Our Opinion

How often should you blog? (And, a big change to our posting schedule)

How Often Should You Blog?  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Be sure to read to the bottom of this post to learn more about why we’re switching up our blogging frequency!


Here at Hue & Tone Creative, we’re big proponents of blogging. We believe it’s one of the best ways to connect and grow your potential audience…and in turn, your revenue. 

Blogging gives you a regular (and free) platform to discuss your ideas, your business, and your expertise. By amplifying your content on social media (which is also free!) you’ve got the beginnings of a very successful marketing toolkit.  

The most important thing we tell people about blogging is that it’s part of playing the long game – if you don’t see big results immediately, stick with it. Even if you’re doing everything right, it can take months, even years, to see a big return on blogging. 

The more you blog, the more traffic you will see – and the more opportunities you will have to connect with your audience. Over time, you’ll get to know what they want and what questions they have.  

Still not convinced you need to make the long-term investment that is blogging? Growing your audience isn’t the only reason should post regularly, you’ll also: 
 

  • Earn more exposure/SEO Benefits: As you post more, you gain new opportunities to show up in search queries. Every time you blog you create additional pages. Additional pages tell Google what your site is all about and helps them know who they should serve your site to. 

  • Share your knowledge: Your readers might not be ready to hire you yet – but your blog will help keep your name front of mind and you’ll be the first person they call when they are ready to buy. 

  • Try out new ideas: While evergreen content provides your blog with longevity, sharing exciting new ideas and concepts on your blog can spark excitement with your audience. 

  • Help educate your clients and customers: Save yourself the time of constantly having to explain things by creating an easy to reference database for your audience. 

  • Build your professional network: Blogging is a great way to connect with potential clients/customers, other leaders in your industry, and community figures. 

  • Get to know your target audience: As your blog audience grows, you’ll get more and more questions from your target audience, which can help you shape and grow your future offerings. 

How Often Should You Blog?  |  Hue & Tone Creative


Blogging Frequency 

Once you’ve decided that you want to invest time into blogging, you have to decide how often you’ll be posting. Maintaining a regular frequency is important because it offers your readers consistency, and also helps with your internal organization. 

But, how often you should post is a very personal decision – one that should be informed by your industry, and how much time you have available to write quality content.  

Many businesses experience a boost in their profitability once they’ve amped up their blogging efforts, but other business owners may find they get more leads when they spend their time marketing their posts through social (while blogging less often). 

Ilfusion explains why blogging more is typically considered to be more effective:

“In general, the more blog posts you publish, the better the chances of capturing more traffic. Research shows that companies who blog 3 to 5 times a month, or around once a week, get twice the web traffic than those who don’t blog at all. This doesn’t conclude the ideal number of blog posts per month; rather, it bolsters the fact that, overall, businesses who commit to posting regularly on their blogs tend to reap the biggest rewards in terms of web traffic. The more you post, the more exposure your blog gets—and, over time, the results continue to pay out as your blog builds more traffic and consequently boosting your SEO ranking.”

Blogging frequently (more than once a week) is only a valuable use of your time if you can maintain high-quality content, avoid repetitive topics, and continually appeal to your target audience.  

About four years ago, we started out by blogging twice a week. Once we had built up a valuable backlog of content (after about six months) we moved to posting once a week – and we’ve maintained that frequency for a little over three years. 

Now, we’re planning to make the shift to blogging every other week. We’ll still be bringing you valuable content on everything marketing, graphic design, and social media related – but we’ll only be posting about twice a month. This will allow us to put more time into each post, so you can expect longer, more in-depth posts starting the first week of October, 2019. 

Curious why we’ve made this choice? There are a few big reasons that pushed us to make this decision:

  • We need more time to focus on client work: Our calendar is booking a few months out these days, and we want to free up as much time as possible to focus on the projects we’ve got booked. 

  • We want our blogs to be the highest quality possible: Less posts means we’ll be able to produce higher quality (and more in-depth) content. 

  • We want more time to spend on content promotion: Writing less gives us more time to focus on marketing and promotion for both new and old content.

Now that we’ve explained our rationale behind how often we post, tell us: How often do you blog? What drove the decision behind your posting frequency?  


