Amazon is a great way to reach a wider audience while listing your product with a trusted brand. Since Amazon is such a big platform, you may be confused about how to start the selling process and how to utilize Amazon to fit your marketing needs. However, selling on Amazon can be made easier and more effective by following a few simple steps.

In this episode of Modern Marketing, Dr. Ryan Lowe is joined by our Director of Business Development Matt Roman to provide some tips on how you can start selling your products on Amazon. Matt has served as Purchasing Manager for LivPrime, an Amazon FBA business, and Executive Account Manager for Explosive Advertising Inc.

 

Five Tips to Start Selling on Amazon for Beginners

  1. Sign up for FBA
  2. Optimize listings for search
  3. Organize your Logistics
  4. Use the Seller Forum
  5. Don’t Rely on Amazon Support

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1. Sign Up for FBA

The first step is determining if you want to be a full-on FBA or be a merchant. FBA, or Fulfillment by Amazon, is a service that Amazon provides to sellers to aid with product storage, packaging, and shipping. If you have a small product, FBA is a highly profitable option; you’ll easily eat the fees.

However, if the product is something big or oversized — for example, a canoe — then it would be more profitable to sell as a merchant. Otherwise, the fees will be too significant and it wouldn’t be worth it from a business standpoint.

It isn’t necessarily the size of the product, but its profitability. Check your profitability and margin, consider the fees, and determine which option is right for you. If possible according to your business model, you should utilize FBA.

2. Optimize your listing for search

Incorporating SEO is vital in marketing and naturally, Amazon. You want to optimize your listing with SEO keywords and there are great tools that you can use to assist with identifying those keywords. The more information and SEO you can incorporate into your listing the better.

Keep in mind that Amazon functions in its own ecosystem essentially. As a result, keywords for Google Ads might not be relevant to Amazon.

Tools for Amazon SEO

Helium 10 is a fantastic tool for SEO. “I’ve actually met the guy– he’s great. They’ve built it from the ground up to not only launch your brand, your presence and to get your images and descriptions out there; but also, to optimize it to make sure that over time you are still ranking and indexing for the keywords you want, and get your ACoS down.” — Matthew Roman shares.

Jungle Scout is a useful platform for resellers and for searching for profitable listings.

RevSeller is another great tool to consider. This chrome extension monitors best-seller rank and informs you how your product stacks up against other competition. For example, if you use RevSeller for a product that you’re selling on Amazon, it will compare your product with the other numerous products on Amazon and tell you specifically where it lands down the line.

3. Organize your Logistics

Amazon uses both UPS and FedEx as shipping methods. From a seller standpoint, you will need to determine which works best for you. The QA — or quality assurance — process is truly an in-house decision and reflects what your business prioritizes. You can either do it yourself or hire a prep center to ship your product for you.

“For us, we had an account with UPS, and it made sense to use that anyway,” Matt Roman said. “As far as your QA process, we took QA extremely seriously when we did it.

“We wanted to make sure that when the product was showing up to the person’s house, it’s everything they wanted it to be. There are no dents, no scratches, it looks great, it functions properly. It’s an in-house determination, so if you want to do it yourself, you can. You can also hire prep centers, which are basically centers where they’ll take care of your products per your guidelines and they’ll send it out for you.”

4. Use the Seller Forum

Amazon’s seller forum is a great community and resource of information that can assist sellers with keeping up to date with new or changing procedures. In addition, it’s an opportunity to engage with like-minded Amazon sellers.

A good example is Amazon Prime Day; in the seller forum, you’ll be able to learn when Amazon Prime Day is months before Amazon would inform you.

5. Support is a Patience Game

Don’t expect the Amazon support team to fix the problem on the first try. Be patient and be prepared that the issue will take a while to solve. Keep any conversations from support so that should the same issue arise, you’ll be able to send the emails to their support team for a faster resolution.

“Shout out to Sean who is awesome and solved my problem in like 20 minutes,” Matt Roman said.

Need Marketing Help?

There’s plenty of advantage to partnering with a marketing agency when setting up your Amazon store. You don’t have to do it alone. Here at energyhill, we would take care of all of those components for you and lobby [or advocate; Ryan said lobby in the vid] for you and your product.

