Tag Archive for: Values

Things you need to know about video marketing

Your business will benefit if you add video content to your marketing mix. That’s pretty indisputable. 

You can tell your brand story and show people exactly what you’re all about. Video captivates and engages with your audience; it entertains and educates. 

We wrote about this in a recent blog but there’s a lot more  going on now that needs sharing. 

2024 is emerging as the year when video marketing really becomes central to promoting our businesses. Everyone’s talking about adding it to their social media posts, blogs, and product pages on their websites.

But you need to be aware that Google has changed the way it ranks video. It has significantly reduced the number of video thumbnails that appear on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). Videos that don’t form the main content of a page don’t feature any more.

This means that you need to make sure your business is found with relevant video content that still ranks and it’s important to stay up to date with Google manoeuvres. As we know, things change fast in digital marketing.

So what else is new in video land? What are the trends we’re expecting in 2024 and beyond?

New video trends to explore

  • It’s all about Artificial Intelligence. 75% of businesses are using AI for marketing videos and over 90% have already seen a positive return on their investment, according to latest AI statistics.
  • Newsletters will see more video content. Emails will too. It’s a great way to show customers how your products and services can help them. They get to experience everything without reading through wordy text documents and brochures. Makes so much sense, doesn’t it? Just look at your LinkedIn feed for the evidence.
  • Real people will feature. There’s a job for the influencers but this isn’t it. Video cries out for you, your team and your partners in front of the camera instead. It doesn’t just highlight the value of your products or services, it shows the real people behind it. This helps to win trust and breed loyalty. If you’re a start-up this is definitely for you because it’s quick, easy and affordable. 
  • Short form isn’t going anywhere. Anything less than 60 seconds is short form. It’s great because it’s easy to digest and therefore easy to remember. Don’t forget how much our attention span has changed now that we live in a wall-to-wall world of so much stuff to read, watch and share. There are some great examples on YouTube TikTok and Instagram. 
  • It’s not about sound. More and more consumers are interacting with social video content without sound. We like to take a quiet peek at work, on the train, while we’re waiting at the checkout and when we’re in bed. There are more tools now available to make silent videos more effective and AI is coming into its own here too. 

There are some excellent examples of brands using video storytelling to promote what they sell. Check out this bog, courtesy of Vidico: https://vidico.com/news/storytelling-ads/

That’s it for now but if you want to know more you can reach out on our socials or contact us in the usual ways. We’re always happy to help. 

Social media is the must-have marketing tool for every brand

You might think you have a great brand, but it won’t work without a strong social media plan. The two go hand in hand and that’s that!

But, for some of us, social media is the biggest challenge when it comes to gaining traction in the marketplace.

This is because it’s something you must own, and it takes time and imagination. No half-measures or empty promises. You simply have to do it.

Let’s be honest. Many of us just aren’t very good at social media. We shy away from getting up close and personal.

We really don’t want our business day being constantly interrupted by who’s saying what on X (formerly known as Twitter) or who’s doing what on Instagram.

We’d much rather talk to people about our business face to face. Or pick up the phone or send an email.

But the undeniable truth is that we ignore social media at our peril. It’s here to stay for now and these are some compelling facts you should know. Charity Digital – Topics – Social media facts you need to know in 2024

So roll your sleeves up and get on with it. You might just start enjoying it!

If you stay committed, you will make a success of your social media and your brand will thrive.

Step-by-step guide on how to create your plan

  1. Make sure your social media profile is in line with your brand’s DNA. It needs to look, sound, and feel like your brand.
  2. Identify your target audience and which social media channels work best for them. If they hang out on TikTok, then that’s where you need to be.
  3. Know what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve them. This is where you might need some advice from a social media expert.
  4. Start telling your brand story in an honest and authentic way. How your company and its services and products help people in their day-to-day lives. Short videos are a great way to do this.
  5. Make sure you’re having a conversation. Don’t showboat. Listen and learn from everyone who connects with your brand. Ask for people’s feedback and act on it. Be real and do what you say.
  6. Build a content calendar and commit the right amount of time to your social media activity. It can’t be hit and miss.