Hue & Tone Creative: Marketing, Design, and Beyond

Need help getting your social media and blog calendar on the right track? We’re here for that! We don’t write your copy – we help you develop your strategy. From social media to blogging we’ll help you determine everything from the right posting frequency to the topics you should be posting about. Contact us to get started.

Belief in business: 2019 is the year of woke advertising

You’ve likely seen and heard about Gillette’s ‘The Best Men Can Be’ ad. This ad reignited the debate on whether or not there’s a place for advertisers to take a moral, ethical, or political stance in their marketing. While the Gillette ad is the latest ad to provoke this debate, it certainly isn’t the first of its kind. Cause marketing ads have been around for some time – for example, Procter & Gamble’s ‘The Talk ’and Nike’s ‘Dream Crazier' promos.

 

What is woke advertising?

Woke storefront art, anyone?

Woke storefront art, anyone?

The slang term ‘woke’ refers to awareness around “important facts and issues - especially issues of racial and social justice.” Woke advertising doesn’t promote a product, instead, it focuses on real-life, political or moral topics.

Historically, brands have avoided contentious topics for fear of upsetting, disgruntling, or outright alienating their audience. But, in an increasingly polarized political climate, playing on identity and political belief can lead to a big buy-in. 

And, as a rule, we’ve seen it works. 

After Nike’s use of Colin Kaepernick in their ‘Just Do It’ ad, the company reported a 6.25 per cent increase in their stock post-campaign, which equated to a healthy $6.38 billion boost to the business’ overall value. 

It’s not always rosy though. Let’s take a look at Pepsi’s attempt to get in on the social justice action with their 2017 ad featuring Kendall Jenner, which took place against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement. The soda company was criticized for trivializing such a sensitive subject, and they received some very frank feedback on social media as a result. 


Is there a place for it? 

When it comes to whether or not there’s a place for woke advertising, opinions are split. Personally, we see brands taking a stand on something as a positive step… but only if they back up their words and advertisements with their actions.

While consumers are practically demanding companies believe in something other than boosting their sales, promoting a political agenda in a country that thrives on call out culture is risky business. While relating to your consumers on a value level is a great way to stand out, if you don’t back your beliefs up with brand culture and moral business activity, you risk consumers writing you off forever. 

To us, successful woke advertising means aligning your beliefs to your brand’s culture and ethos, and going out of your way to support the cause you’re rallying around. It’s not enough to take an empty stand on a talked-about political topic for the sole purpose of boosting brand awareness. It’s transparent and empty. Most customers are attuned to the fact that woke advertising is a strategic plan to support sales, and it’s unlikely they’ll be easily fooled by hollow words.

Here’s a few examples of companies that put their money where their mouth is --

Belief in business: 2019 is the year of woke advertising  |  Hue & Tone Creative
  • TOMS: One for one. For every TOMS product that’s purchased, the company helps a person in need. You can find out more about their model here.

  • Cora: Cora’s an organic tampon company, and they put aside a percentage of their monthly revenue to provide people in India with sustainable period management solutions.

  • Patagonia: One of the first defenders of environmental ethics, Patagonia uses recycled materials and organic cotton, and, working with Fair Trade Certified factories in India, Sri Lanka and Los Angeles, is an advocate of labor ethics too. 

  • IKEA: For starters, IKEA sources 50% of their wood from sustainable foresters and 100% of their cotton from farms that meet Better Cotton standards. Secondly, they use hundreds and thousands of solar panels to power their stores, and strive to be powered by 100% renewables by 2020.

It’s not for the faint hearted

Keep in mind it’s impossible to please everyone - even the woke ads that positively boosted business revenue received negative backlash. 

They used to say there’s no such thing as bad publicity – but in the age of social media, that’s obviously not true. If you’re thinking about taking a bold political stance, make sure you’re fully educated on the issue and that you actually consult with the group or cause you’re talking about.

Don’t assume you know how others will feel or react – and don’t make your marketing choices in an echo chamber of homogenous decision makers. If you look around the room, and you’re staring at all white men, you probably shouldn’t put out an ad about the black community. If you do, we would suggest brushing up your crisis communication plan.  

