Blog - Rock, Paper, Scissors

Posted 15 Mar 2017

Less is More in Advertising: Part 2

Tips for Creating an Ad with Impact

We’re back and ready to continue our discussion on the “Less is More” approach to advertising. If you missed Part 1, check it out here, or you can watch the entire recording of the webinar in the video at the bottom of this post.

When we left off with Part 1, we shared three specific things an ad needs to do in order to resonate with an audience. To recap, an ad should: capture your audience’s attention; connect with them through clear messaging and images that tell the story or solve the problem; and create a reasonable call to action. Now, let’s take these three things we need an ad to do and look at a real world example.

Image Source: http://www.sovereignmediajp.com/images/slider/layer/3/bg.jpg

Billboards are a great example because the experience of seeing a billboard ad is something we have all seen and we all take it in the same – driving down the road. You can/should use the standards you see in billboard ads for any type of ad placement because this is part of advertising “best practices.” When you’re traveling down the highway at 65 miles per hour, you can’t do much other than remember the ad, so a billboard needs to leave a quick, clear, and impactful question. You can use the following tips and tricks to create an impactful ad with the less is more approach.

  • Get your message across in 6 words or less.

  • Know the type of response you want from your audience and advertise appropriately. Remember not all forms of advertising are good for direct responses.
  • Make sure your ad isn’t distracting. (This is mainly for billboards so you don’t cause accidents.)
  • Make sure your message is smart and fun, but not overly clever. Don’t make people wonder what point you’re trying to get across.

Image Source: http://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/vulture/2014/04/29/29-mad-men-pitches-quiz.w750.h560.2x.jpg

  • A picture is worth 1,000 words, so let your imagery tell the story.
  • Use your space wisely. Messaging and visuals should support one another and not be repetitive of each other.
  • Make sure your logo is sized appropriately. If it’s too big it may distract from the message. If it’s too small, people may not connect your brand with the ad.
  • Print your ad the size of a business card and hold it at arm’s length to make sure everything in your message comes across the same as it does on your computer screen. You can also print it larger and place it across the room.

  • Use the K.I.S.S (“Keep It Simple Stupid”) principle. Your ad should be so straightforward that it can speak to anyone.

We hope these tips will help you take a less is more approach when it comes to creating ads for your business. If you have any questions, send them our way and we’ll be happy to chat with you. Also, be sure to make plans to join us on March 15 at 12:30 pm EST for our next webinar where we’ll be discussing all things Instagram!

 

Posted 23 Feb 2017

Less is More in Advertising: Part 1

Did you miss our recent webinar on the “Less is More” approach to advertising? Read on to get caught up or watch the recording below!

  • Did you know that almost 60% of people will share articles on Twitter without actually reading them?
  • Or that over half of all pageviews are under one minute in length?
  • The average human’s attention span is 8 seconds long… that’s less than the attention span of a goldfish!

We live in a busy world and with such short attention spans among your audience, it means your ad has to make an impact. Some might think that means you have to cram every detail into the ad, but that’s not the case! If you only have 8 seconds to capture someone’s attention, you need to make the most of your ads and say as much as you can with as few words as possible with a “less is more” approach.

You may be creating an ad to get attention, but we are actually creating an ad to start or continue to build a relationship with your audience. To paint a picture of what this means, let’s walk through two hypothetical encounters with a friend.

 

In the first encounter, your friend walks up to you and downloads everything that has happened to them in the last month, without taking a breath for you to say anything. You are just standing there taking in for a good ten minutes. How do you feel when this happens? Overwhelmed? Not sure where to start? A lot of time encounters like this don’t feel like a two-sided relationship, and you can feel a bit used. Overtime, relationships like this can become toxic and end.

In a second encounter, your friend walks up, asks how you are doing and starts a conversation with you that fills you on on what they are doing and allows you ask questions and for you to share your updates as well. How does this encounter make you feel compare to the first?

When we are creating ads, we want to create more of that second experience. We want to create an ad that starts a conversation. That means taking into consideration where the conversation with your audience is taking place, what is surrounding that conversation and what may be competing for your audience’s attention, your audience’s culture, and more. All of this will not only help create those conversations, but also help form deeper connections and relationships with your audience.