Two rules you should never break

  • One third of your posts should promote your business, one third should be shared content from industry thought leaders and one third should involve personal interaction with your followers
  • 80% of your posts should inform educate or entertain and 20% should promote your business

The perfect social media post

Videos, images, GIFs and memes, text-based news updates, audio clips, ‘how-to’ guides are some of the types of social media content.

But we’ll leave it to the social media experts for advice on how to write a great post. Here you go:

How to Write the Perfect Social Media Post – Social Progress

And don’t forget, where there’s Hope Creative, there’s always hope. If you want some guidance from people you trust, we’re always here for you. Check us out on our socials or contact us in the usual ways.

How video storytelling can make a good brand great

Video has become one of the most powerful ways to build brands that win business.

It’s now seen as the most effective marketing tool for telling your brand story. Video creates a memorable, emotional connection with your buyer.

In fact, 91% of consumers now want to see online video from businesses, according to a study by Wyzowl, 2023. Video Marketing Statistics | New Data For 2023 | Wyzowl

And the latest figures from Hubspot What Video Marketers Should Know in 2023, According to Wyzowl Research (hubspot.com) show that it can boost your bottom line by over 25%.

No wonder most marketeers say video has become their key marketing tool and more plan to add it into their marketing strategy this year.

Eight reasons why and how video works:

  1. Video story telling humanises your business and builds trust
  2. It draws in your target audience and convinces them that your brand is right for them
  3. Your brand story will stay in their memory because it brings your core identity, ethics, and beliefs to life
  4. Video is highly engaging and captures people’s attention very quickly
  5. It’s easy to consume and needs very little effort from the consumer
  6. It evokes a reaction and is therefore massively successful at raising brand awareness
  7. Sharing videos we like with family and friends has become a national pastime, especially since the pandemic
  8. Marketing your business through a compelling brand video isn’t costly and it doesn’t take a lot of time once you’re used to it

Stats from Sprout Social 40+ Social Media Video Marketing Statistics for 2023 | Sprout Social prove our point, saying that users remember 95% of a message watched on video as opposed to 10% read in text format. A pretty convincing fact, don’t you think?

So can any business tell its brand story?

The simple answer is, yes, even if your products and services aren’t sexy, they’re complicated or quite technical for people to understand.

A good way to start is to use customer testimonials because they are a genuine endorsement of your products and services.

Video case studies are also very effective as you can use them to demo what you do and how you can help your customer.

People can easily see the benefits of buying from your business because you can break things down into bite-size chunks.

This type of video can also be a very good way to improve your internal communications because it can help to create your company culture.

You can use it to recruit new staff or motivate your people. And you can even involve them in producing the video. Employees feel empowered, listened to and trusted.

If you want to learn more, then give us a call, email us, or reach out on our socials.

Talk to us.

Why you need marketing to build your brand

Your brand creates awareness about your business. Marketing creates a direct connection with your customer. One won’t work without the other, it’s as simple as that!

Imagine your brand as the author of a book and marketing as the publisher. Very different roles but totally the same purpose – to tell a story that people want to read.  

This is one of the reasons why marketing is so important to your brand. It’s the tangible way you create leads and convert them into sales.

Here are four more reasons why marketing makes such a difference to your brand’s success.

  • A reason to buy

Marketing shows a potential customer how your products or services can solve their problem or meet their specific need. It helps to influence their buying decision because they can clearly see the benefits of what you’re offering. They have a reason to buy.Once they have a reason to buy, though,youmust deliver. Get it right and your customers will come back for more and they will spread the word.

  • Your ideal customer

Understanding what your customers want and need is vital, especially nowadays because people are so well informed. Market research helps you to work out your target audience and how you can best reach them. This enables you to connect with your ideal customer and tailor the message to suit them. You can find out what works for them and what doesn’t. And you can use this data to improve your offer.

  • Better than the rest

Your offer must stand out from your competitors. Competitor analysis will build a picture of your marketplace so that you can promote your unique selling points (USPs). It’s all about finding ways to show why your business is better than the rest. But you can’t just make bold claims about how good you are, you must show evidence. This comes from gathering genuine feedback from your peers, employees, suppliers, partners, and customers. Marketing doesn’t work if it’s based on smoke and mirrors.

