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Simple Website Updates: Add a Survey on Your Home Page

One of the simplest updates you can do for your website is add a survey on the home page. It adds a level of flexibility and improves the user experience in many ways.

 

The Value of a Survey

Your website is the most effective advertising tool you can have. It drives more traffic to your business and provides valuable resources for current and potential clients. Any additions or updates that you can do to improve the overall user experience will increase your visibility and credibility.

Did you know that more than 80% of the people that visit your site will base their first impression on the look and feel of it?

Simple changes can make a big impression. One of them is the addition of a survey to your home page. There are several things a survey can do, so it all depends upon what you are trying to achieve.

 

Improve the User Experience

For websites with lots of content, a survey can lead them to an article or page they want to see.

This circumvents any frustration that may arise while navigating your site. Another benefit is that the survey delivers a more personalized service to the user, and personalization improves the overall experience. Together, these build more credibility in your services, because if your website can do this, then they can also imagine that your firm is able to do even more.

How does it work? Surveys make people feel as though they are in control of the browsing experience. This sharply contrasts with pop windows, video advertisements and chat bots.

 

Increase Sales Leads

Potential clients don’t always know what they want, but they do know that they need help. Whether it’s getting more information or having direct contact with the right person in your firm, a survey can give them a sense of being in control. Plus, a survey improves your ability to collect personal information, which generates more qualified leads than a simple contact page. Chat-bots can’t do this, and may lead to more frustration for you and the user.

Surveys can be designed to begin with general questions then drill down to exactly what the user wants to know. They act as a guide for the user, while offering unique benefits for your business:

  • Valuable feedback
  • High response rates
  • Capture personal information
  • Improved user experience

 

Types of Surveys

There are three common types of surveys:

  • Widget – These small, unobtrusive surveys reside in the corner of a page or on multiple pages. When clicked on they open a form, giving users the freedom to provide feedback or find answers.
  • Pop-Up – Typically, this type of survey appears when a particular action occurs—called a triggering event. These surveys can appear anywhere on a site and reside in the background, so may clutter the page if you’re not careful.
  • Collapsible – Like the widget, the collapsible survey resides on a fixed page, but can be minimized if not needed. The user may use the survey after they are done reading a particular article and need more information.

A simple update, such as a survey, to your website can improve the user experience and generate valuable, qualified sales leads. Surveys are great for large websites with lots of information, as well as large firms with a variety of specialties. Whether it’s to improve navigation and overall user experience or help generate sales leads, Pinstripe can build the perfect survey for your website. Contact us today to find out which survey is right for your business and how we can build one for you.

Here’s Your 5-Step Marketing Plan for a Budget-Friendly Business Reopening

by Naomi Johnson, Life Based Business

Navigating your post-disaster marketing plan might be the biggest challenge for recovery (no matter what type of event occurs). The good news is that you don’t need an enormous budget to make it happen. With these five practical strategies, you can address each angle of reopening without overspending.

Need an All-in-One Solution?

For small businesses that feel lost when it comes to marketing, going the DIY route can feel intimidating. One way to streamline your marketing budget is by outsourcing the responsibility to an experienced agency. For example, Pinstripe Marketing works with your company to develop a marketing campaign to enhance your brand. From there, you decide which parts you can execute and which parts we can, and we divide and conquer. Instead of going it alone, you can rely on the expertise of an agency with decades of experience in brand development.

Step 1: Maximize Your Budget

Not every business has a nest egg to work with for disaster recovery. But whether you need to get out of a tight spot financially or invest in improvements, some cash will be necessary. So, finding the resources to pad your budget is a smart move.

Fortunately, you can boost your company’s cash flow by seeking out small business programs in your area. For example, plenty of government programs provide grants and loans to business owners. Many programs are specific for COVID-19 relief, while others have requirements based on your niche or business status. Some private companies are even offering grants to businesses that apply.

Step 2: Educate Your Team

Overseeing a remote team isn’t always easy. Case in point: often, you can’t see them at all. But online tools afford businesses more opportunities for connection than ever. Still, before you let your team loose with digital platforms and web portals filled with company data, it’s essential to offer specific information.

Outlining online safety tips as part of your remote work agreement is a helpful strategy. Rules like not sharing company devices with kids, ensuring their home Wi-Fi is encrypted, and installing antivirus software can all be part of your contract.