Consider the golden days of advertising (the Mad Men era) compared to today’s advertising culture. In the past, you had small list of advertising options like print ads, television, radio, and billboards. Today you have all that plus a huge variety of internet ads, social media, apps on phones, ads in malls, YouTube, and the list goes on and on.

You also have to factor in consumer perception. In the past, people were very trusting of big brands and brand loyalty was unprecedented. Today’s audience was shaped by the Great Recession, which turned their lives upside down when these big brands were affected. People lost money, their jobs, and even their homes. The consumers of today are skeptical of clean, polished, and perfect companies because, from their experience, this type of business was deceptive and hurt them. They are looking for transparent companies that are not perfect and value honesty, will have a good conversation and not just hid behind a brand. This is important to know because when  you are communicating with your audience, the goal is to connect with them and build relationships that are good for both parties.

Keeping in mind where your audience is coming from, it’s important that you create an ad they will truly connect with. But in today’s culture, we’re inundated with ads everywhere we look and go. Think about all the digital ads in Times Square, the back pages of your favorite magazine, and even the ads in your internet browser.  With ads all over the place, you’ve got to cut through the clutter and stand out in a way that gives your end consumer an honest look at who you are. When you understand who you are connecting with and the culture you are inserting into, we then decide how we are going to connect, cut through the clutter and get to our goal.  

In order to get there, you need to know about the three things your ad must do.

  1. Get your audience’s attention.
  2. Connect with your audience through clear messaging supported by crisp, clear images that help tell the story, focusing on the problem you are solving, not the product or service you’re selling.
  3. Create a reasonable call to action so your audience knows exactly what you want them to do. Keep in mind where your audience is consuming the ad when you are crafting your call to action. Also, keep in mind that the brain is able to easily recognized simpler messages. Think Nike’s “Just do it” and McDonalds’ “I’m lovin’ it” ads.

We know it’s a lot of information to process, so we’re going to take a break. When we come back with Part 2, we’ll start looking at real world examples and applications of the three things we need an ad to do.

Posted 31 Jan 2017

Your 2017 Marketing Plan: It is not too late to start the year off right

Did you miss our marketing plan webinar? Read the recap below or watch the recording to catch up!

We’re almost a month into 2017 and after the rush of the holidays we’re all getting settled back into our normal routines. That also means it’s time to hit the ground running with your 2017 marketing efforts, and those efforts SHOULD begin with a solid marketing plan for 2017.

But what if you don’t have a 2017 marketing plan? 2017 has already begun so it’s too late to worry about it now, isn’t it? Truth be told, it’s never too late to create a marketing plan for your business! Today let’s take a closer look at what a marketing plan is, why you need one, and why it’s never too late to create a plan for marketing your business in order to help it succeed!

marketing plan

First things first, let’s define what a marketing plan is. In short, a marketing plan is “part of the business plan outlining the marketing strategy” (The Digital Marketing Reference). A marketing plan can be created for marketing your entire business, or can be narrowed down for a particular product or service, depending on your needs and business goals for the year. For today’s discussion, we’ll be considering the overall business and its marketing plan.

Now that you know what a marketing plan is, it’s time to talk about why you need one. Your marketing plan will help guide your marketing efforts as well as keep your entire team on track to ensure you are communicating a consistent message to the right audience. However, it goes much further than that. Following are some additional reasons for why you need a marketing plan:

  1. Puts your thought process on paper and showcases the bigger picture
  2. Provides direction and helps you focus in on your customers
  3. Will help define your business’ vision and target audience/client
  4. Allows you to determine where you want to go and maps out how you plan to get there
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  5. Helps you and employees understand business goals and helps everyone make educated decisions on their own that are in line with your business objectives
  6. Allows you to monitor your success as you work toward your goal

So how do you start writing a marketing plan? The first step is to take a look at your overall business goals, as well as your goals for the year. Do you want to increase sales? Expand into a new region? Expand your services? Launch a new product? Once you have determined which goals you want to work toward this year, you’re ready to start defining a strategy for achieving those goals. Think of your strategy as an overall game plan. Then, start outlining the tactics to achieve the strategy.

