Why Social Media Design Elements Matter.


jordan trask prefocus solutions standing outside in striped collared shirt talking about designs for social media posts and importance or content cohesion and brand consistency consultant near memphis tennessee

One of the first videos I ever published was about social media design elements. I remember thinking: what kind of advice can I offer that most business owners rarely ever consider? Color combinations and contrast have a lot to do with value perception. An unattractive presentation is essentially unprofessional. In my opinion, it’s also unacceptable. Social media design elements matter.

If a business owner is really trying to drive new acquisition (and not just “likes” from family and friends), they’re not going to impress many with popular memes and a low quality display. Designers and creative strategists are paid off of talent and experience for a reason. You get what you pay for – and you pay for what you don’t know. At the end of the day, any brand should want to enhance the way they’re perceived.

What Do I Mean By Design Elements for Online Content?

First and foremost, when you don’t pay attention to the cohesion of your designs, consumer trust tends to suffer. At the end of the day, you want your content to be recognizable. You want people to see one of your posts or campaigns and immediately think of the product or service you provide.

Over time, you want people to start remembering a core value or promise when they stumble across your content. Even image guidelines improve brand recognition. When everything looks the same on social media, advertisements and web pages – the perceived value (level of quality perceived) drastically increases.

It’s hard not to create a good first impression when consistency is at play. Constancy (constantly consistent) is what I like to call it. You don’t have to be an expert designer or extremely talented individual to develop sound designs and concepts for on and off-line marketing efforts. But you have to understand what not to do. So let’s take a look at a few “No-No’s” when it comes to social media designs elements.

What to Avoid When Designing Social Media Posts:

If you’re looking to publish some designed content online, consider:

  1. The background,
  2. Your typography.
  3. The contrast of colors.

If you’re using a white background, use a darker font. If you’re using a dark background, worth with a lighter colored font. For example: green, orange, purple or blue is not going to look good on red. Yellow, orange, pink or lime typography is not ideal on white. A social media display shouldn’t draw away from the inevitable purpose of the post. Why wouldn’t you want it to be easy on the eyes?

Like I mentioned before, quality content gives consumers a chance to trust your brand and click through (to read more) with confidence.

Why Should You Avoid Poorly Designed Content?

If web surfers can barely read a post, or it’s frustrating to figure out, you’re working backwards. Once you ruin the first impression, it’s awfully hard to reverse their perception. If you don’t have an eye for design, you shouldn’t be approving or assigning them. It can be a lot more costly than you think.

It’s not that big of a deal to pay a few hundred dollars for assistance (or even invest in a brand book). It’s going to maximize your returns every time. Pursuing a true element of creativity that highlights your brand identity is also extremely favorable.

One Bad Social Post Ruins Many First Impressions.

Some business owners don’t even know that social media users can unfollow and even block company pages when they see something that disinterests them. If social media design elements are the least of your concerns, you can still be wasteful. An offensive or misunderstood message (or image) can easily detour potential customers – or even cost you loyal fans.

If you don’t want to be seen as an average option, don’t look like one. Take the time to understand why blue font on a pink background is a terrible idea.

How I Can Help at PreFocus.

Those of you needing help mapping things out, your first consultation is always free. It’s only $125/session after that. 90 minutes of value could be all your brand needs to get over the hump and really make an impact in the marketplace. I also offer media services in the Memphis, Tennessee area.

Be purposeful with everything you do guys, and always remember to PreFocus.

Request More Information:

8 + 10 =

How to Create Purposeful Promotions During a Pandemic.

Purposeful Promotions in a Pandemic.

Here are some simple ways businesses can communicate the essence of their brand to drive new acquisition or retain loyalty when resources are limited.

In the world today, plenty of people are strapped for cash. The Coronavirus has left quite the trail of destruction and business owners have been longing for the light at the end of the tunnel for a few months now. In a matter of days, millions of people lost their grip on what they thought was their future.

When it comes to surviving life in general, consistency, direction and adaptation are usually rewarded. The same can be said in business. Nearly every company faces a wall of adversity as some point in time. In reality, most fail before they even get started because the company isn’t built to survive. Getting a business off the ground and keeping it running is no easy task.

Because of this, nobody should run one without proper training, adequate experience (competence) and a vision that means something. Far too many people look to launch for the money and autonomy. But they quickly find themselves in over their head. No matter how coveted a product or service is, the brand and the experience is what keeps customers coming back.

In a time like this, not everyone has to fail. But if you’re focused on duplicating other entrepreneur’s efforts and following guides created by salesmen then it’s going to be an uphill battle. Nobody likes to select from a “bucket of options” or be sold or told what to do. Inexperience can be devastating during unexpected periods of time – like a pandemic.

The reason I bring this up is because there are tons of operations out there that could be winning right now instead of sitting on their hands. Just because you’re experiencing limitations doesn’t mean opportunity doesn’t exist. There’s always a chance to get in front of someone that’ll value your brand.

Brand Equity Can Be Built During a Pandemic.

It doesn’t take a lot of time and money to interact with consumers right now. For the most part, all you have to do is see what’s trending. Over the past few months, nearly everyone has been online, surfing for the latest delicacy or indulgence to keep them entertained. Discussing what everyone else is can be an easy way to build brand awareness. At the same time, it’s fairly cumbersome – and why would you want to do what everyone else does?

Understanding Your Customers Makes a Big Difference.

One of the best and easiest and most effective ways to market a brand is to understand your ideal target customer. If you don’t carry a passion for who you are, what you provide and who your customers are then.. that’s a shame. Knowing who you serve best is an immense advantage. So how is the process of understanding a marketing strategy? Well, what do you think the result of having quality conversations with your customers would be?

