To Squarespace or not to Squarespace? The small business’s question.

According to the SBA, small businesses account for a whopping 99.7% of U.S. employer firms. If you’re thinking of starting your own small business or maybe you already have, how do you emerge as the peacock amongst all the other peacocks with the showiest feathers? Well, an aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly website would certainly help. In this DIY climate, only one website builder springs to mind: Squarespace. This week, we’ll explore why Squarespace is the best choice for small businesses.

To Squarespace or not to Squarespace?  |  Hue & Tone Creative

We’ve all heard or seen the commercials for Squarespace, the self-proclaimed “all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website.” And beautiful it is. Squarespace’s landing page is like a mini trip to an art museum. The evocative photographs, set against sleek and colorful backdrops, coupled with drag-and-drop functionality, easily marks its self as the preeminent option. Once there, you’re thrilled and delighted to press the Create A Site button.
 

Inside, you’ll find that Squarespace’s versatility is unmatched. The site currently boasts more than 70 different templates. After exploring and choosing the design of your liking, you can begin adding your own content. One caveat, Squarespace’s polished designs only go so far. Be sure to use high-quality photos when swapping out placeholder images. One of the allures of Squarespace is its sleek, professional design, but even that won’t make up for low quality, grainy photographs.

Squarespace has done a phenomenal job with creating beautiful spaces that you can tailor to fit your needs. Do play around with templates if you can’t seem to settle on just one.  Once you begin customizing, Squarespace provides you the option of previewing other templates without losing earlier work. You can experience what your site looks like with a banner overlay, or at various scale sizes, or with numerous navigation choices, or utilizing page animation or displaying a slideshow. And these are just a few of the design options available to you. Like what you see? Great! Let’s talk pricing: 

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Squarespace has the simplest pricing plans than any other web builder; with only two total. $12 per month for personal websites, billed annually or $16 paid month to month, and $18 per month for businesses, billed annually or $26 paid month to month. Two additional pricing plans are available if you want an online store. Your hosting and a custom domain name are included with the purchase of an annual membership and that’s certainly a plus.


Other web builders offer free plans, but with limited features, and sub-domain names. Squarespace permits you to try their service for a 14-day trial, but once expired, you’ll need to choose a paid membership to continue service. All things considered, Squarespace’s pricing is competitive with other web builders and the value you receive is undeniable. It has the tools to set any small business apart by adorning it in the most beautiful of feathers and allowing it to really strut its stuff. 


WEB DESIGN IN GREENSBORO AND BEYOND

Loving Squarespace, but not sure what to include on your website? Or maybe your homepage is just looking a little flat? Hue & Tone Creative will help get your web presence up to speed. Be sure to check out our design portfolio to see clients we’ve helped in the past -- and then give us a call if you’d like us to build you a custom, modern website that truly tells your story.

Think Before You Tweet: How Free Speech Can injure Your Brand

Think Before You Tweet: How Free Speech Can injure Your Brand  |  Hue & Tone Creative

The following article is a guest contribution from Tamika M. Page. 


Twitter debuted March 21, 2006 when co-founder Jack Dorsey posted the inaugural Tweet which read, "just setting up my twttr."  While Jack was off launching what is arguably one of the biggest communications technologies of the last century, which currently averages about 328 million monthly active users according to Statista, an online statistics company, I was somewhere in the world learning the importance of thinking before I spoke.  Journey with me, if you will, back to Atlanta circa 2001.
 

At an early morning yard sale, I enthusiastically remarked to a potential customer that she looked like a lady basketball coach. She wasn’t flattered. In fact, she gave me a strange look, put down the candle sticks she had been eyeing and walked away obviously offended. Needless to say, I lost the sale. After fighting the urge to yell, “hey lady, that was a compliment,” I decided to ask some trusted advisors what they thought of the strange exchange. The results were mixed. My Grandmother heard genuine praise while my best friend stared at me in shock; as if I’d lost my mind for uttering the thought aloud. My brother laughed for what seemed like five minutes while my mentor gave me a copy of The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners.  How was it possible for one statement to spur multiple and varying reactions?

 

Meanings get lost in translation.