We are a creative advertising and marketing company with excellent customer service and experience working with world-class brands. Contact us today for a free quote on how we can help your business grow.

We’ve previously discussed how much of total revenue should go toward your marketing budget, but managing that marketing spend is a whole other story. In this quick tutorial, you’ll learn how to plan out that marketing budget, and where to allocate resources with a marketing budget template in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

With the Google Sheets marketing budget template, you can manage your marketing spend and effectively allocate your digital marketing budget based on the same baseline we use.

download the marketing budget template

marketing budget breakdown

Today’s talk is really about how do you as an organization, brand, or even an individual set up your budget for your calendar year. As in month-over-month, what should you be spending? How much? Where? All of that.

Now, there’s a lot of things that I can’t really answer without knowing more about your business. But I’m going to give you kind of a broad marketing budget template that you could use to help you plan accordingly.

This marketing budget really breaks it down month-by-month based on what I talked about a couple of weeks ago: when you’re setting up your budget, there’s a couple of factors that are involved.

 

google sheets tutorial: marketing budget template

Today’s tutorial is I’m using Google Sheets to kind of set up some line items and a tactical strategy that you could do as an agency to fulfill your strategy.

So with that said we’re going to get right into it. The first thing you really need to do is set up what your revenue is. I’m gonna set the revenue as a default to $3 million per year as a company. Now it might be way less, it might be way more. It just depends on what you have going on as an organization.

Larger organizations, they’re going to have very different budgets than you and that’s fine. If you’re a startup and you’re funded,  you might really want to make a conscious decision to say, ‘hey, we’re
going to spend a lot more because we really need to get into this market and there’s a barrier to entry that we need to spend a minimum of x and we don’t have that yet.’

I don’t always like that strategy but sometimes that’s what’s needed to get into a new market.

calculating a marketing budget

I set up a very broad kind of template here and that is really revenue $3 million and I can change that. Ten
percent of revenue is an easy calculation for your budget — a normal-based budget, not aggressive, not
safe. We can do very simple math $3 million, 10 percent of that is $300,000.

Now when you spread that out over a month it equals around $25,000 a month. I always want to be careful when I say this because, really, if you’re a new company you should be spending more than ten percent. If you’re an established brand and been around ten or twenty years or longer, you can spend less because of the fact that your brand is already very well established. It does not mean you need to lay back on your creative executions and what you’re doing in the marketplace to get your name out there and saying hey.

adjusting your marketing budget

There are a couple of other things that you notice and that is industry. If you are in a tough highly-competitive industry, you might want to add in some percentage points. I always say depending on the industry you can add three to five percentage points to your budget.

If you say, ‘hey, our reach, we’re not just going to be local, we want to actually go national,’ I would
say add in three percent to increase your ad dollars and your potential marketing spend.

You’d want to talk to us about how aggressive you want to be. I’m always a little bit aware that isn’t a potential for aggression in a marketplace that you can get into. Or is it better to just be normal or even safe and then grow? Then as you see growth then adjust.

You can still manually enter your monthly budget so you have the calculation right above you. You can put in whatever you like based on what makes sense for your organization or brand.

monthly marketing budget

Now this is where it gets a little complicated and fun is that then you have a monthly spend. This tells you what you are going to be spending on a month-to-month and quarter-to-quarter basis. That’s what’s nice about this marketing budget template — it breaks down literally monthly as far as what you should be spending on.

On this example, on advertising we’re going to say Google ad spend is $3,000 a month. It might be you need to spend a lot more based on your industry. But again, that’s where you want to talk with someone in the marketing space so we can help you align with what you should be spending. This also includes social content, email marketing, all the different elements, and again there might be somewhere you have to
put a lot towards it.

On that first tab of the marketing budget template and throughout this entire tab, our monthly budget was updated and the quarterly budget was updated automatically. So you don’t have to worry about going everywhere to update.

The idea is that then you can see, ‘OK, here’s what we’re actually going to be budgeted for and spend and here’s what we have budgeted and set aside for that month.’ You can see the calculation works out.

we’re here to help

I do recommend talking with someone in the marketing space whether it’s us or whether it’s you know any agency to help you make sure: ‘Does this look right? Do my numbers line up?” Because this can be very confusing to get organized.