  • Getting engaged

Winning and retaining customers is a key part of effective marketing. Getting engaged with your target audience and then staying connected is the only way to build a loyal following. Marketing campaigns give you a reason to stay in touch and build lasting relationships. Social media, video, blogs, feedback forms, trust ratings and newsletters are all helpful here as part of your engagement plan.

There’s more to marketing than this, obviously, but the way to approach it is to break it down into bite-size chunks. You don’t have to spend a fortune or sign up to a scary retainer.

Just make sure you invest a little time getting to understand the basics and talk to the right people about what to do next.

Here are some useful links which might help: 

What Is Marketing? Definition and Guide (2023) (oberlo.com)

Pain Points: How to Empathize with Customer Problems and Solve Them (hubspot.com)

And if you want free advice, you can always talk to us. Or you can sign up to our newsletter which always has useful tips on everything to do with brand.

Why PR is the driving force behind your brand

You must understand the basics of PR if you want your brand to grab people’s attention and, ultimately, succeed.

But, firstly, what do we mean by PR? Let’s focus our attention on some simple definitions that should help.  

In simple terms, PR (Public Relations) is about reputation. Every single business that has ever been created has relied on its reputation to win and retain custom.

And, often, it’s bad publicity that has seen some big players eventually go from hero to zero. Here’s a great example and, no, it’s not Boris, Prince Andrew, or the FIFA world cup!

https://www.nucleus.co.uk/opinion/how-to-trash-a-brand

OK then, PR is about credibility and getting talked about for the right reasons. The defining factor here is social responsibility. Consumers want to know three things:

  1. Is this business ethical?
  2. Does it care about people and the planet?
  3. Is it telling the truth?

If you don’t know what we mean by DEI, then you really should as this is still taking centre stage in consumer world. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is at the core of many emerging influential brands.

So, how does all this fit in when you’re building your brand? We think PR is important to your business because:  

  • You have to stand out in today’s crowded marketplace
  • The ‘eight second consumer concentration’ rule – you are competing for attention
  • PR helps to build your digital profile and your brand
  • New and informative web content helps to improve your Google search rankings
  • Today’s buying habits – people buy from ethical brands that connect with the things they value
  • You need to lead the conversation with the right audiences – show your expertise in your field

And here are our six giveaways on how to create great PR for your business:

  • Tell your brand story by gathering genuine customer testimonials and case studies that underline your ethics
  • Build a website that’s easy to use and keep it updated
  • Drive people to your website though your social media channels
  • Write a blog that is helpful and informative – share your know-how
  • Send e-news to your customers and contacts – a great way to build your database, keep in touch and promote your special offers/events etc
  • Ask your customers for feedback – use the good stuff to prove your value, deal with the bad stuff to make you better

Hope Creative can help with all of this and more! Just ask and we’ll be happy to give you some advice. 

How to bring your brand to life

We talked about four key ways to bring your brand to life in our last blog. This time, we continue the theme but we’re focusing on something else that’s just as important – your brand story.

Every brilliant brand tells a compelling story where its vision, values and distinctive offer connect emotionally with its target market.

So, how do you go about creating your brand story? First of all, you need to understand your four fundamentals:

  1. Why you exist
  2. Who you are
  3. How you do things
  4. What you do

We covered them in our last blog and actually run a specific Brand Doctor workshop, which takes you through each one step by step. If you’re interested, let us know.

What’s your brand story?

OK, so once you know your why, who, how and what, you can start to think about your brand story.

Start by defining what you do in more detail. In other words, what’s your unique offer to your customers? What do you do that your competitors don’t. Ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Do people buy your products or services simply because they’re more affordable? 
  2. Are they innovative or genuinely unique in some way?  
  3. Are they the highest quality ie better than the rest?
  4. Do you offer the best customer service by a mile?
  5. Is your service about a user-friendly experience that customers really enjoy? 

Is there one that resonates the most? Are there two or three that apply? Or is it something else completely? Now use your answers to begin writing your brand story.