What I was attempting to express was that this lady had an athletic physique, a beautiful haircut and reminded me of the late, great Pat Summitt, coach for Tennessee Lady Vols. However, my meaning was somehow lost in translation. Why? Well, this woman and I had two different world-views, or lenses through which we viewed the world. What I meant was not at all what she heard. It seems this plays out repeatedly on Twitter. Every week some high-profile individual is reprimanded, or a company is hit with a wave of backlash for an uninhibited Tweet. While my impulsivity cost me, at most, seven dollars, these professionals and companies lose big when they quickly and, oftentimes, thoughtlessly take to social media with their opinions, jokes and grievances.

 

Your Tweet could be interpreted as an official declaration of war.

Think Before You Tweet: How Free Speech Can injure Your Brand  |  Hue & Tone Creative

After President Trump exercised his First Amendment right via Twitterverse, North Korea’s Foreign Minister, Ri Young Ho, responded with the following, “Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make all self-defensive counter measures.”
 

You could lose your job, at least for a couple of weeks.

Take the case of ESPN’s Jemele Hill who Tweeted her opinion on how the public should respond to Jerry Jones’s threat to bench any Cowboy’s player who didn’t stand during the National Anthem. ESPN accused Hill of violating the company’s social media guidelines for a second time and suspended her for two weeks. Hill is lucky when one considers other celebs like Gilbert Gottfried who lost his endorsement with Aflac after posting Tweets making light of Japan’s 2011 tsunami.

Think Before You Tweet: How Free Speech Can injure Your Brand  |  Hue & Tone Creative
Think Before You Tweet: How Free Speech Can injure Your Brand  |  Hue & Tone Creative



You could lose customers and respect.

Home Depot quickly parted ways with a social media representative who posted a racially insensitive Tweet targeting African Americans from the brand’s Twitter account. The company decided to Tweet apologies, sans their media rep. When they directed one of these apologies specifically to Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP, it only made matters worse.

 

3 Ways to Avoid Twitter Faux Pas

1.     When in doubt, don’t: We all have a little voice inside us that nags right when we’re about to say or do something that might lead to unwanted trouble. If you possess the slightest inclination that your post may be inappropriate or could be misconstrued as such, don’t Tweet it out. It’s much easier to refrain than to retract.
 

2.     Never go to bed angry or Tweet that way either: Acting from anger is seldom a good idea. Typically, we behave in ways we later regret. Therefore, instead of Tweeting in this state, go for a walk, take deep breaths, do the stanky leg, whatever. The point is to delay expression until you’ve calmed down. This can potentially save your relationship as well as your reputation.


3.     Ask for Help: Consult a firm that specializes in multimedia communications. You may know construction or cakes or calligraphy, but framing your company’s messages perfectly is a specialty in itself. Outsourcing this all-important task will protect your brand and frees you to focus on what you do best.


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Meet the writer:

Tamika Page works as a marketing assistant and instructor in Atlanta, GA. Her first words were “increase market share.” Although her first words were far less remarkable than previously stated, she does have extensive experience in helping small businesses grow and discover their unique identities.

Want to chat with Tamika directly? TamikaMPage@gmail.com

Color Stories: Flat Lay Finds

If you loved iSpy as a kid, these eclectic flat lays are going to catch your eye...eye for detail that is! 

Flat lays not only make great Instagram posts, but they can also be great design inspiration. A stylized color scheme is part of what makes a good flat lay eye-catching social media gold... as opposed to just a pile of junk on a white background. 

We grabbed a few of our favorite flat lays from Twenty20 and let them inspire 6 unique color schemes! 

Color Stories: Flat Lay Finds  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Sixties Citrus

This color story is looking to make a statement -- 60’s inspired citrus hues pair with a pop of electric strawberry for a modern look that will practically knock your go-go boots off!


Fall Bazaar

An unexpected spin on fall, a muted rosewood hue pairs with a pink that packs a peppy punch. A pale olive and citron pull together this surprising style.


Color Stories: Flat Lay Finds  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Punchy Post-its

Earthy sage pairs with a bright salmon and a goldenrod yellow... these post-it notes inspired a color scheme almost good enough to eat! 


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Neon Stamp Collection

We pulled these punchy colors out of a dynamic stamp collection. If you’ve seen our logo you know we’re obsessed with citron – add a luscious grape color, a toned down teal, and a calming grey and you’ve got a girly, but fresh, color scheme.