Asking people about their preferences or if there are ways you could do business better are good ways to strengthen relationships during tough times. Any form of genuine communication should be received well right now. From the consumer’s perspective, your actions speak volumes. They take note of businesses that continue to pursue their target market, even in the midst of loss.

Let the Market Understand You Better.

At the end of the day, authenticity is the best way to promote with purpose during a pandemic. Everyone is going through something right now. If you haven’t learned anything since March, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Listen, if you’re worried about the business, then you’ve got to let people know.

Hiding behind your desk or crossing your fingers that things turn around is a bad strategy. Have some humility, get in front of a camera and look for ways you can be transparent and authentic with the current state of the business. Plenty of people are looking for things they can identify with right now. Why can’t it be your business?

Maybe you’re dealing with relational problems or you had to let go of tenured employees for the first time. Maybe you’re struggling to adjust to a work-from-home environment. Maybe you’d like to share some of the curveballs you’ve faced thus far and how you’ve overcome roadblocks throughout. Maybe you want to honor someone from your staff or jump on a podcast with an affiliate company.

Talking to people about real people things build real relationships. Moreover, when you’re able to be vulnerable in the public eye, consumers are able to see your heart and the passion you have for the business to thrive. People want to believe in leaders like that. Raw, uncut content from a time of struggle can be extremely powerful for your brand.

Promotional Purpose is So Important.

So if you’re looking for ways to publish purposeful promotions during a global pandemic, just keep it simple. Show your true colors and discuss unique topics that set you apart from your competition. There’s no need to turn to desperate measures for short term relief when the longevity of your business is vital to your success.

Never lose sight of your big picture and always leverage your identity. Constantly being consistent (constancy) and building an open community establishes and sustains loyalty. If you don’t want to return to the workforce for less pay than before you started, then you’re going to have to dare to be different. An unwillingness to survive simply tells me you never had a true purpose to begin with.

Be purposeful with everything you do and always remember to PreFocus. info@prefocus.solutions.

Request a Brand Analysis Before Investing

11 + 11 =

Capturing Apparel Branding for Website Imagery.

Behind the Scenes Look

at our creative direction and how we went about capturing apparel branding and website photos for American Stable.

Location: Buckeye, Arizona


An Introduction to PreFocus Branded Imagery

Helping brands improve their website presentation has been a passion of mine since launching PreFocus almost 2 years ago. Far too many businesses overlook the impact that on-site content can have. They believe having a website is enough. They think publishing a few pages will get them found. But, even when customers find your business, you still need to convert them. The digital realm is an extra competitive place these days and failing to create a memorable first impression leaves tons of opportunity on the table.

This is why I’ve teamed up with Bluesoft Websites to begin enhancing the user experience through actuality imagery. Even though I could build your site, it doesn’t really intrigue me. I’d rather help you wow your visitors with a compelling presentation. In order to explain how we create original content for your website, here’s how my wife and I went about capturing apparel branding for American Stable.

Securing a Location and Casting.

Client communication is huge when it comes to branding and marketing. Not only do I need to understand the business, but I need to know it”s ideal customers. I mean, how can anyone expect content to be effective if it isn’t relating or speaking to the right people? With this client, the setting needed to make sense.

Since their clothing line is flame retardant, 100% American-made and mostly worn by mechanics, ranchers and welders – we decided to photograph the apparel brand on a ranch. After rounding up some local welders, their trucks with welding rigs, some blue collars dudes and a bull rider, we felt good about the shoot.

Our Shot List and Creative Direction Summary.

We kicked off the production schedule (or shot list) with the bull-rider because, well, he had to ride some bulls later on that night. I wanted to Arizona sun to be apparent in these photos so the “cowboy” seemed to be working. I also wanted to use the brim of his hat to shade his eyes.

Once the sun started going down, I wanted to start capturing some of the welders at work. I knew the flame would look bomb during the “golden hour.” After this, I wanted to get some shots of the guys wrapping up their work day while using the flare of the sun for portrait poses. Then, we planned to close the shoot with all casting together for some beers as if it was a Friday night “cool down.”

Having everyone on the same page on the front end created expectations that we ended up overdelivering on. When people aren’t standing around waiting impatiently, they’re a pleasure to capture. Here’s some details on how it all went down..

hands of creator and strategist JT bed of custom welding truck on location for western photo shoot near memphis tennessee
rodeo rider contestant sponsorship advertising PR consultant manager for promotional media and guest appearances midsouth mississippi memphis tennessee brand photograher

Capturing Apparel Branding Photography.

Once we got to the cattle ranch, we easily scoped out the areas we wanted to capture. Knowing we were limited on time with the first set of casting helped us focus on three specific shots with a change of shirts for our “cowboy.”

Shot 1: Broken down tractor in the shade.

This was easily one of my favorite shots. Since the sun was still pretty bright, we knew we had to find a shaded area. This broken down tractor was edgy enough to capture some serious “break time” photos with the editing style I had in mind. Since most ranchers spend a lot of time alone, reflecting on a hard day’s work is something I felt American Stable’s target audience could relate to. I love how we were able to capture Ryan’s style and made sure he wasn’t uncomfortable being himself. It added a little flavor to the pictures. I think he owned it well for a first timer.

rodeo competitor thumbs in jean pockets with sponsored denim company branding photo shoot midsouth productions against tractor by cow barn with agriculture equipment near memphis tennessee
close up detail of quality made work shirts for website display images with prefocus solutions brand photographer near memphis tennessee on site agriculture strategies
wide shot of bull rider leaning up against old red tractor in front of Midsouth cattle barn during creative photography session with prefocus for western website strategy
profile image for website branding imagery near memphis tennessee cowboy bull rider pro hands in pocket gazing to right in front of tractor at local cattle barn

We took a variety of shots in this setting so we could leverage different angles for multiple marketing purposes. When investing in a branding photo shoot, you have to make sure you’re not just capturing photos for the website. You’re going to need quality imagery for your ecommerce platform, social media, blogs, and print or digital advertising. At PreFocus, we take pride in helping you use different shots for specific channels. Keep this in mind as we roll through this article.