As always, you can reach out to our team via our contact form if you have any questions.

Virtual Meetings

For the last decade, remote work has become increasingly popular. Then, in just weeks due to COVID-19, working from home and virtual meetings went from optional to required, as government restrictions went into place around the world.

The pandemic has accelerated the need for a modern workforce across industries that is increasingly mobile and dynamic. Even before remote work became normal, there’s a very good chance that some of your co-workers don’t sit in the same office as you.

the need for virtual meetings is growing

For many, the only time co-workers will get face-to-face interaction together is via a webcam. As a result, virtual conference calls and meetings have become a key ingredient in team synergy and communication during remote work.

Working Remote InforgraphicHand-in-hand with business growth and globalization, advances in technology and new applications have made long-distance communication even easier. At energyhill, we integrate virtual meeting technologies into our every day to meet seamlessly with clients.

Below we’ll take a look at some ways you can lead effective meetings online, the most popular conference call tools available, and simple remote meeting etiquette.

how to lead a successful virtual meeting

We have all attended a poorly run virtual meeting or conference call. When it comes to workplace communication, nothing seems to be more awkward or a bigger waste of time. So, what is the trick to successful conference calls? 

Here are few elements to keep in mind that just might help your next remote meeting be a success:

  1. Know the Attendees. You want the people on the call to contribute meaningfully? Understanding who they are, including their goals and responsibilities, will give you a better idea of when and how they should be chiming in.
  2. Create an Agenda. Even if it’s a recurring meeting, it’s important that everyone understands what will be discussed. Send this agenda out before the meeting so everyone can properly prepare. In addition, it will keep the call moving efficiently and create a structure for how participants should engage.
  3. Keep everyone on the same page. Several of the top virtual meeting tools have built-in screen sharing and virtual whiteboard capabilities. These tools are great for giving attendees a visual to connect with the meeting discussions or share a meeting deck.
  4. Follow-up with a Recap.
    In order to keep everyone on the same page moving forward and deliverables are completed, it’s best to send a recap email once the meeting is over. It doesn’t have to be formal, but it should clearly outline what was discussed, and what action items there are to execute.

For hints on how to make your conference calls successful, check out this article from HubSpot.

apps for meeting virtually

Now that you know how to lead a more effective call, what’s the best tool for you to use? Here are some of the most popular virtual meeting and conference call facilitators on the market and our impressions of them:

  • Zoom: The most popular video conferencing application can be downloaded across platforms. On Zoom, it’s easy to collaborate with screen sharing and whiteboard capabilities, and meetings can be recorded and referred back to later. This is energyhill’s go-to remote meeting tool. 
  • Google Meet: Google Meet expanded in 2020 to conduct secure business meetings for free as part of G Suite, with all the same tools as Zoom. Starting a meeting is as easy as logging into your Gmail, and clicking “Start a meeting” in the sidebar. No downloads required. Meetings can also be scheduled via Google Calendar.
  • GoToMeeting: This is an industry stalwart and quite well-reviewed, especially for conference calls. It requires attendees to download software for the meeting, which makes it a bit dated in our book. However, it’s very affordable. We’ve used it previously, but have since switched.
  • Ringcentral: Ringcentral has more than just conference call capabilities, such as chat and texting. This meeting software can be integrated deep into your business with phone capabilities. However, it can be overkill depending on your needs.
  • join.me: We haven’t yet used join.me for our own meetings. However, we have attended meetings where join.me was the facilitator and we were very pleased. It also has screen sharing capabilities, seems reliable and doesn’t require any install.

The most important feature of any system is how well it fits your organization’s needs. These companies are a good place to start when doing your research for the best conference call tools.

virtual meeting etiquette

You may have seen viral videos from Zoom meetings where someone does something embarrassing. While these clips are hilarious, part of effective meetings is all the guests following some simple ground rules to keep the meeting on track.

  1. Send links or phone numbers to your meeting in advance
  2. Mute your mic when you’re not speaking
  3. Dress the same way on meetings as you would at the office
  4. Let others at home you’re going into a meeting
  5. Don’t multitask, focus on the meeting

There are countless other ways to improve meeting productivity, but good etiquette can go a long way in getting things done. 

adapt your business to now

If you’d like to discuss your organization’s digital needs and how to better communicate in a global marketplace, please contact us at energyhill. Our team of multi-level marketing experts are eager to help you and your organization exceed your business goals.

