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Why Should Your New Leaders Get Brand Training? video header

Why Should Your New Leaders Get Brand Training?

Clearly defined brand positioning and training is highly critical for firms and organizations to understand how they are unique from their competition and to articulate the value they provide to their clients. In this video, hear from Communications Consultant, Christine Nelson, as she shares about the importance of brand positioning for professional service firms and organizations. Her advice includes revisiting your brand positioning often; brand training for leaders and new staff and creating target personas.

PERSONAS CAN ACCELERATE YOUR BRAND POSITIONING. LEARN HOW.


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

When we conduct research with clients and referral sources, we are looking for common themes about how a firm or organization is different from its competition. But we also pick up other things in these surveys and interviews. For example, we might learn that some clients only know about the services they use. There isn’t any cross servicing opportunity.

We see the same thing with our association research. Staff members aren’t always clear the difference from their competitors, so it’s hard for them to share that difference with potential members.

These are just some reasons why you should conduct brand training with newly promoted or hired leaders.

They are the face of your firm on social media, in networking conversations and with new prospect queries. Even if they have worked there a long time, a promotion puts them in a different mindset about how to promote your firm or organization. Newly hired leaders also need to know how to approach recruitment and prospecting.

So here is my advice:

Once or twice a year, revisit your brand positioning. Review your messages. Are they still accurate? Do they feel right? Has something changed?

Schedule a time to train newer leaders and staff on why your firm or organization is different and the types of prospects you are looking for. You could help them create some sales questions to qualify prospects.

If you need help creating target personas or branded messaging, you can talk to Ingenuity! Help your leaders confidently promote your firm or organization.


 

Create a powerful brand identity video header slide

Create a Powerful Brand Identity

Unified standards are crucial for creating a brand that is memorable. How your logo is used digitally and in print can affect your brand perception with clients and prospects. In this video, hear from Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk as he shares how a logo kit and style guide help create consistency for your brand.

Your color and logo looks sharp, but does your brand need a better story?
Check out our storytelling guide to get tips.


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Create a Powerful Brand Identity

Does your firm use a logo kit and style guide for visual identity consistency and recognition? These are important tools in communicating your brand effectively.

But what is a logo kit? A logo kit consists of your logo saved in a variety of file formats so your brand identity will stay consistent across different media formats. High resolution native Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files are mainly used for print related materials. JPG, PNG and GIF files are mainly used for the web and presentations.

A style guide works in conjunction with a logo kit and is a set of standards for the design of print documents, website pages, signage and other formats that would include your visual brand identifier. The reason for a style guide is to ensure complete uniformity in style and formatting wherever your brand is used. Some of the items it covers are proper logo formats and their usages, official fonts and color palettes and other elements such as your brand voice, styles of photography and artwork that can be used. 

These standards are crucial for building a memorable brand, one that is easily recognizable and brings a clear sense of reliability and security. It also helps everyone in a firm and vendors of a firm stay on the same page, and present a unified brand to the public.


 

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Refresh Your Brand with Color

As a marketer, it’s important when creating a brand to explore how the psychology of color sends the right message to prospective clients. Choosing the right combination of colors will help your audience know who you are and what you do. Choosing the wrong colors can be detrimental to a company or campaign. In this video, hear from Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk and learn what colors represent for your brand.

WATCH: FIVE DESIGN TIPS FOR SEO-FRIENDLY WEB DESIGN 


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Refresh Your Brand with Color

Does your visual brand need a color reboot? As a marketer, it’s important when creating a brand to explore how the psychology of color sends the right message to prospective clients. Choosing the right combination of colors will help your audience know who you are and what you do. Choosing the wrong colors can be detrimental to a company or campaign.

Here is a list of primary colors and some of the color philosophy behind them.

For many of our service firm clients we see a predominate use of the color blue, which shows up in 33% of the top brands of the world. The color Blue is commonly used to convey trust, security and confidence. It’s also thought to put people at ease as it reminds them of the sky and ocean.

Red is also another popular branding color. It evokes warmth, passion and stimulates appetites. Restaurant food chains like McDonald’s and Red Lobster use it for that very reason. It’s also great for capturing attention.

Yellow is an ideal color choice for brands looking to instill positivity into their identity. It’s often associated with the sun and its different shades can help bring out hope and optimism. Yellow is often used in point of sale messaging, as it is proven to catch the eye quicker than any other color.