Shot 2: Cattle Grazing in the Arizona Sun

The next setting was a little less scripted, but required a little guidance. It was difficult for Ryan to walk naturally in space, so we had him concentrate on kicking up dust as he went. This created a nonchalant stroll that looked great in the end. It also took some of the focus off of the overwhelming amounts of dust caused by the cows. We didn’t want Ryan to walk without expression, so we had some of the other guys talking to him as he walked towards the camera.

original rancher photos denim outfit local supplier lifestyle imagery for website and product content by creative strategist near memphis tn jordan trask
staging shots for clothing line marketing strategy and product display for website near memphis tennessee by creative director jordan trask from prefocus on location soutwest of nashville artist promotions
We didn’t have many props handy (we thought there would be plenty on-site), but we found some bolt cutters in the barn. Holding something helped Ryan pose a little more naturally during the next set of photos. This is where we executed the shot of his hat shading the sun from his eyes while looking onward. The bolt cutters solidified the shot by causing viewers to believe he’s in the process of doing something – not just posing. Small touches like this create a non-scripted perception and makes the content more believable.
bolt cutters on right shoulder of local cattle rancher overseeing cattle before dusk preparing to head in for dinner reflecting on the day written by creative strategist jordan trask president of prefocus solutions near memphis tennessee helping businesses position their quality products online for consumer trust
rancher herding cattle holding bolt cutters over should watching sun set on midsouth milk farm for apparel images for website by photographer near memphis tn
bolt cutters over the shoulder of denim clothed rancher as the day closes sun sets and cows kick up dust for product branding photo shoot with creative director Jt of prefocus solutions
cowboy with cattle at metal gate with dust everywhere left hand in pocket wearing quality american apparel captured by creative director for prefocus solutions in memphis tennessee

Shot 3: Adding a Little Pasteurization

For the last shot with the bull-rider, we wanted to shoot inside somewhere to accompany the lighter colored shirt. We knew that a darker background would create an attention-grab for the photo. We ended up finding an old pasteurizing station that had plenty of natural light. In order to continue the authentic trend, we focused on him exiting the stations while concentrating on turning the corner. Most of these shots will be used for blogs, social media posts and background images with an overlay.

leaning against wall of pasteurizing building at local farm near memphis tennessee khaki cowboy shirt company straw hat creative strategy by jordan trask of prefocus solutions
authentic branding photo shoot on location at midsouth pasteurizing farm with rodeo rider and roper professional influencer marketing with name brand apparel near memphis tennessee prefocus solutions creative director

Shot 4: Photographing with Fire

This portion of the photoshoot was by far the most fun. To set the stage, we parked the welding trucks so that the sunlight would creep over the top of the barn. Doing so created some gnarly sunlight flares in most of the images. We started by capturing angles atop one of the adjacent tractors while the welder prepared his gear. Getting him comfortable with being photographed was our initial priority. He was a little nervous but once we got him into a routine, it was easy.

self employed service worker cleaning up equipment and tools at the end of work day with partner angled to capture sunlight and smile by creative director JT of prefocus solutions for clothing line branding strategy
standing on the back of a welding truck in ball cap with client preparing vehicle for branded photo session near memphis tennessee portfolio work
authentic image of welding professional removing fireproof gloves with quality work shirt dirtied for branded apparel strategy with creative director jordan trask of prefocus solutions on site photographer
authentic image of welding professional gearing up for service near memphis tennessee to promote quality clothing line for blue collar workers brand strategy jordan trask prefocus solutions custom trucks

Once we got some solid shots of the personality and his preparation, it was time to spark up the flame. We were right on schedule and the lighting was perfect. When capturing these shots, we started from further away in order to adjust camera settings as we moved closer. Without looking into the flame, we captured a handful of rad images while the welder was at work. By adding some dirt to his shirt, we were able to enhance the actuality of these photos. We also got a cool shot by asking him to engage in some trash talk with the other guys while putting his helmet on.

vertical image for ecommerce website by creative director and photographer jordan trask of prefocus solutions near memphis tennessee for clothing line marketing strategy 2018
sparks and glowing flame of welding process in fireproof shirt by creative director near memphis tn looking to capture different blue collar workers for american made clothing line product strategy
awesome welding images for professional branding strategist website campaign using originality and different blue collar industries using clothing line boldly creative direction by prefocus sparks flying blue flame
taking off welding helmet to yell at buddy across the work yard after long hard days work in memphis tennessee with creative director jordan trask for quality clothing line strategy
After we wrapped up the welding, I had another member of casting to jump in the cab of the truck for some candid shots. I asked her to take some jabs at the welder in a flirtatious way. We positioned her in the driver’s seat like she was waiting for him to finish packing up so they could head home.
authentic image of blue collar woman hanging off side of truck at the end of the day in quality front pocket shirt for business prefocus creative direction near memphis tn
woman in sunglasses as sun sets sitting in drivers seat of chevy truck in quality workwear for photoshoot with creative director jordan trask of prefocus soluitions on location strategies for website branding near memphis tenn