Color Stories: Flat Lay Finds  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Colorful Cars

Whether you’re a racecar driver or an everyday commuter, we bet this color scheme really revs your engine!


Color Stories: Flat Lay Finds |  Hue & Tone Creative

Beige Business

The most muted of the group, this flat lay takes business style to a new place. Soft lavender, navy, and pistachio green give these guys a serene look during a hectic day at their make-believe office.


CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS IN GREENSBORO AND WINSTON-SALEM

Logo looking a little flat? Website lacking pop? We'll get your businesses branding on the right track -- we specialize in logo design, branding, and collateral development. Reach out if you're ready to make your brand stand out:  hannah@hueandtonecreative.com or 336-365-8559.

Tools to discover your most relevant keywords

Tools to discover your most relevant keywords  |  Hue & Tone Creative

When it comes to finding the right potential customers, utilizing the correct keywords in your paid search and web content will help you increase your leads.

While it can be tempting to just make educated guesses about the right keywords, it's crucial to take the time and research what will be most effective. But, before we highlight a few handy tools for keyword discovery, it's important to understand what that there's a few different type of keywords. 

 

Long-tail Keywords

One of the most effective types of keywords is a long-tail keyword. A long-tail keyword is a highly detailed phrase made up of three to four words. 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.

For example, someone looking for "organic gluten-free birthday cakes" are more likely to find your bakery and place an order then someone who just typed in "buy cake" and just wants any old birthday cake that's available.

 

Local Keywords

Think about times when you’ve searched for services or businesses like hair salons, dentists, or a place for decent pizza. You’re automatically going to weed out a business that isn’t anywhere near you.

If you own a small business, it’s important to get the word out to your local clients through geo-targeting. Instead of only using keywords like “animal hospital,” get more specific with words like “animal hospital in Greensboro, NC.”

While local keywords often have lower search volume, they often have higher conversion rates. Long-tail local keywords will deliver even less traffic, but chances are these visitors are really serious about finding a business. For example, "animal hospital greensboro open 24-7" has a good chance of capturing someone looking for a midnight pet emergency. 

One word of warning? Don't shoot yourself in the foot by casting too wide of a net. Stick to the location of your brick and mortar store and a few surrounding counties -- don't try to capture the whole state or you'll just end up reducing your potential to rank for your actual location. 

 

Keyword Planner

One of the best ways to discover keywords is through the free Keyword Planner in Google AdWords. Using this tool, you can search through relevant phrases and terms related to your business and see how often they are searched through Google. The Keyword Planner also allows you to research historical statistics and predict the click rate of potential words before you add them into your AdWords plan.

 

Google Trends

Not utilizing Google AdWords? You can still give Google Trends a try. This is when it's time to make an educated guess about what you think your keywords would be. Start with things like your products or services and check the popularity of one or multiple keywords at a time by searching them on the site. You can narrow down the trends even further by searching in a specific region, state, or span of time.

Tools to discover your most relevant keywords  |  Hue & Tone Creative
Tools to discover your most relevant keywords  |  Hue & Tone Creative

For instance, the amount of people looking for “pumpkin patches” in Greensboro and Winston-Salem increased dramatically around September 24th of this year. Google Trends also provided some suggestions for related topics and search terms like “farm,” “maze,” and “pumpkin patch near me.” 

If you're looking to do something like holiday advertising or capture the back to school crowd, being able to track these types of trends can help you predict when your ads will be most effective. 


 

Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz Keyword Planner has a great analysis and keyword suggestion feature for marketers. If you’re on a budget, the site offers 20 free search queries every month, with the option to upgrade by purchasing the premium plan.

Another helpful feature of this tool is how it breaks down each search term by monthly volume, priority, difficulty, and organic CTR. This will help give you an idea of how competitive it will be to gain clicks -- and how much it will cost. 

 

keywords --> COntent

After you've done your keyword research, you're probably ready to get out there and buy some ads or bid on some keywords and start driving traffic to your site. But don't forget one of the most important ways that you can build authority -- through your blogging and site content! 