Once you have your strategy and tactics for achieving your goals in place, it’s time to define the resources you have to make all of this happen. Time and money are your biggest assets, but as we all know, these resources have their limits. That’s why you need to plan wisely when it comes to how you will spend your marketing budget, as well as spread the work evenly among your marketing team members. This will help you maximize every dollar and hour you have. After you’ve determined your resources, you’re ready to convert this into a realistic and achievable plan for your team.

By now, you should have a good picture of what your marketing plan should contain, but you’re probably wondering what it actually looks like. The best advice we can give is to avoid making your marketing plan overly complicated. Start out with a written document that defines your goals, strategy, and objectives. Once these are set, you’ll want to build a calendar and budget. This is an important step to allocate your resources so you are creating a plan that is achievable.

The final document in this mix is your reporting template. It’s always better to map out how you are going to report your return on your investments so that you are building something that you can measure.

As you start to create your marketing plan, there are a few best practices we recommend you keep in mind.

  1. Define what success looks like to you and your team so everyone will know when your plan is succeeding.
  2. Give clear ownership and specific responsibilities to the team members that will have a part in rolling the plan out.
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  3. Set up regular reporting and audits. This will help you see successes, areas in need of improvement or reevaluation, spot trends, etc.
  4. The Marketing Mix: You can use both internal and external resources to achieve your plan.
  5. Have one person oversee the plan.
  6. Be flexible. Don’t stress out if you see something isn’t working out like you had hoped. Use this as a time to readjust based on what is working.

Hopefully you now feel a little more equipped to create a marketing plan for your business. As always, Rock Paper Scissors can help with any questions, so feel free to contact us! Also, be sure to mark your calendar for our February webinar! Join us on February 15 as we talk about taking a “less is more” approach to advertising.

Posted 14 Dec 2016

Branding Case Study: Independence Bank of Georgia

Independence Bank of Georgia was established by Terry Evans, President and CEO, and Martha Brown, Executive Vice President, CEO, and CFO, in 2008. With branches located in Braselton and Gainesville, Georgia, the bank quickly gained many loyal customers in Northeast Georgia for both personal and business banking accounts and has received national attention for its excellence in banking.

We began working with Independence Bank of Georgia in early 2015. At that time, the bank was in need of a branding facelift, so we began with our Brand Immersion process. Through that process, we discovered the branding in place wasn’t immediately engaging and didn’t easily capture the attention of potential customers. It was outdated and it did not capture the unique experience the team at Independence Bank of Georgia offers their customers.

Following the Brand Immersion, we made some recommendations to build a brand that was reflective of the bank’s culture and brand experience. To start off, we recommended the bank use the name “Ibankga” in its marketing efforts as it is approachable, more attractive to customers, and has a modern sound. They already had this as their domain and only used it internally, but we were able to help Ibankga feel more confident in using the name in a more public way through their public website address and marketing materials.

Ibankga branding

Through the Brand Immersion process we were also able to learn a little more about the bank’s customers, which allowed us to create a stronger customer profile and ensure that our branding and marketing goals would reach the right audiences. We also gained a better understanding of the tone and language of the leadership in place. With that information in hand, we worked together to create more engaging copy for the website, marketing materials, and social media content that helped emphasize to customers why Ibankga is the best bank for them.

Our next action was to create a new website for Ibankga. A website is often one’s first impression of a business and we saw a new website as the perfect opportunity to make a change for the better. To make sure it created an impact with current and prospective customers, we worked to make the new website more engaging by creating a more simplified online banking process and implementing a deeper level of branding that was a true reflection of the organization.

Ibankga branding

“Our goal with the new website design was to create a digital environment that matches the bright, welcoming atmosphere experienced in the various branch locations,” said Rock Paper Scissors Designer Kaitlin Henre.

As community involvement is an important part of Ibankga’s core values, we also helped them develop the Denim and Donate campaign. Each month, bank employees are allowed to wear denim on Fridays if they donate to that month’s cause. The bank encourages its customers to contribute to the cause of the month as well. This campaign helped connect the bank to the local community and a very visual and impactful way.