Short message service (SMS) has existed since 1992 and has grown ever since. It took over 10 years for SMS marketing methods to emerge as major brands like Nike launched texting campaigns in 2005. Just as marketing tactics are constantly evolving, SMS marketing has developed into a constant in almost everyone’s daily lives.

The Surge of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing has quickly emerged as the most effective way for businesses, large and small, to engage their audiences. As a result, businesses are now understanding the immense power of SMS marketing campaigns in the digital age.

  • 91% of consumers have received an SMS from a business
  • 94% of those consumers have clicked through a link within an SMS
  • 35% of those consumers interact with a business between once a day and once a week via SMS
  • 68% of businesses are using some form of texting
  • B2B SMS marketing grew 197% between 2015 and 2017
  • By 2023, SMS marketing volume is expected to rise 52%

As consumers become more attached to their phones, text messages are now the most direct line of contact. If your business is aiming to gain customer attention, an SMS marketing campaign may be the most effective method.

why SMS marketing works

By the numbers, SMS marketing is now the most direct and effective way to reach customers. As a result, businesses are using SMS to send coupons, special deals, announcements, or just to engage customers. Additionally, celebrities like P Diddy, Ashton Kutcher, and Jake Paul are interacting with their fans via SMS to create a more personal experience.

“This was really spearheaded inadvertently from celebrities, from professional athletes and comedians,” said Dr. Ryan Lowe, energyhill Co-Founder and CEO. “They have a system in place and a marketing team in place to really respond and engage with you as if they are that brand. I think it’s a really great way for businesses to now take initiative and say, ‘Why don’t we text our customers?'”

There’s a reason why more are choosing SMS marketing: it’s effective and brings astounding conversion rates. For example, 75% of people say they prefer text messages as their primary form of communication. The messaging app is the most used application on mobile phones across the globe. This is likely because users don’t need to use an additional application and are ensured of a quick interaction under the character limit.

Thus, texting audiences are more likely to engage through texts. After all, ease of access and exposure are key to a marketing campaign’s success.

Users are opening less than 50% of other marketing forms — social posts or emails, for example. The open rate of texts, in general, is 98%. For the most part, customers receiving and reading texts is far more likely than any other marketing tactic.

The Future of SMS Marketing

By now, SMS marketing should be a staple to every direct-to-consumer brand marketing strategy. It’s also becoming more essential in business-to-business communication by keeping things punctual and prompt.

For years, SMS marketing has been mostly straightforward due to the character limit on messages. Already, many marketers are getting creative by combining other smartphone features — like the calendar or maps applications — with texts. For example, a text could prompt a customer to come in-store with a scannable coupon.

Making the most out of SMS

Businesses have already started to innovate their text message marketing strategy. Take Domino’s, which has introduced text ordering for a quick way to order. Another example is a survey sent to a customer after they have made a purchase at your storefront. These are just some of the innovations that will become more popular as marketers continue to see success in the text message marketing space.

“These are all really good ways to use a technology that’s been around… but they’re using it in a new way where it’s helping their CRM and their systems that they have in place.”

Dr. Ryan Lowe, Co-Founder and CEO of energyhill

As more business incorporate SMS marketing strategies, we’ll continue to see innovation via personalized and intuitive messaging to customers.

energyhill’s marketing services

Are you looking for a new way to engage your customers? Do you think SMS marketing could be the right way to increase your conversion rates? At energyhill, we have the tools you need to help you connect with your audience and influence leads.

Contact us to tweak your marketing strategy and reach your business goals.

Another decade of marketing mishaps has come and gone. This past year saw plenty of new campaign tactics, design trends, and brand overhauls, but a few key things managed to stand out. Here are some marketing insights from our founder and president, Ryan.

2019 marketing insights

From celebrity endorsements to fast food squabbles, 2019 saw no limits in the marketing world. While some brands struggled to keep their heads above water, others thrived on PR, both positive and negative.