Speaking of crisis communication plans, let’s see what happened when Pepsi decided to release their ad with Kendall Jenner… 

“Lmao Pepsi’s new ad Kendall Jenner ‘end racism’ by handing police men a Pepsi - way to degrade 50 yrs of black/minority struggle” @HanorahHardy tweeted.

And another Twitter user posted:

Once Pepsi realized the errors of their ways, they soon pulled the ad and released a statement explaining their intentions and apologizing for the damage done: 

“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” they commented to the Associated Press. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize.” 

There was nothing published to suggest the soda company suffered long-term financial repercussions, but there’s also good chance that kind of intel would be kept behind closed doors. 

Big brand names like Nike, Gillette and Pepsi can afford to take a gamble. If things don’t go as planned and their sales take a hit, they won’t go out of business. But is this true for you? Before you make a bold proclamation about the beliefs of your business, make sure you have a solid fall back strategy in place. 

What’s your opinion when it comes to woke advertising? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook and  Twitter pages!


Hue & Tone: Your Marketing Partners

Whether you’re looking to make a big splash or just build your online community, we would love to help you fine tune your digital presence. If you need a fresh set of social templates, help with your general messaging, or a full-time community manager, we believe Hue & Tone Creative might be a good fit for you.

Forecasting for 2019: Social Media Trends

Social media continued to dominate the world of marketing through 2018. From an increase in live streaming and Instagram stories to customized chatbots and an ever-increasing emphasis on social listening, brands all over the globe have been improving their tactics by carefully tracking each platform’s changing trends.

Because social media’s constantly evolving, what works today won’t necessarily work tomorrow -so let’s take a look at what we predict is on the horizon for 2019.

Forecasting for 2019: social media trends  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Authenticity

Social scandals were rife last year. From fake news to personal data breaches, social media made the headlines for all the wrong reasons, causing users to really question who they could trust.

As a direct result, 2019’s expected to bring a change in what kind of content is popular. Instead of focusing on social reach, brands are likely to shift their focus to creating genuinely meaningful, transparent and personalized content. This’ll inevitably increase the time it takes to create quality social media content, but the level of engagement that comes as a result will likely justify the time investment.

 

Social stories

Social media stories grew at an exponential rate in 2018 and there’s no sign of that growth slowing down in 2019. According to findings published by Block Party, social stories are growing 15 times faster than feed-based updates, and some believe they’re set to surpass it completely in the not-too-distant future.

 If you’re not already on the social stories bandwagon, it’s certainly time to hop on board. But remember, stories require a different approach to be effective. Instead of being static updates (like with your feed), they should be live (even raw), provide a narrative, be personal, and give your followers a glimpse behind the scenes.

 

Instant messaging

 Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp now boast 2.8 billion users between them. That’s a whole load of potential interaction. The jury’s still out on whether instant messaging intrudes customers’ personal space, but there’s no denying that it’s worth trying out with your customer base. 

In an almost completely digital world, 89% of consumers are crying out for businesses to branch out into instant messaging apps for their customer service. However, the same study uncovered only 48% of companies are equipped to do so. That’s a lofty gap to close in order to meet consumers’ expectations – and we expect the gap will begin to close in 2019.

 

Dimensional ads

Over the years, social media ads have become saturated. Whether it’s a sponsored story, promoted post, or suggested follow, the majority of businesses invest in them, which has lead to increase in prices and a chance in consumer mindset. 

Social ad overload has begun turning audiences off – and many social media users are so inundated they’re starting to become oblivious.

Big brands like Spotify and Netflix have already taken their paid social approach to the next level by building them into full-fledged campaigns that incorporate videos, motion graphics, and narratives. These multichannel platforms are focused on driving engagement, upping discussion, and building trust. In 2019, it’s expected many other businesses will follow suit to stand out from an increasingly competitive crowd.

 

Groups 

1.4 billion Facebook users tap into the platform’s groups every month, and their usage saw a 40% uplift in the last year alone. Groups are valued by consumers for their intimacy, and because they allow consumers to hold more meaningful discussions in a relatively private forum.

Tapping into this trend requires additional patience and planning – but those who put in the work can expect to see big gains in trust in 2019. 


Hue & Tone Creative: Social Media Services

If you need a hand getting your business’ social media in shape for 2019 (and beyond), then you’ve found the right site. Get in touch with our team today at (336) 365-8559 to see what we can do for you.

