data, there’s no end to the choices. If you're looking for a jumping off point, we've compiled this list of different data styles for you to research and explore: 

Hierarchical

  • General tree visualization
  • Dendrogram
  • Radial tree
  • Wedge stack graph
  • Hyperbolic tree

Network

  • Matrix
  • Node-link diagram
  • Dependency graph
  • Hive plot
  • Alluvial diagram
  • Subway map

Geographical

  • Choropleth
  • Cartogram
  • Dot distribution map
  • Proportional symbol map
  • Dasymetric map

Time-related

  • Timeline
  • Time series
  • Connected scatter plot
  • Gantt chart
  • Arc diagram
  • Stream graph

Multi-dimensional

  • Pie chart
  • Histogram
  • Tag cloud
  • Bar chart
  • Tree map
  • Bubble chart
  • Waterfall chart
     

Data visualization examples

So, now that we’ve explored the benefits and types, let’s take a look at some great data visualization examples in practice.

 

Bubble cloud

  Image via  E  xplorer.uk

Image via Explorer.uk

Looks more engaging than a load of words and values dumped in a paragraph, right?

 

Tag cloud

  Image via  4  th World Movement

Tag clouds are a great way to bring word-frequency data to life. Like with this example, they can be extra effective if you use your creativity to mould your data into the shape of the topic, too.

 

Subway map

  Image via  Concept Draw

Image via Concept Draw

Subway maps aren’t just for subways...This type’s a great way to attract attention because, odds are, visitors won’t be expecting to find a subway map on your site!

 

Timeline

  Image via  P  oppyField.org

Image via PoppyField.org

This is a superb example of how a timeline (or really any chart) doesn’t have to be plain to be effective. With a few crafty tweaks, you can brand your charts and infographics to fit your brand! 

 

Looking for us to dive deeper on data visualization? Or, maybe you want to hear about another topic completely? Leave us a comment letting us know what you would like us to blog about!


Hue & Tone Creative: your marketing partner

Need your own custom infographics, charts, or presentations? We can help with all that and more! We'll help you define your brand and create tailored marketing materials so you can impress each and every one of your stakeholders. To get started, just shoot us an email explaining your needs: hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

12 things you need to be doing for social media success

12 Things You Need to Be Doing for Social Media Success  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Successful social media will generate quality leads, drive sales, and reinforce branding. But creating quality content takes a lot of planning, creativity, and time. 

Once you’ve identified your goals and audience, it’s time to start brainstorming quality content that will engage your followers. If you've already done that, but feel like your engagement is low, we've got a few tips for you to try. 

These 12 tactics should help you secure those elusive likes, shares, follows, clicks or leads: 
 

1.  Engage with your audience

Despite what the name implies, it’s actually pretty easy to get on social media and not be social. You wouldn’t ignore a current or prospective client’s call or email, so why should your social media communications be any different?

If someone leaves a comment or messages you, be sure to get back to them with an on-brand response in a timely fashion. 

 

2.  Mix up your feeds

Looking for some fresh posting ideas? We've got a whole series of blog posts on that! 

There’s nothing less effective than social media streams that regurgitate the same old stuff day after day. Content like blog posts and job vacancies are great content -- but they’re not all you should be posting day after day. Hop on trending content like current news, mix up your post formatting, and get creative!

 

3.  Take a multi-medium approach

Instead of trying to make all your marketing channels work in isolation, make social media a part of your print campaigns – and vise versa. If you’ve got an email or PR campaign going out, create a buzz around it on social media too. Creating a multichannel campaign can help increase your reach and direct new people over to your social channels.
 

4.  Time your posts

Figuring out when your followers are online will help you increase your reach. While Instagram gives you insight into the days and hours that your audience is online, you'll have to experiment with posting times when it comes to other platforms. Play around with posting on different days to see what works best for you and then analyze which hours get you the highest reach and engagement. 
 

5.  Post bold content

On social media getting noticed often means taking risks. People are inundated with fresh content every time they refresh their feeds – and to get results you’re going to have to think outside the box. 

This means something different for reach business -- but start by playing around with different post formats, riskier graphics, and out of the box content.
 

6.  Plan in advance

Don’t overlook big events -- or the social media exposure that comes with them. We suggest creating a social media calendar that spans several months in advance so that you can be proactive and maximize all topical opportunities. 
 

7.  Push people back to your site

Use bit.ly to shorten your links -- and track your traffic. 

If you’re not pushing people back to your website, you’re not getting the full benefits of posting on social media. Whether you’re sending people to a blog post, product page, or dedicated landing page, be sure to include links when they’re relevant. 
 

  Use a content calendar to keep track of your social media posts!

Use a content calendar to keep track of your social media posts!