2019: The year of celebrity endorsements and fast food wars

Celebrity endorsements are nothing new. However, this past decade it became even more crucial to find the right people to represent your brand. Cardi B took on Reebok, Chance the Rapper took on Doritos, Jason Bateman took on Hyundai. Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad was an intentionally controversial PR move that ended up putting the company’s name in everyone’s mouths even more than usual.

Meanwhile, Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A went at it on Twitter over the title of best chicken sandwich. While an incendiary response from Popeyes could’ve had negative consequences, it actually worked out for them. It was entertaining to watch the two companies hash it out, and meanwhile, people were lining up at every Popeyes across the nation to see what the hype was all about.

Near the end of the year, a Peloton holiday ad went viral. The ad, which featured a husband gifting his already thin wife a luxury fitness bike, was called out for being presumably privileged and sexist. Even Ryan Reynolds used the company’s negative PR to leverage his own company, Aviation Gin, in an ad featuring the same actress. The “Peloton girl” memes continued.

Uber steps it up

One of the largest transportation companies in the world that doesn’t own a single vehicle, Uber, strengthened and diversified their brand this year. They rebranded, developed Uber Eats, and promoted it with celebrity endorsements. The results were nothing but positive. One of the key factors in Uber’s success is their ability to research and understand their audience.

2020 marketing insights

This new year and new decade brings with it a new way of understanding marketing. Because people are more focused on authenticity and transparency, companies will really have to nail their values and ethics. Not to mention, we should be seeing a lot more augmented reality and SMS.

Insights on SMS

Texting has been around for years, but companies are now starting to use it to their advantage. More businesses are going to look to SMS to further push their services, as reminder notifications produce an incredible retention rate. Though the service industry has started to dominate this realm, companies should think of creative ways they can incorporate SMS into their messaging without annoying their customers.

2019 - 2020 marketing insights

Bing and Google My Business

The “place” social networks are essential for a company’s credibility. Short-links, reviews, and engagement on both platforms helps boost a business in the customer’s eyes. Which place are you most likely to visit: the one with 0 reviews, or the one with some 5-star reviews and some 3-star reviews? Get those reviews, and contribute content (e.g. events, sales) to effectively engage with your audience. These platforms are only expected to grow in the coming years.

More companies using augmented reality

This technology still needs time to solidify and really become seamless. As of right now, we sometimes need equipment like headsets or extra devices to use AR. In the next few years, companies will fine-tune the usability and experience of augmented reality, and think of innovative ways to use the technology.

Founding Fathers Fireworks app project

One of our projects at energyhill last year was to create an app for Founding Fathers Fireworks that makes historical figures come alive. Using augmented reality, a user can scan their box of fireworks and hear the legacy of figures like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. This project is just one example of a creative way to use an existing technology and create a seamless experience for the user.

The takeaway: create lasting impressions

This year, companies should push to diversify their brand and really polish their messaging. Using tools like SMS, Google My Business, and augmented reality can put your brand a step above the rest. Assure that your website and apps provide the best user experience, as nowadays, you have only seconds to make an impression.

What are your predictions for this new year/decade? Let us know in the comments!

Every year since 2000, Pantone has chosen a color to reflect the current social, political, and environmental state of the world. Last year’s color was Living Coral, a reference to the ocean’s rapidly dying coral reefs. This year they’ve chosen 19-4052 Classic Blue, to evoke a sense of simplicity, tranquility, and confidence heading into this new decade.

We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on… A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute

Blue in Color Theory

What does the color blue remind you of? A calm ocean? A clear sky? The corporate ladder? Although the primary color can have these connotations, it can also mean reliability, energy, and strength. The image of a sky at dusk comes to mind, a symbol of “crossing into a new era.”

Color matters. It’s an essential component of marketing and design, as it can put your audience in a specific frame of mind while they’re absorbing your content. A darker blue is said to evoke trust and authority, while lighter shades express peace and spirituality. For example, the color blue can be used for a brand wanting to label themselves as professional; or maybe as a calming choice for a meditation app.

Blue is a very versatile color and has many different meanings across cultures. Definitely do your research if it’s something you’re interested in using.

energyhill Comments on Color of the Year: Classic Blue
Calm is a meditation app that uses blue as its major brand color.

our designers’ thoughts

GLORIA, creative lead: As we enter a new decade I see why Pantone picked classic blue hue for their color of the year 2020; they are going back to the beginning, to their first color of the year 2000…”cerulean blue” a lighter and powdery shade of blue. That also represented calmness and tranquility. Personally I don’t like blues, but I understand the meaning behind why this color was chosen and also think was the right choice for this color to represent this new century!