Make sure to write about topics you want to rank for and let your newly discovered keywords influence your blogging. As you might remember from this blog, Google knows what you're blogging about and they rank you accordingly, so don't fall into the trap of only paying for traffic. Strong, organic content can bring you some of the best traffic around! 


Marketing and Social Media Experts in the Triad

Looking for to develop your brand? Hue & Tone is a creative graphic design agency specializing in logo design, web design, social media management, and more. Be sure to check out our portfolio to see clients we’ve helped in the past, or give us a call if you're ready to get started building your brand. 

Intro to HTML: Must Know Tags for Beginners

Into to HTML  |  Hue & Tone Creative

If you’re not familiar with HTML, making even small tweaks to your website or custom MailChimp template can be a struggle. HTML is a complicated language and you won’t become an expert overnight – however, you can master a few basics that will make it easier to tweak templates, build web pages, and control your online presence.

This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive guide to HTML, but rather an introduction with some of the most basic tags you’ll need to customize your in-house marketing campaigns. 

 

What is HTML?

Let’s start with the most basic question – “what is HTML?”

Hypertext markup language (HTML) is a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects. You use specific tags to customize each element of a web page.

Check it out for yourself: Open up a well-designed site in Chrome, right click, and select "Inspect Element." You’ll be able to get a look behind-the-scenes at how the site was coded. 

 

HTML Elements

HTML elements are individual components of your webpage that are made up of a start tag <example> and an end tag </example >.

Here’s an example of what a simple HTML page might look like:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>Page Title</title>
</head>
<body>

<h1>Sample heading</h1>
<p>A sample paragraph would go here.</p>

</body>
</html>

 

Note the <html> tag at the very top.

This element specifies the language the webpage or document is written in. Without this tag your computer won’t know how to process all the code that follows it. It’s important to realize that browsers do not display the HTML tags, but they use them to render the content of the page.

 

The Basics

<body>
The visible part of the HTML document is between <body> and </body>.

Your body tag is the first element content tag that you can open after you’ve opened your initial html tag.

 

<head>
This tag is one of the content elements that can be opened within your body tag. You can vary the size of your headings and subheadings by specifying whether you want <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, or <h6>.

<h1> defines the most important heading. <h6> defines the least important heading.

 

<p>
Used for formatting paragraphs of text. Just to be clear, the paragraph tag defaults to which ever style you already have assigned to your style sheet.

 

<a>
HTML links are defined with the <a> tag.

For example:
<a href="hueandtonecreative.com">You would put the text you want to be hyperlinked here. </a>

 

<img>
To incorporate an image into your page you’ll want to use an <img> tag -- the source file (src), alternative text (alt), width, and height can all be defined.

Example here:
<img src="hueandtonelogo.jpg" alt="hueandtonecreative.com" width="210" height="210">


Always remember to close your tags. Anytime you open a tag <example> you should close it after you’ve defined all your content </example>. 


Style Elements

<style>
Your style tags help you specify which colors and fonts are used for your headings, paragraphs, etc.

 

Here’s a few examples:

You could format size like this:

<h1 style="font-size:300%;">This is a heading</h1>
 

Color like this:

<h1 style="color:blue">This is where the text you want stylized goes. </h1>
 

Or both like this:

<h1 style="color:blue;"font-size:300%">This is where the text you want stylized goes.</h1>

 

Formatting Elements

Formatting assist with the aesthetics of your webpage, kind of like the style elements we mentioned earlier. The main difference between the two is that your formatting elements deal with text effects.

<b>
Used to make specific text bold.

<i>
Used for italicizing text.

<marked>
Highlights text.

<small>
Makes specific text smaller. 


Helpful Resources

Learning HTML isn’t the easiest task, so here are a few tools to help you become a pro in no time!

  • Treehouse is an online coding school specializing in front end web development, JavaScript, IOS, and Python. Learn from over 1,000 video tutorials, quizzes, and coding challenges. There’s a free trial for first time users.
  • Lynda is a digital learning library where you can learn skills for business, design, marketing, and web development.
  • HTML Dog offers free online tutorials in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There are specific tutorials for every level of learning: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

 

One last note…

Becoming proficient in HTML takes time and consistent practice, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come easy to you! Be patient and try to set obtainable goals for yourself.


Web and Graphic Design in Greensboro and beyond.