8.  Blur the boundaries

Having strict brand guidelines in place is key for consistency, but if there’s one place to blur your boundaries, it’s on social media. We’re not suggesting going completely off brand – but we are suggesting that you play around with the style of your graphics and the buzz words you use. This will give you a great opportunity to see what your audience responds to – and what they really don’t like. 

 

9.  Up your video content

Facebook's algorithm has long favored video content over other mediums -- and we don't foresee that changing any time soon. Millions of videos are being watched each and every day, so make sure you incorporate them into your social media strategy. 

 

10.  Team up with an influencer

If you’re struggling to get the kind of reach you want, think about teaming up with a relevant influencer to give your following a boost. Just be sure you find someone that feels like a natural fit and speaks to your target demographic. 

 

11.  Shout about your success

Whether it’s a charity sale that went well or an award you recently won, shout about all the great things -- big and small -- that are happening with your business. It’s a fabulous and free way to promote your culture and aid your recruitment efforts.

 

12.  Be inventive with your images

Use a mix a graphics and pictures and don't be afraid to shake up the content. While your pictures should have a consistent style and look, feel free to branch out when it comes to subject matter. If you're posting multiple times a day, it's easy to get into a visual rut.  


SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN GREENSBORO, NC

Have you hit a plateau for likes and follows? We can fix that! Whether you’re looking to increase your views or simply need a break from handling your account, Hue & Tone Creative has you covered for all things social.

Web Basics: What is web hosting?

Web hosting. We hear those words a lot, but how many of us actually know what it is? Well if you don’t, then look no further. We’ve cut out the jargon and waved goodbye to all that techy mumbo jumbo as we take a quick look at the basics of web hosting. 
 

What is web hosting?  |  Hue & Tone Creative


Web hosting vs domains

When it comes to web hosting and domains there can be a bit of confusion between the two. We like to break it down like this: 
 

Web hosting: This would be your house, because it’s the space where everything is stored.

Without web hosting there wouldn’t be any websites. It’s the physical location that your website (and everything it entails) sits, and it ensures that your site maintains a sturdy connection to the internet -- without that connection, people are unable to access any of the files on your site (which, in layman’s terms, means you have no website!).

Some examples of web hosting companies include InMotion, 1&1, HostGator, GoDaddy, Wix and Weebly.

 

Domain: This is the equivalent of your address, because it’s the location your host can be found.

It’s not a physical entity, it’s just the series of characters that make up your site’s unique location. So, the same way you’d enter an address and ZIP code to get to your end destination, you enter your domain name into the search bar to get to your website.

Some of the most popular domain name providers out there are GoDaddy, Hover, Dynadot, Google Domains and Namecheap.

 

Where should you buy web hosting from?

When it comes to choosing the right web host for you, there are a lot of solid contenders out there. To help you along your way, here are the top five as rated by the experts over at Techradar.


Web host

InMotion

Voted

Best overall shared web hosting

Selling points

Wordpress hosting, business hosting, web design services, and 24/7 US-based support

 

Runner-up overall shared web hosting

Baremetal servers, free SSL certificate, secure hacker protection, and email marketing

 

Best ‘cheap’ option on the market

Unmetered bandwidth, unmetered disk space, money back guarantee (45 days) and $150 search credit

 

Good all-round service

SEO services, free domain, database backup/restore, and unmetered bandwidth

 

Wordpress’ #1 preferred partner

Unmetered bandwidth, WooCommerce hosting, Free domain, 24/7 US-based support


What does all that terminology mean?

We just threw a bunch of terminology at you -- but since this is a beginner's guide to web hosting, let's go ahead and break it down: 
 

Bare metal servers: The term ‘bare metal’ refers to a hard disk, and so a bare metal server is when a computer system or network’s virtual machine is installed directly on to hardware.

SSL certificate: In its simplest form, an SSL certificate is a public-facing, digital document that tells people a site is secure. It also lets you know that the company that says they own the website you're accessing legitimately owns it. 

Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the amount of site content and visitor traffic a server can transfer in a certain amount of time.

Unmetered bandwidth: A hosting plan with unmetered traffic. The price you pay each month does not depend on the amount of traffic (data) sent to and from your server during the month

Unmetered disk space: Disk space is the amount of data you can store on a web server. The amount of disk space you need will vary depending on the size of your site. Similar to unmetered bandwidth, unmetered disk space means you are given an unlimited amount of disk space. 

SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the online practice of increasing the amount of traffic you get through to your website via organic search results, like Google. Some hosting companies offer services to help you improve your SEO.

 

Questions about what any of these terms mean? Leave them below in the comments -- we'll be happy to help clear up any questions you have! 


Hue & Tone Creative: Web Design Services

Once you've secured your domain and hosting, let us help you bring your site alive with a great design and intuitive user experience. Get in touch today to see how we can support your website’s set-up.