Imagine a relatable scenario where you put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Create a hero struggling with an issue, show you understand their conflict and then provide a workable solution. We all love a happy ending!

This example is how Land Rover used a true story to celebrate its 70th anniversary. ‘The Land of Land Rovers’ is set in a remote area in the Himalayas where a fleet of  1957 Land Rovers are meticulously maintained so that supplies can be transported along treacherous mountain roads between two small villages. The production team spent 10 days getting to know the brave drivers and listening to their accounts of everyday life. The resulting video is stunningly filmed, and these true stories only serve to reinforce the incredible off-road capabilities of Land Rovers.

Here’s another fitting example of brilliant storytelling. As we know, Google is all about advertising, yet it rarely highlights its search engine prowess on the screen. In its Parisian Love advert way back in 2009, we watch as a three-act play unfolds. It starts with a young man googling his up-coming adventure studying in France. All we see is his search history played out to sound effects and a gentle piano track.

We think it’s genius! There’s no hard sell, not even a call to action – just a love story which captures exactly what Google has to offer.

Hope Creative can help to bring your unique brand story to life. Get in touch and we’ll tell you how.

Four ways to make your brand live and breathe

If you understand four fundamental things about your business, you can use them to bring your brand to life.

That’s why big brands are instantly recognisable. They know:

  1. Why they exist
  2. Who they are
  3. How they do things
  4. What they do

We talked about this in our last blog which might be worth a fresh look before you read on.

So, what are the four ways you can bring your brand to life?

  1. Make sure everyone you work with understands your brand.

People associated with your business in any way need to know what’s what. By this we mean existing staff, potential employees, suppliers, partners, sub-contractors and, obviously, your customers. 

So, it’s useful to have a set of brand guidelines which capture all the essential ingredients that make up your business DNA. Your marketing people and graphic designers can then harness the power of your brand. This is how everything stays ‘on message’.

Another thing you can do is to have a potted version of your guidelines at everyone’s fingertips within your organisation. Maybe a staff handbook or a set of postcards? Why not print your four fundamentals on mouse-mats or use them as wallpaper on staff computers? Get as creative as you like here.  

  • Make sure people can see, hear, and feel your brand.

Talking of creativity, think of ways you can really make your brand pop with posters, videos, and tangible things such as t-shirts, mugs, furniture, pens; basically, anything people can touch.

An image and key message on the back of the loo doors, photos of your people in action in the stairways. All these things are worth considering.

Make a video of customer testimonials that you can run on screens around your buildings and feature them on your website.

And don’t forget to feed your social media channels into the general mix. Tell your brand story at every opportunity.   

  • Be generous with your knowledge and expertise.

Years ago, it was unheard of to share information in business without it costing money. Everything was fiercely protected or carried a premium. But, these days, successful brands are all about being a force for social good. This means educating, mentoring, partnering, and showing heaps of benevolence.

So, share your knowledge freely. You can develop ‘how to’ guides for your customers, write blogs (just like we do) with handy hints and tips. Always have a helpline that is easy to find. You can also offer free webinars, podcasts, online chat rooms. You name it, it all helps to bring your brand alive.

  • Keep the conversation going.

If you make your brand human, people will start to trust your brand more. And you can do this by interacting every way you can. Invite feedback, set up focus groups, ask people to rate your services. There are a million and one ways you can connect.

If you make food, ask people to taste it and tell you what they think. If they like it, they will tell a friend. If they don’t, then maybe you need to change your offer.

Social media has made it really easy to be part of the conversation. Ignore it at your peril! But every conversation must count. Don’t just create noise. Make sure people connect and stay connected.

We call all these interactions ‘moments of truth’. If you have the right conversations, your business will prosper, we promise. Your brand won’t just grow, it will glow.

Here are three useful links which we think are worth checking out:

5 Digital Branding Strategies for Small Businesses to Stand Out Online (linkedin.com)

Trends Shaping Brand Marketing Strategies In 2023 By Linchpin SEO

The Trends That Will Shape Brand Experiences in 2023 – Advertising Week

Hope Creative is here for you

We offer interactive Brand Doctor workshops designed to meet the needs of any business.