The color green is easiest on our eyes to read. It is a pleasing shade often used to convey calm and rest. Darker tones of green are connected with money and wealth. Like all colors, green has a negative side. It can often symbolize sickness, luck and jealousy.

Having a visual identity with a strong color philosophy behind it is crucial. It can make or break a brand or a campaign. If you’d like us to help analyze your brand’s colors, feel free to contact us through our website at www.ingenuitymarketing.com.

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Five Email Marketing Tips for Leads

Spam is getting smarter. Your firm must work harder to ensure that clients are opting into your newsletters and eblasts. But what about prospects? This video will help you ensure that emails are personal and informative — and not annoying to the people you want to reach.

In this video, Leah Spielman, marketing consultant, shares five tips for lead generation. We’ll talk about subject lines, pre-header text and great headlines as well as how often you should communicate. Watch to get five tips that can improve your email marketing.

There are many ways to follow-up with prospects. Get five ways to stay in front or your prospects. Convert leads into clients.


If you prefer to read the content, the transcript is below.

It is imperative that your e-mail communications are personal and informative. Spam is getting smarter and end users are overloaded with e-mail. So, to ensure that your e-mails are engaging, I have a few tips for you.

Number one: test your audience. If your email tool allows for A/B testing, try it! Write 2 different subject lines. I like to run the test on 50% of the audience. The winning subject line is sent to the remaining 50%. We recently did an A/B test and it turns out the title of the main article as the subject line won over saying ìInGenius Review ñ June 2019î. Take what you learn and use it for future e-mails .

Number two: Utilize pre-header text! This is a great way to tell the reader what to expect when they open your email. Use it to promote another topic from your e-mail.

Number three: Talk about the recipient. Why does it matter for them? How are they impacted? Use ìYour Key Tax Considerations for 2019î as a subject line instead of ìOur important tax tips for 2019.î

Number four: Be consistent. Whatever you do, donít just do it once and except your audience to engage. Start small and be consistent ñ send a quarterly e-newsletter with a main article and then a client focus or highlight piece. When that is going well, add in monthly e-newsletters that focus on industry news and topics your audience cares about.

Number five: Use automation. Even the most basic e-mail tools have automation features including welcome series emails, follow-up emails and segmentation. Start small and set up a series of 3 e-mails to introduce new clients to your firm. An advanced e-mail marketing system like Hubspot, Infusionsoft or Marketo have more advanced automation features such as lead scoring.

E-mail marketing is a powerful tool when used correctly. It allows you direct access to your audience without a lot of algorithms getting in the way. Use these tips to bring your e-mail marketing to the next level.


Video title slide for How to Get More Referrals

How to Get More Referrals

Clients are willing to share about their experience with your firm in many different ways including word-of-mouth, online reviews and testimonials. Standing out in an increasingly digital world can be challenging. In this video, Dawn Wagenaar, Principal, shares five tips to create brand loyalty and get more referrals.

 LEARN ABOUT INGENUITY'S BRANDING PROCESS. 


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

Clients will share their brand loyalty by word-of-mouth, but also through online reviews and testimonials. Do you want more referrals?  To stand out in a more digital world, here are five tactics to improve your brand loyalty and perception

Number one: Branding messages.Teach your team to talk about your firm in a consistent way that shows how clients gain value.  If you do not have consistent messaging – or your messages are outdated – it is time to do brand research and create fresh messages. 

Number two: Customer service standards.  –  Does everyone know when email or voicemail should be returned?  Is it within 24 hours, by the end of the day, within 8 hours? Should cell phones be in client meetings?  Should you bring an agenda to the client meeting?  What type of message should you leave on your “out of office” if you are in CPE for the day? If you have consistent standards around how you work with clients and provide timely service to them, your referrals will go up!  

Number three: A welcome kit.  Even after you win the engagement, you are still selling and building trust. Send new clients a welcome kit with details about their project, who will be on their team including bios with photos and contact information, a list of services you provide, social media they can follow as well as a service representative unrelated to the engagement team. Send clients this kit and welcome them to the firm.

Number four: A client service retreat and training.  – Your team wants training. They want to know what great service looks like in order to perform beyond expectations. Train your staff on providing great client service, and discuss ways to improve service based on current client and team issues.   