Clueless on how to build a website or create a logo? We’ve got you covered! Eye catching landing pages that help reel in leads to business cards that leave a lasting impression, Hue & Tone Creative is here for all of your marketing needs.

7 Essentials for a Killer Facebook Page

7 Essentials for a Killer Facebook Page  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Simply getting your business on Facebook doesn’t guarantee any kind of social media success. To really reach people and build a following you’ll need a top-notch profile that will grab attention and pull customers in… but how do you make that happen?

Keeping up with Facebook’s latest features can feel like a full time job. But no matter how many features are available, there’s a few elements you should never ignore.

We’ve put together our 7 essentials for a killer Facebook page that will take your page from bland to BAM!

1.    Fill out the basics

Before you get focused on the visuals, make sure that all of your business information has been filled out correctly. This means making sure your address, hours, web link, and business description are all filled out properly.

 

2.  Simple + strong profile picture

Keep it simple when uploading your profile picture – stick to your logo or a professional headshot. Make sure your image is properly formatted (square) and is high resolution. Nothing makes a worse impression than a blurry image!

 

3. A distinctive cover photo

When it comes to choosing your cover photo, make sure that your image enhances your profile picture without distracting from it. Your cover photo should show off your products, relate to your services, or communicate your company’s values/mission.

A properly sized cover photo will be formatted to 820px X 312px for desktop or 640px X 360px for mobile.

Can’t communicate everything in one photo? You can also play around with a video cover photo!

 

4. Direct Your Visitors

You can enhance your Facebook page by selecting a Call to Action (CTA) button to go at the top of your page (it overlays over your cover photo). You can select one of 7 options that will take your customers to the landing page of your choice. The button options are:

  • Buy Now
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Call Now
  • Contact Us
  • Send Message
  • Send Email

 

5. Gather Reviews

Make it a regular part of your customer interactions to ask for Facebook and Google Business reviews. Send a follow-up note to happy customers, put a link on receipts, or offer discounts for people who leave you a review!

Collecting a lot of positive reviews can provide credibility to a new page – and they’re a great way to distinguish yourself in a crowded market! 

 

6. Set up an auto reply message

56% of shoppers prefer using Facebook Messenger over calling a customer service number when they have an issue. Set up an autoreply message for your page so that people who reach out will get an immediate reply!

But, you ask, what should it say? We suggest using autoreply to set expectations for when you’ll get back to your computer, letting people know where to view FAQ, or to provide alternate ways of getting in touch.

It’s impossible to be monitoring your page messages around the clock, but having an informative autoreply message will ensure customers feel like they’re getting top notch service…whether you’re available or not!
 

 

7. Keep your timeline fresh

Need ideas on what to post on Facebook? We’ve got you covered.

This may seem like an obvious one – but posting high quality, engaging content is key to creating engaged followers. It’s key to post often and consistently. Be sure to incorporate visual content like photos, videos, gifs, and infographics to help boost your interaction! 

 

Were these 7 essentials not enough? Download our comprehensive Facebook checklist for even more tips and to-do’s, and before you know it you’ll have more comments than you can even respond to!


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.

Mood Boards: Falling into Fall

October is finally here and we’re ready for all things fall. It’s time to trade in our summer sandals for boots, grab our favorite cardigan, and eat ridiculous amounts of pumpkin flavored baked goods.

In the spirit of the new season, we’ve put together a little collection of autumn inspired mood boards: 

Mood Boards: Falling into Fall  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Pumpkin Spice

Yes, we know all things pumpkin spice are a bit overrated, but we couldn’t resist! It just wouldn’t be fall without it.

 

 

Mood Boards: Falling into Fall  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Ember

This color scheme was inspired by the warm glow of seasonal candles and the relaxing crackle of a campfire. 

 

 

Mood Boards: Falling into Fall  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Woodland Escape

There’s nothing better than going on a walk on a crisp autumn day. We love the feel of a cool morning breeze and the sound of leaves as they crunch with each step. 

 

 

Mood Boards: Falling into Fall  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Cozy Cabin

Fall is the perfect time to enjoy freshly picked apples and endless mugs of hot chocolate. 