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.
 

brooke-lark-609902-unsplash.jpg

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. 

4 reasons why your non-profit should be using Canva

4 reasons why your non-profit should be using Canva  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Canva’s an online design tool, and it’s used by millions of people around the world to help create professional-looking presentations, posters, social media images, menus and more. (You can preview their templates here). 

While we whole heartedly believe that there’s no substitute for professional design, we know it’s not always in the budget for every company or every project. Canva is a good solution if you’re working on a tight budget or pinched for time. 

In fact, we often set our non-profit or small business clients up with Canva templates so that they can enjoy branded templates without having to keep us on retainer. It may sound like bad business sense on our part – but we believe in supporting businesses of all sizes, with all different types of budgets. 

If you’re not familiar with Canva, we’ve put together a few reasons it’s worth exploring:

 

 

1.  It gives you inspiration

If you’re not a designer by trade, you’re probably stumped on where to begin when it comes to designing a graphic. Luckily, Canva is brimming with layouts for you to choose from, eliminating the need for a grand creative vision. 

Not having to start with a blank page can save you invaluable time, spark ideas you might not have originally considered, and help you complete the project with a higher quality end result.

 

2.  Professional looking pieces (for a fraction of the cost)

Because the layouts on Canva are put together by skilled designers, the overall look and feel of your projects will inevitably be more professional -- and in most instances for free!

Canva offers three pricing options, all of which are likely to prove more cost-effective than outsourcing the task to an agency. But remember, by forgoing the input of a designer by trade, you’ll be losing out on all their extra expertise, ideas, and drive (even if you are saving a dollar or two!), so consider the pros and cons carefully.


PACKAGE TYPE

Canva


Canva for Work

Canva Enterprise 

FEATURES

Simple drag and drop editor

Collaborate, design and edit with your team

Teams with 30+ members 

PRICE

Free Forever


$12.95 per month


Contact for a quote


3.  You don’t need to be an expert

There’s a plethora of design tools out there, and some are easier to use than others. Fortunately, Canva falls within the ‘easy to use’ category.

With hundreds of self-explanatory templates to choose from, simple drag and drop functionalities, and the option to access photos within the app, it’s super intuitive, so that even a novice can pick it up in no time.

 

4.  Filled with features

We won’t bother to list them all for you (you can head over to the Canva site for that), but here’s a few of our favorite features: 

  • Pre-defined social media image sizes, so you can be sure your streams look super slick
  • An option to set color palettes tailored to your business’ branding
  • The ability to organize photo and project folders within the app so that you can access them from any device
  • Advanced export options, including the capability to export your artwork as animated GIF

 

A word of warning

Canva is great – and we encourage you to test it out. But, we always push people to create consistency where possible. Whether this means using consistent colors or getting a designer to create custom elements to import is up to you. Just because Canva has endless options doesn’t mean you should use them all! Creating a cohesive look with your overall brand is important no matter what tools you use to get there. 

Now, go get creating!


Hue & Tone Creative: Your non-profit marketing partner

While Canva’s a great design tool for a DIY projects, sometimes there's no substitute for a real design expert. That's where we come in. Whether it’s a letterhead, leaflet, social media banner, or flyer, we’ve got what it takes to take your visuals to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about our special non-profit rates!

How to give honest feedback without frustrating your designer

You’ve chosen your designer, you’ve briefed them on your needs, reached an agreement on terms, and you’re eager to see what they’ve come up! Then, their name lands in your inbox along with the much anticipated attachments – but then you click to find that...they’re not quite what you were after. Now what?

If you do it right, giving feedback won’t be perceived as negative. In fact, it’s an important part of the design process – and it’s something that your designer is anticipating. But giving feedback in an unproductive way can lead to an overall unproductive relationship between you and the creative you hired. 

As designers, we’re here to let you know that we’re used to feedback – we even enjoy it because it helps us do our job better. But, it can be frustrating when clients are constantly giving you negative feedback and not giving you the information you need to do your job properly. 

It’s easy for miscommunications to happen – especially if you’ve never worked with a designer before. But with just a few small tweaks to your approach we believe you can communicate with your designer better than ever – and land on a superb final product! 
 