NATALY, sr. graphic designer: My first thought was, why? That color has always felt to me representative of corporations and businesses. After I read the intentions behind choosing this color, I definitely like it a lot more. I like that it reminds me of dusk. Is it non-aggressive and easily relatable? I don’t know; I don’t really get that aspect of it. But it’s definitely calming, peaceful and deep.

LISA, jr. graphic designer: Classic Blue, the ocean and the starry blue sky color gave me a sense of peacefulness and calmness. It is more of an educational color, but thinking how this color will work throughout the year, I don’t think is too bad. Since the 2019 color represented energy, the 2020 color might give the design industry a feeling of security, calmness, and serenity.

Pantone has always preferred to take the positive view on every color they choose, no matter how daunting the reason behind it. Last year’s Living Coral was an active choice to showcase a world we all want, instead of emphasizing the bad. This year’s Classic Blue is a comforting end to the decade and a restful start to the new year.

What do you think of this year’s Pantone color? Let us know in the comments!

It’s that time of year again… Time for the presidential candidates (and their logos) to go head to head. The energyhill team discussed 10 democratic presidential candidate logos and gave them each a grade for their layout, color, and font.

Amy Klobuchar - presidential logo

Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar’s logo uses too many fonts and colors to be pleasing to the eye. The green is an unusual choice for a presidential candidate, and doesn’t evoke the patriotism that the other logos achieve. The serif font of the “Amy” looks nice and well-balanced, but clashes with the other two fonts, which individually are actually nice fonts. The designer mixed too many components together, without worrying about how everything flows.

Layout: C
Color: C
Fonts: C
Overall: C

Beto O'Rourke - presidential logo

Beto O’Rourke

Beto’s logo is in black and white, which is untraditional. This combined with the font choice makes it look modern and minimalistic (Top Gun, anyone?). However, it doesn’t feel colorful or patriotic enough, and is too bold and condensed. 

Layout: A
Color: C
Font: A
Overall: B+

Bernie Sanders presidential logo

Bernie Sanders

Bernie’s logo is the same as his 2016 logo, without the year underneath the name. The blue and red lines create a nice sense of movement (although it is reminiscent of toothpaste). The star over the I is a nice touch, the kerning is perfect and the fonts are well done.

Layout: B+
Color: B+
Font: A
Overall: A-

Joe Biden presidential logo

Joe Biden

Biden’s logo is simple, bold, and beautiful. The D working into the E to turn it into a flag is a clever touch. The fonts and spacing are on point and there is good color choice and contrast. This logo pops among the others.

Layout: A
Color: A
Font: A
Overall: A

Pete Buttigieg presidential logo

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg’s logo is unconventional, and not in a good way. It’s similar to a college football banner because the 20’s are split, so it just looks odd. The font doesn’t work, because the P and T aren’t slanted as much as both E. Overall, it does a poor job of getting across a patriotic message.

Layout: B-
Color: C+
Font: B-
Overall: C

Cory Booker presidential logo

Cory Booker

Cory Booker’s logo is arguably the least impressive of the bunch. Because of the rectangle around the text, the logo feels too tight and boxed in. The fonts and colors are similar to the Marvel logo, and the black and blue combination bleeds horribly. On a business card, this would be very difficult to read. His logo is similar to Tim Ryan’s, though Ryan’s is slightly better because they didn’t use black.

Layout: D
Color: C
Font: C
Overall: C-

Julian Castro presidential logo

Julián Castro

The colors are wonderful, but the JULIAN might be a little too bold compared to the weight of the border. The accent mark through the border is a nice touch and adds dimension to the layout. The “Castro” feels like it’s sort of jammed in, and the logo would have had better spacing and composition without it. This logo is still pretty great, and needs very minor edits.

Layout: A
Color: A
Font: B+
Overall: A

Kamala Harris presidential logo

Kamala Harris

Purple and orange are a strange choice for a presidential candidate. There is no hierarchy in this design, since “for the people” is in a brighter color than “Kamala Harris,” but “Kamala Harris” is first. The stacked look doesn’t work, and is similar to the branding of Morgan and Morgan (a Tampa Bay local attorney’s office). There is some potential to work with the white space, but it serves no purpose in this design.