 

Mood Boards: Falling into Fall  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Autumn Leaves

Our final board was inspired by the simple beauty of the changing leaves. A soft touch of yellow and green add a subtle dash of color to chocolate brown.
 

 

What do you love most about fall? Let us know in the comments!


Social Media Marketing & Graphic Design in Greensboro, NC

New season, new look. Fall is the perfect time to give your brand a little refresh. From business cards to websites, Hue & Tone Creative can help give your brand’s look an upgrade.

How to Create Customer Personas

How to Create Customer Personas  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Successful marketing takes more than coming up with eye catching advertising schemes and posting frequently on social. It’s about making a genuine connection with your customers – and to do that, you have to know who your customers are!

Customer personas (also called buyer personas) are detailed representations of your customers’ demographics, likes, dislikes, traits, and buying behaviors. Keep in mind that these traits are not made up, you need to discover them through comprehensive research.

Digging into the data and discovering who frequents your business will help you develop more effective marketing materials, allow you to boost sales, and make you an all around more effective business owner. 

Whether you’re a brand new business or a company that’s been around for a while, understanding who your clients are and how they shop will go a long way in building a stronger business. 

 

Focus on the Good & Bad

While life would be easier if we only focused on the positives, being a business owner means taking in the whole picture. In order to have a strong and thorough understanding of your brand, you need to be familiar with both your strengths and weaknesses.

If you’ve had negative customer experiences in the past, reach out to those clients and learn how you can avoid it in the futures. Unfortunately, not everyone will be in love with your company, but you can still use their constructive feedback to pinpoint who you should be focusing your marketing efforts on and what you need to improve in the future.

Alternatively, if you have your top customers who are always liking your social posts, and praising your products, find out what they love about your company, how they prefer to shop, and what they expect from your brand.

Understanding your ideal customers and customers that aren’t interested in your company can help you pinpoint who you should target and who to avoid. 

 

Creating Your Personas

When it comes to building your personas, the more details you include, the better they become. Here are a few areas to focus on:

­­­

  • Age
  • Income
  • Education level
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Goals
  • Challenges
  • Values
  • Likes & Dislikes
  • Favorite brands
  • Hobbies
  • How they discovered your brand
  • Favorite social media accounts
  • How often they shop

Your personas should provide a glimpse into who your customers are and how they think.

 

Now, let’s pretend that we own an organic juice bar. Here's what two of our personas might look like: 

 
How to Create Customer Personas  |  Hue & Tone Creative
How to Create Customer Personas  |  Hue & Tone Creative
 

 

From looking at the profiles of our two fictional customers, we’re able to better understand what they’re looking for in a brand. We also have a better idea of how they’d prefer to receive information.

When it comes to making personas of your own, don’t be afraid to reach out to people. Past customers and followers on social are the best ways to find information. Get creative by sending out email surveys, creating Facebook polls, or simply conducting phone interviews. Just be sure to offer an incentive for their feedback and time. Gift certificates, freebies, or discount codes all work well.

Now, get building those buyer profiles! Or, leave us a question below if you need more information.


Graphic Design & Creative Marketing in Greensboro, NC

Need a second opinion on your current marketing strategy? We can help! Whether you need to spruce up your landing page or create a more engaging email campaign, Hue & Tone Creative can help your brand that extra touch it needs to stand out.

5 Must Answer Questions for Any New Brand

5 MUST ANSWER QUESTIONS FOR ANY NEW BRAND  |  Hue & Tone Creative

It’s no secret, strong branding is one of the keys to successful marketing. In fact, 69% of marketers insist that branded content is more compelling than advertising through mail or PR.

When it comes to newer businesses, understanding your own brand will help set you apart from your more seasoned competitors. If you’re totally new to branding or you're just trying to figure out who "you" are, grab a note pad and answer these five essential questions.

 

1.    What’s your brand story?

From years of hard work to happy accident, every company and product gets its start somewhere. How did your brand get its start? Is there a story that’s uniquely yours? Think of ways to share your humble beginnings and make your company memorable.

 

2.    Describe your ideal customer?

The most important aspect of opening a business is finding and keeping leads. Taking the time to thoroughly research your target customer will help keep your brand’s aesthetic, feel, and marketing strategies aligned with the wants and needs of your audience.