How to give honest feedback to your designer  |  Hue & Tone Creative

 

Step back and ask questions

Before mindlessly shooting off negative feedback, take some time to marinate on what they sent you. Let them know you received the proofs and are putting together some notes. Then, go through the examples and guidelines you provided your designer. What varies from what you asked for? What’s in line with what you asked for (even if it’s not your favorite)? 

Put together a list of questions to better understand where your designer is coming from. The answers to your questions may change your mind on a certain concept or help you distinguish the direction you want to go. 

Creating an open dialogue will go a long way in helping you both understand each other’s point of view. 

 

Be professional, calm and controlled

We know it can be hard to stay calm when you feel like a project isn’t going right – but like any other professional situation it’s important to stay calm. Keep your communication -- whether it’s over the phone or on email – calm and clear is key. Be sure to politely explain why what they’ve produced isn’t quite up your alley.

Just saying “I don’t like it,” “it’s not what I asked for,” or “it’s not for me” isn’t constructive, and it doesn’t give your designer a fair chance to fix it. So, be as specific as you can so that they can understand what does and doesn’t work. That way they’ll be able to take your feedback and turn it into a stronger second draft. 

If you can, show them examples of the kind of thing you dolike from other organizations, so that they have a solid idea of the kind of design they need to be working toward. 

 

Explaining the why

When you’re highlighting elements of a project you’re not quite keen on, explaining the why is super important. Whether it’s because it goes against the guidelines you sent them, it’s too similar to what you’ve done in the past (and found to be ineffective), or it aligns too closely with one of your major competitors, give them a bit of context to help them understand the thinking behind your rationale.

Keep in mind, your designer has probably spent a lot of time on what you’re seeing – if you don’t like it, there was clearly a miscommunication – and it’s on both of you to fix it!

 

Keep it in perspective

Perfection takes time. Just because they didn’t deliver exactly what you wanted the first time around, don’t hold it against them, patronize, or start micro-managing them. You hired a designer because you don’t know how to do it yourself – so stand back and let them do their work. Keep in mind they are an expert at what they do – just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not quality work. 

Their job is to bring your vision to life. Your job is to equip them with the information they need to understand your vision.

 

Put your personal preference to one side

When you’re critiquing their work, remember that design is often a personal preference. Be sure to separate your personal taste from your brand image. A designer might be able to see the bigger picture in a way you can’t – so just because it doesn’t connect with you doesn’t mean it won’t connect with your target demographic. The taste of your audience is probably going to be different than yours, so be sure to talk through your designer’s rationale before shooting down a concept – they might know something you don’t.
 


Balance negatives with positives

It’s the old compliment sandwich trick. And this tip isn’t just to make them feel better! As we touched on earlier, the positives will help them really get a feel for what you dolike so that they can keep developing quality concepts. 

If there really aren’t any positives, you can still be complimentary about their work, but just be clear that it’s not right for your brand or this particular project. If this is the case, be crystal clear you’d like to see a totally new direction – don’t try to sugar coat it too much or they probably won’t realize that what they showed you is a complete wash. 

 

Keep in mind what you agreed too 

Be conscientious of when you’re asking to go above and beyond the terms of your contract. If you agreed to three rounds of revisions, you may need to pay an additional fee to go beyond that. 

Both parties of this contract are on equal footing – it’s not an employee/employer relationship. 

You can’t expect free revisions just because you don’t like something. If they’ve met the terms of the contract and you still don’t have something you like you may need to renegotiate. Keep in mind the contract is in place to protect both parties. 

Checking in on time and expectations can go a long way in demonstrating that you respect a designer’s time. It’s a great way to show you value their work, even if you haven’t come to a final product yet. 

 

Remember...

Rome wasn’t built in a day -- if you want a rushed job, give a rushed timeframe. It’s important you give your designer time to go back to the drawing board and really take everything in you’ve said so that you can keep working toward a high quality final product. 


Hue & Tone Creative: Your creative team

Let us help you get your project designed right! We're ready to communicate with you on your marketing needs -- whether they're big or small. To take a look at what we've done in the past, be sure to check out our design portfolio. Don't see the type of samples you're looking for? Get in touch, we can email you additional work samples! 

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.