Layout: C
Color: C
Font: A
Overall: B-

Elizabeth Warren 2020 logo

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren’s logo is simple, sharp, and straight to the point. The font is beautiful, but the color is up for debate. It looks great when it’s knocked out to white and laid over another color, but it can look sort of boring in the simple navy blue. The kerning is great, although the underline extends a bit too far out from the N. Overall, this design is fairly strong and would look great on a business card.

Layout: A-
Color: A-
Font: A
Overall: A

Andrew Yang 2020

Andrew Yang

There are a lot of different things at play with Andrew Yang’s logo. First of all, the flag over the Y doesn’t really work because the letter can easily be confused for another letter like T or L. Scaled down, this logo would be very difficult to read. There is a sense of movement with the slanted text, but the type should have been uppercase to make the “Yang” stand out more than the 2020. They could have worked wonders with such a short name, but unfortunately this logo doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Layout: B-
Color: A
Font: A
Overall: A-

It all started with a Tweet. Suddenly the battle that nobody saw coming was in full swing, and out of nowhere, people were lining up at Popeye’s left and right. This whirlwind has left everyone wondering: how exactly did Popeye’s go from a nondescript fast food joint to a suitable rival for Chick-Fil-A? As usual, the answer is simple: social media.

15 Minutes of Fame

Similar to Dunkin Donuts and IHOP changing their names, Popeye’s chose the viral marketing stunt route. Surprisingly, the debate began with a tweet by Chick-Fil-A, which was quickly and hilariously followed up by a response from Popeye’s marketing executive. This set off a conversation that would go on for weeks. The post was retweeted 87.7K times and received 325K likes. Evidently, Popeye’s came out with the win, with $65 million in marketing revenue in less than a month.

Brand Personalities

Brands are no longer just companies selling to us. They’ve adopted online personas and can interact with consumers in a way that’s kind of eerie; one voice becomes the spokesperson for an entire franchise made up of millions of people. It’s easy for people to get involved in online conversations with brands, especially fast food joints like Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Jimmy John’s. They talk the way we talk. They take on approachable, comical, and sarcastic tones that can easily be converted into memes or other reshareable images. 

The best thing for brands like Chick-Fil-A and Popeye’s, in this interesting time of social media popularity contests, is to say something unexpected online so that they become the topic of conversation. Obviously, it worked for Popeye’s.

The Importance of Online Engagement

Some companies undervalue the importance of social media engagement. But the effect it can have on a business is huge, if you do it correctly. Almost anything can be brought into the spotlight, with the right voice and brand personality. Here’s how you can improve your online presence in 3 ways:

1. Be Consistent

It’s important to know what people are talking about so you can engage with them in a way that they can relate to. One of the ways to do this is be consistent. Strike up online conversations with small, medium, and large accounts on a daily basis. Post often, go live, and use all the tools of the app to engage.

2. Weigh in on Popular Topics

Sometimes brands can get out of hand with the things they say online, and this can lead to trouble. Be honest, but not too honest. You want your followers to get the sense that you’re being transparent without revealing too much. Maybe it’s not relevant for your company to join in on the chicken sandwich wars, but there is something else out there that your brand can have a say in.

3. Create Brand Personas

Brand personas are a great way to visualize the types of consumers interested in your product. Come up with three or four “types” of people that might buy your product. List their values, personality type, lifestyle, philosophies, fears, goals, etc. This helps you adjust your voice and content to target the right audience.

The Chicken Sandwich Wars Are Not Over Yet

Although Popeye’s has sold out of their legendary sandwich, Wendy’s has joined in on the debate. There’s no doubt that more brands will start to interact the same way with their rivals and consumers to garner attention and sales.

It’s difficult to predict exactly what will go viral on social media. If it’s not Area 51 memes, it’s chicken sandwiches. You have to really understand your audience in order to achieve the massive success that Popeye’s did, and stay one step ahead of everyone else. And although it does say something somewhat negative about our society’s values, it is a great marketing tactic for companies to try to replicate, if they have the right product.