Call us or email us now and we’ll talk you through how can help.

Four things you must know when you create your brand

Why do people love the likes of Nike, Apple, and McDonald’s? Even if you don’t love them, you surely respect the power of such globally successful brands.

This is all because we buy into their DNA. You know what they stand for, you immediately recognise them, and you feel connected. You already have a story about their brand in your mind.

Nike wants us all to be the best that we can be. It says: “If you have a body, you are an athlete’. It wants us all to be included. NIKE, Inc. – Purpose — NIKE, Inc.

Apple simply wants to make our lives easier and richer with its innovative products. It wants to help us learn so that we can all realise our potential. Education – Apple (UK)

And McDonald’s wants to feed us but is also about families and fostering communities. Just watch its latest adverts on television and you can see this in spades. McDonald’s – YouTube

We think this DNA boils down to four key building blocks, which you absolutely must know if you want to build a strong brand.

  1. You need to know why you exist as a business or organisation
  2. You need to know who you are – your ethics and culture
  3. You need to know how you do things – the way your business behaves
  4. You need to know what you do – your specific offer to your customer

It might help if we take a closer look at an iconic brand that we all know well and, quite possibly, love. John Lewis is the largest employee-owned business in the UK. It has been trading for more than 100 years and its central aim has always been to do business differently. By making its staff partners and involving them in decisions, everyone feels a shared sense of ownership and commitment.

Why does John Lewis exist?

John Lewis’s purpose underlines this desire to include its employees: ‘As co-owners we all have a share in the business and a shared commitment to go above and beyond for each otherand our customers’. This is the why. John Lewis Partnership – Our Purpose

Who are they?

These days marketing people would describe John Lewis as a typical ‘caregiver’ brand. It wants to protect customers and behaves in ways that demonstrate this intention. No wonder that acting with integrity and doing the right thing are integral to its DNA. This is the who. John Lewis Partnership – Our values

How do they do business?

The way that John Lewis does things stems from its ethics and culture. It calls this ‘purpose in action’. It’s about walking the walk every day. This company isn’t afraid to describe how it wants its people to act. Treat people with fairness, courtesy and respect are its three guiding principles. This is the how. John Lewis Partnership – Happier People

What do they do?

John Lewis describes itself as a leading multi-channel retailer but what it offers is different. It helps to bring joy to every moment, not just the big occasions. This is the what. For all life’s moments | John Lewis & Partners

Hope Creative is here for you

If you need help answering these four questions about your business, we’re here. We offer interactive Brand Doctor workshops designed to meet the needs of any business.

Why creating a healthy workplace must be on your business to-do list

Every business is only as good as its workforce. So, right now, you should be looking after your people as a key priority. If you’re not doing this, then things will only get worse. 

Let’s look at the latest statistics on employee satisfaction and, be warned, they’re grim!

According to these stats, stress levels are at an all-time high and workers say they feel sad, angry and anxious.

Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce 2022 report states that people are burnt out because of unmanageable workloads. It says they feel unfairly treated and are disengaged because of poor communication from their leaders.

https://www.gallup.com/workplace/349484/state-of-the-global-workplace-2022-report.aspx

Staff are already worn down after the global pandemic. Now nearly half of UK workers say they can’t manage on their current income because of the cost of living. 

This all makes for sober reading but we can fix some of these things. Here’s what we think you can and should do to create a healthy working environment.

Connect people to your culture

Your workplace should be defined by shared ethics, beliefs and attitudes. It engenders a team spirit and a sense of belonging. You can weld your people to your culture by bringing it to life through graphics and messaging. Strong visuals backed up by the right words are a powerful communication tool.

Show people they are valued

Satisfaction at work isn’t just about pay and promotion. It’s about feeling appreciated and listened to because everyone matters. The only way you can do this is if your internal communication channels are effective. They have to be two-way and based on trust, not sound bites. Engagement audits need to be carried out regularly and acted upon.