Shot List 5: Hero Images with the Boys

Since we didn’t have a lot of time for this photoshoot, I knew we had to capture as many different settings as we could. We started off with a few guys putting on work shirts and adjusting their gear. From here, we had them pose with a different truck and a less-distracting background. Shooting from the ground up gave these guys an authoritative presence that’ll be perceived well by the ideal customer.

business partners of home service company marketing strategy original photographer near memphis tn prefocus product positioning online
two worker buddies sitting on the tailgate of a truck after a long days work wearing name brand weather proof shirts beer in hand sun setting on beautiful midsouth day for creative direction with prefocus solutions on location

I really liked one of the guy’s facial expressions, so we decided to isolate him for additional modeling poses. The dirt road really enhanced the colors of the shirt while creating a cool perspective in the background. It ended up being a perfect shot for one of the header images on the website.

looking off to left at cow farm near mississippi and tennessee border for midsouth apparel company marketing strategist prefocus solutions for social media imagery
black and white original product imagery on model on location midsouth ms cattle ranch with long road agriculture creative director jordan trask of prefocus clothing line
In order to capture other shirt variations, we sprinkled in other members of the cast while creating different vantage points. These are great for apparel previews (on ecommerce websites) and social media posts. We lined up all of the trucks and set up different shots that would be perceived as authentic. We were purposeful in the way we grouped casting and encouraged them to relax and act naturally throughout.
group of guys hanging out around work site after job is complete having a beer in team work shirts for autumn weather showcasing brotherhood during authentic moment captured by creative director jordan trask of prefocus solutions in memphis tennessee
wives of blue collar workers enjoying american made apparel seated on back of work trucks laughing during sunset midsouth autumn creative strategist prefocus solutions near memphis tn
original image of blue collar work wear on welding professional on midwouth farm captured by danielle from prefocus photography near memphis shoulder for pen with logo sticked quality material
black and white portrait of quality work shirt apparel branding strategy beer in hand talking at end of work day with cooler of beer in back of truck creative director JT from prefocus solutons

Capturing Product Photos for the Website.

The last step of this project required us to capture pictures of the product. Although we had a number of ideas for the background, we ended up going with solid white. This causes potential customers to view the product as a high quality option. We set everything up in our studio and resized all of the images to create a cohesive look on their website’s Shopify plugin.

denim work shirt professional images for website marketing and product display strategist near memphis tennessee prefocus solutions
product photo of fireproof work shirt company branding strategist jordan trask at photo studio in olive branch ms black
black and red front pocket work shirt product display creative director ecommerce content specialist near memphis tennessee jt trask prefocus solutions
product photographer for ecommerce website sales near memphis tennessee front pockets fireproof welding company visual presentation prefocus

I want to give Ryan McGary a shoutout for giving us the opportunity to help his apparel business grow. My wife and I had a lot of fun during the shoot and everyone involved was great. We take pride in personalizing the experience so that comfort levels are high and authentic moments come naturally. When you take the time to communicate creative direction and understand your client’s vision – the process is a breeze. Thanks for checking out our creativity at PreFocus!

introductory images for company owners looking to create quality about pages for website strategy using creative director for original approach near memphis tn
country cow farm American flag sitting on tailgate of pickup truck drinking beer team photo by branding professional prefocus solutions on site photographer and drone pilot near memphis tennessee
original shot of blue collar worker getting done for the day in american branded attire with hankerchief for website imagery strategy for ecommerce platform creative directior khaki sunset near memphis tn
team photo western wear work shirts american made branding about us page creative writer and media strategist jt of prefous solutions in front of storage container wearing marketed product for authentic session near memphis tennessee

Need A Creative Strategy for Your Brand?

Jt working with clients on location at cattle ranch for marketing promotion and PR strategy for local brand memphis tn

If you’re located in the Midsouth or Memphis, Tennessee area, we’d love to learn more about your business. How can we really help you improve the perception of your brand? Feel free to visit our brand imagery page to learn more about our process and how we legerage originality to get creative!

The Keys to Maximizing Video Content Strategies

Maximizing Video Content with a Strategy

Creating killer videos that showcase your culture and value can drastically improve the way consumers perceive and recognize your brand. But, producing a video just to have one doesn't necessarily mean it's worth your while. In this article, I discuss a few ways to enhance the purpose of your video content while maximizing the corresponding reach.

Video ServicesMore Tips

Video presentation is becoming more and more popular in the marketing and branding realm. Not only can it summarize written content, but it sheds light on the culture and competence of a brand. Finding ways to take advantage of different forms of content to can shed more light in areas of opportunity for businesses and personal brands. In this article, I want to touch on a few ways I’ve been maximizing video content in hopes to inspire you to harness your own originality.

As I mentioned in the first article of this series on blogging, I love giving away free advice. It gives me a chance to prove my worth and helps me build trust. At the end of the day, there are tons of ways to improve video views. But the simple tweaks and extra work on every production is far more fruitful. So give this strategy a try and let me know how it plays out for you and your brand!

Key 1. Harnessing Value and Differentiation.

When it comes to maximizing video content, starting with genuine purpose is essential. Forget the fluff already. One of the most common fails I see in video production is: too much information and zero personal connection. We’ve surpassed the persuasive talking head era. Creators need to understand that perception is everything now. But this doesn’t give you a reason to be cheesy, fake or lie. Talking about yourself, what you do or how you’re better isn’t impactful either.

call-to-action-camera-image-for-maximizing-video-content-blog-post-in-surprise-arizonaDon’t get me wrong – every video has it’s place. Sometimes you have to explain things. But purposing every video is key. TV commercials and video ads are a completely different spectrum. Even on-site, youtube or social media video campaigns should involve unique messaging. A strategy helps you take advantage of organic search traffic, consumer intent and relevant viewing. The more original you are, the easier it is to stand out within your industry.