Number five: Secret shopping your digital presence.  – Hire someone to act as a prospect and visit your website, look for directions, call your office, visit your firm and see what kind of follow-up happens. Does this experience reflect what you think happens during a prospect’s exploration of your firm?  If it does not, you will see areas to improve your brand positioning and attract new business from referrals. 

From first impressions to amazing client service, these tactics will help you create brand loyalty and a referral machine.


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How to Conduct Brand Research

In this video, hear from Christine Nelson, Communications Consultant at professional services marketing agency Ingenuity Marketing Group and learn the stages of a successful brand positioning survey.

LEARN HOW TO STAND OUT IN A CROWD THROUGH STORYTELLING WITH OUR FREE GUIDE!


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

When you ask clients or employees about your firm’s brand perception, it may be difficult to collect the right data. Even if you do have great data, how should you analyze it and take action?

People can rank you on specifics like staying within a budget and sticking to a timeline, but what about defining exactly how you make a difference? Sometimes you need outside help at different stages. But first, we need to understand the stages of a successful brand positioning survey.

Set your goal. What pain or interest are you trying to address? This will help you create the right questions and ask the right target audience. For example, if you are concerned about a drop-off in new business in an industry sector, ask clients about their perception of that service or what you are most known for within that industry.

Get the questions right. Any good journalist knows that the right questions matter. Be clear. Be concise. Include multiple choice to challenge and measure your own perceptions of firm value. If you only ask about “levels of satisfaction” with services or teams, you will not have anything specific to improve upon. Include some open-ended branding questions to get more detailed data.

Make it easy. Use a survey tool that is easy to navigate, plus send out several friendly email invitations that clearly define the reason for the brand research. How will this survey benefit the survey taker? Make the process easy and about them to boost participation.

Analyze the data. Explore hidden perceptions in the data. For example, if respondents rank your services in order of awareness, are the less well-known services based on reality or simply because of who took the survey? How should you respond to promote less well-known services? Do certain industries rank those services better than others? Pay attention to this phase for the most value.

Do something with your survey results! Brand research should result in stronger brand positioning. If it does not, get help with the stages of your survey strategy.


Getting leads with sponsored social ads thumbnail to video

Getting Leads with Sponsored Social Ads

Sponsoring or promoting content on digital and social media platforms can be a powerful tool in your professional services marketinglead generation strategy. This can be done with a few critical items in place: your defined target audience, your unique value proposition, and a good tool or landing page that gets visitors to take action. In this video, Natalie Klein shares how to use digital strategies to drive leads to your firm.

LEARN MORE ABOUT INGENUITY’S DIGITAL MARKETING SERVICES.


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

Sponsoring or promoting content on digital and social media platforms can be a powerful tool in your lead generation strategy. This can be done with a few critical items in place: your defined target audience, your unique value proposition, and a good tool or landing page that gets visitors to take action.

The first step in developing sponsored social ads is to get your targeting right. There is great power in targeting that is available through digital advertising and in order to harness that power, it’s important to spend some time thinking about who your audience is. The more accurately you can identify your audience, the more targeted your ads will be, providing you with quality leads that have a higher potential for conversion.  If you are unsure how to position your targeting, look at your current customers to define your audience.

Next, spend some time developing your assets. You aren’t the only firm selling your services so this is where you identify what makes you unique. What sets you apart from your competitor and why should your defined target audience want to work with you? You have limited space through your headlines, descriptions and graphics to show these reasons so it’s important to have clarity yourself to convey your unique value proposition to your audience.

Finally, offer your audience some information or a resource that helps them start to solve their pains. Don’t give away the farm, but give them enough to leave them wanting more. Whether through a lead generation form that provides a downloadable resource or through a landing page with information and a compelling call to action, be sure that what they get is what they were expecting. The goal is leads for your firm so be sure that you have a way to gather their information so you can follow up with them.

Keep in mind that sometimes it takes a bit of adjustment to see how your digital and social ads are resonating with your target audience. Agility is key in developing effective lead generation through sponsored social ads. With some planning and flexibility, you can use digital strategies to drive leads to your firm.