Step 3: Choose the Right Tools

From social media platforms to mobile apps and sales websites, tons of tools can help you reach growth and marketing goals. Narrowing down the options can easily become the biggest challenge for brands that are new to the digital landscape.

Whether you’re moving your retail store online, offering banking clients a no-touch option for deposits, or hoping to earn new customers via a delivery app, the right tools can help you reach your ideal audience. Choose automation tools for business processes, marketing and eCommerce, and even customer service (using chatbots). There are even social media tools for scheduling posts without spending all your time online. Whatever your business priorities are, there are tools to help.

Step 4: Leverage Free Marketing Opportunities

Social media offers countless ways to attract, interact with, and impress customers. Whether they’re new to your business or already passionate about your brand, catering to customers on social media is a cost-effective way to grow your reputation (and possibly your sales figures).

By improving your social media presence, you can achieve growth without investing a ton of funds. Consider steps like creating a Facebook group for your audience, posting tips via Twitter, sharing engaging images on Instagram, or sharing videos on TikTok. While social media does take effort, the platforms are free – and a great way to reinforce your business’s branding.

Step 5: Prioritize Your People

As a brand, who are your people? Your audience and in-house team are equally crucial. Prioritize both, and you have better odds of succeeding post-disaster.

When it comes to charming your customers, you don’t have to spend much, either. Knowing what they want – and empowering your employees to deliver – is a key part of the equation, notes Gallup. Employees who feel empowered are also invaluable to your business. They are more accountable, resolve problems on their own, and enjoy their jobs more, notes Chron.

Getting your business back on track after an economic downturn is a tall order. But by taking cost-effective steps toward marketing and empowering your staff, you can realize revitalization and growth. And, it may cost less than you expect.

Photo via Rawpixel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Tip: Brand Guidelines Begin with Internal Rollout

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by Michael Premo, Content Strategist

Graphic designers and the marketing department aren’t the only ones that need to know how to steer your brand in the right direction. If you want to maintain your brand’s integrity, you need to start from within.

 

Maintaining Brand Identity

You already know that your brand is more than just your logo and tagline. It represents your entire organization, which is why we develop guidelines to keep it coherent. Any email, billboard or radio spot that steps outside your guidelines can have a negative effect on your brand identity.

  • Consistency – Because each impression counts, your brand needs to be memorable and easy to recall. Even minor changes to your brand can mislead your audience.
  • Authenticity – Any change to your brand may alter its meaning. When this happens, even as a joke or for a funny meme, it may get you into legal trouble.
  • Professionalism –When you don’t follow the guidelines, your presentations look like student projects. We call this the “Microsoft Paint Effect” because very few good things come from MS Paint.

 

The Problem Is Internal

Employees in search of creativity should leave your brand alone. To exercise their creative muscles, they should be encouraged to join an art class or build their own brand to be showcased on their personal Wix site.

Perhaps they don’t understand why the colors and typography of your communications need to always be the same—always. It’s time you educate them, and here are some quick tips on how.

Brand Awareness Survey

This will bring your fellow employees into the process of maintaining your brand guidelines. Your survey should ask several things:

  • Brand awareness – You need to gauge what they know and don’t know.
  • Current Messaging – Are they aware of what the current messaging is?
  • Satisfaction – Does the brand work for their role in the company?
  • Workarounds – Do they ever create brand workarounds? Why?
  • Suggestions – How can our brand identity be improved?

Make It an Event

An event will get more people engaged, especially if it’s fun. You can discuss the results of your survey and have a Q & A session. Yes, this requires an investment, but think of it as an ounce of prevention. Fewer mistakes mean fewer problems and lost opportunities with clients.

Distribute the Guidelines

You can send frequent internal emails that focus on the most common mistakes people make regarding your brand. Each email should direct everyone to have a copy of the guidelines or a link with quick access to them. Brand-specific templates should also be available for anything from email signatures to PowerPoint presentations. For your initiative to be effective, it has to extend beyond the guidelines.

Departmental Brand Playbook

Because your guidelines can be a hundred pages or more, you can work with each department to have specific playbooks that are relevant to their workflow, but not specific to any individual position in the company. Only the designers need to use the technical specifications for your logo. Besides, quick reference guides take less time and energy to use, so in theory, more people will use them.

Be Available to Help

If it’s outside their playbook, you need to be available to help them. Create an FAQ section in your guidelines for quick references and have an open door policy. This will keep them from feeling like the guidelines are too strict and not allowing them to do their job.