There are plenty of things to consider when it comes to videography. Spending a lot of money on a stiff production script (or a predetermined talk-track) can be counterproductive when a vision or identity isn’t involved. Engaging your audience with an authentic presentation makes it easier to tap into emotions and develop trust.

Don’t Rush the Idea Process and Maximize Your Reach.

Before creating individual videos for sales, promos, insight and processes – try to focus squarely on your definitive value. When building a house, you don’t start with the roof. Take the time to uncover your brand identity so you can establish clarity and speak with intention. In my opinion, who a company is and “why they are” should always navigate marketing movements.

When brands waiver from their purpose and value, it confuses consumers while altering credibility. Consistency matters. You don’t always need a $5000 budget to curate an effective video. With mobile technology advancing, anyone can record at any time. Take advantage of this and don’t be afraid to be a little vulnerable.

In case you’re not sure where to start, let me dive into a few ideas..

Key 2. Capturing Purposeful Topics.

Video content doesn’t always need to follow a certain set of deliverables. When you think about it, videos are rarely the last step of the conversion cycle. They tend to be viewed during the awareness phase. In other words, hard selling via video can create a negative first impression from the jump. PreFocusing on topics that nurture your audience is a great way to encourage them to buy in – whether they intend to buy now or down the road. This is where my passion lies in maximizing video content.

maximizing-video-content-with-an-original-and-authentic-focus-in-arizonaWhat I’ve learned over the last decade is that consumers are beginning to value who they give their money to. Deals, promises or ego-boosting-media has created purchase hesitancy. This is why I encourage clients to avoid popular topics and consider the power of your origin story. Most consumers want to know why you launched and how you came to be! They want to see where you’re committed to them! Video topics that don’t tie into a brand’s value propositions is strictly informative or entertaining. Do you want attention or company growth? 

Although competitive corporations often invest in smear tactics, losing sight of the customer can cause you to tarnish the sale altogether. There are a number of ways to position your product or service without seeming pushy. Instead of telling people why they should buy in, discuss 3-5 ways they benefit from you. Instead of shoving features down consumer’s throats, talk about why you developed them. Instead of promoting a general testimonial, sit down with the customer and talk with them about their experience.

Walking Through All of These Video Details is a PreFocus.

I recently completed a video series for Green Zone Health and Fitness in Glendale, Arizona. They wanted to promote their online vegan meal plans and custom workout regimens. Instead of piecing together a commercial-like production – we focused on why they started, how they’re competent and who they’re serving. We were able to come up with 10 different topics by simply hashing out these foundational elements of their brand. The best part is, they should all be unique!

Before I explain how I maximized their videos, let’s talk more about breaking down topics.

Key 3. Breaking Down Videos to Expand Topics.

Video content is a lot different that blogging. In most cases, on site copy requires an introduction, body and closing. With video, you only have a few seconds to engage and attract. Not everyone is going to get through the entire video because the initial point won’t always be interesting. That doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t an element of the video that won’t speak to them.

Earlier this summer, I did a live podcast on purposeful social media posting. To kick off the recording, I spoke about a few things I was working on and how I was planning to expanding my services. Although some people viewed the entire video, I’m sure most could care less about my endeavors. I’m sure a lot of them stopped watching. Throughout the video I discussed chasing likes, popularity, imagery, competition, perspective and hashtag use. I could have blasted this video across all channels in hopes that a quantitative method worked – But, I knew that would be ignorant and lazy.

Increasing Views on Long Videos With High Drop Off Rates.

So, I created separate videos (with titles) for every idea within the topic. To date, my 60 second “hashtag video” is one of the highest performing posts on my Instagram feed. It’s not amazing but it was worthwhile. Breaking down the video garnered more views on the podcast and improved organic search traffic for my business. Leveraging the credibility of one key point allowed me to engage users with something that interested them.

In turn, people wanted to see what else I had to say about different areas of marketing. Maximizing video content isn’t always about the topic. It’s about strategically presenting the information you’re capturing and repurposing it with value statements.  Let’s look at another example..

When I was working with Green Zone, we used a similar strategy. The initial proposal called for one video discussing their three online fitness packages. During the shoot, I had them explain what types of people benefitted from each option. I quickly realized that they created separate packages because a meal and workout plan isn’t for everyone. Duh!

I ended up talking them into breaking this video down so they could target certain people with a relevant option. They would have essentially limited their reach by bucketing everything into one video. Not only were we able to create additional video content with original answers, but more traffic to their membership page. The results gave them confidence to continue hiring me for other projects. 

Key 4. Sharing Your Videos Wisely.

heaven-shot-of-maximizing-video-content-strategies-in-west-phoenix-arizona-with-a-prefocusThe last step in maximizing video content pertains to publishing. The easiest way for most of you to share video content is through Youtube. But don’t overlook the little details. Things like the featured image (the picture that previews your video) can play a big role in click through rates. Using a screen shot or standard header image is better than nothing. But creating a video graphic with the title is worth the extra time.

Without “sharing” too much detail, I wanted to revisit something I’ve reiterated throughout this article. Don’t force feed your followers or overwhelm them with information. Avoid spammy lingo and nurture them with intrigue. This creates more comfort in pressing play. Just keep it simple and make sure your channel is cohesive. Themed title images, consistent tags, detailed descriptions and correct links go a long way. 

Some Last Second Reminders for Video Strategies.

If you’re going to take the time to maximize the reach of video content then it better look professional. And don’t forget to link all of the videos together and point to the full feature. This ensures the experience is sound and it’ll enhance your SEO.