Share the right information at the right time

As a leader, you must invest your time in telling everyone what’s going on especially through tough times like these. Again, you need to have tried and tested communication channels in place. And your messages have to be authentic. People will see through anything that is contrived. Do you have senior leaders around you with proven communication skills?

Shout about your success stories

Don’t just talk about the good stuff with your senior team and key customers; celebrate your wins with the whole workforce. People feel a sense of pride and feel that they have played their part when they hear good news. Use your social hub and even the office walls to tell your stories. 

Say thank you to your staff

Never underestimate the power of these two little words. And, if you say it publicly through your comms channels, people will really feel connected to your culture. Easy to do and all it costs is your time. So make sure it’s a given in your communication strategy.

Invest in skills and training

This is a tricky thing to do when profits aren’t great but there are ways to empower your teams without breaking the bank. Think about job buddies and mentors and tap into that amazing pool of talent you already have within your organisation. Earlier this year, a survey showed that 70% of UK employees want to upskill. You can share knowledge in an online staff handbook which will save you money on print costs.  

According to the latest CIPD findings, recruitment and retention remain strong and employment confidence is still high despite talk of a UK recession.

https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/work/trends/labour-market-outlook

So it’s not all doom and gloom. Hopefully these ideas will help you to navigate your business successfully through the rest of this turbulent year. And, don’t forget, we can help with your internal communications. Our team is just a phone call or email away 

Why effective communication at work is the key to business success

If you want to run a successful business, you must communicate effectively with your staff. This is especially true now given the current challenges of the post-pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine and cost of living crisis.

Wellbeing research conducted earlier this year stated that only 33% of UK employees felt they belonged to their organisation. The 2022 trends for IC and what to expect from us | Industry News (ioic.org.uk)

This means two thirds of people are feeling disconnected and alienated, which all adds to your burden as an employer or HR professional.

Yes, it’s tough trying to motivate yourself sometimes, let alone the people who work for you so here’s how you can boost morale in your workplace.

Firstly, always remember that your staff are your greatest business asset. They are the people who interact most with your customers and how they behave really matters if you want people to stay loyal to your brand.

According to recent consumer surveys, 88% of buyers stick by a brand that they think is authentic. And nearly half of them will pay more for products and services from a brand they trust.

10 Branding Statistics You Need to Know in 2022 [Infographic] (oberlo.co.uk)

These statistics show just how important it is for your employees to live and breathe your brand ethics. How they engage with your customers will make or break your business.

So how do you keep your people motivated and ‘on message’ when the going gets rough?

Start a conversation with your staff

Listen and talk to your staff. Find out what they’re thinking, what issues are critical to their mental and physical wellbeing at work. Ask how you can support them.

If you want a glimpse at their current mindset, this link is worth checking out. State of the Global Workplace Report – Gallup

Ask for feedback on specific issues

Get feedback on specific issues if people have recently returned to your office after months of working from home. You can ask:

  1. Do they like working remotely or is a hybrid approach best for them?
  • Do they still feel cared for by you as their employer?
  • Are they still on board when it comes to your brand ethics and company purpose?
  • What employee benefits do they think are missing from your job offer?
  • How could you improve the way you communicate with them at work?
  • Do they still feel enthused, motivated, and engaged?

Include questions like these in a ‘Welcome Back’ survey. If people are still working remotely, conduct a regular ‘Keep in touch’ survey.

But you must act on your findings. Tell people what you plan to do, ask for their input whenever you can and be transparent about the outcomes.

Reinforce your vision

Find out if your employees understand your business road map. Do they still know what your company stands for and do they still connect with your ethos?

It’s time to refresh your brand messages and reinforce your vision. Here are our ideas on how you can do this:

  • Desktop video alerts from your leadership team
  • Visuals such as posters and banners in common workplace areas
  • Message walls for staff to create their own brand stories
  • Bite-size brand books and staff handbooks
  • Internal social networks
  • Digital newsletters

Here’s another useful link if you want to know more: Internal Communications Trends for 2022 and Beyond (linkedin.com)

And don’t forget that we’re here too. We can help you to plan your internal communications more effectively and we offer bespoke training and mentoring. Why not get in touch for a chat?

https://hopecreative.co.uk/our-services/