 

Brand Integrity Can Be Fragile

Anyone that touches your brand, internally or externally, has the potential to misuse it. If you really think about it, this makes your brand fragile. So, if you want to protect it and your company’s brand identity, you need to start where it has the most touch.

“Consider the brand’s custodians by establishing the full picture for the brand in a detailed style guide that clearly states every type of media it will go on. Creating guidelines for the brand in case it gets passed on, will help protect the it from misuse by other designers and non-designers who get to work with it, keeping the brand consistent,” says Evie Larson, Pinstripe Marketing Creative Director.

Larson developed the following gorgeous visual brand style guide for MFM Legal that contains design guidance covering many elements such as logo, color, composition, photography and typography. This guide follows our recommendations for style guides.

 

Pinstripe understands how businesses manage their brand guidelines. We recently helped a multinational, multi-billion dollar business refresh their brand identity, as well as maintain their brand integrity. Contact us to learn how we can develop your brand guidelines to be more consistent—to look more professional.

Pinstripe Answers: How Do I Fix a Bad Online Review?

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by Michael Premo, Content Strategist

This is a question we get asked about a lot. Getting rid of a bad review is not easy, but there are ways to fix it, all of which depend upon where it’s at and your level of interaction.

Many of our clients are in the professional services industry. They rely on recommendations and positive online reviews through sites such as Google, Lawyers.com and the Better Business Bureau. Occasionally, they’ll get a bad review on one of these sites or other lesser-known ones that may have a long term effect on their reputation. While there’s no single easy fix for a bad review, there are many approaches to lessen the effects, and in some cases turn a negative into a positive.

 

Where It’s at Matters

In real estate, location matters. The same can be said for a bad online review. Some websites allow you to respond, while others don’t. The trick is to watch them closely, set up alerts through Google and hire a reputation watchdog.

Let’s take a look at where and what you can do about it.

  • Social Media – Respond Directly and Send a Direct Message (DM)

You have “complete” control of your social media account; therefore, you can delete anything posted directly to your wall. But, business reviews on Facebook or other social media platforms cannot be deleted. You can respond to them, and this article will tell you how to formulate a positive, non-adversarial response.

Another way to handle a bad review is to send a direct message to the reviewer and find some sort of common ground. This may require an investigation into the source of their frustration, as well as some humble pie. The point is to see if they can change or delete their rating. Be very careful about your approach and the words you use. And, be humble, because saying the wrong thing could make matters worse.

  • Google – Respond Directly if Possible and Respond to Review

The world’s #1 search engine also provides its users with business ratings and snippets of reviews. You can “Manage Reviews” in your Google My Business account. Avoid using your smartphone or another mobile device when doing this. Your laptop/desktop gives you the ability to take your time and collect your thoughts—make sure spelling, grammar, and tone are correct.

Take a moment to assess a negative review before you respond. Was this customer a good fit for your business? How were their expectations not met? Can you reach out to them directly? A response is necessary, especially when there’s nothing you can do or say to make them feel better about your business. Just make sure that you follow proper etiquette and maintain a very professional posture. At all costs avoid getting into a back and forth argument with the dissatisfied customer. This is unprofessional and will make you look worse in the eyes of your audience.

A similar approach to responding to Facebook reviews can be taken here as well. Respond directly to the client by reaching out to them personally in an attempt to mend the relationship. In turn they may remove their negative feedback or change it to a positive. Win-win situation here!

  • Lawyers.com – No Response

What do you do when you can’t respond to a bad review or several of them? You go on the offensive and reach out to as many clients as possible and solicit positive reviews. To capture their attention, offer them something in return, such as a book that’s relevant to their industry or free consultation. Be creative with this, because the more you get, the less substantive that negative review will be.

  • Yelp.com – Respond Directly and Send a Direct Message (DM)

People are paying attention to how you respond to a positive or negative review. So, you need to respond to every review, but take your time to know more about a negative review before you respond. If you don’t know the “whole” story, you may hurt your chances to change that bad review. This starts with reaching out to the reviewer. If you know their email address, send them an email. If not, you can DM them through Yelp. Find out more about the situation and how you can remedy it. If they aren’t willing to respond, then compose and post your response to their review.