Lastly, when you solidify your brand identity, you should also know exactly who your customers are. If your audience doesn’t log into social media until 6pm at night, don’t post your videos at 10am. You can automate the process for certain times of day so you’re not manually posting everything. Make sure there is a rhyme and reason for everything. The results will reward you!

Want to Learn More?

I’m passionate about helping businesses and professionals improve the way they present themselves. Video content is just another opportunity to do so. If you’d like to discuss possibilities with me, I’d love to learn more about your story how I can help.

Top 5 Things to Consider Before Marketing A Brand

Top 5 Things to Consider Before Marketing A Brand

Promoting your company for the first time can be intimidating for some. For others, it may be a piece of cake as they leverage other skilled people to execute a plan they've been told is best. Still, there's plenty of brands that don't perform admirably. So how can small business owners and start ups avoid the headaches that come with hitting the reset button? Although there are plenty of factors to consider, here are my top 5 things to consider before marketing a brand.
Back to BlogAbout PreFocus

1. Where Are You Sending Potential Customers?

blurred-pen-and-pencil-for-marketing-strategy-checklist-with-macbook-pro-branding-professional-in-west-phoenixFirst and foremost, you’ll want to determine where you’re directing traffic for your business. You could have a brick and mortar location that needs some foot traffic, or you might be looking to grow your visitor count on-site. Either way, you can maximize marketing efforts by funneling these people to a specific destination.

If you’re encouraging consumers to visit your website, figure out which page you’re positioning. You may use an informative article, your contact page, a service or product page, or a custom landing page design. All of these things factor into the customer’s experience.

Moreover, make sure the marketing message you’re conveying is reinforced and expanded upon wherever you decide to send your potential customers. You’ll set yourself up for success by creating an in-store or online experience that follows through with the initial promise you marketed. A seamless transition from a perceived idea (marketing message) to customer reality (arrival) will establish a lasting impression that eventually turns into trust.

Any experience outside of this will drastically hurt your conversion rates – whether it’s copywriting, design, or your employees ability to manage your brand promise.

2. What Will You Consider a Conversion?

shabby-chic-blue-dresser-design-marketing-imagery-for-brand-presentation-planning-and-development-for-local-small-business-in-surprise-azAlthough the customer route is #1 on my list of things to consider before marketing a brand, identifying what conversions look like is a close 2nd. A majority of companies justify their sales through monetary reality, but there’s plenty of other value out there. I challenge you to take the time to weigh the convertible options you target your audience with.

For example, a product purchase is a lot different than a service inquiry. One form puts money in the bank immediately while the other places the customer into a sales funnel alongside a probability percentage. What is more important to you?

There are a handful of successful business models that live off of user data and email addresses. Could you be one of them? Do you have the ability to serve email content regularly? Are social media shares, likes, and comments valuable to your brand? They may boost your confidence, but if they’re not driving revenue or target audience awareness, then can you really consider this a conversion?

Whether you value store visits or website page views, it would be keen of you to identify what your really setting out to accomplish. There are plenty of ways to consider marketing a success, so take the time to figure out where all of your opportunities are and cater your strategy to what works best for your business.

3. What Will You Be Publishing.. And Where?

angled-computer-by-the-window-of-branding-office-company-in-surprise-arizonaA common misconception I hear during the discovery process is that companies HAVE to advertise and be active on social media. Although both of these channels are great ways to drive sales, I can’t necessarily agree with this. No matter how good your ad is – if you don’t have a solid destination (from #1), then you’re throwing away capital. Gone. Wasted.

When it comes to social media, if you’re publishing random posts that aren’t relevant to your brand persona, then you’re just going through the motions without purpose. Nothing makes me more frustrated – I repeat, NOTHING – than seeing ridiculous social media posts that lack substance. Especially when they promote a stock photo, a random quote, or a post from another brand. Please, stop the madness!

Before marketing a brand, it’s very important that you’re able to sit down and determine what type of content is the best for your business. Some companies do great with a sales team and an effective flyer while others have amazing online sales funnels full of valuable content. Whether you invest money into a billboard or an extensive PPC campaign, I urge you to consider the purpose behind your publications. Taking the time to see what channels will give you the best return (even if it’s a more expensive option) can be a highly beneficial decision for your business down the road. Trust me.

4. Who’s Managing Your Marketing & Measuring Results?

focused-hand-pointing-out-marketing-process-and-how-to-define-brand-voice-and-presentation-before-spending-capitol-on-marketersAnother huge mistake made by new business owners, entrepreneurs, and start ups is trusting someone to manage their marketing without their input. This blows my mind, to be honest. I understand that a marketer should specialize in allocating what’s best, but it doesn’t mean they’re always focused on your growth over their pockets. If you plan on measuring your marketing yourself, I advise you to do a little research on the process – it might be a lot more overwhelming than your think. Either way, it’s not as simple as posting to garner likes.

Hiring someone to manage marketing shouldn’t be taken lightly. Imagine spending countless hours executing my first 3 points only to pay someone minimally and watch them derail the entire thing. That would suck, right? No matter if your marketing manager is an internal employee or an outsourced freelancer, it’s imperative you’re able to thoroughly communicate with them, set expectations, and understand the results (ROI) you’ll receive in the end.

How else are you going to know if your marketing is working or not. In most cases, they won’t tell you or care, because the $500 you’re paying them a month isn’t enough to. Determine how you can monetize time and efficiency so you can set things up before marketing a brand – or you risk tearing down your progress quicker than you think.