Video cover slide for Tradeshow Techniques for Leads

Tradeshow Techniques for Leads

Creating a strategy around your tradeshow investment can help you attain quality leads that bring new business to your firm or association. In this video, Dawn Wagenaar, Principal at Ingenuity Marketing Group, shares three techniques you can apply to tradeshows you take part in. These are tried and true techniques that Dawn herself uses when Ingenuity attends tradeshows. Tradeshows can be hugely successful and should be integrated into your marketing strategy.

 LEARN MORE ABOUT FOLLOWING UP WITH PROSPECTS WITH THE FIVE TIPS IN THIS VIDEO. 


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

Many of our clients attend and sponsor tradeshows. Their goal is to get new business, but few of them build a strategy around their tradeshow investment. In this video, we’ll talk about the pre-planning and communications that should take place, techniques to get people talking to you during the tradeshow, and how to follow up effectively and build your pipeline.

First – create a timeline.  Work backwards from the event date and figure out everything that has to happen and schedule it out. From the pre-show communications to the social posts during the conference to even the post-event communication and follow up.

Second, create a theme or something that will interest your prospects to visit your booth.  Last year at a conference in Portland we had Voodoo donuts with a tie to the story of their company and why story telling is so important.  Over the years we have done everything from a photo booth, to chair massages, to a Harley Davidson to video games.  Now I know we are a marketing agency so we can get away with some of that but I think you get my gist. Be interesting…what will make the prospects come and talk to you.

Third, create the communications pieces –pre, during and post.  Are you going to have a website landing page, social posts, send a post card ahead of time or send emails?  This is vital as it is the promotion of your booth.  Don’t leave it up to the tradeshow or conference you are exhibiting at. Take matters into your own hands!

And finally, follow up.  Before you leave, put time on your calendar for following up with all the leads that you had fruitful conversations with in hopes of scheduling a call or meeting.  The goal is to schedule another time to chat so that you both can determine if it’s a good fit and if you want to move forward with next steps whether another meeting, an estimate or proposal.

Tradeshows can be hugely successful and these tips will ensure even more success. Good luck!

Video cover slide for Add Personality to Your Online Brand

Add Personality to Your Online Brand

Learn how to develop your authentic brand personality, connect with the right audience and engage with them in a compelling way. In this video, Natalie Klein, communications consultant, shares three tips to incorporate your personality into your online brand. From identifying your brand’s traits to telling a story, these tips will help differentiate from the competition.

LEARN ABOUT INGENUITY'S BRANDING PROCESS. 


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

What is your firm’s personality? It should come through in your communications, on your website and in your social media. It’s not fixed and can change as your firm matures or with leadership changes. It can even change as you add new services and niches. Adding personality to your brand sets the tone for your brand’s communication, it helps form an emotional attachment to your brand and it differentiates your brand from your competitors. Here are some ways you can inject personality into your brand and make a great digital impression with potential clients, retain your existing clients and attract new talent to your firm.

First, identify your brand’s personality traits. Once you know what they are, be real and authentic about them. If you present your firm as super hip and cool, but in reality, you are more of the get the work done, no-nonsense type of firm, your audience will see through the façade. More likely than not, your reputation probably already proceeds you. Take these key brand personality traits to develop your brand voice. If you are uncertain how your firm is perceived, ask your clients.

Next, clearly define who your audience is and what their needs and desires are. When you understand who your target audience is, you can tailor your approach and more effectively communicate in a way that speaks directly to them.

Finally, tell a story. Stories can be engaging and informative at the same time. They can show the human side of your firm. People identify with people, not services. Whether it is a longer story, such as a case study for your blog, or a short story for a social media post, always try to inspire your audience to take action. Create an emotional connection to your brand with your audience though nostalgia, humor, or any other emotion that is appropriate for your audience, your industry and objectives. Telling a story to your clearly defined audience, using your brand’s authentic voice creates a connection that drives action and engagement.

Through these simple ways, you can develop your authentic brand personality, connect with the right audience and engage with them in a compelling way.

Tips for prospect follow up video title

Five Tips for Prospect Follow Up

You have to do the work in business development to get results. One of the simplest, but also hardest things to do is to follow up with prospective clients. You don’t want to bother them. You don’t know what to say. You assume they will contact you when they’re ready. All of these excuses only lead to lost clients. You have to follow up! Here are five tips to make following up easier and more effective to stay in front of your leads and get business.

GAIN MORE PROSPECTS BY GROWING YOUR NICHE!