 

Your Response Needs to Be Timely

You need to respond as quickly as possible for each negative review for a couple of reasons. The first is so others will see that you are committed to your clients and care about their experience with your business. The other reason is that you have a major opportunity to change a bad review into a good one. According to Yelp, you have a 33% chance to change a bad review into a good one if you respond within 24 hours.

The Pinstripe PR team are reputation management pros and can help mitigate negative comments. We have helped local and nationally-based businesses with their online reputation. Contact us to learn how we can help strengthen your reputation.

Rebranding? Let’s Talk About Your Logo

by Michael Premo, Content Strategist

Every company, from Fortune 500 to a small family-owned business, goes through a period when their brand needs a new look—a brand refresh. It’s such a major undertaking that often gets delayed until it starts hurting the bottom line. That’s how powerful your logo is. People associate your products and services with it on both conscious and subconscious levels.

Your logo does a lot of heavy lifting. It appears on everything, from letterhead to sales decks to trade show booths. Think of it as the cornerstone of your brand. So, it should be eye-catching, memorable, and work well for large formats or small print.

 

Three Major Aspects of a Logo

To bring your logo to the next level, it needs to answer the following questions:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • How?
  • Why?

It should also reflect your company’s mission and vision for the future. This takes time and energy. It’s not something that can be done overnight, plus it will take several rounds of revisions to get it right.

 

To get you started with your brand refresh, start thinking about these three major qualities of your logo:

Color Does Matter

Researchers have spent a lot of time on how people are affected by color and color theory. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this, just know that it exists and it matters (the Pinstripe creative team knows this stuff inside and out).

Colors that are analogous or complementary will create the most impact. How they do this is through the power of communication. The right colors provide contrasts to make an object stand out, which immediately grabs our attention. A great example of this is the FedEx logo: purple and orange on a white background (Did you know that between the “Ex” is an arrow?).

There’s also the psychology of color and its significance in our everyday lives. Let’s take purple as an example. Purple is a symbol of nobility and luxury. It signifies power and ambition. The “Fed” in FedEx is purple, showing the power of the federal government.

Another color, green, is about health, wealth, growth and safety. We are seeing greens being utilized in more banking and investment firms than ever.

As you can see, color goes beyond what you like or the latest trends. To make your logo timeless, brainstorm with your creative team to come up with color combinations that speak to your mission and vision.

The Font

To be unique and clever, you’ll need to distinguish your brand from your competitors. Using a simple yet eye-catching font can achieve this. Some brands have custom made fonts, such as Coca-Cola, whereas Target uses Helvetica (a very common font). It’s all in the presentation of the name, so you’ll need to be flexible.

Like Coca-Cola, your logo can be the name of your business, also called logotype. There are strong fonts available that represent your brand personality and send the right signals to potential clients. You also want to find something that will last, while remaining open to simple changes to fit the times. Just remember that keeping it simple is the best option. Again, the creative team that works on your rebranding campaign will guide you in font selection.

Symbols, Meaning and Motion

A symbol or picture can be a representation of your brand—the who, what, how and why. This is where negative space is a big help. Negative or blank space keeps the logo clean and makes it clever. You can introduce shapes as another way to help your logo maintain a professional look. Two of the most common are squares and circles. Many law and accounting firms place their names within a rectangle to show honesty and stability.

A symbol can also provide motion, such as the Nike swoosh or the Amazon arrow that looks like a smile, too. These act as metaphors for what the brands do. Turning a circle into a sphere will give it motion. The teardrop in Cott Corporations’ logo also shows movement. All of these are important if you want to show your audience the meaning of your company.

 

A Logo That Establishes Relationships

As you can see, bringing all of these elements together into one logo is very important. And, it’s important to remember that it needs to be balanced and flexible enough to scale without any issues. The logo should have positive symmetry and appear balanced in any configuration. It should also be visible and readily identifiable in black and white.

“We can explain the “how” all day; how color, font, and form come together to create a powerful logo, but ultimately you need to leave it up to your creative professionals like Pinstripe Marketing to design and color your mark. You do not want to DIY something like this, it’s just too important and the design process is too specialized to have your niece do it for free or even have your in-house designer whip something up. Logo development is a very strategic process,” says Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management at Pinstripe Marketing.

Pinstripe has helped local and nationally-based businesses with their logo. We specialize in discovering their traits—their corporate character—and putting them on display. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. Contact us to tell us more about your company and the logo you envision.