Ibankga branding

We also developed Brand Identity Standards & Guidelines for the team at Ibankga to use in their future marketing efforts, and launched the bank’s new website while the team at Ibankga took over with the implementation of the branding campaign we developed. We continued to provide creative support for stationery, brochures, ad campaigns, signage, and more.

Ibankga branding

Ibankga branding

A solid branding campaign will naturally put a business or organization in a better position for attracting new customers, as well as new business opportunities. There are multiple reasons to rebrand your business,” Amanda Sutt, CEO and Creative Director of Rock Paper Scissors, shares. “You may have a disconnect with your audience that you need to close; you may have had an internal philosophy change so the rebrand will make this shift more public; or you want to reposition your business for growth, whether that is expansion, new products, or merging. Ibankga came to us with the first need and ended up positioning themselves for the latter.” In the summer of 2016, Ibankga announced it would be merging with another local bank, Pinnacle Bank, with the acquisition expected to be complete before the end of 2016.

Is your organization in need of a new branding campaign like Ibankga? Contact Rock Paper Scissors today to learn more about our services. We would love to speak with you about where you are currently with your brand, where you want to go, and how we can help you get there.

Posted 13 Dec 2016
About Us pages

The Most Important Page on Your Website

Get caught up with our latest webinar by watching the video at the bottom of this post, or read the recap below!

Your website is often the first impression a prospective customer will have of your business, and out of all the pages on your website the About Us page is likely to be one of the most popular next to your home page. Your About Us page can set the stage for the experience a customer may have with your brand and affect their decision to choose your products or services over another. This is where you tell your unique story and people are always looking for a good story. With that in mind, it’s important to carefully craft your About Us page in a way that is a true reflection of your brand rather than simply introducing your business and team.

However, that’s just the beginning of what your About Us page should do. In fact, it should be able to accomplish much more than you might think. In the About Page Guide, Bernadette Jiwa writes “The secret of a great About Page is that it’s less about the company and more about the reader or prospective customer and their wants and needs.” An About Us page should accomplish the following:

  • Build trust with prospects – They’ve probably never met you so you need to give them reasons to trust you and your business.

About Us page

  • Show off what makes you different – This page should effectively communicate what makes your brand unique and why it’s worth it to work with you.
  • Demonstrate authority and credibility – Your About Us page can accomplish this if it clearly explains to readers why they should listen to you and why they should want to work with you.
  • Express how you can help customers and explain how you work with them – Telling your customers what you can do for them and even how you’ll do it can definitely impact their decision on choosing whether or not to work with you.
  • Invite visitors to take action – Let your visitors know what you want them to do, whether it’s sign up for your newsletter, make a purchase, read the blog, connect on social media, etc.

About Us page

Now that you know what your About Us page should accomplish, it’s time to start crafting your message. As you’re getting ready to put the pen to the paper (or your fingertips to the keyboard), keep these tips in mind.

About Us page

  1. Write like you speak. Your About Us page should make readers feel like they are talking to you. However, this doesn’t excuse poor grammar, spelling mistakes, etc.
  2. Write in the tone of voice with which you would speak to your customers. This will help your writing reflect the type of relationship you want to have with customers.
  3. The length of the content is totally up to you. Remember, we live in a busy world with many distractions, so it is best to say what you want with as few words as possible.

Finally, there are some items you should include on your About Us page that will further help introduce your business to your audience, build credibility, and set you apart from the competition.

  • A quality, professional looking headshot, as well as photos or a video that show the culture of your business
  • Links to your business’ social media profiles

About Us page

  • Your values and relevant facts about yourself, your life, and your career journey
  • Endorsements – Not to be confused with testimonials, endorsements come from your colleagues and/or industry publications your work has been featured in

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  • The things that set you apart from other similar businesses
  • Examples of how you can help the customer
  • At least one call to action
  • A contact link or form

About Us page

We hope these tips will help you craft an About Us page that helps website visitors connect with your business and brand, as well as understand what you can do for them and how you can do it better than the competition. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions!

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