5. Is Your Brand Presentation Even Memorable?

aerial-shot-of-macbook-pro-laptop-at-prefocus-branding-company-for-best-reasons-to-consider-strategy-before-marketing-my-brandOK, so here’s my cue.. We’ve talked about determining where to send potential customers, what a conversion means, publishing with purpose, and measuring results. Planning for all of these phases will increase your ability to attract and retain customers. When you’re able to piece everything together as a brand identity, you begin to create a presentation that’s perceived well.

Having a seamless message that’s cohesive across all channels (store, ads, social, website, print media, etc..) is a lot easier for consumers to believe. This is what branding is. Try to solidify your competencies and use them throughout your marketing campaigns. Not only should your brand messaging be on point, but the remainder of your brand identity should be well-thought out and in unison.

Moreover, people remember what they continue to hear on a consistent basis. If I was a pizza parlor that said I had “the best cheese pizza in town” one week, then “the best pepperoni calzones” the next – how can you trust what I’m saying? Wouldn’t you subconsciously assume I was full of dung? Creating a memory takes dedication – but when it’s done purposefully, the results are amazing.

close-up-picture-of-prefocus-business-card-design-in-surprise-az-talentRemember, the way you present yourself creates an experience for your customers. No matter where consumers see your brand, it needs to be relevant, valuable, trustworthy, and sensible. A great first impression builds awareness – and enhancing people’s ability to identify your branding will establish your recognition. The objective of marketing is to persuade your target audience that you’re their best option when the time arises. So, why would you waste opportunity? I’m still trying to figure this out..

If you’re not planning for this, you’re more than likely failing at driving loyalty. For the most part, consumers stick with whom they trust. So, I encourage you to consider all of these things before marketing a brand. Investments can be risky, so why not maximize your ability to generate positive results? It’s your future..

Interested in Branding Guidance?

I understand how overwhelming marketing can be. Even I outsource a handful of my endeavors. But, only you know your business and what you’re brand is capable of. Allow me to provide you with some insight in regards. I’m currently offering an initial 15 minute strategy session for free!


How to Target Senior Citizens in Memphis, Tennessee.

How to Target Senior Citizens in Memphis, TN.

Outside of targeted digital strategies, there are plenty of ways to reach and engage senior citizens throughout the Midsouth region. The biggest factor is tailoring your message to their values as this garners their trust and loyalty. Remember, this is an age group that tends to lean on traditional values, so it’s imperative to consider their well-being. In our ever-changing world, many elderly citizens fear their best interest isn’t a priority or even considered at all. Since I’ve had success with geriatric and retirement demographics, I thought I’d share some of the insight I’ve organized over the past few years.

About PreFocusRequest More

First and foremost, targeting senior citizens in the West Valley needs to be purposeful. A majority of them are either visiting for the winter, or settling in for the remainder of their lives. The decisions they make are concrete and if it’s your goal to change their behaviors, then you need to do so with quality promotions. No matter what you take away from this article, it’s imperative that you understand their perspective. This is something we take pride in at PreFocus.

A Few Senior Stereotypes.

Before we begin our senior targeting list, there are a few bias viewpoints I want to touch on regarding this growing demographic.

  1. Seniors Are Cheap – I couldn’t disagree more. Look around and you’ll notice most of them driving brand new vehicles or golf carts with plenty of bells and whistles. Not to mention the amount of cash poured into pet grooming. Price can’t be discounted with the elderly. Purchase decisions by seniors (especially regarding healthcare) are usually made based on what the solution can do for them. They want to trust their investment. Once they can clearly see HOW it meets their need, price doesn’t necessarily matter. Avoid making them feel this way by harnessing a qualitative message over an affordable one.
  2. Seniors Don’t Really Matter – Believe it or not, categorizing seniors as important, will garner more interest than you think. Too often, advertisements are geared towards younger generations (or et al) and their demographic is left hanging. Messaging that isn’t catered to their unique situation is a huge turn off and causes them to believe it’s not in their best interest. Promoting a large amount of copy (text) and stock images on flyers tend to overwhelm seniors. If you haven’t taken the time to tailor a more simplistic message with photos that showcase your value, then you’re missing on a ton of opportunity.
  3. Seniors Need to be Told What’s Best – Senior citizens can be a stubborn bunch. Not only do they purposefully avoid change due to fear, but they really dislike being told what to do. Think of it this way: Once seniors begin losing their ability to care for themselves, they want to hold onto every sense of pride they can. They’ve been immersed in purchases or processes that have worked for them for a long time and they truly believe they know what’s best – for them. Using tactics that support change (we’ll discuss some below) help them understand what’s best instead of ego draining direction.

Consider the above takeaways as you progress through my guide to targeting senior citizens below..

1. Social Media and Content Marketing.

Many of you might think I’m crazy for putting this at the top of my list but let me hit you with a few statistics before the chuckles roll off your tongue. According to Target Marketing Magazine, 47% of seniors 50-65, and 30% of 66+ preferred online communications and transactions in 2012. In 2013, those numbers increased to 65% of seniors 50-65, and 34% 66+. In order to understand what they use the internet for, here are some of their behaviors. 94% of seniors use the internet for e-mail; 77% use it shop; 71% use it to allocate health information; and 70% use it to read the news. If you notice one common theme, they’re engaged in some form of content. Although most don’t believe seniors are on social platforms, they are. They realize that technology can help improve their health while giving them a form of engagement they can’t receive bedside.

Whether they find content on social media platforms while keeping tabs on family members and old friends, or come across a relevant ad while browsing for a gift they’re shopping for – seniors are present online. The problem with most senior citizen targeting efforts are the reasons I listed in the beginning of this article. Ads or content that’s not geared towards their demographic tends to disinterest them while creating a poor first impression. This doesn’t solidify they aren’t online – it solidifies you’re not presenting them with a purposeful message. A targeted strategy with an agenda alongside brand clarity will help you overcome this marketing bias.