The Kardashian-Jenner family is not known for their subtlety, but Kylie Jenner’s recent Instagram vacation managed to take over branding to a whole new level. Meant to promote her new line of skin care products called Kylie Skin, Jenner’s trip was a marketing campaign not exactly in disguise. The 21-year-old billionaire was recently criticized for a walnut facial scrub in the product line, which experts claim creates micro cuts in the skin. Even so, she successfully used the “luxury travel influencer” approach to advertise the product launch.

Pink Paradise

Jenner, who already has a massive Instagram following of 142 million, traveled with a group of friends to Turks and Caicos in a private jet emblazoned with the Kylie Skin logo. If you think that’s extra, it doesn’t end there. The logo was also on the eye masks, satin pillows, sweaters, water bottles, and make up sets in the plane. On the island, it was on everything from the floor mats and coconuts, to the cotton onesies (maybe even on the toilet paper?).

All of this begs the question: when it comes to branding, how much is too much?

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The marketing world is evolving, and so are methods for capturing an audience’s attention. Today, most people ignore traditional marketing methods like commercials and billboards. So more and more people are spending time on social media and influencer marketing is rising steadily. As a result, brands are realizing the true potential of this marketing style and how it’s affecting consumer behavior.

What is an Influencer?

Influencer marketing has been around forever, but it became popular a decade ago through social media. The modern definition of an influencer is someone who works in a specific niche and has a strong impact on the purchase decisions of others. They’re typically hailed as “experts” in topics like health, fashion, yoga, or food.

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Macro and Mega Influencers

Macro and Mega influencers include celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Justin Bieber, and Ariana Grande. Large brands use macro influencers for more visibility and awareness. In this scenario, companies have a lot of control over what is posted and said about their product.

Micro Influencers 

Micro influencers are smaller, more approachable accounts that still have a considerable number of followers. Lately, brands are reaching out to micro influencers more because they’re seem to be more authentic. Also, they have proved to have better audience engagement and a fairly high ROI.

Nano Influencers

These individuals usually have less than 1,000 followers and have strong influence within their community. They’re the most relatable of the bunch and, like micro influencers, also have a high level of engagement with their followers.

Making Brands Appear Human

Companies must relinquish some creative direction when they rely on micro and nano influencers. These individuals use their own voices and personalities to make brands appear “human.” This contributes to the honesty and relatable factors that influencer marketing is all about.

However, this industry may turn out to be more misleading than genuine. Accounts must to put #ad or #sponsored in the captions of their posts if they’re promoting certain products. If they’re not careful, influencers could lose some loyal followers that feel like they’re being excessively advertised to.

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Influencer Marketing and Consumer Behavior

According to the latest Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, Millennials have different values than other generations. They prioritize experiences like travel over traditional ideas of success, are spending their money with companies that align with their values, and are untrustworthy of blatant advertising. Also, they’re very aware that celebrity endorsements are hardly, if ever, authentic. More and more businesses are investing in this industry to skyrocket their engagement and reach audiences they never would have been able to reach on their own. 

Below are some successful campaigns that benefitted from influencer marketing.

nike-ad

Nike

Nike is one of the top performing brands in the industry. In 2018, they used the Colin Kaepernick controversy to their advantage and weren’t afraid to show the less polished side of the brand. In their case, the backlash helped them stay relevant. 

Apple

Apple capitalized on FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) by partnering with YouTube to create “unboxing videos,” which gave influencers that were fans of the brand access to products before they even came out. This drove a huge wave of attention to the latest product as soon as it came out.

Dunkin’ Donuts

DD launched a campaign on National Donut Day and allowed eight different users to take over their Snapchat account and post their own content. This way, they expanded their audience and gained thousands of followers that they wouldn’t have been able to reach organically on their own. 

Embracing the Shift

According to Business Insider Intelligence, influencer marketing ad spend will reach $10 billion by 2022. There’s no doubt that as this industry progresses, it will become more and more difficult to appear “authentic.” Brands have to continually rework their strategies to stand out in the crowd and work with the values of their audience.

At energyhill, we know how important it is to tell your story, not just your mission statement. We’ll help you discover what makes your brand unique and do the research so that you better understand your audience and their wants. Contact us to start your campaign today and experience organic growth.