Because no two customers are alike, we recommend creating personas for three different shoppers. Make detailed lists describing their: age, profession, income, hobbies, where they live, likes, dislikes, etc.

 

3.    What 5 words describe your brand?

In the early stages of branding, you can never make too make lists! We suggest brainstorming as many words or adjectives that you can think of that define you.

When you can’t think of any more, look over the words you came up with and whittle down your list until only the 5 most meaningful words remain.

 

4.    What product or services do you want to be known for?

77% of people choose a product because of its brand name. Think about that statistic the next time you reach for a Post-It or a Band-aid! 

Like Nike sneakers and Tazo tea, every successful business has a well-known product. When people hear the name of your brand, what will be the first thing they think of? 

It's important to define your signature product or services... before your customer defines it for you. 

 

5.    What brands do your customers love? 

This can include your direct competitors or brands that are completely unrelated to you. For example, if you’re opening an organic soy candle store, you may have customers that enjoy buying products from Whole Foods, Anthropologie, Etsy, or Earth Fare.

Check out what colors, words, and imagery they use to figure out where you'll fit in with your competition. 

 

Do you have more branding questions that we didn’t go over? Ask us in the comments!


Marketing & Graphic Design in Greensboro, NC & Beyond

Gearing up for the launch of a new product or business? Don’t dive in without a little help from the creative experts. From business card design and logos, to social media marketing, Hue & Tone Creative can help you connect with your customers and creating a lasting impression. 

How to Curate Your Instagram Feed

We all want our feed to look like this!

We all want our feed to look like this!

Ever stumble across a gorgeous Instagram feed and suddenly come down with a major case of account envy? We’ve all been there.

Creating a lust-worthy Instagram account is more than just slapping on a filter and a handful of hashtags. It’s about telling a story and understanding your own unique style.

Whether you’re trying to revamp your feed for yourself or your brand, we’ll give you the scoop on how to create an account your followers will love. 

 

 

Choose a Theme

Found the perfect filter or editing settings? Keep your feed cohesive by using it on your other images. 

All successful Instagram accounts have something in common. They all have a look. Finding your own theme takes a lot of research and self-discovery, so don’t get discouraged if it takes some time to get your feed where you want it to be.

Start by studying your favorite Instagram accounts, creating color stories on Pinterest, or simply writing down a list of adjectives that describe your brand. Think about what emotions you want your followers to feel when they scroll through your feed and brainstorm how you can express that visually.

For instance, a feed for a yoga studio could use relaxing colors, natural light, or motivational quotes. An account for a café might use vibrant colors or flat lays of ingredients... Once you get rolling the ideas are endless!

After you’ve decided on a style, use that as a guideline for all your future posts. 



Spice it Up

Now that you’ve found your look, keep your interesting by varying what you post. No one wants to follow an account that posts virtually the same images all the time.

Get creative by telling your story in different ways:

  • Piece a mosaic of individual images
  • Celebrate a holiday
  • Change your setting 

Still need more examples of what to post? We’ve got even more ideas to help you get inspired.




Quality over Quantity

Never post a subpar picture just for the sake of likes. It’s much better to have a small number of great images than hundreds of blah ones. Always post high quality images that reflect your brand’s vibe and overall style. If it doesn’t fit your look, don’t post it.


Pro tip: Use a social media scheduler to help you preplan your Instagram content. We recommend giving Buffer or Hootsuite a try! 


Try an App

Although Instagram has a huge array of filters to choose from, don’t be afraid to venture outside of the app! There are tons of (mostly free) photo editing apps on the market with beautiful color stories and editing features.

VSCO- subtle effects and presets

1967- filters with a vintage feel

Foodie- perfect for lovers of food photography

A Color Story- lovely collection of filters and light effects

Adobe Lightroom- a high quality on the go photo editor

 

One last takeaway…

Creating a cohesive look takes time so don’t rush the process! Post frequently and try not to overthink it. 


Social Media Marketing in Greensboro, NC

Running out of ideas on what to post? Can’t seem to increase your number of followers? Take a breather and leave it to the experts. Whether you’re trying to get the word out for an event or are preparing to launch a hot new product, Hue & Tone Creative can help you ramp up likes, retweets, and mentions on all of your social channels.