2. Create or Collaborate for a Tailored Event.

Believe it or not, seniors are an active bunch – especially in Memphis where it doesn’t get too cold during the winter. It seems like there isn’t a time of day most of them aren’t on the road. Aside from the danger this presents, it means they’re always looking for something to entertain their time. Of course they have their routine appearances, but for the most part they’re seeking new ways to interact and engage with others. This is a perfect opportunity to present them with an event that aligns with their values, needs, and interests.

Imagine the type of credibility you can achieve by presenting seniors with a new event catered to them. Even if you have a small budget, there are plenty of ways to engage them with basic activities. Most importantly, find time during the event to relay your cause or provided value so they know who’s behind their consideration. As long as you’re able to promote it effectively, you can expect a solid return on your investment either way.

3. Direct Mailing with Targeted Messaging.

Direct mailers are a common tactic when targeting the senior citizen community. If you’re looking to create an effective flyer, consider some of the stereotypes I mentioned above. First and foremost, you’ll want to design a presentation that’s geared towards them. Simplify your message, enhance the font size, and capture original imagery that resonates with them best. Remember, seniors don’t want to be told what’s best, they want to allocate brands they can trust and justify on their own. Simply ease them into the process by engaging them with what they value.

Moreover, try to incorporate something within your design that they can find useful. Maybe create a crossword puzzle with answers that sends a specific message and aligns with your core values. You can even present them with a mailer design that serves an additional purpose. With this strategy, seniors can use it for more than information and potentially hang it on the fridge to share with others. If they’re able to use it as a guide, then your company will automatically be associated with that value. At the end of the day, you’re executing brand recognition.

4. Online Advertising Strategies.

Again, I know you might be hesitant to invest here – but hear me out. As aforementioned, seniors are online – and even though they might not be looking for you specifically, they’re engaged somewhere. This is where paid advertising or display ad retargeting can come into play. Using online advertising based on behavioral activity is a great way to target seniors with a message that’s relevant to what they’re currently looking for.

For example: Senior A is looking for a pharmacy close-by to refill their cardiology medication. They happen to come across an advertisement by a mobile cardiologist that also executes prescription delivery. Don’t you think that’s something that would catch their eye? Using strategic initiatives to target senior citizens not only increases conversion rates, but it lowers the amount of money you have to spend on entire campaigns. Targeting with purpose, especially when advertising, enables you to ramp up or cut off your campaigns at a moments notice to execute the processes you’re promoting.

The same thing goes for children of seniors. They play a large role in influencing their parents with decisions. If you’re able to target them accordingly so they can pass along the message, then you’ve executed another channel through valued influence. It may be a little more strategic, but it beats sending out 10,000 mailers and crossing your fingers, in my opinion.

5. Partnering with Relevant Companies.

When it comes to partnering with relevant channels, there are opportunities everywhere. If you’re looking for a place to start, try the local Piggly Wiggly or farmer’s market for starters. Seniors seems to visit the grocery almost every day. For example, Bell Road and the 303 is host to 4 grocers within a mile. (Albertson’s, WinCo, Sam’s Club, and Safeway) Visit a location and watch who they interact with and what they stop to examine. Who’s loyal to which brand and why? These might be opportunities for your brand to present itself – whether at the cash register or through an affiliate ad inside. Approaching the business is the first step to generating a relationship that serves their customers with value.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box of normality as well. A common service venue I visit when targeting senior citizens are local dog groomers. The elderly view their animals as a part of the family and frequent these locations often. If you’re looking for low hanging fruit, consider car dealerships, RV parks or maintenance shops, restaurants, craft stores, and other retailers that are apart of senior’s every day lives. You could even volunteer time with a non profit at a chance to promote your product or service.

6. Print Advertising or Sponsorships.

Print ads are another intriguing way to target senior citizens in the Memphis area. Many care facilities and placement providers tend to invest in senior care publications and other weekly newsletters. Although I have my own opinion on this tactic, it really depends on the product or service you’re looking to provide. Similar to content and online ads, you’ll want to focus your message on the value you provide with simplicity in mind. Some examples include newspapers, billboards, event brochures, announcements, prescription packaging, or sponsored vehicle wraps.

Either way, it’s important that you monetize your investment before throwing out dollars. Although some publications have an extensive number of viewers, it doesn’t necessarily mean senior citizens will see your ad. Print is very difficult to measure because of this. You can only assume, which is why it can be muddy waters if you aren’t careful. Don’t allow the salesperson to sell you, take the time to research your investment and make a decision with your best interest at heart. In most cases, you can take that $3,000 and pour it into other areas where your message is accepted with ease.

7. Scratching the Backs of Senior Communities.

This tends to be the traditional way to reach seniors or the geriatric community. At the same time, I know how difficult this can be. These facilities deal with so much solicitation it’s no wonder they’re never too happy to see you. If you’re going to invest in this type of approach, please be prepared. Don’t go in there without a plan because most of them are wanting to hear what you can actually do for them and their residents – not why they should align with you.

Take the time to research each community so you can understand what to expect when you arrive. Learn about the management or the person you may first come across upon arrival. Ensuring you’re able to execute a positive first impression opens the door to possibility. From here, it’s all about how committed you are to helping them improve their facility while enhancing the experience of their patient base. Until you place yourself in their shoes, you’ll find this a frustrating option – which is why I placed it at the bottom of my list.

Request a Strategy

Although it’s important to target senior citizens with purpose, we also want to ensure your brand message and presentation accurately relays your value. Our strategies align your voice with target customer needs in order to improve efficiency and drive down costs.